Dear Parent / Carer
This is just a short communication from me to say welcome back to what is going to be a challenging half term for the school community.
As per my letter dated 23rd October, we have distributed school masks to all students to support them in wearing face coverings and supplement the masks they already have. Over the last two days there has been a very positive vibe from the students as they settle back into the school’s ‘new normal’.
The national lockdown
The national lockdown will have a significant impact on all our daily routines for the next four weeks. My aim is to run the school as normal as possible, but like every organisation we are at the ‘beck and call’ of government policy. The provision of after-school PE activities will stop from Thursday 5th November. However, extra-curricular revision or catch-up sessions will continue.
The school has a rigorous in-house COVID track and trace system in place. We only had two cases of COVID last half term, which impacted on no more than six students who had to self-isolate. The vast majority of secondary schools in Hertfordshire have reported at least one COVID case at their school. I am expecting The Priory School to have more cases as this half term progresses. The key message is that if your child has COVID symptoms they should not be in school; they need to complete the TPS track and trace sheet and get a test.
Volunteering to be tested
There are a few national voluntary testing programmes for COVID running at the moment (for example, the ONS-led testing study and the REACT-1 programme). If you as a family are involved in a testing programme, please can you inform the school by sending an email to COVID19@priory.herts.sch.uk.
It has been flagged up by other schools in Hertfordshire that children who are part of these testing programmes have experienced delays in getting their results back and have been sent back to school before receiving their results. When the test results have then been received, there have been cases where the student has had a positive result (despite no symptoms) and been in contact with a wide range of other students. This has resulted in whole year groups being sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. These voluntary testing programmes are important, but we need to ensure that those who have been tested do not come into school until they have had their results through.
If your child is tested as part of one of these programmes they will need to stay off school, complete the TPS track and trace sheet and wait for the result to come through.
Take care and thank you for your continued support.