TBSHS Gym Turns into a Covid testing Centre

School Community pulls together to test every pupil

Date published: Sat 6 Mar 2021   Author:    Category: News   Share: Share on facebookShare on TwitterShare on MySpaceShare by Email

An extraordinary sight met the eye at The Bishop's Stortford High School this week, as the School gym was turned into a Covid-19 Mass-Testing centre.

Whilst teachers were busy delivering a full programme of online lessons, Support Staff, Governor and Parent volunteers, joined forces to test all 1100 pupils before their return to School on Monday.

The School has been Covid-Testing all staff and Key-Worker pupils who have been in School, every week since January, but this week was the first week of mass testing.

All the personnel staffing the Centre had been trained in NHS procedures and how to do the testing, with the Centre being managed and run by Senior Science Technician Mrs Lisa McMahon and Head Groundsman Mr Paul Trigg. Full NHS medical-grade PPE and other equipment has been assembled ready for the challenge.

Support staff from across the School pulled together, including Administration staff, the School Librarian, Exams Officers, Caretaking, the Site Management Team, Catering staff (Dinner ladies), the IT staff and all the Science Technicians. Their numbers were boosted by Governor and Parent Volunteers, which enabled the centre to power through the tests, increasing the output ten-fold from 100 tests per week to 1100 tests.

Pupils were given time slots to come into School and the vast majority of tests were completed within 5-10 minutes, with results being uploaded to the government and emailed out to pupils or parents within 1-2 hours.

The priority exam classes of Year 13 and Year 11 were tested twice (Tuesday & Friday), with other year groups following on.  Testing will continue into next week, with TBSHS running full lessons for all year groups, in School, from Monday 8th.

Each pupil will be tested three times, in accordance with government directions, and will then go on to test twice weekly at home for the remainder of the term.

Mr Trigg thanked all the staff and volunteers, saying they had made his job a great deal easier.

Head Teacher Mr Reeve said "The first wave of mass Covid testing has gone extremely well in school, thanks to a massive effort from a number of staff, governor and parent volunteers. Lots of colleagues have been incredibly willing and helpful and it is very much appreciated, thank you. Particular thanks to Lisa McMahon and Paul Trigg for leading the testing programme so successfully and to Graham Gunn and Rachel Engel for their great logistical efforts to get it all organised in advance. We had a massive uptake and I am pleased to say we did not have a single positive test."