I hope that you have all managed to keep healthy and have had a happy week despite the difficulties and worries we are all facing.
I would like to thank you for the lovely messages you have been positing on our Facebook page and the e-mails you have been sending. We have all really appreciated your kind words.
I would also like to apologise that we are currently unable to provide anymore of the paper based learning packs.
We have been told that we have to limit the number of people coming on site and we have all been told very clearly by the government that we should only be making essential journeys.
I have just heard that from 20th April the BBC will be providing more on-line learning. Once we get more details we will send you the links to access this. We will also continue to send texts out and put suggestions on our Facebook page after the Easter holidays.
We will be open Mon-Thurs next week caring for some key worker parents who have pre-booked this service with us.
I would like to thank those staff who have volunteered to come into work to provide this emergency care. As we are trying to operate with a small number of staff on site all care must be booked in advance and is only for key workers who do not have another adult at home who can provide the care. I hope you understand that whilst we are doing our best to play our part during this crisis I also want to protect our staff team and their families.
I have been able to talk to lots of you and have seen some of you and it is great to hear the positives that are coming out of this difficult time. Many of you have said that you are enjoying spending time in the garden with your children and are enjoying a slightly slower pace.
Please tell the children that Marmalade is keeping well. He helped me water the plants at school yesterday. We also saw a barn owl together when we were driving up to school early yesterday morning. The owl flew right in front of us. That was very special.
I hope you and your families keep well. We will be responding to e mails even when the building is closed so if you need us for anything please communicate that way. The office will be responding to phone calls Mon-Thurs next week and then every day from 20th April.
Looking forward to seeing you all again soon
Love from Mrs Edwards
Please copy and paste the following link to view an explanation for children ‘Why our school is closing?
ADVICE FOR PARENTS AND CARERS – CORONA VIRUS
• Schools have not ‘shut down’ – Although most children will not be able to physically attend school you will still be able to communicate with senior leaders or, in some instances, teachers.
• Don’t try to replicate a full school timetable – It won’t be possible to replicate a full school timetable for a variety of reasons. Giving yourself and your children permission to accept this can be a big weight lifted.
• Expect stress – This is an uncertain and unpredictable situation, stress and anxiety are normal.
• Reassure children – Children can sometimes believe they are responsible for things that are clearly beyond their control. Reassure children that it is the adult’s job to make sure things are OK and to keep them safe.
• Help children stay connected to their friends – Friendships are a key resiliency factor for children and young people. Most children see their friends nearly every day of the week and so not being in contact with them for some time might be upsetting. Is it possible for children to talk to their friends on the phone? Perhaps establish a group Skype or WhatsApp call? Perhaps they could write letters to each other. • Normalise the experience – Normalising the experience is likely to reduce anxiety for many children. Reassure children that lots of adults and other children are in the same situation.
• Have a routine and structure – Having a plan and a predictable routine for the day can be very reassuring. As adults we like to know what is going to happen, and children like this too. A consistent routine lets everyone be secure about the plans for the day. It is often useful to involve children in creating this routine, so that they feel part of the plan, rather than the plan being imposed on them. You could display the routine using a timeline, or maybe pictures and visuals. Encourage children to develop independence by referring to their own routine/plan themselves.
• Don’t worry if the routine isn’t perfect – Remember, this isn’t a normal situation. If you find that planning and sticking to the routine is causing more stress, friction or conflict, then it’s OK to be more ‘free-flow’. Perhaps be guided by the activities that children want to do. • Avoid putting too much pressure on academic work – Most parents and carers aren’t teachers and so it’s OK not to be doing ‘school work’ for six hours a day. It might be more important to be spending time together, building relationships, enjoying shared activities and reassuring children, as opposed to replicating the school timetable.
• Try to keep work in one place – If children are doing school work or project work at home, try to keep it all in one place so that it doesn’t spread out over the house. This can help to maintain a work/home boundary.
• Reduce access to rolling news – It is important to keep up to date with new developments and announcements, but it can be hard to switch off from the constant stream of news from media outlets and social media. Reduce the time spent hearing, reading or watching news – at the moment it might be overwhelming for adults and children. Try to protect children from distressing media coverage.
• Supervise children with screens – It is likely that children and young people will be using screens more often over the coming weeks e.g. phones, tablets, gaming consoles and the internet. If this is the case make sure they are supervised. Ensure appropriate content filters are active – the UK Safer Internet Centre offers guidance on setting up parental control. Try to ensure all children have a balanced range of activities each day. Involve children and young people in these discussions so that they feel part of the plan. • Provide reassurance about exams being cancelled – Young people may now be concerned about the announcement that exams later this year will not be going ahead as planned. They may feel like all their hard work has been for nothing. Reassure young people that the Prime Minister has said that all children and young people will get the qualification they worked towards, but acknowledge that the plan is a bit uncertain right now. Reassure young people that the government and Department for Education are working on a plan. • Play – Play is fundamental to children’s wellbeing and development – children of all ages! It’s also a great way to reduce stress in adults.
13th March 2020
Dear Parents / Carers
I would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the information attached to our newsletters we have sent to all parents. If possible, please take time to re-read this information and talk to your children about protecting themselves.
We are continuing to receive and review the daily DFE updates that schools receive and will update you if any advice changes.
Here at school we are taking the following additional measures:
- Children are being supervised to wash their hands before starting lessons at school and at key times such as lunchtime, using the DFE/PHE (Public Health England) guidance
- There is plenty of hand wash, tissues and disposable towels for pupils
- Children are reminded and encouraged to wash their hands and sneeze into readily available tissues and then wash their hands as per the DFE/PHE guidance.
- Staff are being vigilant as to the symptoms of Coronavirus and we would ask that you follow guidance from the DFE in the links on the following page.
Much of the above is embedded in our general expectations around hygiene however we will continue to be extremely vigilant due to Coronavirus. We continue to plan for any situation where the Government or DFE instruct schools to close and will stay in touch with any updates to advice received. Please see the page overleaf for the latest advice we have received from the DFE.
Please can I remind you that if you have symptoms and have recently visited an affected area please follow the health advice, stay away from school until you have sought medical advice, and notify us immediately. If a student or staff member presents symptoms at school and has recently visited an affected area, we will arrange for them to be sent home. They should remain at home pending medical advice and follow any actions advised. We ask that the school is kept up to date on advice and actions that you may receive.
Government coronavirus action plan
The government coronavirus action plan sets out what the UK has done to tackle coronavirus (COVID-19), and what we plan to do next.
The situation is constantly reviewed and action informed by expert science and advice, guided by the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Adviser.
The action plan can be found here:
Action plan recap
The action plan sets out a four-phased approach in response to coronavirus – Contain, Delay, Mitigate, and Research, based on the latest scientific evidence.
The current emphasis is on the Contain and Research phases, however planning for Delay and Mitigation is already in train.
As part of the Contain phase, we have been providing advice to educational settings in England. We also launched a DfE helpline to manage the flow of increasing queries, from providers parents and young people.
How to wash your hands properly
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.
Watch this short NHS film for guidance:
Teach young children how to wash their hands with the NHS handwashing song:
Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
We extend a very warm welcome back to school for all of our families.
We look forward to working in partnership with you all again this year to make sure your child has a happy and successful time in school.
Please remember that we are always available to meet with you if you ever have any worries or if there is anything that you need help with.
Our priority for the first few weeks of the school year is to make sure every child is happily settled in their new class and that our staff get to know every child and parent.
To help with this your child’s teacher is arranging some ‘Getting to Know you’ meetings.
This is an opportunity for you to tell your child’s teacher all about them and for the teacher to talk to you about the year ahead. You will also be able to ask any questions.
We do hope that you are able to take this opportunity up.
Thank you for making sure that your child has come back to school looking very smart
in their uniforms.
Please make sure you have named everything so that the new clothes you have gone to the expense to buy do not go missing.