COVID Update – 30th December 2020

Dear Parent/ Carers, 

 

I am sure many of you will have seen the news today announcing the delayed opening of secondary schools to all students. You will know that at Crestwood we pride ourselves on being well ahead in the planning but we heard this at the same time as the rest of the country. Therefore, Year 11 are planned to return on the 11th January 2021 and Years 7 to 10 from the 18th.

 

I have just met virtually with the SLT and we are meeting again tomorrow morning to plan in more detail, when I will endeavour to update you further. We are clear that we can deliver remote learning to ALL students from Tuesday 5th January 2021 and need to stress upon you and for students that this is not optional, with attendance being compulsory as it would be to attend school. If anyone has issues accessing remote learning, then as per previous communication, you should email andrew.whittick@crestwood.hants.sch.uk. Further detailed guidance on the timetable and accessing the live lessons will follow tomorrow.

 

The school will remain open for Critical Worker and Vulnerable students. However I do have a plea to you as parents, in the honest and open manner you have become accustomed to. The deadline for requesting these places has passed as per the letter issued at the end of term. We have staffing considerations to meet now we are remotely educating the entire school from Tuesday 5th January 2021, therefore please do not be offended if your request is refused if you have submitted your request after the deadline. 

 

Over this holiday period I have seen, first hand, the more virulent strain of COVID and the impact of this as my own daughter and all of her friends were tested positive, despite following guidance. As a result we have been isolating all holiday, with other family members testing positive, quite frankly I have been unnerved by this. As I am currently typing this, watching the latest Downing Street Briefing, it has been stated that this strain of COVID loves a crowd. Schools are crowded places, even with social distancing measures in place, and I would kindly request that if you fulfil the Critical Worker or Vulnerable Child criteria, that if you can have your child at home then please do so for everyone’s safety. We want as few children in school as possible to minimise the risk of any transmission until we get the COVID testing rolled out. If you do not genuinely need the space then please keep your child at home safe from transmission, as whilst many children do not have symptoms, they can come home and pass it to your family. A member of the SLT will be calling you before Monday to discuss your request to ascertain the real need. If after reading this you feel you no longer want the place then please email steve.gibbs@crestwood.hants.sch.uk.

 

With regards to testing, we will be delaying the commencement of this for staff and students to ensure we have the equipment and training required to undertake this huge task. However, we are committed to testing 1250 students and 191 staff by commencement of school for all on the 18th January 2021. Therefore, those Year 10 and 11 students who have received an appointment time for the 5th January 2021 are asked to disregard this and a new slot will be arranged. We continue to aim to test all students in the week of the 5th January 2021 with the second test happening within 3 to 5 days later, but this may be shifted back. Please be alert for any emails with appointment times for your child, as they will be required to come to school for a short period of time for their tests.

 

I am so sorry that this is all so last minute, yet again, but given the latest statistics regarding transmission rates, particularly with regards to the new variant of the virus, I believe the decision taken today is the right one. I urge you to do your part and keep your children inside and follow at all times the Tier 4 restrictions. One person’s frivolity could mean another’s death, so please be careful and stay safe #Crestwoodfamily.

 

Yours, as ever, 

 

Krista Dawkins

Headteacher