13 October 2020
I hope that this letter continues to find you and your family in good health. I am aware that circumstances around COVID-19 remain ever changing and will strive to keep you fully briefed on the CHS position. We now have information that GCSE and A Level exams will go ahead at a later date and we will write to parents and carers of pupils in these year groups separately.
Pupils have been wonderfully sensible with wearing their masks and we are grateful to those parents who have worked with us if they have concerns about masks.
Masks are never worn for long periods but it is important for me to reinforce that they must cover nose and mouth when worn, or their effect is greatly diminished.
Please can I ask that parents and carers ensure that their children have masks with them unless they have a medical reason that we have agreed with you. Whilst we have a small stock for emergencies we cannot guarantee availability.
We will continue to remind pupils who use public transport that they do need to wear their masks whilst travelling on trains and buses. However, you will appreciate our staff cannot be in these public areas and therefore we ask for your support in reinforcing the messages about mask wearing in public areas.
Year Group Zones and Bubbles
You will know that our system is designed to minimise contact with other year groups and on the rare occasion that there is crossover, it is fleeting and managed positively by our staff.
As well as good attendance, punctuality to school in the morning has been excellent as well. I must make the point that pupils who are repeatedly late, cause us even greater problems in the current circumstances than would normally be the case. Where pupils are repeatedly late, we will contact you for your support.
The majority of pupils continue to look excellent in their school uniform. We will be talking to pupils over the next week who have continued to wear bright nail polish, trainers and any hooded or sports top worn in school time will be confiscated and taken to the ‘year bubble’ pastoral hubs for collection at the end of the day.
As we have more restrictions on movement around the site it is sometimes harder for pupils to access water. Please try and ensure that pupils have a water bottle with them for school.
COVID-19 and testing
You will be aware that the issue of testing has dominated the news this week. We always have pupils with new coughs and colds at this time of year. Overwhelmingly, these will be no cause for concern in the end so please try not to worry unduly. Your child may develop symptoms such as a runny nose and/or sore throat. Please be aware that these are NOT identified by PHE as COVID-19 symptoms, and that the three main symptoms of COVID-19 in children have been identified as being the same as those in adults, namely: - a new, continuous cough - a high temperature - a loss of sense of taste or smell.
If you suspect your child has COVID-19, you should notify the School immediately, keep him/her away from school and arrange for them to be tested as soon as possible. Your child – as well as the rest of the household and anyone in your support bubble – should self-isolate until you receive the results.
If a child shows symptoms of COVID-19 at school, we will ask them to return home and be tested as soon as possible.
We expect that numbers of pupils and staff having to isolate will fluctuate on a day-by-day basis as the term progresses. Everything we are doing in our planning is designed to keep CHS open for every pupil but we are also prepared for the possibility that staff absence may cause some form of closure. This would be our last resort and we would give you as much notice as possible. We have managed staff absence this term in a positive and creative way, and have ensured we have not brought in any external supply teachers in.
We have not yet had a positive test result but if that does happen we will follow the clear guidance and contact those that need to know with the appropriate advice.
We are still in the midst of a pandemic so, more frequently than we would like, children will need to be off school when previously they would have come in. That is disruptive and frustrating for you and us, but it is where we will find ourselves until testing is improved.
Our School and our community have continued to work together brilliantly during this crisis, it is not yet over but we have managed everything that it has thrown our way by working together. If you are unsure about what to do, do not hesitate to contact us and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible.
The Rule of Six
This rule does not apply to pupils in school of course, but it does once they have left the premises.
We are urging students to disperse from Kingsham Road and the Canal basin as quickly as possible and be sensible and considerate in local shops and supermarkets. These rules ask that others make sacrifices so that school can remain open. We know that the vast majority of our pupils automatically behave respectfully in public but I ask that you take time to reinforce this with your own children.
One final reminder that Friday 23rd October is an INSET day and the school will be closed.
Thank you for your continued support.
Best wishes to you all.