Update from Mrs Squire – 23rd February 2021

I am pleased to be able to update you with our plans for reopening from Monday 8th March 2021. We have been informed that when students return, they need to be tested for coronavirus on their first day and then twice more over the next few weeks. To enable this huge operation to take place we are staggering the return to enable us to test every student on their first day in the Academy.

If a student tests positive, we must send the student and close contacts home to self isolate for 10 days. It is therefore essential that students do not return if they are ill or have been in close contact with a positive person. During January and February, we have been testing key worker students and staff twice weekly and have had no positive cases. Therefore, I am optimistic that we can get the students back and keep them here, but I can only do this with your support.

After three weeks of testing in the Academy you will be supplied with kits to do the testing at home until further notice. I believe the tests will be delivered to the Academy and we will distribute them to the students.

When students return to the Academy they will have their normal ‘bubble’ timetable. Lunch arrangements and classroom settings will remain as they were in the Autumn term to minimise any risk. We have a small number of staff who are classed as extremely clinically vulnerable and they have been informed that despite having their first vaccine they cannot return until the end of March, so there may be some cover for a very small number of teachers.

During the next three weeks we will be testing 450 staff/students every day. We are very fortunate to have some wonderful volunteers, however some of the positions must be filled by Academy staff for GDPR reasons. This will mean that our pastoral staff and senior leaders will be involved in testing to ensure the teaching is uninterrupted. Please be understanding that if you contact these people during the first three weeks as it is unlikely that they will be able to reply until the end of the day when the testing has finished.

Years 7-11

  • Year 11 – Return Monday 8th March. Testing days: 8th, 15th, 22nd March
  • Year 10 – Return Tuesday 9th March. Testing days: 9th, 16th, 23rd March
  • Year 9 – Return Wednesday 10th March. Testing Days: 10th, 17th, 24th March
  • Year 8 – Return Thursday 11th March. Testing Days: 11th, 18th, 25th March
  • Year 7 – Return Friday 12th March. Testing Days: 12th, 19th, 26th March

Sixth Form

  • Year 13 – Return Monday 8th March. Testing days: 8th, 15th, 22nd March
  • Year 12 – Return Tuesday 9th March. Testing days: 9th, 16th, 23rd March

Key worker children will continue to attend as normal and will join their year groups when they return.

When students return:

  • Students should all be in full uniform and will be required to wear masks at all times including in the classroom until Easter.
  • Students should enter the Academy and proceed to their registration room when they return.
  • Students should still wear their PE kit on the prearranged days, but we hope to be able to use the changing rooms after Easter.
  • Intervention will start again on the students return and parents will be notified if this affects their children.
  • We hope to see our extra curricular activities gradually increase over the next few weeks as we approach the summer.
  • Information regarding GCSE and A level exams will be shared as soon as we have been notified of the exam board intentions.

Hopefully this will be the end of home learning and we can get the students back in school where they belong!

Kind regards

Karen Squire


John Port Spencer Academy