Sir Graham Balfour School

A member of the Sir Graham Balfour Multi-Academy Trust

Parent & Carer Update - 19th March 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope this letter finds you all well, and likewise your loved ones.

We have absolutely loved welcoming our students back. School was happily full of young people by the 12th March, and our attendance has been outstanding ever since.   Whilst there was some understandable anxiety visible on the day our students returned, this was quickly replaced by their joy at being back with their friends.  The vast majority of children have settled back in very quickly; they are abiding by the Covid-safety rules in place to keep us all safe, and they are working very hard with their teachers.  Just a handful are still struggling to re-adjust to the structures and routines on which all schools run.  We are working closely with those children and you, their parents.  A few are still getting used to getting up in plenty of time for school, but hopefully they’ll get better at this from now on.  All in all, it is wonderful to have everyone back in school.

Lateral Flow Tests (Covid tests)

I want to thank you for agreeing for your children to receive the lateral flow tests we have been carrying out over the past two weeks.  Over 90% of our students have been tested three times over this time.  They have been calm, sensible and very brave throughout.  I am delighted and relieved to say that, despite a couple of close calls, we have not had a single positive case.  As you can imagine we all desperately hope that this doesn’t change and that this recent lockdown is the last one.

Your children should all have brought home their first batch of home testing kits by the time you read this.  The instructions are very clear and easy to follow, and hopefully, your children will have a good understanding of what to do. Below are a few reminders from the letter sent home earlier this week regarding carrying out the tests and reporting the results:

Testing students at home

The school will be issuing 2 packs (containing 3 tests in each box) with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results (please discard the out of date leaflet in the box and refer to the separate leaflet issued).

Taking the test

Students should take the test twice a week. There is a useful video to show you how to take the test here. Students have the option to take the test in the morning before school, or alternatively, in the evening before school, but no earlier.

There is no need to keep used test equipment after the test result has been reported. You can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

Recording the results

If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test.

Negative and void results should be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and school https://forms.office.com/r/gMDRZjTG8N

What if the result is positive?

If a student tests POSITIVE, they must immediately self-isolate, inform the school and order a confirmatory PCR test. If the PCR result is negative, then the student can return to school.

Why take part?

Taking part is voluntary and all students will be able to attend school whether they take part in testing or not.

We are strongly encouraging all students to take part to help keep themselves, their family and their friends safe.

Please contact businessmanager@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk , our COVID Coordinator, if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.

Reminder

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you must continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face covering and regularly washing your hands.

If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing.

Laptop computers

If we loaned out a laptop computer over lockdown, and you haven’t yet returned it, could you please do so throughout this next week.  Please just bring it into reception and we’ll do the rest.

Uniform issues

A reminder that full uniform needs to be worn on the days where students do not have PE.  This does include abiding by the rules regarding make-up, nail polish and hair colour.  We are very much aware that some of you may have found yourselves with reduced income due to furlough or redundancy.  If this is the case, please do get in touch with us, as we will be able to help cover some of the costs of replacement uniform.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your children and the school.  This past year has been incredibly hard on everyone and you have done a magnificent job throughout.  With the promise of spring and the rapidly increasing roll-out of vaccinations, I am very optimistic that the future is much brighter than the past 12 months have been.

All best wishes

Mrs Beck
Very Proud Headteacher of Sir Graham Balfour School

Address

Sir Graham Balfour School
North Avenue
Stafford
ST16 1NR

For Sat Nav directions:

ST16 1NJ

Phone

01785 223490

Email

office@sirgrahambalfour.staffs.sch.uk