Updating during COVID 19 from the Headteacher

March 30, 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

I just thought that I would send everyone this email to check in with you all and pass on a few messages, during this strange and somewhat difficult time.

School remains open as ’emergency childcare’ for very few children of Key Workers. If you are working from home now, your children should be with you.  The message and guidance from government remains the same which is: keep your children at home. They are safest there. We have had varying numbers of children in each day with only 5 children on Friday. Whilst we miss having all of the children in school, it is really reassuring to see so few children in school as it demonstrates that people are taking the appropriate precautions and staying at home and the appropriate families are only bringing their children in if it is absolutely necessary. We really appreciate this!

There were a few things that I wanted to share with you:

Staff Rota

Obviously it is my job as Head Teacher to not only make sure that our children are safe, but also to keep our staff safe as well. In line with advice from the Local Authority and the government, we have devised a rota for our staff to ensure they are in school as little as possible over the coming weeks. This means that they will be in school for some days supporting the group of children who are in school, but then they will be spending time working at home for one week and one week will be a holiday week.  I believe that this is the safest way to organise our staffing as it means that we have less of a spread of people coming in to school over a period of time. Staff are setting work for pupils, developing our curriculum, completing set tasks and taking the opportunity to complete on-line training and professional development.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all of the staff who have all been so fantastic and expressed how happy they all are to play their part to help our critical key worker families, without even so much as a grumble or moan. It really is testament to what a fantastic and dedicated team of people they are. I would also like to send well wishes to our staff who are self-isolating or staying at home for medical reasons – We know that you are with us in spirit.

Communication

Either myself, Mrs Leach or Miss Tulip are in school each day to coordinate and complete a wide range of tasks to ensure the smooth running of the school, health and safety and a list of many other tasks to ensure vital lines of communication. Where possible please email or send text messages and only telephone if urgent. We check emails and text messages several times each day during the working week. Messages for individual teachers will be forwarded to them and they will respond via Marvellous Me! Alternatively, we will forward any email responses from staff to parents/carers. We ask for your patience in this but your queries will be responded to in a timely manner.

Safeguarding

Please remember that even when our families are at home, we still want to make sure that our children are safe and happy. If you have any concerns or worries about your child, no matter how small, please do not hesitate to get in touch with myself or Mrs. Leach as we are the Safeguarding leads.  If you explain you would like to speak to either myself or Mrs. Leach we will either take your call (0191 4335618) wherever possible or we will return your call as soon as possible. We fully recognise what a difficult time this is and we really are here to help and support in any way that we can.

Free School Meals

If you are entitled to free school meals, we will continue to provide these. We believe the government intends to have a voucher system in place, in the coming weeks. We will update you as we know more.

Critical Key Worker Families

I would like to thank the parents of our Key Workers who have really helped us by informing us as soon as possible about your child care arrangements for the coming weeks.  Please continue to do this as it is really important that we know this information as soon as possible so that we can collate our numbers for staffing.

Learning Packs and Working with Children at Home

The staff worked hard on putting learning packs together with enough to get on with for the coming weeks, and we are obviously adding useful links via our website for each year group with links to some lovely activities. I do believe that this is more than enough and should give parents and carers some good ideas for things to do with their children whilst at home.

 

There is no expectation for families on how much work should be done each day or each week.  Every family’s circumstances will be different and it is important we all try to remain as calm and happy as possible during this uncertain and strange period. Encouraging your child to complete some of the set activities each week and sharing a story or book is more than enough.  The last thing we want is for parents to feel any additional pressures or worries at this time.   For some families, that might mean enjoying doing daily activities from school but for others, they might prefer to do a few pieces weekly instead.  There is no right or wrong way but the main thing to prioritise is reading so, as much as possible, try to get your child reading books at home or from our online links.

 

Take the opportunity to do practical, fun activities together – bake, teach your children to sew or knit, do exercise in the garden, tell stories and just enjoy each other’s company. We know how hard this is for you all and we are here to help and give you ideas for your children at home, not to cause you any additional stress or anxiety.

 

We will be emailing out more learning ideas out after what would have been the Easter break.

 

So I know that it has been a strange week for us all. Even being in school with such a small amount of children has been strange. I think at this point; everyone is just beginning to come to terms with not knowing what is in store. But we are a strong group of people who have pulled together to do what is right and we are most definitely working together as a community.

 

Again, please do not hesitate to get in touch if you need anything from us in school. Currently, we may not be seeing you as frequently as we were, but we are all still here.
Stay safe and well everyone.

 

PM Bailey

KEY WORKERS - EASTER HOLIDAY PROVISION

March 23, 2020

EASTER HOLIDAY PROVISION

We have been asked by the Local Authority to survey those parents of children attending or those who are eligible to attend school, if they would require child-care over the Easter holidays. We need to submit this information by the end of the day Tuesday 24th March. The strategic group from the Local Authority will meet on Wednesday 25th March to begin planning for this period. PLEASE INFORM US VIA EMAIL WHETHER OR NOT YOU WOULD REQUIRE THIS.

Please remember the critical worker list guidance below.

Children with a parent or carer who is listed on the government’s critical worker list should be considered for a school place. However, if children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

Children with at least one parent or carer who is critical to the COVID-19 response can attend school if required.

However, many families with a parent or carer working in critical sectors will be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.

 

HOME LEARNING PACKS

There are a number of home learning packs still at school that have not been picked up yet. Parents are welcome to come and pick them up from the KS2 main office  between 9am and 3pm this week.

Collection

We ask that parents press the buzzer at the main office door and wait for a member of staff to take their name over the intercom. Please respect social distancing guidelines and if someone is already waiting at the door then please wait at the top of the steps until the person is leaving the car park and do not gather in groups. Due to the restrictions in place we won’t be admitting children of parents or parents in to school premises. The pack will be brought to the delivery entrance for parents to pick them up

Self-Isolation

In the event your family is self-isolating, please telephone the school office and let us know the name of the adult that is picking your pack up.

If you have any queries, please call the school office on 0191 433 4146 or you can email or text us as usual.

If you are not able to come to school or have an adult who can do this because they are self isolating then please call, text or email school to advise us.

Free packed lunches available every day delivered

March 20, 2020

 Parkhead Primary are be offering a packed lunch DELIVERY service for parents who currently qualify for free school meals.

Ordering

We ask that parents who require a packed lunch for their child please use lunchshop and choose the packed lunch choices from the menu. Please order from home on line and preorder at the very latest the night before. If for whatever reason you cannot access lunchshop then please call the main school office on 01914334146 the day before, TEXT OR EMAIL to place your order.

Remember that you can order up to 3 weeks in advance.

Vouchers

At this time, we have not yet got the facility to issue food vouchers but should this change we will let parents know as soon as possible.

Self-Isolation

If you have any queries, please call the school office on 0191 433 4146 or you can email or text us as usual.

COVID 19 KEY WORKER INFORMATION

COVID 19 – KEY WORKER INFORMATION

Dear Parents/Carers,

As a country, we all need to do what we can to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. The fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society.

In light of this advice we would like parents to text or email us as soon as possible if they work in the following professions and have NO OTHER means of enabling their child to be safely cared for at home. This applies to all age groups including nursery.

Please text or email us immediately if you:

– work as a key worker in one of the categories below AND you need childcare

You do not need to reply if this does not apply to you.

Please specify on your text OR email your work role and which key worker category you fall in to. Please specify which parent name this applies to. If you are currently self-isolating but feel this applies to you in the future, please reply.

Once we have the information from you we will contact relevant parent/ carers by the end of the day to explain how things will work on Monday.

If your child has an education health care plan, LAC status or has a social worker we will contact you directly.

Thank you for your patience during this difficult time.

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.

 

School events (parents evening cancelled)and procedures related to Covid-19 (coronavirus)

March 16, 2020

Keeping Children Safe: School events and procedures related to Covid-19 (coronavirus)

Further to our letter regarding Covid-19 and the latest government advice on Friday I am writing to you in light of growing concerns regarding the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID 19). We have taken the decision to postpone some of the planned events and changed some of our school procedures.

 

Cancellation of parents evening and planned events

Regrettably, we will therefore be postponing our Parent’s evenings until later in the academic year.

I do sincerely apologise that this is such short notice, as I am aware that families will have made plans to attend the parents evening tomorrow and next week, however I am sure that you all understand that I have a responsibility to keep our pupils and staff as safe as possible during this challenging time.

 

It does, however seem appropriate to avoid additional gatherings of visitors in school due to the advice on social distancing and therefore we will be cancelling some of our larger planned events.

 

Nursery stay and Play Friday 27th March CANCELLED
TODDLER group Wednesday’s CANCELLED
Easter egg competition Tuesday 31st March KS1 and KS2 – please bring in a boiled egg CONTINUE AS PLANNED
Dance Festival Tuesday 31st March AWAITING CONFIRMATION Dance after school club will go ahead this Thursday
EY Easter Crafts Event for Parents Wednesday 1st April CANCELLED

Easter Performance Year 3 and 4

 

Thursday April 2nd CANCELLED

KS1 Church – Easter Service

 

Friday 3rd April -10am CANCELLED

 

At the present time the Year 3 4 visit is still scheduled to go ahead on Wednesday this week and Easter football club is still scheduled to go ahead. Should government recommendations change please be assured we will let you know immediately.

 

Access around school

 

  • Parents can still access the school office but we would ask you to contact school by telephone rather than in person wherever possible to reduce traffic in the entrance area. Good hygiene, particularly washing your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds, is still one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of infection to you and other people. We ask all parents who arrive at the KS2 main office use sanitiser or wash their hands on arrival.
  • We would encourage parents collecting children to space out and wait on the school yard rather than gathering closely at the school gate or near a door.
  • We ask that nursery children are collected from entrance foyer rather than the nursery room and parents are patient whilst staff release each child through the nursery door.
  • We ask parents of reception children to wait on the outdoor play area outside the reception class entrance. The gate will be left open at home time for parents to enter the play area. Children will be released by staff out onto the play area to their parent.
  • At this time, after school activity clubs and breakfast and after school clubs will continue as normal. We ask that parents drop children for breakfast club at the door and avoid entering the hall.
  • We will not bring all of the children together in the hall for assemblies.
  • The children will continue to have lunch in the hall. Lunches are staggered so not all of the children will be in the hall together.
  • The children will continue to play outside as normal and take part in PE activities.

 

  

Communication

  • Please make sure that your telephone and email contact details are up to date with the school office so in the event the government advice changes we can communicate with you quickly.
  • Please download the Marvellous Me app as this enables our teachers to communicate with you about your child’s learning. Call, text or email the school office if you do not have access codes.
  • Look at our website : parkheadprimary.org and our twitter feed @Parkheadschool
  • We are currently preparing education packs and remote access for children to ICT systems at home so they can continue their education if they have to self-isolate. We will be adding this information to our website in the next few days and we will email and text parents to advise when this is ready.
  • We will continue to respond to the latest advice provided by Public health and keep you informed.

The latest information can be found at www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Please telephone us on 0191 433 4146, text or email if you want to discuss anything with our staff and we are happy to try and help.

We will continue to update you in the coming days and weeks and ask you once again to work together and look after each other as we move through this challenging time.