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Coronavirus letter from Head Teacher 16/03/2020

16th March 2020

 

Dear parents/carers,

 

As you’re probably aware, the government’s guidance on the coronavirus has changed from the ‘contain’ phase to one of delaying the spread of the virus. We’re getting in touch to let you know what we’re doing in light of this, and what we expect from all of you, to help make sure our school community keeps safe and calm.

We’d like to reassure you that at St Mary’s we’re taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government as it is published.

 

What’s the current situation?

  • The school remains open – this is the current official guidance we’ve been given
  • All school functions continue to run as normal including Breakfast and After School clubs.
  • Pupils should attend unless they feel unwell – if your child has any of the following symptoms they should remain at home for 7 days:
  • a new, continuous cough and/or
  • a temperature
  • If your child is unwell, report this as you would normally by contacting the school office.
  • At the time of writing this, we have no plans to cancel any planned sporting events; however, parents’ evenings (March 31st/April 1st) may be postponed following advice from Public Health England in the coming days.
  • We’ll keep you up to date with any changes to the current situation

 

What we’re doing to protect and support pupils and staff

  • If your child becomes ill while at school, we will contact you to collect them immediately. Further advice will be sought from Public Health England as to the next steps for the school.
  • We are encouraging regular hand-washing through reminders in class
  • Cleaning routines increased so that frequently touched surfaces (door handles for example) are cleaned throughout the day

 

 

What we need you to do

  • If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible via admin@stmarys.co.uk or by telephoning 01983 562000
  • Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a scary time and we should make sure children feel supported. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety
  • Come and collect your child straight away, if we ask you to (we’ll contact you if they become ill with either a temperature or a new, continuous cough)
  • In the event of school closure, we will send details of how to access home learning via Google drive. Check that your child has access to this from home, and let us know if there are any issues (so we can make sure we’re well prepared for remote learning if the school does need to close at some point)

 

What happens if the school has to close?

We’ll only close if we’re either officially advised to do so or we don’t have enough staff to run the school.

In either case, we’ll:

  • Alert parents to closure via email (Teachers 2 Parents) and the website. The Local Authority will also be informed
  • Let you know when the school will reopen via Teachers 2 Parents and the website
  • Set work for children to complete at home using the Google drive – details of how to access this will be sent out should we need to close.

Please keep in mind that we’re only sending out this information to help the school community prepare.

There are currently no plans to close.

If you have any questions

Please consult the:

  • School office, if you have any questions about our response to this issue
  • NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible before calling 111
  • Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools
  • Government’s travel advice, if you want to know whether any upcoming trip or holiday you’re taking abroad should go ahead

It’s a tricky time and we know you’re worried about the impact this might have on our community. It’s important we keep each other safe and talk about these events to help with any anxiety.

Thank you for your continued support.

Alison Langridge

 

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