Category: Covid

Letter to Parents/Carers – COVID Testing 18/03/2021

Dear Parent/Carer,

It was lovely to be able to welcome all students back into school by Thursday 11th March after a very successful in school COVID-19 testing programme; over 65% of students came into school for testing and the team conducted more than 2,000 tests over 8 days. The DfE’s requirement that we offer all students a series of three lateral flow tests in school has now been completed and we now move to the next phase of COVID-19 precautions, which is the lateral flow home testing programme.

On Friday 19th March, all students who came in for one or more of the in school lateral flow tests will be issued with a home testing kit. The process is the same as was carried out in school, but students will do the tests at home. There is a guidance booklet inside each kit to help you with this process, you may find the following NHS video useful: https://youtu.be/zCqo7MhQT6U  The three tests in the first box will be for twice weekly tests and an additional test for the start of the following week of testing. We would suggest testing on Sunday and Wednesday evenings. We will issue the next kits as soon as we receive them in school.

As described in the instruction booklet, you are required to report the result of home lateral flow tests using the Government’s Covid-19 test result website (https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result), regardless if the test result is positive, negative or void. As a school, we do not have access to this information, so we ask that you please complete the results form on the homepage of the school website to log your child’s result (Record Student COVID-19 Home Test Results)  This is so that we can keep a record and advise you of the next steps if needed. Personal data will be processed by school and by other relevant agencies in line with our Privacy Notice for COVID-19 testing which can also be found on the homepage of the website.

If your child’s test result is positive, please inform the school attendance office as soon as possible by telephone. Your entire household should then self-isolate for 10 days as per Government guidance.

Students who did not take part in the covid testing programme are still welcome to receive a test kit as part of the home testing programme but will need to be added to the school testing list. If you would like your child to be added to the list please contact school and inform us as soon as possible and a home testing kit will be provided. As we have always said, these tests are entirely voluntary, and kits will only be given to those students already on our list as having parent/carer consent or those parents/carers that request their child be added to the list.

Please note that these tests are only for students who attend our school, the ‘family scheme’ that you may have heard about is not administered by us. Please do not request additional kits as the supply we have is very limited.

These lateral flow home tests are for students with no symptoms only. If you child develops symptoms at any time, such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste, they must immediately self-isolate, and you will need to book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirustest.

Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests will help staff and students to remain in school safely. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By testing we will help to stop the virus spread and help to keep our school open as safely as possible.

Yours sincerely

Mr M Searles

Assistant Headteacher

Letter to Parents/Carers – 05/03/2021

Dear parents and carers

We are so excited that students will be returning to school again, from Monday 8th March (Week 1).  We have all missed seeing our young people face to face and getting back to a more normal way of working.  The response to the lateral flow testing this week has exceeded our expectations with 100% of Year 13 coming in for testing and just under 70% of all the other year groups. During the course of next week, we will be carrying out the final test with students that have opted in during the course of the school day.

Well-being of Students and Return to School

To ensure that all our students are well supported when they come back into school we have developed a programme that will focus on well-being which will be covered in the first lessons.  This programme will focus on acceptance of others, including developing an understanding of neurodiversity reflecting on Asperger’s, ADHD and dyslexia as well as exploring equality issues such as LBGT to promote understanding and tolerance.  We will also look at establishing routines and good sleep patterns post lockdown, mindfulness and reflecting on the experiences that students have had during the pandemic and how we might support each other with that.  We hope that this programme will go some way to supporting our young people back into school although we know that for everyone this will be daunting and for a number of students it will require great resilience and will be very challenging.  I would like to reinforce that school is here to support students with a successful return to school and if there are any parents or carers who are concerned about their child’s return, we would encourage you to contact school and talk this through with Mrs Mitchell our SENDCo or their Head of Year.

Return to School Arrangements and Testing

We welcome back years:

7 and 13 on Monday 8th March, years 10 and 11 on Tuesday 9th March and finally years 8 and 9 on Wednesday 10th March. We will return to normal school times next week, with all advisories beginning at 8.45am from Monday, whether students are coming into school or still at home. The return of each year group will be staggered during the course of the day and, as students return to school, we will be offering the third and final test to all who wish to have it. Students should return on the day, and during the time slot, that has been allocated for their return (including those students who do not wish to have a COVID test). Any student that has missed tests 1 and 2 is still welcome to have a test on the day that they return, please ensure that they bring their consent form with them. Accompanying this letter are further details about the return to school, testing times, general guidelines for school life when students return and a reminder of the normal school day timings. Please ensure that you have read through the information carefully and do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any further questions. We have been impressed by the exemplary attitude of all the students who have attended school for testing so far and we would like to impress upon all students, parents and carers that, whilst the end may be nearly in sight, we must all still follow the COVID rules and regulations in order to ensure the safety and well being of the whole school community.

Staffing Changes

As sometimes happens during the course of the school year we have said farewell to some members of staff at the end of February:

Mr Tellyn, Head of PE, Ms Hudson, Head of Art, Ms Partington, Alternative Provision, Ms Adams, Exams, Ms Conlon, Social Media and Events.

I am delighted to announce that Mr Beresford has been appointed as Head of PE and Mrs O’Brien has been appointed as Head of Year 9.  Mr Beresford and Mrs O’Brien are both fabulous appointments and I am delighted that they will be taking over their relevant responsibilities.  Ms Wanless and Ms Kilpatrick will be ensuring that art, textiles and photography continue to be delivered to the highest standards following Ms Hudson’s departure. I know you will join me in wishing all our staff leavers the very best of luck as they pursue their future endeavours.

Assessment Year 11 and Year 13

I met with Trust leads this week to formulate the plans for Year 11 and 13 assessments and I am meeting with school leads next week to move this forward. I will communicate this to parents and carers next week once I have shared with the rest of the staff body.  It will however be extremely important that students attend school in order for us to assess where they are

in the fairest possible way to enable us to generate centre assessed grades.  We will be reinforcing this with students next week and we would ask that you do the same at home.  We will be assessing through a variety of means in a fair and encouraging way, the last thing we want to do is cause any anxiety to students regarding this process after the year we have all had. 

Attendance

It goes without saying that we all know students have missed a lot of ‘normal’ schooling this year and as we return to school we really do need every student in school every day.  We know some students may have worries and concerns but please contact us, so that we can resolve these.  We have made great improvements in attendance during this last lockdown through attendance to remote learning sessions and we want to continue this face to face as we return. Again, if you have any concerns please contact the attendance team, head of year and our SEND team.

We look forward to seeing students next week and thank you as always for your support throughout these changing times. 

I wish you all a lovely weekend.

Take good care.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher

Allie Denholm

Letter to Parents/Carers – 26/02/2021

26th February 2021

Dear parents and carers

I am delighted to write to you today confirming the return of our young people back into school from Monday the 8th March.  I would again like to extend my heartfelt thanks for the support you have given the children and staff at Heworth Grange over the past weeks with remote learning.  Your kind messages and words of encouragement have meant so much to us and it has certainly made the job easier knowing you have all been behind us.

In this letter I would like to give you an update regarding the return to school and the testing arrangements we will be putting into place.  I will also update Year 11 and 13 parents and carers on the arrangements for teacher assessed grades that was released yesterday.  The teacher assessed grades will replace examinations this year.

Lateral Flow Testing and Return to School

As you will be aware the Government have announced the return of all students from Monday 8th March. As part of that phased return, the Government have also said that all students will be offered the opportunity to take a series of 3 COVID (lateral flow) tests during the first 2 weeks of their return.

They have further announced that these tests can begin in the week commencing Monday 1st March in order to make the transition back into school a smoother one. The tests are voluntary, but we would strongly encourage all students to have one. The test is a swab of the back of the throat and nose, and is a relatively quick process, full details of the test are on the school website in the COVID section. The main supervision of the test will be undertaken by school staff who fully trained and are familiar to the students.

In order that we can welcome students back into school as quickly and smoothly as possible we will begin the testing of students from Monday 1st March and the timetable is set out below. During the week of the 1st to the 5th March, all students invited in for testing will be able to have their test and leave immediately.

During the week of the return to school between Monday 8th and Friday 12th March, students will remain in school after they have taken their test.

DateTest numberSCHOOL START DATE
 789101113 
Monday 1st March     1 
Tuesday 2nd March   11  
Wednesday 3rd March111    
Thursday 4th March   222 
Friday 5th March222    
Monday 8th March3  YEAR 7 (After test 3)
Tuesday 9th March  3YEARS 10, 11 and 13 (After test 3)
Wednesday 10th March 3 3   YEARS 8 and 9 (After Test 3)
Thursday 11th March    
Friday 12th March     

Full details, consent forms and specific times to come into school will be sent out to students in each year group and these must be completed and brought into school when students come in for the first test.  Additionally, a further letter will be sent out before Monday 8th March with full details of the routines for students once they are back in school. COVID restrictions and specific requirements such as the wearing of facemasks, except for students who are exempt, in classrooms will be put in place and remain until the Government reviews the guidelines as we approach the Easter break.  We know this will not be easy and certainly not what any of us would wish, but I ask that you support us with the guidelines set out by the DfE and encourage students to be ready to do this once they come back.  Our students have always been extremely good about wearing their masks but obviously now the government expects them to wear them at all times within the school building to protect themselves and others.

Remote Learning and Advisory 1st – 5th March

To facilitate the testing arrangements next week all lessons will be on ClassCharts, there will be no live lessons next week for any year group but we do expect students to fully engage with the work set on line as normal.  All students will also be expected to log on for live advisory each morning unless they have been asked to come into school for testing at that time.

Returning to School

The SEND and Safeguarding team have been busy contacting parents and carers to support the return of students who might be anxious about coming back into school.  If you have not been contacted and you are concerned that your child is going to struggle with the return please can you contact Mrs Mitchell our SENDCo and she can work with you to ensure that your child can return in a calm and well-managed way. As always, we want to ensure the well-being of all our young people when they return to school and we will be arranging some special lessons to support students with any well-being concerns when they return.

As ever, the guidelines are being updated on a regular basis and we cannot guarantee that we won’t have to change plans again, even at short notice. We will update everyone as soon as there are any changes and communicate all our plans and arrangements to you in as much detail as possible.

Teacher Assessed Grades Year 11 and 13

On Thursday the 25th March the Education Secretary announced that ‘students will receive grades awarded and determined by their teachers, with students only being assessed on what they have been taught.’

The school will submit grades to the examination boards by Friday the 18th June to allow as much teaching time as possible before teachers make their final assessments.  This means it is so important that students come back to school and fully engage with their lessons so that we can support all our students to achieve the best possible grades for them.  We will be working very closely with the Consilium Trust and the exam boards to ensure we award grades that fairly reflect the progress made by each individual student across all their subjects.

Results Days A level and GCSE

The results days for GCSE and A Levels will take place the week beginning the 9th August which is earlier than previously advertised.  This is to ensure that any appeals that need to be completed can be made in time for Year 13 students reliant on grades have the best chance of accessing their university place, although we hope this will not be needed.

As I receive more information I will keep you up to date, but as always if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact school.

Have a lovely weekend.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher

Allie Denholm

Letter to Parents/Carers 23/02/2021

23rd February 2021

Dear Parent and Carer

You will be aware from last night’s news that we have now received the guidance from the DfE on the re-opening of schools to all year groups from 8th March.

I am sure you can appreciate that there is a lot to plan and organise in order to achieve what we want to ensure we can welcome back students safely and calmly.  Over the next couple of days, we will be working on the details which I hope to share with you at the end of the week.

Please be aware that like other Gateshead schools it is likely to mean a staggered return in the first week as the requirement for testing means we will need to manage capacity.

In addition, there have been some adjustments to the requirements for safety controls in school and we will be updating you and students on these changes prior to the return of our young people to school.

In the meantime, it is very important that students continue to engage fully in their online lessons and I want to thank you all for your continued efforts in supporting our students with their learning at home.  The end is in sight and hopefully we will be returning to normal in the not too distant future.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher

Allie Denholm

Update from the Headteacher 08/01/2021

8th January 2021

Dear parents and Carers

Thank you for all the support you have given school during this first week of remote learning. I know that there have been some issues relating to Teams and Class Charts this week and I appreciate this is frustrating for everyone involved.  There may be issues again nationally when even more students join the platforms online for remote learning and I would ask that whilst the issues are resolved at a national level that you encourage the children to log back on again if their signal drops out.

Remote Learning

A timetable will be sent out for the remote learning scheduled for next week for years 7 to 13.  All students will have advisory each morning.  During the first week students will have an assembly with their Head of Year who will reinforce the expectations and check that all students are prepared and ready for their remote learning that day.  It is important that all students are logged on by 9.15am to connect into their advisory and this is when the first attendance check will be taken.  Students will then either log into class charts or Teams if they have a live lesson.

If a student does not attend the remote advisory time, this will trigger attendance calls by their advisor, head of year or a member of the attendance team.  If a student is ill and unable to attend the remote learning sessions, it is essential that parents or carers contact school to report attendance in the usual way.

In addition, students will be set tasks that will need to be uploaded to class charts or completed during the live lessons.  It is again important that students not only attend sessions but that they are fully engaged with the sessions.  School will be reporting attendance and level of engagement to Consilium Trust on a weekly basis and as staff we are extremely keen that students complete all set work so that our young people do not fall further behind due to the restrictions implemented as a result of the pandemic.

Examinations year 11 and year 13

Parents and carers of students in year 11 and year 13 will be aware that as a school and across the Trust we have taken the decision to cancel the January module examinations.  This was left as a decision that schools were required to make on an individual basis.  As the government has cancelled the summer examinations we felt that to support the well-being and health and safety of all students and staff involved that once there was an option, that it was sensible to cancel the remaining January examinations.  This will in no way be detrimental to the final outcomes for students and hopefully will be a welcome relief after all the uncertainty caused by the late decision made by government to cancel exams.

Although we do not have details yet, the government has announced that student results this year will be in the form of centre assessed grades based wholly on teacher assessments.  Last year there were problems caused by the examination boards applying algorithms to the teacher assessed grades which then led to results being changed causing considerable stress to young people, especially those in year 13, this will not be the case this year.

I will of course update you when I know more, but it will be essential that students remain engaged throughout this period in their remote learning to enable them to achieve their very best in on-going assessments.  These assessments and previous assessments will contribute towards the final centre assessed grades which will then be used to determine their GCSE and A Level grade.

We appreciate that not everyone has access to a device or the internet.  We are continuing to work with the DfE to support  with this wherever possible.  We appreciate your patience as we move forward with this.

Finally, I hope that you and your families remain safe and positive at this difficult time.  Your support means an enormous amount to the staff team.

Staff have enjoyed working with the students in upper school on the live lessons this week and look forward to working the rest of the year groups next week.

Have a restful weekend.

Yours sincerely,

Allie Denholm

Letter to Parents/Carers 07/01/2021

Dear Parents and Carers

I apologise for yet another communication shortly after the letter yesterday but as you will be aware updates and information is coming through quickly at various points of night and day, so I just want to keep you all in the loop so that you are aware of everything myself and the staff team are working on.

Yesterday, further information regarding access to teams and class charts accessibility came to light and I wanted to pass this on in the event that it is useful to families.

Ability to access Microsoft Teams (and other platforms) via games consoles and smart TV’s.

Any platform which is browser based for students (Teams, google classrooms, class charts etc) can be accessed by most games consoles and smart TV’s which have inbuilt web browsers.

It is my understanding that this may be particularly helpful for sibling households who only have one shared laptop/computer but also have access to a games console/smart TV.  It may also be helpful for households who have internet access, no laptop/computer but DO have a games console/smart TV.  Unfortunately, there is no official guidance or user guides for how to access this at the moment but a google search will provide instructions as to how to access the browser on these types of devices.

We are aware that young people across the country encountered various issues trying to access remote education due to the sheer volume of people trying to get online. Please encourage the young people to keep trying to get online, even though I know it will be extremely frustrating.

To try and resolve this issue relating to bandwidth and support students with Wi-Fi, the DfE announced last night, a scheme in conjunction with major network providers which temporarily increases data allowances for mobile phone users on certain networks. This is so that children and young people can access remote education if their face to face education is disrupted. Schools can apply for this kind of support and we are currently in the process of doing this and will update you as soon as we are able.

Safeguarding and Remote Learning Expectations

When students are learning online it is vital that they feel safe and can learn without disruption.  It is also important that staff know that when they are delivering live lessons that they can do that with full confidence that students are engaging in an appropriate manner.  Unfortunately, yesterday a very small number of students sought to disrupt learning during live lessons.  This is completely unacceptable to students and staff trying to do their best in extremely unusual circumstances.

The expectations for remote learning and live lessons have been shared with students but I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate them again here, and it would be very helpful if you could talk them through at home to reinforce these expectations with students.

Students should follow instructions from teachers in the same way they would do normally in a face to face classroom situation. The code of conduct still applies to live lessons.

If students do not follow the code of conduct we are operating our normal behaviour system and ultimately students will be removed from the live session. 

All behaviour events will be logged in the same way they would be if students were at school in person. Any behaviour events will be followed up by Heads of Year, and the Deputy Headteacher Curriculum and Standards, Mrs Carter.

Similarly, students will be rewarded with praise points in the same way they would be if they were learning in school.

To support the smooth running of live lessons, there will be no chat function on MS Teams. This will be disabled automatically.  Teachers will give students the opportunity to ask a question at the end of the session, or at break points, and students will indicate they want to ask questions by using the “hands up” facility.

All students will be muted automatically by teachers and students will be unable to unmute themselves or any other students.  All student cameras should be switched off for safeguarding reasons and this will again be done automatically.

Finally, for training and safeguarding reasons, students should be aware that live lessons will be recorded through MS Teams as per our remote learning protocols. This recording will not be shared publicly but is being taken to ensure the safety of all concerned.

Year 11 and 13 Examinations

You may also be aware that the government is meeting with exam bodies today around lunchtime to discuss exams in the summer and January.  Currently the government has left it to schools to decide whether or not they continue with January examinations, which is not particularly helpful and is unsettling for all concerned. 

I have been in communication with our CEO, and Consilium agree that at this point in time without a clear government decision, we will carry on with January examinations.  When I receive any further update, I will inform you of any changes but the current position is to please ensure the young people prepare for the exams over the next few weeks.  I know only a small number of students are involved in Year 11 and 13 but I wanted to keep everyone in the picture because I know at the moment, clarity is needed for us all as we try to help and support each other.

Thank you as always for your support and patience and I will update you as soon as I know more.

Yours sincerely

Allie Denholm

Headteacher

Parent/Carer Update 05/01/2021

5th January 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

Happy New Year and I hope you all managed to enjoy Christmas even if it was different to the celebrations we normally expect.

You will now all be aware that the Prime Minster has announced another national lockdown and that schools are now closed, except for children of critical workers and vulnerable children.

I appreciate that this will cause considerable concern and worry but I will try and clarify as much as possible in this letter.

Attendance and Remote Learning

5th-8th January – Year 11 and Year 13 students attending Heworth Grange School are expected to attend live lessons planned this week, and all students Year 7,8, 9, 10, 11 and 13 should log into Class Charts to complete work available on line.

11th January onwards – All students will be given an online “live lessons” timetable.  Students will be expected to log into these live lessons on “Teams”.

Due to staffing arrangements not all lessons will be live and the rest of the timetable will be online learning through “Class Charts” that students log into and complete.

Staff are currently creating the “live lesson” timetable for use from the 11th January and this will be published shortly.

Students will also be expected to log into a “live advisory” session in the morning where their advisors will check they are set up for the day.  Any students not logging into the advisory, live lessons or Class Charts, will be followed up through normal absence procedures.  Students, as we know have already missed a considerable amount of schooling and therefore it is essential that they engage in the remote learning to avoid missing out on any more learning time.

We know that there have been national issues with Teams and Class Charts due to the volume of users but we know providers are trying to resolve these ahead of next week, and we will keep you updated on this and apologise for any concern caused by this issue.

IT Provision

Prior to the holidays we contacted parents and carers to establish provision for remote learning.  The laptops provided by the DfE have to be reformatted as they have a particular shelf-life.  Our technicians are currently carrying out this work and laptops will be ready to be handed out again from today.  The admin team are

contacting parents and carers to see if your position has changed over the holidays so that we can endeavour to provide IT resources for any new needs.  I ask that you are patient with us whilst we work through this process.

Year 10 Travel and Tourism Exam

This exam was due to take place on the 8th January, however, due to the circumstances and in consultation with the Travel and Tourism teacher, students will not sit this exam on the 8th January and will sit the exam at a later date in the next round of exams.  This will not cause any detriment to any future exam results for these students.

Year 11 and Year 13 January Exams

There are a number of vocational examinations taking place in January beginning tomorrow, the 6th January.

All students have had their timetables previously.

These exams will go ahead as planned.  Timetables have been sent out and students should arrive on school site at 8.30am for morning exams where they will be met by staff, and 1.00pm for afternoon exams.

The only Year 11 exams taking place in January are on the 11th January for students studying Creative Imedia.  There are no other exams in January for Year 11. Further details will follow about revision sessions and arrangements for the exams.

Year 11 and Year 13 Summer Exams

Currently we do not have the full picture regarding summer exams but we know they will not go ahead in the usual way.  The government is liaising with Ofqual to determine what the arrangements will be but there will be some kind of replacement to the usual examination process.

It is therefore vital that students continue to attend all “live lessons” and complete all remote learning online to the best of their ability, so that if required, students will achieve their best possible grades in any assessments that might take place.  To reiterate, however, we do not know currently what this will look like and the government is liaising with Ofqual to determine this.  I will update you as soon as I am able.

Finally, in closing, may I thank you again for your patience with changing plans and technical issues that undoubtedly will cause stress.  The most important thing we can all do at this moment is to support one another so that we are in the best position to support the young people.  I cannot imagine how this is impacting on our students once again missing out on school and seeing their friends, and in particular, our students taking exams.  Please can you pass on best wishes from the whole staff team here at Heworth Grange School, and we will continue to do our very best to support our students as well as you as parents and carers.

Yours sincerely

Headteacher

Allie Denholm

Letter from GMBC Re. COVID over Christmas

Date: 16/12/2020

Dear Parents & Carers

As we come to the end of a very difficult of year, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your vital support in keeping the Gateshead School community safe and ensuring your son/daughter maintains their educational development. Your support has been very much appreciated as children have adapted to the new routines which have been necessary.

Friday 18th December, Saturday 19th December or Sunday 20th December

If your child displays any Covid symptoms on the dates above, it is really important that you;

  • Keep your child and any siblings and household members at home and isolated
  • Book a test – wherever possible please arrange to book this at a test site rather than a home test kit (postal). Tests can be booked online https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or by ringing 119 if you have problems using the online service
  • Notify school immediately by emailing enquiries@heworthgrange.org.uk – School is not open for phone calls over Christmas.

This could impact on other families who may also have to isolate if your child’s test returns positive.

The result might not come back until later in the week, so it is important that this is returned to school immediately to enable school to contact other families.

Monday 21st December up to and including Sunday 3rd January

If your child displays any Covid symptoms on the dates above, it is still really important that you;

  • Keep your child and anysiblings and members of your household at home
  • Book a test
  • Notify school once you have received the test result

I do know these are anxious times for families and we have asked a lot of you. You have responded brilliantly so far and I really appreciate your understanding and cooperation as we go into the Christmas break. This is a key moment in our combined fight against COVID-19 and your part in keeping everybody safe cannot be underestimated. Working together, we hope to minimise the transmission of this virus and protect everyone in our schools and the wider Gateshead community, as much as we can.

I appreciate that the thought of children having to isolate over the Christmas break is difficult, but it’s vitally important that children who have been in close contact and are potentially infected are not circulating in the community. 

Thank you in advance and I wish you and your children an enjoyable and safe Christmas holiday and we look forward to a more ‘normal’ and Covid free New Year.

Stay Safe.

Yours sincerely

Caroline O’Neill

Strategic Director

Children, Adults and Families

Gateshead Council

Gateshead Council. Civic Centre, Regent Street, Gateshead. NE8 1HH

Tel 0191 433 3000

Caroline O’Neill, Strategic Director – Children, Adults and Families

Letter to Parents/Carers 9/12/2020

9th December 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Yesterday, the Government announced that where possible, schools should make Friday 18th December a non-teaching day to allow for a reasonable period of six-days following the end of term for schools to conducting contact tracing.

In the announcement, the following arrangements for positive cases in the holidays were given:

  • Where a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
  • For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious while in school.
  • School staff are not asked to remain on-call or conduct any contact tracing more than 6 days after the final day of teaching. Where a schools last teaching day is on Thursday 17 December, there should be no pupil contact tracing asks beyond Wednesday 23 December.

Following this announcement by the Government, I would like to send you an update regarding our position.

It is mandatory for us as to look objectively at the details of the announcement and make the most responsible and sensible decision given the circumstances. 

Since the announcement, the Consilium Trust, which we are part of, has engaged with its Headteachers and Directors of Education collectively to consider the most appropriate response for our schools. On the basis of these discussions, we have agreed that all schools will close at the end of Thursday 17th December, which will continue to be a full day. It is imperative that your child continues to attend school up to this date.

This decision has not been taken lightly and we know the short time-scales of making adjustments for this is not ideal, but we hope you understand why this decision has been made. We want to put your child and our staff in the best possible position for this festive break, align with Government guidance, and ensure we are all safe to return in January.

Please know that any teaching lost on Friday 18th December will be made up for next term with an additional teaching day being added. 

We have all faced many challenges this year and we continue to face them as we reach the end of term. However, it is important to reflect on the significant achievements, and successes we have all had this year too. I want to thank you for your continued support and dedication in helping us to provide the best educational experience for your child. 

I want to take the time to wish you a safe and happy festive period and look forward to welcoming you all back in the new year.

Yours sincerely

Allie Denholm

Headteacher

© Heworth Grange & Consilium Academies 2020
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