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Christmas Closure14/12/2020

No doubt you are aware of the announcement by the Department for Education a few days ago regarding proposed changes to the last day of term for schools before the Christmas holidays.
As a school and wider community we have been extremely diligent and respectful of the national restrictions placed on us. The duty of care we have all shown to one another has helped to keep us all as safe as possible over the last few months. Compared to some schools local and nationally we have had fewer cases of Covid 19 resulting in less disruption to learning.
This term is always the longest, busiest and most tiring period of the school year. The constant changes to government guidance and national restrictions have exacerbated this. I am immensely proud of how the school community has stood together during this challenging time.

Spending time with family and friends is so important, none more so than at celebrations such as Christmas. This is especially important this year when these opportunities have been so limited in recent months.
The latest local data indicates that after the second lockdown, there has been a continual sharp rise in the number of cases amongst the 11 to 15 year old age group. The few cases we have had fit this age profile.
With that in mind, I have decided to take the option strongly suggested by the DfE to change our end of term plans. Buckinghamshire Council yesterday outlined that we could use Friday 18th December as a Remote Learning Day for all year groups. Consequently, the school will close for face to face lessons at 3.00pm on Thursday 17th December 2020.
The primary purpose of this is to reduce the likelihood of a positive case impacting on the Christmas period for staff, students and their families. The Governing Body have given their consent for this decision.
Students should be reminded that they are to treat this like a normal school day and attend online lessons as outlined in their school timetable. Students should obey the current national and local Tier 2 restrictions that apply, including social distancing and contact restrictions both at home and outdoors.
These can be found on the following link: Government Guidance Tier 2 Restrictions.

The school has been asked to assist with contact tracing during the initial holiday period. For the first 6 days after teaching ends, if your child tests positive for COVID 19, having developed symptoms within the first 48 hours of being in school, then please contact the school via the following email address: covid19@cottesloe.bucks.sch.uk 
This email address will be checked daily during this period in order to help with contact tracing for any positive cases. Our last day for contact tracing will be Wednesday 23rd December 2020.

We will re-open for students as planned on Tuesday 5th January 2021. Monday 4th January 2021 will remain an INSET day as per the published calendar. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff, students and their families for their ongoing support and I wish you all a safe and Happy Christmas.

Yours sincerely
Mr S Jones
Headteacher

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