Following the publication overnight of the key worker list we are looking at the logistics of this in school. A parental survey will be sent today. The government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
One of the key principles in the guidance is:
If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
We want to be able to support the families who really need us at this time.
See below for further information
The key worker list has finally come through, giving us one day to organise care for the children of workers essential to the government’s response to COVID-19. The link to the full document is here.
These are the key points for you as parents:
As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.
That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
It is important to underline that schools remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
As the media was reporting yesterday, people are being very ‘gung-ho’ about the virus but as someone with family members in the medical profession I am urging you to take it seriously. There is no way that we can practice social distancing with large numbers of children in school. There is also absolutely no doubt that the virus will come to our school community, I would therefore suggest that you consider any children or members of your household who are considered to be vulnerable before you make the decision to apply for a place for your child.
A questionnaire will be coming out shortly, please return this as soon as possible and definitely before 12pm. This afternoon we will be making the decision as to who we are able to offer places to and you will be notified. Kids Collective will operate as usual.
I will be unable to manage staffing over the Easter holiday as was intended and provision will be reliant on staff volunteers and external providers. This is obviously very last minute and we are unlikely to know how many places there will be until next week. We may have to prioritise roles and family circumstances; I know that this will be controversial but there is no way that we will be able to accommodate everyone.
Of course all places and whether the school is open at all going forward will be limited by the number of staff who are well.
The link to the questionnaire is here. Please check with your employer as to whether they think that you are eligible to apply for a place for your child/children.
Following on from the announcement last night there has obviously already been some rapid planning. However, we know as much as you about the fine details, as we will not receive a briefing from the cabinet office until this afternoon.
There are discussions going on at the Local Authority throughout today and I will update you all later on. For now we know that we will be closed for most children from tomorrow and we will therefore make tomorrow a fun day. The children can wear their own, brightly coloured clothes and do not need to bring a donation. Y6 are obviously anxious that it may be their last day in primary school and whilst we hope not, we are aware of their concerns. If that does prove to be the case we will work with parents to provide some kind of social event for them when all of this is over.
For now we know that:
For this to work we need to have as few children as possible at school. The smaller the group, the less risk there will be to children and staff and I obviously need to consider the health of staff. If your child has an EHC plan and you are able to meet their needs (really, this provision is intended for the children with severe disabilities who tend to be in specialist provision), it is obviously better if you do so. There will be far less risk of contamination in your family.
Mrs Moss in her usual efficient way, has a questionnaire ready to go as soon as we get some more detail from government. Please respond as soon as possible as we have very little time to plan.
Updates during the closure will come via Parentmail and the website, which will be our key tool of communication with parents and pupils.
Finally, like the other key workers we are stepping up in a time of crisis and I have been so heartened by the response of the staff here - even when covering the Easter holiday was mentioned. Everyone is wanting to play their part, just as I would expect from this wonderful team. Thank you to them and thank you to all of you for your support during this challenging time. As a child said to the OFSTED inspectors: ‘Our school is a big school but it is like a small family.’
I hope that everyone keeps well and safe.
Peace and love to all,
After School Activities
As a result of the uncertainty due to the government guidelines on the future opening or closing of schools, a decision has been made to defer the bookings for the after school activities for the summer term until Wednesday 15th April 2020 at 5.00 pm. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.
As you can imagine, the announcement of a change of policy yesterday evening has changed things for us, particularly in terms of staffing. For now we are continuing as we are with adaptations where necessary and we are able to cover all classes. We are hoping for business as usual as much as possible for the rest of this week but as you will appreciate, things are changing from day to day.
The new guidance stipulates that:
The symptoms are:
We have begun some further measures to try to minimise the risk of infection spread. Large scale assemblies have been halted; each class is holding their own each morning and the children are being brought into the hall for lunch and seated in classes. We hope to be able to contain things for a little longer with these additional measures.
We have now formulated a plan providing that we stay open and I thought it wise to communicate this with you so that you can make contingency plans.
Option 1 – School open as normal
Option 2a – Staffing is predicted to be low
Option 2b – Staffing is predicted to be low
Option 3 – Staffing is predicted to be critically low
Option 4 – Insufficient staff for safe opening of the site or no Safeguarding leads well enough to cover
Option 5 – The school has been instructed to close by LA/Government
Subject to staffing levels you will see that the first partial closure is of Reception and then Y1. These two year groups are the first consideration because it is much more difficult to observe the recommended hygiene with these children. It seems to take much of the day just to wash their hands and telling them not to hold hands or hug is difficult to oversee. Reception currently has by far the lowest attendance in school.
Some children’s skin is being affected by the handwashing. Children may bring in their own soap and hand lotion if required (named please). They may also bring a small hand towel each day, which must be stored in a plastic bag (sorry for the plastic but that is the advice).
As teachers are planning work for the majority of children who are still in school, it is not feasible to expect them to also plan for the few who are out of school. Please keep checking the website, if we do close there will be a full programme of work for the children online and some classes are already sending home paper packs in anticipation of the eventuality that we do close. Children can access MyMaths, Tables Rockstars and a multitude of online learning opportunities in the meantime - and of course lots of reading.
Thank you to those families who are correctly observing the self-isolation guidance, this will reduce the risk of infection for pupils and staff.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
new continuous cough and/or high temperature
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection
You do not need to call NHS111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
We can all help to slow the spread of Coronavirus!
Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline - this helpline has been set up to answer questions about the virus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline.
We will follow advice from Public Health England, which is updated daily.
In the event of a school closure, work will be provided by staff and posted on the class pages.