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Coronavirus update from Mrs Roberts

Monday 16th March 2020

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

Firstly, I would like to thank you for your patience and support regarding the Coronavirus. You will be 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 how we would like you to help us, to make sure our school community keeps safe and calm.

 

We’d like to reassure you that at Otford School we are taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government and local authority.

 

What’s the current situation?

 

The school remains open – this is the current official guidance we’ve been given.

 

Early Bird or after-school clubs will continue as normal.

 

Pupils should attend unless they feel unwell – if your child has any of the following symptoms they should remain at home for 14 days:

 

a new, continuous cough and/or

a temperature If your child is unwell, report this as you would normally do, to the school office.

Currently all booked trips are going ahead, we will continue to risk assess based on the most upto-date information.

 

We’ll keep you up to date with any changes to the current situation.

 

Teachers are preparing packs for children to use, should the school close. We will be offering these electronically on our school website under class pages- Mrs Showers has already been starting to organise this with the teachers. We will also be using Class Dojo as a platform to communicate key information.

 

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

 

  •  Assemblies have been limited to taking place in class- with the exception of today’s assembly for Terrific Wombats which will go ahead. Moving forward we hope that class assemblies can be re-arranged later in the year.
  • We have removed the independent salad bar at lunchtime- as a precautionary measure a choice of salads are now being offered to children and kept cool behind the servery. Children are also collecting their pudding from the servery rather than a communal table.
  • If a pupil becomes ill at school, we will isolate them in a well ventilated room and contact parents.
  • We are enforcing the new hand-washing routines – and continue to monitor this carefully.
  • Lessons have taken place for pupils about hand hygiene. Teachers are informing children whilst reassuring them.
  • Reviewing external events held at the school.
  • Ensuring we are well stocked with hygiene supplies.
  • At the moment all school trips are continuing until schools are advised otherwise.

 

What you can do to help?

 

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)

 

If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible via email.

 

Please rest assured, we are continuing as a school to provide a nurturing environment which enables children to learn. Children thrive on routine and seem very happy when in school during lesson and lunchtimes.

 

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 will:

  • Send communication via Schoolcomms. We will also update the school website. We will use this to also inform you of when we will be reopened.
  • In the short term we will have a pack of work and/or links to online learning that can be used at home.

 

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. We would ask for support from parents during this tricky time, we are aware parents are communicating issues of concern via Whatsapp groups. Should you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact me.

 

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 during a time of concern.

 

Best wishes.

 

Mrs H Roberts

Headteacher.

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