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Latest Corona Virus information for parents and children.

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REVIEWED 21/05/2020

The proposed phased return of pupils to primary schools.

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you are all safe and that this letter finds you and your family in good health.  I would also like to say another huge thank you for your continued understanding. These are difficult times, and with undoubtedly more difficult decisions to come – it is greatly appreciated to know that we have your support.

Following Boris Johnson’s message of Sunday 10th May and the subsequent release of various guidance documents from the Department for Education over the course of this week, we have been considering how we will make this work for Wells Park School. The significant change for us will be the temporary suspension of residential provision. The Government have published information for parents HERE 

As ever, our approach is to study the guidance carefully, avoid some of the sensationalist media speculation and ensure that our decision making is well reasoned and practical. I do want to assure you that we have a team of staff who are determined to provide as full an education as possible whilst ensuring that this is delivered in as safe a way as  possible.

Four conditions before I outline our provisional plans:

  1. We are approaching a gradual re-opening of our school with consideration of all guidance and protective measures in order to make attendance as safe as possible. However – there is no such thing as absolute safety.  This applies to school, as much as it does when we visit the supermarket and other public facilities as society begins to re-open. We can individually and collectively take responsible steps to reduce transmission of the virus, but no one can guarantee that this will not happen. What we are doing is managing the risk. It is important to remember that it is not possible to eliminate the risk.

 

  1. These provisional plans – are exactly that, provisional. The dates outlined below are firstly dependent on the Government advising that their timeline is supported by their specific tests. The dates are also dependent on our ability to prepare the site, ensure availability and readiness of school staff and most importantly, to satisfy ourselves that we are able to put risk assessments and policy into practice as safely as possible.  We are of course planning a programme, which may require date flexibility, dependent on all of the above.
  2. The in school education that we will be providing will look and feel nothing like ‘normal’ school. The strategy and guidance is to create small ‘bubbles’ and minimise social contact wherever practically possible.
  3. We will not pursue non-attendance at school for those who are eligible for in school provision, but would encourage them to attend.

Under current arrangements, Pupils and staff should not attend our school under any circumstances if the following applies:

  • You are classified as extremely clinically vulnerable. Please see HERE
  • You share a household with an individual who is classified as extremely clinically vulnerable.
  • You are classified as clinically vulnerable. Please see Section 8 HERE
  • You show any symptoms of Covid-19, including a high temperature or a cough. In these circumstances you should isolate with your household and inform the school at the first opportunity. Please see here: HERE

Day provision from June 1st 2020

  • We will begin a programme of daytime provision on site from the 1st June 2020. Group sizes will be substantially reduced with children only mixing within their individual hub.
  • This provision will initially take the form of focusing on English and Maths.  Small groups will form secure hubs using allocated spaces across the school. This small group will have a designated classroom, toilet facilities, dining space and agreed zones for breaks indoors and outdoors. Wherever possible they will not mix with anyone outside of this small group hub.
  • There will also be a daily activity/reward session alongside their allocated teaching and care team.
  • Each pupil will be able to attend between 09:00 and 3pm, Monday to Thursday.
  • Every Friday the school will be closed in order to be cleaned and prepared for the following week. 

Protective Measures for Staff and Pupils on Site.

This is not an exhaustive list, but outlines the key areas and steps that we will be taking in the days ahead in preparation for a phased re-opening.

  • The ‘bubble’ or hub approach to contact meets the core criteria of reducing the number of contacts and ensures that small groups remain together with limited changes to pupil and staff personnel during the day.
  • The provision of toileting and handwashing facilities outside the main access points to the school (kindly donated by Simply Hire)
  • Pupils changing daily into clean uniform within 3 zones prior to entering the main school and joining their hubs.
  • We will be modifying all classrooms to maximise seating arrangements to support social distancing wherever possible. There will be clear signage on each door indicating how many and which pupils the room caters for.
  • We will also follow this approach with offices and communal spaces.
  • There will be a code of conduct for pupils and staff to follow, which will outline how to maintain social distancing, however; I can make no guarantee that our pupils will practise or sustain social distancing between themselves or staff as described within the guidance.
  • We will implement routines at the start and end of the day to allow for as much social distancing as possible during arrival / departure.
  • For those in school, there will be designated times to visit spaces outside of their allocated hubs and to take breaks. These will aim to avoid contact across different groups.
  • There will be clear signage to remind people of the importance of social distancing and hygiene.
  • There will be daytime cleaning provision, focusing on high use areas including toilets, and door handles as well as weekly cleaning on Fridays.
  • Each classroom which has been used will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day.
  • We will order additional hand sanitiser and cleaning supplies for use in classrooms – and encourage regular hand washing.
  • PPE is currently not recommended for either staff or pupils (all guidance will be monitored for changes and amended as necessary)
  • The exception to this is the medical room, which will have necessary equipment and guidance to cope with any pupil or member of staff who is taken ill with suspected Covid-19 during the school day.
  • We will continue to limit visitors to the school site to those deemed as absolutely necessary and manage their access including contact with staff or pupils in line with the guidance.
  • Most importantly – anyone who has the symptoms of a cough or fever needs to stay away from school, self-isolate and arrange a test. If a positive result is received, DFE and PHE will advise us on the next course of action. This is part of the Government’s track and trace strategy.

For those families choosing to keep their child at home

  • From the 1st June onwards we will seek to increase the quantity of interactive tasks and sessions available for those pupils at home.
  • We will aim for an increase in video and interactive content; however, this will be dependent on available teaching staff.
  • To enable better access to remote learning we will provide a chrome-book and support with securing connection to an internet provider.
  • We will start to incorporate transition work for pupils in Year 6 to begin a focus on the changes that lie ahead for them.
  • We will be using Fridays for staff to produce remote resources, videos and activities for pupils choosing to remain at home and to communicate with parents and children on a pastoral and academic basis.
  • For those qualifying, we will continue to provide Free School Meal Vouchers and associated support
  • As soon as we have plans for beyond this academic year, we will look carefully at how we can support the reintegration of our pupils once a full return to school is confirmed.

Home school contract during Covid19

To support the school in maintaining our school offer, including the measures put in place to reduce infection within our community, we will need you to understand and agree to the following principles:

  • Should your child or any member of your household show symptoms of Coronavirus, you will notify the school at the earliest opportunity and not send your child into school
  • Should your child report or show symptoms of illness at school they will be isolated from the remaining children and will require collection by a family member at the earliest opportunity
  • Where risk assessments are being compromised the school reserves the right to withdraw the offer with immediate effect
  • You accept that social distancing may not be understood or practised by pupils

It is an unusual thing to say at the end of such a long letter – but this really does represent only the framework for our planning and we are currently working very hard on the practicalities and actions required in order to make our proposal a reality in as safe a way as is possible. As you will appreciate, many of our pupils have complex and challenging needs and whilst I would like to make assurances around social distancing there will very likely be individual behaviours and instances that do not support this. It will be for you as parents, carers and families to make a judgement as to whether you feel our offer is one you feel is ‘safe enough’ for you. 

 

Mr Matthew Surman (Headteacher) and Ms Carol Mitchell (Strategic Director)

 

 

Free School Meal Voucher scheme. 

The National Voucher scheme for families qualifying for Free School Meals has now been launched. We will be contacting those families entitled to Free School Meal vouchers by email with further details. 

Please ensure you are checking the email account you have registered with the school.

A short survey has been sent to you all via our School Ping service.

If you have not registered with School Ping please check your emails for registration details. 

 

For all enquiries  please call the school office between 9am and 4pm on 02085026442

or emial us at info@wellspark.essex.sch.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Please see the latest communication from the Local Authority  above.

Teachers are compiling additonal  learning packs which will be posted to families this week. As you will understand we are working as fast as we can to adapt to the evolving situation. We hope to formulate plans and provide further information to you by the end of this week (including access to further learning materials). Many thanks for your patience and understanding during a challenging time.

Our school communication app (School Ping) is dependent on us having your most current email address. 

Dear Parent/Carer,

I wanted to update you on the adjustments we are making at the school in the light of advice and guidance we are receiving from Essex County Council and Public Health England.

It is important to note is that many of our children can become fearful and anxious so as adults our responsibility is to calm those concerns and to help keep things in perspective. 

Put simply, children need to regularly and thoroughly wash their hands and if they do cough, sneeze or blow their noses they need to do it into a tissue and immediately dispose of it.

At school, we have established routines of handwashing. Children will wash their hands at the beginning and end of the day and at the beginning of break and lunch.

Generally, our pupils will be using liquid soap and employing the 20 second rule. We do have a number of hand sanitisers in use but primarliy use soap as this is recognosed to be more effective.  Alcohol based hand santizer is provided for all visitors to our school on entry and exit.We will continue to look at our systems and routines to see if we need to add to or change anything further.

The most recent advice is for people who have any one of the symptoms (high temperature, new cough or sore throat) is that they now need to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. Any child reporting these symptoms during the school day will need to be collected by a parent/carer or known family member at the earliest opportunity. For specific guidance please click here. A key symptom to look for is a high temperature/fever. If in doubt then please contact medical professionals on 111 – do not go to your GP or hospital.  If you have a more general question then please feel free to contact the school office on 02085026442.

We will now be cancelling any school trips or off site after school activities has been organised as a measure in response to the guidance released today by the Government. 

As yet, there is no suggestion that Wells Park School should be closed; however, this situation may change very quickly. It is important to note that there are currently no confimred cases of coronavirus associated to Wells Park.

Although we hope it won’t be necessary, in preparation for the possibility of having to support your children’s learning remotely we have subscribed to a comprehensive package of e-learning materials that your child will be able to access on a tablet, pc or laptop.

The disruption any school closure would cause is significant and will only be taken following national and local guidance if the situation changes. When we are communicating with all our families the easiest way is via our School Ping app so please ensure we have your most up to date mobile phone number and email address. 

A calm and measured approach with good communication is the way forward and Wells Park is well prepared for any necessary action.

Best wishes

Matthew Surman

Headteacher

Where to find the latest information on Corona virus.

Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline

The Department for Education have launched a new helpline for parents, young people and staff who have questions or concerns:

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

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