Testing Arrangements & the Start of Term

Following the government’s updated guidance issued to schools ahead of September, we have been working through the logistics of the requirements for students receiving a negative Lateral Flow Test (LFT) twice before they return for the new academic year. I am writing to confirm the COVID19 asymptomatic testing arrangements for the Autumn term. Please read the following information below which explains the arrangements for each year group.

As children and young people return to the classroom, following the summer holidays and the further easing of restrictions, we need to be sure that potential COVID19 cases are found as quickly as possible and measures are put in place to prevent the virus spreading throughout the school community. From 16th August, if Step 4 of the roadmap goes ahead, these measures will no longer include the self-isolation of close contacts if they are under age 18 or have had both doses of the vaccine. This makes regular testing even more important.

Testing Arrangements & the Start of Term

Year 7

Year 7 students will be offered two tests onsite at school to ensure they are confidently and correctly administering the tests, which have not been offered to them at primary school.

The school will therefore open on Tuesday 31st August only for Year 7 to attend to take a LFT. Students do not need to be in uniform and separate details regarding arrival times will be sent separately to parents.

Providing the LFT is negative, students can attend their Year 7 Induction Days on Thursday 2nd September and on Friday 3rd September, attending in full school uniform. They will be the only year group in school on these days and timings of the day will be sent in a separate letter from Mrs Clout, Head of Lower School.

If students have received two negative LFT results, they will then attend for a normal school day on Monday 6th September, arriving for an 8.30am start and making their way to their form room.

Years 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13

All other students will start the term on Monday 6th September at 8.30am and should take two LFT at home prior to this. These should be taken least 48 hours apart with the second test no later than the morning of 6th September. Providing the LFT results are negative, students in Years 8 & 9 should line up in form groups on the small playground; students in Years 10 and 11 should line up in form groups on the large playground. Students in Years 12 and 13 will go directly to the Sixth Form Centre. If either LFT result is positive, a PCR test should be taken and the student should isolate until the result of that test is known.

It remains very important that our students and staff continue to test at home, twice a week. From September we will continue to provide test kits, but if you find you do not have sufficient supply to cover the summer holiday period, test kits can be ordered online or collected locally. More information is available here.

One in three people who test positive for Covid-19 do not have symptoms and so regular asymptomatic testing continues to be a vital part of our response to managing the virus. This new testing approach is designed to minimise the spread of Covid-19 and support more learners to remain in face-to-face education, which is our top priority.

I would like to once again thank you for your support during a year which has once again proved challenging for us all and wish you and your families an enjoyable and safe summer.