Month: October 2020

Seasonal changes: how to stay on track

The autumn nights are drawing in and as we get ready for the clocks to change on 25 October, that hour difference can have a big impact on your daily schedule.

Daylight Saving Time does exactly what it says on the tin. Around 70 countries across the globe follow the same structure in changing the clocks by an hour to help us keep as many daylight hours as possible throughout the seasons.

This is because during winter we have more sunlight in the morning than we do in the evening, unlike the summer months where the nights stay sunnier for longer, all thanks to the axis the Earth rotates around in space.

Why would the clock change be an issue for you?

Well if you’re not a morning person, that slight change in time can throw your body clock out of whack. This can then cause an issue and make you feel a little sluggish so it becomes difficult when trying to head out the door on time in the morning.

We all know sleep is an important factor in helping you function throughout the day and stay healthy. So how can you make sure your routine stays on track as time shifts back an hour?

Light up your life:

Light has a big influence on your sleeping pattern. Even with your eyes closed, your brain can tell when there’s light surrounding you. When your brain registers light, it becomes a biological alarm clock letting you know it’s daytime. Opening your curtains and waking up to natural light will help your body regulate with daylight hours helping you adjust to your new sleeping routine.

And relax…

Help your body adjust for bed by winding down before it’s time to hit the hay. With the darker nights, it’s not as fun (or easy) to run around playing football at 7 o’clock at night. If you’re relaxed before bed, you’ll find it easier to slip into a deep refreshing sleep. Why not catch an episode of your favourite series, read a chapter of a great new book, or try your hand at a pre-bedtime yoga session (you can find a range of classes for beginners online).

If you need any further support or guidance on keeping yourself on track with your routine, ask your Form Tutor for advice.

Half Term / Important Information

Dear Parent/Carer

 

RE: Half Term/Important Information

 

I write to remind you that the half term holiday will commence on Monday 26th October. The Academy will reopen to students on Monday 2nd November. The staggered start and finish times will continue for individual year groups. You will find a reminder of these times overleaf for your convenience.

 

Attendance and punctuality remain a priority as always, and we would urge you to remind your child of the importance of good attendance and arriving to school on time, as per their allocated start time overleaf. Uniform also remains an ongoing focus, and the vast majority of our students attend in full school uniform every day. The full uniform includes a V-neck grey jumper and it is compulsory that all students wear their jumper to school every day. Trainers of any type or design are not permitted.

 

I wish to take this opportunity to thank all students, parents/carers and staff at the Academy for the fantastic way in which you have all risen to the challenges that have been presented to us so far this academic year. The new regime, systems and procedures have been far from ‘normal’, and I would particularly like to mention how exceptionally well our students have adapted to these changes since returning to the Academy in September. Year 7 students have made an amazing start at Thistley Hough despite the circumstances, and I am immensely proud of all students throughout all year groups for their engagement with our Pride, Respect and Commitment ideal. Students are well presented, are respectful of others and the community, and have demonstrated dedication and commitment to their learning.

 

Finally, please could I request that you contact the Academy on 07817 840444 if your child tests positive for Covid-19 during half term. This is a dedicated line for reporting any confirmed cases and will ensure that we can continue to act quickly and follow guidance from Public Health England. Should your child develop symptoms during the half term break or come into close contact with anyone who has tested positive with Covid-19, please be reminded to follow the appropriate guidance regarding self-isolation. Your child should not return to school if they have symptoms (until tested negative), OR if they have had close contact with anyone who has tested positive with Covid-19.

 

As always we will remain in contact with all parents/carers should there be any further changes in government guidelines as we navigate through this unusual time, but in the meantime, I would like to wish you a pleasant half term break and to thank you all for helping to keep Covid-19 cases to an absolute minimum within our Academy.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

 

Advice to all Parents/Carers – Single case

 

Dear Parents/Carers

RE: Advice to all Parents/Carers – Single case

 

We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been one confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school in Year 8.  Even though your child is not in this bubble we wanted to be transparent and let all parents know.

 

The students who have been in direct prolonged contact with the confirmed case will have received an individual letter and will be staying at home for 14 days.

 

We know that you may find this concerning but please be reassured we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England and following their advice. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

 

The school remains open and your child should continue to attend if they remain well.

 

To ensure all parents are aware of the advice we have included here some guidance.

 

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

 

All other household members who remain well, must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. This includes anyone in your ‘Support Bubble’.

 

Further information is available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

 

The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.

 

Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home. If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you should ask friends or family. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online.

 

Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

 

If you are able, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period.

 

Symptoms

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

 

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

 

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

If your child or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/ or by phoning 111.

 

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19

 

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards

 

Further Information

Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

Yours sincerely

 

Jayne Schofield

Principal

Letter from the Principal – Covid Procedures Autumn 2020

Dear Parents/Carers
RE:Covid Procedures Autumn 2020
I am delighted to begin this letter by confirming that, at the time of writing, we have still had zero confirmed cases of Coronavirus Covid-19 in the Academy. I want to thank you again for your robust and responsible approach to the pandemic which has supported us in keeping our young people safe and healthy to date. We know that a case in the Academy is statistically inevitable over time, and we want to reassure you that our processes are in place when that time comes.
I must remind you that if your child develops a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or suffers a change in taste and/or smell, you must not send your child, or their siblings, into the Academy. We advise that you follow the Government guidance for households with a suspected case (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection), which states that you should arrange for a covid-test, and that your household should isolate accordingly. If your child develops symptoms during the Academy day, they will be isolated from their peers until we have contacted you and arranged for them to return home safely. Again, this would apply to all members of your household in the Academy.
We are still providing a small number of students, fewer than 5% of our cohort, with face coverings before entering the Academy. We understand that students may forget these from time to time, may we again ask for your support to ensure that your child has their own, plain, face covering, to bring to the Academy every day. We especially thank parents that have ensured their child’s face covering is completely plain, without logos. Government guidance is clear that these coverings should be stored in a hygienic plastic bag when not being worn, and we would urge that you remind your child to ensure that disposable/single use masks are discarded in an appropriate manner once used. This will ensure that littering within the Academy and the local area is kept to an absolute minimum.
The introduction of the “rule of six” last month provides our young people a new challenge – as their travel to and from the Academy is not exempt from this legislation. As such, parents/carers of students walking to or from the Academy in larger groups could receive Fixed Penalty Fines starting at £1000 each, increasing for repeated failures. Obviously this kind of penalty should be avoided. We ask all families to discuss who children walk to and from the Academy with, and ensure that no group of students is greater than six in number; we also ask that students do not walk to the Academy in groups that cross year-group bubbles.
As Autumnal weather moves in, we are very aware that a large number of students are arriving at the Academy considerably earlier than their official starting times:
▪ Year 7 and Year 10 students should arrive by 8.25am for an 8.30am start
▪ Year 8 and Year 9 students should arrive by 8.55am for a 9.00am start
▪ Year 11 students should arrive by 9.25am for a 9.30am start
We appreciate that there will be a small number of students who will arrive with siblings in other year groups, but even with significant capacity both in and out of the building, having large numbers of students arriving from 8:00am increases the opportunity for tranmission, which we would like to avoid.
We are also pleased to confirm that we will be introducing additional IT facilities to support students in Years 10 and 11 engaged in BTEC courses. This will lead to some changes to student timetables. We have also extended our cleaning contract, so that the additional provision throughout the day will continue into the New Year.
If you have any queries regarding our approaches to covid-security, please begin by referring to the Full Opening Risk Assessment that is available via the Policies section on our website.
Thank you, as ever, for your continued support.
Yours sincerely
Jayne Schofield
Principal
Dave Fenney
Assistant Principal – Quality of Education
Health and Safety Lead