Coronavirus Information

Dear Parents/Carers, 

As you all know, there has not been much information for schools coming from central government other than, keep open until you are told otherwise, and adopt all the health advice on Public Health England and Government websites.  Obviously, this has meant a lot of uncertainty, with many rumours going back and forth.  It is my view that St John’s does not add to those rumours, and I only share what information has been given to school.  All classes have Class Representatives, if you are worried about specific issues, please pass this/these onto them, so that it can be raised with me through the main office.

It is really clear that the COVID-19 situation is escalating nationally and beyond, and I know that you are aware that schools are coping with a great deal of anxiety. It is evident that increasing numbers of families are keeping their children at home, but advice is that schools are a strong protective factor and we hope children who are well will continue to attend.

Most importantly, any individual/family member who has, however mildly, a new continuous cough or high temperature is not allowed to attend school and must self-isolate for 14 days from the start of symptoms.  Please see the NHS111 website for details of what to do in this situation, and especially what to do if after 14 days the person has not recovered, or if they have symptoms that cannot be managed at home.

You will be aware from the announcement made by the Prime Minister yesterday evening that people with suspected symptoms of the COVID 19 virus are unlikely to be tested (‘they are focusing where it will do the most good’), and so we will not necessarily be aware of confirmed cases. In a community of over 280 pupils and staff there will be members of the school community self-isolating over the next few weeks. If your child or other members of your family are self- isolating, please inform the school. In order to make sure you are fully up-to- date please check the Government websites daily.

As a school, we have shared all the information we have been given with our children around personal cleanliness.  They have been shown videos, and we were lucky to have a parent who is a nurse come in and teach how to wash their hands using soap and warm water.  This is reiterated by the teachers in our weekly collective worship and also daily in class.

We continue to work hard to ensure the school is as clean and hygienic as possible. The following measures have been put in place:

Most importantly, children are given constant reminders to wash their hands regularly

  • Visitors are screened at reception before being allowed on site

  • Hand washing products are regularly checked

  • Instructional handwashing posters are clearly displayed

  • Self-service arrangements in the dining room have been reviewed

  • Cleaners are spending extra time cleaning surfaces e.g. door handles

  • Indoor water fountains have been turned off, and children are to use new outside bottle fillers

  • Early Years have own drink and fruit station (cups cleaned every time children have a drink)

At St John’s, we are supporting our community by (you may want do likewise at home):

Remaining calm and reassuring

  • Remember that children will react to both what you say and how you say it. They will pick up on cues from the conversations you have with them, and with others

Being available to listen and to talk.

  • We make time to talk, children know they can come to us when they have questions

Avoiding language that might blame others and lead to stigma.

  • Avoid making assumptions about who might have COVID-19

Paying attention to what children see or hear on online.

  • Too much information on one topic can lead to anxiety

Providing information that is honest and accurate.

  • Talk to children, age appropriate about how some stories on COVID-19 on the Internet and social media may be based on rumours and inaccurate information

Teaching children everyday actions to reduce the spread of germs.

  • Remind them to cough or sneeze into a tissue or their elbow, then throw the tissue into the bin

  • Discuss any new actions that may be taken at school to help protect children and school staff.
    (e.g, increased handwashing, bringing in own refillable water bottle, cancellation of events or activities)

  • Wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after blowing their nose, coughing, or sneezing, using the toilet, and before eating or preparing food.

  • If soap and water are not available, teach them to use hand sanitiser and supervise young children when they use hand sanitiser

  • Not share their meals  

Wiping down shared surfaces in classrooms

  • Light switches, door handles, table tops etc.

In the event of school having to close before the Easter holiday, or not return to school right after, we will make available Home Learning activities. There will be an expectation that children engage with some form of home learning daily. The first week may well be generic due to us not knowing the exact time schools may be shut, however in the subsequent weeks teachers will specify tasks. 

Please find below the link the Prime Minister’s briefing

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020

© St John's C of E Primary