Headteacher’s update/Back to school/Covid advice

Please read the guidance notes at this link if you think your child or a member of your household has Coronavirus symptoms – please do not send your child to school

Guidance for Thamesmead students and families – corona virus and self isolation SEPT 2021

Instructions for reporting positive Covid-19 cases

Please advise us if you child has tested positive for Covid.  NHS Test and Trace will deal with contacting any persons considered to be a close contact.

Symptoms that you should consider are;

  • headache
  • runny nose
  • sore throat
  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature and/or
  • a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

All students and staff members should resume lateral flow testing twice a week whilst attending school. If you have a positive Lateral Flow test you should seek a confirmatory PCR test immediately.

 

Our schedule for return to school testing can be found on our Term dates page

https://www.thamesmead.surrey.sch.uk/about-us/term-dates/

 

Latest letter from the Headteacher

1st September 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you have been able to enjoy happy and healthy summers. We are looking forward to the start of the new school year and while there are still a few measures in place that we need to operate we are pleased that following the vaccination programme it is now possible to reduce these to minimise some of the disruption to learning that we have experienced in the last two academic years.

I would like to remind you that we will be running a staggered start to the new school year with the details of when the different year groups are expected in school for testing and their first day of learning attached. Please take time to check this carefully.

The guidance we are following from Public Health England (PHE), the Department of Education (DFE) and the local authority is based on the present situation which is one where all adults have been offered a vaccine and their second dose by mid-September. We know that the clinical risks to children are low and therefore the guidance aims to reduce the disruption that might be caused to education.

That said we understand that risk is not eliminated and that the vaccine does not guarantee someone immunity from infection. Therefore, the measures we are keeping we require you to support us with fully so that all members of our community can remain safe.

If you have symptoms

Please do not come to school if you develop any of the symptoms of COVID-19, however mild. You should self-isolate and arrange a PCR test.

On-site COVID Testing

We will be testing all students twice as part of their return to school. Students can return to school following their first test providing it is negative with second tests being conducted 4 or 5 days later whilst the student is at school. We have included the time slots for tests at the foot of this letter. We shared the dates with you at the end of the last term.

We have been provided with test kits that only require nasal swabs so this should make the process a little more comfortable for students. Students do not need to wear uniform for their first test, and should parents want to come and support their child with the first test you are able to do this. If your child will need more support to complete the test please do let us know and we can put special arrangements in place to make this possible.

Consent for on-site testing.

Consent must be given before students participate in on site testing. If your child is new to Thamesmead this year and you have yet to provide this consent please do so as a matter of urgency by visiting https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=RF27HurRRkOcwa-UXm33Dyd2I84x8cJGiufkwXsJJ7BUNEdHQ0lLNklPS0pWUTFIT05VTE1MSVpQNS4u

You do not need to give consent again if your child had lateral flow tests at Thamesmead last term.

Lateral flow testing at home

We will be providing students with test kits so that they can test twice weekly at home for the month of September in the first instance. We ask that you keep this home testing up to help identify any positive cases and reduce potential spread amongst the students. The government will then advise if this is to continue beyond September.

Self-isolation and close contacts

If an individual has a positive lateral flow test result, either onsite or at home, they will need to self-isolate while they take a PCR test and await the result. If the PCR test result is positive then they will need to isolate for a period of 10 days from the day of the first positive result or when they first noticed symptoms if earlier. If the PCR test is negative then the individual can return to school.

If a student is a close contact of an individual who has tested positive they will be identified and contacted by NHS test and trace. They will be asked to complete a PCR test but do not need to self-isolate unless that test is returned as positive. This means they can remain in school unless they receive a positive result.

Adults who are close contacts do not need to self-isolate if they are fully vaccinated.

Schools are no longer expected to identify and notify close contacts, this will be done by NHS test and trace.

Maintaining Good Hygiene

We will be continuing to encourage students maintain good hygiene by ensuring hands can be cleaned and sanitised regularly, and that coughs and sneezes are ‘caught, binned and killed’.

We will be maintaining our daytime cleaning service and all cleaning will prioritise frequently touched surfaces. In the event of any confirmed cases we will ensure an enhanced cleaning of any affected areas.

Classrooms will be continued to be as well ventilated as possible given the weather conditions at the time.

16-year olds

You will be aware that young people between the age of 16-18 are eligible for vaccination. Therefore, we ask that as our Year 11 students turn 16 they consider very seriously the benefit vaccination will offer to them and their peers in minimising the risk of illness or a need to self-isolate with COVID in their GCSE year.

Face coverings

There is no expectation for staff or students to wear face coverings in school, however if individuals wish to continue to wear them then we are happy for them to do so. The government continues to recommend that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet, such as on public transport.

Visitors to school

We are able to welcome visitors back into school, however to reduce risk we ask that you only attend school if absolutely necessary.

In the event of an outbreak in school

If there is a local outbreak that sees a substantial increase in cases in the school we will work closely with the local health protection team to manage this. In this situation we may have to reintroduce some of our previous control measures to the school such as increased social distancing, reduced movement and mixing, and wearing face coverings.

Remote education

Should a student be required to self-isolate as a result of the present COVID precautions and restrictions then we will provide remote learning for the period of self-isolation. Please understand that we cannot provide remote learning for other situations where students cannot attend school.

After school clubs

We will be able to resume after school clubs and details of these will be shared with parents early in the new term once we have confirmed the times and days of the different activities we plan to offer this term.

Being ready for the return to school

We are looking forward to welcoming the students back to school and we want this to be a positive start to the new year ahead. The start of the new school is year is an occasion when we check that standards are where we would like them to be as the year progresses. Any student who has had hair styles or colourings, semi-permanent make up processes (eye-brows, lashes, and nails) or additional piercings in the ear, nose etc should ensure they are removed before their first day back at school.

A reminder if you are still to purchase shoes that they should not resemble a trainer or plimsoll. Being black leather alone does not make them school shoes. We do not want you spending money of items that are not accepted as school uniform.

Our uniform policy can be found here https://www.thamesmead.surrey.sch.uk/parents/uniform/

By supporting us with this you help ensure that your child’s first interactions with us at school following the long break can be welcoming and positive.

 

Please remember the timings of our school day are as follows

Time
8:25 Start of school day – all students should arrive by this time
8:30 Tutor period
8:45 Lesson 1
9:45 Lesson 2
10:45 Morning break
11:00 Lesson 3
12:00 Lesson 4
1:00 Lunch
1:30 Lesson 5
2:30 Tutor period
2:35 End of school day/ after school activities start

Students will receive their timetables for the new school year on their first day in school.

 

School buses 400 & 813

These services will begin on Friday 3rd September and timetables are on the website under School Transport

New staff joining the school

We welcome the following teaching staff to the school for the new academic year

  • English – Miss Baker
  • Science – Miss Brackenbury
  • Geography – Miss Cozens
  • Music – Mrs Hickman
  • Drama – Mr Crane
  • Business Studies – Mr Manohar
  • Mrs Salfield – Design Technology and Art
  • Mrs Goddard – Food & Nutrition/ Health and Social Care

Please contact us if you have any further questions and we look forward to seeing the students over the next few days as they come in for testing and their first day back.

 

Yours faithfully

Phil Reeves- Headteacher

 

Please attend for lateral flow testing according to your tutor group at the following times

Year 7 – Thursday 2nd September

Tutor Group Testing Time
7SBO 11.05am
7CGO 11.20am
7HMA 11.35am
7LSO 11.50am
7MLO 12.20pm
7SGL 12.35pm
7HCZ 12.50pm

 

Year 11 – Friday 3rd September

Tutor Group Testing Time
11LDR 08.30am
11RPR 08.45am
11MJO 09.00am
11HJO 09.15am
11RHA 09.45am
11LTH 10.00am
11LRO 10.15am

 

Year 10 – Friday 3rd September

Tutor Group Testing Time
10EMC (was 9JBU) 11.05am
 10BJU (was 9NHA) 11.20am
10FWI 11.35am
10RCR (was 9KHI) 11.50am
10JHA (was 9SBO) 12.20pm
10RPI 12.35pm
10JWI 12.50pm

 

Year 8 – Monday 6th September

Tutor Group Testing Time
8FFO 08.30am
8GBA (was 7CVA) 08.45am
8JBL (was 7PTH) 09.00am
8LBR (was 7EWO) 09.15am
8HCO 09.45am
8RSI 10.00am
8HLO 10.15am

 

Year 9 – Monday 6th September

Tutor Group Testing Time
9LCL (was 8BSI) 11.05am
8TSP 11.20am
9CLA 11.35am
9RLO 11.50am
9EWH 12.20pm
9GWI (was 8KWA) 12.35pm
9SCO 12.50pm

 

NHS Advice on symptoms and testing can be found here

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Gov.uk guidance on testing, symptoms and self-isolation can be found here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection