January 2021

Team effort delivers first round of Lateral Flow Testing at Withernsea High School

Just over a month ago, staff and students around the country were busy preparing for what was anticipated to be a full return to the classroom after the Christmas holidays. 

Nationally, it was widely accepted that mass-testing would prove to be the key for the safe return to in-person learning and plans were quickly formulated to facilitate this at schools around the country.

On Monday 4th January, a new national lockdown was announced - bringing with it a move to Remote Learning for all students, except those identified by the Government as being eligible for in-school supervision.

At Withernsea High School, comprehensive testing plans were already in place which had been scheduled to work around the planned staggered return of students.

These plans were resurrected this week when, as part of the continuing measures to help suppress the spread of Covid-19 on a local level, and in line with measures adopted in other educational settings nationally, the first round of Lateral Flow Testing was offered to students attending on-site learning.

At present, the school is averaging around 60 pupils on site per day – a slight increase on the number seen during previous partial closures. In the first round of testing, 47 students and 29 staff took up the offer of a test.

Lateral Flow Tests are one of the many methods being used to help detect and fight Covid-19 and they are already proving beneficial in finding people with the virus before they develop symptoms.

The simple test involves a swab taken from the nose and/or throat which is then processed in around 20 minutes to offer a rapid means of detecting trace elements of the virus.

Approximately 20 staff volunteers, from across various departments and positions in the school, assisted with the testing process – making it a great team effort.

School Business Manager Sarah Evans commented: ‘I would like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in the Covid testing, whether behind the scenes or on the front line.

The students were a credit to themselves and to our school. They conducted themselves calmly and sensibly throughout, which meant that the testing ran extremely smoothly and much quicker than anticipated.

I am also grateful to the many volunteers, who assisted with conducting, processing and recording the tests, for their time and commitment to this daunting yet rewarding task.

I have been hugely proud of all of our staff throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, for their resilience, tenacity and hard work in ensuring the safety and support of our school community.’


ABOVE: Staff from many different areas of the school, including members of the admin and pastoral teams, technicians from the Science department, cleaning staff and school leadership colleagues, all volunteered to help with the testing. School First Aid leader Laura Kerr-Delworth oversaw the swabbing, whilst Senior Science Technician Sarah Smith ran the processing and recording area.   

BELOW: The school's Sports Hall was used as the testing space. The open and well-ventilated space was ideally suited to the requirements of the process.  

ABOVE: The tests aim to give a reading in around 20 minutes. Testing took place in school on Friday 22nd and Monday 25th January.