Dear Parents and Carers,
Happy New Year – and I hope that you managed a happy and restful Christmas break.
We are looking forward to welcoming student back from tomorrow, and a reminder that we will operate a staggered start to term.
- Wednesday 5th January 2021: Years 10-13 only.
- Thursday 6th January 2021: Whole School returns.
Testing Arrangements on Return to School
The staggered start is to enable every student to be tested during their first day back at school. As a “belt and braces” approach, we would also strongly encourage every student to test at home the day before they return, to ensure that Wollaston School is as safe as possible at the start of term.
Please note: There is a change to previous guidance, and all students should now test regardless of previous covid infection. (The previous guidance instructed individuals to avoid testing within 90 days of a prior positive result. )
We are also now operating an electronic consent form for testing and this MUST be completed by all parents in advance of the return to school. The form only takes 2-3 minutes to complete and we are grateful for your support in ensuring that this is completed urgently. The form can be found HERE
You are likely to be aware that the Government has re-introduced the requirement for face coverings to be worn in lessons, in addition to in corridors and around the school site. We will check that all students arrive with face coverings tomorrow, and although we do have a stock of spare masks to distribute, we are grateful for your support in ensuring that all students have appropriate face coverings available to wear in school. We also appreciate you taking your time to discuss with students the importance of adhering to this measure. Of course, for all students and staff who are exempt from wearing a face covering, the existing exemptions continue to apply.
There are also some situations in which the Department for Education recognise that mask wearing will not practically be possible. These exemptions include PE and other active subjects where face coverings would significantly affect curriculum delivery. Members of staff in these lessons will explain to students when the requirement is lifted. It is also permitted for teachers to remove their face coverings when teaching from the front of the class. We will of course explain these requirements as students return this week.
Home Testing Kits
Twice weekly home testing (we recommend Wednesday and Sunday evenings) remains an important on-going safety measure. We are expecting our next bulk delivery of lateral flow test kits next week and will distribute to all students as soon as possible. In the meantime, if you have not been able to obtain sufficient lateral flow tests for your child, we do have a moderate stock onsite and these can be collected from reception or student services. A reminder that there is no longer a need to avoid testing within 90 days of a prior infection.
There has also been a change in close contact guidance, with all close contacts advised to take daily lateral flow tests if they have come into contact with a confirmed case of Coronavirus.
Thank you as ever, for all of your support with our preventative measures and in working together to keep Wollaston School as safe as possible. Outside of the above, we remain committed to providing a full and rich curricular experience and achieving excellent academic and personal outcomes for all of our students. There are of course likely to be challenges ahead, but we will continue to be flexible and resilient and aim to deliver as “normal” an educational experience as possible, as I know how valued this is by our students, parents and staff.
Mr James Birkett