Latest Covid Update 7.2.22

Dear Parents and Carers,

I just wanted to write to you to give you an update of the Covid situation in The Castle as well as in the local area. In our school, we continue to have several cases each week. Most of the time, we are able to manage in terms of staffing. However, there have been a few occasions this term where we have , regrettably, had to close classes due to shortage of staff. We have always tried our hardest to avoid this and have only done it when the safety of students and staff would be at risk. In West Berkshire there are still a very high numbers of cases in schools with a large number of primary and special schools experiencing class closures. Numbers have also been increasing in the lower years of secondary. In the last data sent out by West Berkshire (week ending 30th January), there were 1339 cases amongst staff and pupils in schools in West Berkshire. This is the highest level since the pandemic began. With this in mind, it is crucial that we all remain cautious. The Omicron virus is particularly transmissible, and we must all try and reduce the spread.

We will be continuing with the same protocols we have had in place since the start of the year. These will remain in place until at least half term, when they will be reviewed. I attach the most recent protocols and would ask that you read them carefully in order to help keep everyone safe. Although Omicron appears to produce a milder illness in most people, some people across the country are still getting very sick and in some cases requiring hospital treatment. Several of our pupils and staff are very vulnerable and we need to ensure that we protect them as best as we can. We also want to ensure the minimum of disruption and avoid class closures wherever possible. To this end, it is essential that if your child shows any of the 3 key symptoms that they must self-isolate immediately and get a PCR test as soon as possible. It is also essential that if they test positive with an LFD, they should self-isolate immediately. You can find more details about self isolation here Covid: Self-isolation cut to five full days in England - BBC News or in this NHS webpage When to self-isolate and what to do - Coronavirus (COVID-19) - NHS (


The original list of symptoms are:


1. New, continuous Cough

2. High Temperature

3. A loss or change to your taste and smell


The ZOE Study , which is the world's largest ongoing study of Covid-19, has found that there are also 5 other symptoms that are indicative of Covid-19. These are listed below. If your child has any of these it may be worth seeking a PCR test.


1. Runny nose

2. Headache

3. Fatigue

4. Sneezing

5. Sore Throat



As always, I am very appreciative of your support and thank you for continuing to help make The Castle School a safe place to be.


Best wishes,


Jon Hewitt


The Castle School