Coronavirus update March 2020

Dear Families,

We are aware of the growing level of concern around the effect of Coronavirus on school life.   We are very keen to avoid raising anxiety but, as this is a rapidly developing situation, we wanted to address some of the questions you may have.   We hope that this letter can go some way towards answering them and to giving you some initial information about what might be necessary in the coming weeks.

We have already made some modifications to the school day including reducing collective worship times in the hall, increasing hand washing and considering our extra-curricular activities such as trips and visitors in the light of government advice.   Cake sales and pupils’ cooking have been suspended and the use of water fountains prohibited.  We will keep you informed about how any further changes may affect your child through our school newsletters and through parent mail as appropriate.

Current advice is that schools in England are not required to close due to Coronavirus.  However, in preparation for what might come, we are beginning to put into place contingency arrangements, should we have to close.  It is also possible that, at some point in the future, we will need to put in place a partial closure of the school if our staffing is affected.

In the event of a full or partial closure, all families will be informed by Parentmail and via the school website.  You will receive notification of re-opening in the same way.

In the event of a full or partial closure, teachers will set work for pupils issuing links to resources and guidance for learning via Parentmail.  Teachers will set tasks for each year group and we would hope that families will be able to support their children to maintain some core learning each day using the help and resources given.  Project work and ideas that children can do independently – as games or challenges at a range of levels – will also be suggested.  Guidance to direct families towards specific website or platforms, including many of the sites we use in school, will be available.  Many of these educational sites are urgently working towards making resources freely available to families.  Where we can, instructions and links will be included to help you.

Email communication will be maintained and any questions you may have about learning should be directed through the school’s usual admin address.

We will endeavour to set work as year group teams so that, should one member of staff or their families fall ill, we can still provide guidance and resources for you to use at home. Maintaining basic skills in reading, writing and maths will be our main focus.  We will provide some exercise books for children to use during any closure and will enjoy looking at and sharing what children have done when we return to school.

We understand that some year 6 children might feel anxious about how SAT’s may be affected.  Please take some time to reassure your children that, whilst testing and assessing is important in many ways, no child will be adversely affected by any impact caused through closure or circumstances beyond their control.

We are busy preparing links to to be Parentmailed to families for home learning.  We will send these to all families as soon as we are required to partly or fully close.

As you know the Government widened their advice on who should self-isolate to include those that have flu-like symptoms even though they may not have been to an affected area or been in contact with an infected person.  We have a member of staff currently experiencing flu-like symptoms who is following government advice to self-isolate.  The school is continuing to do all that it can to minimise the spread with good hygiene and following the advice from Public Health England and Herts County Council and as such we believe there is no additional risk to pupils and staff.

I hope that this letter gives you a little clarity at this difficult time.  I am aware that you may have other questions and concerns.  Please feel able to email the school or call in to talk to one of the staff.  I do believe that, by working together in parent and school partnership, we can maintain a sense of purpose, calm and community in the coming weeks.  Please be assured that even if it becomes essential to close the school your child’s education and welfare remains our priority and we will do all we can to minimise the impact on their progress and development.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding.

Yours sincerely,

Mary Westley