During these challenging times, we are committed to providing an outstanding educational provision whilst minimising the risk of transmitting the Covid-19 virus within our school community.
Our teaching staff have delivered exceptional blended learning, remote learning and enrichment programmes over the past two years and we are pleased to be back in the school buildings once more. With a significant reduction in the number of restrictions imposed on schools and the national changes to self-isolation as a “close contact”, we hope to bring some normality and uninterrupted education to our pupils.
However, the safety and well-being of our school community is our priority and we have outlined below the steps we are taking in order to open our settings safely. Along with the other protective measures, testing for those without coronavirus symptoms (lateral flow testing) will be taking place for staff and children in secondary schools. In addition, we will be ready to introduce any contingency plans in terms of outbreak management if advised by our Local Outbreak Team.
For further information on the safe return of schools, please see the Government information here.
What to do if your child is unwell
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate immediately. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible. This still applies even if you have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine.
If you live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, you should stay at home and self-isolate. From 16 August 2021, if you are fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months you will not be required to self-isolate if you are a contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
This should include regular hand-washing, regular use of hand sanitiser and avoiding touching one's face. Hand sanitiser is provided at many entry points to buildings and classrooms.
All pupils and staff in the Senior School will wear face coverings on school transport.
Everyone must also ensure good respiratory hygiene by following the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' approach, and we ask that parents review the information below from the HSC.
To minimise the need for pupils to change in confined spaces, pupils wear the appropriate kit to school for the day's activities. For after-school clubs, pupils change in designated changing areas for their year group bubble.
All pupils ensure they are well prepared with stationery, their own small bottle of sanitiser and a packet of tissues. Teachers are unable to hand out or share stationery. Other equipment, such as the apparatus in Science labs, is cleaned between use by different year groups.
Internal doors and windows are kept open where possible to ensure good ventilation and to reduce unnecessary touching of surfaces.
School minibus drivers wear face coverings and all pupils are expected to use hand sanitiser when getting on and off buses. Pupils in Year 7 and above also need to wear face coverings. Good ventilation is ensured and vehicles are cleaned on a daily basis.
The Cathedral has restricted seating at present which will limit the number of year groups in chapels and assemblies. For those year groups that are not physically present, they will be able to watch the proceedings remotely.
Frequently touched surfaces are regularly cleaned and rooms are 'fogged' where there is a requirement to do so. Desks and other surfaces are wiped down between lessons where the rooms are used by different year groups (such as science labs).
Our pupils' happiness and well-being in school remains our top priority. Our staff take time to explain the systems and adaptations to the pupils so that they can focus on enjoying their time back at school.