Dear Parent or Carer,
I hope you and your family are well and have had a good rest over the summer holidays. As we start our new school year, you will notice there are many changes in how we are operating as a school. We are following government guidance and putting in several controls to minimise the risk of transmission of Covid-19. We will regularly review our risk assessment as guidance from the government is updated.
Whilst the government have indicated that the prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased the NHS Test and Trace system is up and running is important that our whole school community work together to protect each other.
We have organised our school to keep children in clear and consistent ‘bubbles’. This will help us as a school to limit the number of contacts children have with different people whilst still delivering an effective curriculum. We have considered the age of our children and their curriculum needs as well as the logistics of our school site in order to determine the size of our ‘bubbles’. Every school will have had to do this, and each school will determine the best way to do this for their school community.
Since the lockdown started in March, each of us will have had different experiences and we ask that everyone in our school community is respectful of each other and their individual feelings. If you are dropping off or picking your child up from school, we ask that you respect other people and comply with social distancing guidance. We ask if it is possible that you walk your child to school to reduce congestion at the school gate.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you and your children can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19
- wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
- use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- wash your hands as soon as you get home
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
Symptoms of COVID 19
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
- new continuous cough and/or
- high temperature and/or
- a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
It is important that outside of school we all follow the government guidance around Covid-19, particularly the Stay at Home guidance below and do not bring your child into school.
If you do keep your child off school due to Covid-19 symptoms please ensure that you let us know this when you register your child’s absence.
As a school if your child is off school we will provide school work, so they can keep up their studies.
If your child presents Covid-19 symptoms in school, we will take your child to a safe, isolated area in school and contact you immediately to pick them up. Please make sure that your emergency contact details are up to date and correct.
If your child does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/or by phoning 111.
It is vitally important that anyone who presents with Covid-19 symptoms are tested as soon as possible.
If someone from within school is confirmed with Covid-19 we will get in touch with the parents and carers of any children who have been in close contact with this person. This is likely to be children from their class or ‘bubble’ or if they have been in close contact through other groups such as after school or breakfast club. These children will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days. Other members of the household do not need to self-isolate, unless your child also develops symptoms. Full details and instructions will be provided at the time. We will also send information to our wider school community as a reminder to our families of what actions you can take to reduce the spread of the virus.
Notes for the school day
- You have been sent a letter outlining the staggered start and end of the school day for each year group. It is vitally important that you adhere to this, and to the specific allocated entrances and exits. This system is in place to allow for social distancing and ensure procedures are in place to help keep you and your child as safe as possible.
- Please remember that if you have a query, DO NOT go to the school office. If you telephone the office, we will assist you this way. Also, please assist us by giving us all the required medical information and data sheets (via the google doc’s attachment on the dojo app).
- We also request that your child brings into school the minimal amount of baggage (no pencil cases or stationary equipment etc.). The children will be provided with equipment that will not be shared by other pupils.
- Please ensure your child comes to school wearing their P.E. kit when appropriate.
- E. kits should be worn on Friday by all pupils and their other allocated day for P.E.
- St Sebastian’s possible addition – any money due, should be paid directly into the bank via school comms or bank transfer. The office staff will share bank details to support this process. No items of uniform will now be available from the school office, please use the shops as previously provided.
- Unfortunately, no unarranged meetings can occur with any member of staff. Please telephone the school office to arrange a mutually agreeable date/time.
Attendance & Punctuality
More than ever, it is essential that your child is punctual and ready to start the school day with members of his class/bubble, according to the staggered times, not only to allow your child to have the best start to the day, but also to help school with our risk assessments. Consistent attendance is key to helping the children settle into their learning effectively and will have maximum impact on their catch up with their learning. Please make punctuality and attendance the priority they must be.
I would like to close by reminding all of us that we have a role to play to ensure that our children and school community remain safe.
Thank you for your continued support and patience.
Mr Dennis Hardiman, M.B.E.
Executive Head Teacher
Download: 27/08/2020 – COVID Update – Start of Term (PDF)