The following COVID message was sent out to parents on Monday 14 December 2020:

This will hopefully be the last COVID Update before the Xmas Break and fingers crossed by the end of next term we can get to a point where we don’t have to update you on pandemics anymore.

COVID Levels Positive:

The national indications are that generally the second COVID lockdown has had a positive effect in our area and we have certainly seen this in our school. There has been a marked drop in cases over recent weeks and we have not had to send a group of students home to isolate in well over a fortnight.

There are sporadic cases stemming from home, but otherwise things are looking relatively good. One factor may be how well your children have responded to the call for face-masks, another could be how many times we are seeing parents acting quickly and decisively in getting themselves their children tested.

Even so, more recent reports indicate that levels have started to increase elsewhere in the country, so we hope you get to see loved ones but also keep safe over the Xmas Break. It would be good to avoid another peak in January.

End of Term:

We have received a number of enquiries about the school potentially closing early for Xmas. This will not be the case.

The term will end on Friday 18 December and we will be doing a full day as usual.

COVID Track & Trace over Xmas:

As a school we have been asked to support ‘Track & Trace’ through the start of the Xmas Break. This means that if we are notified of a positive COVID result in the first week of the holiday then we will inform those children affected and advise them to isolate as per Public Health England guidance.

The key parameters for us are if a child tests positive then we have to check who they were close to for the preceding 48 hours from the earliest signs (whether that be the positive test or the first day symptoms showed).

Consequently, if your child tests COVID positive in the first week of the holiday please email us on office@friaryschool.co.uk. We will check the account regularly and pick up any eventuality.

If your child tests positive, but has not been in school for the previous 48hrs before showing symptoms, then there is no need to get in touch – unless it is to say they are still isolating in the new term.

Face Mask Payment Tweak…

We learnt this week that ParentPay cannot cope with below £1 payments so our 50p cost for face-masks did backfire somewhat. We have though found a way around it and guidance will come out for those affected very soon.

The ideal for us is not to have to spend any time on them at all so if you are stuck for an Xmas stocking-filler then please buy your child some extra face-masks – they will be thrilled.

COVID Thanks…

We have not enjoyed dealing with COVID one bit, but after a full term in school we all wanted to thank you for your efforts in helping us manage the situation for your child. We know all of you have had your own COVID difficulties but you have still made our work a lot easier. Thank you.

Summer Exams:

Whatever the headlines about Scottish schools or Welsh schools, all signs here are that the Year 11 and 13 exams will take place in Summer 2021. This means there is no need to worry about school predicted grades or the like. The results will come down to your child’s work over the next six months and how they fare in their exams on the day. Rest assured we are doing all we can to help them perform to their very best.

Other News:

This may be the last chance I get to communicate with you before Xmas so please forgive me for pushing the PTFA’s work which has continued despite the lockdown.

You can support our school’s PTFA by shopping online and donating (for free) – see the following article for details:

https://www.friaryschool.com/2020/11/10/ways-to-support-the-ptfa-this-xmas/

You can support our school’s PTFA by purchasing an online Xmas Raffle ticket – see the following article for details:

https://www.friaryschool.com/2020/12/08/the-friary-school-ptfa-christmas-raffle/

You can support our school’s PTFA by shopping at the PTFA online shop at: https://www.tshirtstudio.com/marketplace/friary-school-lichfield

You can support our school’s PTFA by signing up for our school lottery (with a weekly £25,000 prize) at: https://www.friaryschool.com/school-lottery/

To Finalise…

That’s the sell over – so just to say we hope you enjoy a lovely Christmas Break, whatever the challenges to overcome, and let’s hope for safer and happier times in the New Year.