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Littleover Community School

News Archive

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Update from Mr Wilding - 26th February

Posted 26th February 2021

Mr Wilding has sent out an update to parents/carers.

To all parents and carers.

Good evening from LCS.

Thank you for bearing with us over the last few days, since the announcement was made that all students will return to school from Monday 8th March. This return to school is not as straight-forward as previous returns from school closure, as on this occasion students consenting for a Covid-19 test in school must receive their first negative test result before they can begin to attend lessons. This inevitably means a staggered start for students returning. Students should then receive a further 2 tests, preferably within 3-5 days of each other, in the first 2 weeks of their return to face-to-face lessons.

Since the new guidance was issued on Monday there has already been a change to the dates when schools could start testing and we cannot, therefore, rule out any further changes to our plans. We are hoping, however, that the plans I am outlining today will not need to be changed further next week.

To allow for the first Covid-19 tests to be carried out on students returning to school, we are limited to which Year Groups we can allow back each day and the guidance stipulates that schools should prioritise students in Year 10 upwards to return first. We also cannot allow all students in a Year Group to return together, before students consenting to a Covid-19 test have all received their first negative result. If we did this, students testing positive would need to be sent home immediately to self-isolate for 10 days, as would any close contacts from their first day in school. I am sure as parents and carers you would rather this did not happen and that students were not sent home on their first day back at school, after working at home since January.

We have, therefore, decided to test all consenting students the day before their Year Group returns to school. Students consenting to the Covid-19 test will arrive in school on their allocated testing day and will return home after their test has been completed; students will not have any face-to face lessons on their testing day and Remote Learning will continue. Parents/carers will be informed of their child's test results, usually within 1 hour of the test taking place, and students testing negative can then return to school for face-to-face lessons the next day. This way we know that students consenting to the test will be returning to school having received a negative test result 24 hours beforehand. Students where consent for the Covid-19 test has not been obtained will return at the same time as those students who have been tested and received a negative result the previous day. Any student(s) testing positive from their first test will be required to self-isolate as per NHS guidance and will not return to school until this self-isolation period is complete.

Exact timings for students Covid-19 tests are still to be finalised and I would once again urge those parents/carers who plan to consent but have not yet done so to return the Consent Form by my requested deadline of Wednesday 3rd March. Large numbers of Consent Forms returned later than this date may delay the return of students to school.

Students will likely be invited to school to test in alphabetical order groups and I will confirm timings as soon as possible next week, but the plan for student testing and return to lessons is as follows:

  • Year 11 and Year 13 - Test in school on Monday 8th March and return to lessons on Tuesday 9th March.
  • Year 10 and Year 12 - Test in school on Tuesday 9th March and return to lessons on Wednesday 10th March.
  • Year 9 - Test in school on Wednesday 10th March and return to lessons on Thursday 11th March.
  • Year 8 - Test in school on Thursday 11th March and return to lessons on Friday 12th March.
  • Year 7 - Test in school on Friday 12th March and return to school on Monday 15th March.

I am aware that some parents and carers may be disappointed with this plan, as they would have hoped and expected their child(ren) to return to school sooner. With the guidelines as they are, however, and the number of students we will need to test, there is no way we can see of moving the process forward. Starting testing before Monday 8th March, which schools were initially told they couldn't do before the guidelines were changed, would leave too long between a test being taken and the student(s) returning to lessons, making the test result less valid. As our plans stand, all students consenting to the test would return to school within 24 hours of a negative result, apart from Year 7 who will not return until after the weekend; unfortunately, we have 7 Year Groups to process and only 5 days to do this in.

Students currently attending school as part of the vulnerable/Critical Worker groups will continue to do so until their respective Year Groups return to face-to-face lessons; these students will also test on the same day as their Year Group.

Testing will take place in our Testing facility which is housed in the Dance Studio building in our Sports Centre. Students will enter and exit site via the Fresco Drive entrance, which is accessed from the footpath adjacent to 'The Brook' or by the access path from Fresco Drive. Parents will not be able to drive onto premises and will be asked to park on Fresco Drive or Pastures Hill, to allow students to walk onto site for their test. We will be sending some instructional videos to students next week to help and instruct them on the testing process.

Students will be able to use the School Bus when returning with their Year Group for face-to-face lessons, but not when coming onto site for their first Covid-19 test.

The testing being carried out in school is for asymptomatic students and staff, so if your child is displaying any of the main symptoms of Covid-19 they must not come into school for their test or for face-to-face lessons.

Once all students have returned to school, the 2nd and 3rd Covid-19 tests we are required to provide for them will take place during the school day; again, times and dates to be confirmed. We will do what we can to keep to the recommended gap of 3-5 days between tests, but if this is not possible we will look to test students at least once each week (5 school days but 7 calendar days).

Once students have completed 3 Covid-19 tests in school, they will be issued with Home Testing kits to be completed under the supervision of the parent or carer and results submitted to school. I will provide further details of this process nearer the time.

As previously stated, our Remote Learning plans will continue until all students return to school on 15th March. When face-to-face lessons re-start, teaching staff will be teaching students in school, as well as teaching remotely. This will mean some changes of timings for lessons, although we are aiming to keep to our current timetables as much as possible.

I will update you all further next week with confirmed times for student Covid-19 testing and other information ahead of their return to school, but please also note the following:

  • There will be Assemblies for students in all Year Groups on Friday 5th March. Students will be notified of the times for these Assemblies next week.
  • Students will be required to wear face coverings in lessons on their return to school, as per latest government guidance. Existing exemptions remain and students must have their Exemption Card to show staff if challenged. If a student's medical situation has changed since last term and they now require an exemption, the parent or carer concerned should contact Mrs C Barrows (Medical Officer) before the student returns to school.
  • All students will be required to wear full school uniform on their return to face-to-face lessons. Uniform is not required to be worn by students coming into school for their first Covid-19 test.

Finally, I would once again like to thank all parents and carers and members of our wider school community for their support during this latest school closure. In particular, I would once again like to thank those parents, carers, Governors and members of the public who have volunteered in our Testing Centre. We will need all of our testing volunteers over the next few weeks and any additional help would always be welcome, so please email me directly if you have any time you feel you can offer to support us in our Testing facility.

Please look out for further updates throughout next week. Enjoy your weekend.

Best wishes.
Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 23rd February

Posted 23rd February 2021

Mr Wilding has sent out an update to parents/carers.

To all parents and carers.

I am emailing you as promised this afternoon, after the Prime Minister's announcement yesterday that all students will return to schools nationally from Monday 8th March.

Since the first lockdown of Spring 2020, our policy at LCS has been to take time to fully consider the details and implications of any new government guidance, before making any decisions as a school. With this latest announcement, we will need time to fully assess all the implications and, as such, I will not be in the position to publish any detailed information for a few days. I can, however, inform you now of some points which will be included as part of our return to school plans for students, as things currently stand.

One significant change in the new government guidance is the recommendation that students should, for a limited time, be instructed to wear face coverings in the classroom. We will be following this revised recommendation at LCS, as we cannot maintain social distance between students in most classrooms. As the government guidance states, this recommendation will be reviewed nationally at Easter and we will, likewise, review our policy as a school in preparation for the start of the summer term.

The relevant wording from the latest guidance is below:

Where pupils in year 7 (which would be children who were aged 11 on 31 August 2020) and above are educated, we recommend that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. Face coverings do not need to be worn by pupils when outdoors on the premises.

In addition, we now also recommend in those schools, that face coverings should be worn in classrooms or during activities unless social distancing can be maintained. This does not apply in situations where wearing a face covering would impact on the ability to take part in exercise or strenuous activity, for example in PE lessons.

We are taking this additional precautionary measure for a limited time during this period of high coronavirus (COVID-19) prevalence in the community. These measures will be in place until Easter. As with all measures, we will keep it under review and update guidance at that point.

Any exemptions to the wearing of face masks in school issued to students previously will still apply and I would remind and encourage students to have their Exemption Card with them at all times, to show staff if/when challenged.

Due to the requirement for schools to conduct three Covid-19 tests with consenting students within 2 weeks of their return to school, the return of all students to LCS will be staggered and not all students will return on Monday 8th March itself. Remote Learning will continue until all Year Groups have returned to face-to-face teaching.

Further details of arrangements for testing and specific dates for students to return will be issued in due course. The latest government guidance states:

Pupils should return to face-to-face education following their first negative test result. Pupils not undergoing testing should attend school in line with your (the school's) phased return arrangements. Schools will have discretion on how to test students over that week as they return to the classroom.

I would be grateful if parents/carers planning on providing consent for their child(ren) to be tested in school could complete and return the Consent Form as soon as possible, to assist with the organisation of our Testing Centre. I would politely request that any parent/carer planning to consent for their child(ren) to be tested complete and return the Consent Form by Wednesday 3rd March at the latest.

The link for the Consent Form has been sent several times before and there is no need to complete the form if you have already done so. For any parent/carer yet to provide consent for testing but wishing to do so, the link to the Consent Form is attached below. Students will only be tested where consent has been obtained, so please do not complete this form if you do not consent for your child(ren) being part of the testing process.

https://tinyurl.com/LCS-C19ConsentFormStudent

I hope the above information answers some of the questions you may already have and I will be providing further details of our return plans for students as soon as I can.

We are looking forward to seeing all students again from 8th March.

Best wishes.
Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

LCS Sports and Fitness Centre Refunds

Posted 12th February 2021

LCS Finance team is in the process of issuing refunds for membership subscriptions to the LCS Gym.

As you will be aware the School Gym has been closed since March 2020, due to Covid-19 restrictions. Some members have continued to pay their subscription, but as we are closing this financial year soon, we need to refund these subscriptions back to you.

We are asking members to get in contact please so we can arrange to do this in the coming weeks.

Please email before the 5th of March at WisePay@littleover.derby.sch.uk for more information.

Update from Mr Wilding - 10th February

Posted 10th February 2021

Mr Wilding has sent out an update to parents/carers.

To all parents and carers.

Greetings, from a very sunny, but very cold, LCS.

As we approach the end of this half-term, we are required to continue supporting Test and Trace into the half-term holiday. As we did over Christmas, there will be a message on the school telephone and email system from the end of the day on Friday, with instructions on how to report positive Covid-19 tests during the holiday.

If your child develops symptoms of Covid-19 within 48 hours of last being in school and ultimately receives a positive test result, please contact us using the school telephone or email system (admin@ address ) between 10am and 11am from Saturday 13th to Thursday 18th February. When you call or email school, you will receive a message containing a dedicated telephone number for you to text a message including the following information:

  • Your child's name and Year Group
  • The date they first became symptomatic
  • The date you received the positive test result
  • A contact number for a member of school staff to call you back

There is no need to contact us if your child develops symptoms more than 48 hours after last attending school, or if your child has not been attending school as part of the vulnerable of Critical Worker groups. If your child is due to attend school on 22nd February but has any symptoms of Covid-19, or is self-isolating for any Covid-19 related reason, please do not send them back to school at the start of next half-term and contact our Student Services office to inform us of their absence.

I have attached the most recently updated government guidance on self-isolation at the link below, for your information:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection#if-you-have-covid-19-symptoms-or-have-received-a-positive-covid-19-test-result

On the subject of Covid-19 testing, we will continue our current programme of testing staff and students attending school until the government announce whether students will be returning in larger numbers, from 8th March. The current guidelines ask schools to test students twice before they return to school, with tests 3-5 days apart, so if students do return after 8th March we will be looking to organise testing for those students where consent has been provided.

To help us with organisation of our Testing Centre, it would be extremely useful to have as many Consent Forms returned as possible before 8th March. This will allow us to assess our testing capacity and organise potential times and dates for tests. If you have not completed the Consent Form for you child(ren) to be tested in school but are planning to, I would respectfully request you do this over the next 2 weeks, so we have as much information as possible in advance of students' potential return to school. I have no further information on whether or not students will return on 8th March and, if so, which Year Groups this will be, but it would help if we knew the number of students we would be looking at testing, if and when students return.

The link to the Consent Form is below. There is no need to complete the Consent Form if you have already done so, or if you do not consent to testing for your child(ren).

https://tinyurl.com/LCS-C19ConsentFormStudent

It has been a challenging half-term since January 4th but I would like to thank all parents, carers and students for their support throughout the last 6 weeks. I would especially like to pay tribute once again to our fantastic school staff, including all volunteers who have supported in our Testing Centre. We have achieved a lot this half-term, particularly in creating and maintaining our Remote Learning programme and setting up of our Testing Centre and, as usual, we have worked together for the best interests of our students and wider school community. We will continue in this way next half-term, which promises to be equally, if not more challenging for all of us.

School staff will be taking a well-deserved break next week and I hope that our students will also be resting and recovering from all their hard work.

My next planned email update will be on 22nd February, but if there are major developments before the end of this week, I will obviously keep you all informed.

Best wishes.
Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

National Safer Internet Day - 9th February 2021

Posted 8th February 2021

National Safer Internet Day - 9th February 2021

Tuesday 9th February 2021 is national Safer Internet Day.

The theme for this year is “An internet we trust: exploring reliability in the online world”.

The link below is for the Safer Internet Day website and the attached latter from Tracy Harrison explains some of the very important issues behind this campaign, as well as offering parents and carers the opportunity to attend workshops, both on the day itself and in the future.

https://www.saferinternet.org.uk/safer-internet-day/2021

Safer Internet Day

Safe and Sound Group
First Floor, East Mill
Darley Abbey Mills
Safe Internet day Darley Abbey
DE22 1DZ

Dear parent or carer,

I am writing to you personally as the CEO of Safe and Sound, a local grassroots charity in Derbyshire that supports children, young people and their families who have been exploited or are at risk of exploitation.

When I took over the leadership of the charity in May 2019, I was surprised how hard it was to get people talking about child exploitation.

“It I don’t hear about it it’s not happening.” I must change that and get everyone thinking about it.

Over 70% of children and young people we supported last year were groomed online. The youngest child we have supported was eight years old. One in twenty children will suffer some form of sexual abuse. That is one in every classroom. Sadly, it can happen to any child anywhere and at any time.

The use of some form of technology features in many cases of child sexual exploitation. Perpetrators might use social media to locate and target vulnerable children or they might use a mobile phone as a direct line to a child to facilitate the grooming process.

For children and young people growing up today being online is very much a part of their normal social experience. Most children from school age have access to the internet whether through a tablet, a mobile phone, or a gaming device.

At the same time, technology moves quickly, and it can be difficult for parents to keep up and to know what safeguards might help minimise the risks children could encounter online.

We also know during Covid-19 the risk has again escalated. Perpetrators are aware children and young people are at home spending more time at home, may be isolated from their friends. They are using this to their advantage.

We are always available through our online chat facility on our new and improved website www.safeandsoundgroup.org.uk You will also find guidance and resources on here.

On Tuesday 9th February 2021 it is Safer Internet Day. We are using this opportunity to reach out to parents and carers to reduce the risk of our children and young people being affected by online dangers and exploitation.

During this day we are also hosting an online interactive live session through our Facebook account between 10 and 11am https://www.facebook.com/safesoundgroup
and providing an hour workshop on online safety and awareness through Zoom between 1.30 and 2.30pm
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/85229040011?pwd=SENCVk9kalRCelNSR3BlMVdRbHVTZz09
Meeting ID: 852 2904 0011
Passcode: 811976

There are 100 places so log on nice and early.

If you would like to take part in an awareness workshop but cannot make Tuesday, please contact us via info@safeandsoundgroup.org.uk to register your interest for a future workshop.

In the first instance, talk to your child about what they do online in the same way as you ask them about what they do offline. Ask them about what they share, who they talk to, how they know their online friends and what they do to keep themselves safe. You would not let them go to meet someone you did not know without putting some checks in place, would you?

Thank you for reading this letter and I hope together we can keep our children and young people safe.

Yours sincerely

Tracy D Harrison
CEO, Safe and Sound

Update from Mr Wilding - 1st February

Posted 1st February 2021

Mr Wilding has sent out an update to parents/carers.

To all parents and carers.

Good afternoon, from LCS.

We are enjoying the sunshine in school today, ahead of the sleet and rain we have forecast for the rest of the week!

A reminder that this Wednesday is a staff INSET Day, so school is closed to all students. Staff have been asked not to set work for the day and to allow students a break from all the hard work they have been doing since the start of term. If students need some catch-up time, we are recommending this is no more than a couple of hours so they can also have a rest and recharge their batteries.
Students in school who would normally have their Covid-19 tests on Wednesday will be tested tomorrow or Thursday/Friday, to make sure they still take a test this week; some may have been tested this morning, if time allowed.

On the subject of Covid-19 testing, the government last week changed part of the guidance around the need for anyone testing positive from the LFT taken in school needing a confirmation PCR test. This rule has been 'temporarily paused' and the new guidance now states:

Following new advice, NHS Test and Trace and Public Health England have temporarily paused the need for a confirmatory PCR test following a positive result with a lateral flow test in secondary schools and colleges. Following a positive lateral flow test result taken at school or college, an individual will need to self-isolate in line with government guidance, and contact tracing will need to be undertaken. It will also be the trigger for self-isolation payments.

This means that any students testing positive in school will be asked to self-isolate for the full 10 day period from the date of their LFT; close contacts, if/when identified, will also need to follow this revised guidance.

As a result of this change, we have needed to update our Covid-19 Privacy Notice and a new version of this is now shown on our website.

Since my last update, the Prime Minister has announced that the current closure of schools will be reviewed no earlier than 22nd February, with a date of 8th March being given as the earliest date any students would return to school for 'face to face' lessons. We will continue with our Remote Learning plans on this basis and continue to be open for vulnerable students and children of Critical Workers only. I would again respectfully ask parents and carers to only request a place for their child(ren) in school if absolutely necessary, in order to keep numbers to a manageable level.

There is currently much debate and rumour surrounding GCSE and A level assessment for this summer, although the Ofqual consultation only closed last Friday and nothing official has been announced. We are expecting some details this week and I will update parents and carers as soon as I know anything; students in Y11 and Y13 will also be contacted separately, when we have more information.

Finally from me, today is the start of Children's Mental Health Week, which we are supporting as a school. The theme this year is 'Express Yourself' and students have been shown information related to the week in on-line Assemblies and via social media. Further updates will follow over the next few days. A link to the organising charity Place2Be is attached below:

https://www.childrensmentalhealthweek.org.uk/about-the-week/

Thank you for your support and for all the positive comments we continue to receive about our Remote Learning provision and support for students working from home. Your comments are, as always, very much appreciated.

Best wishes.
Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 27th January

Posted 27th January 2021

Mr Wilding has sent out an update to parents/carers.

To all parents and carers.

Good afternoon, from LCS.

A few short updates from me today, as well as some links to important safeguarding information and free training opportunities for parents and carers.

On Covid-19 testing in school, students currently attending school in 3 Year Groups have been tested so far, with the remaining students' tests taking place tomorrow and Friday. Students will then be tested every 3-5 days, as per the timetable I issued previously, where consent has been gained.

We continue to test staff who are in school on a weekly basis.

We are expanding our Remote Learning provision this week to include more 'live' lessons via Teams for students in Year 9, with further expansion planned for Year 8 and Year 7 from next week. Please encourage your child(ren) to attend these 'live' lessons and ask them to check emails regularly for details and timetables.

We are expecting to hear more about the planned assessment of students at GCSE and A level for this summer as a result of the ongoing OFQUAL consultation. This should be early next week and we will arrange to inform students and parents/carers when we have the information.

On wider school re-opening, we have been promised “2 weeks notice” of any decision being made by the Secretary of State. There continue to be conflicting views on the subject of schools reopening to more students and the government have set out several key factors they will need to assess before this can happen. As with information on GCSE and A Level assessment, I will inform all students, parents and carers as soon as we have more information and guidance.

Today is Holocaust Memorial Day and I have emailed all students with a link (below) to a film produced by the National Holocaust Centre and Museum in Newark, Nottinghamshire to commemorate the event. We have been visited numerous times by staff from the National Holocaust Centre and students from LCS visited last year as part of a regional student conference. The film is short, but very powerful, if you are interested in watching it.

I have also attached (below) details of national campaigns to help identify the signs of child abuse, as well as information on how to support young people and families coping with bereavement. We are supporting both campaigns in school and have additional information available on our website.

Finally, Derby and Derbyshire NHS are offering free training for Parents and Carers on safer use of technology. The link below is for an event in March and contains a separate link for anyone wishing to sign up.

Thank you.
Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

School Open on 26th January

Posted 25th January 2021

LCS will be open to students currently attending on Tuesday 26th January, barring any substantial fresh snowfall beforehand.

To all parents and carers.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the closure of school today. Our site team have worked throughout the day to clear the site of snow and we fully expect to open in the morning to students currently attending, barring any substantial fresh snowfall this evening.

If this situation changes, you will be contacted via email and updates will be posted via our social media accounts.

Thank you.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

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