A review of our back to school plans, 16th October 2020

We have now conducted the third scheduled review of our plans since school reopened as we promised we would. All students have continued with a full five lessons per day timetable with the right teachers and specialist classrooms. This is an essential element of getting learning back on track as intended. We continue to recognise our responsibility to manage the school as safely as possible so we are constantly reviewing the information and guidance from the Department of Education, NHS and other organisations to inform our plans.


Overview


School has continued to run well with both students and staff adapting to the new ways of working and behaviours. It is reassuring to see compliance with the new measures high and quickly becoming normal behaviours. We must thank everyone for playing their part both in school and at home. The safety of everyone in our school community is our priority and will continue to be so. We are really pleased with the progress that the vast majority of students are making in terms of getting back on track with their studies and we have further plans to support this over the next half term and beyond.


Community Infection Rates


We continue to monitor the CV-19 infection rates within the area and as you will be aware, there has been an upward turn in the current rates. Cheshire East is in COVID Alert Level: High. New restrictions were placed on Cheshire East residents from Wednesday 14 October 2020, in response to a sharp increase in the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the borough. With this in mind, we are looking for your help in encouraging your children to comply with the basic rules around Space, Face and Hands. There is a promotional video, less than 3 minutes long, which we would appreciate you watching as a family to keep the awareness as high as possible within our school community.


https://vimeo.com/455704121/01b3eea402


Lockdown - Circuit breaker


There has been a lot of talk in the media about the potential for a ‘circuit breaker’ or national lockdown to coincide with the half term school holidays. Several parents have contacted us to ask if this is something that we are implementing.


At this stage, we are not aware of any plans, have not been asked to consider plans and are not considering internally any plans to shut school for anything other than the half term holiday. School will close next Friday 23rd October and will reopen on Monday 2nd November 2020 as normal. Obviously, should anything change we will of course notify you as soon as possible. The safety of our school community will continue to be our priority.


If a child is ill or injured


Please DO NOT send your child to school if they are feeling unwell.


Thank you to parents for your help and understanding in relation to working with us when children have not been well. Obviously at this time of year there are often coughs and colds circulating within the community. Everyday we speak to parents concerned about making the right decision about sending their child to school or when seeking advice about the potential need to self isolate.


  • If your child is unwell for any reason (not necessarily with symptoms of CV-19) they must not come to school. If you are unsure, keep your child at home and email Nocv19@hccs.info for support.

  • If your child or any member of the household has CV-19 symptoms that are defined as a high temperature, persistent cough or loss of taste and smell, they must not come to school but please let us know by email to Nocv19@hccs.info or attendance@hccs.info.

  • If a child becomes unwell during the school day, we will initially look after them in the usual way and parents will be contacted to pick them up ASAP. Whilst waiting to be picked up they will be isolated from other children in the reception area.


Staff members will continue to follow the normal procedure if they are too ill to come to school by contacting the Headteacher and Cover office directly before 7:30am. Members of staff who develop symptoms during the school day will also be sent home immediately and asked to arrange an urgent test.


To arrange a CV-19 test please call 119. Our experience suggests that this is a quicker way to arrange a test than the online booking system.


Track and Trace in school


Since the last review, we wrote to all parents and students to report a positive COVID-19 case in school and the actions we took to manage the situation. Once we initiated our internal Track and Trace procedures and discussed the outcomes with Public Health England, we contacted the families of 14 students who we felt should self isolate at home as a precautionary measure. We are grateful to those students and their families for their ongoing support and help in keeping our school safe. No further positive cases have since been reported during the following two weeks.


Coming back to school


When students or staff have been absent from school self isolating or waiting for a Cv-19 test result, please contact us via Nocv19@hccs.info before returning to school. We will ask to see a negative test result or confirm 14 full days of self isolation before permitting a return to school.


Learning whilst at home


Students who need to stay at home should continue to access learning by signing into their google classrooms where upto date work is available. Every student should have access to a google classroom for each subject on their timetable. From now, any student who needs to stay at home should be encouraged to access their google classrooms to ensure that there is no break in their learning. Learning resources and advice can be found on the school website under the ‘Learning@home’ button.


Face coverings


Given the current community infection rates and the tightening of general measures in place across Cheshire East aimed at reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19, we are not making any further changes to the current position on the wearing of face coverings in school. Face coverings are compulsory inside of school buildings.


Lunchtime arrangements


We have implemented some changes at lunchtime aimed at reducing the risks around the mixing of year group social bubbles. The arrangements that we have put in place will be the same for normal lunchtimes and when it is raining. There are now three dining rooms at lunchtime which reduces the flow of students through the main dining room by in excess of 400 students. We have gradually modified the arrangements over the past few days. These arrangements will now continue throughout the remainder of the school year.




Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School

& Sixth Form College

 

Selkirk Drive

Holmes Chapel

Cheshire

CW4 7DX

 

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