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College return “goes like clockwork”

The College welcomes back all our 1,350 students this week, with staggered testing ahead of classes returning for on-site learning.

Huge thanks to our parents, students and staff for helping our first day of COVID-19 testing go like clockwork today!

The College welcomes back all our 1,350 students this week, with staggered testing ahead of classes returning for on-site learning.

On Monday 8 March, Years 7, 10, 11 and 13 attended school for their COVID-19 tests, with their lessons resuming at school on Tuesday. Students queued socially distanced for their tests, which took place in individual booths with staff wearing visors and gloves. Years 8, 9 and 12 have their tests on Tuesday and return to classroom lessons on Wednesday.

College Principal Miss Frier said: “We are absolutely delighted to have all our students back. Their wellbeing is always our priority, and we have prepared meticulously for their safe return. Today, we have seen all classes from four different year groups have their tests, and it has gone like clockwork.

“For some of our young people, this is a bit like coming back to school for the start of a new academic year in September, so it is natural there are some nerves. But we have lots of smiling staff on hand to welcome them back and ease any nerves.

“The whole testing process can be a bit daunting too, but our staff have all been trained and they are showing great care in helping the students to feel comfortable.”

Around 85% to 90% of parents and carers have so far signed consent forms for the tests, and we are hopeful that more will sign up this week. Director of Corporate Services, Mrs Martin, said: “Our parents are incredibly engaged and committed to getting their children back to school safely, and we would like to thank them for that.

“In fact, it has been a real team effort. The children have been fabulous today, and our staff have shown remarkable flexibility. It shows how schools rise to the challenge.”

The students will have two further COVID-19 tests at the College - one later this week and one next week - before being issued with test kits so they can self-test at home.

Stoke Damerel Community College students have received live online classes throughout the latest lockdown, while 100 students have attended school for their lessons.

As well as having their COVID-19 test, students also collected their timetables and had their pencil cases restocked free of charge. Items of school uniform, socks and shoes were also available for those who needed them, with flexible payment options - and no charge at all for those families unable to pay. There is even help with making alterations to uniforms that no longer fit.

Miss Frier said: “The idea is that the children have everything they need so they can get straight back to classroom learning. And we can’t wait!”