IMPORTANT COVID-19 UPDATE

31st December 2020

Dear Parents / Carers

Following the Government announcement yesterday I can now confirm that Highfield Middle School will be open for Year 5 and 6 pupils from Tuesday 5th January, and closed for Year 7 and 8 pupils (with the exception of children of key workers and vulnerable pupils) until 18th January. During this time, Year 7 and 8 pupils will be provided with online learning via Google Classroom, in line with their school timetable wherever possible. 

We asked for requests for key workers and vulnerable pupil places at the start of the holiday and received a manageable number of applications. We are grateful to families of Y7 and Y8 pupils who have made arrangements to stay at home wherever possible over the next 2 weeks. This makes the school environment as safe as possible, and gives school leaders time to prepare the testing programme that will begin on Monday 11th January. Further information regarding Y7 and Y8 pupils who are entitled to access school using the key worker / vulnerable child category can be found using this link. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

If you require a place for your child based upon these criteria, then please email admin@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk asap. If you have already requested place in this way, you can assume that this place is confirmed, unless you are contacted directly to explain otherwise.

All home learning will take place via Google Classroom. Pupils will be expected to complete all of the work set by staff for each of their lessons and contact home will be made if pupils are not seen to be engaging fully with online learning. We worked hard last term to provide devices to pupils without home access to Google Classroom, so this should not be a barrier to learning. If access to home technology is an issue please email admin@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk and we will help wherever possible. Most lessons will not be delivered ‘live’ as our school broadband is not strong enough, but teachers will provide feedback and interact with pupils as much as possible. If pupils need support with any work they should message their subject teacher who will respond to queries. The small number of Y7 and 8 pupils in school will also access the online learning content via computers in school.

Test and Trace

The COVID testing programme will begin in school on 11th January for Year 7 and 8 pupils, ahead of their return on the 18th.  Currently, we will not be testing Year 5 and 6 pupils, although that may happen further into term. We will be sending Y7 and Y8 parents a consent form next week to obtain permission, and providing a timeslot for pupils to attend school for testing during week 2. 

Delivering the testing programme is a huge logistical challenge for us and we are incredibly grateful to a few fantastic members of our community who have volunteered to help us out already. We would welcome any other offers of voluntary support for a day or 2, especially from individuals who hold a DBS and are not vulnerable themselves.

We hope that everyone who has been unwell has made a swift and full recovery, and that you had a safe and happy Christmas, despite everything that is going on in the world. 

Thank you for your continued support and Happy New Year!

We look forward to working with you all in 2021

Richard Oades

Headteacher