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The Ebbsfleet Academy

The Ebbsfleet Academy

March Return to School

COVID Testing FAQs

  • Students attending on Thursday 4th March and Friday 5th March for testing should wear their full school uniform.  Current Government guidance indicates that you should only travel for essential purposes and by wearing their uniform it shows the students have a legitimate reason to be out in public.
  • Those unable to attend on these days and all other year groups will be tested on their first day in school.
  • Students should enter the school via the hall doors and wait in the school hall to be escorted to the testing area in the conference room.
  • Once students have completed their test and received their result they will be able to return home.
  • We have allocated one hour slots, but I must stress, that as this is the first time that we have undertaken testing of this scale, this may take longer.
  • Participation in testing is voluntary – students will be able to attend school without being tested.
  • Only students for whom we have received consent will be tested.
  • If you have not yet given consent and now want to do so please email admin@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk
  • Even if we have the consent to test if a student declines the testing on the day they will not be forced to have the test.
  • Swabbing of the throat and nose will be conducted by the student on themselves.  Staff will be on hand to offer guidance and reassurance to the students.
  • If your child has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past they do not need to take a further test until 90 days after their isolation finished.  This is due to the fact that a false positive result may show.   If they wish to participate in testing they can do so, but should be aware that if they test positive again they will still be required to self isolate.
  • Each student will complete 3 tests in school to ensure they are confident with conducting the tests.
  • Students who test positive will be isolated and parents will need to collect them.
  • All students that test positive will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days, with day 1 being the next day.
  • If an individual is identified as a close contact of a positive case they will be asked to self-isolate - even if they have had Covid-19 within the last 90 days.
  • After the third test in school, students will be issued with home test kits.  These will have full instructions on how to conduct the tests.
  • Parents/Carers must inform the Academy immediately if a child tests positive after taking the test at home by calling Ms Fry, the attendance officer on 01322623100 or by emailing admin@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk
  • The Academy will retain a testing station within school.  If you would prefer your child to be tested in school rather than conduct home testing please email admin@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk

Please watch our video update about the return to school which contains a summary of the information below:

 

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Dear Families,

I hope that you and your family are safe and well.  You will have seen the Prime Minister’s announcement, that schools across England will reopen on Monday 8th March 2021. At present, we are finalising the arrangements for the reopening, which includes an expansion of our coronavirus testing site within school.

We will be testing all staff and students, who have consented, as they return to school.  Each student will be tested three times (3 – 5 days apart) from this week onwards. Within the Prime Minister’s announcement, he said that schools can stagger the reopening for students, to ensure that the roll out of testing can be completed effectively. Testing students for coronavirus is a challenge for all secondary schools across the country.  This is a huge undertaking and I thank you in advance for your patience with this.   Guidelines also allow for testing prior to March 8th in order to ease the impact on the return to school.

Therefore if you have completed a consent form for your child to be tested they should attend at the following times for their first test. The students will only be on site for their test and they will leave once their test result has been confirmed.  Students in Year 9, 10, 11 and EA6 students should attend as indicated at the date and time below.  All other year groups will be tested on their return to school.

Thursday 4th March

Year 11

1pm

Surname A - D

Year 11

2pm

Surname E - M

Year 11

3pm

Surname N - Z

Friday 5th March

Year 10

11am

Surname A - M

Year 10

12 noon

Surname N - Z

Year 9

1pm

Surname A - M

Year 9

2pm

Surname N - Z

EA6

3pm

All students

If your child is unable to attend at these times they will be tested on their first day back in school.

During the next week, we will continue to prepare for the return of students and I have asked staff to attend school in person on Thursday 4th March and Friday 5th March, to ensure that we are all ready to welcome our students back to school the following week.   

On these school days, students will be working off timetable on a variety of tasks that teachers will set to complete for that day.  Students will be required to log in at tutor time at 8.40am to receive their instructions for the day.  These tasks are screen free learning tasks designed to support their physical and mental well being.  There will not be any live remote lessons during these days.  Remote, live lessons will resume on Monday 8th March for any student not in school.

With the return of students to school, we will continue with the arrangements that we had put in place during the autumn term to reduce the risk of transmission. Even though cases increased towards the end of term, we did not have any major outbreaks. We need to redouble our efforts more than ever and every person within our school community can play their part in reducing the risk of coronavirus.

There are some new rules that students need to follow, but many of the messages are the same as before. The biggest change for students is the wearing of face coverings. It will now be an expectation that students wear their face covering whenever they are inside any of the school buildings, including in lessons. This is not optional, unless a student has a medical exemption.   If your child has a medical exemption that we have not been made aware of please email admin@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk  All exempt students will be issued with a school lanyard.  Sunflower lanyards will not be accepted.

We will continue to follow government guidance when dealing with a student who tests positive for coronavirus. We will implement our close proximity plan and ask any student who has been in close contact with the affected person during their infectious period to self-isolate for 10 days. Parents will be notified if their child needs to self-isolate.

I must stress, that if your child has symptoms of COVID-19 (or anyone within your household) as described by government officials, then they must self-isolate and must not attend school. Please do not send your child to school to take a test, knowing that they are symptomatic. The testing in schools is specifically for students who are asymptomatic (where they don’t have any symptoms).

The biggest concern for all schools is trying to minimise contact between students and to ensure that they social distance from each other where possible. Within lessons, students sit next to each other, facing the same way, which reduces the risk of face-to-face close contact. This will continue. Please can you talk to your child about the importance of social distancing and following instructions first time.  The strategies that we have put into place are extensive, but can only be effective if we all abide by the rules.

As a reminder, the strategies in place to reduce transmission of coronavirus are;

  • The installation of hand sanitiser dispensers, at strategic points in every corridor across the school
  • Antibacterial wipes in every classroom within the school
  • Installed fencing between each outside year area, so that students cannot enter another zone
  • One way systems on stairwells, and stay to the left enforced on corridors
  • Each year group has their own separate area within the canteen and communal indoor areas
  • Each year group has their own separate toilet area and separate playground
  • Installed new signage throughout the school to remind students and staff of the importance of good hygiene
  • Cleaning staff working throughout the school day, regularly cleaning toilets, surfaces, light switches, door handles
  • Introduced new routines during the start and at the end of the day, to reduce contact between different year groups and therefore reducing the risk of infection
  • All students will now wear their PE kits on the days they have PE lessons.   They must wear their blazer over the top of their PE kit.

The Department for Education had been lenient during the autumn term with parents who did not send their child to school, but this will change with the full return to school. School attendance will be compulsory. All schools have been told to follow up non-attendance as they normally would have before the pandemic, including using external agencies to ensure that students attend school.   Although we must abide by the law, we hope that we will not need to resort to escalating such measures and want to continue to work with students and their families to ensure that they attend school and try to overcome any anxieties or concerns that you or your child may have.

Our critical worker and vulnerable student provision will continue operate every day until all students are back in school.  Students who have been attending during the lockdown should continue to do so.  However if, in light of the changed learning structure, you are happy for them to learn from home for the final few days please let me know they will not be attending ASAP by emailing admin@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk  

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your fantastic support and the role that you have played in supporting your child with their home learning.  The Ebbsfleet Family are all appreciative of your efforts.

If you have any concerns or questions about your child’s return to school please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Pastoral Team who will be happy to assist you.  They can be contacted via email on:

Scott House                        taylork@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk

Sharman House                hickh@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk

Drake House                      whitehousev@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk

Bell House                           standena@theebbsfleetacademy.kent.sch.uk

Take care and keep safe.

Yours faithfully,

 

Gurjit Kaur Shergill

Principal

Summary of key dates toward return to school after lockdown:

Return to school important dates

Date

Learning

Testing

1st March until Wednesday 3rd March

Whole school Google Classroom learning

Testing preparation

Thursday 4th March

Students attend tutor time via Google Classroom

Whole school screen free learning
 

Year 11

1pm

Surname A - D

Year 11

2pm

Surname E - M

Year 11

3pm

Surname N - Z

Friday 5th March

Students attend tutor time via Google Classroom

Whole school screen free learning
 

Year 10

11am

Surname A - M

Year 10

12 noon

Surname N - Z

Year 9

1pm

Surname A - M

Year 9

2pm

Surname N - Z

EA6

3pm

All students

Monday 8th March

Year 10, 11 and EA6 learning in school
Year 7, 8, 9 remote learning via Google Classroom

Year 10 & 11 tested

Tuesday 9th March

Year 7,8 and 9 and EA6 learning in school
Year 10, 11 remote learning via Google Classroom

Year 7 & 8 tested

Wednesday 10th March

All students return to school

Extended tutor time to reiterate routines and expectations.

EA6 & Year 9 tested

Thursday 11th March

School as normal

Year 10 & 11 tested

Friday 12th March

School as normal

Year 7 & 8 tested

Monday 15th March

School as normal

EA6 & Year 9 tested

Issue of home test kits begins

Tuesday 16th March

School as normal

Year 7 & 8 tested