January Return to School 2022

4 January 2022

Dear Parent,

I hope this letter finds you and your family well and that you had a peaceful Christmas and a happy New Year. As you will be aware the Department for Education have announced that students will have to wear facemasks in classrooms as well as in communal areas of the college when they return after the Christmas holiday. This will be reviewed at the end of January. Students need to bring their own facemask to college each day along with their own personal supply of hand sanitiser. Students whose parents have informed us they are exempt do not need to wear a facemask.

Given the higher transmissibility of the Omicron variant it is essential that students are carrying out lateral flow tests at home at least twice a week. If your child tests positive on a lateral flow test then they should remain at home and have a PCR test. If your child develops symptoms, no matter how mild then they must also stay at home and have a PCR test. Please continue to communicate with the college during any period of self isolation. Further information can be found here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/

When students return in January, they have to undergo one lateral flow test on their first day in college. If you gave consent for your child to be tested in September 2021, we will carry this consent forward unless you advise us otherwise. If you did not previously consent but would like to do so now, please let us know by emailing covid@blessededward.co.uk .

To enable us to conduct these tests in a safe manner, we have to stagger the return of students from Wednesday 5th January to Friday 7th January. Experience tells us that we can test two year groups per day. This means that certain year groups will revert to online learning until the day of their return to college. The schedule for return is below and has not changed since my previous letter in December.

Wednesday 5th January 2022

Year 11 and Year 8 students return to college and attend as normal from this date.

College buses will operate as normal from this date and students should arrive as usual between 8.30am and 8.45am.

Year 7, 9 and 10 will have online lessons.

The day will begin with registration at 9.00am and students will then follow their usual timetable. Teachers will provide where possible, given the nature of their subject, a ‘live’ element to each lesson. A ‘live’ lesson will involve some direct input from the teacher of approximately 15 minutes followed by students working independently on tasks. If ‘live’ lessons are not possible due to the nature of a subject or other unforeseen circumstances, resources will be uploaded to Google Classroom. Links to the live lessons will also be accessible via Google Classroom. Please note that registers will be taken in every lesson.

Thursday 6th January 2022

Year 7 and 10 students return to college and attend as normal from this date.

Year 9 students will continue with online learning.

Friday 7th January 2022

All students will be in college.

Thank you in advance of this staggered return. We believe that this is the safest way of quickly getting all our students back into their normal classroom routines. Our aim is to maintain “in person” teaching as we all know this is what our students need. Any change to this due to circumstances beyond the college’s control will be communicated to you via the usual channels. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at the college.

Yours sincerely

Greg McClarey