Coronavirus News Archive

Here is an archive of all of our coronavirus updates, as the long list of updates is currently breaking the front page:

Thursday 21st May 2020

Dear Parents and carers,

Thank you for all your support and for following advice to keep your children at home whenever possible. Our major priority, as it has been since the onset of this awful crisis, remains the health and safety of pupils and their families and of our staff who continue to care for vulnerable pupils and the children of key workers. I know you will share this priority from the results of the survey.

I wanted to provide further clarity following the Government’s announcement that schools will re-open no earlier than the first of June to the following year groups; Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6 on what you can expect to happen next.

As stated, the safety and welfare of your children, you as parents and all of our staff in schools is of paramount importance and whilst we are eager to get children back into education, we need to ensure that this is not putting them and others at increased risk of infection from Covid-19 at this time.

The Government & the TUC (Trade Union Council) set five tests to measure whether any extension of school opening is safe for society, for children and their families and for the staff who work in them. These tests have not yet been met.

We want to begin a phased opening as soon as possible.  However, given the need for safety, from Tuesday 2nd June 2020 we will continue to offer childcare to children of Key Workers and for vulnerable groups only.  We expect these numbers to increase as the key worker list is updated.

We will contact you on Monday 1st June once the new list has been issued to confirm if you have a place as school can only accommodate a certain amount of children.

As a school community, we will be following the below points:

· School will continue to be open to children of keyworkers and vulnerable children, as it has been throughout the lockdown;

· Breakfast and after school club will not operate during this time.

· Children will be in groups of no more than 10 children

If there is any further safe capacity, following rigorous risk assessment, additional pupils will be invited to return in small, manageable numbers from the year groups identified by the government as priority. Additionally, we will also look at how we can facilitate Y6 with their transition to High School. All our plans must ensure that children are invited back at the right time and when we can offer you as parents the reassurances you will need that your child will be safe.

School will not be open to any year group on Fridays (only open to children of keyworker/vulnerable children) to allow staff time to clean classrooms, resources and replenish PPE.

We acknowledge how important it is for parents to have all relevant information, enabling you to make plans to move forward too. I will endeavour to be as open, honest and transparent with all plans and decisions made and keep you informed every step of the way.

As you can appreciate, no school can guarantee 100% safety from the virus, but we have taken advice from government and Public Health England to put all necessary risk assessments and safety precautions in place. Such measures include:

· PPE in every classroom (hand sanitiser, gloves, soap, paper towels)

· Children do not need to wear masks

· Adults do not need to wear masks unless administering first aid

· Children will be grouped in a maximum of 10 to ensure socially distanced seating in classrooms

· Each child will have their own table with all necessary equipment for them to use at their table to minimise movement around the classroom

· Groups of children will be supervised by the same adults as much as possible – not necessarily their own class teacher or with their friendship group although we will try with this as much as possible.

· Staggered pick up and drop off times

· Staggered play times

· Staggered lunch times

· All soft play, wet play and various other materials within the classrooms that could potentially harbour germs to be removed

· Children’s books/worksheets will not be handled by staff for marking

· Children bringing in a packed lunch will eat in the classroom

· Children receiving hot meals will eat in the dinner hall

· One-way system/staggered movement around school to minimise contact in corridors

· If/where possible, only one adult to pick up and drop off

· Adults not to come into the foyer to speak with office staff – phone calls only or use of drop box outside the main entrance door.

· School will not be accepting any extra adults or visitors in to school until it is safe to do so.

This list is not exhaustive and will be adjusted accordingly over time.

As stated, the safety and welfare of the children, staff and families is of paramount importance and whilst we are eager to get children back to school and education, we need to ensure that this is not putting anyone at increased risk of infection from Covid-19 at this time. All plans made will ensure that children are invited back at the right time and when we can offer you as parents the reassurances you will need that your child will be safe.

Equally, as a school, we ask that parents also do their upmost to keep our school community safe. If your child or anyone in your household displays any symptoms please do not send your child to school.

Parents will not be fined if you decide not to send your child(ren) to school.

Finally, thank you for supporting school with our best endeavours to bring more children into school over the coming weeks, whilst prioritising everyone’s health and well-being. If you have any further comments, questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact school.

We would like to thank you for your kindness, understanding and ongoing patience at this very difficult time

As always, I send my best wishes to you all. Stay safe.

Kind Regards,

Mr Perkins

 

Monday 18th May 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you’re keeping well and safe.  I just wish to provide you with some updates following on my letter on the 11th May.

As you may have seen, there has been much activity in the news concerning the return to school.  The Government have released over the week a number of documents to help Governors and I plan for the return to school for our children.  This is no easy task and is constantly requiring changes to be made to it.  Therefore, I am not in a position yet to share the plan to return to school.   I am hoping to be in a position to share this plan with you on Thursday.  However, this may change in light of consistent Government changes.

In order to prepare for what is clearly an extremely complex situation school will be closed during the Whit half term holiday for all children, this includes emergency child care provision.  This will allow time for the school to be deep cleaned and for staff to prepare for the possible staggered return of some pupils.

It is important that you bear in mind the following points, so that you can make an informed decision as to whether or not to send your child in to school.  Please bear in mind that the provision they will be accessing will be far different from normal.

  • Only Reception, Year 1 and year 6 pupils will be given the option to attend. Siblings and other year groups will not be allowed in school for the time being
  • Each of the year groups, Reception, Year 1 and 6 will have a phased return and this may not happen during the same week
  • Children will be expected to remain within their teaching groups throughout the day and they will not be allowed to mix with children from other groups
  • Groups of children/classes may not be in school full time during the weeks allocated to them.  This will allow staff to continue to provide home learning for children not in attendance
  • Emergency child care provision will continue for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers in all year groups, as they have been doing in the last few weeks.
  • Any child attending emergency child care cannot mix with the children attending in Reception, Year 1 and 6
  • Children will not necessarily be with their usual teacher and learning support staff
  • Children will not necessarily be with their friends as they will be divided into small groups
  • Start and finish times will be staggered to minimise parental contact
  • The learning environment will be significantly different to what children are used to and there will be range of additional health & safety measures in place which everyone will be expected to adhere to
  • social distancing will be encouraged at all times
  • Home learning will continue to be provided for all year groups

However, it is important to remember that the return to school is from 1st June and this is not a fixed date. The Government are planning to let schools know on 28th May.

The Teaching unions are very concerned about the safety of all when thinking about the return to work.  They have made many representations to the Government to see the scientific evidence on which the decision to return on. 

Thank you to all the parents who have responded to the survey on the school website.  This has helped shape the planning I have been trying to do this week to ensure all our school community feels as safe as possible on our return.  We all share the same fears in the main – that social distancing without potentially harming children’s mental health and enjoyment of school is very difficult, that the children are likely to be taught by another member of staff and not be with their friends and that the school experience the children will have will not resemble anything like they had before the lockdown – and all of these are very justified fears.  As a school team, we will try as much as possible to ally these fears.

Take care, stay safe.

Kind Regards,

Mr Perkins

 

Monday 11th May 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you’re keeping well and safe.  I just wish to provide you with some updates following on from Boris Johnson’s announcement last night.

Firstly, I want to re-assure everyone.  Like you, we have only just seen the announcement and that at this stage we cannot answer any questions, which I know will be frustrating.  Please bear with us on this and I will look to answer any questions you may have in the coming days and weeks.

This is part of the government’s conditional plan which it says will remain under regular review. We are waiting to receive more information from government and the teaching unions about what this may mean for a safe phased return for certain cohorts to our school. Let’s be very clear, all of us want to get more pupils back into school as soon as it is safe to do so.

Our staff have devoted their careers to the care and education of children and do not want to see classrooms empty for a day longer than they need to be. However, the Coronavirus is a deadly killer with hundreds of people still dying every day.  Therefore our first priority has to be the safety of everyone in our school community – pupils, staff and their families.

In the short-term, nothing has changed.  School will provide childcare for key workers only.  If your status on this has changed since we first asked, please kindly inform the school office.  Please do not come to school if you have not previously.

We will provide further information via the school website in the coming days and weeks once we are in a position to do so.

Take care, stay safe.

Kind Regards,

Mr Perkins.

 

Monday 4th May 2020

The Oak National Academy has put together some resources that may be really useful to the parents of our children with SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities). You can see those resources here.

 

Friday 24th April 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you’re keeping well and safe.  Our fabulous school team are working hard in school to support the children of our key workers.  I just wish to provide you with some updates on things you may have heard and read this past week.

Miss Haslam has now started as our Deputy Headteacher.  She and I are working on alternative weeks so one of us is in school every day.  In an emergency, if you need to speak with either of us, please come and ask to speak to one of us.  Alternatively, you can email the school office for our attention.

FSM Voucher System

You will have heard that schools can provide children who claim free school meals with a voucher.  This is an option for schools alongside providing a packed lunch which can be collected from school.  Since the start of the lockdown, we have been providing a packed lunch to those children where it has been requested. 

Last week, we started with the first batch of vouchers.  However, this system is still proving unreliable. I am currently trying to order the vouchers for next week.  In this uncertain time, I am still offering for free school meal children to order a lunch from school which can be collected.  If you would like to have a packed lunch, please ring the school office or email school on the email address above.

I am ordering the vouchers as well and the vouchers should be emailed to you on Monday each week.

I understand that Aldi will be accepting the vouchers from week commencing 27th April 2020.

Please bear with us on the vouchers – we are trying to work through the system that the Government has provided us with.

Online Learning

You may have heard about an online resource called National Oak Academy.   This is a free online resource launched this week designed by teachers to support learning at home during this unprecedented time. 

I have asked teachers this week to select activities from the resource and place them on their class home page.  This means from next week, teachers will provide a link on their class page to that year groups learning and list underneath any activities which they feel are appropriate to their class.

Please bear with teachers as they will be updating their class page over the next week when they are not working in school and have had time to carefully look at which activities they would like the children to complete. 

Teachers will be updating these activities over the coming weeks so keep checking back to see updated activity lists.  Teachers are also providing links to other learning which can be used.

Speculation regarding reopening

I know there has been a lot of speculation in the news and over social media over the last week regarding the reopening of schools.  As I write, I have heard nothing official about the reopening of schools.  Any further information on this will be provided by me once I have had official notification. 

Office Hours

I wish to remind you that the office is working on reduced hours at the minute in order for me to minimise contact amongst staff.  If you leave a message, Mrs Baxter or Mrs Adams will deal with it when they are in school.  Alternatively, please feel free to email and they will again deal with it when they are in school.

I will provide a further update on our school website when I have any information.  In the meantime, keep yourselves safe, stay at home and I look forward to seeing you all back in school when it is safe to do so.

Kind Regards,

Mr Perkins J

Friday 17th April 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you are keeping well and safe during this unprecedented time.  I wish to thank you all for your support so far.  Just to remind you that if you need any support or help, please ring the office.  Although we are working on reduced hours, Mrs Baxter and Mrs Adams will pick up the messages and act on them.

I have received some online courses which you can access to help support your child’s mental health and wellbeing through this time.  With the lockdown continuing until at least 7th May, it may help your child deal with a range of emotions they may be feeling at this present time.

If you need any support with them, please do not hesitate to contact school.

Keep safe and I look forward to welcoming everyone back to school when it is safe for the entire school community. 

Kind Regards,

Mr Perkins

You can also see a letter re: the Free School Meals Voucher Scheme here.

General Update (08/04/20)

Since the list has become very long, I've added a Home Learning page with links to resources for many different subjects. Please pick out anything you like the look of or that looks suitable for your children.

Additionally, keep your eye on the class pages for some information from teachers while school is closed.

 
*** Update Wednesday 1st April ***
 
Dear Parents and Carers, 
 
Firstly, I hope you and your family are keeping safe and well. I urge everyone to continue to follow the Government guidance by staying at home wherever possible and only using the school childcare when you need to. 
 
The Government have announced they have set a scheme for children who normally claim free school meals. Once this has been set up, we will contact you if you are eligible and with instructions on how to claim. Please bear with us.
 
The Government are also finalising details regarding the Easter Break. If school is open, it will only be open to critical workers and not on Good Friday or Easter Monday. If you believe that you are a critical worker and will need childcare over the Easter break, please contact the school so that we can plan staff accordingly. 
 
Once I have any further details on critical workers, I will update the website with the details. 
 
We are still operating a reduced office at the minute so please leave a message on the school answering machine and we will get back to you. 
 
As always, thank you for your support during this critical time. 
 
Keep safe, 
 
Stuart 
 

Further Update From St Helens Borough (25/03/20)

If you are currently sending your child to school per eligibility guidelines, it is important to read this letter from St Helens Council re: school places. We currently don't have any further information than this, but we will let you know any updates as soon as we know them. 

 

Coronavirus Update (20/03/20)

School will be closed to the majority of children from Monday. It will be open to children of key workers only, and only where there is no possibility for the child of a key worker to remain at home. Government advice is still for these parents to only send in their children where necessary.

Here is a document showing what the government defines as key workers: Key Workers

During this time, the school office is operating on reduced hours - please leave a message and we can get back to you.

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