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Thank you.

Full Return to School from 8th March

25 Feb 2021

Dear Parent and Carers,

Full Return to School from 8th March

We are delighted that the government has announced the return of all pupils in the week beginning 8th March. I am writing to you about how we are planning to ensure a safe return to school for all students and staff from this date.  

We need to continue to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise the spread of the virus, which we know is still present in the local community.  We cannot eliminate the risk entirely and most of the advice is similar to what we already had in place last term. So we will adapt our procedures in line with the latest guidance and this will reduce the risks in school.

The main changes to our existing protective measures will be:

  • the use of face coverings in classrooms
  • lateral flow testing expectations for students and staff

The main change for return is March for your child is that students must wear a mask during lessons and in all indoor areas at break and lunch. 

We are currently working on the details of plans for testing all our students and staff. Schools are expected to test all pupils returning to school prior to face-to-face teaching. To enable this the government has given schools the discretion on how to stagger the return of their students over the week beginning 8th March to allow them to be tested on return.

After an initial programme of three tests in school over the first two weeks, students will be provided with two rapid tests to use each week at home. At present we do not have any further detail on this. Our senior leadership team is working on our return plan to determine which day, during the week beginning 8th March, each year group will return to school for testing and returning to lessons. Remote learning will continue to be delivered until each year group of students return.

We encourage everyone to play their part in the safe return of all students to Ibstock Community College. So I urge you to allow your child to take part in the lateral flow testing. This will give you and your child reassurance and may identify students or staff who have the virus without knowing so that they can self-isolate. The more people who take part in the testing programme, the lower the risk of us having to close again for groups (bubbles) of students.

Please now make sure that you have provided consent for your child to receive a lateral flow test (LFT) by completing our consent form. The more students and staff that are tested the safer our community is. Information regarding the testing can be found on our website https://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/letters/covid-19-testing-for-all-students. Please be reassured that for the past month, students and staff have been tested in our testing centre. Staff have all been trained and are ready to accommodate more students when we return.

Next week I will write to you again with specific details about testing arrangements and sharing which date during the week beginning 8th March each year group will be returning to school.

Uniform and Equipment

We expect that all students to return in full school uniform including school shoes which comply with our uniform policy https://www.ibstockcollege.co.uk/uniform-information. A gentle reminder that all shoes must be plain black in leather or leather look and be able to be polished. We DO NOT accept trainers or canvas shoes.

Until Easter, on the days when your child has PE it is likely that we will still ask students to come to school in their Ibstock PE kit. 

School coats and school jumpers

Your child will need a warm waterproof coat so that they can remain outside for breaks and lunches.  All classrooms will continue to be well ventilated and as the weather is still cool so you may want to purchase the v-neck jumper. Please see our website for details.

Equipment

Your child must bring:

  • Two face masks – one to wear and a spare. Mask must be worn throughout the day apart from PE.
  • A plastic bag or container to place their mask in during the school day.
  • A small bottle of hand sanitiser is recommended if they have sensitivity issues
  • Pencil case, reading book and water bottle.

Breaks and Lunches

Each year group bubble will have separate breaks and lunches.

Self-Isolation

In the event of a positive case and your child needing to self-isolate, your child will return to their Ibstock remote learning lessons on Foldr and continue with the work that students in school will be doing. They must check their emails every day if they feel well enough and continue to hand in work as advised by their teachers.

Contact with school

Meetings with staff must be by prior arrangement in this first phase. Your child’s tutor will be the first port of call for any queries.

Please make sure that we have your most up to day contact details – both phone number and email. In the event of your child presenting with Covid symptoms we need a family member or care to be available to collect your child as soon as possible. These can be updated via the Parent Lite app.

Thank you for your continued support.

Sophie Williams

Head of School

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