11.09.20 Principal's Update

Dear Students and Parents/Carers, (Year 12 students)

It was good to welcome our Year 12 students on site this week and we look forward to welcoming our year 13 next week. Thank you all for following our Covid-19 safety measures that we have put in place across the College. This does require a behaviour shift and many of you are complying with the new behaviours required.  You need to keep doing this so that such behaviours become a habit.

Some initial observations:

Keep left

We have put this system in place so as to ensure that you can move around College in a safe way and minimise your contact with others.  Can we please stress that you do need to follow the floor markings as well as keeping your social distance. This is especially so with people outside of your normal classes.

Hand sanitiser

Can we please stress that you continue to sanitise your hands on arrival to College and when you enter classrooms. Many of you will now be used to our classroom routines that we have here at College, which is excellent news.

Public Transport

If you are travelling on public transport you must remember that whilst you are waiting for your bus, you do need to keep your social distance.  We have received some feedback that some of our new students have forgotten to do this. You are now a student of St Brendan’s and we need to make sure that you are not only mindful of your own safety but also your behaviour in the community, which can impact on the safety of others.

Reporting Absence

Can you please follow our usual College process for reporting absence.  Please be aware that we have adapted our attendance systems in the light of COVID-19.  This means that when reporting about anything in relation to COVID-19 you will be asked to complete an online form.  This will ensure we receive as much information as possible. Thank you for your support with this.

Remote Learning

We had some positive feedback from last week’s online lessons.  Just a reminder to students that we do have protocols with regards to behaviour online and how the chat feature should be used in lessons. This should not be used in a derogatory way.  If you do have concerns, please speak to your teacher when you come into College next week.

Last week you were sent an email from our Head of Teaching and Learning, Vicki Haigh, on how to access remote learning.  Can you please make sure that you have read the guidebook called ‘Student Guidance’ – Joining a meeting or lesson. We have also sent you an update on all the FAQs that students had this week.  

For some of our students who maybe self-isolating and/or unwell but feel well enough to be on a computer you should endeavour to log on to your remote/live lesson and or/Teams to stay up to date with work.

If you have any difficulty logging on, using teams or accessing any of your lessons, please email remotehelp@stbrn.ac.uk and a relevant member of staff will contact you.

For any IT enquiries whilst you are in College we do have an IT Helpdesk which is in B101K. This is open from 9am. Please ensure you ring the bell for assistance.

From Next Week

Wearing face coverings

After taking feedback this week, we are now asking all students to wear face coverings. We are asking you to do this to help you and others remain safe. So when we remind you to wear one, in a corridor or in a communal area, please remember we are doing this to keep you and your friends and family safe. Our communal areas include our corridors and cafes.  Government guidance does not require you to wear a face mask in a classroom setting because they believe it impedes the learning process, but you can choose to wear a face covering, if you would like this additional protection.

Access to Level 3

For our Access to Level 3 students, please do not forget that you will be attending College next week. You will have received an email from Helen on specific details on where you will be based, especially for Break and Lunch time. Please remember that you will need to bring a face covering to College next week.

Latest Covid-19 update:  the steep case rate rise amongst young people aged 17-25

The recent rise in Coronavirus case rates is mainly among younger people aged 17-25. It is not known why case rates are now higher among young people in this age group but they are rising, and steeply.  The case rate for those aged 10-19, for example, has quadrupled. This age group is at lower risk of dying of Covid but can still experience really serious symptoms and suffer long term health consequences.

Also, this age group can transmit the virus to family members, teachers, and each other, helping to spread the virus back into the community, potentially at the cost of lives.

At College, we can’t make the risk of transmission disappear but we can drastically reduce this risk. Opening windows, wearing face coverings in communal areas, requesting that you wash or sanitise your hands more often than usual, and asking you to engage actively with the NHS Test and Track and Trace protocols are important ways we are trying to drastically reduce this risk.

Testing for Coronavirus (Covid 19):  another update

The government  have asked us to inform you that only students (and staff) who develop Coronavirus (Covid 19) symptoms (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) should get tested.  This is to protect the NHS Test and Trace system for those with symptoms of the virus.  Booking is essential for drive in or walk in test sites and, if you are under 18, you must be accompanied by a parent, carer or guardian.

You must self-isolate from the first day of displaying a Coronavirus (Covid 19) symptom, for at least 10 days, or until you receive the result of a test, and it is negative. You can return to College, if after 10 days, you are no longer displaying any Coronavirus symptoms, or earlier, if you receive a negative test result. If you are self-isolating because you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you should self-isolate for 14 days, and you should only get tested if during these 14 days you develop symptoms yourself.