The Prime Minister has today announced that a new national lockdown will come into force at 00:01 on Wednesday 6 January.
During the period of national lockdown, schools, alternative provision, special schools, and colleges will remain open to vulnerable children and young people and the children of critical workers only. Public vocational exams and assessments scheduled to take place in January will go ahead as planned. All other children and students will learn remotely until February half term.
All early years providers (including registered childminders but not including reception years in primary schools) can remain open during this period of national lockdown.
In these circumstances, we do not think it is possible for exams to go ahead fairly this summer. The Secretary of State for Education will be asking Ofqual to consult rapidly on an approach for alternative arrangements that will allow students to progress fairly.
We know that receiving face-to-face education is best for children’s mental health and for their educational achievement. We will be reviewing the restrictions on schools, colleges and universities and will ensure that children and young people return to face-to-face education as soon as the pressures are easing on the NHS.
This decision does not suggest that schools and colleges are no longer safe places for young people. Instead, limiting attendance is about reducing the number of contacts that all of us have with people in other households.
We have resisted closing schools until now, but in the face of the rapidly rising numbers of cases across the country and intense pressure on the NHS, we now need to use every lever at our disposal to reduce all contacts outside households wherever possible.
For vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, who can still attend school or college, as they did in March to May, and their teachers, the system of protective measures means that any risks are well managed and controlled.
We are responding to the intense pressure on the NHS, but that pressure is not driven by children. We are not seeing significant pressure from coronavirus (COVID-19) in paediatrics across the UK. The new variant appears to affect all ages but we have not seen any changes in the severity among any age groups, including children and young people.
The overwhelming majority of children and young people have no symptoms or very mild illness only. As cases in the community rise there will be a small increase in the number of children we see with coronavirus (COVID-19) who only rarely require admission to hospital.
During the period of national lockdown, schools and colleges should only allow vulnerable children and the children of critical workers to attend. Children with at least one parent or carer who is listed as a critical worker are eligible for a school place. It is not necessary for both parents to be critical workers.
Schools and colleges should speak to parents and carers to identify who requires a school place. If it proves necessary, you can ask for simple evidence that the parent in question is a critical worker, such as their work ID badge or pay slip.
The critical worker list has been updated to include new workforces whose work is critical following the end of the EU transition period. It is important these people are also identified as critical workers and their children can attend the education setting. This change will see a small increase in the overall number of critical workers.
We will provide weekly updates for parents via our 'In the Loop' Newsletter. Please follow the links below to view any changes to how we keep children safe in school.
As we have shared before we are constantly reviewing how we operate in school and follow all the recommendations for primary schools at this time.
In our school the children are:
• Not coming to school if they are presenting with any COVID symptoms
• Remaining at home if a family member presents with symptoms
• Not returning to school until it is safe to do so.
• Following strict hand washing & sanitising throughout the day.
• Working within small ‘bubbles’ in school.
• Following a marked route in our corridors with only one class allowed in the corridors at one time.
• Using the isolation room if they feel unwell
• Aware and understand that staff need wear PPE when dealing with pupils who are unwell
• Aware and understand that staff need to keep safe distancing.
• Aware and understand that whole school equipment is cleaned after every use and quarantined for 72 hours
• Aware and understand that books are quarantined for over 72 hours before they are able to use again
• Aware and understand that each area of the school is cleaned throughout the school day and again after school
• Respectful that there are timings we need to follow in school for toileting, going outside and having lunch.
• Enjoying our weekly remote Whole School Celebration Assembly that is brought into each classroom through the magic of Mrs. RW’s special computer.
• Show patience and understanding.
These are just some of the ways we help to keep our children and staff safe in school.
However, we need your help! When we planned the start an end of the school day we did so based on staggering exit times and also supporting our families the best we could. The timings we set out must be kept to so I urge parents to read and follow the guidance below:
Do not come on to the school site before the time your child finishes in class.
Year 6: 2.50pm
Year 5: 2.55pm
Parents of the Year Groups listed below must wait until Year 5 & 6 have left before they can enter the school grounds
Year 3 & 4: 3.00pm
Parents of the Year Groups listed below must wait until Year 3 & 4 have left before they can enter the school grounds
Year 2, Year 1 & Year R: 3.05pm – 3.10pm
Your feedback and reflections are always welcomed and if you feel we could improve on any aspect further please email me on email@example.com
All the staff in school are working hard to create a safe environment balanced with a nurturing approach to learning.
We are here to help and understand fully that across the school our families will have a range of priorities and needs.
If there has been any change in your circumstances and you need any advice, support or just direction please let us know.
Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help you plan for your children’s return to school. This includes the latest update to the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.
Pupils returning to school
Please find Risk Assessments and parental guidance updated for September 2020.
COVID 19 School updates (September 2020)
From September 2020 all pupils will be able to return to School.
We have set out a return to school plan for all parents and pupils.
Our school will reopen on Thursday 3rd September for Years 5 and 6.
On Monday 7th September Years 1 and 2 will join us followed by Years 3 and 4 on Wednesday 9th September.
Our new reception class will begin their transition into school from Monday 14th September.
Following Government advice we will need to stagger the start and end of school to ensure everyone is safe - however we are also mindful of supporting our families in getting back to ‘normal’ so we will outline our plans and will review these during September.
On arrival all children will be directed to the nearest wash basin and hand sanitiser. We do need to reduce the amount of people on the school site at the start and end of the school day so we are suggesting the following:
Owls: Year 6 will need to arrive independently at 8.40am and will be welcomed into the building via the Key Stage 2 door. The Year 6 pupils will finish and leave school at 2.50pm.
Swallows: Year 5 will need to arrive (independently if possible from the public pathway -staff will be available to see each child into school) at 8.45am and will be welcomed into the building via the Key Stage 2 door. The Year 5 pupils will leave school at 2.55pm.
Kingfishers: Year 4 will need to arrive at school (independently if possible from the public pathway—staff we be available to see pupils into school) at 8.50am and will be welcomed into the building via the Key Stage 2 door. The Year 4 pupils will leave school at 3.00pm
Woodpeckers: Year 3 will need to arrive at school (with only one adult) at 8.55am and will be welcomed into the building via the Key Stage 2 door. The Year 3 pupils will leave school at 3.00pm
Squirrels: Year 2, Robins: Year 1 and Hedgehogs: Year R will need to arrive from 9.00am—9.05am and go straight to the entry points for each class. Collection will be from 3.05pm - 3.10pm
Squirrels: the old Hedgehogs entrance (which will become the new year 2 classroom) Robins: the old Year 2 entrance (which will become the new Year 1 classroom) Hedgehogs: the new classroom entrance (the modular build—you won’t miss it!)
As we only have one safe pedestrian point of entrance on to our site we ask that families and children maintain the safe 1-2 metre distance rule and follow the markings on the playground.
We appreciate that many of our pupils will need support at the start of term when they arrive. It is our aim that with a staggered start to term, and year groups starting on different days, most pupils will have settled into our revised routines quickly.
A staggered start and end of the school day will also help with the flow of traffic on and off the school site. To help we suggest that parents limit the time they wait on the school site – we will not let any of the children leave without your permission. However, if you have siblings in different year groups starting at completely different times and this proves difficult, then please let us know -we are here to help!
Infection control and social distancing measures as of September
It is important that we maintain proportionate infection control and social distancing measures when we welcome back all pupils and staff from the start of the Autumn term. To ensure everyone’s safety, we will be enforcing the following as part of our risk management plan:
Anyone who is unwell and displaying symptoms of coronavirus will be asked to stay at home for seven days.
Robust hand and respiratory hygiene practices will be encouraged and enforced.
Enhanced cleaning will be undertaken as necessary, including cleaning any frequently touched surfaces throughout the day.
The NHS ‘Test and Trace’ system will be actively used and followed.
Limitations will be placed on the number of people, staff and pupils encounter during the school day.
Large gatherings will be avoided, e.g. assemblies and collective worship.
Pupils will be grouped together and asked to remain in these groups.
Contact between groups will be avoided.
Classrooms will be arranged in Years 2 - 6 to allow for social distancing and desks will be faced forwards to minimise face-to-face interaction between pupils.
In Year 1 and Early Years pupils will be taught in smaller groups with equipment cleaned throughout the school day.
Pupils will be reminded to remain at least two metres away from members of staff, where practicable.
Should any of the above protective measures change at any time, including the need to close the school due to a local lockdown, we will contact you via email/ text as soon as possible.
If your child becomes unwell If your child becomes unwell at school and develops a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in their normal sense of smell or taste, they will be sent home immediately.
They will be told to self-isolate within the school and supervised, as necessary, until they can be collected.
The school will contact you via telephone as soon as possible should your child need to go home. If we do not have your up-to-date contact details, please contact the school office as soon as possible to notify us of any changes.
If your child becomes unwell at home and is presenting with symptoms of coronavirus (listed above), we ask that your child does not attend school and instead stays at home for the next seven days or until they test negative for coronavirus.
We encourage all parents whose child is presenting with coronavirus symptoms to get their child tested and, where required, their family. Please contact the school office on 01562 850268 or email firstname.lastname@example.org before 8:00am to notify us that your child will not be attending.
We also ask that you notify the school office as soon as possible with the results of any coronavirus tests your child has undertaken.
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often. Soap and water and regular handwashing for at least 20 seconds is the best way of staying safe. Hand washing with soap employs mechanical action that loosens bacteria and viruses from the skin, rinsing them into the drain.
Drying hands afterwards makes the skin less hospitable to the virus. Hand sanitiser can be effective if soap is not available or the situation makes using soap less feasible (i.e. when outside) but using hand sanitiser provides none of the virus-destroying friction that rubbing your hands together and rinsing with water provides.
The e-Bug Project
The e-Bug project is led by Public Health England and has a dedicated webpage for learning resources on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.
Resources are currently available for KS1, KS2 and KS3 and
Think U Know
Introducing the new Starting Well Partnership in Worcestershire
Worcestershire Health and Care NHS Trust, Action for Children, Barnardo’s and Redditch Borough Council are delighted to formally launch the new Starting Well Partnership today (April 1st 2020).
The partnership will enhance the support available to children, young people and families across the county, providing help during antenatal, post birth, and early years stages, and right throughout school life. Due to the current Coronavirus epidemic, the service will not be fully operational at this time, but will include Family Hubs in each of our local districts, and will offer family and parenting groups supporting all aspects of physical and mental wellbeing for children, young people and their families. We will also work really closely with schools and other community groups supporting young people and parents.
The new offer includes a new Starting Well website which we are pleased to say is now live. It will be developed more over the coming months, but initially includes lots if information to support families during the current challenges as a result of Covid-19. There are also links to wider information on a range of issues, from infant feeding through to supporting a young person’s mental wellbeing