Dear Parents and Carers,
Having come to the end of a long and very unusual term I wanted to thank you all for the support you have provided to help us keep school a safe place and for your understanding with some of the changes we have had to put in place during this difficult time Students have been following sanitising routines and wearing masks in communal areas and taxis. They have coped well with the new systems in place and overall attendance has been exceptionally high. Having looked at the end of term reports, I am pleased to note that students have made good progress over the term and motivation and engagement has been high.
I am extremely grateful to the staff who have worked tirelessly to support and educate all of our students though this immensely difficult time.
As you know, we have unfortunately been affected by the local infection rate increasing dramatically over the last few weeks and this has resulted in class closures and students accessing online learning. I know staff have put a lot of effort into creating online lessons and devising lessons and resources that can be accessed with a minimum of adult support at home. I hope that your child has been able to tackle the work without difficulty and that you have had the support you need as parents to help them with this when needed. By having to move to home learning over the last 4 days we have been able to plan a timetable of lessons, pastoral calls and tutor support calls. This has enabled us to provide a more predictable and consistent programme for students. In January we will be sending you a link to a new survey about home learning in order to capture your feedback and build in improvements if it is required in the future.
We don’t know what next term will look like at the moment but, as you will be aware, there are a number of new factors on the horizon that I would like to mention briefly.
COVID testing in schools
We understand testing will commence quite early in the new term. This is to try to reduce the need for students and staff having to self-isolate in the event of contact with a positive case in school, by implementing a daily testing regime. Parental consent will be required. KCC are currently working with schools and teaching organisations to plan the operational detail for this.
Schools are being asked to prepare for possible food supply shortages and transport disruption in January. As we have seen before, with operation stack and Operation Brock on the M20, both Folkestone and Ashford sites can be quite badly affected by this. We will of course endeavour to maintain the usual transport arrangements in and out of school and let you know if there needs to be any change when and if issues arise.
The usual arrangements will apply if we are forced to close a site due to severe weather and the impact this could have of on transport. In the event of severe weather please check our website, http://www.goldwyn.kent.sch.uk/ and the Kent school closures website http://www.kentclosures.co.uk/
To notify the school of a pupil who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) please email email@example.com
Please note: where a pupil tests positive for COVID-19, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, the school does not need to be contacted for the purpose of contact tracing. Parents and carers should follow contact tracing instructions provided by NHS Test and Trace.
This email address will not be monitored between the 24th December and 1st January.
If an individual is informed that they are a close contact of a positive case, they are required to self-isolate for 10 days as per the national guidance on self-isolation.
We will be in touch with you all on January 4th to update you with arrangements for the start of term on Tuesday 5th January. I would ask that you please remind your child of the expectations we have around physical contact, mask wearing and sanitising. We will continue to operate the same timings of the day and routines as we have had in place this term.
I would like to inform you that this Christmas we will be saying goodbye to Tom Tsangarides from Goldwyn Ashford and Christian McGuire for Goldwyn Folkestone. We also wish Sally-Anne Wilcock from Goldwyn Plus, the very best as she begins her maternity leave. I am pleased to say we have two excellent and experienced new staff joining in January: Lathan at Goldwyn Ashford and Carley Plumb at Goldwyn Folkestone.
Finally, I would like to wish you all a happy and healthy Christmas and of course a happier and more positive new year.