A good return to school
Thanks to all parents and Carers for supporting a good return to school.
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope your families remain safe and well, particularly as we see Covid rates rising in our area.
A self-isolating student has tested positive
I just wanted to let you know that one of our students has tested positive for Covid. I have spoken to the student, who is well, and sent them and their family our warmest wishes and unequivocal support.
However, I want to reassure you that this student self- isolated with their family over two weeks ago after someone they were in contact with tested positive. They have only tested positive themselves this week and so does not pose any risk to students, staff or the community since they have remained isolated throughout this time. I am sure you would want to join me in wishing them well.
This should act as a warning, if it were needed, of how prevalent the virus is and so can I please ask that over half term students exercise caution about who, and how, they mix with others to ensure they and their families stay safe.
We continue to contact Public Health England about any possible cases or links and will always follow their advice.
Our thanks to parents and carers for letting us know as soon as they have a query relating to Covid. If you do need to self-isolate, please let your child’s Head of Year know as soon as possible so that we can talk to your child’s teachers in order to get work set and support your child with remote education.
This week we have been making phone calls to students and their parents/carers who are self-isolating to find out how their remote learning is going. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive so far, however, please do get in touch with us if the work is too easy, too hard or you can’t access it.
If, during half term, your family or child develops Covid symptoms, your child has a test which is positive or is linked to someone who tests positive and so you need to self-isolate, please contact the College preferably via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find our remote learning plan on our website at https://www.exmouthcollege.devon.sch.uk/closure-info
Please note that should we go into a higher Tier, for as long as we are allowed to do so, we will accept Key Worker and Vulnerable Students at whatever tier our locality is operating. We also have plans in place to ensure that if the country should go into a “circuit break” for two weeks we will continue to provide education, both onsite and at home, for all students.
As I have previously said thanks to all the students for engaging so well in wearing their face coverings. This has been a brilliant effort and we are really proud of the way students have responded to this request.
Whilst standing on the bridge congratulating students on wearing the face coverings, I have noticed far more students eating as they cross presumably so they don’t have to wear their mask which does defeat the purpose a little. Can you please encourage your child to only eat when they are in collection points since I don’t want to restrict eating to only certain areas but will have to do that if the numbers eating rather than wearing masks continues to increase from a small minority.
PE kit and hoodies
The vast majority of students continue to wear the uniform correctly and with pride though we are noticing some students who think they can wear a hoodie to school. This is not allowed, however cold it gets, since a student can wear thermal shirt(s) under their school shirt, jumper and coat.
In addition, if students are coming to school in their PE kit they should be wearing either the school PE hoodie or their school jumper with black tracksuit bottoms. Please do not allow your child to wear a fashion hoodie over their PE kit.
We do not wish to confiscate items but after half term we will have no choice if a few students persist in wearing these items.
Online parents’ evenings and open evenings
This week saw us host a very successful virtual open evening for prospective Year 6 students. The evening involved some presentations as well as a film that we put together to highlight the range of subjects students can study at the College. If you are interested, you can view this on the College’s You Tube channel. We are currently preparing a similar virtual open evening for our Year 11 students about their options for studying with us in Post-16 – watch out for more details shortly!
Next half term will also see us hold our first online parents’ evening for Year 12 so please watch out for further details which will be released on Friday 23rd October at 6pm. It is then our intention to roll this out to other groups for the remainder of the academic year if required.
£17 million of building development due to start shortly
Work is continuing to progress with regard to our major new building development on Green Close. This project has now passed through planning and looks set to start at Easter. This build is costing £13.2 million and will provide a new Learning Resources Centre, 450 seat auditorium, new gymnasium, three new drama studios, five new laboratories, six new Design Technology rooms, 13 new teaching rooms for Humanities teaching, two new ICT rooms, associated changing rooms, reception area and very importantly lots of new student toilets. This is a really exciting project which will transform the educational experience for students and staff.
Meanwhile on the Gipsy Lane site, at a cost of £3.4million, work will start in January on Phase 2 of the Maths block which will bring all the Maths teaching together in one space as well as providing some additional food hall space for our Key Stage 4 students.
Once again, many thanks for all your support and feedback over the past half term. These are difficult times for many people across the country and our students, staff and community are showing enormous resilience and a gritty determination to support each other during this period. I have no doubt this sense of togetherness will continue for as long as the virus is with us.
I hope you and your families have a restful break from school.
As ever, keep looking after yourselves, and each other.