If your child has any of these three coronavirus symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of smell or taste), NHS guidance is to stay off school and book a test. You must self-isolate for 10 days or until you get a get a negative test result. Contacts of a person with a positive test result must stay off school for 14 days. This includes siblings at SMRT.

 

SMRT guidance, which is based on the current research and World Health Organisation symptoms of gastrointestinal symptoms (tummy upset, abdominal cramps, off food, nausea, diarrhoea), sore throat and runny nose, is to stay off school for 10 days from when the symptoms appear. These symptoms can be symptomatic of Covid-19 in young people and they are all contagious symptoms that will spread illness to other people. The NHS and government are not currently advising people with these symptoms to get a test because there is a shortage of tests.

 

Scientific research is increasingly finding that at least a third of school age children that test positive for Covid-19 do not have a continuous cough, high temperature or lack of smell or taste. Be particularly alert to these clusters of symptoms, especially if combined together (gastrointestinal symptoms, such as cramps, nausea, diarrhoea, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, headache, skin rash, conjunctivitis). If your child has multiple symptoms from this cluster, it is very important to seek medical advice and a test if you are able to. These clusters of symptoms can be very indicative of Covid-19 in children and should not be ignored.

 

Do remember to let us know the result of any test on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as soon as you have it.

 

Do not book a test for your child if they are fit and well as this prevents people with symptoms getting a test.

Dear Parent/Carer,

 

I want to start by thanking you for your support as your children have returned to school. We have been so pleased with the maturity of every student and their attitude towards learning. They have shown great resilience in coping with all the changes to their day to day routine and have responded positively to different learning environments and all of the restrictions that have been put in place to keep them safe.

 

As we have now been back at school for 4 weeks, we felt that it was important to review all of the plans that we put in place and have made some minor tweaks to timings to further ensure that year group bubbles are kept separate. The main change to the plans has been the re-introduction of period 1 for our year 8 and year 9 students by bringing their staggered arrival times forward. This was explained in the newsletter and we are grateful that this too is working well.

 

We have therefore decided to re-issue our student Coronavirus Handbook (attached below) with the minor updates included to ensure that we can continue to maintain the standards that we have achieved. The current Coronavirus booklet outlining the safety procedures for 6th form students is also attached below.

 

Many thanks for you prayer and support at this time.


Best wishes,
Elisabeth Gilpin
Headteacher

  

Dear parents/carers


We have had a single positive case in year 13. The student was last in school on Friday 16th October when they felt fine and had no symptoms. They also had very limited interaction with others as they were not on site for long. They did the correct thing and stayed off school whilst feeling poorly with low level Covid-19 symptoms during the week beginning the 19th October which then developed into classic symptoms as listed by the NHS and they got a test immediately and let us know the result and their close contacts. Their close contacts have been notified and asked to self- isolate over half term and not to see other members of the school community and to get a test if they have any symptoms at all.

 

We do not need to take any action regarding the whole of year 13 as they are next in on Wednesday 4th November. However we do ask all parents and students to be vigilant over half term regarding any symptoms however minor and would suggest staying away from others even if you think the symptoms are just a cold or sore throat or stomach cramps, headache or fatigue. For year 13 students we would suggest getting a test with any of these symptoms as cases can be very mild in young people. If you need to notify us of a positive test result over the half term break please notify the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email. This is being monitored over the break for your safety and support. In addition all staff and students will be wearing face coverings in communal areas after half term.

 

 

Dear Parents/Carers


We have had our first staff case of coronavirus notified today. They are not a student facing member of staff and had only one other staff close contact within school who is now self-isolating. The member of staff did exactly the right things in booking a test the moment they had mild symptoms on Sunday, staying away from work and notifying us the moment they got the result. They did not spend any time on site with symptoms. Areas that they have been in have been thoroughly cleaned. This has meant that we have not got to take any further action as all our safety protocols worked really well. Please do keep them in your prayers. Do be aware over the half term that levels of the virus in Bristol have risen significantly and it is important to be aware of potential symptoms and follow all the guidance regarding getting a test and isolating. If you need to contact us over the holidays regarding a positive test result then do use our This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. email account which will be monitored.

 

I am sure that like me you will have watched the recent press briefings regarding the coronavirus with interest, to help your planning through the winter months. Whilst the levels of coronavirus in Bristol are rising, they are still much lower than many parts of the country, where there has been a very steep rise, particularly among young people aged 11-24.

 

This means that Bristol has not been put into a higher tier of restrictions. The next few weeks are critical to ensuring that the people of Bristol jointly reduce the spread of the virus so we can keep our freedoms and keep onsite education going. The other point to note is the government is also committed to keeping schools open for onsite learning wherever possible.

 

Firstly, a massive thank you to all our parents and carers and our wonderful students. You have all been so kind, caring, well organised, helpful and supportive during these challenging times. It is thanks to you that we have been able to keep the school open and functioning so well. You have been brilliant about keeping students off if they have coughs, temperature, lack of smell, sore throats, runny noses or gastrointestinal problems. This has kept everyone safe.

 

Face Coverings
Because the level of the virus is rising in Bristol, after half-term I am going to ask everyone to wear a face covering in communal areas. Face coverings are not worn in the classroom, to aid speaking and comprehension. I am letting you know this now so that you can provide your child with sufficient masks for the week. The ideal is to have washable, reusable, appropriate masks or reusable, wipe able face shields, as these are best for the environment. Ideally, have enough masks so that these can be washed regularly. Please talk through with your child how to remove them safely, with clean hands and without touching mouth, nose or eyes. If purchasing masks is a financial problem or your child has a health condition that means they cannot wear one, please contact Mr Shaw. He will need documentation from a medical professional to provide a face covering exemption pass.

 

Handwashing
Handwashing is being done regularly by all students at the relevant time and is supervised wherever possible. It is worth checking at home that they are using the correct technique of using enough soap and washing fronts, backs, fingertips and thumbs. We have plenty of soap in stock and it is not disappearing as fast as we had expected!

 

Post-holiday Caution
Half term holiday will be a welcome break for the students who have been working hard. If you are travelling abroad, please observe any quarantine rules on your return. If you are travelling to other parts of the UK, please be aware that many places have much higher incidences of coronavirus than Bristol does, and treat any symptoms of minor illness seriously on your return. Do keep off unwell students and get a test as appropriate.

 

Break and Lunch times
Extreme weather breaks and lunchtimes mean that occasionally we will have to be indoors. We have organised this so everyone is in their year group bubble. However, this is not ideal as we don’t want too many people in the same space. For this reason, we will continue to take most breaks and lunchtimes outside, as this reduces the chances of transmission of coronavirus. This means that students will need a coat. At the start of the day when it is wet, we do get students in a bit earlier, but we cannot accommodate students if they arrive much earlier than their allotted time, as this would result in year groups mixing. They will need a waterproof coat on wet mornings whilst they wait for their time slot.

 

We are propping classroom doors open for increased ventilation and coronavirus safety, so if your child feels the cold, they may want to wear a vest or plain white t-shirt under their uniform.

 

Parents/carers Evenings
To keep everyone safe, we are not able to have parents/carers on site, but we have been experimenting with a booking system that allows video calls, as we want to make sure we keep you well informed. Year 7 and 11 parents/carers should look out for a separate communication.

 

Top tips for keeping each other healthy from recent scientific publications
A study in Spain found that levels of Vitamin D helped people fight off coronavirus more effectively and make a better recovery. This may be useful, particularly for BAME families, as darker skin colour during the winter months can sometimes mean the body doesn’t produce enough of its own vitamin D using sunlight.

 

A study in Germany found that if people with Covid-19 were given a pulse oximeter to measure oxygen levels in their blood, they got medical help more quickly at the right time when their blood oxygen levels dipped below 95%. Pulse oximeters can be purchased on line.

 

A study in the UK at University College London published this month found that the majority of people who test positive for Covid-19 do not have the NHS defined symptoms of cough, high temperature or lack of smell and taste at the time of their test. Some people have very mild symptoms or no symptoms. This means we all need to be very aware of very minor illness and possible chains of transmission of coronavirus. In particular, we all need to look after older or more vulnerable staff and family members by keeping 2m away from them. We have many staff for whom catching the coronavirus would carry higher risk than for young staff or students. Thank you for the way you have trained your children to be so thoughtful in giving 2m space at all times to older and vulnerable people.

 

The World Health Organisation Regional Director for Europe, Dr Hans Henri P Kluge said on 6 October “A courageous approach, with empathy at its core, will get us through this crisis”. He advocates finding new, creative, safe ways to do things as a community. This is certainly what I have observed at SMRT, with so much creativity, care and commitment on the part of students and staff to making the ‘new normal’ work safely.

 

It is great that we have managed so much quality on site learning and minimised disruption this term. We couldn’t do it without your support.

 

Elisabeth Gilpin
Headteacher

 

Please see our latest School Risk Assessment (attached below)

 

This risk assessment regarding the coronavirus has a first section which raises the generic risks likely to affect a large secondary school then a second section which shows the actions we have taken to reduce these risks. This risk assessment should be read in conjunction with the guidance on symptoms and when to book a test (and when to stay off school), the student coronavirus handbook, the sixth form coronavirus handbook and the staff coronavirus handbook which all give the day to day guidance of how these risks are mitigated on a daily basis.

 

Please note that the Staff Coronavirus Handbook is available upon request via the following email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Choosing what to do at the end of Year 11
As your child starts to think about next steps and choices about what to do after their GCSEs, here are some of the things that we are putting in place to help them.

 

In the week beginning Monday 19 October (the last week of this term), all Year 11 students will have three progression sessions during their morning tutor time sessions. These will include key information about the Redcliffe Sixth Form centre and the options available here, as well as other options across the city and the many and varied routes that they can explore at 16.

 

We recognise that this may be a new and complex decision making process for some students and have a section of our website dedicated to helping our students make these choices. Here is a link to it:
https://www.smrt.bristol.sch.uk/index.php/school-life/post-16-options

 

It is regularly updated with new information with regards to Open Evenings and opportunities relevant to Year 11 students. There is also a section in ‘the Pulse’, our weekly communication to students, that has up to date information about Post-16 opportunities.

 

The Sixth Form open evening video will be launched on Thursday 22 October (the last week of term) and will explain how to apply to our Sixth Form. This will be available on the school website. We will send you a link. Students should wait until they have watched this before filling in the online application form. Students currently in our Year 11 do not need to fill in their expected GCSE grades.

 

Every SMRT student who applies to the Sixth Form on time will receive an offer, although this will be conditional on their finally achieving our entry grades of 665544. The deadline for applications to our Sixth Form is midday on Tuesday 1 December.

 

Every student in Year 11 who applies to the Redcliffe Sixth Form will have a one-to-one conversation with an experienced member of staff about their choices, to help them think through how this matches their areas of strength and future aspirations.

 

St Brendans College have an online open evening tonight. Visitors will be able to view lots of on demand content about the college from 4pm onwards, and from 5pm teachers will be running a series of live sessions where students watch a presentation for each of the subjects that they are interested in and can ask (via typed chat) any questions that they have. You can pre-register for the event via their website: www.stbrn.ac.uk

 

Year 11 Assessments (Monday 2 November to Thursday 12 November)

We know that Year 11 can be a stressful time for students and that this year has been particularly challenging, so we want to reassure them that there is plenty of support available to them as we approach the Year 11 assessment period which begins on Monday 2 November and ends on Thursday 12 November.

 

The most important thing our students can do is to make sure that they are clear on what they should be revising and how best to prepare. They should have a chat with their subject teacher if they need any additional guidance on this.

 

There are loads of fantastic resources on Moodle to help them prepare for their assessments and to support their learning throughout the year. For those who are studying subjects with a practical element, we are looking at creating some blocks of time in Term 2 when they can access specialist facilities to ensure that they keep on top of any coursework or practical requirements in those subjects. We are also developing our use of Microsoft Teams and investigating ways of using this to provide tutoring and booster support for Year 11s.

 

We will also be making sure that the students get lots of help with how to revise and regular opportunities to practise exam style questions in class and in a second round of more formal assessments in the spring.

 

Students will receive more detailed guidance about the Year 11 assessments next week (last week of term) and you will receive a copy of this. If the students have any questions about anything to do with Year 11 or they are feeling anxious about their studies, encourage them to speak to their subject teacher or tutor.

Following the Year 11 assessments, students will receive a gradesheet on 1 December 2020.

 

Virtual parents/carers evening and how this will work
Due to the Coronavirus, we are unable to invite parents/carers onsite for Parents Evening this year, however we will still be having Parents Evening but this will be virtual. This will enable you to see many of your child’s subject teachers and have a conversation with them about their progress from the comfort of your home.

The booking system will work in exactly the same way as it has done previously, and you will book slots with each teacher so that you have a face to face (albeit virtual) discussion with each subject teacher. The Year 11 virtual Parents/carers evening will take place week commencing 7 December 2020. There will be more information about this nearer the time.

 

Further Careers advice
If you have specific questions about Post-16 provision in Bristol or would like some careers advice, we also have our very own careers advisor (Mr James) who would be more than happy to have a conversation with you (either through Microsoft Teams or by telephone). If you would like this to take place please contact Mrs Long, (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and she will arrange this for you. All Year 11s will have a personal careers interview with Mr James through Teams this year but if you would like us to prioritise your child, please contact Mrs Long and we will do this for you.

 

GCSE Exam news
As you may have seen in the news, the Department for Education have announced that the GCSE exam period in 2021 will start later than usual. Most GCSE exams will be held between 7 June and 2 July, although one Maths and English exam will be taken before the May half term holiday. The results days will also be different than usual; GCSE results will be issued on Friday 27 August.

 

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you for being so patient during this isolation period for the students in year 11. I am pleased to say that we have had no more notifications of cases within this year group. All students may return on Monday 5th October to onsite learning. Obviously do not send your child to school if they have any illness symptoms of any kind such as sore throat, tummy aches, runny nose, coughs, raised temperature, lack of taste or smell. If they have any of these symptoms keep them away from school and book a test and let us know. In general we have all been so delighted with the way year 11 have engaged so well with Microsoft Teams lessons whilst they have been off school and with the quality of their work. We are delighted with their attitude to learning and the way they are making the most of every opportunity. We want to do our very best to look after them after them.

 

Thank you for your support
Elisabeth Gilpin
Headteacher

We have had notification today of another single confirmed case of Covid-19 within our school in year 11.     This is unlinked to the previous case. The point of transmission has been identified as a contact outside of our school. Once again the student did not have any of the more classic symptoms of continuous cough, high fever or lack of taste or smell.   The student had a mild irritating sore throat. The student developed the mild symptoms on Tuesday this week and tested positive today. As such, the student was potentially contagious when they were on the school site on Monday 21st September.

 

This does mean that we are extending the isolation period for Year 11 for another week. This will mean that the isolation period will be extended until Sunday 4th October which is 14 days after the student was last in school.

 

If your child has any or develops any of these three coronavirus symptoms (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss of or change in sense of smell or taste), NHS guidance is to stay off school and book a test. Your child must self-isolate for 10 days or until they get a get a negative test result.  Contacts of a person with a positive test result must stay off school for 14 days.  This includes siblings at SMRT.

 

SMRT guidance, which is based on the current research and World Health Organisation symptoms of gastrointestinal symptoms (tummy upset, abdominal cramps, off food, nausea, diarrhoea), sore throat and runny nose, is to stay off school for 10 days from when the symptoms appear.  These symptoms can be symptomatic of Covid-19 in young people and they are all contagious symptoms that will spread illness to other people.  The NHS and government are not currently advising people with these symptoms to get a test because there is a shortage of tests.

 

Scientific research is increasingly finding that at least a third of school age children that test positive for Covid-19 do not have a continuous cough, high temperature or lack of smell or taste.  Be particularly alert to these clusters of symptoms, especially if combined together (gastrointestinal symptoms, such as cramps, nausea, diarrhoea, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue, headache, skin rash, conjunctivitis).  If your child has multiple symptoms from this cluster, it is very important to seek medical advice and a test if you are able to.  These clusters of symptoms can be very indicative of Covid-19 in children and should not be ignored.

 

Do remember to let us know the result of any test on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as soon as you have it.

 

Do not book a test for your child if they are fit and well as this prevents people with symptoms getting a test.

 

Other members of your household can continue normal activities provided your child does not develop symptoms within the isolation period.   If you have children in other year groups they may attend school as long as they do not have any symptoms and are completely well.

 

If your child is well at the end of the 14 day period of self-isolation  then they can return to usual activities and return to school on Monday 5th October.

 

Learning from Home:

We will continue to maximise the opportunity for effective home learning.

This means that, except for those cases where the teacher is ill, we will be able to continue to deliver an interactive experience for students with face-to-face contact with staff during their normal lesson times.  

If you have any issues which might prevent you from being able to access Microsoft Teams please email the school via the adminhub (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).  If for any reason you do not want your child to take part in live lessons via Microsoft Teams then please email the adminhub (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) with the name and tutor group of the student.

 

Thank you for your support.

Elisabeth Gilpin

Headteacher

We have had notification today of a separate single confirmed case of Covid-19 within St Mary Redcliffe and Temple School in year 11. This is completely unconnected with the previous case in year 11. The point of transmission has been identified as a contact outside of our school. The student only had a mild sore throat. They did not have any of the more classic symptoms of continuous cough, high fever or lack of taste or smell. Thankfully the student did get a test. We are very grateful to them for doing this as this has reduced the risk of ongoing transmission.

All students in year 11 may have been in close contact on Monday 21st September therefore all year 11 students need to remain away from school for next week and self-isolate until Sunday 4th October which is 14 days after the student was last in school.

Because we have been careful to establish separate bubbles all the other students in other years can continue to attend school. This includes siblings of year 11 students as long as they are completely well and have no symptoms of any kind.

We want to continue to be cautious and alert to other possible cases. Symptoms are often milder in young people as was the case with this student. I have updated our guidance which is top of our latest notices section of the website. I have also explained more of the science behind the range of symptoms that are emerging and quoted the relevant wider research in the newsletter. I do feel strongly that parents and carers have a right to be fully informed so that you can keep your families and the school community Covid-19 free. I am so very grateful for the backing you are giving the school. It is brilliant to be at the centre of such a supportive community.

 

If your child becomes unwell with any of the symptoms we have listed in our guidance: Continuous cough, fever, lack of smell or taste, tummy upset, sore throat, runny nose please do get a test. The first three symptoms are the only ones that the NHS website normally responds to. Do let the school know the outcome of the test by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Do not get a test if your child is well as there is a shortage of tests and well people do not need to get tests.

Thank you for your support.

Elisabeth Gilpin

Headteacher

The September Newsletter is now available to view here.

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