Returning to School in January 2021 (Updated 01/01/21)

School will now reopen as normal to all students on Monday 18th January 2021


The Department of Education has instructed all secondary schools to alter their plans for the return to school in January 2021 following the latest surge in COVID-19 infection rates. We have now reviewed our plans following the most up to date instructions. This update is intended to provide clarity on the impact of these changes for staff, students and parents. Keeping our school community safe continues to be our priority but we will also continue to do everything we can to get all students back on track with their learning. With this in mind, we are going further than instructed and returning all students, in all year groups, to online learning from Tuesday 5th January 2021.


The revised return to learning and school timetable in summary.


Monday 4th January - All staff return to work in school as normal but all students will remain at home.


Tuesday 5th January to Friday 8th January


Year 11 and Year 13 - All students will remain at home and re-commence learning via the remote learning systems. All lessons for these years will be in the form of a 20-30 minute live lesson on Google Meets followed by 30-40 minutes of independent learning tasks set on Google Classroom.


Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 12 - All students in these year groups will remain at home and move to remote learning via Google classroom.


Monday 11th January 2021


Year 11 and Year 13 - All students in these two year groups will return to school/college and follow a full 5 lesson day as normal.


Year 7, Year 8, Year 9, Year 10, Year 12 - All students in these year groups will remain at home and move to live lessons online. All lessons for these year groups will be in the form of a 20-30 minute live lesson on Google Meets followed by 30-40 minutes of independent learning tasks set on Google Classroom.


Monday 18th January 2021 - ALL STUDENTS IN ALL YEAR GROUPS RETURN TO SCHOOL AS NORMAL


We 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. We also realise that the changes that are identified in this document will cause some disruption to families in the early weeks of the new term, for which we offer our sincere apologies.


We will continue to monitor the situation closely and where necessary we will make further changes to our return to school plans, Any changes will be documented and we will make this information available on the school www.hccs1978.co.uk/


Over the coming weeks and months, we will continue to work closely with families to maximise the time that students are able to come to school as normal and to safely reduce the potential time lost to self isolation. We remain totally committed to getting all of our students back on track with their learning.



Key workers club


We have put in place arrangements to support some of our most vulnerable families and the children of key workers very much as we did during the first, full lockdown. Any parents who are identified as being in a key worker role can apply for a place by email to keyworkersclub@hccs.info We will need to know by noon on Monday 4th January 2021 for the first week and then by noon on the following Fridays for the weeks ahead. We will also be contacting a small number of families on Monday 4th where additional support may be needed.


At all stages, please do not send your children to school if they are in any way unwell. Please contact Nocv19@hccs.info for further advice


For students who normally access free school meals, we will continue to provide support during the time at home. We will contact families directly on Monday 4th January 2021 to confirm the details.



New safety measures in place


New safety measures will be in place that will change to the period of self isolation for students and staff in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The changes will be put in place before all students return to school. These arrangements have been the subject of intense media speculation and advice and we wish to be clear about how this will impact at HCCS.


We will be expanding our team to create an integrated Test, Track and Trace team. Using lateral flow rapid tests, we will establish a testing programme for staff and students as part of the keeping our school community safe programme. These rapid tests give a result in just 20 minutes and are only intended for use on staff or students who do not have any symptoms of COVID-19. Anyone who tests positive using a rapid test, or who has any symptoms, will need to arrange an urgent appointment at an NHS testing station.


When we return to school, anyone identified as being in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19 will need to isolate for 10 days rather than the previous 14 days. With the new system in place we believe it is possible to reduce the time out of school by 50%.

  1. Students and staff asked to self isolate, will have a choice after 7 days to continue to isolate for a further 3 days or have a test each morning day 8, 9 and 10, returning to school if they test negative.


  1. Where students may have none of the usual COVID-19 symptoms, subject to the school’s usual sickness procedures, we will be able to offer a test and return them to school safely.


  1. We will roll out the offer of routine testing over the coming weeks starting with staff and sixth form students during January. In addition to points 1 and 2, the objective will be to offer a routine test to each member of our school community once every half term.


As we can all imagine, the setting up of a rapid testing centre is underpinned by strict protocols and safety procedures. During the first week of term the new team will complete the training and set up procedures. We will also be carrying out a growing number of tests ready to fully support our school community. We remain confident that we can achieve this step change in our continuing response to the challenges of this pandemic. Keeping our school community continues to be our priority.



School’s current procedure for children who are unwell.

This new testing service does not replace the NHS testing service and is only intended to support students and staff who remain free of the usual COVID-19 symptoms.


A major success over the past few months has been the way that parents have worked with us to keep children at home and seek advice if they are in any way feeling unwell. We are extremely grateful for the high levels of cooperation and understanding. From the school team’s perspective, it has very much felt like a combined effort, so thank you.

  • 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. Please do not send your child to school if any member of the household has symptoms, is having a COVID-19 test or is waiting for the results of one.


  • 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.

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. Staff members with COVID-19 symptoms, coughs or colds must stay home, contact us and arrange for a test as soon as possible. We appreciate that this represents a tightening of the current advice. 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 or go online to book a test. Home testing kits can be ordered but this does take longer to get a result than attending a test centre.



TO CONTACT US


Issues relating to COVID-19 including advice and information: Nocv19@hccs.info


To book a place in the Key Workers Club: keyworkersclub@hccs.info


Free school meals: financeteam@hccs.info


General attendance for non CV-19 related absence: attendance@hccs.info


All other general enquiries: office@hccs.info


School transport: reception@hccs.info


Holmes Chapel Comprehensive School

& Sixth Form College

 

Selkirk Drive

Holmes Chapel

Cheshire

CW4 7DX

 

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