As we approach our third week of the Summer Term, I wanted to share a few updates with you.
We are really proud of the way all our students have returned to school and how they have quickly settled back into our routines and expectations. We know that being at home for a prolonged period of time was challenging, so it has been a delight to see students embrace the return to school and face to face teaching. It is really lovely to have all our students back in school and the energy and enthusiasm that having them all back in brings with it.
The remainder of this term is extremely important for all our students, but particularly for Years 11 and 13 as they work with us to navigate their way through the Teacher Assessed Grades. For students in Years 11 and 13, Mr Gartside has sent out detailed information of the process and when the student checkpoints will take place. We will continue to keep you updated on this process over coming weeks.
I would like to thank you all for supporting us in ensuring the Lateral Flow Tests continue to be carried out twice a week. This is proving to be invaluable in the fight against the virus as we return to more normal times. Please continue with the tests and the recording of the results both on the school and NHS sites.
To further help with the fight against the virus, at Countesthorpe we are taking part in a DFE and NHS clinical covid trial of Daily Contact Testing, to help evaluate its effectiveness and safety. The trial has started and will conclude this summer.
We all want children and young people to remain in school for their learning. Every time a positive COVID-19 case is identified in school, it currently leads to mandatory self-isolation of students and staff who are contacts of the case for a minimum of 10 days to help stem transmission of the virus. Current contact testing, combined with regular twice-weekly asymptomatic testing (for those without symptoms), could allow us to keep schools and colleges open and maximise attendance, while minimising the risk of community transmission.
Schools and colleges across England have been randomised into 2 groups: an Intervention Group and a Control Group. The Control Group will quarantine contacts of positive cases in-line with current national guidance whilst the Intervention Group will allow Daily Contact Testing (DCT), enabling students to attend school/college for each day their Antigen Lateral Flow Device (LFD) rapid test shows a negative result. We have been placed in the control group. Please click here (https://bit.ly/3tMWrjn) to find out more about this and the actions we will be taking when we receive confirmation of a positive test.
The trial is voluntary and shall only include staff and students who consent to do so. If you would like your child to participate in the trial, you will be sent a consent form as appropriate when your child is identified as a close contact.
I hope you will support us in this as it could mean students would not need to self isolate for 10 days at home if they are identified as a close contact.
Once again, many thanks for your continued support.
Mrs C. Aitcheson