The second half of the Autumn half term is now with us and we thought this would be a good time to update parents and carers about the ongoing arrangements at the schools within the Trust with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic, especially during the period of the second national lockdown. Firstly we would like to once again thank parents and children for their ongoing support during the particular challenges posed by the present situation. We especially want to thank parents for all they have done to date to encourage their children to actively engage in our new arrangements as well as the kindness and appreciation that has been shown to our staff at this time.
As a Trust we have been extremely fortunate during the first half term in that we have only had to send one small group of five children home to self isolate during the whole of the first half term. We have 1200 children and 300 staff across the Trust so we think this is notable. Of course there have been many individual cases where children or staff have stayed at home, as they were experiencing symptoms or waiting for a test, but we have not yet needed to send classes or year groups home. We very much hope that this remains the case in the weeks ahead of us in the run up to Christmas. We planned carefully to keep our children and staff safe in our reconnection plan and so far this has been effective but we are painfully aware that we are only one infection away from a situation where isolation might be . We provide work for children who are self isolating each week on our blogs but we ask that parents and carers please note the information below to try to help keep us all safe at this time. Firstly on the subject of ventilation Mr. Robins from Ecclesbourne Primary School writes:
‘As the temperature drops and the number of cases in the general population rises we are caught in a difficult balancing act between keeping classrooms warm enough to learn and ventilated enough to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Below is a link to a very informative article about virus transmission and the impact of ventilation. I would encourage you all to read it. The article spells out different scenarios for bars and classrooms and you have to read on a bit before you get to the modelling about classrooms but it is worth persevering.
We appreciate that trying to learn in a cold classroom is never going to be an ideal situation but if we arm ourselves with the knowledge we can at least understand why it is important to keep ventilating classrooms.
We say in our updated risk assessment [6.6] that when the weather gets colder we will need to switch to ‘flushing’ the classrooms with fresh air but for now please wrap your children up warmly as it is clear that fresh air and good ventilation really do help to slow the spread of the virus.
Parents and carers should please also note these points from the updated Risk Assessment:
- [4.2] ‘Some school sites where social distancing is harder may request that parents wear masks in playground. This may change at all schools in the Trust as the risk in London is raised or lowered’
- [9.1 & 9.3] ‘Lunch hours have been extended by arrangement with (our caterer) Harrison to allow all year groups time to eat and play safely and we are working with them to vary menus to encourage uptake in KS2′;
All the latest government guidance on COVID and schools can be found here. Please also see below other guidance regarding symptoms of the virus and what to do if you suspect you or your children have any of these.
Thank you for your attention