Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope this update finds you and your families well. Thank you so much for your support over the last week as the academy has adapted to the pressures of becoming a testing centre on top of a part time remote and face to face provision. It has been an incredibly positive week and simply highlights just how incredible our young people are. I have circulated the entire school site repeatedly and it is so nice to see so many happy students, thoroughly focussed and engaged fully on their return. One student remarked that it feels like it has just been a long weekend!  That is exactly how we would anticipate students to feel returning to familiar routines and structures, although it has been an enormously long weekend in reality!

We have been speeding through one hundred and fifty tests per hour and in addition we have begun to teach all of the students how they can process their own test results in preparation for home testing which will begin towards the end of next week. We are so proud of how they have returned.  We are also directly linked to the national NHS track and trace website where we record all of our test results, there have been one or two cases where parents/carers have not received an email or text from the NHS site, that is most likely a result of a huge demand on the website now that all schools are uploading results. Please rest assured that in spite of that we will contact you immediately with any concerns or adverse results, it really is a case of no news is good news. 

We are now just over half way through the cycle of every student receiving the opportunity for three tests on site at that point the academy will distribute home testing kits to every student. The guidelines suggest that home testing should take place every 3 to 4 days so to keep in line with our academy testing please try to follow the suggestions below:

Year Group Day 1 Day 2 Starting from
Year 7 Mondays Thursdays 22nd March
Year 8 Fridays Tuesdays 19th March
Year 9 Fridays Tuesdays 19th March
Year 10 Saturdays Wednesdays 20th March
Year 11 Mondays Thursdays 19th March
Sixth form Saturdays Wednesdays 20th March

Twice weekly home testing will take place for the foreseeable future. We will shortly be posting further guidance as to how to conduct the tests at home, there is also a COVID-19 home testing portal to support and to report any positive test results identified, alongside the instructions in the test pack.  

The COVID-19 home testing portal for positive result reporting can be found here:

COVID19 – Home Testing Portal

Please only report any positive test results. Should you identify a positive test result you will first need to report it to the academy, you will then need to seek a PCR test from your local testing centre, this was not the case for in school testing due to the controlled nature of our testing facility. If you have any concerns, as usual we are here to help just contact us via the reception email address.

As students settle back to classroom routines and structures please be reminded of the prevention measures that remain in place and continue to encourage your son/daughter to comply. Each classroom has a hand sanitiser available, our janitor continues to sanitise high contact areas frequently throughout the day, ventilation in classrooms continues, while coats are allowed to be worn whilst we await the warmer weather. Students remain in bubbles and staff continue to traverse the site and remain in teacher boxes, distanced from students. Now, students also wear face masks throughout the day when inside buildings, the support for this and compliance from students has been exceptional, so again thank you. Not always the most pleasant experience for most of the day, please continue to make sure your son/daughter has enough spare masks to be comfortable each day, we would ideally recommend a minimum of three. Be reminded that currently the rest of the nation remains largely locked down and students should not congregate in groups, adhering to national guidance when outside of the school gates.

We have noticed that at drop off and pick up times, inevitably traffic increases. We work incredibly hard with our Paddock Wood business and residential community to ensure relationships are strong, after all, many of our students may well be employed by local business partners and beyond. It is vital we are considerate in our parking, which is limited at those times, not to park on private land or block roads and drives and our conduct in adhering to the national lockdown as it eases. Our reputation precedes us, a successful one is successful for our students. Hard to build, easy to lose, a poor one will always spread faster than a strong one. Please work to ensure that we maintain those strong relationships so that all of our students are advantaged and employers and partners are proud to look favourably on our local talent. We are proud of our students and want our wider community to feel the same and carry our success beyond academy life.

Finally, as always, I extend my eternal gratitude to the support and ongoing positive encouragement from you. Our amazing parents and carers, we have worked so hard to forge a new normal in how we communicate and interact with you in the best interests of our remarkable young people. It has been wonderful and long may that positive partnership continue.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Mr W Monk

Principal