Latest information regarding return to school

 Monday 4th of January is a ‘teacher training’ or ‘non pupil day’. We will be using this time to prepare for the proposed COVID-19 lateral flow testing regime and remote learning. We have been promised the testing kits and training materials for the 4th of January. There will not be any work provided for students on this day and students are not expected to be on site.

If all goes to plan, on Tuesday 5th of January, we will be providing ‘Remote Learning’ for year 11, general expectations for this are given below and further details will follow. School will be open for the children of key workers and those students recognised as being vulnerable, from all year groups. If your child falls into the key worker or vulnerable category and you wish them to attend school then please complete the form from the link below with some urgency, this will assist with our planning. Some of you have already submitted this and there is not a requirement for a resubmission.

From the 11th January, year 11 will return to site for normal lessons and all other students, in year groups 7-10, will be provided with remote learning and will, wherever possible, be required to have Internet access. There is an expectation that students will follow their new timetable issued prior to Christmas and currently on ClassCharts. Attendance at time tabled sessions is compulsory, all students are expected to attend unless they are too ill to do so. If there is a problem with Internet access or IT facilities please let us know by completing the following form.

The delayed start to term for years 7, 8, 9 and 10 will currently mean they return to us on site on the 18th of January.

During the weeks of the 5th – 8th and 11th -15th of January we currently propose to call a year group in at a time in to school for the COVID-19 lateral flow testing. That is, one year group each day will be invited on to site for testing and, with parental permission, they will then be allowed back home. You may wish your child to walk home if you are town based or you may wish to simply pick them up yourselves once they have been tested. If your child travels by bus and you are unable to make provision for them to come home, then an onsite provision will be provided until the school transport is available to take them home again. This will need to happen twice during this period as two tests are required at least 3 days apart. We will contact you nearer the time to seek your permission for releasing the students from site. I can’t at this stage state which days these will be, as all of this is dependant on school transport being operational and the testing kits arriving as promised.

This link explains how the test will be conducted.

Testing is not mandatory and as such can only be undertaken with parental or carer consent. If you wish your child to have the test, then please complete the form in the link below. We would also like this form completed if your child is not to be tested as this way we can keep a close record of the testing schedule.

We will inform you of what response is needed should the COVID-19 lateral flow test give a positive result, if the result is negative we will not inform you and your child should carry on as normal.

We are awaiting further guidance from central government and DCC, this may result in changes of dates to the ones above but in essence I can’t see the main points of the scheme changing significantly. Dates may also change if the test kits do not arrive as promised. We will be in touch once we have more information to let you know which dates we will invite each year group in for testing.

In addition year 11 students who have scheduled BTEC exams should attend school on those days as the exams will go ahead.

We will keep you up to date with any developments as we know more. All that remains for the moment is to wish you a happy and safe new year and I look forward to working with you and your children in 2021.

Happy New Year.

Mr DJ Lewis

Principal, SMCC.