Week beginning 14th September 2020
It has been a very long week and I know that everyone will be a little more concerned knowing that we have had a positive case of COVID identified in school. Sadly, this is happening in many schools throughout the country. In school we are following all of the government guidelines and keeping your children and the staff as safe as we possibly can. We have decided that children in Key Stage 2 will not move classes for maths, so all of the children are now always within their class bubble. This means that, should we get another positive result, the number of children who will be asked to stay at home will be reduced to a minimum. I have just updated our risk assessment which you can see under Our School/Policies. If you have any questions about the risk assessment, please contact me.
It has been lovely to receive all of your positive comments, both on the yard and via email. These are hugely appreciated by everyone and I have passed your best wishes on to the member of staff.
The government rules say that I have to wait to speak to Public Health England before getting in touch with parents about a positive case. This process was very slow on Wednesday and that is why I ended up sending an email out to parents without the required advice. Thankfully, the decisions that I shared were the correct ones. I did ask that my initial email to the class wasn’t shared until I had had the chance to contact all families. Sadly, this was copied onto social media and caused some of our parents additional stress, which was very disappointing.
Newcastle has now been put under “increased measures”. This is to hopefully stop the increase in cases that we are currently seeing. It means that the one time that you will be able to see people from other households, is on the school drop off and pick up. I would ask you to maintain social distancing throughout this time and would encourage parents to wear face masks, as it is hard to keep two metres distance at all times. We will not be enforcing this, but if we really want to beat this virus, we need to do everything possible at the moment.
Another change in class is that we are occasionally using hand sanitiser. The children will always wash their hands with soap and water on entry to school, before eating and before going home. They will be allowed to use hand sanitiser twice between these times, but should they need to clean their hands a third time, they will use soap and water again. This is following medical advice. I am delighted to say that we have found an effective sanitiser which seems to be gentle on the skin. The first one Mrs West made me try would have burnt a hole in my desk! If you would prefer your child to bring in their own sanitiser then this is allowed, but please can you label it with their name? Thanks.
Finally, if you do see any of the three COVID19 symptoms in your child, we would ask you to keep them off school until they have received a negative test result. We would rather you be over cautious at the moment than risk spreading the virus. I have given the staff the same message.
I realise that writing this week’s blog, I sound more like a member of Public Health than a Headteacher. As Heads, we do receive some additional information, but we are not health professionals and don’t know any more about COVID19 than everyone else. If you are unsure about symptoms or whether to send your child to school, please contact the NHS helpline via the internet or by ringing 111.
Stay safe. I hope next week I will be blogging more about education!