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The Bishop of Winchester Academy

The Bishop
of Winchester

Letter from Principal 4th January

Dear Parents

I hope you are all well and have had an opportunity for some family time over the Christmas period, although it will have been different from previous years.

I am sure you will have seen the Government announcement that secondary schools will not be reopening as had previously been planned.  This is in response the rapid rise of Covid 19 and increased transmission rates of the new variant. 

You may also be aware that there has been an increased expectation of schools to start their testing programme during week commencing 11th January. 

I would like to share with you our revised plans for the start of term.  These will, of course, be subject to change if there are further updates from Government and we are aware that the Prime Minister is speaking to the nation at 8.00pm this evening.  We will write again should there be any changes. 

Blended Learning

In order to facilitate the staggered start to this term, the provision we will be providing is as follows:

Wednesday 6th January

  • Whole-school Assembly via YouTube at 8:30 (link to be emailed closer to the time)
  • All students working independently using resources provided on ShowMyHomework

Thursday 7th January &

Friday 8th January

  • Live Teams lessons for years 11 and 13 in line with normal timetable
  • Independent work for years 7-10 and 12

Monday 11th January to Friday 15th January

  • Onsite teaching for years 11 and 13
  • Live Teams lessons for years 7-10 and 12 in line with normal timetable

Monday 18th January to Friday 22nd January

  • Onsite teaching for all students

The lessons above will be in line with your child’s normal timetable, although their timetable may have changed over the Christmas break. An up-to-date timetable will be emailed to your child’s school email account by Wednesday morning. Students can access independent work via ShowMyHomework using their normal school login.

It is essential that students continue to engage with their education during these challenging times. Student participation will be continuously monitored, and your continued support with this is appreciated.

Electronic versions of the Lent One Knowledge Organisers will be available from the academy website, and students should follow their normal homework schedule for KO revision.

Provision for Students of Critical Workers

During this staggered return to school schools have been asked to provide a service for children where the parents are in the critical worker category and they cannot provide an alternative for their children during the school day. 

The definition of key workers can be found at:

Students who access this service will be expected to attend on a daily basis, normal school hours.  They will need to wear full school uniform, bring all their equipment (including headphones) and a packed lunch. For students who are entitled to free school meals, a packed lunch will be provided. 

Please do not try to access this provision if you do not fall into the key or critical worker category.  Students will be based within their learning zone and will have access to technology to enable them to access the same provision as students who will be working remotely from home. 

This provision will be available for all students, who have been registered and received confirmation from the academy, from 10.00am, Wednesday 6th January.

If you would like to register your child for this provision please complete the form on the link below by 2.00pm on Tuesday 7th January.  Your child should not attend until you have written confirmation of a place.

Provision for Vulnerable Students (including those with EHCP)

This provision is in place for registered vulnerable students and those with an EHCP.  The above provision for critical workers applies. 

Lateral Flow Tests In School

As you are aware secondary schools have been instructed to conduct mass testing.  Mass testing will allow asymptomatic cases to be identified and appropriate action taken to enhance the safety of our whole school community.

Staff will be tested on return to school and students on the programme below:

Vulnerable Students will be tested on Thursday 7th January

Children of Critical Workers who are accessing the on-site provision will be tested on Thursday 7th January. 

Year 11 & 13 will be tested on Monday 11th January and either Thursday 14th or Friday 15th January

Year 7-10 and 12 will be tested week beginning Monday 18th January.

It is essential that you complete the consent form on the link below to register your child for the testing programme.

Free School Meals

If your child is entitled to receive Free School Meals we will be able to provide you with a food hamper.  You will be contacted by a further email to provide you with details on how you can access these. 

Face Coverings

And finally, due to easy transmission of the new variant we have taken the decision, that to keep our students, our staff and our families safer, we will now require all our school community to wear a face covering at all times, in all indoor spaces, including during lessons. 

Some individuals are exempt from wearing face coverings.  This only applies to those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment or disability. 


  • Duke of Edinburgh
  • Diocese of Winchester