Coronavirus update

COVID 19 / Coronavirus,

 

I am writing to share with you our present position in response to COVID-19. You will be aware that the school has been following the Government guidance.  This is being updated daily.  In brief, it advises on precautions we should take. The full guidance can be accessed via this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response

 

Whilst the Government guidance clearly informs us at present that schools cannot close without approval from the Department for Education, we are making plans for the possibility of a temporary part or full school closure if this scenario arises.  At present, however, we are carrying out ‘business as usual.’

 

Current guidance:

  • If your child has a new persistent cough and / or high temperature (above 37.8) they should not come into school for 7 days. Please follow the usual absence procedures by informing us on the first day of absence.
  • If a child comes to school / develops on site a persistent cough or fever we will contact you to collect your child as soon as possible.  You will need to follow the self-isolation procedures for the next 7 days.  (Please ensure the school has up to date contact details.)
  • If any adults, siblings or other family members have the above symptoms please do not come onto the school site.
  • If your child has been in direct contact with someone who has a confirmed case f Coronavirus, your child should be self-isolated for 14 days.

 

If the symptoms have not improved after 7 days, the NHS 111 online Coronavirus service should be contacted for further advice on https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

 

All staff and children are frequently reminded to wash their hands regularly (using soap and water); cover coughs or sneezes into a tissue and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. We have used DfE materials to remind children of good hygiene and to encourage regular handwashing.  Soap dispensers are refilled regularly. Where appropriate, teachers have spoken to children about the virus.

 

Activities and events:

We are reviewing and risk assessing any planned activities on the school calendar that will involve a larger gathering of people or people from vulnerable groups. We are also introducing measures to limit the number of visitors who enter the school building.  The following changes are now in place:

  • No whole school Gatherings including Celebration Gathering
  • Staggered lunchtimes to minimise number of children in Hall at any one time
  • No visits to Residential homes

 

Staff absence:

It is likely that some of our staff may have to stay away from school and in some schools this is already happening.  They may be showing symptoms or self-isolating for a number of reasons. In coping with staff absence there may be unavoidable changes to the children’s daily routines. We may, for example, have to explore options such as merging classes in order for the school to remain open in line with the current guidance. 

 

Next steps:

In order to cover any eventuality, we are planning for the potential closure of the school.  We’ll only close if we’re either officially advised to do so or if reduced staffing poses a health and safety risk to the children.  We would, of course, advise you of this scenario as soon as possible via the school website, twitter and by emailing via Schoolcomms.

 

Teachers are preparing work to be circulated in the event of temporary closure. Whilst there is no substitute for being in a classroom with a teacher, we will do our best to provide learning opportunities and resources for the children. One such activity in Year 1 – 6 will be Doodlemaths. Please ensure your child knows their Doodlemaths login and password. If you anticipate having difficulty accessing online learning resources, please discuss this with your child’s class teacher.

 

We are not currently providing work for any child who is placed in self-isolation.  I am sure that you will appreciate that our focus is on continuing to deliver education in school and prepare for a whole school approach should we have to close.

 

We realise that this situation can be very unsettling so if you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  Alternatively / in addition please consult the:

  • NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible before calling 111
  • Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools
  • Government’s travel advice, if you want to know whether any upcoming trip or holiday you’re taking abroad should go ahead.

 

We are very aware that children, as well as adults, can become anxious and worried about COVID-19. Whilst we are talking to the children about coronavirus (age appropriately) we would advise you to talk to your children too to reassure them during this unsettling period.  BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and Young Minds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety.

 

We will of course keep you updated regarding further developments.  Thank you for your continued support and your understanding in this challenging time.  Please be reassured that we are doing our utmost to safeguard your children.