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SEPTEMBER 2020 Update Letter from Caroline Jewell (Headteacher)

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope you are well and had a good summer.

The Autumn Term at school starts on Tuesday 8 September and we are very much looking forward to welcoming our whole school community back.  Following my previous letter in July where I highlighted the main health and safety measures the school has implemented, I would like to remind you of some of the key points and to reassure you that we have been working hard on our plans for the full school re-opening ensuring that we:

  • fulfil the expectations required of us
  • ensure that the safety of everyone is paramount in all our decisions and actions
  • continue to provide a high quality, well balanced curriculum to best support our pupils in their education
  • have carried out a full risk assessment of the school sites.

 Key information:

  • Your child will be in a class ‘bubble’ and there will be minimal movement of students around the school. Each ‘bubble’ will access the school facilities at different times and these areas and equipment will be cleaned after each use.
  • Students will access a full curriculum including additional timetabled opportunities to support the re-connection of relationships, PSHE, wellbeing and physical activities.  A re-connection curriculum will be in place for the first half term.
  • Pupils will be baselined in the first few weeks to identify any attainment gaps and to provide additional support where needed.  Literacy and numeracy will continue be a whole school priority including reading and phonics.
  • The majority of children will be expected to attend school unless they are unwell.  Please contact the school office to notify school of your child’s absence.  Children who have been advised by their GP/specialist care team to continue to shield will not be expected to be in school.
  • Hot lunches will be available as normal.  To reduce the number of pupils and staff in communal areas, lunches will be eaten in classrooms.

 

How will the school limit the risk of infection for my child?

All students will have lunch in classrooms and there will be no whole school gatherings such as assemblies for the first part of the Autumn Term.  These will be replaced by a virtual assembly, which will be watched by children in multiple classrooms.  Swimming at the leisure centre will not take place in the Autumn Term.

  • School will be cleaned regularly throughout the school day including surfaces, door handles and equipment
  • Any students who are unwell will stay at home.  Any students arriving in school with symptoms of Covid-19 will be sent home
  • We will ensure good respiratory hygiene promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • Everyone will wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitiser
  • Break times will be staggered and timetables will be in place for shared facilities to be used at different times of the school day
  • Staff will collect children from transport vehicles at the start and end of the school day to limit the number of visitors in the school
  • Students will use different entrances and exits to limit the traffic in the main corridors.  A member of SLT will be outside on Tuesday 8 September to support parents dropping their children to school
  • The number of visitors in the school will be limited throughout the Autumn Term.  Any visitors who do attend school will be asked to wear face masks when in close proximity with pupils and in communal areas
  • Classrooms will be rearranged to ensure desks are facing the front of the class and classroom surfaces will be clear to facilitate easy cleaning throughout the school day.

 

Before Your Child Leaves Home in the Morning

Please check for any of the following symptoms:

 

  • a high temperature (38 or above)
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to the sense of smell or taste

 

If any of these symptoms are evident do not send them to school (even if you believe symptoms are not Covid related we will still have to follow the procedure of asking for pupils to be collected immediately and tested in line with the guidance), please contact school to notify of your child’s absence.

 

How will the school manage children or staff who develop symptoms during the school day?

If a child shows symptoms whilst in school, they will be isolated in the designated room. The staff member/s will be required to wear full PPE when supporting the child.  Parents/carers will be contacted immediately and asked to collect their child from school.  Parents/carers will not be required to enter the building themselves, to limit the potential spread of any infection.

  • The person with symptoms must be tested as soon as possible and, if positive, will have to isolate for 10 days.  If the test is negative the individual can return to school.  The school carries on as normal unless a positive result is received
  • If the test is positive, the people they live with must isolate for 14 days
  • If anyone in the class tests positive, the class ‘bubble’ and those who have had close contact must isolate for 14 days - see below.
  • If your child or a family member experiences any of the coronavirus symptoms, they cannot come to school.  We will ask the family to request a test.  We ask that parents and staff inform the school immediately of the outcome of any test

We ask that parents/carers whose child has been identified as having a suspected case of Covid-19 should seek immediate medical advice.  The guidance says ‘Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test.’  If no test is undertaken, then we expect children to self-isolate according to the Public Health England guidance here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

 

What if there is a confirmed case at the school?

In line with DfE guidance, the school will:

  • engage with the NHS Test and Trace process. 

We ask that parents and staff inform the school immediately of the outcome of any test;

  • manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community.  The school will contact parents with a notification of a confirmed infection including which ‘bubble’ this may affect.  We will not share the names or details of people suspected of having or confirmed to have coronavirus;
  • contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.  For the avoidance of doubt, the advice says that we ‘must send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious’.

 

‘Close contact’ now means:

  • face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face-to-face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin);
  • proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual;
  • travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person.

 

The school will contact parents and request they collect their child from the school immediately.

 

Households with a confirmed case of Coronavirus should follow the advice regarding isolation laid out by Public Health England here:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the school, Public Health England’s local Health Protection teams will advise schools and other settings on the steps to be taken. 

Finally, although there are some restrictions in place, we fully intend to continue with our normal ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the Autumn Term.  All staff are fully committed to providing a welcoming, inspiring and ambitious learning experience for all children. This will be a year where we will rely on your continued support and, as our learning community may see many changes over the next few months, we will no doubt have to be flexible and supportive of one another.  We appreciate your continued efforts and cooperation to support the wider school re-opening.

Kind regards

Yours sincerely

 

Caroline Jewell

Headteacher

 


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