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Bradfields Academy

Bradfields Academy

COVID-19: January Update

January – Term 3 Update

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you have all been able to have a restful Christmas break and Happy New Years. Following my letter on 18 December and the government announcements about schools return on the 30th December, I am writing to update on our planning for the start of Term 3.

Start of term return dates

In line with the Government announcement on 30 December for mainstream schools, Fortis Trust, due to our size and the fact that we had a recent outbreak of Covid-19, has been granted the same flexible approach to students returning for Term 3 as mainstream schools. This means that the following will take place at Bradfields Academy:

Week 1

Monday 4th January: This is a staff training day as originally planned. Students are not to attend. There will be no remote learning.

Tuesday 5th January: This will be a logistical planning day for the implementation of the lateral flow testing within the academy. Students are not to attend. There will be no remote learning.

Wednesday 6th – Friday 8th January:

Primary students have the option to attend school. Please inform us if you are intending to send your child into Primary.

All secondary students will remain at home and engage in remote learning. Please see further clarifications below about Critical Keyworker students and those deemed extremely vulnerable and their attendance at the academy.

Week 2

Monday 11th – Friday 15th January:

Examination groups will return to in-school learning. A letter will be sent separately to the students who are preparing for examinations to inform them of their date of return.

Primary students have the option to attend school. Please inform us if you are intending to send your child into Primary.

All other year groups will continue with remote learning.

Where possible we would like students to have an asymptomatic test before they return. See detail below about how to book these and how by booking the test is providing your parental consent. Please note if you have had a positive Covid-19 test in the last 90 days then you will be exempt from the test until the 90 days have passed.

Week 3

Monday 18th January onwards: All year groups return to in-school learning.

SEND Transport

We will be informing Transport providers, however, we would be grateful if you could also inform your child’s SEN Transport of these arrangements.

Remote learning

We will be continuing with our remote learning package through Microsoft o365, IXL, or the SeeSaw App (dependent upon your child’s class) noting the points below:

• We are expecting all students to be online during their normal lesson times and undertaking the work for that lesson as set.

• Teachers will be offering a face to face session for feedback and continued learning at least once during this period.

• If your child is unable to engage in remote learning due to illness please let us know through the usual attendance contacts and we will make teachers aware. It is also very important that their home learning is completed, however, we recognise that many of our students may struggle with working from home.

• If there are any issues with understanding the work set please contact the teacher through Microsoft o365, if for any reason this does not resolve your issue please email office@fortistrust.co.uk and we will get back to you.

Free School Meals

During the period of remote learning we will be offering Free School Meals to those who are eligible. Students who are in school will continue to receive in-school meals. We will write to the relevant parents directly with further details.

Critical Covid-19 worker provision

From Wednesday 6th to Friday 15th January we will be offering critical worker provision within the academy. We will write to parents on Monday with detail of the criteria and the evidence we will require to confirm you have this we will confirm final details with those who then notify us of your eligibility. Students will remain within year group bubbles for the critical worker provision.

Student attendance and parental choice

We recognise how worrying and difficult it is to keep your children and yourself safe at present and how the new strain of the virus is spreading rapidly. With the new strain on average 1 in 3 people are carrying the virus without any symptoms and spreading it through the community. We therefore, understand if you choose to keep your child at home and access remote education. I can reassure you that there will be no consequences for your child not attending during this period. Please inform us if you are keeping your child at home.

School Covid-19 testing

Since my last letter we have had some time to plan for implementing this in Bradfields, however there are still a number of unanswered queries with the DFE and the information below may be subject to change as further details emerge. The testing process operates through 3 key elements:

• Element 1 The offer of testing for all students and staff. This will comprise of 2 tests at 3-5 school days apart.

• Element 2 Weekly testing for staff.

• Element 3 The offer of daily testing for students who have been asked to isolate, yet wish to return to school.

Our current plans involve working towards mass testing Year 11 and 13 in the week beginning 11 January and all other year groups from 18 January. We will provide details for Element 3 testing after 18th January.

We would like to confirm the following;

• Students will not be asked to take a test without parental permission; there will be a separate letter with permission details following shortly.

• We will be using the lateral flow test. If students test negative they will be informed, if students test positive we will ask parents to collect their child and seek a PCR test. If parents do not want their child to take the PCR test the student will need to stay at home for 10 days.

• Students will need to administer the test themselves under the supervision of trained staff.

• We are encouraging all students to take this test as a way of ensuring the best possible safety in Bradfields; however any student who does not take the test will be able to remain in the academy as long as they do not have any symptoms or have not been told to isolate. We hope that parents and students are able to support the academy in ensuring a very strong take up of the test to re-enforce the best possible safety for the whole community.

All of the above is in line the Government guidance and in addition to the following measures which are already in place;

• Students must not attend the academy if they have any of the recognised Covid-19 symptoms. Please ensure that we are aware if your child is absent with symptoms and taking a PCR test – this helps us to make informed decisions on isolations and bubble closures.

• Please can parents inform us as soon as possible of any positive Covid-19 result taken outside school. We will then make contact to arrange tracing within Bradfields.

• Please can parents inform us if other members of the household have tested positive. or arrange for them to have daily tests for 7 consecutive days

• We will continue to ask either close contact students or whole class/year groups to isolate as appropriate and based on DFE/PHE advice.

• Wider hygiene measures including wearing of face coverings, use of sanitiser and reduced contact between classes and communities remain in place. Please can you ensure your child has a face covering as this has helped to reduce the spread in other areas.

I will be writing to parents again next week with further details on testing and parental permission procedures.

Booking a Lateral Flow Test at the Medway Test Centres

Medway’s critical workers and residents living in areas with high infection rates can now book a symptom-free coronavirus test. We recommend that you and your child access this testing regularly to ensure you do not have the virus. This new type of testing is much speedier than current tests with results delivered within an hour of the test taking place. If you do not have any symptoms but want to ensure you are virus free, please book your test online using this booking link: https://mph.healthit.org.uk/

We fully understand how many of our students would not be able to access the testing. However, we would be grateful if parents of children, who could comfortably access the tests, could support us and get your child tested before they return to the academy.

Thank you for taking the time to read all of the above updates. We are firmly committed to delivering as normal an education as possible within the safest possible environment and really appreciate the way we have been able to work together in this.

I would like to wish everyone a happy New Year and continue to hope that we can return to more normality as we move into Spring.

Yours faithfully

Marie Sweetlove

Principal