Dear Parents and Carers -
I write to update you today about the latest announcement made by Welsh Government. Yesterday, the Minister for Education, Jeremy Miles, instructed all schools to use the first two days after the Christmas break as planning days to prepare for a “very high risk level”. This means that the 6th of January 2022 (Thursday) and the 7th of January 2022 (Friday) will now be used for planning for COVID-19 measures, not as INSET days. These changes to the days will have no impact on the date pupils will return and all pupils are still to attend school at 8.40am on the 10th of January 2022.
The planning days will be used to set the school up for very strict measures so that all pupils, students and staff are as safe as possible. We will also use this time to ensure that we are prepared for remote learning so that we are ready if we are ever asked again in the future to shift to online learning.
The 6th form mock examinations and all external examinations will continue as normal. These exams will also take place under strict COVID-19 rules.
A very important change that has been announced is that all staff and pupils are now asked to LFD test three times a week, beginning the week before they are to return in January. The Welsh Government have asked for all pupils now to test Monday, Wednesday and Friday every week. All staff and pupils are to continue to test over the holiday and then begin to test three times a week starting on the 3rd of January 2022. This is to ensure we are safe over the holiday break and also to make sure we are as safe as possible for when we return. If any pupils or students did not collect enough test kits, please contact the school and we will arrange for them to be collected on the planning days.
There is no plan at the moment to return to bubbles and contact groups but this is a rapidly changing situation. As we all know, there are still lots of unknowns, especially with the rise of the new Omicron variant. I will be getting regular updates over the Christmas break and as soon as I have further information I will write again to update you.
Please ensure that pupils and students continue to follow the government guidance on social distancing and COVID-19 rules during the holidays.
Once again thank you for your support during this very challenging time, it is only with your support that we have been so successful in limiting the number of lost learning days due to the virus. Our attendance is one of the highest in the country due to our vigilance and hard work in keeping the whole community safe.
Have a lovely, safe Christmas
Neil Foley - B.Sc. MA.