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Dear Parents

COVID-19 – update from the Principal

As we approach the end of our fifth week of school, I would like to give you a brief update on different aspects of school life.  Sadly today, Friday, 9th October 2020, we have for the first time received confirmation that one of our 6th Form students has tested positive for the virus.  There is a strict protocol that the school has to follow to report this and I have today in discussion with the Department for Education, taken the following steps to safeguard our school population.

It has been necessary to send home fifteen Year 13 students and three members of staff, each of these families will be provided with more specific information regarding the length of time that need to isolate for.  Please find attached a copy of the letter that Public Heath England require schools to send out when there is a confirmed case.  I would like to add that the student with the case had not shown any symptoms at all, and still doesn’t and remains in good health.  We obviously wish them and all those needing to isolate our very best.

In other news, I would like to thank our Year 7 Parents who acted as the guinea pigs for our first Parents Evening of the year.  This was conducted virtually with Parents able to speak to the Form Tutor of their child from home via a digital link.  We have learnt a few lessons from this experience but intend to proceed with other Parents Evenings in the same manner.  Year 8 Parents will be next in line shortly after half term.  Could I please ask you all to make sure you are familiar with logging onto Firefly in preparation for this.

With the current COVID restrictions it has been impossible for us to run our usual prospective student Open Evening.  This is normally an evening when many of our existing students return to school and help host all of the families who are considering applying to Highams Park School.  Later on today our “Virtual Open Evening” will go live on our website for everyone to view.  I would like to thank the students and staff who either appear in the footage, or who have worked hard to film, edit and design the presentations.  It is credit to the team that they have been able to produce this information in such a professional and interesting way.  Can I recommend that you spend a few minutes looking through the different items of information.

Finally, it would make sense to reiterate some of the key points that all students must continue with in order to keep our community safe.  Students have in the main been brilliant at adjusting to life wearing a face mask.  Please remind them of the “bells gone, mask on” mantra.  Even when students are outside at the end of a break or lunch time within their Year Group Bubble, it is important that they put the mask on as they travel, via the one-way systems and continue to use the hand sanitiser on entry and exit to each lesson.  The confirmed case today and the necessity to send some students and staff home should act as a reminder to us all of how important these simple steps are for all of our safety.

Yours faithfully

Phil Grundy

Principal

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