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Update 19.05.20

Thank you for responding and letting us know if your child is going to return to school on June 1st.

We look forward to welcoming the children back and we have been busy planning and preparing, to ensure we do this as safely as possible.  A considerable amount of guidance has been given, some of which we have already shared with you.  I would like to take this opportunity to re-iterate and explain some of the measures that we have already put in place, with finer detail being sent to you by the end of this week.  It may seem a lot to take in but we want to be completely transparent about the measures in place and hope that they are all reassuring.

Pods

Children have been grouped and will be taught in groups of no more than 15 pupils which we are calling a ‘pod’.  Pods will learn, play and eat lunch with each other.  They will have their own designated areas for learning and areas of the playground.  Different pods will not mix with each other.  Two/three members of staff will be allocated to a pod and the children will be taught as far as possible by these people for the entire week.  As I stated in my previous letter these adults may not be your child’s class teacher.  All children should attend school every day.  If you are a keyworker and you have chosen for your child to attend school from June 1st then they are expected to attend every day.

Designated learning areas

The following areas have been designated for children to use each day:

Nursery            - will use the usual Nursery classroom

Reception        – will use the usual Reception classroom as well as the school hall

Year 1             – will use the Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms

Year 6             – will use the Year 5 and Year 6 classrooms

Children of key workers from other year groups – will use the Year 3 and Year 4 classrooms

We ask that children take all of their belongings to their designated learning space, as we will not be using the children’s lockers.  From Year 1 to Year 6 the children will have their own allocated desk where they will have their own tray with appropriate stationery and books.  The children will place their coats and bag under their own desk.  Within the Foundation Stage where the learning is more ‘free flow’ and social distancing, as outlined in the Government guidance, cannot be expected the children will hang their coat on their peg before accessing their learning.

Adults on site

Considerable guidance has been given relating to adults on site.  We have been told that parents should not be allowed to enter the school building.  In addition, only one parent may accompany children into school to minimise social contact between adults, and parents are urged not to gather around the school gates.  We ask you to continue to contact us using the contactus@oakridge.staffs.sch.uk email address which you are now familiar with.  We always encourage open communication and we value the information that you pass on to class teachers when dropping off etc.  However, at this time, it must be via email / phone call to comply with the guidance given.

Changes to timings of the school day

To minimise contact and to follow the social distancing guidelines it will be necessary to stagger the start and end times of the school day.

Class

Start

Finish

Year 6

8.40

2.40

Year 1

8.40

2.40

 

 

 

Reception

9.00

3.00

Children of key workers from other year groups

9.00

3.00

 

 

 

Nursery

9.15

12:15

More detail will follow on Friday about where the children will enter and leave school and where parents can stand to collect children.  We ask that parents continue to observe social distancing rules when waiting, by ensuring that they are at least 2m apart.

Lunch time

One of the biggest challenges for both adults and children alike will be the free time that the children enjoy at break and lunch time.  The children will remain in pods and so will not have the freedom to play with whoever they wish, as they normally would.  They will also not be able to play the games and access all of the equipment that we usually allow.  Therefore, we have decided to shorten the usual lunch time to 40 minutes.  This will give children enough time to eat their lunch and engage in some free time with the children in their pod.  We plan for children to eat their lunch in the area in which they are being taught, with the exception of Reception who will all eat in the school hall.  If a child chooses to have a hot dinner, it will be collected from the hall and taken back to the classroom.

Hygiene and cleaning measures

We plan to explain to all children the new ways of learning and playing as part of their learning on the first day back.  We will go over the principles of good hand hygiene at an age appropriate level.   Children will be asked to wash their hands when entering or re-entering the school building from outside, as well as before and after eating.  Tissues will be provided in all classrooms and a separate bin will be provided for these.

The school will be cleaned each morning before children enter.  Surfaces, door handles and shared resources will also be cleaned during the school day. Children from Year 1 upwards will sit at their own desk with their own tray on it containing the resources they need, to minimise the sharing of resources between children and will not be allowed to move around the classroom unless instructed to by the adult leading their pod.

Illness / Confirmed cases of coronavirus

For everyone’s safety, no person displaying signs of coronavirus will be allowed to enter the school site.  If you believe that your child has been exposed to coronavirus, you must inform us straight away.  If your child is poorly and will not be attending school, please let us know the reason via the ParentMail app in the usual way.

If any child becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature whilst at school, they will be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance.  They will then need to self-isolate for 7 days and fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. 

If a child over 5 is displaying symptoms, parents will be able to use the 111 coronavirus service to access a test.  If the test is returned as negative, they can return to Oakridge and their family members can end their self-isolation.

In the event of a positive test, all members of the pod that the child was in, will be sent home to self-isolate.  Please note that currently the test will only be available for 5’s and over.

Over the past seven days schools have been issued with fourteen pieces of Government guidance to support the planned phased re-opening.  As you can see, there has been much to think about and consider.  This will certainly not be a return to school as we knew it before lockdown.  However every member of staff at Oakridge is committed to making this work as successfully as we possibly can.  We will write to you again before the end of the week to let you know the final details.

 

Update 14.05.20

Can I start by thanking all those parents who have already been in touch with school with regards to their intentions of whether or not they will be sending their child / children back to school on June 1st.  This is very much appreciated and will help us with our planning as we move forward over the next two weeks.  As I said in my letter to you earlier in the week, whatever decision that you take it will be totally respected by everyone at Oakridge.

The Government has stated that from the week commencing 1st June 2020 at the earliest, primary schools are being asked to welcome back children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, alongside priority groups such as keyworkers. 

I know that many of you will have concerns and questions that you would like answers to.  As you can imagine, we are receiving a significant amount of guidance with regards to the proposed reopening on June 1st, and last night, we received further information that we are sharing with you today.  I am being as honest and transparent as I can be based on the information that we have been provided with to date and I will endeavour to answer as many questions that I am able to at this time.

The guidance is  very clear that classes will need to be split and children taught in groups of no more than 15 pupils, this may well mean that a class will have to be divided into 3 groups of eleven.  One teacher or member of staff will be allocated to a group of children – please note this may not be your child’s usual class teacher or teaching assistant.  It is important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and the guidance says that this can be achieved by ensuring that the children only mix in their small consistent group and that each small group stays away from other people and groups within school.

With class size restrictions of 15, and the logistical and staffing implications that this will have for entering school, break times, lunchtimes as well as learning spaces, we have been informed by the Local Authority and the DfE that where schools and settings need to prioritise groups, they should do so as follows:

  • Vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers remain the first priority even after 1st June.
  • Nursery will be the second priority followed by Reception, Year 1, and finally Year 6

Many parents from the year groups specified have already informed us of their intention of whether their child is going to return to school or not.  Please can all other parents of Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children, who have not yet done so, let us know by 9.00am on Friday 15th May.   Even if you do not intend to send your child into school, please can you let us know.

Can we remind parents that the expectation is that Nursery, Reception, Year1 and Year 6 children will attend school each day.

The children of key workers, irrespective of the year group they are in are being given priority. Therefore it is essential that we know which children will be sent to school for care and which days they will be attending from the 1st June. Please contact school by 9:00am on Friday, only if you also wish to send your child into school for care.

As you can imagine, this potentially constitutes a significant proportion of the school population and because of the logistics imposed upon us we cannot guarantee that we will be able to offer a place to every child in school during this first phase of re-opening. Whilst we hope this isn’t the case, the aforementioned prioritisation will be put into place if necessary.

To reiterate, this means that it may not be possible for all the year groups identified by the government to be back in school on the 1st June. 

Many parents have contacted us with regards the continuation of home learning once school reopens. Although there is no obligation or statutory duty on schools to continue to provide home learning in any specific way, if and when pupils start to return, it is our intention to continue as we have been for all year groups.

School meals will be provided and these will need to be pre ordered.  We will also offer a wrap around care facility, if there is sufficient demand, and this will run from 8:00 until 8:45 and from 3:20 until 5:00. A ParentMail will follow at the beginning of next week with more information.

Once pupil numbers and staffing have been confirmed and further guidance issued we will be able to provide you with more detailed information before the half term break.  Can I remind parents that although the Government are encouraging children to attend school you will not be fined for your child’s non-attendance at this time.

In preparation for opening on June 1st the school will not be open over half term for the care of vulnerable and key worker children as we have arranged for a deep clean and we may also need to set up classrooms and learning spaces which are at present not set up for the age group of children who will be using them.

As a reminder, the email address to be used is  contactus@oakridge.staffs.sch.uk

Your continued support and kindness has been greatly appreciated during the past 8 weeks and whatever your decision we look forward to continuing to work with you as we plot our way through these uncertain times.

 

Update 12.05.20

Last night we received advice from the government on how schools should prepare for wider opening from the 1st June. The link is below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

As school leaders we do not want to see classrooms empty for a day longer than they need to be; however the safety of our children and staff must be our prime responsibility when making any decisions.

As you can imagine, there is much to think about, particularly as we are now being asked to open for Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Six.  Children of key workers who are not in Nursery, Reception, Year One or Year Six will all still be able to attend ‘childcare’ at school.  These children will remain as a group.

We are led to believe that the government will take the final decision on whether they will open schools on May 28th and this morning the headteachers from local schools met to discuss the potential reopening.

There are many practical arrangements to be considered to ensure the safety of our children and everyone at Oakridge. Staffing and pupil numbers, classrooms available, outdoor spaces, break times, length of school day and many other aspects need to be planned.

Having studied the government guidance in detail and considering the implications for our school community, our current plans will mean that it will be necessary to have staggered starts and finishes as well as a shortening of lunchtimes and changes to the school day.  Parents will not be able to gather at gates or doors and only one parent or carer can escort their child to the appropriate school entrance.

The guidance is also very clear that classes will need to be split and children  taught in groups of no more than 15 pupils, this may well mean that a class will have to be divided into 3 groups of eleven. One teacher or member of staff will be allocated to a group of children – please note this may not be your child’s usual class teacher or teaching assistant.  It is important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and the guidance says that this can be achieved by ensuring that the children only mix in their small consistent group and that each small group stays away from other people and other groups within school.

It is our intention to continue with in school catering however gatherings such as sports days, class assemblies, end of year performances will sadly not be possible during this time.

As the government has made clear in the protective measures guidance, that unlike older children and adults, early years and primary aged children cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff.  However, please be assured that we will do our best to maintain the safety of all through minimising contact and mixing, frequent handwashing, avoiding anyone with symptoms, ventilating all rooms and using the outdoors as much as possible.

Once pupil numbers and staffing have been confirmed and further guidance issued we will be able to provide you with more detailed information before the half term break. Parents will not be fined for their child’s non-attendance at this time.

I understand that this information is all new and that there is a great deal for you to consider including your own family situation, other children that you may have in school not in Nursery, Reception, Year One or Year Six as well as your work commitments.

It would be most helpful if parents who have children in Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Six could indicate their initial response regarding sending your child in to school so we can gain a rough idea of numbers to support with plans for staffing. Please can you do this by Friday morning using the contact us email address.

             contactus@oakridge.staffs.sch.uk

Your support has been greatly appreciated during the past 8 weeks and whatever your decision we  look forward to continuing to work with you as we plot our way through these uncertain times.

Update 24.03.20

Please can we thank everybody for taking such sensible precautions during this very difficult and challenging time.  We know that you are all making every effort to help your children to remain at home which has positive consequences for everybody’s health and safety and for this we are all very grateful.  Following on from the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening, with the shutdown of many shops and other places of work, we have been asked to re-iterate that it is everybody’s responsibility to stay safe at home to help prevent the spread of the virus.  The only exception to this is where you cannot provide any child care because both parents are working and your role is vital to the Covid–19 response.  In these cases we will endeavour to do all we can to provide childcare to help support those who are providing such vital roles.

Home Learning

The packs that have been sent home have sufficient learning for all children until Easter, therefore we do not plan to bombard you with additional learning.  Please don’t put additional pressure on your children or yourselves to complete every task.  Children should follow the suggested guidelines on the back of their working from home leaflets however we do realise that children will complete different amounts of learning in this time.  Thank you once again for your continued support.

As teachers, we are using this time to ensure that we can continue to provide appropriate learning for all children, if these measures continue past the Easter holidays.  Staff are making teaching videos, selecting appropriate resources to share and devising suitable learning activities, all of which will be uploaded after Easter.

Communication

During this time, we can all feel very isolated and we want to do all that we can to provide the community feel that makes our school a great place to learn and to work.  Therefore, all teaching staff will email you three times a week.  I have begun to communicate with everyone on a Monday and a Friday, through a video which is uploaded onto our Twitter account as well and onto the Oakridge Primary School shared files on BGFL.

After Easter, as the children begin to upload work, we intend to celebrate and communicate achievements through a fortnightly Newsletter.

If there any major announcements then we will contact you immediately.

ParentPay Refunds

All monies that parents have paid for trips and visits such as Laches Wood, Ireland, the Toy Museum as well as Little Oaks money we are in the process of refunding into your account.  As you can imagine this is a process that is quite complicated so please bear with us as we endeavour to get this money back to you as soon as possible.  Thank you for your patience.

Again can I thank everyone in our school community for all your continued support and messages of kindness.

Update 23.03.20

During the school closure period we are trying to minimise the number of staff who need to be in school. Therefore, we are requesting that all children bring in a packed lunch.   There will not be any tuck available.

Update 21.03.20

For parents who have declared that they are keyworkers and requested childcare during our closure period an email has been sent out to confirm your place.

We are pleased that we can confirm an offer of a place for the days that you requested. Please can you ensure that your child brings their ‘learning from home’ pack with them as this will be the focus each morning. Children do not need to come to school in their school uniform however we recommend that they do not come in their best clothes as they may well get messy if they are involved in any craft and art activities.

School will be open as usual each day from 8.00am until 5.50pm to provide childcare for your child and entry and exit will be through the schools main reception. Registers have been printed based on the information you have already supplied.

Please could you send your child in each day with the following:

  • Their ‘learning from home’ pack
  • A packed lunch (unless they receive universal free school meals or wish to purchase a school meal which can be done as usual through ParentPay)
  • A named water bottle (which will need to go home every night for cleaning)
  • Outdoor clothes (that you do not mind getting muddy)
  • A PE kit
  • An outdoor coat / waterproof

If your circumstances change (i.e you find yourself or your partner working from home) please can you inform us immediately as we have been reminded again today that where possible children and young people should stay at home.

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Please be aware that children should still follow the government guidelines should they show any signs or symptoms of COVID-19 or a member of the family shows signs or symptoms.

Members of staff will also be following these guidelines so staffing may become short which may mean that we are unable to provide care for your children. If this is the case then we will follow the correct procedures and you will be notified

Update 20.03.20

Guidance for schools remaining open from Monday was posted in the early hours this morning (see link below). The government has made it clear that all parents are to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. That is why it is important to underline that Oakridge must remain a safe place for our children. We will also need to take account of both:

a) the latest government scientific advice on the proportion of pupils that it is advisable to maintain direct support for in order to maintain efforts to delay the spread of the virus - at present this has been set by the government as a maximum of 20% of the school population and

b) the number of staff available to work. This may require us to prioritise which pupils receive an offer, according to greatest need.

The guidance is clear ‘If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.’ My view as your Headteacher, based on the guidance, is that all parents should endeavour to keep their children at home safely. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread across Oakridge and the wider Stafford Community. Outside of school, parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way that can continue to spread the virus.

However, for parents who are working in a critical sector and cannot make any alternative arrangements, our school staff are committed to providing childcare whilst you are at work. The Government have made it clear this week that this is no longer Education but ‘Emergency Childcare’ and, although this is not the norm for us, we will not be providing normal schooling during these hours. Therefore, if you think your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors, you should first confirm with your employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, your specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service. If it is, then please can you complete the ParentMail Form that will follow shortly to indicate what care you require in order that we can begin to co-ordinate our response. We will do all that we can to contact you before the end of the day to let you know the details of our offer.

The situation is changing by the hour and as I write this letter we have still received no official information or guidance from the DfE or the LA. Things therefore may well change during the day and if this is the case then we will contact you immediately.

In summary, the scientific guidance is clear the fewer children we have in school each day the greater chance we have of limiting the chance of the virus spreading. These are testing times and it is our civic and moral duty to keep our community safe, whilst at the same time keeping our critical services operating.

As I said yesterday, the overwhelming gratitude and support that we have received from so many parents over the past few days has been very moving, these messages really are appreciated. Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Update 19.03.20

As you are aware, the Government yesterday announced that schools in England will be closed from Friday. We are aware that this has significant implications and we wish to do all that we can to maintain routine, which is often important to children, as well as mitigate the learning loss that is a consequence of this necessary action. Having indicated that all schools would be closed, the Prime Minister then indicated that they would be expected to remain open for the children of key workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – providing a safe place. The definition of keyworker is yet to be fully defined and we are expecting clarification at some point today from the Cabinet Office. It will take time to determine the nature of this provision so your patience and understanding is much appreciated as we work through the logistics of this proposal. I anticipate providing more details later today or tomorrow.

All children have been spoken to in school about the importance of their continued learning whilst away from school and all staff have prepared learning for the children in their class. Each child will today bring home a ‘Working at home’ information pack which contains details of the work that the children are expected to complete each day, as well as for how long that they should be spending on their learning. As we do not know how long the school closure will be in place teachers have provided enough work until at least the Easter break. Some of this work will be in the form of photocopied worksheets, practice test papers, as well as online links on our BGFL platform. All children in KS1 and KS2 have a copy of their login details in their home learning journal and staff have ensured that all the children can log in successfully. If the school remains closed following the Easter break then we will update the learning activities. It is an expectation for all children that they access and complete this work whilst the school is closed in order that they are not disadvantaged.

We believe that keeping in touch with our school community is very important as we follow the Government’s policy during this uncertain time. Therefore teachers will contact you through ParentMail on Friday, as well as three times a week during the period of the school closure, providing they remain fit and well. We also plan to tweet messages to the children and parents on a regular basis.

Can I take this opportunity to thank you for the overwhelming gratitude and support that we have received from so many parents over the past few days, these messages really are appreciated. It’s the kindness and support that we give to each other that will help us get through these unprecedented times. ‘Never forget there is fairy dust to be found in every situation, no matter how difficult.’

Please keep well and safe and we look forward to welcoming you all back to school in the very near future.

Update 17.03.20

Yesterday the Prime Minister announced wide measures to restrict travel and promote social distancing, however he has kept schools open.

The main messages which are intended for people with symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus ie a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) or a new, continuous cough, and do not require hospital treatment are:

  • if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

Trips, Sport and Assemblies

Sport - Unfortunately all sporting competitions and football fixtures for the foreseeable future have been cancelled. These include the Stafford and District Primary Schools cross country, the mini rugby festival and the Leasowes 6 a side football tournaments for Years 4, 5, and 6. After school sporting clubs will continue.

Year 4 Swimming – We have had confirmation that Year 4 will be swimming tomorrow (18.03.20), we will let you know about the remaining weeks as we hear.

Trips

Ireland - It is with much regret that the Year 6 trip to Ireland this year cannot go ahead. Whilst we realise just how disappointed the children and staff will be, we are living in unprecedented times where health and safety has to be the only priority, not just for our school but for the whole country.

Laches Wood - We have been in contact with the centre today and will continue to speak with them again tomorrow as the situation at school and at the centre is changing daily.

Year 1 and 2 Sudbury Hall – At the moment both the Toy workshop and the visit are still going ahead. If this changes we will inform you immediately and refund the money

Assemblies - All school assemblies have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, this includes the Year 3 class assembly on Friday as well as the Foundation Stage Mother’s Day celebration this week.

Grandparents Lunch - As we stated in our letter on Friday Grandparents lunch this week has been postponed.

 

Working at home

Please can I ask parents at this time not to individually contact school for packs of work specifically for their child.  If your child is off and is well enough to do so, they can read their book, practise in their super spellings book as well as accessing Spelling Shed and various number programs through BGFL.  In the event of a whole school closure all staff have already made preparations for learning to continue at home, with packs of resources prepared for each child along with guides for parents.  All children in KS1 and KS2 have checked that they can log in to BGFL and Spelling Shed so that they can also access work at home.  If you haven’t already done so please can you check that the logins are working at home, and if there is any issue please contact your child’s class teacher.  It is also essential that we have your up to date contact details and that you can access ParentMail as in the event of our school closing, class teachers may be using ParentMail to keep in touch. Thank you to everyone who has already contacted the school office with their up to date details.

Finally as a school, just like the rest of society, we are dealing with incredibly challenging situations when it comes to ensuring the well-being of our pupils and staff and your continued support and understanding is greatly appreciated in these unprecedented times.

 

Update 16.03.20

Today, the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings.

What you need to know:

Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.

• staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal

• if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home

In order to reduce the impact of the coronavirus and to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep our children/families and staff safe, we would ask that anyone with even mild symptoms should ‘self-screen’ before coming into school To do this please follow the guidelines issued by Public Health England and click on the following link  to complete the coronavirus 111 online questionnaire, Thank-you very much in advance for your co-operation and understanding with regard to this important matter.

 

Update 13.03.20

We are very conscious that there is a lot of information being shared on the Coronavirus outbreak and with the Government now moving from containment phase to the delay phase, we thought it sensible to share the latest updated guidance from Staffordshire County Council and Public Health England on the steps that are being taken. We receive daily updates from the DFE and follow the advice that is given. If there are any change to this guidance, then we will inform you immediately.

To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough

You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

 

What is the current phase?

On Thursday the Government moved to the delay phase.

 

Should the school be closed?

We have been advised that no school or education setting should close or restrict pupils unless advised to do so by Public Health England.

 

What do I need to do if my child has ‘flu-like’ symptoms?

If a parent or child is ill and is worried about coronavirus they should contact NHS 111. You should not go to your doctors, health centre or pharmacy. The NHS and Public Health England will ascertain if the case is coronavirus or, as is most likely, seasonal cold or flu. Parents should only be keeping their children off school on the advice of Public Health England or if they are too ill to be in school anyway. If it is determined that the child’s illness is Coronavirus then please contact school immediately. Public Health England along with the county council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service will offer further advice to us as a school on what we need to do.

 

What happens if my child becomes ill at school?

We will treat the pupil as we would normally do if they are unwell. However, if we have specific concerns about Coronavirus, we will contact parents or carers and ask them to pick their child up immediately and contact NHS 111.

Parents should only be keeping their children off school on the advice of Public Health England or following NHS 111 advice.

If you have been advised by a medical professional to “self-isolate” your child, then we will need you to confirm the source/name of the advice and the period of self-isolation, then we will mark the absence as authorised. Normally, your child would be expected to be able to return after the isolation period.

 

Can parents keep their child off without receiving medical advice to “self-isolate”, how should I mark the absence?

Parents remain responsible for ensuring that children attend school when it is open.

Whilst recognising the anxieties that some parents may have, if a parent simply keeps their child off school without a valid medical reason then we will record the absence as unauthorised.

 

In the event that someone has been diagnosed with Coronavirus in school, can the school reveal who it is?

For reasons of patient confidentiality, we are not able to disclose who has contracted the virus. This is for the health and safety of the patient.

The local Public Health England Health Protection Team will contact school to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advice on any actions or precautions that should be taken. If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing.

 

Should assemblies be cancelled?

The present advice is that it is ‘business as usual.’ Therefore the Year 3 class assembly and the Early Years Mother’s Day celebration next week will still go ahead.  However, we are very mindful of the need to protect vulnerable groups, one of which is classified as ‘older adults’. This is why we have taken the decision to postpone the grandparents lunch next Wednesday.

Further information can be found on the government’s latest on-line advice

 

The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

 

Parents can register to receive the latest county council Coronavirus updates using the following link. Parents can also sign up for the county council school closure alerts.

Trips

Laches Wood

We have trips booked in the next few weeks including Year 5’s residential visit to Laches Wood. We have spoken to Staffordshire County Council today who have told us that the trip to Laches Wood is still going ahead. This will only be cancelled if Public Health England or another authorative body makes a decision that such events can no longer take place. If the County Council are told that the centre must close, then we will inform you immediately and refund parents with the full amount. However, if the centre is open and you choose to withdraw your child from the trip, then unfortunately refunds cannot be given.

Ireland

The Governing Board will meet on Monday evening to make a decision about our trip to Ireland. Any decision that is made will based on Government and Local Authority Advice and we will be informing parents of the outcome on Tuesday.

For all other trips and visits then again we will be following Government advice.

 

School Closure

Yesterday, the government has said no widespread school closures are imminent in England, although individual schools may be advised to shut by Public Health England if needed. This situation may change and we have already made preparations for learning to continue at home, with packs of resources being prepared for each child along with guides for parents. This week all children in KS1 and KS2 have checked that they can log in to BGFL and spelling shed so that they can access work at home. Please can you check over the  weekend that the log ins are working at home, and if there is any issue please contact your child’s class teacher. It is also essential that we have your up to date contact details and that you can access ParentMail as in the event of our school closing, class teachers may be using ParentMail to keep in touch.

The situation is very fluid and changing almost daily, therefore we will continue to update you regularly on any new advice. I hope that this keeps you informed of what the current situation is at Oakridge and within the local area. Once again, if you feel like you or your child have any symptoms then please take advice from NHS 111 and do not bring them into school until you are reassured that it is safe to do so.

13.03.20