Dear Parent / Carer
I am not sure how one can reflect on the ‘roller coaster’ of a year that we have all had without having time to do so. I hope the upcoming summer holidays will give families time to come together, reflect and enjoy safely the freedoms that have come with the unlocking of the COVID-19 restrictions in England today.
Over the last half term we have tried to ensure that our students had the opportunities to enjoy a wider range of extra-curricular opportunities whilst always working within COVID-19 restrictions. The decision not to run an event or cancel one is sometimes the easiest. However, easy decisions are not always the right ones and there is a moral obligation to try to ensure that our young people are not prevented from enjoying what are sometimes rites of passage. The balance is ensuring that the risks are explored, explained and where possible mitigated.
‘The ultimate measure of a person is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.’ – Martin Luther King, Jr.
End of term – change of date
With the increased number of COVID-19 cases in the wider community and a rise in positive cases in school we will now be finishing term on Thursday 22nd July at 3.30pm and not Friday 23rd July at 12.40pm.
Thursday 22nd July will be a normal school day with full lessons until 3.30pm.
As we are expecting this hot weather to last for the rest of the week then students may come to school in their TPS PE kit each day. Can I urge you to encourage your child to bring in sun cream, and a water bottle that can be refilled during the school day.
COVID-19 – Step 4
With Step 4 coming into play from today, COVID-19 restrictions will be removed in England. However, to ensure that the term ends well and that we protect our students, staff and parent body we will continue with the current measures that we have in place:
- Mask will still be worn in school buildings.
- Hand sanitiser is to be used when entering classrooms and the café.
- Doors and windows will be open to promote good ventilation.
- Zoned areas for year groups and staggered break and lunchtimes will continue.
- We will continue to recommend wearing face masks on public transport and school transport for the time being.
Track & Trace
NHS Track & Trace have responsibility from today for identifying ‘close contacts’. As a smooth transition from the role schools play will take time, we will continue to run our existing in-house process for the rest of this week. From the end of term please contact 119 for help and advice during the summer break.
The request to take lateral flow tests twice weekly will be paused after Wednesday 21st July. You can order or collect free rapid tests locally – visit www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/rapidtest for more information. If you have symptoms get a PCR test and self-isolate.
It is with great pleasure that I can also share with you news of our incoming Head Student team in the
sixth form, but firstly a huge thank you goes to the outgoing team – Chloe Moriarty and Amy Stewart (Head Students) and Molly Root and Tian Morley (Deputies) – who have presided over their roles this last year in what can only be described as an exceptional one. These students form an important part of the student leadership framework and have done what they can throughout all of the school closures and re-openings.
The new team comprises two new Head Students Laney Laws-Randall and James Henley Waters and three Deputies Grace Jolley, Amy Woods and John East. The new team will take on a range of responsibilities including public speaking, consortium liaison, meetings with school governors and management of the senior prefects. They have been selected after interviews and presentations to their peers and staff. I wish them all the best in their roles and thank them in advance for their work for the school.
The topic of vaccinating secondary-aged young people has been and will probably continue to be a hot topic of debate at a national level over the next couple of weeks. Please could you take 5 minutes to complete the Hertfordshire County Council survey, which will close on 22nd July:
Support for families on free school meals
Hertfordshire County Council has arranged for families with young people who are on free school meals to receive a one-off £50 digital supermarket voucher before the end of term. Mr Foster (School Business Manager) is in the process of setting this up for the relevant families.
Start of term
With the latest DfE guidance including the need to test students twice from the start of term, we have put the following arrangements in place:
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You will have received a letter last week with information about downloading the ‘Securely’ app. We would like to encourage all parents to download this app before the summer begins. It enables parents to monitor their child’s Chromebook usage and manage it by setting up controls.
Support for students will continue over the holidays. If your child would like someone to speak to or has any concerns, please encourage them to use the following email address email@example.com and a member of staff will reply. Additionally, two useful numbers include:
Childline: 0800 1111
NSPCC: 0808 800 5000
The following link has a lot of advice for parents about keeping children safe online. There are also webinars that can be accessed to help with keeping children safe online:
At the end of this term we say goodbye to a handful of colleagues: Mr Scott, Mr Hassett, Ms Ouskir, Mrs MacManus, Mr Cash, Mr Whorrod and Ms Birzniece. We wish them all the best in the next chapter of their lives. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for their professionalism and dedication. Many a young person will have very fond memories of their interactions with these teachers.
I wish you all a safe summer break and I will be sending out another letter before the start of term to reflect any changes that may have arisen.