School opening update – March 2021

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Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you are all well. As you are probably aware, the government announced a full return to schools from Monday 8th March 2021. This means that Newhaven will be fully open and that all students are expected to be in school from this date (unless they are clinically extremely vulnerable and have been advised to shield). I haven’t had time to read the full guidance yet as it includes 22 documents published or updated yesterday but will keep you updated with any new information.

COVID-19

What I can tell you is that school feels safe. We haven’t had any positive cases for a month now and continue to maintain the COVID-19 risk assessment in school. Testing has added extra reassurance. I can also let you know that:

  1. We will close for an INSET day on Friday 5th March so we can be sure we are fully ready for the Monday. There will be no students expected in school or online learning on this day.
  2. On return to school, students will be asked to take three COVID-19 lateral flow tests in school in the first fortnight and one at home. After that, we will be giving your child 2 lateral flow tests a week to take at home. Staff will also be tested twice a week.
  3. Staff and students who test positive will continue to have to self-isolate as will those who have been in close contact with them.

Exams and grades

The government have not yet told us finally how exam grades will be calculated this year. We will continue to collect as high quality evidence as we can so that your child has the best possible chance of getting the best grades they can. This means that high attendance and high engagement for year 11s and 6th formers finishing courses is really important.

School expectations

Expectations around attendance, punctuality, behaviour and uniform will continue to be high. Please support us in supporting your child to turn up to school as ready to learn as possible.

It’s been a tough year and this feels like a major step in the right direction to get things back to normal. I know that there are likely to be some difficult times still to come so please get in touch with us to discuss any concerns you have.

Yours faithfully

Jon Kelly
Headteacher
Newhaven

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