Letter from the Head - 16th October 2020
In this update: Some proud moments, important self-isolation reminders, and speaking success.
As you will know, week seven saw our first positive COVID-19 test at Holmleigh Park, and then another suspected case today. We had done well to make it this far without a case, and based on the information we have, the two cases appear to be completely unconnected.
Although it's been a difficult week, I've finished it feeling humbled by:
Our students - Year 7 were brave and stoic, and have settled very quickly into online learning. Their engagement is sky high with almost every single student completing five lessons a day. The rest of the school have been calm and mature too, and have not allowed this news to get in the way of their learning.
Our staff - they have taken these cases in their stride and simply carried on teaching.
Our community - I've been quite humbled by some of the messages of support that have been sent in. Teaching is difficult right now, but your messages have really lifted our staff. Thank you.
With coronavirus cases rising sharply in Gloucester, I do want to ask you again for your help in staying vigilant.
In particular, please can I remind you that students must self-isolate if anyone in their house is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or waiting for a test result. So for example, if a parent has any symptoms, the child must also stay at home until the parent has had a negative test - or self-isolate if the test is longer. This was contained in the letter from Public Health England which I sent round at the start of term; you can remind yourself of it here.
Doing this also means we can trace contacts much more easily, which may mean that instead of closing a full year group bubble, we can identify who has had close contact and send a smaller group of students home.
I fully appreciate having to keep your kids home is difficult, and it certainly doesn't help that it can take several days to book a test and get results. But it is essential as children are unlikely to display symptoms of COVID-19 if they are infected.
Finally, some positive news to finish on: Cheyanne (Year 10, Meteor) was the runner up in the Gloucestershire Famelab Final. This competition is part of the Cheltenham Science Festival, where students have to deliver a speech on a STEM topic which is particularly important to them. Cheyanne impressed the judges "with her personal story and taking us on a journey detailing how the condition was discovered."
Have a lovely weekend,