COVID-19 Protocols: November 2021
Our new risk assessment for November 2021 has been published and can be viewed at the bottom of this page.
LFD testing prior to return to site
As so many of us travel from such a wide area, and on school buses and public transport, it seems wise to ask that all students LFD test prior to return to site. We ask that all students who consent to do so take an LFD test on Sunday 31st October 2021. This measure will enable us to keep ourselves, our colleagues and the wider public as safe as possible as we return to school.
If you do not have a test kit, these are readily available from pharmacies.
Please log your result with test and trace as normal. We do not require proof of negative result for you to return to site, but of course would wish to know if the test is positive.
In case of positive result, please self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR. Please inform the school using the usual absence procedures, namely to contact email@example.com. You will need to inform the school of the following:
- Date of first symptoms (if symptomatic)
- Date and result of LFD
- Date and result of PCR
Last day of isolation (date of first symptoms or date of confirmation of covid-19 are day 0, isolation is then for 10 complete days, students/staff may return on day 11).
Students who develop symptoms whilst on site
Parents/carers will be asked to collect their child who will be required to obtain a confirmatory PCR and self isolate in accordance with government guidance.
Government guidance requests that people isolate if they have symptoms of Covid-19, pending confirmation from testing. Should students not consent to test, but have symptoms, they are required to isolate for a period of ten days from first symptoms.
There is no longer a requirement for close contacts under the age of 18 years and 6 months to isolate, nor those who are exempt from vaccinations or have received both vaccinations. Consequently, close contacts will remain in school. As students and staff who consent will be testing twice weekly, any subsequent cases should be identified.
Twice weekly testing at home continues
We will send reminders to students to test on Sunday and Thursday each week.
Kits may be collected from school if you have run out, or are readily available from pharmacies.
If you are unable to test at home, facility will be provided in school to do so, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange this.
Students who receive a positive PCR test will be expected to engage with NHS Test and Trace to identify close contacts.
Masks and Social distancing
In terms of masks and social distancing, neither are now required by law, however guidance does state you should wear a mask in large gatherings or crowded areas with people you would not normally mix with. Government guidance also states that each setting should regularly review risk assessments based on the local situation.
As the infection rate is currently at the highest in the country in areas surrounding Gloucester and our feeder areas, we have taken the decision to return to strongly recommending the wearing of masks in all areas of the school, unless eating or drinking. This includes in all classrooms (bar taking part in PE), corridors and communal areas (including sixth form shared study areas).
This additional measure will be reviewed two weeks after our return from October half term.
Students and staff should maintain social distance wherever possible.
Staff and students using the school minibuses, or coaches on school trips, are also strongly recommended to wear masks.
Uniform continues as the normal Autumn/Winter uniform including ties and blazers. As the school will be ventilated and therefore cooler than usual, students may wear a school jumper of their school hoody beneath their blazer.
We will keep the provision that students who have PE should wear their kit to school that day (rather than change on site). We will inform you should our guidance change.
We understand due to the pandemic there are some uniform shortages and therefore ask if you have issues getting uniform you follow the uniform as closely as possible. Issues are most present with PE kit - if not able to source please wear white or navy t-shirt, navy or black leggings and navy or black hoody.
All areas will be kept ventilated. Hands should still be regularly washed and sanitised. With the relaxation of social distancing guidelines in the workplace staff will be able to move more freely around the classroom as appropriate.
Classroom layout will no longer be required to be in rows, but we will have set seating charts for each lesson.
One way system, bubbles and school day
The one-way system for movement around the school and main building will remain in place and details can be seen here.
At present we do not feel there is a need to return to year group bubbles, consequently the usual school day remains without split lunches or lessons.
The school day will be as follows:
8.40 - Lesson 1
9.40 - Lesson 2
10.40 - Break
11.00 - Tutorial
11.30 - Lesson 3
12.30 - Lesson 4
13.30 - Lunch
14.30 - Lesson 5
15.30 - End of school
These will return to being online for at least the first two weeks of term.
Break and lunchtimes
Our assessment is that a return to masks in all communal areas is sufficient mitigation of risk at this stage. Consequently, we are not returning to bubbles for social periods at this stage. We do however encourage students to stay within friendship groups at these times.
Remember: Don't come to school with symptoms
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
However, the new delta variant has also been associated with other symptoms such as headaches and cold like feelings including runny nose and sore throat. Even though we are all keen to return to school you should not come to school if you feel unwell or have any of these symptoms. Please isolate and get a PCR test, or isolate for 10 days should your child not consent to test.
Students displaying symptoms in school will be asked to be collected and requested to get a PCR test or isolate for 10 days should they not consent to test.
Thank you for your continued support in keeping our community safe.