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Message to Parents 16.04.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

We hope you have enjoyed a break with your families over the Easter period. This term we hope to be able to bring back elements of the school experience that we have been unable to offer due to COVID restrictions.

The Government released updated guidance on the 6th April in relation to the wearing of face coverings in schools.  Having undertaken their review the Government has said that secondary age pupils should continue to wear face masks when in school, where they cannot socially distance at 2m.  As such we will continue to require students to wear face masks on their way to morning registration, as they transition in corridors and in indoor social spaces, in lessons and on their way out of school at the end of the day. This is in addition to face masks being worn on all forms of school transport. The Government has suggested the need to wear face coverings in school is likely to be removed as part of ‘Step 3 of the Road Map’ due to come into force on the 17th May 2021. We will update you on this nearer the time.

We are looking forward to welcoming the students back for the summer term on Monday 19th April. Please can you ensure that you have reviewed the behaviour and uniform expectations as set out in our two previous communications. We anticipate your support with this during the term.

Please ensure that students continue to complete the LFD testing using the kits provided on a twice weekly basis (Monday and Thursday mornings).

We hope you have a lovely weekend.

With very best wishes

The Senior Leadership Team

Message to Parents 01.04.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

We wrote to you this time last year at the start of, what we thought would be, a short period of national lockdown. So much has happened in the past year. Our school community has experienced a huge range of emotions during the last 12 months and we have all been affected to different degrees but the generosity of spirit that our community possesses has not wavered. As we move into our Easter holiday, we would like to share some information with you.

LFD Testing

Please can we ask that you continue to test your children using LFD test on a twice weekly basis on a Monday and Thursday morning. Results should be sent to TestRegister and the Government test register. Please report any positive PCR results to covidpositive@jths.co.uk

The attached document has been provided by Staffordshire County Council to help with decision you may need to make should you suspect a case of COVID in your household.

School testing flow chart

Covid Testing Letter from Staffordshire County Council

We have been asked to share the following letter with you from the Director of Health and Care at Staffordshire County Council. We would also like to pass on our thanks to for the fantastic support you give to us as a school, and to your children.

SCC School letter 26.03.21

Traffic Congestion on Dunstall Road

Due to the location of the school, traffic congestion occurs at the start and end of the school day. Please can we ask parents to be considerate of other road users to ensure traffic flows as smoothly as possible during these times.

Return to school - uniform

Upon return to school, we hope that the weather will be better as we move into the summer. As such, we are asking that students do not wear outdoor coats in lessons, unless they are given specific permission by the member of staff if it is too cold. The standard expectation is that students will wear their blazers over their shirts and ties. A plain, black jumper will be permitted under the blazer, but this must be logo free and not a hoodie.

Relationships, Sex and Health Education (RSHE)

From September, we will be replacing our current PSHE programme with a new RSHE curriculum that is based on the statutory requirements as set out by the Government. We would like to garner input from yourselves about its content. Please see the attached Curriculum Map. We are using this as a starting point and would welcome any feedback you may have about the proposed content. We will speak to the students in the summer term. Content will be delivered through tutor period, morning registration and bespoke drop-down sessions (Year 11). If you have any comments to make, please forward these to the following email address: rsheconsultation@jths.co.uk.  This consultation period will close on 14th May 2021.

RSHE Consultation Information

Finally, we would like to wish you all a very happy Easter holiday. We hope that you are able to spend some quality time with friends and family. We would like to ask that students in all year groups continue to be mindful of the hands, space, face recommendations in order to reduce the risk of having to ask any students to self-isolate, especially those in examination years.

With best wishes

The Senior Leadership Team

Message to Parents 27.03.21

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we move into the final week of the school term, we would like to share the following messages with you.

Year 11, 12 and 13 Exam Board Assessments – Process

We have issued detailed instructions to parents and students to those who would have been participating in the summer exam series this year. These instructions detail the process the school will use to assign Teacher Assessed Grades to the students. As part of this, we have scheduled an assessment window beginning in early May. All the information students and parents will need can be found on the link below. We will be issuing an assessment timetable very shortly.

https://johntaylorhigh.schoolzineplus.co.uk/news?nid=146

LFD Testing Kits

This week we have issued additional LFD testing kits to the students who have consented to carrying out the tests at home. The students now have sufficient testing kits to continue to test during the Easter Holidays. This is at the request of central government. Please can we remind you to undertake these tests twice a week on Monday and Thursday mornings. We would like to express our gratitude for how well this process has been supported by yourselves and for submitting your results in a timely manner. We have noticed that the buttons for recording positive and negative results are very close together. Please take care when inputting results. If you do make an error, please do let us know as soon as possible via covidpositive@jths.co.uk.

Covid-19 Symptomatic Testing

We have been asked by the local health and protection team to recommend to families that, in the event anyone tests positive for COVID-19 using an LFD home test or is symptomatic, all members of the household should book a PCR test. Additionally, please do not use the LFD kits as a confirmatory test. They are specifically produced to identify asymptomatic cases.

Behaviour Expectations

We acknowledge that the transition of returning to school following the three-month national lockdown has proven to be challenging for some students. It is essential for all students work with staff to maintain the standards of behaviour we expect from our students at John Taylor High School. In response to the national pandemic, we have had to adapt some of the expectations we have of our students. The link below details these addendums to our behaviour for learning procedures. We thank you in advance for supporting any decisions we make in school.

John Taylor High School (jths.co.uk)

We hope that you have a good weekend.

With very best wishes

The Senior Leadership Team.

248 Bus

Two separate buses are collecting this route this morning. Please can Rosliston and Coton pupils wait at their stops until it arrives.

Message to Parents 20.03.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

We would like to apologise for the late sending of this week’s message however, we have just a couple of messages to share with you today.

LFD Testing at home

Thank you for supporting your children with completing their LFD testing. Please can we ask that students complete their home LFD testing ideally on Monday morning and Thursday evening? The reason for this is that it will support the 48 hour in-school track and trace process and identification of close contacts.

We would also like to remind parents that the home testing is to help identify any positive, asymptomatic COVID-19 cases. They should not be seen as a confirmatory test if an individual is displaying symptoms. If your child displays any of the main or precautionary symptoms, you must book a PCR test at a local authority test site and they must not attend school until the result of this test is confirmed as negative.

By way of reminder, the symptoms indicative of COVID-19 are:

  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

Precautionary symptoms may include headaches, aches and pains, feeling very tired for no good reason, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, sometimes tummy ache.

Awarding of Qualification Grades

We will confirm the process that we will use to award grades for the summer exam series very shortly. We want to ensure clarity of the process for both students, parents and staff.

We hope that you are all well and enjoy the rest of the weekend.

With best wishes

The Senior Leadership Team

Bus Route 004

We have been told that the bus has broken down. as such, there will be a 30 min delay on this route this morning. Many thanks

Bus Route 807

Due to a fire in Burton, this service has been delayed and students will arrive home later than usual.

Message to Parents 12.03.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

We would like to communicate a few key messages to you at the end of our first full week back. At the outset, we would like to say a huge thank you to the students for the way they have adapted to wearing face masks in lessons. They have been great, but they must also continue to ensure this is maintained until Easter at the earliest. Thank you for your support with this.

There are a number of key documents attached to this communication that we are asking you to read.

Behaviour

After nearly three months out of school, there will naturally be some re-adjustment to the way things work in school. We will be addressing these points through assemblies with the students during morning registration from Monday. We would appreciate your support as we guide the students into the usual school routines. We have high expectations of our students in terms of behaviour in school and outside in the local community. Particularly during the COVID restrictions, please can you impress upon the children the need to be mindful of the residents of Barton.

Attendance and Punctuality

We are really pleased with whole school attendance this week and we would like to take this opportunity to thank parents for supporting us with achieving this.

Students will receive a message via their tutors next week about the importance of punctuality for lessons and we will be asking staff to ensure that lateness is recorded for each lesson. As parents you will be able to see this on their daily timetable accessible via Go4Schools. We would like to ask that parents support us with reinforcing the importance of arriving to lessons on time.

Uniform

The current situation provides many challenges and we fully accept that accessing some items of uniform may have been challenging, especially as students have grown over the course of lockdown and many shops have been closed. We ask that as far as is reasonably possible our standard uniform is worn correctly as per our uniform guidance which is available on the school website.

We do ask for your support in ensuring that our uniform expectations are adhered to.  Specifically, hairstyles should be natural, jewellery should only be a watch and a set of single plain studs in the ears.  Sweatshirts and hoodies are not permitted as part of our uniform. If students need to wear an extra layer, they should wear a knitted plain black jumper or a knitted jumper with the embroidered school logo. Students are also allowed to wear their outer coat in lessons if they are cold.

Exams 2021

As you are aware, with the cancellation of this summer's exams, the Government have now put in place arrangements for the creation of exam grades. We have reviewed these and created a specific plan for our students in order to ensure they have the best chance of achieving the grades that they are capable of.

The newsletter on the link below contains two articles. The first one gives a summary of these national arrangements and the second details our specific arrangements as they stand. These will be updated as required and you will always be informed of these developments.

Exams 2021 - JTHS arrangements

LFD Home testing

Students whose parents have consented to their children undertaking Lateral Flow Device testing will have received their testing kits today in school. They have now completed three tests in school and will now move to twice weekly testing at home. The kits are very straight forward to use and the instructions easy to follow. Students have been provided with six testing kits to use over the next three weeks.

Please see this document for additional information on how to complete the test:

Lateral Flow - How to Test

John Taylor MAT has updated its privacy notice to reflect the use of Test Register to administer the Lateral Flow Tests at John Taylor High School. The privacy notice (https://jtmat.co.uk/privacy/privacy-notice-lateral-flow-tests/) details what data we share with third parties and our legal basis for processing your data (Consent). You are free at any time to withdraw consent or to enact any other data protection right afforded to you by contacting the school.  

If you have consented to LFD testing, you will shortly receive an email from TestRegister to activate and log into your TestRegister Account.  Please note - this email will be sent to the email address you entered on the consent form. We suggest that students carry out the LFD test on Sunday and Wednesday evening. Please upload your results to TestRegister.

Once you have registered and logged in you will be taken to the welcome screen where you can submit your result. We have been informed that the automated notification will not commence until Monday morning, but you will be able to submit results on Sunday.

Details on how to submit a test result can be found here:

Registering a Lateral Flow Device Test Result

If the test reports a positive test, please book a PCR test with a local authority test centre. Your child, and any identified close contacts, should self-isolate as per government guidelines. If the PCR test comes back as negative, your child will be free to return to school. In this instance, we would appreciate it if you could share the result of this PCR test with the school so that we can support the return to school of any close contacts.

LFD and Positive COVID case within the last 90 days

Government guidance in respect of undertaking lateral flow testing following a positive test for Covid 19 has recently changed again – current advice is that undertaking lateral flow testing is no longer required if an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 within the past 90 days.

Should parents wish their child to continue to undertake the lateral flow home testing, that is their choice. Parents should be aware that there is a risk of a false positive in this situation and also testing should never continue during a 10 day isolation period. Should parents wish their child to continue testing they  should email David.johnson@jths.co.uk & sa.murphy@jths.co.uk  and provide the child’s details – name, form, year group and the date of their positive test.

 We apologise for the length of this communication. We hope that you have a lovely weekend and are able to spend some quality family time together.

With best wishes

The Senior Leadership Team.

LFD Testing Update

Dear Parents and Carers

We would like to provide an update on the LFD testing taking place in school.

So far, we have completed in the region of 3100 LFD tests in school since Monday 1st March. As you will be aware, this has been a significant undertaking. We do want to acknowledge the super effort on the part of the testing team but also how well the students have stepped up to this task. From this testing we have confirmed three positive COVID-19 cases which have, unfortunately, resulted in a very small number of students being asked to self-isolate.

Students who are identified as testing positive via LFD testing in school, or who are identified as being in close contact with a confirmed positive case, will be required to self-isolate for a period of 10 days. Close contact is determined through class seating plans, bus seating plans and identified social contacts. It is therefore essential that students remain in their allocated seats in classrooms and transport, with their year group bubble, and wear face masks.


We are extremely pleased by the support students have shown to wearing face masks in lessons. This does help to reduce the risk of transmission. It does not, however, negate the requirement to self-isolate if identified as a close contact in school.

As such, we are asking parents not to send their children to school if they have any of the COVID-19 symptoms, which include:

  • New continuous cough
  • High temperature
  • Loss of sense of smell or taste

Precautionary symptoms may include headaches, aches and pains, feeling very tired for no good reason, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, sometimes tummy ache. Staffordshire residents are advised to book a PCR test at a local authority testing site as a precaution. Staffordshire have advised that students showing these precautionary symptoms may continue to attend school if they are well enough and only self-isolate if the PCR comes back as positive. Further information can be found here.

In any event that a child tests positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test, please report this to covidpositive@jths.co.uk.

Thank you very much for the support you provide to your children, and the school.
With very best wishes

The Senior Leadership Team

Message to Parents 05.03.2021

Dear Parents and Carers

We are very much looking forward to Monday. A phenomenal amount of work has taken pace in school to come to a point where we can welcome all the students back on Monday. We have carried out well over 2000 LFD tests during this week. The team administering this have been excellent and we want to thank them for their work with this. Most of all, we would like to acknowledge how fantastic the students have been through this process. We are so proud to be working with such polite and organised students. Everyone of them needs a treat this weekend!

Thanks also go to the students who have been working in school since January and the staff who have supported their learning in school. Again, this is another example of the amazing community that John Taylor High School is.

In preparation for Monday, please note the following information:

  • Travelling to School

All buses will be running as per the September timetable. Parents are reminded that students must wear a face mask whilst on all school transport. We are also asking that students sit in their allocated seats/with their year group bubbles. This is essential if we are to maintain the great effort in reducing the risk of any transmission. Derbyshire Transport have issued the attached document by way of reminder. This document should be read by all parents and students travelling from Derbyshire and Staffordshire.

Home to school transport guidance - March 2021

We have also been asked by the DfE to share the following with you:

  • if you live a short distance from your school or college, walk, cycle or scoot to and from school wherever it is possible and safe to do so
  • avoid sharing a car with anyone outside of your household or support bubble
  • if you are using public transport to get to school or college, plan ahead and allow more time for your journey
  • when you are travelling by public or dedicated school transport, don’t forget to:
      • wear a face covering (unless you are exempt, including if you are aged 11 and under). It is important you wear them for the entirety of your journey, including inside a bus or train station
      • social distance where possible
      • wash or sanitise your hands regularly
      • be considerate to fellow passengers and staff.
  • Face masks

As we communicated last week, we will be expecting all students to wear face masks on school site when social distancing cannot be maintained. This includes entry to school in the morning, corridors, classrooms, canteens and upon leaving the site at the end of the day.

  • COVID Symptoms

By way of reminder, please do not send your children into school if they are experiencing any symptoms of coronavirus. These include; a new, continuous cough, high temperature, loss of taste or smell. If you are concerned, you must take your child for a PCR test at a Local Authority Testing site. In the unfortunate instance that a student tests positive, please report this positive result to our designated email address – covidpositive@jths.co.uk.

  • Monday 1st LFD test

Some students have been unable to come into school this week to undertake their first LFD test. Those students have been asked to come straight to the hall as soon as they arrive on Monday to undertake their first LFD test. They should proceed to the marquee by the ‘bridge’ and wait to be invited into the hall.

  • Asymptomatic testing information for parents and adults in households with children at school or college

NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

Test kits can either be collected or ordered online, as set out below.

Undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus. Parents and other adults in households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles.

Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly:

  • through your employer, if they offer testing to employees
  • by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect 2 packs of 7 tests
  • by ordering a home test kit online – please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most

If you have any queries about the tests, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.

Testing is voluntary, but strongly recommended to all who are eligible. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates. Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other.

  • School day and zones

We will be reverting back to the pre-Christmas school day and zoning of students. This means that we will again have staggered breaks and lunchtimes. Students must be in school by 8:55am and will finish at 3:40pm.

  • Uniform and PE Kit

We are expecting students back in full uniform on Monday. We will be keeping the windows open in classrooms to aid ventilation. This means it may be cold in some rooms. As such, students can wear a plain, black jumper (not sweatshirt or hoodie) under their blazers. We will allow students to keep their outdoor coats on in lessons too. If you have any issues about uniform, please speak to your respective school office. On days when students have PE, please can you ensure that they come to school in their PE Kit. We are still not able to use the changing facilities for anything other than bag storage.

  • Home Testing – Students

We understand that home testing kits for students will arrive in school shortly. As soon as they come in, we will provide you the relevant information about how these will be used.

  • Canteen

Please see attached the menu for the canteen for the spring term.

 Canteen Menu Spring 2021

Finally, we would politely ask that you do not contact subject teachers regarding the awarding of grades for year 11 and 13. We are in the process of finalising the details of this and we will share this with you shortly.

We would like to finish off by thanking you, as parents and carers, for the support you have provided to the school and, specifically, to your children during this period of national lockdown. We wish you a very pleasant weekend and we will see all students on Monday morning.

With very best wishes

The Senior Leadership Team.