Please see below an update regrading COVID testing and positive cases.
We have now completed the mass testing of students in school and from next week students should test themselves using the home testing kits which were distributed today. More details on this can be found on the school website here: https://www.minster.notts.sch.uk/covid19testing
We appreciate that the issue of testing can be confusing and therefore here is a brief summary of the current guidance.
If a student tests positive using the home testing Lateral Flow Devices, the household will need to self-isolate and the student will need to book a PCR test to confirm if they have COVID-19. If the PCR test is positive they and their household should isolate for 10 days. If the PCR test is negative then there is no need to isolate and this was a ‘false positive’.
If a student develops any of the main COVID-19 symptoms – new persistent cough, loss of taste and/or smell and a high temperature then they should immediately isolate and book a PCR test. LFDs are designed to pick up asymptomatic cases and therefore cannot be used in these circumstances to verify symptoms.
If a student is deemed to be a close contact of a positive case they will need to isolate for 10 days. During this time, they may continue to use the LFD devices to test if they are asymptomatic, but a negative result doesn’t mean they are COVID free and they must continue to isolate until the 10 day period is up.
In December, the Government did propose the idea of serial testing for schools – whereby close contacts could be tested daily and if the results were negative, they would be allowed into school for the next 24 hours. However, this has been suspended and is therefore no longer the case.
Please contact us if you have any further questions regarding testing
We have had 2 positive cases this week since Mr Chaloner’s last message. One of these students was already isolating and had not been back to school since re-opening. The 2nd case was in Year 13. Close contacts of the students have been identified and parents advised of the need to isolate.
We appreciate that at this time, particularly for Year 11 and 13 there will be increase anxiety over the need to isolate and miss lessons. Please read the information below and be re-assured that we will do everything we can to try and ensure that students are not disadvantaged by such absence.
Impact on lessons and assessment for students self-isolating
Missed learning time
Teachers will set work for students to complete which will be in line with the rest of the class. Students are welcome to contact teachers via e-mail for any further support or with any questions they may have. Teachers will consider the impact of disruption to learning caused by COVID when marking any future assessments.
Part of our model of more, smaller assessments means that missing one assessment will often be possible to account for using other evidence – without the need for students to take the assessment. Further COVID disruption can be managed by school in this way when deciding final grades. If students still wish to sit the assessment they can contact their teacher and arrange to do so, following the timetable of assessments on Show My Homework. Evidence done under test conditions, in the classroom and at the specified time will have greater weighting in final decisions but students may still appreciate the opportunity to complete any assessments they miss.
Andy Wall - Deputy Head Teacher