Dear Parent or carer
Hopefully this is the last email that will go out under the heading ‘Lockdown 2021 information’ and we are optimistic that it will be deemed safe for all pupils to return to school following their usual timetable on April 19th, with the necessary safety measures in place.
The latest Scottish Government publication from the 24th March stated that:
It is anticipated that children and young people will have full-time, in-school learning after the Easter break. All secondary learners will return to full-time schooling after Easter, subject to continued suppression of the virus. This will involve the removal of strict 2 metre physical distancing between pupils in secondary schools.
A decision about the success of the suppression of the virus will be taken by the Scottish Government on 6th April and communicated publicly thereafter. The arrangements for return to school, assuming it is as expected, are below however I will update you finally before the 19th April 2021 to confirm these.
A huge thanks for all you have done to support your child’s wellbeing and learning since January. It has, again, been a challenging term for our young people and the resilience and commitment demonstrated by many, the level of engagement with online learning and the attendance in school over the past three weeks has been impressive.
Senior Phase Assessment
It has been really good to be able to have pupils back in school recently, providing them with opportunities to consolidate their learning and to work towards completing courses where required. While it is expected that all pupils take time away from learning during the Easter break, it is important that those in S4-6 also make suitable use of this fortnight and the weeks beyond to prepare for the forthcoming assessments.
You will already have received an email with all the details around this including a study timetable for pupils to plan their revision over the next weeks. I also attach our information for parents on ‘Study skills and habits for effective learning’.
Lateral Flow testing programme
Pupils in S4-6 have already been given access to Lateral Flow devices so that they can test themselves twice a week for the period that they are in school. This does not have to continue in the holidays but should restart on return to school.
This programme is being rolled out to S1-3 pupils also on our return to school. Participation in this scheme is voluntary but I strongly encourage all pupils to engage with it as it will significantly reduce the risk of transmission should there be further positive cases in the community. I have attached the consent form; please complete and either email to email@example.com by Friday 16 April or print and complete and ask your child to take to school on Monday 19 April. Tests will be issued on Monday 19 and pupils will be given the opportunity in school to watch the instruction video but we would encourage you to watch it along with your child here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6rdYgA2IA&list=PLvaBZskxS7tzQYlVg7lwH5uxAD9UrSzGJ&index=2
Actions required following contact with a positive case
Previously it was the case that if you are a contact of a positive case you just had to self-isolate. That position has now changed. All contacts of a positive case should now be asked to get tested. This doesn't replace self-isolation and any contact who has a negative test during the isolation period must still complete the 10-day isolation period recommended for contacts, as they may still be incubating the COVID-19 virus. Contacts who test positive will be asked to self-isolate for an additional 10 days from the day of the test result. Any contact who has a positive test during their isolation period will be managed as a case and subject to contact tracing.
Keeping everyone safe
We have all been very impressed by the conduct of all our young people during the recent return to school. Pupils need to follow all the protocols as they did so responsibly before lockdown.
Follow the well-established protocols for use of hand sanitiser and cleaning of desks.
Come dressed appropriately for ventilated rooms.
Pupils will be encouraged to spend as much of their break and lunch outdoors as possible.
Follow the one-way system at all times.
Wear face coverings at all times in the building and on school transport, unless exempt.
Remain outside the building at the start of the school day until registration at 8.40am; S1-3 at the front of the building and S4-6 at the back of the building.
Ensure that dress code is worn at all times; please come prepared to change for PE at present – we will let you know if this changes.
For those pupils taking part in the voluntary Lateral Flow Testing programme, carry out their COVID tests on a twice weekly basis (replacements are available from school). Please test as close as possible to the return to school.
The requirement for 2metre physical distancing between pupils is removed, but remains in place between pupils and staff and between staff.
Pupils should not attend if they are experiencing any COVID symptoms or if a positive result is obtained from the lateral flow test.
Dates to note
May Day holiday Monday 3 May
Inset Day Thursday 6 May
And finally, I hope you and your immediate family are well and looking forward to spending time together over the Easter holidays; we wish everyone a well-deserved break.
Thurso High School