Letter from the Head

Contingency plans for any confirmed case of COVID-19.

Since the start of the academic year, you will be aware, of the growing number of instances where pupils and/or staff have been asked to self-isolate following confirmed cases of COVID-19 infections within schools in Bridgend and neighbouring Local Authorities.

As part of our COVID-secure planning, we have prepared for such an event and have procedures in place, informed by Public Health Wales and Local Authority Guidance, to respond to any confirmed cases of COVID-19. Our procedures are designed to safeguard those who are unwell; the school community as a whole; and seek to minimise any potential spread of the virus.

The process of testing and contact tracing is part of the “new normal” where schools are required to follow the guidelines carefully as part of the Test, Trace, Protect strategy that Welsh Government has adopted.

If you have not had an opportunity to review our ‘Staying Safe to make a Success of Learning” handbook (which is accessible on our website), I would ask that you do this at your earliest opportunity. The document has been updated following changes made by Welsh Government in relation to the use of face-coverings in schools.

Through discussion with headteacher colleagues, it is becoming apparent that confirmed cases are often being shared with schools via a child’s family or members of staff directly, rather than being informed by an external agency, such as the NHS Wales Test, Track and Protect Teams. This is not surprising, since the teams are reacting to the ongoing health crisis and, like many databases; there is a slight delay with information being processed.

As you may be aware, a person confirmed to have been infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19) will be asked to indicate whom they have come into contact with. This is to ensure that these individuals may self-isolate to reduce the spread of the virus. Given our school population of pupils, students and staff is around one thousand; this has a significant impact on us.

To support the school, I should be grateful if any notification to school of any positive test results includes details received from the NHS Wales Test, Trace, Protect Service, including the unique reference number confirming either a positive test result or that your child has been identified as a confirmed contact. This will allow us to make contact with Public Health Wales to confirm next steps and to identify any direct contacts effectively. This information will be treated in confidence.

Should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19 within our school as a precautionary measure, some of our classes or a year group contact group may be asked to self-isolate for a period of 14 days since the last contact with the confirmed case. This is because it can take up to 14 days for the symptoms to develop.

In such a case, parents and carers of affected pupils will be texted by the school and receive an e-mail via “In-touch”.

The school will remain open for all other pupils. All parents and carers of pupils unaffected by the requirement to self-isolate will also be notified.

Where a student may be required to self-isolate, work will be provided. This work will mirror the work undertaken by their peers in school and should be completed in line with individual school timetable.

We are reliant, more now than ever, on the goodwill of our families to support us in keeping everyone as safe as possible. Your help with this process will inform our decision-making and I thank you in advance for your support.

What to do if your child develops symptoms

Please continue to be vigilant of possible symptoms of coronavirus during this period. The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • fever (greater than 37.8°C);
  • new persistent/continuous cough;
  • and/or loss or change in sense of taste or smell

If anyone in your household develops any of these symptoms, however mild, they need to stay at home (10 days for the person with symptoms and 14 days for the rest of the household) and must follow the guidance, which can be found here.

Yours sincerely,

Edward H Jones

Headteacher

Arrangements for PE lessons

On behalf of the PE Department, I would like to confirm that lessons will resume for all year groups in September. As staff, we are looking forward to welcoming all pupils back to what we believe is a vital area of the curriculum in maintaining their health and wellbeing moving forward. Initially, lessons may not be exactly how pupils expect them to be or what they have previously been accustomed to, however, to ensure the risk to of Covid-19 transmission is kept to a minimum, certain changes to areas of the curriculum have been made, whilst others have been removed completely. As a department, we will be following the school’s health and safety guidance alongside the advice provided by the respective sporting governing bodies to ensure the safety of our pupils in relation to Covid-19.

We politely request that the points below are followed when school commences in September:

  • If your child is unable to participate in the lesson, could you please contact pupil reception or e-mail ian.poley@bridgend.gov.uk before 8:40am on the day of the lesson at the latest. This will replace the previous requirement to bring a written note until further notice. (As per usual, there will still be an expectation on pupils who are excused from the practical element of the lesson to contribute by coaching, officiating etc).
  • As you are aware, the school is returning to its usual uniform policy from September and this is also the case in PE. On the day of the PE lesson, pupils will be allowed to come to school in their PE kit as changing facilities will not be available. Pupils may want to bring spare socks/footwear should they feel the need.

  • PE Kit – September 2020 (until further notice)

    • White school polo shirt OR maroon school rugby jersey
    • Black school shorts, skort, leggings or black tracksuit bottoms
    • School jumper, Maroon school hoody (available from the uniform shop), or a school hoody obtained for previous school trips/activities
    • Maroon school rugby socks/black sports socks
    • Appropriate trainers
  • In terms of the activities that pupils will experience in the first instance, those that allow for easy social distancing will take priority on the curriculum. Weather dependent, the intention is to conduct as many practical lessons as possible outdoors. Initially, there will be no contact sports. Those activities that do take place will be carried out relative to the guidance of the school Covid-19 policies and the respective governing body road maps to return to sport.
  • Unfortunately, there will be no extra-curricular sport and fixtures against other schools will not take place until further notice. Furthermore, the department facilities will not be available at lunchtime and equipment cannot be borrowed by any pupils

As has been the case throughout the pandemic, everything is very much a step into the unknown, but as I have previously stated, our priority is the wellbeing of all members of the school community. I hope that we can rely on your support over the coming months.

Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Kind regards

Mr I Poley
(Acting Head of Physical Education)

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