COVID-19

COVID TESTING COMMUNICATION

We are delighted that students at St Thomas More Catholic Academy will return to school from Monday 8th March and we are very much looking forward to seeing students again. In order for us to conduct the initial testing of students, the return to school will be staggered as follows;

Return to school

Monday 8th March - Years 11, 12 and 13

Tuesday 9th  March - Year 10

Wednesday 10th March - Year 9

Thursday 11th March - Year 8

Friday 12th March - Year 7

The timings of the school day have not changed and so remain as follows:

Years 7, 8 and 9 - 9.00am to 3.05pm

Years 10 and 11 - 8.50am to 3.10pm

Years 12 and 13 - 8.50am to 2.55pm

The entrance and exit points for students haven’t changed since September 2020 so remain as follows;

Years 7, 8 and 10 - Red pedestrian gate on Greenmoor Road

Years 9 and 11- Green pedestrian gate on Greenmoor Road (near Jubilee)

Years 12 and 13 - Main entrance to Sixth Form via any entrance and exit

We will continue to minimise the contact between students and retain year groups in ‘bubbles’.  Students will return to a full, broad and balanced curriculum and will return to their allocated teaching zone. Students will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly and hand sanitiser stations are located in every classroom and at key entrance/exit points.  We will continue to follow the Holy Spirit MAC Risk Assessment to ensure that all students and staff remain safe. This is available on our school website.

Face coverings

As you are aware, the policy on face coverings in schools will change from Monday 8th March. Face coverings should now be worn in classrooms and in all communal areas e.g. corridors. If your child is exempt from wearing a face mask, please notify your child’s Head of Year. Please ensure your child brings a face mask into school every day.

Arrangements for Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing

We have carefully considered the Government guidance for schools regarding the asymptomatic testing of students. Schools are now required to organise 3 LFD tests for students with each test no more than 3-5 days apart. It is essential we re-open to students safely by reducing the number of asymptomatic cases on site and hence reduce the potential for spreading of the virus.

We must have written consent for every student who is to be tested. Please refer to the ‘Terms of Consent’ attached to this letter. If any student arrives for a test without written consent, then we will not be able to test them. The testing will be carried out using Lateral Flow Devices in line with Government guidance. Students arriving for testing should wear a face mask. Parents and carers are not permitted to enter the school site due to current COVID-19 health and safety measures.  We will aim to test your child as soon as possible after they arrive for their test and they will only be tested with students in their year group bubble. Students cannot wait in school on the day of their first test for their result.  This will be text to the person named on the consent form. Students who are in school during the week beginning 8th March (key worker children /vulnerable students) will leave their lessons for testing on the day when their year group is being tested. Students who receive a positive LFD test result and any identified close contacts will have to self-isolate in line with Government guidance. Please click on the link below to complete the consent form. This form should be completed by Tuesday 2nd March.

Please click here for the CONSENT FORM

Plan for testing

The plan for testing all students is set out below. All testing will take place in the annex next to the main hall. Students should enter through the doors to the main hall by the canteen.

Friday 5th March

All Year 11 students should attend school for their Lateral Flow Test. Once students have completed their test, they should return home. Year 11 students should attend school as normal on Monday 8th March.

Saturday 6th March

All Year 12 and 13 students should attend school for their Lateral Flow Test. Once students have completed their test, they should return home. Year 12 and 13 students should attend school as normal on Monday 8th March.

The timings for testing students will be issued via ParentMail w/c Monday 1st March.

Monday 8th March

All Year 10 students should attend school for their Lateral Flow Test. Once students have completed their test, they should return home. Year 10 students should return to school as normal on Tuesday 9th March.

Tuesday 9th March

All Year 9 students should attend school for their Lateral Flow Test. Once students have completed their test, they should return home. Year 9 students should return to school as normal on Wednesday 10th March.

Wednesday 10th March

All Year 8 students should attend school for their Lateral Flow Test. Once students have completed their test, they should return home. Year 8 students should return to school as normal on Thursday 11th March.

Thursday 11th March

All Year 7 students should attend school for their Lateral Flow Test. Once students have completed their test, they should return home. Year 7 students should return to school as normal on Friday 12th March.

The timings for testing students will be issued via ParentMail w/c Monday 1st March.

Further testing arrangements

We will provide further communication with parents and carers regarding additional testing such as the dates for the second and third test on school site and home testing which is now part of the latest Government guidance.

We understand that lockdown has been very challenging for students. I would like to take this opportunity to reassure you that we are fully prepared for the return of students and that safety continues to remain our priority to keep students and staff safe. If you have any questions about testing, please contact us on 07918748834.