Welcome back! I hope you are well and enjoyed the summer.
The children have all returned to school, happy to see friends and start new learning. They look so smart and tidy in their uniforms, thank you. Everyone has seen a good start to term, we all look forward to increasing learning opportunities for your children.
Our schools are taking part in the school-led tutoring programme where appropriate, using recovery funding to release staff to take small groups to focus efforts to make good progress. Despite three lockdowns, self-isolation and all the challenges COVID brought to us, we still managed to average our normal 3 points of progress with the children. This is a fantastic result to keep learning moving forwards and testament to a strong staff team who did everything they could to support your children. The same staff team are in place- with a few new welcome additions, I have every confidence they will be able to do the same again this year for your children.
Buildings and IT Projects
We took the opportunity to complete a number of building projects while the schools were empty over the summer, investing £441,000 as well as working through upgrading lighting systems spending £81,000. The final parts of the IT spend were completed providing 470 iPads, 10 iPad charging trolleys, 30 Desktop PC’s and monitors, 50 webcams, 25 Staff laptops, 3 new servers (moved to cloud-based systems), 16 new 65” Classroom Smart screens and 3 new 75” Hall screens, 3 Telephone systems, 4 whole school Wi-Fi systems, and 4 schools were upgraded to Gigabit broadband, with over £100K of DfE funding secured. All in all, a successful year of improved resources for children and learning.
18 months ago, COVID changed everything for all of us, and the fight continues. The government’s rules have changed, but we will continue to work within them. Bubbles have gone, as have some of the follow-on aspects of guidance. I have copied some of that information provided by the Local Authority below.
As you will have seen from media, there are more cases around, Cornwall had a huge spike during the summer with Boardmasters and other events as well as the increase in visitor numbers. This has now thankfully dropped to come back in line with England’s average, but we all need to continue to take care. We have already seen several positive cases across schools. We know that you may find this concerning, but we are continuing to monitor the situation. The information in this letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
Following the change in guidance on 19 July 2021, the school setting will continue to ensure confirmed cases of COVID-19 do not attend until the end of their self-isolation period but contact tracing within the school setting will no longer continue. To help prevent avoidable spread, we encourage staff to continue with the twice weekly LFD testing, follow-up any positive results with a confirmatory PCR test. Families need to be vigilant for symptoms, there are walk in testing facilities in Liskeard on Westbourne Car Park as well as Wadebridge.
Advice to All Parents - Warn and Inform
I would like to encourage all parents to consider taking up the offer of protection with two doses of the covid vaccine. You can book through the NHS portal.
If you have any concerns about the vaccine then please find links to the NHS Kernow website which has some Frequently Asked Questions to help you.
Our schools remain open, and your child should continue to attend as normal if they remain well. Please speak to schools if you have any concerns.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID-19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 at any time, however mild, please isolate as a household and book a test for the person with symptoms (even if they have already taken a test). Symptoms of COVID-19 are:
A new, continuous cough, and/or
- A temperature, and/or
- A loss of, or change to, sense of test and/or smell.
You can book a test through https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. If the test is negative, your child can return to school once they are well and have been fever free (without the support of paracetamol of Calpol) for at least 24 hours.
If the test is positive only unvaccinated members of your household over the age of 18 years must self-isolate for 10 days from the date symptoms started. If other household members become unwell they need to extend their isolation period as shown in this infographic.
Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.
If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111. For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with Covid-19
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
- Keep indoor spaces as well ventilated as possible – let the fresh air in, even if for a short period a day
- Participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over).
We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results
Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
We want all our communities and schools to stay safe and well. By following the guidance above we can all play our part in reducing the number of cases. If new guidance is issued or things change, we will keep you informed.
I hope everyone enjoys a positive first half term.
With all good wishes,
Adrian Massey And everyone in Bridge Schools
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We have launched out very first Extreme Reading Competition to find out which children love reading so much, they simply have to do it anywhere. We are looking forward to some innovative entries. Make sure your child's entry is emailed to Mrs Sandy by Wednesday 3rd November.
The children have been working with enthusiasm to get ready for Tuesday's Harvest Festival. It is a real treat for us all to be able to gather to celebrate this important date in the church calendar. We look forward to seeing you in the church for the 10am start and thank you for your support in limiting numbers so we can all stay safe.
The teachers are looking forward to welcoming you into their classrooms on Monday afternoon at 3pm to share expectations for learning, classroom routines and for you to have the chance to look at your child's work with them. We know that for some of you, this will be the very first time inside the building making it a very special occasion.
A reminder to book a time to discuss your child's progress with their class teacher. Please ring Mrs Sandy to book parent consultations for next week.
Have a lovely weekend,
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Based at Bodmin in Cornwall, Bridge Schools Trust serves 14 academies in the Trust. We currently work across a wide area of Cornwall. Our schools vary in size from 421 pupils in the largest to 23 in the smallest and include voluntary aided Church Schools.
By working together, Bridge Schools Trust is ideally situated to face both educational and operational challenges. With a dedicated central team we can provide schools with a range of specialised services and support, allowing leaders to focus on providing excellent teaching and learning opportunities for all our learners. The Trust is committed to delivering high quality educational provision across all academies whilst encouraging our partners to reflect the individual needs of local communities.
Bridge Schools Trust,
21 Callywith Gate,
Phone: 01208 503103
The Trust welcomes the approach of any school interested in joining Bridge Schools, regardless of size, location or status.
We are inspired by the awe and wonder of the world.
We are bold and innovative in our approach to find new solutions to the challenges we face.
We are the best we can be.
We take responsibility for our actions in an environment of mutual respect.
We overcome all barriers to reach our potential, developing a capacity to improve further.
We are passionate about learning.
© 2021 Bridge Schools trust is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England and Wales. Registration number 7736425. It is an exempt charity.