COVID-19 updates

Your child MUST NOT come into school if a member of your household is unwell and waiting for the result of a Covid test.  Please DO NOT send your child to school during this time.  Wait for the test result to be NEGATIVE before your child returns, unless they themselves develop symptoms.  If the result is POSITIVE your child remains at home to self isolate in line with NHS guidance.  Please support the school by following this procedure to keep us all safe and well. Stay at home guidance.

In this section, you will find the latest Covid-19 information and how it relates to the school.  We have created this page so that you will always have the updated information in one place.  You can also view previous correspondence from our letters home page.  You can also visit our latest news page for updates.

friday, 6 NOVEMBER 2020

Second National Lockdown 

In response to the current pandemic, the Government  announced a four-week national lockdown, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December. 

The Government made clear, however, that it is committed to keeping schools and colleges open so that young people can continue to benefit from attending school for their wellbeing and to ensure their long-term futures. They also reiterated that public examinations should go ahead next summer and have moved them so that they begin 3 weeks later, another important reason for keeping schools open.

We would like to reassure you that we are working really hard at St Martin’s to support every student with their learning and their wellbeing. This is an incredibly difficult time however we must put our trust and hope in the Lord. ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:9

St Martin’s is planning to remain open to provide as full as possible an educational experience for students that meets our vision ‘Inspired to learn, Ambitious for the Future’. 

We have been working hard since reopening in September to ensure that there has been a positive experience in school. Looking ahead to this half-term and having reviewed our working practices we are confident that we continue to work and learn as safely as possible. Thank you to everyone’s commitment to following the health and safety measures that are in place to ensure a covid secure environment. 

Regarding the Second Lockdown, the Government released guidance for schools making further recommendations to support our ongoing risk assessments. They also provided clarity for adults and students who fall into the vulnerable categories.  Please visit the government website to read the guidance in full. 

Protecting vulnerable students

Students who are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) are recommended to stay at home during the current restrictions.  All other students including those who are clinically vulnerable (CV) and those who live in a household with clinically extremely vulnerable people should still attend school.

If your child is in the CEV category, the school will make appropriate arrangements for them to continue their education at home. Read the government guidance on shielding and protecting the vulnerable or contact the school if you have any concerns. 

Face Coverings

When Lambeth and the rest of London were placed into Covid Alert Level High in October, the school followed the government guidance and introduced face coverings. This guidance is still in place for the National Lockdown. 

All students, staff and visitors wear a face covering when moving around communal areas in the school. This is part of our risk assessment to further protect our school community.  Any staff or students who are exempt, wear a blue badge. The school has a stock of face coverings to provide students should they not have one.  The wearing of face coverings is also permitted in classrooms if it is the wish of the staff member or students. 

Hygiene

We have further heightened our hygiene regime and ensure students are washing their hands regularly and/or using hand sanitiser.   Our enhanced cleaning regime by our daily cleaner ensures the school site is cleaned throughout the day, particularly the high touch areas. 

Ventilation

A  measure that all schools have introduced to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus in classrooms is increased ventilation. This means that the windows will be open a crack classrooms at all times to reduce the concentration of any virus in the air. In the event that it is very cold, students will be permitted to wear their outdoor coats and scarves in classrooms. The rules on hoodies or similar applies. They are not permitted.

Meetings and events

We are cancelling less essential events and visits, but those that are continuing have been thoroughly risk assessed.  We have rigorous risk assessment protocols for any visitor to the school. 

Where possible, we are moving some of our school/staff meetings to remote. 

COVID-19 What to look out for

Here is a reminder of the COVID-19 symptoms to look out for.

  • A high temperature

  • A new continuous cough (this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours) 

  • A loss or change to sense of smell or taste (this means they cannot smell or taste anything or things smell or taste different) 

Please do not send your child to school if they, or anyone in your household, has symptoms or tests positive. They should not come to school whilst they are waiting for the test result, even if they feel well. Only if the test is negative should they return to school, otherwise they remain at home and self isolate according to the NHS guidance

Further information and government guidance for parents  What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term

Lockdown rules (New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020)

The government has made it clear that the privilege of coming to school does not mean that students are exempt from lockdown rules. 

A reminder of our existing expectations and the lockdown expectations are that students:

  • must not be in groups and must go straight home immediately after school finishes

  • wear a face covering on public transport and in places where social distancing is not possible

  • wash and sanitise hands regularly 

  • not hang around with friends or visit each other’s houses

  • only be with one other person outside of their home for some exercise

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19. Stringent respiratory and hand hygiene as well as social distancing.

Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space’

hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds

face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet

space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)


Monday 2 November 2020 

New national restrictions will replace local restrictions from Thursday 5 November 2020.  You can find out more about the new national restrictions on the government website.  Until this time the relevant local Covid Alert level measure will continue to apply in the area where you live. For Lambeth and London the Level is High.  The new measures will apply nationally for four weeks up to Wednesday 2 December. At the end of the period, the government will look to return to a regional approach, based on the latest data.

How does this relate to schools?

An excerpt below from the national restrictions guidance makes it clear that schools will remain open. We will update further if this changes.

Going to school, college and university (taken from the new national restrictions guidance)

The Government will continue to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our young people and will not be closing schools, colleges or universities. It remains very important for children and young people to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to go to school. Schools have implemented a range of protective measures to make them safe.

The Prime Minister and Education Secretary have been clear that exams will go ahead next summer, as they are the fairest and most accurate way to measure a pupil’s attainment. We therefore need to keep schools and colleges open so that children are able to keep progressing towards exams and the next stage of education or employment. Students now have more time to prepare for their exams next year, as most AS, A levels and GCSEs will be held 3 weeks later to help address the disruption caused by the pandemic.


Monday 19 October 2020 

Tier 2 Restrictions 

From midnight on Friday 16 October, London was placed in Tier 2 restrictions and is now in HIGH alert. The new restrictions mean that different households should not mix indoors and that socialising outdoors is limited to 6 people, which includes children. This will mean that during half term you ensure that your child does not mix indoors with others who are not a member of the household, likewise,  does not meet up with groups of friends outside the permitted number. We all need to be responsible and adhere to these new restrictions, we have to look after one another and do what we can to minimise the risk of transmission of this contagious virus. 




Face coverings

The Department for Education Guidance (DfE) says:  When an area moves to Local COVID Alert Level: high or very high, in settings where pupils in year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot easily be maintained. Face coverings in education - GOV.UK 

A virtual presentation to the whole school explained that students will be required to wear a face covering in school from 19 October onwards, until further notice. We provided some students with a disposable face covering, but expect that all students will come prepared with a face covering as wearing this in communal areas for staff, students and all visitors is now COMPULSORY.

If your child has a health, anxiety, physical or hidden disability reason for not wearing a face covering you should let their Progress Leader know, and also send an email to the school so that we can have this on our records to inform the staff of this exemption.  We will provide them with a blue badge that they can wear discreetly on their blazer. That way, if they are not wearing a face covering because of a health reason, they will not be asked. 

Please visit the government website for further information Face coverings: when to wear one, exemptions, and how to make your own.