We are delighted to be able to welcome all students and staff back to school following the half term break. We will return immediately to a full five lessons per day timetable with the right teachers in the right classrooms. All students are expected to be in the classroom at the first session of the day at 8:45am prompt. School finishes at 3:15pm everyday. Our full school uniform policy will be in place and we thank parents in advance for supporting us in maintaining high standards.
Current levels of Covid infection rates in Cheshire East are running at 3118 per 100,000 for 10 to 14 year olds and for 15 to 19 year olds it’s 1741 per 100,000. These rates are extremely high. With this in mind, we will continue to operate many of the normal Covid safety measures that have served us well to this point. We can reassure all students, staff and parents that we will continue to do everything we can to keep our whole school community safe whilst giving students the best possible school experience.
During the past half term, we recorded a total of 99 students who tested positive for Covid-19. During this time, 20 cases (20%) were identified as high risk by our internal Track and Trace team and went on to test positive. Our weekly number of cases have reduced over the past three weeks since the reintroduction of face coverings with the past three weeks recorded as 26, 22 and 8 new cases. Our surveillance techniques identified one small group of linked cases which was brought under control quickly by early recognition of very close contacts and PCR tests. This continues to give us confidence that the systems and behaviours we have in place are impacting positively to keep our school community safe.
Face coverings remain mandatory at all times when in the school buildings.
Self testing All families are encouraged to take part in the voluntary, regular, twice weekly covid testing (LFT).
Vaccination is now available and strongly encouraged for all students over the age of 12 years and all staff.
If your child is unwell in any way they must not come to school. If you need to discuss any symptoms that your child or other household member may be experiencing please contact us on Nocv19@hccs.info and we will respond appropriately.
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 Public Health teams to inform our plans. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and where necessary we will make further changes to our school plans. Any changes will be documented and we will make this information available on the school website www.hccs1978.co.uk/
We have reviewed the current infection rates in schools locally and the impact of our Covid safety systems and behaviours as we promised to do. Based on our current view about risk levels, we continue to be convinced that on the balance of probability wearing masks inside of school buildings will help us to maintain a safe environment. Therefore, face coverings will continue to be mandatory for students and staff whilst inside the school buildings. We are asking all parents to help us by ensuring that your child has a face covering with them when they come to school each day as well as bringing a couple of spares. We will continue with this policy for the rest of the half term, until the Christmas break.
Lateral Flow Testing (LFT) for students and staff
Regular self testing at home is a hugely important part of our safety strategy. Thank you to all of our families who have taken part in this voluntary testing regime for playing your part in keeping our school community safe. LFT tests are designed to pick up cases in children and adults who have no symptoms but who could still spread the virus. Recognising that self testing is voluntary, we are asking all families to take part and to sign up to our test register system. Everyone has a role to play in keeping our whole school community safe. Self testing is mandatory for all staff.
If you test positive using an LFT test, you will be required to confirm the result by undertaking a PCR test. From this point, the person testing positive and all members of their household must not leave home and follow the instructions from the NHS Test and Trace service. If you have any concerns or questions contact NHS 111. Please let school know by email to Nocv19@hccs.info
Vaccinations are now available for every member of our school community over the age of 12. During the half term break the local NHS immunisation team ran a covid vaccination clinic at school which was attended by 60 of our students aged between 12 and 15. This was the third day of vaccinations in school and takes the number of students in this age group vaccinated on site to over 400. We know that some schools haven’t yet had their first day so we are grateful for the support of our local NHS. Over the course of the pandemic we have developed strong relationships with our local NHS and Public Health teams. Their views and advice are paramount to our planning.
All students over the age of 12 and all staff can now book a vaccine at their local vaccination centre. Please consider very carefully having the vaccination. Further information and the booking links can be found here:
Track and Trace
The responsibility for contact tracing in schools has now been passed to the NHS Test and Trace team. However, we have continued to run an internal system which we have significantly modified based on our experience. We believe that early notification of close contact in cases where a student has tested positive is an essential part of keeping each other safe. A significant number of cases that we have picked up as high risk have gone on to test positive. This represents 20% of all positive cases since September. In all cases, we will continue to ask families to arrange a PCR test for students who are identified as very close contacts. Thank you to everyone who has helped us so far, sometimes on more than one occasion.
Please do not contact the school to ask for contact details for other children. Under the Data Protection Act we cannot share personal information of students or staff.
If your child is unwell in any way, they should stay at home. We will encourage students to arrange to have a PCR test more frequently when suffering from a range of general symptoms.Please contact us before sending your child to school If your child or any member of the household has CV-19 symptoms or is waiting to have or receive the results of a Covid-19 test.
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.
Please note: It is important for students and staff to continue to test during the half term break. We recommend that everyone self test on Monday or before coming to school on Tuesday morning.
Clean hands: Everyone must clean their hands on entry to every classroom on every occasion.
Air circulation: Classroom doors and windows will remain open in order to allow adequate ventilation. It is suggested that students and staff may wish to consider wearing an extra layer under their normal school uniform.
Seating plans: All classes will have fixed seating plans with students facing the front. Seating plans are compulsory and students will not be permitted to change places.
Cleaning: Revised and enhanced cleaning schedules are now in place.
School Uniform: All students are expected to be in full school uniform at all times
Coming to school and going home
The start and end of the school day are very busy at the front of school and we are asking all parents to put safety first. Please avoid drop off and pick up at the front of school if possible please. Enforceable parking restrictions are in place that prohibit parking or waiting at the front of school during the school day. The new restrictions run from Portree Drive to Middlewich Road on the opposite side of the road from the school entrance. Please be courteous to local residents and do not block driveways.
If someone in your household tests positive for Covid-19
If you or a member of your household test positive for COVID-19 please email us Nocv19@hccs.info so that we can make sure that all appropriate steps can be taken to keep our school community safe. You will be contacted by the national Test and Trace service who are now responsible for all contact tracing. You must follow their instructions with regard to self isolation.
For issues relating to COVID-19 including advice and information please contact us by email at: Nocv19@hccs.info
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