Head's Intro to Autumn Term
Please find below information regarding the term ahead, considering the new advice from Public Health England. As always, our goal is to continue to provide our students with a high-quality education in a calm, purposeful and safe environment.
We will continue to take a cautious approach in protecting both our students and staff. Every school will approach this differently, and we will continue to review our guidance each half-term with both the safety of the students, staff and school community as well as our ability to continue education remaining our priorities.
The school will ensure that the following ‘Control Measures’ are in place.
1. Ensure good hygiene for everyone (hand and respiratory)
- Soap, water & paper towels will be available in all toilets.
- Hand sanitiser stations will be provided in various locations around school. Students may ‘top up’ personal hand sanitiser bottles as needed. Year 7 will receive a bottle that they can clip onto their lanyards for holding sanitiser.
- “Catch it, bin it, kill it” approach. Tissues/paper towels will be provided for students. We would encourage students to bring their own tissues to school.
2. Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes
- There will remain an enhanced cleaning programme in place to manage frequently-touched surfaces. Equipment, door handles, handrails, electronic devices, kitchens and toilets will be cleaned several times a day.
- Additional daytime janitors / housekeeping operatives will have particular focus on frequently touched surfaces, student toilets and dining hall areas.
- Cleaning will be compliant with COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings outside the home including cleaning after a confirmed case of COVID-19 - (www.gov.uk)
3. Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
All areas within the school building will be sufficiently ventilated to maintain a comfortable teaching and learning environment and by opening them more fully during breaks to purge the air in the space.
- Where installed, mechanical ventilation systems have been adjusted to “fresh air” intake.
- Internal and external doors will be opened to increase throughput of air if safe to do so.
- CO2 monitors will identify where ventilation needs to be improved (being provided by DfE in September).
- Students will continue to be allowed to wear their coats in lessons.
4. Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID19
- We will continue to follow public health advice on when to self-isolate & what to do
- No-one should come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of passing on COVID (for example, they are required to quarantine).
- If anyone in school develops COVID symptoms, Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (www.nhs.uk), however mild, they will be sent home & advised to follow public health advice.
- If a student with COVID –19 symptoms is awaiting collection, they will remain in a room supervised by a member of staff. A window will be opened for fresh air ventilation. Appropriate PPE should also be used if close contact is necessary. Any rooms used will be cleaned after the student has left.
- The household (including any siblings) should follow the PHE stay at home guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are:
- a high temperature – 37.8C (100.4F) or higher
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Any students, staff members or other adults will be asked not to come into school if they have symptoms, have had a positive test result or other reasons requiring them to stay at home due to the risk of them passing on COVID-19 (for example, they are required to quarantine).
If anyone in our school community develops COVID-19 symptoms, they will need to go home and follow public health advice.
Students who show symptoms of COVID-19, will be asked to go home from school. A member of staff will contact parents to arrange immediate pick up. It is important therefore that we have the most up-to-date contact details for parents/carers. If your number has changed, please advise the school office in the first instance.
Important changes regarding COVID-19 positive cases
From September we are no longer required to facilitate track and trace and advise parents/carers of any positive cases. Instead, NHS Track and Trace will contact positive cases and ask them to identify their close contacts. Close contacts are no longer required to isolate if:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Instead, close contacts will be advised to take a PCR test within 2 days and continue to come to school as normal. We are led to believe that students will receive a text message and NHS Test and Trace will contact any close contacts.
We ask that you continue to inform us of any positive cases using the attendance line 0208 647 8294 (Option 1).
Asymptomatic Testing in School – Lateral Flow Devices (LFD)
We have been requested to carry out 2 x LFD tests for students as part of the return to school. Please check the school website for full details on the staggered start over the first 2 days. Full details can be found here.
Asymptomatic Testing at Home – Lateral Flow Devices (LFD)
Students and staff who have opted in will continue to be supplied with LFD test kits to self-swab and test themselves twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday) at home as a further preventative measure. We ask that you continue to use Test Register to inform us of the result. This will remain in place until further advice is provided from Public Health England.
Details on how to opt-in and how to use Test Register will be made available to new parents/carers joining us week commencing Monday 6th September.
Students with a positive LFD test result should self-isolate in line with the Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Anyone who has previously received a positive COVID-19 PCR test result should not be re-tested within 90 days of that test, unless they develop any new symptoms of COVID-19.
Bubbles / Assemblies
We will continue to keep students in year group bubbles and assemblies will remain online for the foreseeable future.
As per the guidance we are expected to maintain a ‘contingency framework’ should there be an outbreak of COVID-19 in the school. One of the key components of this framework will be for students to return to bubbles. However, it is less disruptive and safer for students if we remain in bubbles for now, rather than forcing students back into bubbles in the unfortunate circumstances of an outbreak. We will continue to monitor the situation and make amendments in due course.
It is no longer compulsory for our staff or students to wear face coverings. However, we maintain that we strongly recommend students bring a mask to school and wear it in areas such as PE changing rooms, corridors, communal areas etc.
Students will be allowed to wear masks in classrooms and at any time during the school day if they feel more comfortable doing so. This will also be the case for staff.
School Start and Finishing Times
8.10am – School buildings open. No students will be allowed on site before
8.10am. Students should wait at the relevant entrance for their year group and the gate will be opened at 8.10am.
3pm – school finishes (Monday – Thursday).
2.35pm school finishes (Friday only)
Arrival and Dismissal
Students must enter and leave via the following gates:
Year 7/8/10 – Wrythe Lane entrance (via the gate in the adjacent park)
Year 9/11/12/13 – West Street entrance (opposite Harris Juniors school)
Please note we are no longer using Colston Avenue as an entrance.
Attendance at School
The latest communications from DfE state that:
“School attendance is mandatory, and the usual rules continue to apply, including:
- a parent’s duty to ensure that their child attends regularly at school, where the child is a registered pupil at schools
- schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow-up absence
- the ability for schools and local authorities to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct”
You will see from the guidance that those who were categorised as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) should return to school and follow the same control measures as all other students unless they are one of the very small number of children and young people under paediatric or other specialist care who have been advised by their clinician or other specialist not to attend.
We understand that some students will be anxious about returning to school. In the most severe cases Heads of Year will work closely with parents/carers to create an action plan to facilitate returning to school. Please contact your daughter’s Head of Year in the first instance to discuss any reasonable requirements.
Break and Lunch times
Year groups will continue to take their break and lunch in their own dedicated area. We have invested in a new snack shack over the summer holidays so there is parity of service in both areas. However, please note that the snack shack building will not be completed for the first 2 weeks of term and there will be no hot food for Years 8 and 11. Instead, cold food such as sandwiches will be available. This delay is due to the lack of availability of the materials required for its construction. We hope to resume a full service for Years 8 and 11 after the first 2 weeks. If there is any further delay, we will communicate this as soon as possible.
Year 7 - Canteen
Year 8 - Snack Shack
Year 9 - Canteen
Year 10 - Canteen
Year 11 - Snack Shack
Year 12 - Common Room / Canteen
Year 13 - Common Room / Canteen
Students are not permitted into other year group areas at either break or lunchtime.
Unfortunately, we will not be offering a breakfast club in the first half-term. We will review this again in October and keep you updated of any changes.
Visiting the School
We request that parents/carers continue to not visit the school unless they have an appointment, or it is necessary or an emergency. The school office will be able to answer any queries that you may have (0208 647 8294), and Heads of Year can be contacted via e-mail. Email addresses for staff can be found here.
Students should arrive to school from now on wearing their full, correct school uniform. There is no longer a need for students to wear their PE kit to school. Students will change into their kit for PE and Dance lessons in changing rooms.
Summer Work (Year 8 – 13)
All year groups were set work to complete over the summer holidays. We expect this work to be completed fully and handed in on the first lesson back in that subject. Where this work has not been completed an after-school detention of 30 mins will be set for each piece that is not handed in.
Our newsletter will continue fortnightly from September, but it will combine all year groups together from now on, so you have a fuller flavour of life here at Carshalton High School for Girls. The last newsletter of each half-term will have a curriculum focus from each of the departments within the school, so you are more informed on what students have been studying over the past half-term in each year group. I will also write fortnightly with continued updates and key notices.
Further information regarding the clubs on offer will be sent out in due course. We expect all clubs and fixtures to return to normal as soon as possible in the first few weeks of our return.
We are all looking forward to welcoming our students back from Monday 6th September onwards and we cannot wait to get into the new academic year. We are hoping for as much normality and as great a student experience as we can muster this year, however we must keep the safety of our students and staff at the forefront of our minds.
You will see from the guidance that there is a greater expectation on us to press forwards, but I believe that patience and taking the right steps moving forward will allow us to continue with education and keep our students safe. Our planning and actions over the past 18 months have led us to having one of the lowest rates in this area and we must continue to ensure that is the case, for the good of everybody.