With the introduction of new measures around face coverings from Tuesday and the unclear picture of the omicron variant, we have been directed from our Trust to adopt a cautious approach over the next few weeks, The intention here is to keep school open in the face of a new variant, rising case numbers and uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of the vaccine in protecting against the new variant.

This is not a time to panic, but an outbreak in school could close us and could certainly put a stop to our Christmas plans, which we would love to protect.

You might notice that all adults working in school have been mandated to wear masks in communal areas, but not in classrooms. We politely ask that you wear a face covering if you need to enter the building for any reason.

You might see staff out on the playground wearing face coverings. They have been advised to, but this is not enforceable. Please respect whatever decision they have made on this – all will have chosen with the best of intentions.

We have been directed to minimise face-to-face meetings again and make as many as possible ‘virtual’.

We have been directed to treat all close-contacts (‘pinged’ or self reported) with a positive case as cause to self-isolate and take a PCR test, regardless of vaccination status.  This now applies to children in school as well as adults. The good news here is that PCR results seem to be coming back very quickly of late – my own (Mr Hillier) was back within 12 hours this week.

Please note that a ‘close contact’ for school purposes does not mean a return to bubbles and wholesale isolation where there is a case in class. A contact would be contact within 1.5m for 15 minutes or more.

None of the above should make much difference to how school feels and we really want to keep a sense of normality for the children and to do as much as we can to celebrate and enjoy Christmas. We also want to protect your Christmas break too!