16th March 2020
I would just like to begin by saying a huge thank you to all the parents who have been supportive of school’s efforts and have taken the government recommendations seriously. We have decided to cancel tomorrow’s trip to the Space Centre due to the number of schools likely to be present and the amount of touching of interactive displays. The Foundation Stage trip to White Post Farm later in March will also be cancelled. Payment for both trips will be reimbursed or rearranged. Whilst (thankfully) the majority of children are not in the vulnerable category we know that there is still a great deal of anxiety about their health and well-being. I know this is a worrying time for everyone and quite unprecedented. As you are aware the guidance is that schools remain open until further notice. There is much speculation on when or if the government will shut schools, but the fact is we just do not know and they have no plans to as yet. If schools are notified to close we will operate our ‘virtual schooling plan’ which is outlined below. This will run through seesaw which most of you are signed up for and is detailed below. Can I urge you please to sign up for seesaw ASAP if you have not done so already.
In the meantime, some of you are choosing not to send your children to school already because you are worried. Can I reiterate, unless your child has been in contact with anyone who has the virus or has the following symptoms below, the DFE states that you should be bringing your child to school and that we should not be authorising absences without good reason to do so. We are still running lessons as normal and your children will miss out on valuable learning if they are not here. I know it is a worrying time but we are taking the virus very seriously in schools and are constantly hand washing and checking on the health of the children. We have had a phone call from 2 parents today with suspected coronavirus and following 111 advice, the families will be self-isolating for 7 days.
• Please do not send your child to school if they have a temperature (if they feel hot to touch on their chest or back.) Children who develop a temperature whilst in our care will be sent home immediately.
• Please do not send your child into school if they have a new, continuous cough (coughing repeatedly)
The advice is to keep your child at home for 7 days if they develop these symptoms. The guidance is only to phone 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, if your condition gets worse or continues longer than 7 days. Otherwise they are recommending to just self-isolate.
If school is forced to close - the virtual school offer at Pinewood will be as follows:
1. Daily at 9am Monday – Friday each class teacher will post work for your child to complete that day on seesaw. The children should be able to complete these activities with minimum adult support. There will be an expectation that children take part in this learning to prevent them regressing and being at a disadvantage when they return to school. We appreciate that some parents will have limited access to a printer so we will ensure that most activities don’t require one or can be easily adapted. Children will require support posting back on seesaw. Full information about what each class will post will be given at the point of closure. Some optional activities will also be posted. Children in the Kittens will also receive daily activities for you to engage with.
2. All class teachers will be expected to make individual contact with their class members at least once per week. This will be through seesaw. If the class teacher is unable to make contact through seesaw a phone call will be made to ensure that you are not having difficulty connecting and communicating.
3. You will be given an emergency mobile contact number to contact school should you need to between the hours of 9am-12pm or make contact on the school email email@example.com If you have an enquiry related to a learning task then please seesaw your class teacher.
4. Teachers will also send work for your child to complete via Purple Mash – your child already has a login and password but if these are needed again then please contact your class teacher. Twinkl, an online educational resource website, popular with many schools, is offering 1 month’s free access providing high quality resources for you to print and use at home. If you would like to take advantage of this offer please visit www.twinkl.co.uk/offer and use the code UKTWINKLHELPS
5. Ms Reville will be in contact with our SEND parents on a weekly basis.
6. Ms Otter and Ms Reville will also be ensuring that we are in frequent contact with vulnerable families offering support and guidance. We also have access to food vouchers if familes were in desperate need as we are aware that free school meals are an invaluable resource for some of you. If you are worried about anyone during a school closure then please contact Ms Otter at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am sure over the next few months we will be going out of our minds with boredom and difficulties around self-isolation. Please be vigilant and responsible but do not isolate your children from school until necessary.
Please continue to discuss hand washing and safe hygiene practices with your children at home.