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Posted on: 18/09/2020

Head of School Blog - Week 2

I am extremely proud of how our community have responded to the changes that we have introduced and thank them for their maturity and efforts to ‘Be kind – Stay safe’.   I think I can safely say that staff and students have fully adapted to the ‘new’ academy routines and structure.

Merseyside Local Lockdown Restrictions

Merseyside’s local lockdown restrictions will come into force on Tuesday 22nd September.  The Government will release further details of the additional local restrictions in the coming days.

With this in mind, it is vital that you adhere to the guidelines that I shared with you last week when deciding whether it is appropriate to send your child to school. Click HERE for COVID 19: Useful Parent Guide.

The Testing Programme in Cheshire and Merseyside are continuing to experience an exceptionally high number of requests for tests. Over the last few weeks there has been unprecedented demand for testing. NHS Test and Trace figures show that between mid-June and the end of August the number of people getting tested for the first time rose by 63% - and this trend continues.

We have received the following advice and guidance for parents from Cheshire and Merseyside Test and Trace (T&T):

  • Testing sites are available across Cheshire and Merseyside. However, a vast increase in demand has led to laboratories, which process the tests, being overwhelmed. This national issue has meant that bookings have been restricted by the Department of Health and Social Care.
  • At this time of such high demand it is crucial that referrals for a test in schools and colleges is only for pupils and staff who have coronavirus symptoms.
  • It is vital we learn from the recent Scottish experience, where the return of schools saw a huge increase in demand for tests from people without coronavirus symptoms.
  • The main symptoms of coronavirus are: a high temperature, a new, continuous cough and a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
  • If someone has Covid-19 symptoms, they need to get a test. This will help us stop the spread of the virus.
  • We want to minimise this surge in test demand to ensure that we continue to prioritise our testing capacity for those with symptoms and to avoid children, students and their families self-isolating unnecessarily.
  • To ensure we identify those with coronavirus, while avoiding a huge increase in demand for tests from people without symptoms, we ask that you recommend to your pupils, students and staff who feel unwell, that they get tested if:
    1. they develop one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms: a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or the loss or change of their sense of taste or smell;
    2. they are recommended to get tested by a healthcare provider (e.g. GP or nurse).
  • If a pupil, student or staff member develops one or more of the main coronavirus symptoms described above, only they should be tested.
  • There is no need for their households to have a test, unless they are also symptomatic.
  • Unless a pupil, student or staff member has one of the three main coronavirus symptoms, they should only be tested if instructed otherwise by the local authority, health protection team or their GP.
  • As schools and colleges return, pupils and students may feel unwell for example with a sore throat, stomach upset or a headache. These pupils and students don’t need to book a test but may need to stay off school or college and seek medical advice through their GP or pharmacist as usual.
  • Schools must not require students to provide evidence of a negative test before letting them back to school.

St Helens Children’s Services have also provided details of their COVID-19 Outbreak Management Plan for residents working and living in St Helens Borough which can be accessed HERE.

Self-isolating students

To support families who are self-isolating, staff will upload classwork AND homework to Satchel One as follows:

  • If your child is self-isolating then work will be set for them for each subject using Satchel One (formerly Show my Homework). 
  • All homework will also be set using Satchel One by teachers.
  • Any work set that is Green on Satchel One is homework to be completed by all students. 
  • Any work set in Red is classwork to only be completed by students who have not been in school due to self-isolation.

If your family are self-isolating and do not have access to the internet please contact your child’s Head of Year.

School Transport

It has been brought to our attention that a small number of students are not wearing face coverings/masks whilst using school transport.  Parents and students were advised before the Academy re-opened in September that masks had to be worn on school buses.  Please remind your child that they must wear a mask on the bus unless exempt.  If some children decide not to follow this rule they may be unable to use school transport in the future.

Class of 2025

It’s just over 2 weeks now since the start of the new academic year and hopefully, your child has settled in well at the academy.  I’m sure parents of our ‘Class of 2025’ have all been asking the same questions each evening trying to find out how your child's day has been.  I am pleased to assure you that your children have settled in tremendously well and are already valued members of our community.

Hope Library

The library is currently undergoing a re-vamp and will re-open for students and staff in the next few weeks.  Our new Librarian, Dr Joanne Ashcroft has a number of new initiatives to encourage ‘Reading for Pleasure’.  I will share more information with you in the coming weeks.  We will also be creating a new section on the website to promote the activities available in ‘Hope Library’.

Year 5/6 Open Event

We are unable to hold our traditional Open Event this year so will be hosting a Virtual Open Event.  Further information can be found on our website. Click HERE.

Kasia’s Reflection

Our Inspire Theme this week had us looking at Healthy Relationships. Healthy relationships make life enjoyable perhaps more than anything else, so we have been discussing how to keep them healthy and what are the warning signs for when relationships start to turn unhealthy.

The Bible ranks healthy relationships as the most important thing in life as we can see in this story from The Gospel of Matthew:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest commandment. The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law.                                     (Matthew. 22:37-40)

Father,

I thank you for teaching us to love through the example of Jesus.

May our words and actions reflect His love towards all people today, tomorrow, and always.

Amen.

Finally, keep up-to-date with academy news by following our main Twitter account https://twitter.com/Hope_Academy.   I have also added a list of department twitter accounts at the end of my blog.

@hopeclassof2020

@Hope_science

@Hope_Music_Dept

@Hopeclassof2021

@hope_religious

@hope_careers

@Hopeclassof2022

@Hope_drama

@HopeAcademyPE

@hopeclassof2023

@HopeHumanities

@HopeChaplain

@Hopeclassof2024

@dt_hope

@Hope_Volunteers

@Hope_englishKS3

@HopeArtsDept

@FriendsofHopeA

@Hope_Maths

@Hope6thForm

@Hope_AcademyLib

Please see below important diary dates from now until the end of December

Saturday 26th September

Year 5/6 Academy Tours

Friday 2nd October

Year 7 Flu Vaccinations

Wednesday 14th October

Year 7 Virtual Welcome Event

Wednesday 11th November

Year 11 Preparing to Perform Event 1

Monday 30th November

Year 11 Mocks until 11th Dec

 

I hope you all have a relaxing weekend, take care and stay safe.

Mrs Adams

 

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