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Orchard School Bristol

07 January 2022 - Letter to Parents

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07 January 2022

 

Dear parents and carers

Happy New Year! I hope you managed a break over the festive period.

A huge thank you for sending your children back into school at the right time for their
lateral flow test and lessons. We had a very good uptake and a handful of positive tests
were found, which otherwise we might not have known about.

You will have heard of the pressures on schools to keep face to face teaching going,
alongside running exams for Year 11 students. We have managed to provide staff in all
lessons at Orchard this week, but are urgently looking to appoint 3 Cover Supervisors. If
you are an ex-teacher, or planning to become a teacher, or keen to work in schools
covering lessons for staff who are absent, please look at our website
www.orchardschoolbristol.co.uk for vacancies.

This letter is yet again full of government guidance regarding Covid procedures. I’m sorry
we are back here again, but thank you for reading this important guidance.

Home Tests continue

Please continue to encourage your children to test at home twice a week – on Sunday
and Wednesday evenings, or on Monday and Thursday mornings.
If your child has a positive test:

  • do not send them into school – self-isolate immediately
  • inform us by emailing absence@orchard.tila.school . If necessary, you can phone
    us on 0117 377 2000, but I would encourage you to email if you can. You will be
    asked to send us a copy of the message you receive, the “NHS Covid 19
    Notification”, so we can see the test has been registered to your child.
  • You get the NHS notification by registering the test on Report a COVID-19 rapid
    lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). It is essential to register your test so
    the government can keep track of real numbers of cases across the country and
    if there are any spikes in a particular area, this can be addressed by the Health
    Protection teams.

From Tuesday 11 January, the government has announced updated guidance. If your
Lateral Flow test is positive, then those without Covid symptoms will not need to take a
follow-up PCR test. You must report the Covid test on Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral
flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk). After reporting, you will be contacted by NHS
Test and Trace so that contacts can be traced.

Self-Isolation

How long do you need to self-isolate?
If you test positive, your self-isolation period includes the day your symptoms started (or
the day you had the test, if you do not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. If you
get symptoms while you're self-isolating, the 10 days restarts from the day after your
symptoms started.

When do you stop self-isolating?

You can stop self-isolating after 7 days if you do a rapid lateral flow test on days 6 and 7
of your self-isolation period and:

  • both tests are negative
  • you did both tests at least 24 hours apart
  • you do not have a high temperature

Students who have 2 negative tests and no symptoms can return to school on day 8, but
must wear a face covering, unless medically exempt.

You can stop self-isolating after the 10 days if either:

  • you do not have any symptoms
  • you just have a cough or changes to sense of smell or taste – these can last for
    weeks after the infection has gone

If you have a high temperature after the 10 days, or are feeling unwell, keep self-isolating
and seek medical advice How long to self-isolate - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS
(www.nhs.uk)

Face Coverings

From January 4th, face coverings should be worn in classrooms as well as communal
areas by students in Year 7 and above. Schools COVID-19 operational guidance
(publishing.service.gov.uk)

Children have returned to school well and have shown great maturity in understanding
the importance of wearing a face covering and almost all students now do so.

There are a handful of students not wearing face coverings, and these have been
agreed between parents and Pastoral Managers due to falling into a category on the
government’s exemption list:

  • People who cannot put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or
    mental illness or impairment, or a disability
  • People for whom putting on, wearing or removing a face covering will cause
    severe distress
  • People who rely on lip reading

The biggest question we get at school is for students who have asthma. According to
the British Medical Association, 99% of people with asthma or chronic obstructive
pulmonary disease should wear face coverings. People with conditions that affect the
lungs and breathing are among the most at-risk from coronavirus and should be doing
everything they can to protect themselves.

Students who are not wearing a face covering or an exemption lanyard can expect to
be challenged in school. Please make sure your child has a face covering with them
each day, and a spare one in case the first becomes damp or dirty. Can I thank you on
behalf of everyone in school for your support with this, which will keep everyone in school
as safe as possible.

Vaccinations

All 12–15 year olds are eligible for 2 doses of vaccine. This can be booked via the national
portal. In addition to support access, a number of community clinic sessions have been
set up and further dates will be added. Any child aged 12-15 who has had Covid needs
to wait for 12 weeks before attending their vaccination appointment.

Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination - NHS (www.nhs.uk)

Please note there are some Drop In Vaccination Clinics this weekend open to 12-15 year
olds for first dose and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, if eligible:

Saturday 8 Jan

9am-5pm: Vaccination Centre @UWE Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol BS16
1QY

10am-4pm: Wellspring Healthy Living Centre, Beam Street, Barton Hill, Bristol BS5 9QY.

Sunday 9 Jan

9am-5pm: Vaccination Centre @UWE Bristol, Coldharbour Lane, Frenchay, Bristol BS16
1QY

I look forward to seeing your children back in school next week, ready for a full week of
lessons. We understand that many children over the holiday will have changed their
sleep patterns, going to bed later and getting up later, as is common with teenagers.

Please remember your children need to be in school by 8.25am every day next week, so
do encourage them to get a good night’s sleep!

I hope you have a good weekend too.

With best wishes

Julia Hinchliffe, Headteacher