Dear Parent / Carer
This half term has flown by and to a large extent has been a ‘normal’ school half term. We constantly have one eye on the COVID infection rates and to date we have only had a small number of positive cases. This was a similar picture to this time last year, but we returned after half term to a surge in case numbers. To help the school and wider community reduce the spread of infection and to protect our loved ones we ask that you continue to test twice weekly on a Wednesday and Sunday.
Your child will have been given a new box of COVID test kits to use at home for the testing on a Wednesday and Sunday. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if your child receives a positive result and then take them for a confirmatory PCR test and stay at home until the result is known. The test kits now coming home require a nasal swab only (both nostrils) as per the instructions on the leaflet inside the box. Therefore throat swabs are not needed for these tests.
The uptake of the 12-15 year old vaccine offer has been good at The Priory School and as per a previous communication there is the opportunity to book an appointment at a local COVID vaccination centre for those students that missed the school visit or were unable to be vaccinated due to having had COVID-19 28 days beforehand. Those students who fall into the 16-17 year old age bracket have also been able to book an appointment for a COVID vaccination and this route remains open. There is a drive by the Government to ensure that as many eligible young people get vaccinated over the half term period as possible. To cater for this, further capacity is being made available at the local mass vaccination centres where appointments can be booked online:
Supermarket vouchers for free school meals this half term
If you are eligible for free schools meals then a digital £15 supermarket voucher has been made available through a scheme funded by the County Council. These vouchers were sent out to families last week.
As we progress into our winter months the weather will get colder and wetter. Can I encourage you to ensure that your child leaves home with suitable outdoor clothing. We will be continuing with students coming to school in their PE kit on days that they have PE lessons. Although some hardy young people like wearing shorts all year round, I would encourage students to choose a warmer option (sports leggings, tracksuit bottoms or skinny track pants): https://beatschooluniforms.co.uk/schools/the_priory_school/.
A letter has gone out to Year 11 parents praising how well Year 11 have done in their PPEs. I would just like to add how proud I am of their maturity and resilience.
The consensus amongst colleagues is that the student body has had a really positive half term. A record number of reward points have been given, consequences are at an all-time low and attendance is back to pre-COVID levels for the vast majority of students. If your child has done something that you feel is noteworthy of praise, please drop me an email and I will review whether it merits a Headteacher Commendation or another reward.
After 30 years of being in teaching, the next half term to me remains the hardest. To support the wellbeing of our learning community please remember that we have a long weekend in November (19th to 22nd) and finish term on 17th December.
“Winter is coming.” – George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones)
Take care and have a good half term,