Welcome back to the Autumn term at Inverness Royal Academy. We hope all pupils and their families have had a relaxing time and enjoyed being able to spend time together, despite the weather.

Our pupils did a great job last term of taking the current restrictions in place seriously. We always focus on our school values and it was clear to see young people living those values last term:  being compassionate and taking responsibility to protect – not just themselves but others, particularly the most vulnerable members of our school community.

As we go into a new term it is important that we re-focus on all of the key actions against Covid 19 this term to make school life as safe as it can be. We would like the support of parent/carers to ensure this is the case. Three things in particular need to be at the forefront of our minds:

  • Face Coverings: the vast majority of pupils turn up to school each day with an appropriate face covering. There are a significant minority, however, who don’t. We provide masks in this situation but we cannot afford to continue to do this at current levels. A mask is, unfortunately at the moment, one of the most important items of school equipment: please check your son or daughter has one before they come into school each day. We really do not want to disturb parents and carers (and we are also limiting visitors to the school as a safety measure) by phoning to ask that they bring a mask in for their son or daughter. We will, however, have to do this if the numbers of masks we are handing out remain at current levels.
  • Distancing: All pupils should try and socially distance outwith classrooms. We would appreciate your help in encouraging your son or daughter (in accordance with government guidelines when they are outwith school) to spend time with their friends in groups of no more than 6 and socially distanced unless they are in a classroom setting. This also applies when they are out at local stores at lunchtimes. We know the highest transmission rates (much of it asymptomatic) are in the particular age groups we deal with in school- particularly senior students- and we want to keep pupils safe, as well as members of the wider community.
  • Ventilation: there is clear evidence that transmission rates of Covid19 are much lower in fresh air and within well ventilated spaces. As I previously signalled last term, students will be outside as much as possible at intervals and lunchtimes if the weather is not bad. In addition, classrooms windows and vents will be open during lessons. The school uniform policy remains in place and should be adhered to. Pupils might wish to wear T shirts or vests under their school shirts. Pupils will also be allowed to keep coats or jackets on during lessons. If you are struggling to clothe your son or daughter for cold weather please remember that clothing grants and other help is available. Please contact your child’s Guidance teacher of Year Head if you need help.

It goes without saying that the other key mitigations like frequent handwashing remain as important as ever.

Once again, thank you for your support.

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