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Littleover Community School

News Archive

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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

School Closure Update from Mr Wilding - 25th January

Posted 25th January 2021

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

To all parents and carers.

After an early inspection this morning, our site team have reported large amounts of snow and ice around the school site which cannot be safely cleared in time for students to attend school, either at the normal opening time or for a delayed start. Several of our cleaning staff are also unable to make it into school this morning, meaning we cannot guarantee the level of cleaning required for current Covid-19 guidelines.

Unfortunately, I have made the decision that school will be closed to all students today. Our site team will be working to clear the site today and are confident we will be able to open to vulnerable students and children of Critical Workers tomorrow. Please continue to check email and social media for further updates during today.

I apologise for needing to make this decision and I am aware it will inconvenience a number of families. If I cannot guarantee the safety of the school site for all students and staff, however, particularly with current Covid-19 guidelines in place, I cannot take the risk of opening school.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Potential School Closure Update from Mr Wilding - 24th January

Posted 24th January 2021

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

To all parents and carers.

Given the significant snowfall in Derby and the surrounding area throughout today and the forecast of freezing conditions overnight, we will be conducting an early inspection of the school site tomorrow morning, to see whether we can open to the students currently attending.

If the site cannot be made safe for students tomorrow and if enhanced cleaning due to Covid-19 cannot be guaranteed, we will make the decision to close school to all students. If a decision to close to all is necessary, we will aim to inform all parents and carers via email and social media at around 7am. Please check your email and LCS social media sites before sending your child(ren) to school tomorrow.

If school is closed to all tomorrow, we will endeavour to ensure the site is cleared and safe for students to return on Tuesday. Further announcements will be made during tomorrow.

With the students currently attending school being vulnerable or children of Critical Workers, we will do our best to remain open for these students and their parents and carers. If the site is not safe, however, we will need to close to all.

As we cannot guarantee school will be open tomorrow, we understand if parents/carers of students currently attending feel they need to make definite alternative plans this evening.

Thank you.

Keep safe.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 22nd January

Posted 22nd January 2021

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

To all parents and carers.

Good evening from LCS.

We have begun our Covid-19 testing of staff this week and our Testing facility has conducted around 70 tests in the two days so far.

We will be continuing to offer weekly tests to all school staff and will look to increase this to twice weekly, as the new guidance suggests, if capacity allows.

I would again like to thank all volunteers from our school community, who have included parents and carers, former students and school Governors. Without their support, we would not have been able to open our Testing facility this week.

From Monday, we will begin testing of students attending school during this partial closure, where consent has been provided.
Testing will be by Year Group, on the following days:

  • Monday - Y10
  • Tuesday - Y8
  • Wednesday - Y9
  • Thursday - Y7
  • Friday - Y11

If your child is absent on the day of their test, we will look to test them as soon as possible on their return to school.

Consent Forms must be returned by 11am at the latest on the day before your child would be tested, or their test may be delayed until the following week.

Please be advised that with the constantly changing picture around current transmission of Covid-19 locally and nationally, our school testing programme could be paused at any time. If this happens, all staff, parents/carers and students will be informed.

On the day of their Covid-19 test, students should arrive in school as normal and go to their classroom. Students will be collected and taken for their test by staff during the morning.

Results from student tests will be relayed to parents/carers via Test and Trace, through email or test message. If your child receives a negative test there is no further action to take.

If your child receives a positive test result, as well as contact from Test and Trace the parent/carer will be contacted by school asking them to collect their child as soon as possible. The student(s) concerned will be moved to a room away from other students until they are collected.

Students receiving a positive test through the LFT in school will be given a PCR (lab) test to take with them as they leave the school building, which should be conducted at home. The student concerned should not return to school until they receive a negative result from this follow-up PCR test, or if the PCR test result is also positive, they should not return to school until the end of their designated self-isolation period.

Students will be asked for the following information when registering in the Test centre:

  • Name
  • Date of Birth
  • Address
  • Postcode

Please make sure your child knows this information.

We would also be grateful is parents/carers could discuss with their child(ren) the nature of the test itself. Testing staff will supervise and advise each student during the test, but the student must conduct the test on themselves.

I have included the link (below) to the short film produced by the University of Durham, which was also attached to the letter I sent out to all parents and carers last week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZhSPnnXyPo&t=41s

Testing staff will be wearing PPE, including visor, mask and gloves during the testing process. Please make your child aware of this, so they are not nervous when they test for the first time.

Finally, on a separate matter, Mr McElhone and Mrs Bunting have emailed Year 9 parents, carers and students today with details of students' Teams lesson timetables for next week and also with information related to last night's Parents' Evening.

We apologise for the technical issues towards the beginning of the evening; this was caused by problems with the Schoolcloud server and not by any issue within school. We have asked staff to contact any parents/carers where appointments were missed, which they will be doing over the next few days.

Thank you, as always for your continued support.

Keep safe and enjoy your weekend.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Job Vacancy: Headteacher

Posted 22nd January 2021

Job Vacancy: Headteacher

LCS has a vacancy for the position of Headteacher.

For more information please see the Job Vacancies Page.

Consent forms for COVID-19 Testing in School

Posted 20th January 2021

Further to the information sent last Friday regarding Covid-19 testing in school, please return your Consent Forms as soon as possible if you are consenting to your child being tested in school.

Students aged 16 and above can consent themselves, after discussion with their parent/carer. We are planning to begin testing of students on Monday 25th January and I will be sending a further update confirming times and dates of testing for each Year Group on Friday.

The Secretary of State has this morning officially instructed schools to pause testing of close contacts. As a school, we had already decided we would not be offering daily tests to close contacts, so our position has not changed. Asymptomatic testing of students attending school will continue as planned, every 3-5 days where consent has been provided.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Positive COVID-19 Test

Posted 20th January 2021

An LCS Student in Year 8 has tested positive for COVID-19. Parents and close contacts of the students have been contacted as per Public Health England procedure.

 

To all Year 8 Parents/Carers,

Positive COVID-19 Cases - Advice from Public Health England

We have been made aware of 1 member of our school community who have tested positive for COVID 19. The student is in Year 8. We have already contacted parents/carers of all close contacts of the students.

We know that you may find this concerning but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England. 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 small number of children who have been in close contact with the individual who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have received a letter informing them that their child must stay at home for 10 days.

The school remains open for critical worker and vulnerable students only and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well.

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 10 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 10-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 10 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 does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ 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/

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 18th January

Posted 18th January 2021

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

To all parents and carers.

Greetings, from LCS. Welcome to another working week.

A very brief update from me today, to clarify a couple of issues around Covid-19 testing in school and to make you all aware of the Ofqual Consultation on the awarding of GCSE and A level grades for summer 2021.

On Friday, you should have received an email containing information about the Covid-19 testing programme, as well as a copy of our Privacy Notice and a Consent Form. The Consent Form is a standard form which can be found on the government information portal. There is no option on the form for anyone not giving their consent, so anyone not consenting to the testing programme simply doesn't return it.

We became aware towards the middle of last week that there was considerable debate around the use of the Lateral Flow tests for close contacts. The DfE plan is for schools to test close contacts once a day for 7 days, to avoid the need for individuals to self-isolate. There is controversy around this aspect of testing, however, and some Local Authorities as well as teaching Unions are advising against schools using on-site testing for this purpose; the number of false-negatives the test could create has raised concern over it being used for testing of close contacts.

At LCS, we will be offering tests to staff once a week and to students currently attending once every 3-5 days, but we will not be offering daily tests to close contacts. As we were aware of this issue, there is no mention of close contact testing in the letter from Friday and we have removed reference to it from the Consent Form. In the event of positive Covid-19 cases, close contacts will be asked to self-isolate, as was the case last term.

You will be aware that Ofqual have launched a consultation around the awarding of GCSE and A level grades this summer. They want to hear from schools, students and parents/carers, before final decisions are made on this. If you would like to read, or contribute to, the consultation, Please use the link, below:

OFQUAL A-Level and GCSE Consultation

I will be in touch again in a few days with further updates. Please also continue to check our social media sites.

Have a good week.

Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Ask for Ani - Domestic Abuse Codeword Scheme

Posted 18th January 2021

The LCS Safeguarding and Wellbeing department would like to make people aware of a new government scheme for those experiencing domestic abuse.

As part of the scheme, anyone can go into a pharmacy and ask for ‘Ani’ and will then be supported by trained staff.

Ask for ANI scheme - Information

Don't forget, the LCS website has links to many other support organisations on our Safeguarding and Wellbeing pages.

Update from Mr Wilding - 14th January

Posted 14th January 2021

To all parents and carers.

Greetings, from LCS.

There are a few issues I would like to update you on today.

Firstly, the testing of students and staff for Covid-19 in school.

At some point on Friday we are hoping to email relevant information on this process, including the Consent Forms, to all parents and carers. If we receive consent to test your child(ren) in school this will, hopefully, begin from next Wednesday 20th January for staff and students currently in school. Please look out for this information in your emails on Friday.

On the subject of students currently in school, the numbers of vulnerable children and children of Critical Workers attending school has grown in recent days. We want to be able to accommodate all students who meet the Critical Worker criteria, but increasing numbers are becoming a challenge to manage with reduced staffing on site each day and with increased numbers of students on site also comes an increased risk of Covid-19 transmission. Some schools have prioritised Year Groups or occupations when deciding which students can attend, or have set maximum numbers they can allow on site each day. We do not want to do either of these things and want to offer a place to all students who meet the criteria where parents/carers have no choice but to send their children to school.

I would respectfully ask that parents and carers think about whether their child does need to be in school and reconsider sending them in if not entirely necessary. The government guidance is that 'You should keep your child at home if you can' and I would ask for your support with the current ongoing situation.

Please email Mrs Bunting via our admin email address for any correspondence related to students currently attending school.

An issue we dealt with regularly during the last lockdown of Spring/Summer 2020 was related to students' use of social media. We were informed regularly by parents and carers of social media issues during the last lockdown and when students returned to school in September many hours were spent by school staff resolving conflicts between students caused by social media posts; there were also several significant safeguarding concerns related to social media use, which came to our attention at the start of the Autumn Term. I would ask all parents and carers to continue to monitor closely their child's use of social media, as we are already receiving reports of similar issues this time around. Social Media has been a great source of communication during the Covid-19 outbreak and has helped families and friends keep in touch with each other, which was the original intention for its use. Students continue to misuse social media, however, to send inappropriate posts, including text and imagery, which can be the cause of bullying, as well as leading to problems in the mental and physical health of young people spending too much time on social media sites. I would also respectfully remind all parents and carers that the minimum age to access most social media sites is 13, as we are seeing increasing numbers of students below this age involved in issues reported to us. Schools cannot effectively address this issue on their own and whether or not students have social media accounts is, ultimately, at the discretion of the parent or carer.

The link below is to the relevant section on our website, where you will useful information about eSafety and social media use:

https://www.littleover.derby.sch.uk/information.php#esafety

I have attached below a link to the latest DfE guidance for information on school operations for parents and carers:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

Finally, an early warning that school will be closed to all students on Wednesday 3rd February for staff INSET. At present we are planning for staff to complete training remotely on the day and we will not have sufficient staff in school to supervise students. If this changes I will let you know, but I felt it best to give parents and carers enough notice to make the necessary arrangements.

Thank you, as always, for your continued support.

Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 8th January

Posted 8th January 2021

To all parents and carers.

Good evening from LCS.

We are at the end of what has been a very challenging week for all of us, but now we know we will be working remotely with our students for the rest of this half-term, it allows us all to plan ahead on this basis and with some much needed clarity.

Following the current national lockdown guidance, we have reduced the numbers of school staff on site throughout the last week. The majority of teaching staff are now working from home for at least part of the week and our admin and support staff teams are working in school to a rota. We are determined, however, that our remote learning offer will not be negatively impacted by teachers working from home and we have provided the resources for all staff to set work and maintain communications with students effectively.

Our most vulnerable students and children of Critical Workers will continue to attend school for the remainder of this half-term. We are, however, from Monday, asking all students in school to wear a face covering in the classroom as well as in corridors and around the school building. This is in response to concerns around current rates of transmission of Covid-19. At this present time, no decision has been made on face coverings in classrooms when students return to school in larger numbers and we will be guided on this by the government guidance at the time.

You will be aware that a statement was made earlier this week by the Secretary of State regarding cancellation of A Level and GCSE exams this summer. Mr Archer and Mr McElhone have been in communication with students in Year 13 and Year 11 over the last couple of days to outline the position, as we currently know it to be. We have been informed from the Secretary of State that replacement for exams will be 'a form of teacher assessment grade' which will 'put trust in teachers rather than algorithms'. There will now be a period of consultation by Ofqual, beginning on Monday and lasting for the next two weeks. As soon as we know the outcome of this consultation, we will communicate to parents, carers and students.

Finally, our Covid-19 testing facility is almost ready to begin testing of staff and students currently in school. Our site team have done an amazing job to create our testing facility, which we have set up in our Dance Studio. We are planning for the facility to be operational by the middle of next week and I have been in touch with members of school staff and volunteers from our parents and carers to put together a team to facilitate our testing programme. I would once again like to thank everyone who has offered their support to us, as it has been overwhelming.

Before testing can begin, consent letters and details of the testing process will need to be sent to all staff, parents, carers and students. We are waiting for the final version of these documents to be made available and will, hopefully, begin to send this out within the next week. 

I have attached two links, below, for those of you interested in them. The first is a link to the Secretary of State's statement to the House of Commons on national lockdown and schools. The second is the return of Joe Wicks!

Enjoy your weekend and I will be in touch again early next week.
Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Year 9 Virtual Options Evening

Posted 8th January 2021

Due to the Coronavirus situation, this year's LCS Year 9 Options Evening is a virtual event. The event comprises of several presentations and can be viewed online.

You can find the information under Parents > Year 9 Options.

Update from Mr Wilding - 5th January

Posted 5th January 2021

To all parents and carers.

Good evening from LCS.

As I suspected as I was writing my last message to you all yesterday, The Prime Minister has now announced a full national lockdown which has again changed the context of our work in school.

We will now be open to vulnerable children and children of Critical Workers only until February half-term at the earliest, with all remaining students moving to Remote Learning. 

Our Remote Learning timetables for this week will remain as published and updated timetables will be issued on Friday, for the next 3 school weeks.

Where lessons are not 'live' through Microsoft Teams, students should email their teachers during the lesson time with any questions or feedback on the work being set.

We have been working hard since the start of the first lockdown in March 2020 to identify students struggling to access work on-line from home and we have provided over 60 lap-tops to students, to date. If your child is unable to access work set remotely, please contact school via email or call the usual school contact numbers, addressing your question/request to Mr A McElhone.

As well as plans for lessons, Heads of Year will also be running weekly Assemblies and activities with their groups via Microsoft Teams and Form Tutors have been asked to make contact with students at least once every 2 weeks to check on their progress.

Parents/Carers of students eligible for Free School Meals will continue to be sent vouchers, as previously, for the duration of this partial school closure. We will continue to serve food in school for those students attending, but with a reduced menu and availability due to the smaller numbers.

Our Wellbeing team will be available throughout each school day to offer support to students; details of how to contact our Wellbeing team, as well as further safeguarding information, are available at Safeguarding and Wellbeing Links.

We will continue to use our social media pages, particularly Instagram and Facebook, as well as our website to update students, parents and carers on events in school. I am hoping to record some more brief videos for students from next week, as I did during the summer; I had hoped my acting days were over, but never mind!

Further to my email of yesterday evening, the proposed Covid-19 testing of students and staff in school has not been shelved as a result of the latest lockdown and the expectation on schools is for this to continue. Staff and students in school will start to be tested soon, followed by the rest of the school when students return in February. As stated previously, full consent will be needed before any tests are completed and details will be sent to students, parents and carers in due course.

Thank you to the numerous parents and carers who have offered support for our testing programme following my email of yesterday; I will contact each in turn over the next few days.

We will need a team of staff to begin the testing of students and staff prior to February half-term and will then need to expand our resources when students return to school next half-term.

You will have seen and read today about the proposed scrapping of most, if not all, A' level and GCSE exams this summer. We have been told to expect a more detailed announcement from the Secretary of State tomorrow, but it is clear there will be significant changes to the planned programme of exams for students this year. When the picture on this is clearer, I will let you know.

I will send another update in a few days' time when the dust has settled a bit more on current events, but please remember to email me directly if you have any questions or feedback at any time. Please use the school admin email address and mark your message 'FAO Mr Wilding.'

I am very aware of the amount of time many of our students will have had away from school by the end of this latest lockdown and the effect this will have had on their physical and mental health. As a school, we remain committed to doing what we can to help all our students to cope with this latest challenge until we, hopefully, begin to see some light at the end of the tunnel by mid to late Spring.

Enjoy your evening.

Keep safe.

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Go4Schools Issues

Posted 5th January 2021

Go4Schools Issues

Please be aware that Go4Schools is currently experiencing some technical difficulties.

We have checked with Go4Schools and they are currently investigating the issue.

Other LCS Systems should be unaffected.

Thank you for your patience.

Update from Mr Wilding - 4th January

Posted 4th January 2021

To all parents and carers.

Good evening from LCS.

Thank you all for your support ahead of the start of this term. It was a hectic last few days of the school holiday in preparation for today, but things in school have gone as smoothly as we could have hoped for. I hope all students have been able to access their remote learning and have completed tasks to the best of their ability today.

I am aware of a national broadcast being made by the Prime Minister this evening and that Scotland have already announced a 'lockdown', with schools closed until at least the start of February. On that basis, what I am asking in my email this evening may need to change; I know as much as you do at the moment.

As you will be aware, schools have been asked to support a mass Covid-19 testing programme for students and staff, to identify asymptomatic cases and to limit the time students need to be away from school in self-isolation. We have started to put our testing facility into place and will be resourcing this over the next few days, ahead of receiving further information nationally and locally, from Derby City Council. If the plans for testing in schools proceed as per current guidance, we will need to put together a team of staff to oversee the administration of testing. This team will come from existing school staff as well as, potentially, volunteers from our local community. My email this evening is to ask you as parents and carers whether you would be prepared, and available, to help us. More details are available on request, but the basic plan for testing would be as follows:

School would offer Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) to staff and students. Staff would be tested once per week and students identified as close contacts of positive cases would be offered daily tests for 7 days, as an alternative to self-isolation. Students from the wider school cohort would be offered tests every 3-5 days, depending on resources and available testing capacity.

LFT tests are self-administered and would be in the form of a swab taken from each student or staff member. Staff in the testing team would, therefore, be available to supervise, offer support and complete the administration for the testing process and would not be conducting the tests themselves. On-line training in the form of 6 Modules ( aprox 90 minutes in total) will be offered to all staff involved. PPE will also be provided.

Testing would likely be for around 6 hours per day, from 8am.

It would be of great benefit if all members of the testing team had experience of working with children and/or in the health profession and had an up-to-date DBS certificate, but none of these are compulsory.

At the moment, and pending further government announcements, I am asking for anyone who feels they could offer support to our testing programme to email me with their details. Please email the general school email address and mark your message 'FAO Mr Wilding re. Testing'. Please let me know if you have any experience in similar situations and the time(s) you would be available to help. I will then reply to everyone on an individual basis. If you do think you can help us, I would appreciate a reply by Wednesday 6th January.

With regards to the testing of students and staff itself, informed consent must be gained before this can take place. I will be contacting all students, parents and carers within the next couple of days with more details of the testing process and with consent forms for students (over 16 years of age) and parents/carers to complete.

Thanks again.
Keep safe.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 3rd January

Posted 3rd January 2021

To all parents and carers.

Good afternoon and Happy New Year from all at LCS. I am emailing you briefly today, as promised, to confirm arrangements for the first week of Spring Term.

With the amount of time many students have already been out of school due to Covid-19 issues since September, we will be setting work for all Year Groups next week. Our aim is to follow the same pattern of remote learning we used last term and Mrs Bunting will email all students with the programme for their Year Group. Our programme of remote learning will continue until guidelines change and as long as resources allow. If changes need to be made, parents, carers and students will be informed.

Students in Years 7-9 will have work set on Go4Schools. They should follow their normal timetable and teachers will be available during lesson times to answer any questions and/or to provide feedback. Students in Years 10-12 will have a combination of work set on Go4Schools and lessons delivered through Microsoft Teams.

Year 13 students should be preparing for their Mock Exams and teachers will be available for support during normal lesson times.

I would ask for your continued support in making sure your children work to the best of their ability with remote learning tasks. This is not an extended holiday and we expect all students to do their best to compete work set.

A small number of our most vulnerable students will be in school next week, as well as children of Key Workers. Parents/Carers have been asked to complete and return a form to confirm their child(ren)'s place; please do not send your child(ren) into school tomorrow unless you have done this.

For students who are in school next week, they should arrive in school at their usual time and at their usual entrance. When students arrive tomorrow morning, they will be directed to the classroom where they will be working for the week. Students in school will complete the same work set remotely for their Year Group, lesson times will be as normal and arrangements for the end of the school day will be as they were last term.

Food will be available in school throughout the week, although there will be a reduced menu due to the small numbers of students attending. Students eligible for Free School Meals will be provided with food in school as normal and parents/carers of those students eligible for FSM working from home will continue to be provided with on-line vouchers.

Students in school next week must only attend if they are well and not showing any symptoms of Covid-19. They must not attend if self-isolating due to Covid-19 or if they, or any member of their household, are awaiting test results.

A significant amount of our time in school next week will be taken up with planning for Covid-19 testing of students and staff. Details of our plans for this will be communicated as soon as possible.

I anticipate sending several email updates to you in the next week and will try my best, as ever, to maintain open and honest communication at all times. Please continue to monitor your emails, as well as our social media sites for regular updates.

Best wishes.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 31st December

Posted 31st December 2020

To all parents and carers.

Good morning everyone.

You will be aware of the latest guidance for schools from Monday 4th January, which again changes our previously published plans for students returning at the start of next term. School will now only be open next week for vulnerable students and children of Key Workers, with all other students working remotely from home. The current plans are for students in Y11 and Y13 to return to school from 11th January, with other Year Groups returning from 18th January.

Further details of Remote Learning will be emailed to students, parents and carers ahead of next Monday, so please continue to check your emails over the next few days.

You will also no doubt be aware of well publicised government plans for schools to begin testing of students for Covid-19 from the start of next term. We have been informed that testing kits and appropriate PPE will begin to be delivered to school from 4th January, but I am sure you can all understand what a massive challenge the organisation of this will be for a school the size of LCS. On this basis, I would respectfully request you continue not to ask us about our plans for testing and that you await further communication from school next week.

I hope you have had a great holiday so far and I wish you all the best for the new year.

Keep safe.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 18th December

Posted 18th December 2020

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

To all parents and carers.

I had hoped by leaving my last email update to the afternoon of the penultimate day of term, there was little chance of any government announcements requiring us to change our plans.  Unfortunately, I was mistaken.

With the DfE announcement from yesterday afternoon, students in Year 11 and Year 13 only will now be returning to school on 4th January, as well as vulnerable children and children of Key Workers. We are contacting parents/carers of vulnerable students today and will be emailing all parents/carers during the holidays to identify children of Key Workers where parents/carers wish them to attend school from 4th January. Current government guidance is for students in all Year Groups to return to school on 11th January.

Students in Years 7-10 and Year 12 will be provided with a program of Remote Learning for the first week of next term. Timetables will be emailed to all students and will also be posted on our website.

Apart from the reference to all students returning on 4th January, the remaining information and guidance contained in my email update from yesterday still stands. Please read the instructions carefully for reporting positive Covid-19 cases up to 24th December and we would still ask all parents/carers to report Covid-19 related absence on 4th January, regardless of Year Group.

You will also be aware of the recently announced plans for testing of students and staff for Covid-19 in schools from the start of next term. We are seeking further clarification on the implications of this for us as a school and will be releasing further details from January 4th.

During the school holiday, I have been asked to remind all students, parents and carers of the current Tier restrictions for Derby. These can be found on the DCC website at https://www.derby.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid19/coronavirus-guidance/

Thank you.

Keep Safe.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Update from Mr Wilding - 17th December

Posted 17th December 2020

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

To all parents and carers.

In my message today, I have outlined the procedure for contacting school with information of positive Covid-19 tests after Friday December 18th.

As students in Year 8, 9 and 10 are already working from home and will have had no contacts in school for at least 7 days by Friday 18th December, the following applies to parents/carers of students in Year 7, Year 11 and Sixth Form only.

The DfE guidance is as follows:

  •  For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms within 48 hours of being in school, the school is asked to assist in identifying close contacts and advising self-isolation, as the individual may have been infectious whilst in school.
  • Where a pupil or staff member tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school should not be contacted. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
  • School staff are not asked to remain on-call or conduct any contact tracing more than 6 days after the final day of teaching. Where a schools last teaching day is on Friday 18 December, there should be no pupil contact tracing asks beyond Thursday 24 December.

If your child develops Covid-19 symptoms before the evening of Sunday 20th December and then receives a positive test result, you should call or email school, using our normal contact numbers. A recorded message will be left on our phone and email system, including a telephone number for parents/carers to text the following information:

  • Name and Year Group of the child.
  • Date and time they were first symptomatic.
  • Date and time of positive test result being received.

This dedicated number for reporting Covid-19 cases will be available from Saturday 19th to Thursday 24th December from 9am to 11am. Please only text during these times.

Once the information has been received via text, a member of school staff will call the parent/carer to clarify details and to take names of potential close contacts. School staff will then identify further close contacts by referencing lesson seating plans.

When close contacts are identified, parents/carers will be informed by email. All parents and carers of students in Year 7, 11 and Sixth Form should, therefore, continue to check their emails until Thursday 24th December.
If we have no email address in school for a parent/carer, one phone call will be made in an attempt to make contact. After that, a letter will be sent by post.

 

The following applies to all students at the start of term on Monday January 4th

As things stand, all students in all Year Groups should return to school on Monday 4th January 2021. ***PLEASE SEE SUBSEQUENT UPDATE REGARDING WHICH YEAR GROUPS SHOULD ATTEND SCHOOL ON MONDAY 4TH JANUARY***

If your child has any symptoms of Covid-19 on Monday 4th January, you must not send them to schoolYou must also not send them to school if they have been advised to isolate by NHS Track and Trace, or if they or any members of your household have tested positive for Covid-19 or are awaiting a test result.

Please telephone school on the morning of 4th January to report your child's absence and keep them at home until their period of self-isolation has ended.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Phone System Transition - Thursday 17th December

Posted 16th December 2020

On Thursday 17th December, LCS will be transitioning to a new internal phone system.

As part of this process, the school’s phone number 01332 513219 will be transferred to the new system.  The transfer is scheduled to take place between 10am and 1pm.

During this period, it is possible that anyone calling school via 01332 513219 will not have their call connected.  If this occurs, please use the temporary number 01332 978 300 .   This number will act as a contingency until the main school number has transferred.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Update from Mr Wilding - 15th December

Posted 15th December 2020

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

To all parents and carers.

With just a few days left until the end of term, I wanted to send a positive email update today, instead of my usual Covid-19 dominated messages.

Despite all the challenges we have faced this term, I think it is important to remember and celebrate everything we have achieved together as a school and to praise students and staff for their resilience during such challenging times.

Students in all year groups have settled back into a routine of attending school this term. This shouldn't be underestimated as an achievement, given the length of time most students were absent through the first lockdown of spring and early summer this year. For students to have returned as positively as they have and for them to have made such progress is a tribute to their resilience and to the support of yourselves, as parents and carers.

I would like, also, to pay tribute to all LCS staff, who have worked tirelessly to keep the school open and to continue supporting students to progress academically and emotionally. This term we have developed and improved upon our Remote Learning programme, something no school had the capacity for until recent months. We have also successfully introduced a new system for Parents' Evenings which, again, none of us thought we would ever have the need for prior to this year.

We have been lucky as a school to have the support of the majority of our parents, carers and the wider community, but it has been hurtful and frustrating to read some comments in the press both nationally and locally criticising schools and teachers during this time. As someone who has been in teaching since 1993, I can never remember a more challenging time for all of us and as a wise person once said "before you abuse, criticise and accuse, then walk a mile in my shoes" - actually, I think that was Elvis Presley!

As well as our work managing Covid-19 in school this term, I also want to inform you all of two significant achievements for LCS in the past few weeks. Two weeks ago we received confirmation that we have successfully gained Bronze Status in the Carnegie Centre of Excellence for Mental Health in Schools School Mental Health Award. This is something Mrs Craven and our wellbeing team have been aiming to achieve over the past year and is a sign of our ongoing commitment to support students and staff with their wellbeing and mental health.

Secondly, in a recent article published in The Times newspaper, LCS was ranked as the 11th best school in the East Midlands (249 in the country) based on 2019 A Level (A*-B) and GCSE (9-7) results. This is more impressive when schools with selective intakes are removed, as LCS would then be ranked 3rd in East Midlands comprehensive secondary schools.
We will never say we are perfect as a school and we are always looking to improve, but to receive recognition for the work we do is always reassuring and motivating.

As we near the end of term, for students in school our plan remains to finish term on Friday 18th December, with the following finish times:

  • Year 7 - 1.45pm
  • Year 11 - 1.35pm
  • Year 12 and 13 - 12.35pm

There will be a final Assembly presentation for all students before they leave school on Friday and students working from home will have an Assembly with their Head of Year, via Microsoft Teams. Students in these Year Groups will be informed of the exact timings later this week. For students self-isolating in other Year Groups, the presentation will be made available via the school website and social media sites.

I will need to contact you again towards the end of the week, to explain how you can inform us of any students testing positive for Covid-19 at the start of the Christmas holiday, as school staff will need to remain on call to deal with close contacts until Thursday 24th December. I will update all parents and carers before the end of Friday on how to inform us if your child tests positive for Covid-19 before this time.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

Keep safe.

J. Wilding
Acting Headteacher

Positive COVID-19 Tests

Posted 14th December 2020

4 LCS students have tested positive for COVID-19. Parents/carers of close contacts have been informed, as per Public Health England prodecure.

To all parents and carers.

Positive COVID-19 Cases - Advice from Public Health England


We have today, been made aware of 4 separate positive case of Covid-19 in students. 1 of these is in Year 7, 2 in Year 10 and 1 in Year 11.

After contacting the relevant agencies, we have contacted the parents/carers of students we have identified as ‘close contacts’ of the students concerned. Following standard Public Health England procedure, parents/carers will be given advice on subsequent action they will need to take.

We know that you may find this concerning but we are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Public Health England. 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 small number of children who have been in close contact with the individual who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) have received a letter informing them that their child must stay at home for 14 days. The school remains open for Years 7, 11, 12 and 13 and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well.

We recognise that self-isolating can be difficult for some students’ wellbeing. Our website points students to relevant support https://www.littleover.derby.sch.uk/wellbeing.php but If you have any concerns about your child’s wellbeing during self-isolation please contact school so an appropriate member of staff can get in touch to support them. You can do this by emailing: contact.safeguarding@littleover.derby.sch.uk

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 10 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 does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from the nhs.uk website at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/ . If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/  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 Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

Year 8 to Move to Online Learning from Monday 14th December

Posted 11th December 2020

Due to an increased number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the year group, Year 8 will move to online learning from Monday 14th December, returning on 4th January 2021 after the Christmas break.

Mr Wilding has issued a message to all year 8 parents/carers.

To all Year 8 Parents/Carers,

Year 8 to Move to Online Learning from Monday 14th December

I am writing to let you know that due to a number of confirmed COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases in the year group in the last 48 hours, Year 8 will move to online learning from Monday 14th December, returning to school following the Christmas break on Monday 4th January

I have taken this decision in line with advice from Public Health England and Derby City Council, however I understand that this news may be worrying and disappointing.

I apologise for the disruption this causes, but please be assured that this is not a decision that has been taken lightly and that the safety of all our pupils, staff and school community as a whole is our utmost priority.

While some students in Year 8 have not tested positive or been asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, it is clear that there is a potential for significant transmission of coronavirus within the year group and home learning is the most effective way to prevent further cases. Please be reminded that if you receive advice from Public Health England to self-isolate you must do this immediately and for the full period.

The school will remain open as normal to students in the remaining year groups with extra control measures, such as enhanced cleaning, a rigorous hygiene routine, staggered arrival and departure times and designated bubble areas in place throughout the school for all students.

Derby is currently under Very High (Tier 3) local restrictions, which means no mixing of households indoors or most outdoor places, apart from support bubbles. Full details of the restrictions can be found on gov.uk/coronavirus.

Given this, I would reiterate that school bubble arrangements are not in place while students are engaged in online learning and students are not permitted to mix in each other’s households outside the school environment. Littleover is, unfortunately, experiencing a high rate of coronavirus cases as a community, so it is vital that we follow guidelines to keep ourselves and others safe.

As ever, I ask for your continued support in ensuring yourselves and your children follow simple yet effective measures to protect against the virus. We should all keep our distance, wash our hands, self-isolate and apply for a test if we have symptoms and wear a face covering, if we can.

Details of your child’s Remote Working program for next week will be emailed to them later today or on Monday morning and will also be posted on the school website.

Thank you, as ever, for your continued support.

 

J. Wilding

Acting Headteacher

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