Thursday, December 31, 2020
Message from the Principal
I hope that you enjoyed a good Christmas and that you and your families are well and healthy.
As you may be aware, alongside many other Somerset schools, we experienced a high number of confirmed COVID cases in the first week of the Christmas holidays. These increases are reflective of the situation across the county and, as we know, we now find ourselves in Tier 4 as of this morning. Speaking personally, I was one of our school community who tested positive over the break and my family and I know exactly what you have gone through in terms of isolation and sacrifice.
You will most likely have seen the news yesterday that there are to be changes to the planned start of the Spring term. In summary these are:
- Year 11 students will now be learning online from Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th January 2021. They will return to lessons in school on Monday 11th January 2021.
- Students in Years 7-10 will be learning online from Tuesday 5th – Friday 15th January. They will return to lessons in school on Monday 18th January 2021.
As always, these plans are subject to (last minute) change!
As always, all online learning will be set through Google Classroom. Assignments will be set by teachers and all students will be expected to ‘hand in’ work online. As a school we monitor daily the students who are logging on to do their work and would once again ask for your support in making sure that all work is complete so that students do not miss out on too much learning whilst they are off. As always, if you require any support with IT equipment or internet connectivity then please do contact our fantastic IT team on firstname.lastname@example.org . We will do whatever we can to support you.
Families with children who receive Free School Meals will soon receive communication from Mr Kendall, detailing how you will receive your supermarket vouchers for the time that your child is learning from home. Again, if you feel like you need more support as a family then please do contact Mr Kendall on Tim.Kendall@prestonschool.co.uk .
If all adults in the household are Critical Workers, or if your child is recognised as a ‘vulnerable’ student, then they are entitled to come in to school to complete their online learning. Please email Jaclyn.Surrey@prestonschool.co.uk if you believe that his applies to you and you would like to take advantage of this.
I am yet to receive any further information from the Department for Education on testing in schools, but I have just seen Gavin Williamson on the news announce that it is now compulsory and not optional as it was previously. Once we receive the information in writing, we will use this to formulate a plan and will communicate this to you. I still have significant concerns over testing in schools and will make sure that whatever we implement is safe, helpful and practical for our school community. In the meantime, testing capacity locally is very good and if you or anyone in your family has any symptoms then they should get tested immediately and anyone in the household should isolate until the outcome of the test is known.
I will write to you as soon as I can next week with further details. Until then, Happy New Year to you and your families. Here’s hoping to a better 2021 for all of us.