Message from the Executive Headteacher

23rd July 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

As we come to the end of another extraordinary year there is much for us to celebrate. Our school community has worked well together to overcome the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and our young people have flourished. We are proud of all of our students’ achievements this year and the resilience they have shown through some really difficult times.

Year 11

We have rearranged their Prom to take place at The Queens Hotel on Friday 10th September. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us all to celebrate their hard work and achievements this year. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our Year 11s to receive their GCSE results on Thursday 12th August. More information about their Prom and Results Day will follow from Miss Ghose next week.

End of term Celebrations

Although we were unable to go to The Mountbatten Centre for our end of term assembly, we celebrated our students’ successes virtually instead. It was wonderful to see so many students dial in from home! Huge congratulations to all of our award winners and to Temeraire House who are our House Cup winners this year!

Site Improvements

As well as ongoing improvements to our site over the summer, I am really excited to share information with you about two building projects we have started this week. With our student numbers continuing to rise year on year, we are now in the position of having to utilise all of the classroom spaces in our school.

Our first major project is the renovation of our lower ground floor which has not been used for a number of years. With significant investment from the local authority and our school, we are creating a bespoke area that will be our new Compass Centre. It will include a kitchen, hair and beauty salon, a classroom and a number of intervention spaces. The scale of the project means this will not be ready for the start of term but we are confident it will be open by October half term at the very latest.

Our other project is the renovation of our Art and Technology classrooms and workshops. This area is being developed to include a photography studio, a new dark room, ceramics studio, kiln rooms and spaces to offer a wider range of Art and Design subjects to support our growing curriculum offer in this area. This will be completed in time for our students return in September.

Finally, early on in the next academic year we are replacing our redundant tennis courts with a brand-new multi-use games area (MUGA). This is a significant financial investment for the school which will give us a 9-a-side football space and tennis/netball courts which will support our PE team to deliver a wider number of sports. We will also be making this new area available for external lettings as we want our facilities to benefit our wider community, too.

September

We have been reviewing the new government guidance for schools for next academic year now that the nation has moved to Step 4 of the roadmap out of lockdown. I am very pleased to be able to share our plans to return to a new, safer form of normal schooling in September.

We will revert to our normal school timings and will no longer have a staggered start to the day. Our gates will open as normal at 8.30am every day and all students must be in their first lesson by 8.50am. Our strengthened hygiene measures and routines will be maintained. School trips within England and abroad can now resume so we are excited to be launching our new Activities Week booklet in September.

In line with national expectations, anyone with coronavirus symptoms must arrange a PCR test and self-isolate, along with all members of their household, until the results are known. From 16th August 2021, all children, as well as any adults who have had a double vaccination, will no longer need to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with coronavirus. Instead, children and adults will be contacted by NHS Track and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test.

The government has asked all secondary school aged children to complete two on site lateral flow tests 3 days apart before returning to lessons. Over the summer holidays we will be setting up our on-site testing centres again to facilitate this. Our wonderful support staff team will be running our testing centres, helping students to complete their tests.

We will begin testing on Thursday 2nd September across a one-week period, which will work alongside a phased return for students. Year 7 and 11 will now begin school on Thursday 9th September, with all other year groups back in on Friday 10th September. This will help ensure the safety of our school community and lead to a positive start to term.

Testing Schedule

‘Catch up’ sessions are available for any students who are unable to attend during their scheduled time slot.

A letter containing further details and registration cards will be sent to you next week from Miss Ghose. Remote education tasks will be set for students to complete during the first week. We are well rehearsed in carrying out on-site testing now, so please don’t worry.

 

Foreign Travel Advice

I am pleased to reiterate the government’s advice regarding foreign travel this summer:

Please ensure any travel plans you have this summer allows sufficient time for quarantine and testing requirements so that it doesn’t impact your child’s return to school in September.

Farewells

It is the time of year where we say goodbye to some members of staff who are moving on. Mrs Shuttleworth is retiring after 16 years at the school. She is going to be missed hugely by staff and students alike, and I would like to wish her a very healthy and happy retirement.  We also say goodbye to Mr Morrison and wish him well in his new job. Mr Lewis, a member of our IT support team, begins University in September and we wish him all the best for the next stage of his education.

Key dates for the Autumn term

Our school calendar, containing all key dates, will be available on our school website to view during the summer holidays. However, some key dates for the first half of the Autumn term are as follows;

  • Thursday 2nd September: INSET Day and start of on-site testing
  • Thursday 9th September: Years 7 and 11 only (as per the plan above)
  • Friday 10th September: All year groups (as per the plan above)
  • Monday 13th September: ‘Supporting your child in Year 7’ evening
  • Thursday 16th September: Year 11 Tutor Evening
  • Thursday 30th September: Open Evening
  • Tuesday 5th October: Personal Development Day 1
  • Thursday 7th October: Year 7 Tutor Evening
  • Tuesday 12th October: Activities Week Parent Information Evening

 

Thank you for your continued support this year, but especially during our period of lockdown. As a mother myself, I do not underestimate the challenges of home schooling! Trafalgar School is an incredibly special community and one I am proud to lead every day. My staff and I cannot wait to safely welcome your children back to school in September.

Have a wonderful summer break and please, stay safe.

Yours sincerely

Claire Copeland
Executive Headteacher

Arrangements for September 2021

What to do

Testing Schedule

School closures

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

Home Learning – In event of self isolation/school closure

The school has established a Google Classroom for students and a list of other online resources for use at home, in the event of students having to self isolate/school closure. Click Here

How families can cope with self-isolating together

Please see attached article with suggestions on how to structure the days in the event of a school closure. We will keep you fully informed of any changes. BBC: Coronavirus: How families can cope with self-isolating together

Help with food

The Salvation Army can provide up to 3 food parcels without a voucher: Haven Community centre, Lake Road, PO1 4HA: Tuesday 1-3pm, Friday 10am-12pm.

Helpline

The DfE have also launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline as follows: 24/3/20: The Universities of Oxford and Reading have put together a resource containing advice around supporting young people at a time when anxiety and worry will likely be high. You can find the resource on the Emerging Minds website here: https://emergingminds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_advice-for-parents-and-carers_20.3_.pdf

Portsmouth School Nursing Service

Portsmouth School Nursing Service continues to provide non-emergency health related advice and support

eg. sleep, bedwetting, healthy weight, soiling, emotional health and wellbeing, additional and long term health conditions.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s health or development then please contact us by

Telephone –03001236629 or Text us on 07491163276

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers (NSPCC) The NSPCC has created a number of resources to support parents and carers during this difficult time. Topics include:

  • Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
  • Parents working from home
  • Children staying home alone
  • Lockdown and separated parents
  • How to cope with tantrums and other difficult behaviour
The advice can be found on the NSPCC website here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents/

Updates

You can find the latest updates on COVID-19 on the Government page here:

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

On the 9th March 2020, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111. The latest travel guidance can be found here:

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.

Guidance for Education Settings

They have also released the following guidance for education settings:
Coronavirus_advice_for_educational_settings_poster.pdfDownload You can read the advice given to schools by the Government on the link below, including more information about the Coronavirus which will hopefully help dispel some of the myths that are going around! https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19