As we head into our last week before the block break, we see the number of coronavirus cases increase in the country, reaching a record high this week. As a community, we need to continue working together to ensure that our students, staff and parents are as safe as possible.
Thank you to all parents who have supported the school with our safety and health guidance. As we can see through announcements in the media, government, and other sources, this has been the appropriate course of action due to the increase in cases.
Whilst there may be many opinions and views on the severity of the situation, and I respect everyone may have a different view on the risks involved, the predicted increases and measures taken, as a school, we are responsible for all individuals in our building and therefore take decisive action to place safety at the forefront of everything.
As such, safety decisions have been made and will be followed at school.
I have put together a list of basic guidance for all members of the community at this time and it is important to repeat and underline how important these are for the safety of you, your children and everyone else in the school.
1. Stay away if you are ill – If you have symptoms, stay home and away from the building. Teachers will be sent home if they have any symptoms, parents should take responsibility and stay away from the school and to keep your children away from others. If they show any symptoms, a runny or stuffed nose, sore throat and temperature or diarrhoea, they will be advised to stay at home for 3 days.
2. COVID-19 poses a risk to everyone – last week 9 new infections were confirmed in children between 5 and 14. The overall number of cases have increased and are growing daily.
3. Masks will be worn by all staff throughout the school in common areas and this will be reviewed on Monday due to the ongoing conversations after the preliminary government announcement. Additionally, social distancing will be constantly reviewed and measures put in place to ensure the students are a safe distance away from each other.
4. Temperature checks will be taken – As mentioned on Friday 18th September, we now have resources to check the temperature of staff and students. Tests will be taken systematically (priority cases first) from Monday as further prevention. Any failed tests will result in the member of staff or student sent home immediately. Procedures will then be followed.
5. Hand wash hygiene – Sanitation guidelines, handwash and antibacterial gels will continue to be used throughout the school.
6. Lunches will be delivered to classrooms (This has removed the need for students to walk along corridors with masks).
7. Parents and visitors in the building by appointment only.
If children show symptoms or if you are worried that you have been in contact with someone who is showing symptoms of COVID-19, please follow the advice from the NIJZ.
Safety is our number one priority at school and we continue to check and follow the latest guidance available (Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, WHO, etc).
During Week 5, we will continue with the following procedures in place on a temporary basis and will review daily and update each Friday:
The latest guidance from NIJZ on wearing masks is illustrated in the table below as announced this weekend. A full review will occur on Monday as we await further clarification from the government on the use of masks.
- All students must have a signed declaration from their parents to allow them to return to school.
- All students should bring in their own resources, including water bottles, pencil cases, technology, headphones, etc as normal.
- Toilets will be cleaned frequently throughout the day. They will be used on an individual basis (one at a time) only, upon teacher’s permission.
- Students must follow health and safety guidance as directed by the school.
- Class teachers and Form tutors must make sure all students in school have a signed declaration from their parents.
- Teachers will ensure that classroom doors will be kept open and classrooms are well ventilated regularly.
- Teachers have access to hand sanitisers and sprays to maintain a high level of hygiene in the classroom.
- Staff must follow health and safety guidance and ensure that students do the same.
- Parents must provide a signed declaration before their child(ren) can return to school.
- Parents are not permitted to enter the school building without a prior appointment.
- Drop off and Pick up procedures should be followed as per guidance below (shared previously as well).
- Parents must follow health and safety guidance and encourage that students do the same.
- Parents who choose to keep their children at home during this time can access a provision of online learning and resources, provided by the teachers in the form of our Learning Management System, Canvas.
The Adventure Days have been extraordinary, and we are very happy with the safety in place for the trips and how they have been organised. With the trips led in sparsely populated areas, clear safety guidelines and small groups, this has been acceptable to continue. We need to try and balance the education with the safety during this time as best we can. Our last external Adventure Day is this coming week. All other activities are postponed at this time until further notice.
Thank you again for your help, support and cooperation as we navigate through this challenging time together.