17th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Given the ongoing challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic, I am writing to provide an update of how Greasley Beauvale Primary School is responding to this situation for the whole school community.
As I am sure you are all aware, there was an updated government press release last night. We are now entering another stage of delay, which requires action. At the time of writing, there have been no confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) within our school community. However, we continue to monitor the situation very closely and we are fully aware now of the need for whole families to self-isolate if they experience any of the symptoms (high temperature and/or new continuous cough).
What is the current risk level?
The risk to the public has been raised to high. Therefore, can I please urge families to follow the guidance and notify us immediately if you or your child/ren are ill with the symptoms. Consequently, this will lead to the 14 day self-isolation period enforced by the government.
The government have made clear that there is no immediate plan to close schools nationally. However, this position could change within days. We will continue to closely monitor this and update you as the situation changes.
The government will also be updating its advice in relation to what you should do if you feel you have coronavirus symptoms. You can keep up to date with this information on the NHS website.
We are also putting in place a number of additional measures to help limit the impact of our activities on the spread of coronavirus.
Cancellation of all trips
We have taken the decision today to postpone or cancel all trips until after the Easter holidays (at least). This is based on the fact that the government have advised to limit social contact and not to go ahead with non-essential contact and travel. Any trips after this remain under review, which is in the interests of the welfare of our children. We are very aware that the year 4 children are currently on their residential trip to Castleton (until tomorrow) and this was approved by the Department of Education on Sunday afternoon due to the outdoor location, events planned and risk assessments in place. All other trips planned (i.e. Magna for year 5) have associated risks due to the high volume of visitors, close proximity of other people within venues and the high exposure, for example, to touching artefacts, equipment and experiments. Again, this follows guidance from the government about avoiding confined spaces and mass gatherings and increasing social distancing.
Cancellation of school events
From today, we are restricting the movement between school communities, where we may be working closely with external providers, children and/or professionals. This includes events planned within our school until after the Easter holidays (at the earliest). These include: parents evenings, book fairs, workshops or guest speakers, and book and buttie mornings. Where possible, we will reschedule these for a later date or find alternative ways of communicating.
Please note: in order to ensure we continue to deliver on our duty of care to our children, it may be necessary to continue to hold some face-to-face meetings and we will review each situation on a case-by-case basis.
Cancellation of normal routine in the school timetable
From today, we will limit the amount of contact that children have within the school building and there will be no assemblies. This will also enable more time for handwashing and/or extra time outside in the fresh air. We will keep routine on a ‘needs must’ basis i.e. lunchtime in the hall. The list also covers the cancellation of: Rainbow Rewards, swimming, reading volunteers, food technology and cups in classrooms. With regards to water, please ensure your child has their own water bottle and these will be sent home daily for washing. In terms of lunchtime, we will also extend this by 10 minutes to ensure that more time is given to washing hands.
Cancellation of afterschool clubs
From today, there will be NO afterschool clubs until further notice.
Reminder – have we got your up to date contact details?
We should have two points of parent/guardian contact information for your child – this should include an email address and phone number (preferably a mobile number). If this requires updating, please let us know. Please email us at email@example.com or provide us with a hardcopy written letter.
If you are worried about any symptoms, please call NHS 111. Please let us know if you or any member of your immediate family have a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 at the earliest opportunity.
Please let us know if you feel that your child is vulnerable for the virus and if there are further measures that we need to consider.
As you will appreciate, this is an unprecedented time and we are working hard behind the scenes to prepare for school closures (if they are to happen) and working remotely if needed. We will work together with you to ensure that the health and wellbeing of our community and the education of children remain at the forefront of our decision making.
Mrs Michelle Bates and Mr Chris Manton
(Head Teacher) (Chair of Governors)