I hope you and your family are keeping well.

You will be aware that on the 22nd February the Prime Minister announced that from Monday 8th March all students in the secondary setting will return to school and resume face to face education.  We are pleased to be able to open our school gates again and welcome back our fantastic students.  We want to make sure that we make the transition back to school as calm, effective and safe as possible.

One key difference accompanying the wider reopening this time is the opportunity for secondary schools to offer asymptomatic testing in school.  The guidance is clear that as a school we should offer three opportunities for students to be tested.  Following that the guidance is that twice weekly testing will be completed at home.

To accommodate the testing, secondary schools are permitted to phase the student return in the week of the 8th March and so next week we will advise on the full return to school date for each year group.  It will not be the case that all students will return on the 8th March.  In addition, it may be that year groups are asked to stay at home and continue with remote learning whilst we test the students.  You will be aware that we have no additional resource to administer these tests and once again I will be relying on the staff body to support testing 1000 students up to three times upon their return.

If you would like your child to take part in lateral flow testing at St Helena School please complete the following form by Sunday 28th February at 7pm. LFT Consent Form for Students   If you do not complete the form we will assume you do not want your child to participate.

We are currently drawing up our testing plans and establishing how many adults we will need to complete this testing, along with how many parents request for their child to be tested.

We will continue to provide remote education if students need to work from home and in school places for the children of critical workers and vulnerable students up until the date the full year group returns.

In addition to testing there is a change in the guidance on face coverings.  From now all students (except those who are exempt) are being asked to wear face coverings in the classroom, where safe to do so. I would appreciate your support on enforcing this message to your child/ren and ensure that if they are in school they wear their face coverings as instructed to do so by my staff.

Next week I will write to you again to confirm the return date for each year group.

In the meantime I would like to thank you all for the continued support during this period of time.

Kind regards

Fiona Pierson Headteacher