Announcements | 11th March 2021

Home testing information

12 March 2021

Dear parent/carer,

I would like to first congratulate all students on how they have conducted themselves throughout the lateral flow testing programme, their level of maturity and positivity has been incredible. As per Government Guidance, now that students have performed the lateral flow under trained supervision in school, they now have home test kits to test themselves at home. The home test kits will again help to reduce the spread of the virus. 

Testing students at home:

We would like them to take their tests before school on Monday and Thursday. Preferably this would be in the morning before going into school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed. 

Tests are free of charge. Students will receive a pack of 3 tests in a box with a leaflet on how to take the test and report the results.

You need to report test results.

Taking the test:

Students have a leaflet with instructions on how to do the test with the kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test here.

Help and support is available, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test.

There is no need to keep used test equipment after the test result has been reported. You can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you have symptoms, you should self- isolate immediately, book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.   

What should you do after the test?

The result of each test needs to be reported to both school and NHS Test & Trace. To report results complete this Google Form:

Once you have submitted the Google Form, you will be presented with the link to report to NHS Test and Trace, this must be done for all test results. 

If the test is positive:

If anyone tests positive you, your household, any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. 

You need to report your result to both NHS Test and Trace and Ipswich Academy. You should complete the Google Form above, call us on 01473 550040 or email us at if the test is positive, without delay (even if this is a weekend).

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home.

If the result of the test is unclear (void) you should do another test. 

Negative and void results should be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and school.

If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing. 

Why take part:

Over 85% of students have consented to testing which is fantastic, however taking part in testing is voluntary.

I am strongly encouraging all students to take part. Testing at home will allow your child and other students to attend school as safely as possible.

If you would prefer for your child to be tested at school, please email us at

Thank you for your support.

Yours faithfully

Abbie Thorrington

Some frequently asked questions 

Can my child take the test themselves?

Students aged 12-17 should do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the [pupil/student] to take the test if they need support. 

Students aged 11 must be tested by an adult and the adult must report the result. 

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the school. 

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website:  

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. 

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. 

Further information: 

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These  

individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.  

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested. 

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.  

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.  

What does it mean if my child has a positive result?

If your child has a positive antigen LFD test result they, their household and any support bubbles they are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and your school.

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you are testing at home (confirmatory PCR tests are not needed if the test was conducted at the Asymptomatic Test Site at school). 

You can book a test here. 

What does it mean if my child has a negative result?

A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands.

What if my child has a void result? 

If the result of the test is unclear (void), they should take another one. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test. You can book a test here. 

All test results need to be reported to both NHS Test & Trace and school.

Do I need to send the test to a lab?

No. The LFDs supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to take the test here.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels: 

  • get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home (you can find your nearest test site via the postcode checker or check your local council website) 
  • collect tests to do at home, find your nearest collection site COVID Test Finder ( 

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on 

There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

How will personal information and test results be shared?

When your child takes a Lateral Flow test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.

You need to tell the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC):

●  your child’s name

●  your child’s test result

●  the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your child’s school or college their test result. 

Under UK law, your child’s school or college can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’. This means that your child’s data helps us to stop the spread of the virus, and to keep your children in school. For example, we will tell your child to self-isolate if they get a positive test result.

Schools and colleges will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again. This will ensure that testing is accurate and helps keep us all safe.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice. 

Announcements | 11th March 2021

Letter for parents of close contact of a confirmed COVID case

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following on from my correspondence yesterday afternoon, we have been notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.

Your child has been identified as a close contact of the confirmed case. In line with the national guidance your child is advised to self-isolate for 10 days since the last contact with the confirmed case. The date of last contact with a confirmed case is day zero. The 10 day self-isolation period will end on Saturday 20th March.

If your child is well at the end of the 10 day period they will be able to return to school on Monday 22nd March. Other members of your household can continue normal activities provided your child does not develop symptoms within the 10 day self-isolation period.

Please see the link to the PHE Staying at Home Guidance:

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19

If your child develops symptoms arrange for a COVID test. This can be done via or by calling 119.

If their test is negative they must still continue to self-isolate for the 10 day period, regardless of the negative test result.

If their test is positive they will need to self-isolate for 10 days from the date when their symptoms start. All your household members must self-isolate for 10 days.

The date of symptom onset is day zero.

General COVID information


The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

•recent onset of new continuous cough or

•high temperature or

•a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. If you are concerned about your child’s health or the health of anyone else in your house please seek advice from your GP or NHS 111 by phoning 111.

There are things you can do to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19:

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • wash your hands as soon as you get home
  • 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

Further Information

Further information is available at

Work to be provided whilst students are isolating

As per my communication yesterday, students should work from their Knowledge Organisers today and existing work on Google Classrooms. From Friday 12th March, teachers will be uploading work for students to complete daily on Google Classrooms.

As always, if you have any questions then please do not hesitate to get into contact. I thank you again for your support.

Yours sincerely

Abbie Thorrington


Announcements | 8th March 2021

Year 11 update

08 March 2021

Dear Year 11 students, 

Following on from the Ofqual announcements and subsequent assembly last week, I felt it important to write to you all to update you on the very latest information. 

  • Teachers can use a range of evidence to make a judgement of the grade they are performing at.
  • Students should only be assessed on what they have been taught. Centres will need to provide accessible questions and tasks for lower attaining students and appropriately demanding questions and tasks for higher attaining students to support higher grades.
  • Every student will have the right to appeal their grade.
  • Students will receive their results for GCSEs on the 12 August.
  • Ofqual will put in place the technical framework needed to implement the arrangements for students completing vocational qualifications.

We are still awaiting further exam board clarification on the evidence body we will be using to assess students and how we will be assessing students in school between the information being released and 18 June. Once I have this information and Ipswich Academy’s internal quality assurance processes in place I will share this with you. 

The grades will be evidence informed. We will only be able to submit a grade for a student if we have sufficient evidence that they are working at that standard. 

All staff are very much looking forward to welcoming you back on Wednesday 10 March as you go into your final months as Ipswich Academy students. You all need to prepare yourself for the last uphill push, as staff we will push you to reach your potential, you need to show the willingness and determination to reach the top.  

Do not give up Year 11!  You have been on an incredible journey, keep working hard and know that every piece of work you complete will still make a difference.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 25th January 2021

Year 10 Virtual Parent Consultation Evenings

Announcements | 18th January 2021

Year 11 consultation letter

18th January 2021

Dear Year 11 students, 

Thank you to all those that joined my assembly this morning to update you on the consultation process for GCSE and A Level examinations. 

Up to this point, you have all worked diligently and maturely in the face of what I think have been the most challenging circumstances learners have ever faced. Despite this pandemic causing huge disruption to your learning last year and this year, you have all made progress and shown that you are strong and resilient. 

We do however need to look to the future. The government is deciding how these grades will be calculated. Again, I need to stress that this is a consultation, no decisions have been made. 

Below are some key points that form the consultation:

  • assessments to take place in late May/June;
  • grades to be based on student current performance and NOT where we ‘think they would be at’;
  • teachers should assess students on the areas of content they have covered and can demonstrate their ability, while ensuring sufficient breadth of content coverage so as not to limit progression;
  • exam boards to provide papers for students to sit and for teachers to mark;
  • an opportunity to use coursework and own papers;
  • exams boards to provide support on grading;
  • exam boards would then quality assure the approach taken by each school, working together to ensure their approaches are consistent.

Students, parents and carers can comment on the consultation process. Please click on the link.

There were some frustrations voiced in the assembly today, a lot of you feel a sense of anger towards the way in which your exams are being handled. This is your opportunity to have your say. Following this, put your frustrations to good use and apply to your learning. We are all on this journey together and as always, we will support you in any way we can.

My final message continues to be- do not give up! You have been on an incredible journey; turn up to all your online lessons, keep working hard and know that every piece of work you complete will still make a difference.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 8th January 2021

Update from Abbie Thorrington

08 January 2021

Dear students, parents and carer,

I want to start this letter by saying a big well done to all students for their work online this week, you have made a great start and must now continue this way. Also, I would like to thank parents and carers for their support and patience with the process. We have loaned nearly 500 laptops this week and are urgently trying to seek additional devices for families requiring more.

Earlier in the week the Government announced that GCSE examinations were not going ahead this year. We share the disappointment for year 11 students following their incredible hard work over the past four years. Despite this, they have continued to engage with their learning this week and I encourage them to continue to ensure that they achieve the Centre Assessed Grade they deserve. 

Google Classroom update:

As often the case when something is new, we have faced a few challenges around student appropriate use of live links. I am therefore asking parents and carers for their support in speaking with students. 

Students are expected to join the live lesson at the allocated time in their timetable and they should leave the live lesson when the teacher ends it. There should be no misuse of the live lesson links in-between lessons. If students are found to be misusing the links, we will have to take further action or reduce the live teaching offer. 

Students should also be following their timetable that has been sent to them. Students are in their teaching groups to ensure that the work set by teachers is appropriate for their ability level. Students should not be sharing live links with one-another and going into other lessons. 

Contact home:

As well as monitoring students online work we will also be making regular phone calls home to speak with parents/carers and students to see how they are getting on and supporting them in any way possible. To make you aware, there may be occasions where you are called from a withheld number due to staff working off-site. 

Change of times for the school day: 

From Monday 11th January, all students in all year groups will be following the same timing of the day.

9.00-9.20- registration

9.20-10.20- lesson 1

10.20-11.20- lesson 2

11.20-11.35- break

11.35-12.35- lesson 3

12.35-13.15- lunch

13.15-14.15- lesson 4

14.15-15.15- lesson 5

Students will be sent their timetable which will reflect these times ready for Monday 11th January. 

Free data:

Yesterday I communicated with you around the positive news around mobile phone companies offering additional data at no extra cost. Availability is limited, please fill in this form: if you would like to access this. 

Academy Council meeting:

On Wednesday 13th January I will be holding a virtual Academy Council meeting. Please click on the link, it would be great to see you all there. Please find the agenda below.

Thank you for your ongoing support, I wish you all a restful weekend. 

Abbie Thorrington

Virtual Academy Council Meeting Agenda

Wednesday 13 January 2021

6:30 – 7:30pm

  1. Introduction and apologies for absence
  1. COVID Update: Risk Assessment in school

Online provision

                            Welfare calls home

  1. Hinterland offer – planned school trips
  1. Parental feedback: House system

      Knowledge Organisers

      Behaviour update/Road safety

  1. Agree date and time for next meeting and suggested agenda items
  1. AOB

Announcements | 7th January 2021

iMedia update – January 2021

Dear Year 11 student, 

Following on from yesterday’s announcement by the government regarding the cancellation of GCSE and A-level examinations this year, I am writing to you about the Creative iMedia examination scheduled to take place on Monday 11th January.

On Monday, the Department for Education and Ofqual stated that schools and colleges can proceed with the running of technical and vocational examinations “where they judge it right to do so.” In light of the current situation, we have decided to cancel Monday’s exam. 

You will not be disadvantaged by this. Grades will be awarded based on objective evidence, and any grades that your teachers set you will be moderated carefully, to ensure they are consistent within and between schools. 

We will provide more information about the grading process when we have it. In the meantime please continue to engage with the remote learning set for all your subjects.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get into contact.

Yours sincerely,

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 5th January 2021

Year 11 January update

5th January 2021

Dear Year 11 students, 

Thank you to all those that joined my assembly this morning to update you on the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening that GCSE and A Level exams will not take place in the summer in the normal way. In the coming days we will get details of what will replace them, but we expect it will involve teachers assessing performance using class and homework, coursework, mock exam results and other evidence. 

The Government has yet to announce whether vocational qualifications will be going ahead, these include Hospitality and Catering, Creative iMedia, Business and Enterprise, Health and Fitness and Performing Arts.

I share with you all the shock and disappointment this news will bring following your incredible hard work over the previous four years. I strongly urge you all, that once the shock has worn off, that you consider the following three points:

1- Your hard work will still be recognised. None of the effort you have shown so far, and will continue to show in the coming months, will be wasted.

2- The value of your GCSE qualifications is not being altered, only the way it is being administered. 

3- The new system will be fair and balanced. Grades will be awarded based on objective evidence. Any grades that your teachers set you will be moderated carefully, to ensure they are consistent within and between schools. 

My final message is- do not give up! You have been on an incredible journey; turn up to all your online lessons, keep working hard and know that every piece of work you complete will still make a difference.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 4th January 2021

January update

04 January 2021

Dear parent/carer,

Happy New Year! 

Following on from my communication over the holiday period and the recent Government announcement, I would like to update you on the following plans around your child’s education provision and Covid 19 testing, for those that have consented, from Tuesday 5th January. 

Remote learning: 

We will be using Google Classroom to support students with their learning. Students have previously had a lesson familiarising them with the platform and all students have their password and username. From Tuesday 5th January, work will be uploaded onto Google Classroom for students to complete. 

Please find below an example timetable that students will follow, students’ exact timetable will be emailed to their school email address later today along with links for live lessons, they will need to click on the link at the desired times. Students are expected to complete all work set for them. 

As a reminder, we expect students to conduct themselves appropriately on Google Classroom. All activity is trackable and any misuse of the platform will be addressed through the Trust’s behaviour policy. Teachers will be monitoring the engagement and attendance of students throughout. 

Reg 0900-0920Live registrationLive registrationLive registrationLive registration 
P1 0920-1020History GeographyScienceMaths- live 
P2 1020-1120EnglishEnglish- liveEnglish- liveScience
P3 1140-1240Maths- liveMaths MathsEnglish- live 
P4 1315-1415PREPE- live Science- liveMaths
P5 1415-1515PHSE- live Science- live Art- live Music

Students coming into school:

These students will be taught by subject teachers throughout the day. Students will need to arrive at school ready for registration at 9.00am and school will end at 15.15pm. There will be a lunch service daily for students entitled to a Free School Meal or wishing to purchase food. Students will be expected to abide by strict social distance expectations when in school. These will be explained to them on their first day. 

Year 11 students:

In line with Government advice, year 11 students will be returning to school full-time on Monday 11th January. 

Lateral flow testing- initial and daily testing:

I am pleased to announce that late this morning our testing kits arrived. We are working hard to prepare the sports hall, where the initial testing will take place. Staff are also completing the mandatory online training. 

You can read more about how the government expects this programme to work here. Students and staff will be carrying out the swab themselves. Please click on the link for further explanation.

If you are yet to complete the online consent form and are happy for your child to be tested, please fill in the electronic Google form (here) or enclosed consent statement and return it to the school via submitting the Google form, emailing or hand delivering to the school office. If you do not wish to consent to your child being tested in school if they are in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid 19, they must follow Government guidance and isolate for 10 days from the day they last had contact with the positive case.

Initial testing will commence the week beginning 11th January. All those who have consented will be tested twice, 3 days apart. I will be in contact later this week to further details around timings. Students must stay in school whilst they await their test result, they will be supervised during this time. 

Daily testing will take place once students return to school. This is where consented pupils are tested in the morning for 7 days after being highlighted as being in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid 19. Students must isolate over the weekend period, they will not be tested over the weekend. 

Thank you for your ongoing support in ensuring that we are able to provide an effective and safe learning environment for students both in school and online. 

Abbie Thorrington

Announcements | 31st December 2020

End of December Covid update

31st December 2020

Dear parent/carer,

Following on from the Government announcement last night, I would like to update you with the following information: 

5th-8th January

  • All students will be working online.
  • Key worker students and students requiring additional support will be invited into school.
  • We will begin planning for testing within school.

11th-15th January 

  • Year 11s, children of key workers and students requiring additional support will be in school.
  • Year 7-10 students will be working online.
  • Mass testing to start within school for students and staff who have consented.

18th January

  • All students back in school.

If you require your child to come into school from 5th January, please email the school, stating your child’s name and their form group. 

If your child requires a laptop to be loaned to them, please come and collect from the school. For year 10 and 11 students between 11am and 3pm on Monday 4th January. For year 7, 8 and 9 students, between 11am and 3pm on Tuesday 5th January. Laptops and any other borrowed equipment will need to be brought back  upon your child’s return to school. 

I will be sending information out shortly for those students who are entitled to a Free School Meal. We will be providing these daily to be collected from the school. 

I look forward to communicating with you again on Monday 4th January.

Yours sincerely, 

Abbie Thorrington

Last updated December 31, 2020