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St Mary's RC High School

St Mary’s RC High School

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Headteacher's Update

Dear Parents/Carers 

Further to my recent communication, we are now in a position to be able to share the key information with you regarding your child’s return to school from the week commencing 8th March 2021.

As you will no doubt be aware, the Government and DfE have stipulated that all secondary pupils need to be tested for Covid-19 on site prior to their return to classroom lessons using Lateral Flow Devices. This process will need to occur 3 times per pupil on site at our testing centre in the coming weeks prior to home testing kits being issued for subsequent testing. On receipt of one negative test result using the Lateral Flow Tests in school, pupils will be able to return to lessons within their year group bubbles immediately.

The arrangements below have been devised with a view to getting all year groups back in school and learning in lessons as quickly and safely as possible. Please be aware that this testing criteria is not specific to St Mary’s but to all secondary schools locally and nationally. The only variance will be within how schools choose to arrange this process depending on their size and context. At St Mary’s we will be proceeding as follows:

Monday 8th March 2021: School will be open to pupils in Years 10 & 11 (and the pre-existing vulnerable pupils/children of key workers). Pupils in years 7, 8 and 9 will continue to learn remotely from home.

Tuesday 9th March 2021: School will be open to pupils in Years 8, 9, 10 & 11 (and the pre-existing vulnerable pupils/children of key workers). Pupils in years 7 will continue to learn remotely from home.

Wednesday 10th March 2021: Year 7 pupils return to school. St Mary’s will be open to all pupils in all year groups.

The above dates have been put in place to ensure that we can safely comply with Covid-19 testing arrangements.

Testing

On Monday 8th March –pupils in Years 10 & 11 will be tested prior to attending timetabled lessons. The only exception to this is if a child returns a positive test result.

On Tuesday 9th March - pupils in Years 8 & 9 will be tested prior to attending timetabled lessons. The only exception to this is if a child returns a positive test result.

On Wednesday 10th March – pupils in Year 7 will be tested prior to attending timetabled lessons. The only exception to this is if a child returns a positive test result.

The above will then be repeated for each year group for a follow-up test within the 3-5 days timeframe. In order for your child to be tested at St Mary’s, it is essential that consent is given. A communication reminding you about this was sent earlier this week. If you have any queries regarding the completion of this form, contact admin@st-maryshigh.hereford.sch.uk

If you do not wish for your child to be tested and do not give consent, it is imperative that you let us know by completing the online form. We will not test any child for whom we do not have consent.

On the dates outlined above, pupils should arrive at the normal time and ready for an 8:55am start. We have been informed that School Transport will run as normal (though separate details regarding buses will be sent to you) and all children will be required to wear face masks for travel.

Once tested, pupils will follow their normal timetable and timings of the school day. Catering facilities will be available at school.

May I remind you that if you are collecting your child by car at the end of the day, not to come on site until 3:30pm onwards in order to let buses load and depart safely – this was working extremely well prior to the most recent lockdown.

We have been working with the Local Authority and Public Health England to ensure that everything is in place for the safe return of our pupils, and we are looking forward to getting back to something resembling ‘normal’ as soon as possible.  Further information regarding additional safety measures including face coverings will follow in due course.

Thank you for your continued understanding and support.

Stuart Wetson

Headteacher