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Headteacher's update 43

Published on 23/10/20

Good afternoon everyone,

I hope you and your families are well. Thank you for continuing to support your child and our school over the course of the last half term.


Tremendous Support!

Over the last eight weeks since schools returned following the summer holidays, we have asked a lot of our students and parents/carers, and made lots of changes that have been challenging for all of us to adjust to:

  • Our school day has changed, with all students no longer having a morning break, lunchtime moving, and Year 11s in particular having a much longer day with an additional ‘period 6’ lesson.
  • We’ve asked to students to bring and wear their own face coverings, and if possible to bring hand sanitiser.
  • We’ve had to change the way we communicate key messages to students and parents/carers. We no longer run regular assemblies for students and have not been able to hold parents' evenings or information evenings as we usually would.
  • In the final week of this term we’ve unfortunately been forced to ask lots of students to self-isolate, with a number of Year 8 students and eventually all of Year 11 working at home, having received confirmation of positive cases of COVID 19 amongst students in these year groups.
  • In addition to self-isolating students, a number of our teachers have been forced to self-isolate, particularly this week if they had come into contact with the students who tested positive.

Despite the upheaval of these changes, the demands they’ve made on our students and their families, and the inconvenience some of them have caused, the support of our parents/carers has been unwavering, and as ever the vast majority of our students have responded brilliantly and have been a genuine delight to work with. Thank you!


School’s process for identifying ‘contacts’ of positive cases

Given that we’ve needed to contact a number of families to ask that students self-isolate, and had a number of questions from parents/carers regarding our processes for identifying contacts, I thought it would be helpful to explain this process to all parents.

  • To date we have relied on parents/carers of students who have tested positive to alert the school to this. Please continue to contact school if your child tests positive. If your child tests positive over the half term break, please contact:
  • When we receive a report of a positive test we:
    • Check lesson seating plans of any student who sat for more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of the positive case. These students are contacted to isolate.
    • Speak to the student who has tested positive to get details of any child who they’ve had contact with outside of lessons. Any students who are deemed a close contact are asked to isolate.
    • We also ask students who test positive when their symptoms started so that we can accurately define the ‘infectious period’ that the student was in school.
    • Contact teachers/teaching assistants of the student who has tested positive to check whether the teacher should be deemed a close contact.
  • We do not name the student who has tested positive when we contact students and parents/carers.
  • We ask that any identified contacts isolate for 14 days from the last time they were in contact with the person who has tested positive.


Returning to school in November

We look forward to welcoming our students back to school on Monday 2nd November. Please be advised that this will be a ‘week 1’ on your child’s timetable. Only a small number of students who have been contacted by us directly will need to continue their 14 day isolation period into the first week back.

Many thanks for your continued excellent support.

Joe Birkbeck
Head of Westfield School