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Covid-19 Testing in January 2022

Dear Parent/Carers

You may have already seen or read in the media and press that schools across the country have been asked to test all children on site for Covid-19 prior to returning to lessons after the forthcoming Christmas holidays in January 2022.

This onsite testing will take the form of a LFD test overseen by trained and independent testers and will take place at St Mary’s from Wednesday 5th January – Friday 7th January in two test sites; the Sports Hall and the gymnasium.  Due to the numbers of pupils who will need to be tested and our capacity at school to do so, we are planning to proceed as follows:

  • Wednesday 5th January – pupils in Years 10 and 11 (only) arrive throughout the day (9am-3pm) for an onsite LFD test and then return home ready to start all normal lessons on Thursday 6th January.  Wednesday 5th is a staff INSET day so once pupils in Y10/11 have completed their test they are free to leave, we anticipate this taking approximately 20 minutes depending on wait times.  Two test centres will be open but we ask that you do stagger your arrival across the day (9-3pm) as if everyone arrives at 9am, the process and wait times will be extended.


Year 10 and 11 pupils (provided they have a negative result and do not have any symptoms) will then be able to commence normal lessons as originally planned on Thursday 6th January.


If it is at all possible, we would strongly advise Y10 and 11 pupils to attend for this onsite test on Wednesday 5th as it will minimise any further disruption to their GCSE studies.


If your son or daughter cannot make it to school for testing on the 5th January, do please let us know and we can make alternative arrangements.


  • Thursday 6th January – Years 8 and 9 (only)

Please can all Year 8 and 9 pupils attend school as originally planned for their first day, but it is essential that Y8 report to the Hall on arrival and Y9 to the Sports Hall on arrival for their LFD testing prior to starting normal lessons.  Provided pupils return a negative LFD test result, they will then proceed to normal lessons immediately.


  • Friday 7th January – Year 7’s will return after the Christmas break and report to the Hall on arrival, where they will be registered and tested in the gym.  If they return a negative LFD test, they will proceed to normal lessons immediately.

To summarise:

Only pupils in Y10/11 Wednesday 5th January (INSET day for Staff and pupils) - arrive between 9-3pm for a LFD test and term starts on Thursday 6th January.

Only pupils in Y8/9 Thursday 6th January – arrive for school and Y8 report to the Hall and Y9 to the Sports Hall.  Normal lessons resume on return of a negative LFD test result.

Y7 – Friday 7th January – arrive for school and report to the Hall for LFD testing.  Normal lessons resume on return of a negative LFD test result.

Please note, if your child is displaying any of the symptoms of Covid-19, do not send them to school and report their absence in the normal way.  You may need to pursue a PCR test.

If you do not consent to your child being tested using a LFD test at St Mary’s, it is essential that you inform us of this if you have not already done so.

The planning of our staggered start has been done to minimise disruption to learning and ensure the safety of our school community.  We thank you once again for your patience, cooperation and understanding.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Wetson