Letter to Parents – End of Autumn Term

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Huge thank you to you all for your support this term, we have been so proud of our students and community for the resilience shown and for your patience with some of our ongoing covid measures. At KPHS we have been fairly steady so far, with case rates not peaking significantly yet; we think keeping much of the bubble structure intact has helped us avoid some of the higher transmission rates that have been seen elsewhere. However – we are very aware that the new variant is causing concern given its greater transmission rates overall, and it is unlikely that our rates will remain low throughout. We do need to make sure we continue to review our offer, structure and measures at every stage. Our aim as a school is to remain open and be a safe environment for our students and staff, so do please support us in January by:

1: Ensuring students have face masks and are happy to wear them in school – this could include in classrooms in the New Year.
2: Ensuring students have a plain blue jumper (available on ParentPay) to wear under their blazers so we can have windows open comfortably to ensure ventilation in the building
3: Using the Lateral Flow Tests (available from school) twice each week, and daily if directed to (see below)
4: Sending your child in for the on site test in January before they return to school (details below)
5: Keeping your child at home if they display any symptoms and contacting us for advice

We will be reducing on site visits after the holidays again, but if you are asked to attend school for any reason, you can help by taking a Lateral Flow Test beforehand too.

I have also included some information below on the national contact testing scheme and on vaccines as the booster programme rolls out.

January 2022 provisional return and test plans:

The government has asked for students to be tested before returning to school in January 2022.

Students in Year 11 should attend school to be tested by our team between 12-2pm on Tuesday 4th January. They should return to school at the usual time on Wednesday 5th January.

Students in Year 7-8 should attend school to be tested by our team between 9-11am on Wednesday 5th Jan . They should return to school at the usual time on Thursday 6th January.

Students in Year 9-10 should attend school to be tested by our team between 12-2pm on Wednesday 5th Jan. They should return to school at the usual time on Thursday 6th January.

Finally, I do hope you are able to enjoy the time with family over the break – please follow the guidance and look after each other.

Keep safe - and very best wishes to you all,

Yours faithfully

signature

Mrs J Langley
Headteacher

 

Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19

From Tuesday 14 December, a new national approach to daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 is being introduced (including until the end of this term). All adults who are fully vaccinated and children aged 5 to 18 years and 6 months, identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 – whether Omicron or not – should take a lateral flow device (LFD) test every day for 7 days instead of self-isolating. Daily testing by close contacts will help to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Daily testing for contacts of COVID-19 will help protect education settings by reducing transmission and will also help keep pupils in face-to-face education.

Once notified by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact, all eligible staff, pupils and students should take an LFD each day for 7 days and report the results through the online reporting system and to their setting. If they test negative, they can continue to attend their education setting. Outside of the education setting, they should continue to follow the advice set out in the most recent press release (12th December). This approach should also be adopted over the winter break and on return in January.

If they test positive, they should self-isolate and order a PCR test to confirm the result. If the PCR is positive, they must self-isolate for 10 days. If the PCR test is negative, they no longer need to self-isolate but should continue to carry out the remainder of the daily tests, and only need to isolate if it is positive.

Update on COVID-19 vaccinations

The new Omicron COVID-19 variant is spreading fast. Anyone who is unvaccinated or who hasn’t had their booster is at even greater risk from COVID-19 and more serious illness. Vaccines are the best way we can protect ourselves and help keep children and young people in face-to-face education.

People aged 18 years and over, and those aged 16 years and over who are at risk (including health and social care workers) will be offered a booster dose of coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine. Please do encourage those in your settings to take up the booster dose.

You can pre-book your booster dose online if it’s been 2 months (61 days) since you had your 2nd dose and you are:

  • aged 30 and over
  • aged 16 and over with a health condition that puts you at high risk from COVID-19
  • a frontline health or social care worker

You will be offered appointment dates from 3 months after the date of your 2nd dose.

16 and 17 year olds can get two doses of the COVID vaccine. They can book an appointment through the national booking service and walk in centres are available.

The Health and Social Care Secretary announced on Monday 29 November that young people aged 12 to 15 in England will be offered a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, following advice from JCVI. Parents of children aged 12-15 that have not yet had their first vaccine can book their child’s first vaccination slot over the winter break via the national booking system.

Schools are asked to direct parents to the out-of-school route as they break up for the winter holidays. In some cases, parents will be able to get their booster at the same time as their child getting their first vaccine.

Information on vaccination for 12 to 15 year olds can be found in the COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 12 to 15 guidance.

Further information on the coronavirus booster vaccination and booking a vaccination can be found on NHS.UK.

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