Thursday 31st December 2020

IMPORTANT INFORMATION – FURTHER CHANGES TO THE START OF TERM

Dear Parents/Carers,

I hope that you had an enjoyable Christmas despite the restrictions and challenges. You may by now be aware of the government announcement made late yesterday afternoon regarding further delays to the start of term in response to the rising rate of infection across the UK.

Please now disregard my previous two letters on Wednesday 16th and Friday 18th December.

NEW revised arrangements for the start of term:

Please note that these dates are in accordance with the new government guidance and are therefore correct at time of writing but subject to change.

Monday 4th January 2021 Staff only inset day

As originally planned, no remote learning and school is closed to all students

Tuesday 5th – Friday 8th January 2021

 

 

NEW

Remote learning for ALL students (except VKW)

 

This is as previous for Years 7-10 & 12 but is NEW for Years 11, 13 and Work-Skills students who will now not return until Monday 11th January. Parents of Greenfield and Pathways students will receive separate information by email.

 

On site provision will be available for eligible and pre-booked vulnerable and key worker (VKW) students as originally planned. Please see below for further information.

 

Monday 11th – Friday 15th January 2021

 

NEW

Year 11, 13 and Work-Skills students return to college.

 

Years 7-10 and 12 follow remote learning for a further week.

 

On-site VKW provision continues.

Monday 18th January 2021

NEW

Years 7-10 and 12 return to college.

 

Arrangements for Remote Learning:

Remote learning provision will be provided in the same format as the end the autumn term. Students should complete their normal timetabled 3 lessons per day via Satchel:One. Lessons may include pre-recorded explanations and video links where appropriate.

Students will also be required to access a daily live MSTeams tutorial as trialled on 17/18th December. A reminder of the guidance for these sessions is available on our website Covid-19 – Useful Information – Bodmin College

Timings for these live online sessions are as below. Please note that timings will change for the 2nd week due to teaching commitments.

5th -8th January 2021   11th – 15th January 2021
 Year Group 15 Minute Allocated Live Tutor Session    Year Group 15 Minute Allocated Live Tutor Session
7 09:30 – 10:00   7 11:00 – 11:30
8 10:00 – 10:30   8 10:30 – 11:00
9 10:30 – 11:00   9 11:00 – 11:30
10 11:00 – 11:30   10 10:30 – 11:00
11 11:30 – 12:00   11 Not Applicable
12 12:00 – 12:30   12 10:30 – 11:00
13 12:30 – 1:00   13 Not Applicable

We appreciate that not everyone has access to the technology or space required to participate in multiple live sessions. We appreciate your feedback and also ask that if you are experiencing difficulties with online learning that you please complete a short survey so that we can improve access for all students. Please click here.

Free-School Meals

If your child is eligible for free-school meals and you would like to order a weekly food parcel during the period of remote learning please click here

Vulnerable and Key-Worker Students (for ALL year groups including Year 11)

In accordance with government guidance, in-school provision is available for eligible students. If your child is eligible for VKW provision and requires a place, please click here to book.  Pre-booking by Sunday 3rd January 2021 is essential so that we can make the necessary arrangements regarding transport, catering and supervision. Parents/carers of pre-booked students will receive an email on Monday 4th January with full details regarding arrangements for this provision.

A full list of eligibility is available here.

Exams

For students who are expecting to sit exams in January, please continue to prepare for these as normal. We anticipate these to go ahead as scheduled and will write to you in due course with any further information regarding arrangements if necessary.

Mass-Testing Arrangements

On 18th December I wrote to inform you of the government’s announcement for mass-testing in schools. During the remote learning period, we will be working to implement a programme of mass-testing for all students and staff who wish to participate.

This new mass-testing programme is designed to provide an additional level of safety for students, staff and families. It will be used to test students and staff that are NOT showing symptoms and will use a new, quicker COVID-19 test known as a ‘lateral flow test’.

We will write to you again next week with details, arrangements and dates for each year group but in the meantime please take the time to read the information at the end of this letter. Tests are not compulsory but the government are encouraging everyone to agree to taking the tests to help control the spread of infection. It would help us in our planning if you could complete the online consent form (one for each child) as soon as possible.

If having read the information below and attached, you are happy for your child to be tested, please complete a consent form by clicking here.

Testing is completely free of charge.

Further Information

We appreciate that the ever-changing government guidance can be confusing and that remote learning is not ideal but the safety of our students, staff and families must remain our first priority. We will do our best to address any questions and concerns through our weekly parent FAQs and parent bulletin. Please feel free to submit any questions via the contact us section of the website

Thank you all ONCE AGAIN for your incredible support and patience during these most challenging of times and I wish you all best wishes for the new year.

Kindest regards

E Seward-Adams

Mrs E Seward-Adams

Principal

 

Additional Information on Mass-Testing (Lateral Flow Testing)

Please also see the accompanying leaflet on the website

What is a Lateral Flow Test?

Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. Lateral flow testing involves 2 tests 3-5 days apart that use a nose/throat swab and returns a result within 30 minutes. Anyone showing symptoms or testing positive will still be required to contact NHS 119 and take the original PCR test.

Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of your nose and throat. Staff will supervise the testing process and be on hand to support if required.

Results are available within approximately 30 minutes of testing. We will ONLY inform you and your child if the test is positive. If we do not contact you, then a negative result has been returned.

How reliable are the tests?

All of our current protective measures will continue to remain in place alongside these tests as results are not completely 100% and some people may choose not to take the test. However, the tests will increase safety, provide some reassurance and allow earlier identification of infection. The tests are voluntary, but the government are encouraging everyone to take them.

In validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England, these tests were shown to be as accurate in identifying a case as a PCR test (99.68% specificity). The tests have lower sensitivity but they are better at picking up cases when a person has higher viral load, hence the need to test frequently.

What if a student tests positive?

Participating staff and students who test positive will be informed about their results individually. Parents or legal guardians will also be notified. Guidance on safe travel and additional precautions will be provided along with test results.

Students/staff receiving a positive test will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ (similar to those done in local and regional testing sites) on the same day (or as soon as possible). To book a PCR test, go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119. Self-testing kits can be ordered if transport is a problem but a drive-through test site is preferable, as it is faster than requesting a home test.

During this time while they wait for the PCR result (via text / email) they will need to self-isolate.

If the PCR test returns a positive result you will have to self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace. Please keep us informed of the result.

What happens if the test is negative?

They will be able to stay in college and resume their activities as normal. A student will only be told if they test positive on a ‘lateral flow’ test, so if you do not hear you can assume it was negative. A small number of students may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason.

What if a close contact at school/college tests positive?

A close contact of someone in school/college who has tested positive for COVID-19 may be able to return to college if they agree to be tested once a day for 7 days and the test is negative. If they do not want to take the test, they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines. This does not apply to household members or close contacts outside of college who will still need to self-isolate. Further details will be provided at the time, but if you would prefer to self-isolate instead of doing daily testing, you can.

What if my child develops symptoms?

This testing programme at college is for people with no symptoms. If your child develops symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test.

Additional information     

You may also find the links below useful:

https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/12/15/mass-testing-in-schools-your-questions-answered/

https://dfemedia.blog.gov.uk/2020/12/17/coronavirus-screening-for-secondary-and-college-students-in-the-first-week-of-the-spring-term-your-questions-answered/