From the Headteacher
A very Happy New Year to all of you. I do hope that you managed to have an enjoyable and peaceful holiday.
Students were welcomed back on Tuesday 4 January, and most took lateral flow tests for COVID-19 on arrival. The local Public Health England team told us that students did a brilliant job with the tests, so well done!
We did pick up a small number of positive results, so the process was worthwhile and supported our effort to keep students learning in school.
Although times are uncertain, we want to make sure we provide high-quality continuity of education.
If we suffer from high rates of staff absence, this may be challenging and could result in some students needing to learn at home. In this situation, year groups taking exams will be prioritised.
If we do need to move to remote learning, we will give you as much notice as possible – so do regularly check the following:
- Your email (our first point of contact, so let us know straight away if it changes);
- The school website;
- Our social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook; and
- The school’s ParentApp.
This brief newsletter will be issued on a weekly basis to keep you informed. We have called it ‘The Isleworthian’ to honour a school publication from the 1930s and 1940s – which had the same goal of including our community in the life of the school.
I look forward to the Spring Term and thank you, in advance, for your ongoing support.
Case numbers nationally and locally are the highest they have been, so safety measures continue. However, the number of people getting seriously ill is much lower than last year.
- New Government guidance means that these are now being worn in classrooms.
- Apart from those who are medically exempt, students must bring their own face covering each day.
- Students travelling to school this way must wear their face coverings. Please, always encourage this.
- We ask you to encourage your child to keep doing lateral flow tests twice a week.
- The best time to test is on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. Please also report the result on Test Register, which is best done on a mobile device.
- New boxes of tests were given out on the first day of term – containing enough for the next three weeks. If students need to test more frequently, they can get more at Reception.
Changing Advice – 90-Day Retesting
- The advice about testing after a previous case of COVID-19 remains unclear.
- The most sensible way forward seems to be not to test on a PCR or Lateral Flow Device for 90 days unless the person has new symptoms.
- We will update this advice if it changes.
- We strongly support vaccinations to protect the health of the public.
- The data is clear – those who are seriously ill, hospitalised or dying, are largely those who have not been vaccinated.
- A majority of our students have been vaccinated – we are now planning their second jabs. Further news and a consent form will follow shortly.
- You can read about the vaccination programme for young people here.
- For a first or second vaccination, or a booster, you can book online here.
- In addition, local information can be found here.
Self-Isolation for Those Testing Positive
- This has been reduced to 7 days following 2 negative lateral flow tests.
- The first lateral flow test should be taken on day 6 and 7 and the tests must be 24 hours apart.
- If both tests are negative (e.g. day 6 and day 7, or day 7 and day 8 etc.) and the person does not have a high temperature, the self-isolation period can end.
- Fully vaccinated adults, or children and young people aged between 5 years and 18 years and 6 months, do not need to isolate
- Instead, they are encouraged to take a lateral flow test every day for 7 days.
- Children under 5 do not need to isolate or take a test.
- Unvaccinated adults are still required to isolate for 10 days.
- From Tuesday 11 January, positive rapid (lateral flow) tests, do not require a PCR test to confirm the result. Self-isolation periods should continue as above.
For the time being, all Parent/Carer Evenings will take place through our online system.
Year 7 parents/carers received an email on Thursday 6 January with information about how to book online appointments – you can read that here.
If you have a concern about the safety or welfare of your or another child, please email the safeguarding team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an emergency call 999 or, for non-urgent matters that require police attention, call 101.
You may find it useful to access our wellbeing resources where guidance and support materials can be found.
Congratulations to former Deputy Head Boy Diallo Williams (2013-2020), who has won a prestigious Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scheme Scholarship.
Set up in 2013 with the support of Doreen Lawrence OBE, the scheme aims to address the under-representation of Black men in large commercial law firms and in other careers in the City of London. It will support his learning and development while he studies law at the University of Cambridge. Well done, Diallo!
- Face covering photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com
- Bus photo by Olga Lioncat on Pexels.com
- Vaccine photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com
- Lab photo by Polina Tankilevitch on Pexels.com
- Vaccine photo 2 by Maksim Goncharenok on Pexels.com
- Lab photo 2 by Chokniti Khongchum on Pexels.com
- Video call photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com