17th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
We are very grateful to all of our families and staff for their continued support in helping us to maintain a calm and measured approach to the current situation. We know that many of you will be worried about Coronavirus (Covid-19) and would like to reassure you that we are continuing to do everything we can to keep children and staff safe and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government and local authority to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. There have been no confirmed cases of the virus at school. At the moment, we are being told by Public Health England and the DfE that schools in England will remain open. We will, of course, keep you updated by text or email, if and when this changes.
As I write this letter, some children are playing happily in the playground, while others are enjoying their learning in class. Thank you for keeping a sense of calm around them and doing all you can to reassure them, as it is important children feel safe and secure.
I want you to know that my aim is to be as transparent as possible with you, given the information that we have. In light of this, I would like to explain the steps we have put in place at St Augustine’s and what we expect from all of you, to make sure that our school stays safe and calm.
Delaying the spread of Coronavirus continues to be our priority. If your child has the following symptoms, they should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 14 days to slow the spread of infection.
If your child is unwell, please report this as you would normally by ringing the school, stating their name, class and reason for absence. If your child becomes ill at school, we will contact you and ask you to pick them up. The staff team have prepared packs of work for children who are currently self-isolating. Please arrange for somebody to collect these from the school office for you, or let us know if you need them to be posted.
In school, we are continuing to take measures to delay the spread of infection: These include the following:
If the school is officially advised to close, we will text you to alert you of the closure and put a message on the website. We will also let you know when the school is able to reopen via the website and by text. Please keep in mind that we are only sending out this information to help the school community to prepare. There are currently no plans or official guidance to close the school.
If the school does have to close, we will be providing work to ensure that the children are able to continue to learn and to consolidate their knowledge, skills and understanding at home. We are preparing the class pages on the school website with links to educational websites, work set by teachers and ideas for other activities to do at home with your child. These pages will be updated regularly. I would also encourage you to check that your child can log into ‘Bug Club’. Children in Key Stage 2 should also be able to log into ‘Times Tables Rock Stars.’ If your child has forgotten their password, or needs to be have a password set up, please make a note in their reading record book. Children in Year 6 should have the Rising Stars revision books, which are extremely good for helping them to consolidate their skills and knowledge. If your child does not have access to a computer, laptop or tablet, please notify the school so that we can find other ways to support them.
If you have any questions, please consult the following:
Finally and most importantly, Coronavirus is dominating the news and social media and children, as always, will be asking direct, difficult questions about what is going to happen. The advice at home and in school is to listen to children’s concerns and answer their questions in an age appropriate manner without overwhelming them with too much information. We must encourage them to express and communicate their feelings and let them know that their concerns are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. If you would like some further advice, please click on the link below to watch a short video clip which has useful advice about answering questions your child may ask https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p085wdnq. A child friendly presentation explaining Coronavirus is also available on the school website homepage.
Thank you for your continued support and remember that we are here for you if you need someone to talk to.
Head of Primary