This letter aims to update you on our current planning as a school around the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19), in addition to the regular weekly updates that have been detailed in the newsletter.
As you can appreciate, the impact of the Coronavirus situation is changing daily and as a school we have been preparing for a range of scenarios that could occur over the next days, weeks and months.
I have been in close contact with senior colleagues around the County and I have been receiving daily updates from the Department for Education (DFE) and Public Health England.
A contingency plan has been written and this letter details our current thinking based on the advice we have to hand at present. As you’ll be aware, a more frequent and thorough hand washing routine has been introduced in school and additional hand sanitisers and soaps have been made available for children and staff to use. Our cleaner and the rest of the staff have been carrying out regular cleaning of surfaces and door handles.
There are a number of possible scenarios that could occur going forward.
The following scenarios could occur:
Instruction to close the whole school for a limited period
Teachers will provide suitable work for children to carry out at home. It is in your child’s best interests to engage with these learning opportunities as much as possible, however, we appreciate that this is an unprecedented situation and we also understand that many parents may also need to juggle work/childcare, as well as allocating time for home learning. We will send out an initial pack of work and then further work will be published on the class pages of the school website if needed.
Instruction to limit the number of people in one place for a limited time
In this scenario, we would be open to as many year groups as possible, however our priority would be to maintain provision for children in Year 2 and Year 6. If we are unable to provide adequate cover for year groups, we would let you know and children working at home would follow the plan outlined in scenario 1.
Infection affects a member of the school community and a case of COVID-19 is confirmed
In this scenario, we would follow the most up to date advice from Public Health England.
High levels of staff absence/illness, making it impossible to staff all classes in school.
In this scenario, the school would be able to cope with a certain level of staff absence, as we have demonstrated in the past. If however, the levels of absence become too high, we would action a partial closure and it is likely that we would redeploy staff to the teaching of Year 2 and Year 6 children, similar to scenario 2 above.
Whilst the school is still open to pupils, we ask that parents follow the normal absence procedures and call the school office on 01452 780309.
We have made the difficult decision to cancel all non-essential events and visits. As many of you are aware, Class Four were due to visit Beam House for a week long residential next week. This has been cancelled as we considered it to be non-essential travel and has been provisionally re booked to take place in the final week of the Summer term. More details will follow in due course.
We have also made the decision to cancel this year’s Easter Service and instead, if we are still attending school, celebrate Easter in the school hall without parents present.
We are also trying to minimise the amount of visitors into school to help prevent the spread of infection, so we ask that rather than try to make an appointment to see a member of staff face to face, you either email of telephone the school office.
We hope that this letter updates you on the current planning whilst recognising that the landscape continues to evolve. Please be reassured that we will continue to make any decisions in the best interest of the whole school community, whilst following the guidance provided by the DFE and Public Health England.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding as we plan for these potential scenarios.
You can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus!
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.