Dibden News

Dibden News2024-02-14T15:56:22+00:00

31/01/2022 – Positive COVID19 Cases

COVID19 Cases – Dibden Site

Dear Parents/Carers,

We currently have a significant number of positive COVID-19 test results at our Dibden site – predominantly with members of staff.

Due to the number of staff absent we have implemented a partial closure and only have a very small proportion of students on site today to keep student/staff ratios appropriate and safe.

If positive cases increase, we may be required to fully close the school site. If this occurs, we will switch to full remote learning via Microsoft Teams and our Virtual Learning Environment. Although we will try to avoid this, I would prefer to give advanced notice to parents/carers, so you are able to consider any impact for childcare.

We will communicate plans going forward for this week with Parents/Carers via personal phone calls.

We have reported the current outbreak to the Department For Education COVID-19 Helpline and are currently awaiting contact from Public Health England.

We appreciate that you may find this concerning, please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

What are we already doing?

Staff who have tested positive are isolating.

Any children/staff who are identified as contacts of the confirmed cases will receive guidance from NHS Test and Trace.

Outbreak control measures are also in place within the Dibden site and being kept under review.

If your child is well

As the school is currently subject to a partial closure and we are looking closely at plans for the remainder of this week (31/01/2022 – 4/02/2022). This may involve students attending on a rotational timetable.

Wherever we are able to provide onsite lessons, your child is able to attend school.

In addition to daily LFD testing for close contacts, we encourage household members aged 11 and over to continue with twice weekly LFD testing to help identify cases promptly.

If you think your child is a close contact but has not been contacted directly by NHS Test and Trace, then we would advise they undertake daily LFD tests for a period of 7 days. This advice applies to children aged 5 and over. Whilst daily testing for 7 days is your choice, it is strongly encouraged as it helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community. The school will supply additional LFD tests to cover the period of this outbreak. Children aged under 5 who are close contacts are not required to isolate and do not need to take part in daily testing of close contacts.

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19 or tests positive for COVID-19

If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), they should get a PCR test (https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test or call 119) and remain at home at least until the result is known and they are fever free (without medication) for at least 24 hours.

  • If negative, the child can end self-isolation and return to school once well;
  • If positive, the child should isolate as a positive case (see below)

People who test positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home until they are well (48 hours fever free) and either:

  1. 10 full days have passed, or
  2. They have produced two negative LFD tests on consecutive days, with the first taken no earlier than day 5.

Note: Lingering coughs and changes to smell/taste are not a sign of ongoing infectiousness, so children can return to school if they have ended their self-isolation period (see above).

If your child does not have symptoms, count the day they took the test as day 0. If they subsequently develop symptoms, they will need to restart their isolation period using the day symptoms developed as day 0.

You can seek advice on COVID-19 symptoms from the nhs.uk website. If you are concerned about your child’s symptoms, or they are worsening you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://111.nhs.uk/ or by phoning 111

Instructions for people who live in the same household as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or is symptomatic and awaiting a test result

NHS Test and Trace will contact you to check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing, advised to take extra caution, and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19.

Those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should be supported to minimise their contact with other people in the household during this period, regardless of whether others have symptoms or not.

You are not required to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • You are fully vaccinated
  • You are below the age of 18 years 6 months
  • You have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Fully vaccinated means that you have been vaccinated with an MHRA approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, and at least 14 days have passed since you received the recommended doses of that vaccine (note this is currently under review and may be updated to include a booster dose in due course).

In line with national guidance for households with Covid-19 infection, household and other close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should undertake daily LFD testing for a period of 7 days or for 10 days from their last contact with the positive case (whichever is first). This is recommended for all close contacts aged 5 and over who are not required to isolate. The school can provide additional LFD tests if required.

Children aged under 5 who are close contacts are not required to isolate and do not need to take part in daily testing of close contacts. If a child under the age of 5 lives with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 they will be advised to avoid contact with those at higher risk of severe illness if infected with COVID-19 and to take a one-off PCR test as soon as possible.

You are required to self-isolate if you’re aged over 18 years and 6 months and if any of the following apply:

  • You have received only one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine
  • You have not received any dose of the COVID-19 vaccination
  • You are not otherwise exempt

Household members who need to self-isolate as close contacts should not go to work, school or public areas, and exercise should be taken within the home. You should ask friends or family if you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog. Alternatively, you can order your shopping online and medication by phone or online. Please read the stay at home guidance which provides information on this.

Household members staying at home for 10 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.

You could be fined if you do not self-isolate following a notification by NHS Test and Trace. You may be entitled to a one-off payment of £500 through the NHS Test and Trace Support Payment scheme if you are required to stay at home and self-isolate, or you are the parent or guardian of a child who has been told to self-isolate. To access the payment, eligible people will still be asked to take a confirmatory PCR if they receive a positive LFD result.

How to reduce spread of COVID-19 as a household contact who is not required to self-isolate

Even if you are vaccinated, you can still be infected with COVID-19 and pass it on to others. If you are identified as a contact of someone with COVID-19 but you are not required to self-isolate, you can help protect others by following the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 in your community:

  • Test daily using LFDs
  • Limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in enclosed spaces (when not in school)
  • Wear a face covering for those aged 11 and over in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilates spaces and when you are in close contact with other people
  • Limit contact with anyone who is at higher risk of severe illness if infected with Covid-19
  • Follow the guidance on how to stay safe and help prevent the spread – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

You should follow this advice for at least 10 days.

If you are a health or social care worker or student undertaking a work placement who has been identified as a household contact and are exempt from self-isolation, there is additional guidance available that you should follow to reduce the risk of spread of COVID-19 in these settings.

If you develop symptoms at any time, even if these are mild, self-isolate immediately, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test and follow the guidance for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.

How to stop coronavirus (COVID-19) spreading

There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with coronavirus (COVID-19):

  • Get vaccinated – everyone aged 12 and over can book COVID-19 vaccination appointments now
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser regularly throughout the day
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • Meet people outside and avoid crowded areas
  • Open doors and windows to let in fresh air if meeting people inside
  • Wear a face covering if aged 11 and over when it’s hard to stay away from other people – particularly indoors or in crowded places
  • Participate in twice weekly LFD testing following national guidelines (recommended for 11 years and over). We encourage you to log your results here: https://www.gov.uk/log-test-site-covid19-results

Further Information

Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Yours sincerely

Duncan Smith


January 31st, 2022|Dibden Letters|

30/12/2021 – Parent/Carer Update

Dear Parents & Carers,

I hope this letter finds you all well and that you have all had an enjoyable Christmas Holiday.

I am writing to confirm arrangements for start of next term and share some developments for the start of 2022.

Start of Term Arrangements

Firstly, to remind all parents of the start of term arrangements in January 2022.

Monday 3rd January: National Holiday

Tuesday 4th January: INSET Day

Wednesday 5th January: Students return to school.

As things stand, the Government/Department for Education have not made any changes to advice for schools re-opening therefore we look forward to seeing all students return on Wednesday the 5th of January.

COVID-19 Updates and Measures

Before Christmas I sent out a letter to parents/carers regarding COVID-19 measures and arrangements for on-site COVID-19 testing in January.

This letter also included information regarding COVID-19 vaccinations as well as an additional letter from the immunisation service with a link to the online consent form for COVID-19 Vaccinations. If any parent/carer has not seen these yet, copies can be found on our website:

The online consent form from the Vaccination Service can be accessed here and I would encourage any parent/carer who has wishes their child to receive either their first or second vaccination (if already vaccinated once) to complete the following e-consent form:


You will need to use the following unique code for our school: SH137279

Change to Our Published INSET Days

We previously published Monday 28th February as an INSET day but would like to give advance notice that this will change to:

Friday 4th March.

We have been trying to rebook the second day of our whole school training for the ‘Read Write Inc’ Reading Scheme. Due to lack of trainers available on the 28th of February we have had to move our planned INSET day to Friday 4th March to ensure this important training is completed.

New Appointments

I would like to share some key new appointments to the staff team at New Forest School.

Becky Rogers: Head of School – Totton

I am delighted to welcome Becky Rogers to our staff team as Head of School – Totton. She will join our other Heads of School – Nathan Lynch (Dibden), Jean Gammon (Fawley) and I as part of the core Senior Leadership Team. She has an array of experience in both Secondary, SEN and Post 16 education establishments. Becky will start in January 2022 but has already spent a day touring all the education provision at New Forest School and I know is excited to get started.

Ricky Carver: Assistant Head Pastoral – Totton

I am also delighted to welcome Ricky Carver to our staff team as Assistant Head – Pastoral. Ricky will be based on our Totton Site and starts formally in January. He is joining us from New Forest Care and as such is well known to many of the staff and students already. Ricky been able to spend several days on site over the last couple of weeks getting to know the school and those students/staff he has not already met.

Caroline Cunnington: Pastoral Support – Totton

Caroline joins our Pastoral Team at Totton in January. She has undertaken a similar role at a local school for several years and we are looking forward to her joining us and sharing her wealth of experience with both students and staff.

Emma Smith: Tutor – Dibden
Loata Kini: Tutor – Dibden
Caiden Cole: Tutor – Dibden

Emma, Loata & Caiden are all joining (or have just joined) our Dibden site as Tutors and we are looking forward to them becoming part of the staff team.

Maternity Leave

We have two staff who have now started their maternity leave.

Jacqueline Fry: Art Teacher – Totton

Jacqueline Fry started her maternity leave at the end of this term. I am sure you will join me in wishing her well as she prepares to welcome a new addition to her family. Jacqueline will return to New Forest School after her maternity leave.

Alex Warhurst: School Admin – Fawley

Alex Warhurst started her maternity leave a couple of weeks prior to the Christmas break and now has a new addition to her family. Again, I am sure you will join me in offering her our congratulations. Alex will return to New Forest School following her maternity leave.


Sam Roberts: Pastoral – Totton

Sam Roberts has now moved on from New Forest School. I know Sam will be missed by students and staff alike and we wish him well in his future endeavours.

Final Thoughts

I would like to take this opportunity to wish every student, member of staff and parent/carer a Happy New Year.

I am extremely grateful for the support of all parents, carers, and our wider school community throughout 2021. It has been lovely to see the school sites return to operating more normally over the last term, despite the ongoing pandemic, with activities, trips and visits/visitors alongside normal timetabled lessons. I sincerely hope that this can continue in the New Year.

During the brief periods that any of our schools’ sites have been impacted by COVID-19, the support and understanding from you all has been hugely appreciated by myself, the Senior Leadership Team and all staff.

Kind regards,

Duncan Smith Headteacher

December 30th, 2021|Whole School Letters|


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