coronavirus update

During this period of partial closure this school site continues to be open for provision for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers. Irrespective of any partial closure or collaboration with another school, the safeguarding of all our children remains our top priority.
At this time, our school will continue as normal in supporting our vulnerable children and if anyone has any questions regarding this they are asked to make contact with the headteacher. 
Please contact the school if you have any queries.

20th March 2020   

                                                                        

Dear Parents and Carers,

It is with a very heavy heart that I am writing to confirm in writing what you already know, that following direction from the Prime Minister and because of the COVID-19 outbreak, the school will close for most pupils today.

The last few weeks have been very challenging for everyone and we thank you for the support and understanding you have shown the school staff. Our first consideration is always the health and safety of all members of the school and wider community and for now school closure is clearly the best course of action. We have anticipated that closure may become a reality and have prepared packs of activities for the children to do while they are away from school. Your child will bring their pack home today. If your child is not in school today, their pack can be collected from the school office. We do not know for how long the school will be closed, but what we have prepared should keep them busy for a few weeks at least and there are links to useful websites included too. I shared the packs with the children in assembly this morning, so they know that they will be expected to do some school work each day as well as taking some exercise, helping out with chores and having some ‘down time’! We have included a suggested structure for the day, which some of you may find useful – this has also been shared with the children. There is also a guide on how to support well-being during this time.  Above all we have stressed the importance of putting our school values into action – positivity and care have never been so relevant!

We will remain in touch with you via ParentMail and text, and instructions for contacting the school are included in your child’s pack. We will be staying in more regular contact with families whose children are particularly vulnerable and providing support to those whose children are entitled to free school meals. I will be in touch with key workers as soon as arrangements for next week are in place. You will be able to contact us by using the usual office email and we will do our best to help in any possible way.

We have received lots of lovely messages of support from you in recent days and these have been very much appreciated. Please know that we are all incredibly sad to be closing the school – your children are amazing and we will miss them immensely.  Take good care of yourselves, look after each other and know that we will be thinking of you all in the hope that we can reunite this very special Rudgwick family very soon.

Yours sincerely

 

Serena Nicholls

Headteacher

                                                                                                   

Dear Parents and Carers,

I am writing to update you on our plans to tackle the issues presented by the current Coronavirus outbreak. You will be aware that this is a fast moving situation and advice is changing almost on a daily basis. At this stage, the most important thing students and families can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water.

See https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ for the most up-to-date guidance from the NHS. This has been updated since the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday evening. All reports suggest that the Coronavirus will be with us for several months. The government’s plan is now to delay the spread of the virus. By doing this the hope and intention is to spread any cases over a longer period so that the peak number of cases does not breach the ability of the National Health Service to cope with the most severe cases. To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has instructed anyone who shows certain symptoms, or who shares a household with someone who has symptoms, to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days.

 

The symptoms are either:

· A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) or

· A new, continuous dry cough

The current advice is you do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency, dial 999. We are unable to offer individual advice to parents on whether their child should self-isolate. Please follow the link above to the NHS and read their guidance so that you can make the best decision for all.

 

Parents and carers must remember that we are a very diverse community, and we have several students and staff who are in a high risk category due to underlying health conditions. It is imperative that we abide by the guidance from the government regarding self-isolation to keep everyone safe.

Whilst the government is encouraging home working for those who can around the country, this does not work for a school setting. The reality is that in the coming weeks and months, staff as well as students will get the Coronavirus or get symptoms that mean they will need to self-isolate and be off school. With the new 14 day isolation period now in place, we can very quickly get to a position where we have insufficient staff to run the school safely and effectively. Whilst some children may be off school, we will still have the same number of classes running. We cannot predict which classes and years will be hit on a daily and weekly basis. Wherever possible, should we need to, we will combine classes of different year groups and teach them effectively, but we will make every effort to stay open.

 

If we get to a position where we have insufficient staff in school we may have to consider a partial or full school closure. We are keen to remain open as per current government advice but we must alert parents and carers to this as a possibility now.

Date: Tuesday 17th March 2020

                                                                                                   

We are taking the following action from today until further notice:

Drop off and pick up times

To promote social distancing – please drop your children at the gate first thing and they will go into school on their own where the teachers will be waiting for them. I (or a member of staff) will be there to take any messages as normal. At the end of the day, please observe sensible social distancing recommendations, collect your child/ren and leave the school premises.

EYFS Parent Consultations

If you are due to attend on Thursday, Mrs Edwards or Mrs Silk will telephone you at your allocated time for a conversation about your child but will not be holding face-to-face meetings. If this is inconvenient, please let the school know.

 

Clubs

Chess club and Judo have been cancelled until further notice.

Sporting fixtures

These have all been cancelled.

Yr 3 swimming/Junior Citizen trip(Yr 6)/Sussex Voices

Both have been cancelled.

 

Parent/Community helpers

Sadly, we have to request that our fabulous band of helpers stay away from school for the time being.

 

Music/Easter assemblies

Tomorrow’s music assemblies will go ahead but parents are not to attend please. We will video them so that we can share them with you at a later date. Similarly, the Easter assembly will be recorded.

Music lessons

Curriculum music for Yrs 1, 2 and 3 will continue. Individual music lessons provided by peripatetic music teachers will continue unless you specifically ask for your child’s lesson to be cancelled.

We are of course continuing with our stringent hygiene measures.

We are preparing packs of learning activities for the children to have if we are instructed to close.

School closures are a very rare thing but we are facing an unprecedented challenge with the Coronavirus. Whilst current evidence suggests that young people are generally not too adversely affected by the symptoms, we are conscious that older members of our community and those with underlying health conditions are at much greater risk. It is vital that we all do what we can to mitigate the effect of this virus in the coming weeks and potentially months, and prepare for the full range of possible actions we may be forced to take to cope.

As I write to you, the children are getting on with their normal day in school; most are blissfully unaware of the potential ramifications of the Coronavirus outbreak and this is probably for the best. For children who are worried and asking questions, we are reassuring them by saying that they should try not to worry because the adults are doing everything possible to keep them and their families safe. Whilst children need to know the importance of the hygiene measures we are asking them to take, it is equally important to try and maintain for them, some sense of normality at this difficult time.

Thank you, as always, for your support.

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Serena Nicholls

 

Please find below advice on the Coronavirus.

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

You may have seen several reports in the news that confirm there have been two confirmed cases of Coronavirus – COVID-19 in West Sussex.

 

I would like to reassure you that we remain in regular contact with West Sussex County Council and Public Health England to ensure we have the most up-to-date advice and information. On their advice the school remains open as usual.

 

The Department for Education has established a coronavirus telephone helpline 0800 0468687, which is operational 0800-1800 Monday-Friday to answer your queries. You can also email DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

The latest advice and information about the virus and the situation in the UK can be found on:

 

 

The situation is continuing to change and therefore guidance regarding actions that should be taken for schools is being regularly updated.

 

Following the advice from the Department for Education and Public Health England, we are ensuring that children have been reminded about how to thoroughly wash their hands along with the importance of this.

 

In line with the most recent guidance, we will be ensuring that the children wash their hands when they come in to school and before they leave school at the end of the day. The advice also states that we should all wash our hands before leaving home to go to school or work.

 

Good hygiene is important at all times but, due to the current situation, we would ask for your support in playing our part in minimising the risk of the virus spreading at this time.

 

The NHS website contains useful hygiene and prevention advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

Yours sincerely,

 

 

Serena Nicholls

 

 

 

FAQs

 

If I live in West Sussex or Surrey am I at extra risk because of the recent cases?

  • We ensure that someone with coronavirus doesn’t put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with through contact tracing.

  • Contact tracing is a fundamental part of outbreak control that is used by public health professionals around the world.

  • If a person tests positive for coronavirus, we speak to the patient to identify anyone who has had close contact with them during the time that they are considered to be infectious, and make every effort to find these people as soon as possible.

  • Once we have contacted them we can then give them the advice they need. If they are in groups considered to be a higher risk, we make sure that we follow up with them daily to see how they are.  If they become unwell we are then able to assess them quickly and take appropriate action.

 

What does self-isolation mean for people who don’t have symptoms?

  • Just like when you have the flu, individuals should remain at home and should not go to work, school or public areas. Where possible, individuals should avoid having visitors to their home but it is ok for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food. Individuals should not use public transport or taxis until 14 days after their return from Wuhan.

  • Individuals should monitor their symptoms and call NHS 111 (or your national alternative) if they develop any of the following symptoms – fever, cough, and difficulty breathing.

 

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

There is also an NHS link which contains hygiene and prevention advice: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

PHE advice on public events

  • Most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places and only need to stay away (self-isolate) if they have been advised by NHS 111 or a medical professional.

  • The virus is spread person-to-person and as the individual is receiving treatment at a specialist centre that immediate risk has been reduced.

  • PHE are tracing all contacts of the case and will advise people on any actions they need to take including in some cases self-isolation.

  • Everyone else should continue as normal but take care to follow public health advice to help reduce the risk of infection https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

For more info on common questions I would look at our Q&A blog which is continually updated https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

 

Do I need to avoid public places?

Most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places.

You only need to stay away from public places (self-isolate) if advised to by the 111 online coronavirus service or a medical professional.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

 

 

What can I do to reduce my risk of catching coronavirus?

There are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

 https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

 

 

If I live in the area where coronavirus patients are reported as coming from – am I at extra risk?

We ensure that someone with coronavirus doesn’t put others at risk by treating them in isolation and carefully investigating who they had close contact with through contact tracing.

Contact tracing is a fundamental part of outbreak control that’s used by public health professionals around the world.

 

If a person tests positive for coronavirus, we speak to the patient to identify anyone who has who has had close contact with them during the time they are considered to be infectious and go all out to find these people as soon as possible.

 

Once we have contacted them we can then give them the advice they need. If they are in groups considered to be a higher risk, we make sure that we follow up with them daily to see how they are.  If they become unwell we are then able to assess them quickly and take appropriate action.

 https://publichealthmatters.blog.gov.uk/2020/01/23/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-what-you-need-to-know/

 

What about our forthcoming school trips?

We would advise you to look at the FCO website and monitor this as the situation is evolving. https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Date: Monday 16th March 2020

Rudgwick Primary School

Tates Way, Rudgwick
West Sussex

RH12 3HW

Tel: 01403 822151

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