Lock-down plans - 08/01
Letter to parents & carers clarifying lockdown plans.
Dear Parents and Carers,
It sounds odd to be starting this letter with good wishes for a Happy New Year, so much has happened since the 1st January it feels like a term has passed in a week. However, my thoughts and wishes are with you all at the start of what I hope will be a year of recovery.
This letter is intended to outline our plans going forward during this most recent lock-down and hopefully to allay some of your concerns.
We are reviewing the Risk Assessment to ensure that we are reducing risk of C19 transmission as much as possible. This includes tightening up on all PPE and hygiene within school. We will be asking all staff to wear masks as they access communal areas. We realise that this may have an impact on the students and we will support them to accept this change. Whilst we wait for further clarification from Public Health and the DfE, we have taken the step to revert to 2 metre distancing in classes and around school. The impact of this is that we must reduce the numbers of students and staff in school.
As we know all our children and young people at Uffculme are vulnerable and benefit from the routine of school. However, we are faced with the challenge of reducing risk of transmission and maintaining 2 metre distancing we therefore have to be creative with the options we are offering parents and carers. We appreciate your understanding in this and will make every attempt to accommodate students. However, we do need to ensure that we are giving as many of our students an opportunity to attend face to face learning.
Parent/carer feedback and online data indicates that student take-up of online learning was low in March – July. We know from the work staff have completed, that many parents and carers preferred physical resources during this time. We will be offering a combination of this to all students. Staff have been given strict guidelines in regards to online learning, e.g. Zoom lessons in order to maintain high levels of safeguarding and boundaries with students. If you have any concerns with this, please do not hesitate to contact me. Your class teacher will continue to make weekly calls during this lockdown, please communicate your remote learning needs directly to them. The school website continues to hold a great deal of information and resources which will continue to be available to you. If you are struggling to access online learning for your child because you do not have the appropriate technology, please speak with your class teacher and we will support you to access and apply for learning technology.
Reporting to Ofsted
You may have seen that the DfE have published guidelines about their expectation of online learning and lessons. As above, if you have any concerns with quality, content or volume of remote learning, please contact the school initially. If you need to contact Ofsted, they can be reached through the parent view website https://parentview.ofsted.gov.uk/ If you feel that you would like to report something positive, this is also a helpful way to raise awareness of how the school staff have supported you and your child.
Symptomatic - New NHS advice
Last term, senior leaders at the school were faced with completing ‘test and trace’ on a daily basis. This meant that we were able to keep transmission rates very low within school, with few confirmed cases. However, we do know that some students continued to come to school despite sharing a household with family members who were symptomatic. This new variant poses an increased risk to us all and we ask you to help keep your school community safe by sticking to the guidelines. If we close a bubble or send a class home, we do so with the best intentions of keeping children, staff and our families safe.
The NHS has recently published additional guidance for isolation. Your child must keep self-isolating for 10 days if they have any of the below symptoms:-
- a high temperature or feeling hot and shivery
- a runny nose or sneezing
- feeling or being sick
Only stop self-isolating when these symptoms have gone.
If your child has diarrhoea or has been sick, they must stay at home until 48 hours after the diarrhoea or sickness has stopped. Please visit this website for future advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/how-long-to-self-isolate/
Finally, I would like to send the biggest thanks out to you all. It is heart-breaking that we are back in lock-down. Last term was an absolute joy, despite its challenges and its limitations. Having the students back where they need to be brought staff happiness and a huge sense of satisfaction. We will all get back there again and we know when we do we will make it even better for our students. My thanks are to you for your understanding and the knowledge that we are all doing our best in these incredible times.
Best wishes to you all.