Headteacher’s Letter to Parents/Carers

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1 April 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

The last day of the Spring Term is tomorrow Thursday 1 April 2021.  We wish all our students and families a Happy Easter break.  Students leave for the Easter vacation at 11.55am.  The College bus will be available at that time. The College will re-open on Monday 19 April at 8.25am and it will be a Week 2.

At the beginning of next term, we will be reiterating our Standards and Expectations for the term ahead. We would be very grateful if you could support us with the following so that all students start the term positively with the preparation and intention to be successful in their learning:

  • HTC College uniform must be worn every day, if your child has PE, then PE kits can be worn that day.
  • It is now optional to wear the grey jumper or tank top under the blazer.
  • As we will be in the Summer term, no hoodies should be worn even on PE days. The HTC PE hoody can be worn in PE lessons only.  Non-HTC hoodies will be confiscated.
  • Students should be fully equipped for all lessons – pens, pencils, calculator, compass, protractor, ruler and a reading book.
  • Students should always be polite and respectful to both staff and students. #bekind
  • Students should work to the best of their ability in all lessons, collect green accolades on Class Charts so that they have plenty to spend in the Reward Store when it opens up after May Half Term! More information on this will be shared with students.
  • If students receive a detention, please make sure they attend to prevent escalation to further sanctions.
  • We will be reminding students of social distancing measures – sanitising hands on entering and leaving rooms and sitting in allocated seats at all times.
  • Masks should always be worn correctly except for when the students are outside or eating in the restaurant.
  • Students will be remaining in the Year Group learning zones and we ask that they continue with testing using the LFD test at home and be ready to tell their Tutor this has taken place at Monday and Thursday Tutor time. Further supplies will be issued in due course.  We are pleased with the number of students who are engaging with the twice weekly testing and we thank parents for supporting this.

COVID Update

Please refer to the letter that was sent out last week.  Information on testing over the Easter Holiday and reporting positive cases was included.

We have reviewed our systems to prevent the spread of the virus and will be keeping in place all measures for the next half-term and will evaluate when required and prior to the May half-term.  We are confident that the measures currently in place are limiting the spread of the virus and we are keen to ensure that students and staff stay at HTC.

Visitors to HTC

We are encouraging all meetings with parents and visitors to the College to take place virtually.  Where it is necessary to enter the College site visitors are required to show evidence of a LFD negative test or be prepared to conduct one on site and wait for 30 minutes prior to the meeting taking place.

Thank you for your support this term, which has been significant to our provision at the College.  We look forward to welcoming students back later this month, the prospect of better weather and the freedom to enrich the learning for our young people as the prospect of the COVID-19 virus dissipates as time progresses.

Happy Easter.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher

 

 

26 March 2021 

Dear Parents/Carers 

Next Thursday will be the last day of the Spring Term.  We wish all our students and families a Happy Easter break.  This letter contains important information about COVID-19 and for ease of reading, I have put the information into sections. 

 

The last day of the Spring Term will be Thursday 1 April.  Students leave for the Easter vacation at 12.00 pm.  The College bus will be available at that time.  The College will reopen on Monday 19 April Students should be in classes by 8.25 am and it will be a week 2. 

 

COVID-19 Update – Easter Holiday Arrangements  

Testing at home throughout the Easter holidays for schools and colleges 

The Government has requested the following: 

Following the success of the asymptomatic testing programme on the return to College, it is vital to keep testing at home throughout the Easter holidays and into the Summer Term.  Staff, students and parents should: 

  • test twice a week at home from now on (all those who are able to) 
  • report results online as positive, negative or void.  This information is critical in helping us to understand the prevalence of the virus across the country 
  • continue to test twice weekly over the Easter holidays 
  • test before returning to school or college for the summer term, either the night before, or morning of, the first day back, to find and isolate any positive cases. 

 

Students have been provided with sufficient tests for the holiday and for the week we return to College. 

 

Parents should not use the home test kits provided for students, but may obtain them at home test kits for adults. 

 

Contact tracing over the Easter holidays 

The Government have requested that we “assist with contact tracing where necessary” in the first part of the holiday.  This will allow enough time for positive coronavirus (COVID-19) cases to be identified and confirmed by a PCR test and for relevant contacts in the education setting to be traced. 

 

The Government has asked that the following information be sent to all staff, parents and carers regarding positive cases in the holidays: 

Schools and further education providers continue to play an important role in contact tracing and the national effort to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).  We recognise the challenges of this responsibility during holidays and would like to thank everyone for their continued support.  Asking establishments to provide contact tracing support is a key part of the test and trace process, as schools and further education providers hold the data about close contacts and pupil contact details.   

 

Within 48 hours of 2 April 2021.   

Staff, students, parents and carers only need to inform the College of a positive case where they developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in their education setting.  We are asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in their education setting. 

 

If a child or member of staff develops symptoms within 48 hours of leaving College on the Thursdayplease write to general@horndeantc.hants.sch.uk with the following information; your child’s name and a list of contacts that your child had been in direct contact within classes, in their social group, at break and lunchtime. 

 

After Saturday 3 April 2021 

Where students or staff test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) during the holidays, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in an education setting, the College is not required to take any action.  Staff, students, parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace. 

 

Before the return. 

If your child or any member of your household has a positive LFD test in the last week of the Easter Holidays they will have to self-isolate for 10 days from the result of the test.  Please also inform Student Support Services via email or phone at the beginning of the Summer Term. 

 

Self-isolation 

The Government requires the College, following the identification of a positive COVID-19 case, to inform the close contacts of the individual to self-isolate for 10 days.  Self-isolation requires the individual to stay at home.  Whilst we recognise that this may be inconvenient, it is the law and it is a measure to limit the spread of the virus.  Since the return to College we have had three positive cases and identified students and staff have been asked to self-isolate.  We thank parents for supporting this. 

 

Whilst self-isolating students and staff should continue to use the LFD test on the allocated day.  If the child develops symptoms during self-isolation, then parents should book a PCR test and inform the College of the result.   

 

It has come to our attention that some of the students who were required to self-isolate have met as a group together with other students, supported by parents thus jeopardising the containment of the virus associated with the positive case.  The gathering was also posted on social media.  It has also come to light that some parents have thought that if they use the LFD tests and the results are negative the self-isolating child can go out, this is not the case as the virus could still develop and be spread by the individual.  The LFD tests should only be used twice a week as directed 

 

When positive cases are identified inevitably some staff must self-isolate and this affects the provision that we can provide.  When students do not self-isolate after being instructed to do so, the virus could spread further and ultimately affect not only themselves and their families but also other students, their families and staff. 

 

For example, one student who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) can result in up to 50 students and five or more staff having to self-isolate for 10 days with consequent interruption to the education.   

 

We thank the parents who support the systems that allow us to keep the provision open and we respectfully ask those parents who have not supported the system to reconsider their actions.  In effect this is breaking the law and should not occur.  We are also aware that when large groups of students have been congregating together in the local community recently then the Hampshire Constabulary are fining the parents.  Whilst there is some easing of the national lockdown in England over the next few weeks it is not until 17 May 2021 that ‘outdoors; most social contact rules are lifted’ and ‘six people or two households can meet indoors.   

 

We ask all those in the community to follow these directives so we can continue to provide an education for your child and others on site next term and effectively reduce the chance of the virus spreading or increasing again. 

 

Yours sincerely 

Mrs J A Summerfield 

Headteacher 

 

19 March 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

 

We are very pleased with the way that students have returned to College this week.  Attendance has been high; behaviour has been good, attitudes have been positive, and students are genuinely pleased to be back.  Whilst we are aware that students want to talk to their friends, we are equally pleased that students are engaged with and enjoying their learning.  One student this week, which I am sure represents the majority categorically commented that he preferred to learn at College.  We thank parents for supporting the positive return and the mass testing that we conducted last week.

 

All students on Monday listened to the key messages and actions that we are all required to do to ensure that we are all safe and well now and in the future.

 

Positive COVID Cases

Earlier in the week we sent the standard Public Health England letter to all parents and to the close contacts of a positive case.  We are obliged to do this whenever there is a positive case.  We hope that parents/carers will continue to support the home testing twice a week to enable us to respond quickly when a positive case is identified.  This will limit the spread of the virus and ensure that students stay in College learning.  We are conscious that it is difficult when students must self-isolate because of a positive case, we are always following the directives given to us by Public Health England.

 

We are now operating the home-testing system and we thought it useful for parents to access a set of ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ that have arisen this week.  A copy of the FAQs is attached for your reference and we hope that we have covered all the questions that have arisen.

 

Visitors to the College Site

Parents/carers are asked not to attend the College unless they have a pre-booked appointment.  Most meetings are still taking place remotely.  If parents/carers do attend College for an essential meeting, they will have to conduct a LFD test which will involve waiting 30mins after the test is taken to ensure that it is negative.  We ask parents/carers to be appreciative of the protective measures that we are taking to keep the College population safe and well.

 

Examinations

Students in Years 10 and 11 had an assembly on how the examination grades would be decided this year and parents/carers have received communication detailing the process and timeline.  Examination students are adopting a ‘can do attitude’ and are demonstrating their determination to provide all the evidence required to achieve or surpass their target grades.

 

Year 8 Options

All students in Year 8 had an assembly about the option process and parents/carers will receive information to support appropriate choices.

 

Thank you for your support with the measures as outlined in this letter and the FAQs.

 

If you have any questions please contact either the Form Tutor, Class Teacher, Year Leader, Subject Leader or Student Support Services depending on your question.

 

The government has outlined its road map for lockdown to be eased, we all have a part to play to ensure that this will be realised.  We will continue to review our systems and procedures to ensure that we are all safe and well and we thank you for the part that parents/carers and students play in supporting this.

 

Yours sincerely

Mrs J A Summerfield

Headteacher

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Please note that all the procedures we follow as a College are determined by Public Health England.

 

How long will the testing continue for?

We have been directed to continue testing for the rest of this term and over the Easter Holidays.  It is likely this will continue after Easter into the next term whilst national lockdown measures are in place.  Further test kits will be issued by the Form Tutor at the relevant times.

 

When should testing occur?

Testing should be reported that it has taken place on Monday and Thursday to the Form Tutor.  By reporting to the Tutor, it is assumed that the test is negative.  The actual test can take place the evening before (as long as the child does not mix with other households that evening) or in the morning of the day.  Parents do not need to send in photos of the LFD test.

 

How should the test be conducted and where should the result be reported?

The leaflet contains all the information required including how and where to report the result.  The result should be registered with the NHS Test and Trace service as per the instructions on the leaflet given to students.

 

What should happen if the test is positive?

A positive home test – please keep your child at home and inform Student Support Services immediately.  Please book a PCR test via the NHS website and inform Student Support Services of the result.  The household should self-isolate until the result from the PCR test is returned.

 

What if the LFD is positive and then the PCR is negative?

All positive results from rapid tests undertaken at home do need to be confirmed with a standard PCR test.  This is because these tests are not conducted in a controlled environment and will not have trained staff on hand.  Following a positive LFD test at home, a confirmatory PCR test should be booked online or by calling 119.

 

Whilst awaiting the PCR result, the student and their close contacts should self-isolate.  If the PCR test is negative, it overrides the self-test LFD test (at home only) and the child can return to College.  All identified close contacts of the individual can return once the PCR is confirmed negative.  If the PCR is positive, then the parents of the close contact will be informed for the self-isolation to continue for the ten days.

 

Do you still need to test when you are self-isolating?

Yes, on Mondays and Thursdays.  Report to test and trace and Student Support Services if positive.

 

How do we collect the next self-testing kit if we are isolating?

Arrange with Student Support Services for collection from Barton Hall Reception or if you have a child in another Year Group you can provide Student Support Services via email with permission to hand the self-testing kit to them.  Student Support Services will keep a log of who it was given to.

 

Should I still take part in the asymptomatic testing programme if I have

recently tested positive for COVID-19?

If you have tested positive by PCR for COVID-19, you will probably have developed some immunity to the disease.  However, it cannot be guaranteed that everyone will develop immunity, or how long it will last.  It is possible for PCR tests to remain positive for some time after COVID-19 infection.

 

Anyone who has previously received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19.

 

If, however, you do have an antigen LFD test within 90 days of a previous positive COVID-19 PCR test, for example as part of a workplace or community testing programme, and the result of this test is positive, you and your household should self-isolate.

 

If it is more than 90 days since you tested positive by PCR for COVID-19, and you have new symptoms of COVID-19, or a positive antigen LFD or PCR test, you will have to self-isolate.

 

If self-isolating due to contact with a person who had a positive LFD and a confirmed positive PCR

Self-isolate for 10 days as symptoms may still develop in this time.  If COVID symptoms develop book a PCR test.

 

Expectations in terms of blended learning

During the self-isolation period students/parents/carers will be sent a letter via email with links to access Blended Learning Tasks via Firefly and Classcharts.  Live lessons will not necessarily occur at this time as the College is back in full-time education.  Students should try their best on the tasks and contact the Teacher if they have questions via email but recognise that they may not get an immediate response as they are teaching.  During this time of self-isolation student’s attendance will be recorded as this.  Parents will not be contacted as in the full lockdown about attendance to live lessons as effectively students are undertaking self-study at this time.

 

12 March 2021

Dear Parents/Carers

 

Our aim on Monday 15 March is:

For all students and staff to return to full time education in a safe and healthy environment, to deliver high quality teaching and learning and to ensure that staff and students are happy.

 

We return to the full timetable periods 1 to 6 Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and periods 1 to 5 on Tuesday and Friday. The College bus service is available and expects all students to wear a mask at all times.

 

This week the student population were tested three times. We are very pleased with the turnout and thank all those students and parents/carers who supported the programme. We can begin on Monday 15 March in the knowledge that we have a clear view of the health of the student and staff body. In order to keep the community safe and well we will be maintaining all the measures that we had in place prior to lockdown.

 

The measures that all students are asked to follow to maintain a healthy College:

· Year Group learning zones (students remain in their designated zones for lessons and break and lunchtimes) with Teachers and LSAs moving between lessons.

· All staff and students to social distance, follow the hygiene rules and wear masks indoors unless eating in the restaurants.

· Year Groups enter and exit via the gates that they used previously and have the same breaks and lunches as in December 2020.

· All students should arrive at 8.25 am for a prompt start to the day. In the afternoon Year 7, 8 and 9 will leave at 2.05 pm and 3.00 pm, and Year 10 and Year 11 at 2.10 pm and 3.05 pm.

· Students are expected to meet the high standards and expectations for behaviour.

· Full College uniform is expected with students arriving ready to learn.

· Students should arrive in PE kit if they have PE that day or are participating in extra-curricular sports clubs.

· Good ventilation in the classrooms will occur and students will be allowed to wear coats when necessary.

· Students are discouraged from meeting socially outside of College whilst lockdown measures continue.

· Students are asked to self-test at home twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings prior to arrival at College and report the results to their Tutor.

 

Testing from Monday 15 March

All students will be offered a home test kit. The additional leaflet with the instructions should be used as the leaflet in the box is outdated. The test kits may contain three or seven tests. Further test kits will be issued.

We are asking that all students conduct the test as instructed before they come to College on Monday and Thursday morning. NHS have confirmed that the swab can be taken up both nostrils and not down the throat. This is how the test has been conducted in College. The result should be registered with the NHS Test and Trace service as per the instructions on the leaflet given to students. During Tutor time on this day the Tutor will record that the test has been taken and that it is negative.

 

A positive home test – please keep your child at home and inform Student Support Services immediately. Please book a PCR test via the NHS website and inform Student Support Services of the result. The household should self-isolate until the result from the PCR test is returned.

 

If a student becomes ill in College, we will perform a lateral flow test if consent has been given and we will inform you of the result. If the test is positive, we will contact you and ask that you take your child home as soon as possible. The rest of the household are required to self-isolate and go for a PCR test if they develop the symptoms. The College will inform the DfE and Public Health England of a positive case. The College will also inform any other students who had close contact with the positive case to self-isolate. If there is a positive COVID case within the household then all members of that house are required to self-isolate for 10 days.

 

We are confident that the measures that we have in place and will continue to enforce will limit the spread of the virus. In the two weeks leading up to Christmas and following the introduction of mask wearing there were no positive cases.

 

We will continue to monitor our systems and take feedback from all stakeholders into account as we review what is necessary for the future.

 

We are determined that our young people will receive a high quality education. We have been very pleased with the feedback that we have received about the remote learning programme. We are planning and will support where necessary any student who has not benefitted sufficiently from the quality online learning. Students who have attended the majority of their lessons remotely are in a good position for the return to face-to-face learning.

 

We will continue to update parents when we have further information. A letter will be sent to parents of those students who are on examination courses which provides information on how and when grades will be awarded. The Year 8 Option process will begin next week with further information being sent to parents. We will be following the published College calendar for the rest of the Academic Year unless circumstances nationally require us to do otherwise.

 

Thank you for your support with the measures as outlined in this letter. If you have any questions please contact the Form Tutor, Class Teacher, Year Leader, Subject Leader or Student Support Services depending on your question.

 

We all I am sure look forward to a time when we can enjoy life again as we knew it. Until such time we will do all that we can to keep the community safe and well.

 

Yours sincerely

Mrs J A Summerfield

Headteacher

 

 

 

5 March 2021  

Dear Parents and Carers 

Lateral Flow Testing 

Today is the second day of the lateral flow testing and at the end of the day all students will have had the opportunity to undertake the test.  The College currently resembles a Nightingale Centre with a group of staff efficiently and effectively administering the test before the student leaves site.  We thank parents for supporting our system, the attendance has been very pleasing.  Please refer to the appointment letter for the second and third appointments which take place next week.  Letters can be found on Classcharts. 

A reminder of the dates (the time of day is the same): 

Year 10 and 11 on Monday 8 March and Thursday 11 March. 

Year 7, 8 and 9 on Tuesday 9 March and Friday 12 March. 

Testing beyond test 3 

Students are expected to self-test at home after the third test.  It is planned to deliver the test kits to students after test 3.  We are expecting the supplies to arrive in the next few days.  The test kits contain all of the materials with full instructions. 

Yesterday the Government sent out this information: 

Asymptomatic testing information for parents and adults in households with children at school or college 

NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.  

Test kits can either be collected or ordered online, as set out below.  Secondary school and college students will continue to access testing through their school or college.  

Undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus.  Parents and other adults in households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles.  

Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly: 

  • through your employer, if they offer testing to employees 
  • by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect 2 packs of 7 tests 
  • by ordering a home test kit online – please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most. 

If you have any queries about the tests, and you live in England, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm. 

Testing is voluntary, but strongly recommended to all who are eligible.  Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates.  Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other.  

Remote Learning 

For the week beginning Monday 8 March student learning will take place remotely via live lessons and blended learning tasks.  Support in lessons may not be to the usual level because of the testing that is taking place. 

Week beginning Monday 15 March 

All students are expected back into College full time.  Full College uniform will be expected from this date.  The College day will start as usual at 8.25am and finish at 3.05pm as usual on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday and 2.10pm on Tuesday and Friday.  The College bus will operate for these times.  Next week a letter will have further details of the systems that we will have in place to keep us all safe and well. 

Year 8 Options 

We have delayed the programme for the Year 8 Options until the students return to full-time College.  Mr Evans will send out information to parents next week.  By waiting until the week beginning 15 March we can provide information to the students directly and answer any questions they have. 

We thank you for your support and are grateful for the positive feedback that we have received about our administration of the tests.  We all hope that the return to College will be a permanent move for society to enable life to return to some kind of normality. 

Yours sincerely 

Mrs J A Summerfield 

Headteacher 

 

 

 

26 February 2021

Dear Parent/Carers

On Monday the Government outlined the roadmap for the country to come out of lockdown.  Part of this roadmap included the return to school starting on Monday 8 March.  The key responsibility for schools in the first two weeks, as mentioned by Education Secretary Gavin Williamson, is to administer the lateral flow test three times for all students.  Parents will appreciate that this is a complex task and requires much planning and organisation to ensure that all members of HTC are safe and well.

The plan that we have organised will involve students coming into College at specified times to undertake the three tests.  This will help them to get used to swabbing themselves for the tests.  Schools and colleges are then asked to provide students with two rapid tests to use each week at home.  The home test kits come with clear instructions for use and how to report the results.

In addition to the testing, we will maintain the safety measures that we already have in place which include Year Group bubbles, the wearing of masks at all times and maintaining the social distance.

From Thursday 4 March until Friday 12 March students will be invited to attend the College on three occasions to undertake the test.  We kindly ask that parents/carers who have not yet returned the consent form for the test to take place return the form as soon as possible or students can bring in a hard copy to the first appointment.  You can complete the form via: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6Z6VJDD or complete the form attached to this letter.  The College will be contacting you if you have not yet replied.  Each student and parent will receive a letter with the date, time and venue for the test appointments.  The staff who will administer the test are trained and will support your child throughout the process.

Students who test positive following the lateral flow test will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days before returning to College.  This system of testing all students three times will enable schooling to commence on 15 March in a safe and healthy environment.

Students will not return to College for their education until Monday 15 March.  Student learning will continue remotely and will consist of live lessons and work set by the Teacher in the week beginning 8 March.  In order to carry out the three tests we have to fully utilise the workforce that we have available, therefore regular support may not be available for all lessons at this time.  We thank parents/carers in advance for their understanding of the situation.

Provision in College for Critical Workers and Vulnerable Students will continue as it is now in the week beginning Monday 8 March.

Please read the individualised letter carefully when you receive it to ensure that your child knows when to arrive for the tests, where to go and what to do.  We thank you for your support with this system and sincerely hope that this will be the last time that the College has to reorganise our timetable so that we can all then return to a more normal and enjoyable way of living.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher

Consent Form for COVID-19 Testing

Privacy Notice for Students

 

12 February 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

Today is the last day of this half-term and I would like to thank all parents/carers for supporting the educational provision this half-term.  We are proud of the way in which the community has come together to support both the education and welfare of our young people.  We are delighted that parents have been pleased with the Dimension Childcare provision, the online education and in-College support for the critical worker and vulnerable students.  This has been verified by the large number of thank you messages, all of which have been passed on to the Staff and Governors.  I know that the staff have appreciated the praise and encouragement.

As a College we have also been determined to have daily contact with those parents of students who have not been logging into Teams for their lessons; it has made a difference to attendance, which has been on average 90% for all cohorts.  We have acknowledged the excellent work of students and praise has been given, via ClassCharts accolades, telephone calls home and praise postcards.  Students are currently submitting postcard designs for a praise postcard as part of a competition.

 

This letter contains information for parents/carers for next half-term.

  • As informed by the Government schools will close as usual over February half-term and are not expected to remain open to vulnerable students and the students of critical workers during that week.

 

  • On-line lessons and in-College provision for vulnerable students and the students of critical workers will commence again at the beginning of next half-term Monday 22 February 2021.

 

  • Schools are expecting to hear as of the 22 February 2021 the plans or roadmap for students returning on Monday 8 March. As of today, we have received no information as to what this will entail, once we are aware of the plans we will inform parents and students.

 

  • The College has not yet received information following the national consultation regarding the award of grades for public examinations this Summer. It is important to reiterate that all work that students have produced whether it was in the past or in the next few weeks will form the evidence base for the final grade.  We are aware that some students in Year 11 have reduced their work output particularly in English, which is disappointing.  We will be inviting them to attend for a day after half-term to re-establish the requisite work ethic required for them to achieve their target grades.

 

Testing for COVID19

We will continue with the weekly lateral flow testing for the critical worker students who are in College.  Our staff are tested twice a week as directed by Government and they also have access to the Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 saliva testing programme.  Students in the future will also have access to the saliva testing.

If a student tests positive or if a student has been at home with a member of the family who is being tested, they must stay at home until the results come back as negative.  This week as a result of a student coming into College when they should have remained at home the Year Group bubble had to be sent home for the rest of this week as did a number of staff.  The impact of this action on people’s lifestyle and families was considerable.  We would respectfully ask that you follow the national guidelines as laid down by Public Health England.

We have had reports of students meeting socially in public places, please ensure for the safety of all that this is not happening, as socially mixing will jeopardise the return to full time College.  We are aware that following the October half-term there was a noticeable increase in student positive cases which had a profound impact on student attendance.

Year 9 Options

As a result of the COVID lock down there will be a slight change to the dates for the Year 9 Option process.  The key dates will now be:

24 February 2021 – Year 9 Options Assembly

26 February 2021 – Options booklets sent out to students/parents

10 March 2021 – Year 9 Parents’ Evening

15 March 2021 – Deadline for return of options choices

The assembly will be recorded and made available to all parents/carers to enable them to support their child’s choices.  Booklets will be sent electronically this year and the choices will be completed using an online response form.

Good News

The Football Foundation has granted Horndean Technology College a sum of £505,698 for the planned new astro-turf.  In addition, last year a further £250,000 for the project was raised, which included support from East Hants District Council and Hampshire County Council.  This project will benefit the current and future student populations and the wider community.  Congratulations to the staff member who has led this project and thank you to the community football teams who have also been active in supporting this project.

I do believe as Headteacher that all staff this half-term have delivered our vision to ‘Achieve Excellence’ for all our students.  We have endeavoured despite the challenges to provide the best education and to enable all students to achieve more than they first thought was possible.  I would like to thank all staff on behalf of students, parents/carers and Governors for their determination and enthusiasm to provide the best education possible.

We thank parents/carers for their continued support and are more than happy to answer any questions or support where required.  Please do not hesitate to contact the College via general@horndeantc.hants.sch.uk or the Class Teacher, Tutor or Year Leader.  We will endeavour to provide an outstanding provision next half-term so that all students can access the full curriculum and prepare for the return to College.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher

 

 

29 January 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

We hope that your family are remaining safe and well.  This letter provides an update for all parents and carers on a number of issues.  We would like to thank all parents for their continued support with their child’s education whether this is remotely or part of the critical worker programme.

Remote Learning

Teachers have been very pleased to receive positive comments about the live lessons and the associated learning.  The Student Council have also written to Teachers and Support Staff to show their appreciation.  Parents will be aware that we have developed systems to reward those students who have been attending their lessons and our Tutors and Year Leaders make daily contact where attendance to lessons is not good enough.  Parents have also been able to access laptops and discuss any issues with access and passwords with the relevant staff.  We regularly review the provision and amend and adjust where we think it is necessary, such as incorporating a 5-minute break between lessons.  The Tutor Programme and posts on Firefly have provided information regarding student well-being.  We do respond to the feedback we receive from parents.

Testing for COVID-19

We will continue with the weekly lateral flow testing for the critical worker students who are in College.  Our staff are tested twice a week as directed by Government.  This is also via the lateral test.

Last week parents received a letter from Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 saliva testing programme, a copy of which is on the website.  We will be commencing this programme of testing with those students in College and staff who attend regularly.  This test will further ensure that the College is as safe as it can be for those who are regularly attending.  Students who attend College will receive information next week via the Tutor Programme and will be issued a pack to take home.  The pack contains eight weeks of test material.  Students will be told which day to return the test and where to place it.  The tests are collected by Southampton University and any student or staff who tests positive will be contacted directly and will be required to self-isolate.  This test is more likely to identify asymptomatic cases and so allow us to prevent further the spread of the virus.  We are continuing with mask wearing and social distancing.  We hope that parents will support this programme and encourage their children to take part and follow the instructions in the pack fully.

Examinations

The Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in Summer 2021 closes on Friday 29 January at 2345.  The link for the consultation can be found at:  Consultation on how GCSE, AS and A level grades should be awarded in summer 2021 – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

It is imperative that all students that are due to sit examinations attend all their lessons on line, take part in the lesson, complete the work and consolidate their learning.  Undoubtedly, student past and present performance will contribute to any grade that is awarded.

We have been very pleased with the attendance of students at the remote Team lessons.  A few students are not attending or participating regularly and therefore their education is being adversely affected.  With this in mind, we will be planning to incorporate compulsory catch up lessons after College for the identified students when the Government allows full schooling to commence.

February Half-Term

This week we received this information from Government:

Schools will close as usual over February half-term and are not expected to remain open to vulnerable children and the children of critical workers during that week. 

Schools do not need to provide lunch parcels or vouchers during the February half-term.  There is wider Government support in place to support families and children outside of term-time through the COVID Winter Grant Scheme.  The £170 million scheme is being run by local authorities in England, with at least 80% of the funding earmarked to support with food and essential utility costs and will cover the period to the end of March 2021.  It will allow local authorities to directly help the hardest-hit families and individuals over the winter period.  Local authorities have local ties and knowledge, making them best placed to identify and help those children and families most in need.

You will be aware that there has been much speculation in the news about the return to full-time schooling. We await to hear what this will be and will inform parents of any relevant arrangements.

We thank parents for their continued support and are more than happy to answer any questions or support where required.  Please do not hesitate to contact the College via general@horndeantc.hants.sch.uk or the Class Teacher, Tutor or Year Leader.   We will endeavour to provide an outstanding provision so that all students can access the full curriculum and achieve more than they first thought was possible.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher

 

 

Data Protection Frequently Asked Question for parents – COVID-19 Saliva testing in schools.

 

LETTER TO PARENTS    25 January 2021

 

Dear Parent or Guardian

We are pleased to share the news that your child’s school/college is taking part in an exciting new Hampshire and Isle of Wight COVID-19 Testing Programme this term.

This new test is very simple and involves collecting a sample of saliva in a plastic pot. The test used is the one featured in a BBC News piece in July. Free tests will be offered to all pupils and all staff at the school.

You will receive a testing pack which contains pots and a leaflet that shows your child how to collect a sample at home, to be dropped off in school.

Why is this important?

Knowing who has COVID-19 is vital to stopping its spread.

We hope that you are as excited as we are about the potential for this test to help us manage the risk of COVID-19. Alongside all the other measures we are taking to control the virus, it could help us to keep our communities safe and well and keep our schools/colleges open. We will also be paving the way for this test to be used to help in the recovery from COVID-19 across the country.

Testing is not compulsory, but I strongly encourage you take part. We will be in touch soon with further details of how your child can take part in this exciting programme.

How will the testing work?

Your school/college will inform you when testing will start.

We will be giving the students a series of virtual engagement lessons in school/college so they can learn about how the test works and how regular testing can help keep them and their community safer.

Students will then bring their test kit and labels home from school/college the day before their first test as well as a leaflet giving step by step instructions. They will be given enough sample pots and labels for eight weeks of testing. It is important that your child takes the test when they wake up – before they have anything to eat or drink and before they brush their teeth.

Once the sample has been labelled and bagged, your child will need to bring it to school/college with them and put it into the collection box at the entrance as they go into the  building. The tests will be collected and taken to the test centre on the same day. Test results will be returned in the next 24-48 hours and you will receive a text message telling you the result of your child’s test.

If your child tests positive, everyone in the household must start isolating immediately. The programme team will contact you and ensure you get the help and advice you need.  Please note that this test is for testing children who do not have symptoms of COVID-19. If your child does have COVID-19 symptoms they should not attend school/college and you should order a test through 111.nhs.uk or by calling 119.

If your child is absent from school/college or forgets to bring in their test, they can bring it in on the next collection day – their teacher will tell them where to take their sample pot. The school/college will have some spare packs to hand out to anyone who loses their sample pots but we would encourage you to keep them somewhere safe as spares are limited.

Important information about your data

To enable the partnership running the COVID-19 Testing Programme between University Hospital Southampton, local government, and the University of Southampton to deploy the test kits to the school and to manage the collection of samples from schools, our school will be sharing contact details of pupils and their parents or guardians, as well as staff, with University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust.

As you know from our school’s Privacy Notice.

we are very serious about protecting the personal data of all members of our school community, and we will maintain this approach in relation to this data sharing. We will only be sharing limited contact details. The NHS will share confidentially with nominated senior leadership within the School positive test results to enable immediate initiation of contact tracing to minimise the risk of the virus spreading.

The Privacy Notice for this COVID-19 Testing Programme has been included with this letter. Please do take the time to read this. If you have any questions or would like to exercise your right to object to this data sharing, please call the contact centre on the number below.

You should find answers to any questions on the testing programme on www.hiowsalivatest.nhs.uk. Alternatively, you can call the contact centre on 0808 196 2282 (lines are open Monday to Sunday 8.30am to 5.00pm).

While this testing is not compulsory, I would urge all of you to take part. Knowing who has COVID-19 is vital to stopping its spread, and regular testing will help us keep our community safe and keep our school/college open.

Yours sincerely
Headteacher

 

8 January 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

We would like to thank you for all the positive comments that we have received this week about the quality of the on-line teaching and learning.  We are very pleased with the student participation that has resulted in 88% attendance for all classes across the Year Groups.  We thank you for encouraging your children to attend the lessons as per their timetable.  We hope that the attendance will continue to be as high if not better.  Feedback and engagement from students in College has also been positive.

The Year 10 Student-Teacher-Parent Evening will go ahead remotely on Wednesday 13 January.  The Year 10 Pre Public Examinations in College are cancelled and we have informed parents and students that the external public examinations due to start next week are cancelled too.

Next week we will begin to test students who are in College for COVID-19.  We do need parental permission for this to take place.  The link for parental authorisation is as follows:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6Z6VJDD

Year 9 booster vaccinations were planned for Monday 18 January and Friday 22 January.  These will still go ahead and students will be invited into College at an allocated time and will enter and exit via Barton Hall.  Please ensure that your child attends.  Details will be sent out via email in due course.

There are various events that are scheduled for this term such as Year 8 and Year 9 Options.  These will still occur but not necessarily at the previous calendared times.  We will keep parents and students informed.

Thank you for your continued support at this time, it is much appreciated.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher

 

5 January 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

Following the Government announcement yesterday of a new national lockdown initially up until the February half-term, the following systems will be in place to support an educational provision for our young people.

Educational Provision

All students will receive remote online learning from their Teachers as per their timetables.  This will take place for Periods 1-5 every day.  Students will receive direct teaching in addition to being asked to complete specific tasks.  An additional letter provides further information on this blended learning – Parental Guidance and Information letter.  All students are expected to attend all remote lessons, parents and the students will receive an announcement via Class Charts if they do not attend the lessons.

Face to Face Education from Tuesday 5 January

This will be available for vulnerable students and the students of critical workers.  Parents have previously registered requests for this provision.

All students should arrive at 8.25am in the full College Uniform unless they have PE that day when PE kit is permissible.  Students should register at the beginning of the day in the allocated room as listed in the Parental Guidance and Information letter.  Students require all the relevant equipment to conduct learning on the day.  Students will follow the normal timetable for Periods 1-5.  This will take place in an allocated computer room.  Restaurant facilities will be available each day.

The normal bus service will operate each day collecting students at 2.10pm every day.

Testing for COVID 19 during lockdown

Staff and students who are in College will be tested every week.  The results are recorded, any student who tests positive will be asked to leave College and take the PCR test.  Any student who has had contact with the positive case will be tested every day from that point onwards for seven days.

Parents are required to authorise for their child to take the test.  The consent forms have been sent via Survey Monkey and must be completed as soon as possible to ensure that your child can take the test.  You will only be informed if the test is positive.

These arrangements are in operation at this time and are subject to change depending on Government directives.  We will also review the systems in place during the lockdown and adjust accordingly.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher

 

4 January 2021

Dear Parent/Carer

We have been planning:

  • the educational provision for our students for the next few weeks and
  • mass testing for COVID 19 of all students and staff.

Educational Provision

From 5-15 January students in Years 7-10 will receive remote online learning from their Teachers as per their timetables.  This will take place for Periods 1-5 every day.  Year 11 students will receive online learning from 5-8 January and are expected to attend the College from Monday 11 January.  Students will receive direct teaching in addition to being asked to complete specific tasks.  An additional letter provides further information on this blended learning – Parental Guidance and Information letter.  All students are expected to attend all remote lessons, parents and the students will receive an announcement via Class Charts if they do not attend the lesson.

Face to Face Education from Tuesday 5 January

This will be available for vulnerable students and the students of critical workers.  Parents have previously registered requests for this provision.

All students should arrive at 8.25am in the College Uniform unless they have PE that day when PE kit is permissible.  Students should register at the beginning of the day in the allocated room as listed in the Parental Guidance and Information letter.  Students will follow the normal timetable for Periods 1-5.  This will take place in an allocated computer room.  Restaurant facilities will be available each day.

The normal bus service will operate each day collecting students at 2.10pm every day.

Mass Testing for COVID 19

The Government have asked that all students and staff be tested for COVID 19.  We are currently planning for this to take place.  All students will be tested initially and then 3 to 5 days later in the first cycle.  Staff will be tested every week.  The results are recorded, any student who tests positive will be asked to leave College and take the PCR test.  Any student who has had contact with the positive case will be tested every day from that point onwards for seven days.

Parents are required to authorise for their child to take the test.  The consent forms will be sent via Survey Monkey and must be completed as soon as possible to ensure that your child can take the test.  You will only be informed if the test is positive.

These arrangements are in operation at this present time and are subject to change depending on Government directives.

Yours sincerely
Mrs J A Summerfield
Headteacher