1st December 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
At the time of writing this letter we have 13 school days left until the end of term and the end of year for 2021. Students have been continuing to demonstrate positive attitudes to school, despite the dark mornings and shorter days and are making the most of the opportunities available to them.
Health and Safety
Given the government announcement at the weekend regarding the new Omicron Covid-19 variant and increased safety measures, we felt it important to remind everyone about the safety measures that we have already implemented at Biddenham. The updated government guidance requires schools to reintroduce the wearing of masks whilst keeping other safety measures in place including good hygiene, appropriate cleaning, good ventilation and the importance of following public health guidance on testing, vaccination, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of Covid-19.
Contact tracing and isolation
The current guidance on contact tracing and isolation remains in place. However, any suspected or confirmed close contacts of the Omicron variant will be asked to isolate for 10 days regardless of vaccination status or age. In this instance you would be contacted directly by NHS track and trace.
The government and public health advisors are encouraging all eligible staff and students to take up the offer of the vaccine, including boosters. To book a vaccination, please visit: Book or manage a coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination – NHS (www.nhs.uk).
Travel to school
We encourage all students to walk or cycle to school if at all possible as this is the healthiest option. We hope that the new lights fitted to bikes last week were a welcome addition and will help improve road safety. All bikes in school will be serviced next week. Should students need to travel by public transport they will need to make sure that they wear masks in accordance with the recent government guidance. We ask that if a parent or carer is bringing their child to school they remain in their cars and use the drop off/pick up points marked. If you can avoid using the drive and drop your child and let them walk the rest of the way that would be helpful. Any visits to the school should be made by appointment only, to minimise the number of people that we have on site.
We will be getting into the festive mood with Christmas lunch on Wednesday 15th December and finishing the term with a Christmas jumper/non uniform day on Friday 17th December. Lessons will finish at 12.50pm, although lunch will be available after this until 1.15pm. We have been advised by the government that they would like all students to have an on-site Covid test on return to school in January. We are intending to organise this for Tuesday 4th January – further details to follow – and then students will return to school properly on Wednesday 5th January as originally planned.
In the run up to the end of term, we are focusing on celebrating the little wins – those small acts of kindness that make all the difference to someone’s day and also bring us together as a school community. We hope to share some of the many achievements and successes of this term in our school newsletter which will be published over the next couple of weeks – please look out for it. In the meantime, thank you for your continued support in maintaining a positive and safe learning environment at Biddenham.
Mr D Bailey Ms E Grylls
Principal Head of School