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Parent letter 10.9.20

 

Friday 10th September 2020

 

Dear Parents/Guardians

I am writing to give you another update on the first two weeks that Potters Green has been open to all pupils.   I have also been visiting classrooms and getting to know the children both inside and outside of their learning environments.  It has been lovely to see classes full and the children back at their learning.

Once again I would like to say a big thank you for your patience and understanding in adapting to the different ways/routines etc that we as a school have had to adopt.  The school follows government and Public Health guidance throughout, to mitigate the risks of COVID, for both pupils and staff.  The school must follow the guidance and this forms the basis of all decisions made by the school.  There are key areas which the school must not deviate from, particularly with children who are symptomatic of the virus or a member of their household is (this can include only having one symptom).  These children or staff must not be in school and have to get tested, with the family self-isolating in line with government guidance.    The same regulations around children being ill still apply eg children who are ill generally should not be in school.  If a child has had vomiting or diarrhoea they should not be in school for 48 hours from the last episode.

COVID-19 SYMPTOMS: A New, continuous cough OR high temperature OR change in, normal sense of taste or smell.

 

Pupils should Stay away/go home from school if: Have COVID-19 symptoms OR Positive COVID-19 test in last 10 days OR in a household with someone who has had a positive test in last 14 days Or Advised by NHS Test and Trace to self-isolate.

 

What to do if a child is sent home from school because they have one or more of the symptoms of COVID or they have had symptoms at home?

  • Arrange a Test either online or by phoning 119.  The symptomatic person must self-isolate for 10 days with their household members self-isolating for 14 days.
  • Read and Follow the ‘Stay at Home’ guidance. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
  • If a parent is unwilling for their child to be tested or the member of the household who is symptomatic then they must all self-isolate for 14 days and are not allowed in school.
  • If the test is NEGATIVE the child can return to school when well but must have been fever free for 48 hours.
  • If the test is POSITIVE the person with COVID needs to isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of symptoms AND until well.  They must be Fever Free for 48 hours.  The rest of their household must still self-isolate for the 14 days.
  • Siblings of those who are either symptomatic or who have a positive test MUST NOT attend school.  By doing so it puts others at unnecessary risk (children and adults).
  • If there are more than 2 confirmed cases of COVID in a school community it is reported, investigated and a risk assessment is undertaken by the appropriate authorities.  This has meant that some schools have closed or certain year groups have not been permitted to be in school for 14 days.  We will always communicate to parents if the HPT (Local Health Protection Team) makes this instruction.

 

Parents must remember that children present differently with the virus and either show no symptoms or a much lighter version of them.  This does not change the intensity of the virus if it is passed on to others.  A child is still classed as being symptomatic even if they have only had the virus for a day or through an evening and begin to feel much better.  The same rules for self-isolation for the one with symptoms and their household remains. 

Parents and schools are having to cope in difficult circumstances during the pandemic.  Some parents have not reacted well when staff have explained that their child can not be in school or that they should be tested.  The school has to follow the guidance and decisions must be based on this.  The school has no control on what happens outside of the school and there is an expectation that we all adhere to what we are being asked to do for the safety of all.  However a big thankyou to all the parents who have thanked the school for what we are doing for their children and understand the difficulties the school is having to manage.  It has also been reassuring to hear that parents know that we have worked hard within school to mitigate risks.  During a recent visit from the LA Health and Safety Team the advisor was impressed as to how much the school was doing during this time.

 

NEW ARRANGEMENTS FOR THE WEEK BEGINNING: MONDAY 14TH SEPTEMBER

 

Now that the children/parents are used to the staggered start and drop off times we are finding that children are coming in to school more quickly, very settled and it is working well.   With this in mind the staggered start/drop off timings have been changed so that we get the children in to school even more quickly.

 

 

AM

(Mornings)

 

PM

End of the day

Year 1

side gate

 

Year 3

bottom gate

 

Year 5

bottom gate

8:45

 

Parents are not permitted on to the playground.  They are to drop their child at the identified gates and leave.  Parents must not hang around outside the school as this will cause congestion

Year 1  

 

Year 3

 

Year 5

 

2:55

At the end of the day parents will be permitted on to the playground.  Parents enter through the side gate and leave promptly through the bottom gate. Parents are to wait near the bottom gates and teachers will hand children to the parents.  Parents must not come over to the children lining up.

Reception classes

 

Siblings

bottom gate only

 

(If parents prefer siblings can come at the year groups allocated time).

8:55

Reception classes

Siblings – bottom gate only

(If parents prefer siblings can come at the year groups allocated time).

3:05

Year 2

side gate

 

Year 4

bottom gate

 

Year 6

bottom gate

 

9:05

Year 2

 

Year 4

 

Year 6

 

 

3:15

 

Parents are urged to only arrive at their designated times. There can be no waiting around outside the school gates and I appreciate parents have been very supportive in doing this already.  If another adult is bringing your child/ren to school you must explain what is happening and the timings etc so they understand what is happening and what is being asked of them.

 

A flavour of some of the adaptations the school has made to mitigate risk.

 

  • Children spend the majority of their time within their own bubbles.
  • There have staggered start and finish times to the school day to avoid mixing of bubbles in the confined corridor spaces and around the school site.
  • Children do not walk around the corridors and are escorted to other parts of the school site.
  • There are staggered break and dinner times and children stay in their bubbles.
  • Lunches are eaten in classrooms in their bubbles.
  • Children are encouraged not to touch each other and maintain social distancing.
  • Regular cleaning throughout the day.
  • A designated area for a child who becomes symptomatic.
  • Additional hand washing facilities and hand gel.

 

We have thoroughly enjoyed being able teach a whole school community since we reopened and guidelines must be followed. Some schools have already had to close certain year groups, for some  or the whole school has been sent home, due to a small number of COVID infections within the school community.  Everything we are doing is trying to prevent this from happening.  However no environment is COVID free.  At the moment there have been no reported cases of COVID reported in the school community for both pupils and staff. Parents must keep us informed of any absences or symptomatic people within the household.

The school does not underestimate how difficult it is for parents with the changes in the school timings and if needed to self-isolate.  Unfortunately we are all in the same position in wanting our loved ones to be safe and we all have the responsibility in taking the virus seriously and adhering to the guidelines as issued by public health and the government.  

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ring the school to get some clarification.

 

Kind regards

 

Gillian Deery

Headteacher

 

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