HEADTEACHER’S LETTER TO PARENTS/CARERS

18 December 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Today was the last day of the Autumn Term. We wish all our students and families a Happy Christmas. This letter contains important information and for ease of reading I have put the information into sections.

Christmas Vacation. The letter that was sent to parents last week provides all of the information required should your child develop symptoms of the COVID-19 virus in the time leading up to Christmas Eve on Thursday 24 December. A copy of the letter is attached for your reference.

Start of Term January 2021
Following the recent government information and to accommodate the requirements, the start of the Spring Term has changed.

Please be aware of the following:
Monday 4 January will be a Professional Learning Day for staff only. On this day there will be no Team lessons or remote learning available for timetabled lessons.
Tuesday 5 January Year 11 to return to their full timetable
Thursday 7 January Year 10 to return to their full timetable
Year 7–9 will be taught remotely from Tuesday 5 January to Friday 8 January. You will receive further information in a separate letter.

If parents are critical workers or your child is vulnerable or in receipt of free school meals and require their child (Years 7-10) to attend College from Tuesday 5 January, please indicate on the link below. We would be grateful if you could complete the survey by Monday 21 December 2020. The link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/KPJ96HQ

An updated definition of critical works and vulnerable student groups can be found here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

Testing for COVID-19 in Schools January 2021
On Wednesday we were informed via a Government press release that ‘Secondary Schools and Colleges are to get weekly coronavirus testing’ as of January. We are awaiting clarity about the arrangements and a start date for this and will provide further information when we receive it. If we have the required information and tests available for the week beginning 4 January, then
we would test those students who are present before the rest of the College returns. Parents have to give permission for the test to take place, the letter requesting that permission will be sent to you when it has been made available to us from the DfE. We will send this and ask that you return the permission electronically to enable the tests to take place as soon as we have them available.

Volunteers
To administer the large number of tests to staff and students we would welcome any help from our local community. If you are able to offer any support for this, we would like to hear from you. Please write to myself at general@horndeantc.hants.sch.uk and I will contact you in due course. Training will be provided and you will be warmly welcomed to Horndean Technology College where we pride ourselves on the outstanding service we provide to the community.

Students
We are very pleased with the way in which students have conducted themselves over the last term responding to changes in the systems without question. Over the last two weeks there have been no positive COVID-19 cases which gives us some reassurance that our systems must have some impact for the positive. We thank parents for supporting us in the current pandemic, the support for what we have put in place has been invaluable.

We are very conscious of the impact that COVID-19 has on the academic and mental welfare of the individual student particularly those who are approaching public examinations next year. Students engaged with the PPE examinations and used the opportunity to experience what the final examinations will be like. This experience in itself supports any anxieties that they may have and next term we will continue to consider their welfare. The next term is crucial for teaching and for students to revise in order to be prepared for the final examinations. The time from now on goes exceedingly quickly and the more that students can do in terms of work and revision will stand them in good stead for the final examinations.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our families a happy and restful vacation and, looking forward, let us hope that 2021 will bring a return to a more enjoyable way of living. I would like to thank all staff and Governors who have supported your child for their work this term and wish them a restful and enjoyable break.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher