A NEWPORT school has announced a series of changes to help to combat coronavirus outbreaks and keep pupils and teachers safe.

St Joseph’s RC High School has sent out letters to parents and carers to advise them of the new changes in place.

According to a letter sent to the parent of a year seven pupil, from Monday, December 7, the child’s contact group will now be their form class and not the full year group.

In the letter, headteacher Mrs Jarrett said: “I share your frustrations and disappointment when having to send home 240 children each time there is a positive case of Covid-19 in your child’s year group.”

Mrs Jarrett then explained how the school have been focusing on trying to make smaller sized contact bubbles work and how there are logistical constraints with doing this for more than 1,500 pupils while giving them safe access to all their needs including the canteen, toilets, outside space and that their curriculum is disrupted as little as possible.

Break and lunch times will be changed so that either their break or lunch will be in their form classroom to allow for all pupils to be able to access the limited outside space available and they have provided a timetable for parents to know when their children will be allowed to use the outside space.


Children will also be able to pre-order their lunch each day while in their morning form period as they will not be able to access the canteen. They will also not be able to buy food at break time, meaning children are asked to bring any snacks and drinks that they want.

Pupils will also now be taught as a form class for all of their classes. They were already doing this for most subjects, with the exception of maths, games and PE, but these will now be taught in the form groups from the same date.

Mrs Jarrett also said: “In order to maintain the integrity of each contact group, when in school, your child must not socialise with any pupils outside of their form class. I understand your child may have made friendships with other pupils and may be disappointed about this. However, this is the only way of ensuring that, if there is another confirmed case of Covid-19 in your child’s year group, only the form class will be required to self-isolate.

“I am grateful for your continued support as we work collectively to keep everyone safe, while providing continuity in learning.”

The changes come following a number of positive cases at the school leading to a large number of pupils having to self-isolate.