Please be aware that the only group that we can add more pupils to is the Key Worker group currently, and this is nearing capacity as we have some on the list due to start in the next two weeks. Please check with our school office for spaces and give us at least 48 hours notice if you wish your child to join this group.
All other bubbles are set and currently we cannot add any more children to these bubbles. Many are already at capacity for the size of the room now and we cannot mix bubbles otherwise we risk spreading the virus. Therefore I am sorry to have to turn some of you down for a place in school now as the final deadline dates have now passed in Reception, Y1, Y5 and Y6. We have some staff unable to be in school for health reasons so they are working from home as directed by the government. This is the right thing for them to do. However, it means that we don't have enough staff available in school to open new bubbles to any other year groups. I am sure that you understand the need to keep all children and staff in school as safe as possible and I thank you for your support in this.
We are waiting for further information from the government about new expectations in schools but this information won't arrive until next week. Until then I don't know any more information than what we all heard yesterday from the Prime Minister about rule changes in general public from 4th July. It is extremely important in school that we follow strict guidelines from the DfE so that we can keep all pupils and staff as safe as possible. We will hopefully receive information before we break up for the summer holidays on 17th July about government expectations for schools in September. I will update you all once Heads receive more information and we can adapt our plans as safety allows.
Thank you for your amazing support as always.
DfE Coronavirus Helpline
The DfE coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Parents and young people can contact this helpline.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
8am to 6pm – Monday to Friday
10am to 4pm – Saturday and Sunday.
As part of the Wallsend Partnership of schools, Wallsend Children's Community and Wallsend Action for Youth, plans are being made for some provision for Wallsend families over the summer holidays. I will keep you updated about this when I hear more. Our school will not be open during the summer holidays because we will be busy getting everything prepared ready for all pupils returning in September. We also have some contractors carrying out work in school over this time to make our school even better for when you return. We will close from Friday 17th July and will reopen to pupils on Wednesday 2nd September 2020.
In the meantime, parents who are critical workers can find information about day-care nurseries, childminders, out of school clubs and other childcare providers that remain open and have capacity at the following link. These cover the age range from babies to 12 years old.
If your child is attending school and they feel ill please keep them at home rather than sending them to school. Please also keep any brothers or sisters at home that day too. We have to ask you to do this so that we can reduce the risk of spreading any illnesses to other pupils or staff. We would appreciate it if you could telephone us on 0191 6053407 to let us know the reason why they are off school. Remember that there are no fines for non-attendance.
If your child is showing any of the following symptoms please book a test through the NHS Test and Trace Service:
If the result is positive, the infected person should self isolate for 7 days and the rest of the household should be isolated for 14 days. Please inform school when you receive the test result so that we can make any necessary arrangements in school to keep everyone safe.
If you have any questions about any of this, please get in touch. Thank you.
Thank you to all parents and carers for keeping socially distanced from others and for dropping off and collecting your children from school at the right time for their group. This helps us with managing staggered start and finish times so that bubbles are not mixing with others. A quick reminder of times for each group are as follows:
Please can I remind you that bags, mobile phones and other things from home are not permitted in school. We only ask that your child brings a filled water bottle from home each day. Children are provided with a school packed lunch. If you do send in a lunch with your child, it must be in fully disposable packaging that will not return home.
Now that bubbles in Reception, Y1, Y5 and Y6 are set, we cannot take any more children into these existing groups because we need to make sure that pupils are not mixing with others. This will help to reduce any viruses from spreading. This will be reviewed following further updates from the Government.
If you are a key worker your child is welcome any time into our key worker groups. Please let us know in advance if your child is attending so that we can have age-related activities prepared and we know how many staff are needed. The key worker group is now led by Miss McFarlane and Mrs Carr every day. They have some time each morning working through their home learning packs and lots of opportunities to play, exercise and complete crafts throughout the day. This group runs from 9:00am to 3:30pm every day but you may collect earlier if you wish.
New bubbles from Monday 22nd June
As we have reopened successfully to the year groups directed by the Government I am pleased that we are now able to offer more pupils the chance to return to school. We are now able to open to Y5 pupils too from Monday 22nd June and have a list of children who have now been given a place.
These new bubbles will be taught by either Miss Edokpayi or Miss Hancock and will have start and finish times as follows:
9:15am drop-off and 3:00pm collection Monday to Thursday. Fridays they must be collected at 12:15pm so we can deep clean during the afternoon.
The pupils cannot bring anything with them from home other than a water bottle filled with water only. Packed lunches will be provided free of charge by school.
School uniform does not have to be worn, but every child must wear clean clothes for school every day.
As always, please give us a call if you have any questions.
Guidance for parents and carers.
These are very challenging times for our country. Staying at home to stop the spread of COVID-19 has been hard for us all, but it has kept people safe and saved lives. Keeping people safe continues to be the government’s priority.
Schools were closed for most children for several weeks. Now the government is asking schools to begin plans to welcome more children back. This is because the coronavirus rates are now going down. School is the best place for children to learn. It is good for them to have social times with other children and teachers.
There are 5 key tests set by the government to make sure that it is safe for schools to reopen. This will be done carefully, looking at risks and what science tells us.
The latest scientific advice to government is that:
The government have provided advice to schools and this includes:
· having smaller class sizes
· children and staff spread out more
· extra hygiene measures, such as more cleaning, regular hand-washing and using tissues.
We have successfully implemented these things as Reception, Y1 and Y6 pupils returned to school.
How will risks to children, teachers and families be managed?
· If your child or a member of your household has symptoms of coronavirus, they should not come to school.
· regular hand washing for 20 seconds with running water and soap. using hand sanitiser and promoting "catch it, bin it, kill it".
· cleaning more often to get rid of the virus on surfaces, such as door handles,
· keeping groups separate with one member of staff
· changing the layout of classrooms so that social distancing can be used
· timetable changes, such as staggered break times, staggered drop-off and collection times
· having packed lunches in the classroom
Does my child have to come school if they are in these year groups?
· The government would like nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 pupils to attend school again.
· If the children are extremely clinically vulnerable (CEV) or live in a household where someone is CEV, they should not attend.
· If your child is self-isolating or shielding due to health issues, they should not go back.
· You will not be fined if your child does not attend school at this time.
· If your child has a social worker, they are expected to go to school.
· If your child has an EHCP (Education and Health Care Plan) they are expected to go to school.
· You should tell your school if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss this with you.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in my child’s school?
If a child or adult has symptoms of coronavirus in school, they will be sent home and should self-isolate for 7 days. Other people in their house should self-isolate for 14 days. Deep cleaning will take place. Everyone in school education will be able to have a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus.
Will learning be as normal for children who are attending?
Schools can provide support and education to their children in the way they see fit during this time.
Home learning will continue for year groups that are not starting from 1st June or who are not attending.
Will school meals still be available?
All children who are in school will get a lunch if you want them to have them and they will still be free if you had free school meals before. If you pay for school meals, please ring the school office.
Food vouchers for those families in the benefits system will still be there for pupils not in school.
Loss of taste and smell
Just a reminder that the loss of taste and smell has now been added to the list of symptoms of COVID 19. The NHS website states:
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these symptoms. Stay at home (self-isolate) and get a test.
If your child has any of these symptoms, please do not send them to school and make sure that they have a test. Thank you.
Reminder about key (critical) workers
Please read the following reminder of information from the DfE about the children of critical workers:
Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to look after their child at home, but attendance is strongly encouraged.
Please, therefore, also follow these key principles:
1. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
2. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
3. Parents must do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially outside of school. They must observe the same social distancing principles as adults, as far as possible.
4. Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
Note If your work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, then your children will be prioritised for education provision and are strongly encouraged to attend.
The critical workers guidance is at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision.
EMBLEMATIC – UNIFORM ORDERS – 2020/21
Our embroidery facility is currently open, with a reduced staff following all Government Guidance. We are currently also taking school orders via email as normal. The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Following the recent Government update I am pleased to say that we will be offering the following options to parents this summer.
We will continue to follow the guidance and decide if/when our shops can re-open and what other changes can be safely made.
Our manufacturers have not missed any delivery dates as yet, so we will have a full stock available all summer and don’t foresee any shortfalls in supply for going back to School in September.
Please follow this link to the uniform page for our school:
During autumn term we will also sell some pre-owned uniform which will be freshly laundered at low cost from our school yard. More information will be available nearer the time.
We have a very small number of spaces left for pupils in Reception and Y1 to return to school if they haven't returned already. They may come back to school from Monday 22nd June. This will be the last opportunity for your child to return before the summer holidays unless Government guidance changes. If you would like a place for your child please let us know by Wednesday 17th June. If there are more children on the list than spaces available, we will prioritise the children of key workers and vulnerable children first. We will let you know on Thursday 18th June if your child has a place to start next Monday. Children who have already got a place in school can continue to attend until 17th July when we break up for the summer holidays.
We are able to open one more social bubble for Y6 pupils but this will be the last opportunity to come to school unless the Government guidance changes. This bubble will start on Monday 22nd June and they will be taught by Miss Edokpayi and Mrs McMeekin. We have 9 spaces left available. If more than 9 are on the list we will have to prioritise the children of key workers and vulnerable children first. Please let us know by Wednesday 17th June if you would like a place for your child. We will telephone all on the list on Thursday to let you know if you have been successful.
If you use public transport to get to or from our school can I please remind you that it is compulsory to wear a face covering from today (Monday 15th June). If possible, we recommend that you walk, cycle or use a family car if you have one instead.
Children in school will not wear face coverings as they are in small social bubbles and are not mixing with others. Science has proved that face coverings don't prevent you from catching the virus but will stop you from spreading it to others if you have it. Children are advised to not wear face coverings for long periods of time, so they will not be worn in our school.
Welcoming pupils back to school
It has been amazing to welcome our Reception pupils back to school today and some more key worker children. It's lovely to hear them laughing with their friends! To follow our risk assessment in keeping all children as safe as possible all pupils must be dropped-off and collected by an adult at the following times so we can stay socially distanced:
Reception = 9:15am drop-off and 3:00pm collection. Fridays collected at 12:15pm
Y1 = 9:30am drop-off and 3:15pm collection. Fridays collected at 12:30pm
Y6 = 9:00am drop-off and 2:45pm collection. Fridays collected at 12:00pm
Key worker and vulnerable children = 9:00am drop-off and 3:30pm collection every day.
Tomorrow (Tuesday) we will welcome Y1 pupils back to school too and from Wednesday Y6 pupils can attend. All pupils we are expecting to return have been placed into social bubbles which will stay together with the same staff. We have tried to keep friends together where possible, but to keep the social bubbles small and safe some pupils may not be taught by their usual teacher or in their usual classroom.
The staff have worked hard preparing lessons that are focused on building friendships again and giving your children lots of time to talk and be nurtured. They have also planned to teach the curriculum that they have missed over these past few months and the children will have lots of opportunities to develop their skills. Work will still be posted online on the class pages of this website, although this may be reduced in Reception, Y1 and Y6 as their teachers will be with the pupils in school.
The children of Key Workers and vulnerable children are welcome to attend school for childcare. They will be provided with opportunities to complete some of the work from their class page of our website but will spend most of the time doing fun activities including lots of physical exercise, art, playing games etc.
As always, feel free to email or telephone us if you have any questions. Thank you.
I am proud of all of our school staff because they have continued to work throughout lockdown to provide online learning and paper learning packs for those who requested them. They have also been in school looking after children of key workers and vulnerable children. They are a real credit.
Remember that if you are a key worker, or your child is in the 'vulnerable' category they are entitled to come to school. If they are in Reception, Y1 or Y6 they will be in a social bubble with other members of their class as these are the year groups directed by the Government to return to school. If your child is in Nursery, Y2, Y3, Y4 or Y5 they can attend school every day for childcare and will enter and leave through the main entrance. We will print off some of the work for their year group from the class pages of the website so they can do it at tables in the hall and they will also do lots of physical exercise, painting, fun activities etc. However, they will not be 'taught' as there will be a mix of pupil ages in this one group. This is to follow directives from the Government. If guidance changes then we will keep you informed of the changes and how this will be managed in our school.
School will provide packed lunches for all children attending school and the only item that should be brought from home is a filled water bottle. If your child must bring a packed lunch from home then it must be in fully-disposable packaging that will not return home.
Children attending school do not have to wear their school uniform unless you wish them too. However, Public health England have recommended that clean clothes must be worn every day for school to minimise the risk of spreading the virus. Thank you.
As we plan for school reopening to pupils in Reception, Y1 and Y6 from next week we have to follow Government guidelines. As I have previously said, we will respect the decision that you make whether you send your children back to school this term or not. It has to be the right decision for you and your family. Please be reassured that there will not be any fines for non-attendance.
From the start date for your child's class we have been instructed to be in contact every day with all families of children in Reception, Y1 and Y6 who choose not to return to school. Please be reassured that we have to follow this guidance from the Government and we are not doing this to put you under any pressure. If you could call us every day that your child is not in school to just confirm that they are at home with you that would be great, but if not, we will telephone you daily.
Children cannot be added to social bubbles once these have been set but if you choose to send your child in to school then change your mind after a few days/weeks and keep them at home instead that is fine. Please just keep us informed.
Thank you for your ongoing cooperation with this during very unprecedented times. As always, please feel free to give us a call if you wish to discuss any of this.
Take care and stay safe
Plans for reopening
Dear Parents and Carers,
Following the announcement from the Government that schools will begin reopening for directed year groups we have been very busy risk assessing what we can safely offer. Unfortunately, this means that many of our usual things will have to change for a while so that we can keep all pupils and staff safe. We will continue to review our plans and risk assessment and make sure that we follow the guidance from government departments, the Local Authority and Public Health England. We cannot promise that there will be no risks at all as this just isn’t possible, but our thorough risk assessment has been written to reduce as many risks as possible.
The Government has recommended some controls which all must follow. These include:
Not attending school if you feel unwell
cleaning hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand sanitiser
using tissues when sneezing to ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’
cleaning frequently touched surfaces often
creating social bubbles who do not mix with other bubbles
The arrangements we are putting in place will make sure that we are following these controls. This will all be done in a kind and warm manner so that your child feels comfortable in school.
Staff will continue to put work on the class pages of our website. Please also look at Oak Academy and BBC Bitesize for lessons and resources for each year group.
Breakfast club and after-school clubs
We will not be able to run breakfast club from Monday 1st June until the summer holidays or any after-school clubs as we must keep children in their social bubbles.
As we know, young children will struggle to understand social distancing, therefore we are not able to open school to nursery children at this time.
Pupils in Reception, Y1 and Y6 have been identified by the Government as the first year groups to return to school so we will open only to those year groups first. They will be placed in groups of less than 12. Most groups will have only 8 children and 2 staff in them. Tables and chairs have been spaced apart in the classrooms so we can maintain 2m social distancing.
These social bubbles will not mix with other groups and will remain together with the same staff at all times. Staggered breaktimes and outdoor activities will be planned so social bubbles do not mix. They will still enjoy time outside in their social bubbles.
To keep the group sizes small and safe, your child will not necessarily be with their normal teacher or in their normal classroom. Any child arriving late will not be able to come into school that day as they need to mix with only their social bubble at all times.
We have ordered a pencil case full of stationery for every child so they are not sharing equipment. Children will be taken to wash their hands often throughout the school day.
Drop-off and pick-up arrangements
The following arrangements cannot be confirmed until the Government confirms that the science says schools should definitely begin to open for face to face provision and our risk assessments prove that it is safe to open our school. If this is safe, then the proposed dates are below. But these are subject to change and continual review.
Safety is our absolute priority. All pupils must be brought to school and collected by only one adult each day, including Y6, so that nobody is mixing with people from another social bubble. We ask you to be respectful and not congregate on our school yard or at our gates at all. Any parents found doing this may be refused further entry as we must be able to keep all our school community as safe as possible. Entry and exit for Y1 and Y6 will be through a one-way system in the KS2 yard. Please see the accompanying photographs.
If you would like to bring your child to see how this will work we will open the gates every morning on Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th and Friday 5th June between 10am and 11am so you can come to have a look before your child returns to school the following week.
Children will only be able to attend school until Friday lunchtime each week. Friday afternoons school will be closed to all pupils in Reception, Y1 and Y6 so deep cleaning can take place. They will not be able to join the key worker group as we cannot mix social bubbles. Children of critical workers who have only been in the key worker group can stay until collected at 3:30pm.
Parents and carers cannot come beyond the school entrance. We will not be allowing access to the school building for any adult other than school staff. If you need to speak with staff they are happy to do this via telephone, email or post. Our office staff will not take bags or packed lunches in for children. They must be sent with your child. Please do not expect to pop in to school or the office to ask anything as unfortunately we cannot offer this until further notice.
Reception - 9.15am drop-off and 3:00pm collection every day. Fridays they must be collected at 12:15pm. Monday 8th June start date
The Reception children will be in school from Monday 8th June. They will arrive and leave by the Reception or Nursery doors depending on which group they are via the walkway at the front of the building. They will be with a team of staff from the EYFS, who will be familiar faces to our youngest children returning. They will be taught in the Reception and Nursery classrooms and use the Early Years outdoor area at different times.
The staff working with these groups are Mrs Phillips, Mrs Carr, Miss McFarlane and Mrs Young.
Year 1 - 9:30am drop-off and 3:15pm collection every day. Fridays they must be collected at 12:30pm. Tuesday 9th June start date
The first Year 1 children will be in school from Tuesday 9th June. They will enter through the KS2 gate and be welcomed by staff leading their bubbles. Parents will drop off their child at the gap in the barrier and continue walking out of the side gate. They will be split into three groups of 8 pupils and will stay within this social bubble. These groups will be taught in the Y1, Y2 and Y3 classrooms. Each bubble will have their own set of toys to take outside for breaks and lunchtime. Collection will be from the walkway on the KS2 yard. Please wait in a line 2m apart and the staff will release your child to you when you get to the gap in the barriers.
The staff working with these groups are Miss Smith, Mrs Roberts, Mr Piper and Miss Ainsley.
Year 6 - 9:00am drop-off and 2:45pm collection every day. Fridays they must be collected at 12:00pm. Wednesday 10th June start date
The first Y6 children will be in school from Wednesday 10th June. They will enter through the KS2 gate and be welcomed by staff leading their bubbles. Parents will drop off their child at the gap in the barrier and continue walking out of the side gate. Each bubble will have their own set of games and equipment to take outside for breaks and lunchtime. Collection will be from the walkway on the KS2 yard. Please wait in a line 2m apart and the staff will release your child to you when you get to the gap in the barriers.
They will be split into a group of 10 taught in the Y6 classroom, 10 in the Y5 classroom and 10 in the Y4 classroom. They will be doing things related to the end of their primary school journey, sports and mindfulness activities. They will have the best end of Y6 that we can manage in the current circumstances.
The staff working with these groups are Mr Chapman, Mrs McGinley, Miss Edokpayi and Mrs McMeekin.
Key Worker children – 9:00am drop-off and 3:30pm collection every day. Tuesday 2nd June start date
Children of key workers in Nursery, Y2, Y3, Y4 and Y5 will have childcare in the school hall provided by staff not involved in returning classes. They will enter and leave through the main door at the front of the building. This childcare must be booked in advance so we can split this group as numbers increase. You will be asked to provide proof of your key worker status if you have not already done so.
The staff supervising the childcare will be Miss Hancock, Mrs Jasper and Mrs Kendall.
First-aid and illness
If your child is ill during the school day you will be informed immediately and your child must be collected as soon as possible. This will remain our right to send them home, so we can avoid others catching the illness.
Anyone over the age of 5 showing symptoms are entitled to have a Covid-19 test. This must be done as soon as possible so that others in the group can be informed if it is safe to return to school.
Any child who shows symptoms while in school would be moved to a separate room (KS2 support room) whilst awaiting collection. Parents will have to ensure their child has had a test for corona virus before they could return to school and school must have sight of the outcomes.
The Government guidance on actions to take if there is a confirmed case is also very clear:
We will continue to administer first aid using our usual procedures and protection as per school policy. Staff will wear PPE during this time if social distancing cannot be maintained.
Uniform and things from home
Your child may wear their own clothes for the rest of this term, but may wear uniform if they wish to. Public Health England have recommended that clothes worn for school must be washed at the end of every day and clean clothes worn next time they are in school. No bags, reading books, mobile phones or equipment should be brought to school other than a water bottle which should be filled at home and returned clean each day.
Packed lunches will be provided for all pupils attending school. These are in fully disposable packages and none of it will be taken home. If your child wishes to bring a packed lunch from home it must be in a fully disposable container and will not be brought home.
The climbing frames and outdoor equipment will not be used by any children as we cannot guarantee that they could be cleaned to a high enough standard to make sure that they are safe to use until further notice.
Handwashing and cleaning
Each group will use a different sink to wash their hands. Soap and paper towels will be provided and children will be taken throughout the school day to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds. We will make this as fun as possible too. Hand sanitisers and antibacterial wipes are also available in every classroom and at entrances and exits. Our cleaners will be on site throughout the day and will clean all frequently touched areas and toilets regularly, with deep cleaning once the children have left for the day. Deep cleaning will take place every Friday afternoon, when school will be closed to all pupils except those of critical workers.
We will also do the following:
encourage children to not touch their mouth, eyes and nose
use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day
We have bought new lidded bins for all classrooms which are pedal-operated so that pupils do not need to touch them with their hands.
Windows in classrooms will remain open during the day and where possible doors also to assist ventilation.
Shielded and clinically vulnerable young people
Children and young people (0 to 18 years of age) who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions have been advised to shield. We do not expect these children to be attending school.
Government guidance states:
When school re-opens, the curriculum offered in school will mirror the guidance being offered to parents for home learning. We may also follow the content of the BBC Bitesize primary curriculum for Years 1-6. This is so that children working at home would not be at a disadvantage to those working in school. Focus in the first few weeks will be very much about nurture and friendship activities while being socially distant.
We will be keeping attendance registers in order to monitor intake of numbers and ratios in school and to feedback to the Local Authority and DFE on capacity and uptake.
Parents will not be fined for non-attendance during this period until further notice and we will respect the decision that you make.
We will continue to make wellbeing checks and calls to some families as usual.
Due to the nature of the grouping system, children would not be permitted to change their mind and become part of an existing bubble after the start date for their year group.
In order to make it as easy as possible for cleaners to be able to clean all areas of school children will not be permitted to bring anything to school other than a water bottle. This includes bags, books, toys and mobile phones. If the weather is nice it would be better for your child to not bring their coat. If they bring a coat it will be kept on the back of their chair.
This document has been compiled using DfE guidance.
I hope that you understand the need for us to make these changes in our school but safety is our absolute priority. We will continue to review guidance and the risk assessment moving forward and will update you if as things change. I am happy to discuss any of these arrangements with you via telephone or email if you have any questions.
Many thanks for your continued support and kind words which are always appreciated by staff.
Take care and stay safe
21.5.2020 Update, including breakfast club
Once I have final confirmation from the Governing Body I will be able to share our plans with you all. This will hopefully be early next week.
I just want to reassure you all that school will only reopen to pupils when the scientific evidence says that it is safe to do so and everything on our risk assessment can be safely managed. We will post updates on this website and will text all parents of pupils in Reception, Y1 and Y6 to let you know when it is safe for your children to return to school.
Please note that from 1st June we will not be able to have breakfast club or after-school clubs because all pupils will be placed into groups called 'social bubbles'. Those social bubbles will not mix with other bubbles so we can minimise the risk of spreading the virus. The details of this will be in the plans I will share next week.
As always, please be in touch with us if you have any questions and we will hopefully be able to help you.
Take care and stay safe
Important information about partial reopening of school
I hope that you and your family are safe and well and are managing during this challenging time.
Since the announcement was made last Sunday that schools are reopening to pupils in Reception, Y1 and Y6 we have received extensive information from the Government that we must implement. We have been holding meetings with the senior leadership team, The Local Authority, the Diocese, the Chair of Governors & Vice Chair, as well as receiving union advice. These are continuing so that we can make plans that will keep everyone as safe as possible.
As you know the health, safety and well-being of all children and staff is paramount in every decision that we make and in order for us to even start considering opening school to more children, we have to be confident that it is absolutely safe for all.
What St Peter's will look like until the summer holidays:
The plan that we are creating has been incredibly well thought out and every decision that is being made has had health and safety at its very heart. We aim to meet the needs of all of our school community here at Wallsend St Peter's. Please be reassured that we will ensure that these things will be implemented in a warm way that doesn't make your child feel frightened. Our staff are excellent at nurturing children and will make sure that things are fun and make your child feel comfortable in school.
Some of the things that we are considering based upon Government guidance are as follows:
• Staggered entry and exit times to and from school
• No admittance of parents into the school building, including the office.
• Classes split into groups because of our classroom sizes. This means that some children will not be taught in their usual classroom or by their usual teacher
• Staggered breaktimes
• Staggered lunchtimes
• Soft furnishings and cuddly toys removed from classrooms with tables split to seat children at separate tables to encourage social distancing
• Classrooms and frequently-touched areas will be cleaned throughout the day
• Resources such as pencils, rulers and sports equipment not to be shared outside of groups without being disinfected. School equipment will be provided for all individuals
• Very limited movement around school
• No dinner hall for lunchtimes (no mixing of children outside of their group). Packed lunches in disposable packaging only
• Frequent hand-washing
• Children will not be able to bring any bags or equipment from home other than their water bottle
• Toilets will be managed by cleaning them as often as possible throughout the school day
Children must wear clothes which can be washed every day. This could be their own clothes or school uniform if they wish, but by wearing clean clothes every day we can reduce the risk of the virus spreading. Hopefully the weather will remain warm and dry over the summer term so coats don’t need to be worn. Coats brought into school will be put on the back of their chair or in their lockers.
If you choose not to send your child into school, online learning and work packs will still be available. It is entirely your choice and no fines will be sent for non-attendance. We will respect whatever decision you make based on what is best for your family.
Other Year Groups:
If your child is not in the year groups that we are opening to, then online learning and work packs will continue as normal.
Our key worker childcare will still run as normal but must be booked a week in advance so we can ensure that we have enough staff available. If you would like further information, please just contact school.
Staff have been working incredibly hard behind the scenes ensuring that online learning is available to you all as well as work packs on a regular basis. They have always answered telephone calls and email requests promptly and have really worked so hard to support your children- often even having children of their own to look after. Many are also shielding so I am taking their risks into consideration too. It has been really lovely to share all of your positive comments with them so thank you.
Teachers require PPE training and need to have a full understanding of how we will keep everyone safe, so Monday 1st June will be a teacher training day.
Please let us know as soon as possible if your child will be attending school in June so I can share final plans with you all. This can be done when I have approximate numbers of pupils.
Take care and stay safe.
Information regarding the re-opening of school from June 1st:
Following the government’s directives to plan for reopening schools to pupils in Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6 from 1st June, followed by all other primary pupils by the end of June we are interested in your views as parents and carers. We are currently developing a range of risk assessments so we can make informed decisions about how to best safeguard your child/children given the dangers posed to them from Covid-19.
The government have sent us guidance entitled ‘COVID-19: Implementing Protective Measures in Education and Childcare Settings’ which we will use to assess whether we can safely limit your child’s exposure to the coronavirus. These investigations will focus on, but are not limited to: encouraging social distancing when and where possible; providing pupils with their own equipment in school so they are not sharing with others; frequent hand washing and cleaning of surfaces and equipment. Many more changes will also be implemented so we can provide an environment that is as safe as possible for your child. While these measures will be actively encouraged, we know that despite our best endeavours, it will be extremely difficult for young children to follow social distancing at all times. For this reason we will not be able to have all pupils in school at the same time so a timetable for pupils to attend in small groups on certain days will be planned.
However, please be reassured that parents will not be fined if pupils do not attend school and we will fully support your decision if you wish to keep your child at home if you feel that this is the safest option for you and your family. Staff will continue to put work on the class pages of the Children tab on our school website for home learning, or you are welcome to collect a paper pack of learning from school.
We would be grateful if you could take the time to complete our survey as we are interested to take your views into account too.
If you could include your child's name, year group and answer the following questions:
Will you be sending your children into school in June if your child's year group is asked to return? Yes/No
Are you or your child worried about coming back into school in June? Yes/No?
Please include details as found in the letter above:
Update - 11th May
Last night the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that they are aiming for children in Reception, Y1 and Y6 to possibly be able to come into school from 1st June, with other year groups coming in soon after. He indicated that more information will be sent to schools this week.
As teachers we cannot wait to see our pupils again and teach them in our lovely school but only when we can be sure that it is safe to do so. Please be reassured that we will not take any risks to the safety of any of our pupils, staff or parents/carers. Once we receive more information from the government our school leadership team and governors will have virtual meetings to begin planning how we can have more pupils in school safely. We will share these plans with you once we can be certain that we can create a safe learning environment for your children. We will continue to put work on our class pages for your children to access at home and please follow the links to Oak Academy and BBC Bitesize which have lessons for all ages.
In the meantime we continue to be open every day for childcare for the children of workers whose jobs are critical to the Covid-19 response as our staff are working in school on a rota system. If you are a critical worker and your child cannot be looked after safely at home, please get in touch to book your child a place in school so we can make sure that we have enough staff available. Thank you.
In the current climate, with children spending increasing amounts of time online during home schooling, Northumbria Police would like to highlight this programme on online safety which they believe you will find useful for protecting your children.
Please remember to let us know if you have changed your address, telephone number or email address these as we need these to contact you or to deliver learning packs or food parcels. While school is only partially open our school office is not covered at all times so if there is no answer on the phone please email us at email@example.com and we will get back to you.
Last week we applied to the DfE for Free School Meals vouchers for all pupils on our list who qualify for benefits-related free school meals and whose parents sent us their personal email address. A code will have been emailed to you from Edenred which you then exchange online for supermarket eGift cards. Look out in your inbox or junk box for your voucher code from Edenred. These are valued at £15 per child per week. We applied for these to cover the next few weeks. If you have any questions about this please go to www.freeschoolmeals.co.uk.
You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org directly.
If you think that your child should be on the list for benefits-related free school meals but they are not currently you can email student support via email@example.com and they will advise if you need to reapply.
Our school will be completely closed from Monday 6th April until Tuesday 14th April. However, if you are a key worker and are called into work for an emergency during this week, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07783 871710 and we will happily come in to care for your child/children.
School will open again from Tuesday 14th April to care for the children of key workers only. Packed lunches will be available to collect from 11:30-12:30 during this week.
From Monday 20th April school will remain open with staff on a rota for children of key workers and any vulnerable children who need to come to school.
Staff will continue to put work on the Class Pages for your children but please make sure that they're also having a rest over the Easter holidays too.
Last night schools received more information from the Government about Free School Meals and their plans for the voucher scheme. We are working closely with our Local Authority and following their guidance on how this may work in our schools. I will update this page when I know more exact details.
What we do know from the Government is that the vouchers are only for those who are entitled to benefits-related Free School Meals. Our school office have the details of these families and a text has gone out to those families today. If you are eligible for these and have not yet registered for this, please go to www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals. Your details will be sent to us if you are eligible under the Government's criteria.
The vouchers are ordered by school and parents will be issued an E-code via an email which could be printed at home or shown on a smartphone at an identified supermarket. Parents then choose which supermarket they wish to use. Currently the choice of supermarkets are Sainsbury's, Tesco, Asda, Morrisons, Waitrose and M&S as these have registered with the scheme. For this reason, please send us your personal email address to email@example.com so we can send it to the DfE if you wish to take part in the voucher scheme.
Currently pupils in Reception, Y1 and Y2 also receive free meals, known as Universal Infant Free School Meals (UIFSM). Our understanding is that the voucher scheme will not apply to those families. If we are able to, we are hoping still be able to get packed lunches sent to school for you to collect after the holidays. I will keep you updated once I know more about this.
Until the voucher scheme possibly begins after the Easter holidays we are continuing to order packed lunches for all Reception, Y1, Y2 pupils and those eligible for Free School Meals. Please continue to collect these from school daily between 11:30 and 12:30.
If you are a key worker and are unexpectedly called into work and your children cannot remain safely at home, please get in touch with us.
Information has been released by the Department for Education this morning about a voucher scheme for free school meals. As a school we only find out this information at the same time that you do, so I’d appreciate your patience while this is discussed in North Tyneside schools.
The DfE have announced that the vouchers can be sent for term-time only for when children should have been in school, and not for Easter holidays. I will hopefully be able to share more information about this by the end of the week.
in the meantime we are continuing to provide packed lunches every day for all free school meals pupils which can be collected between 11:30 and 12:30. Please let us know if you are self-isolating so we can deliver these to your home to help you.
I hope that you are all safe at home. The staff are missing you all very much so keep updating things on their class pages for you to do at home. We’re also putting things on our Twitter and Facebook too so keep checking. It would be great if you could tweet us some photos to share too.
From Monday 30th March packed lunches can be collected from school between 11:30 and 12:30. Please get in touch if you are struggling and we'll do our best to help.
Following the Head's meeting that I attended today I can share these updates.
School will close today for the majority of pupils. This is in response to the national emergency that we are currently experiencing and by closing schools it will help to prevent further spread of the virus. It is vital that if at all possible, your child should stay at home. This applies even if you are a key worker or your child is vulnerable as this is the safest option for your family.
The fewer children who come into school the safer our community will be.
Our school is not providing childcare, we are opening to support critical workers who are responding to the COVID-19 virus.
Information from your employer will be requested early next week unless you can provide proof that you are required at work as part of the business continuity plan. Please provide proof by Friday next week of your requirement to attend work and that your child must come to school.
If at all possible your child should stay at home.
Following the Government's announcement last night, our school will be closed to MOST pupils from 3:25pm on Friday until further notice. Children of 'key workers' and vulnerable children will still be able to attend school. The list of 'key workers' will be clarified by the Government today and we will be in touch once we know the exact list.
If you are one of the key workers listed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us your occupation and your child/children's names and ages so that we can have some idea of which children to expect in school next week.
In the meantime, any child who has an EHCP and those who have access to a social worker will be in school . Further details about how all of this will work in our school will be published later once we know more from the Government.
We regret that only children who fall into these categories will be allowed to attend school during that time.
A letter will be coming home tonight from school about this and will be posted onto our 'newsletters' page for your information.
Thank you for your understanding and working with us through these uncertain times.
The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
OFFICIAL GOVERNMENT GUIDANCE AS OF 1PM ON MARCH 17.
Background and scope of guidance
This guidance is for everyone. It advises on social distancing measures we should all be taking to reduce social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is intended for use in situations where people are living in their own homes, with or without additional support from friends, family and carers. If you live in a residential care setting guidance is available.
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
• new continuous cough and/or
• high temperature
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
• if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. (See ending isolation section below for more information)
• if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
• it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
• for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period. (See ending isolation section below for more information
• if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
• if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
• if you have coronavirus symptoms:
• do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
• you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
• testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
• plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
• ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
• wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
• if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999
Who this guidance is for
This advice is intended for:
• people with symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, and do not require hospital treatment, who must remain at home until they are well
• those living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus
Things to help you prepare now
Make a plan for your household or family
The best thing you can do now is plan for how you can adapt your daily routine, and that of others in your household, to be able to follow this advice. Some of the ways in which you could prepare include:
• talk to your neighbours and family and exchange phone numbers of household contacts
• consider and plan for those in your home who are considered vulnerable
• create a contact list with phone numbers of neighbours, schools, employer, chemist, NHS 111
• set up online shopping accounts if possible
Will my household be tested if we think we have coronavirus symptoms?
Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
Why staying at home is very important
It is very important that individuals with symptoms that may be due to coronavirus and their household members stay at home. Staying at home will help control the spread of the virus to friends, the wider community, and particularly the most vulnerable.
Those with symptoms and living alone should remain at home for 7 days after the onset of their symptoms (see ending self-isolation below). This will reduce the risk of you infecting others.
If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, then household members must stay at home and not leave your house for 14 days (see ending self-isolation below). If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in your house became ill.
If not possible, then you should do what you can to limit your social contact when you leave the house to get supplies.
It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or may already be infected. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
Staying at home may be difficult and frustrating, but there are things that you can do to help make it easier. These include:
• plan ahead and think about what you will need in order to be able to stay at home for the full 7 or 14 days
• talk to your employer, friends and family to ask for their help to access the things you will need to make your stay at home a success
• think about and plan how you can get access to food and other supplies such as medications that you will need during this period
• ask friends or family to drop off anything you need or order supplies online, but make sure these are left outside your home for you to collect
• make sure that you keep in touch with friends and family over the phone or through social media
• think about things you can do during your time at home. People who have successfully completed a period of staying at home have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films
• many people find it helpful to plan out the full 14 days, such as on a make-shift calendar. You may also find it helpful to plan in advance what you will do if, for example, someone in the household were to feel much worse, such as have difficulties breathing
• when you are feeling better, remember that physical exercise can be good for your wellbeing. Look for online classes or courses that can help you take light exercise in your home
While you are staying at home, make sure you do the following things:
Stay at home
You and all household members should remain at home. Do not go to work, school, or public areas, and do not use public transport or taxis.
If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others. The 14-day period starts from the day the first person in your house became ill.
If you require help with buying groceries, other shopping or picking up medication, or walking a dog, you will need to ask friends or relatives. Alternatively, you can order medication by phone or online. You can also order your shopping online. Make sure you tell delivery drivers to leave items outside for collection if you order online. The delivery driver should not come into your home.
If you are an employee and unable to work due to coronavirus, please refer to the guidance from the Department for Work and Pensions to find out about the support that is available to you.
If you are living with children
Keep following this advice to the best of your ability, however, we are aware that not all these measures will be possible.
What we have seen so far is that children with coronavirus appear to be less severely affected. It is nevertheless important to do your best to follow this guidance.
If you have a vulnerable person living with you
Minimise as much as possible the time any vulnerable family members spend in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas, and keep shared spaces well ventilated.
Aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from vulnerable people you live with and encourage them to sleep in a different bed where possible. If they can, they should use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household. Make sure they use separate towels from the other people in your house, both for drying themselves after bathing or showering and for hand-hygiene purposes.
If you do share a toilet and bathroom with a vulnerable person, it is important that you clean them every time you use them (for example, wiping surfaces you have come into contact with). Another tip is to consider drawing up a rota for bathing, with the vulnerable person using the facilities first.
If you share a kitchen with a vulnerable person, avoid using it while they are present. If they can, they should take their meals back to their room to eat. If you have one, use a dishwasher to clean and dry the family’s used crockery and cutlery. If this is not possible, wash them using your usual washing up liquid and warm water and dry them thoroughly. If the vulnerable person is using their own utensils, remember to use a separate tea towel for drying these.
We understand that it will be difficult for some people to separate themselves from others at home. You should do your very best to follow this guidance and everyone in your household should regularly wash their hands, avoid touching their face, and clean frequently touched surfaces.
If you are breastfeeding while infected
There is currently no evidence to suggest that the virus can be transmitted through breast milk. Infection can be spread to the baby in the same way as to anyone in close contact with you. The current evidence is that children with coronavirus get much less severe symptoms than adults. The benefits of breastfeeding outweigh any potential risks of transmission of the virus through breast milk or by being in close contact; however, this will be an individual decision and can be discussed with your midwife, health visitor or GP by telephone.
If you or a family member are feeding with formula or expressed milk, you should sterilise the equipment carefully before each use. You should not share bottles or a breast pump with someone else.
You can find more information at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists website.
Cleaning and disposal of waste
When cleaning you should use your usual household products, like detergents and bleach, as these will be very effective at getting rid of the virus on surfaces. Clean frequently touched surfaces such as door handles, handrails, remote controls and table tops. This is particularly important if you have an older or vulnerable person in the house.
Personal waste (such as used tissues) and disposable cleaning cloths can be stored securely within disposable rubbish bags. These bags should be placed into another bag, tied securely and kept separate from other waste. This should be put aside for at least 72 hours before being put in your usual external household waste bin.
Other household waste can be disposed of as normal.
To minimise the possibility of dispersing virus through the air, do not shake dirty laundry.
Wash items as appropriate in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. All dirty laundry can be washed in the same load.
If you do not have a washing machine, wait a further 72 hours after your 7-day (for individual isolation) or 14-day isolation period (for households) has ended when you can then take the laundry to a public launderette.
What you can do to help yourself get better
Drink water to keep yourself hydrated; you should drink enough during the day so your urine (pee) is a pale clear colour. You can use over-the-counter medications, such as paracetamol, to help with some of your symptoms. Use these according to the instructions on the packet or label and do not exceed the recommended dose.
If you or your family need to seek medical advice
Seek prompt medical attention if your illness or the illness in any household members is worsening. If it’s not an emergency, contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler or operator that you or your relative have coronavirus symptoms.
All routine medical and dental appointments should usually be cancelled whilst you and the family are staying at home. If you are concerned or have been asked to attend in person within the period you are home isolating, discuss this with your medical contact first (for example, your GP, local hospital or outpatient service), using the number they have provided. If your concerns are related to your coronavirus symptoms contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
Wash your hands often
Clean your hands frequently each day by washing with soap and water for 20 seconds or using hand sanitiser. This will help protect you and the people you live with. This step is one of the most effective ways of reducing the risk of passing infection to others.
Cover your coughs and sneezes
Cover your mouth and nose with disposable tissues when you cough or sneeze. If you do not have one to hand, sneeze into the crook of your elbow, not into your hand.
If you have a carer, they should use disposable tissues to wipe away any mucus or phlegm after you have sneezed or coughed. Then they should wash their hands with soap and water.
Dispose of tissues into a disposable rubbish bag and immediately wash your hands with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser.
We do not recommend the use of facemasks as an effective means of preventing the spread of infection. Facemasks play an important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals, but there’s very little evidence of benefit from their use outside of these settings.
Do not have visitors in your home
Do not invite or allow social visitors, such as other friends and family, to enter your home. If you want to speak to someone who is not a member of your household, use the phone or social media.
If you or a family member receive essential care in your home, then carers should continue to visit. Carers will be provided with facemasks and gloves to reduce the risk of you passing on the infection.
If you have pets in the household
At present, there is no evidence that companion animals/pets such as dogs and cats can be infected with coronavirus.
Looking after your wellbeing whilst staying at home
We know that staying at home for a prolonged period can be difficult, frustrating and lonely for some people and that you or other household members may feel low. It can be particularly challenging if you don’t have much space or access to a garden.
It’s important to remember to take care of your mind as well as your body and to get support if you need it. Stay in touch with family and friends over the phone or on social media. There are also sources of support and information that can help, such as the Every Mind Matters website.
Think about things you can do during your time at home. People who have not minded staying at home for a week have kept themselves busy with activities such as cooking, reading, online learning and watching films. If you feel well enough you can take part in light exercise within your home or garden.
Many people find it helpful to remind themselves why what they are doing is so important. Hopefully, none of your family will suffer more than flu-like symptoms. But some people are badly affected by coronavirus, and particularly the elderly and those with certain medical conditions. By staying home, you are protecting the lives of others, as well as making sure the NHS does not get overwhelmed.
Ending self-isolation and household-isolation
If you have been symptomatic, then you may end your self-isolation after 7 days. The 7-day period starts from the day when you first became ill
If living with others, then all household members who remain well may end household-isolation after 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day illness began in the first person to become ill. Fourteen days is the incubation period for coronavirus; people who remain well after 14 days are unlikely to be infectious.
After 7 days, if the first person to become ill feels better and no longer has a high temperature, they can return to their normal routine. If any other family members become unwell during the 14-day household-isolation period, they should follow the same advice - i.e. after 7 days of their symptoms starting, if they feel better and no longer have a high temperature, they can also return to their normal routine.
Should a household member develop coronavirus symptoms late in the 14-day household-isolation period (eg on day 13 or day 14) the isolation period does not need to be extended, but the person with the new symptoms has to stay at home for 7 days. The 14-day household-isolation period will have greatly reduced the overall amount of infection the rest of the household could pass on, and it is not necessary to re-start 14 days of isolation for the whole household. This will have
provided a high level of community protection. Further isolation of members of this household will provide very little additional community protection.
At the end of the 14-day period, any family member who has not become unwell can leave household isolation.
If any ill person in the household has not had any signs of improvement and have not already sought medical advice, they should contact NHS 111 online. If your home has no internet access, you should call NHS 111.
The cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean someone must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days.
Those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) are advised to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures.
This group includes those who are:
• aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
• under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (ie anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
o chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
o chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
o chronic kidney disease
o chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
o chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
o problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
o a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
o being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)
• those who are pregnant
Note: there are some clinical conditions which put people at even higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19. If you are in this category, next week the NHS in England will directly contact you with advice the more stringent measures you should take in order to keep yourself and others safe. For now, you should rigorously follow the social distancing advice in full, outlined below.
• People falling into this group are those who may be at particular risk due to complex health problems such as:
• people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
• people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
• people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
• people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
• people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
What is social distancing?
Social distancing measures are steps you can take to reduce the social interaction between people. This will help reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
1. Avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough;
2. Avoid non-essential use of public transport, varying your travel times to avoid rush hour, when possible; 3.Work from home, where possible. Your employer should support you to do this. Please refer to employer guidance for more information;
3. Avoid large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as pubs, cinemas, restaurants, theatres, bars, clubs
4. Avoid gatherings with friends and family. Keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.
5. Use telephone or online services to contact your GP or other essential services.
Everyone should be trying to follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.
For those who are over 70, have an underlying health condition or are pregnant, we strongly advise you to follow the above measures as much as you can, and to significantly limit your face-to-face interaction with friends and family if possible.
This advice is likely to be in place for some weeks.
Handwashing and respiratory hygiene
There are general principles you can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
• washing your hands more often - with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitiser when you get home or into work, when you blow your nose, sneeze or cough, eat or handle food
• avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
• cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin and wash your hands
• clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
What should you do if you develop symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)?
The same guidance applies to the general population and those at increased risk of severe illness form coronavirus (COVID-19). If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature and/or new and continuous cough), self-isolate at home for 7 days.
How can I get assistance with foods and medicines if I am reducing my social contacts?
Ask family, friends and neighbours to support you and use online services. If this is not possible, then the public sector, business, charities, and the general public are gearing up to help those advised to stay at home. It is important to speak to others and ask them to help you to make arrangements for the delivery of food, medicines and essential services and supplies, and look after your physical and mental health and wellbeing.
If you receive support from health and social care organisations, for example if you have care provided for you through the local authority or health care system, this will continue as normal. Your health or social care provider will be asked to take additional precautions to make sure that you are protected. The advice for formal carers is included in the Home care provision.
What should you do if you have hospital and GP appointments during this period?
We advise everyone to access medical assistance remotely, wherever possible. However, if you have a scheduled hospital or other medical appointment during this period, talk to your GP or clinician to ensure you continue to receive the care you need and consider whether appointments can be postponed.
What is the advice for visitors including those who are providing care for you?
You should contact your regular social visitors such as friends and family to let them know that you are reducing social contacts and that they should not visit you during this time unless they are providing essential care for you. Essential care includes things like help with washing, dressing, or preparing meals.
If you receive regular health or social care from an organisation, either through your local authority or paid for by yourself, inform your care providers that you are reducing social contacts and agree on a plan for continuing your care.
If you receive essential care from friends or family members, speak to your carers about extra precautions they can take to keep you safe.
It is also a good idea to speak to your carers about what happens if one of them becomes unwell. If you need help with care but you’re not sure who to contact, or if you do not have family or friends who can help you, you can contact your local council who should be able to help you.
What is the advice if I live with a vulnerable person?
If you live in a house with a vulnerable person refer to the household guidance on the Gov.uk website.
How do you look after your mental wellbeing?
Understandably, you may find that social distancing can be boring or frustrating. You may find your mood and feelings are affected and you may feel low, worried or have problems sleeping and you might miss being outside with other people.
At times like these, it can be easy to fall into unhealthy patterns of behaviour which in turn can make you feel worse. There are simple things you can do that may help, to stay mentally and physically active during this time such as:
• look for ideas of exercises you can do at home on the NHS website
• spend time doing things you enjoy – this might include reading, cooking, other indoor hobbies or listening to the radio or watching TV programmes
• try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals, drink enough water, exercise regularly, and try to avoid smoking, alcohol and drugs
• keep your windows open to let in fresh air, get some natural sunlight if you can, or get outside into the garden.
You can also go for a walk outdoors if you stay more than 2 metres from others.
Further information on looking after your mental health during this time is available.
What steps can you take to stay connected with family and friends during this time?
Draw on support you might have through your friends, family and other networks during this time. Try to stay in touch with those around you over the phone, by post, or online. Let people know how you would like to stay in touch and build that into your routine. This is also important in looking after your mental wellbeing and you may find it helpful to talk to them about how you are feeling.
Remember it is OK to share your concerns with others you trust and in doing so you may end up providing support to them too. Or you can use a NHS recommended helpline.
Advice for informal carers
If you are caring for someone who is vulnerable, there are some simple steps that you can take to protect them and to reduce their risk at the current time.
Ensure you follow advice on good hygiene such as:
• wash your hands on arrival and often, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser
• cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
• put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
• do not visit if you are unwell and make alternative arrangements for their care
• provide information on who they should call if they feel unwell, how to use NHS 111 online coronavirus service and leave the number for NHS 111 prominently displayed
• find out about different sources of support that could be used and access further advice on creating a contingency plan is available from Carers UK
• look after your own well-being and physical health during this time. Further information on this is available on Gov.uk.
16.03.2020 - Latest updates from the Government is that if anyone in the household has a high temperature or a new continuous cough then the whole family have to stay at home for 14 days and self-isolate. If your child has to be absent from school please inform us as normal. Any children who develop a high temperature or new cough while at school will be sent home and advised to follow the latest Government advice.
Self-isolation means staying in your home and not having any face-to-face social contact with anyone else during these 14 days.
At a meeting I attended with Public Health today they stated that for most people the COVID-19 virus will have only mild symptoms and will fully recover.
Schools have been directed today to remain open for now and to have plans in place to cover staff who may have to also self-isolate. I have a plan in place if this was to occur at our school so that your child still continues with their learning. Please be flexible with us as we try to comply with instructions from Public Health England and the Department for Education. Staff have worked hard to prepare work for your children should anyone be absent from school so that your child is not losing out. These packs can also be sent home if your child is self-isolating and we will also updates links to activities on the Class Pages section of this website.
Please be in touch if you wish to discuss any of this. Thank you for your continuing support during these unprecedented times.
16.03.2020 - The SPRING SING event at Whitley Bay Playhouse on Monday 16th March has been CANCELLED. If you purchased tickets, please return them to our school office and they will refund you the money. Thank you.
As we are sure you are aware, the coronavirus is widely being discussed and reported in the press and social media. The government is closely monitoring the spread of the coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad. At school, we receive daily updates from the Department for Education and Public Health England with advice on keeping our pupils, families and community safe.
Here at Wallsend St Peter's C of E Primary we are monitoring the situation very closely, taking all advice and following suggested actions. Remember that regularly washing hands with soap and water is still the best way to prevent catching the virus. If you develop a cough or sneeze, catch it in a tissue and put it in the bin.
CBBC Newsround have produced an excellent video about why coronavirus might not be as scary as you think. We watched this in assembly and have learned how to wash our hands properly. The link to this video with excellent information is:
The Department for Education has set up a helpline offering advice for anyone with education-related questions (including parents) from early years up to universities: 0800 046 8687. The helpline is in operation Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. You can also call NHS 111 for further advice.
Please follow this link to updated advice:
Current advice to schools, from the DFE and Public Health, is for adults and children to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser at these times:
- before leaving home
- on arrival at school
- after using the toilet
- after breaks and sporting activities
- before food preparation
- before eating any food including snacks
- before leaving school
Children and adults should take at least 20 seconds to wash their hands (singing 'Happy Birthday' twice can help to time it).
There is also general information for the public on this website:
Advice for schools at this time is there is no need to close unless directed to do so by Public Health England.
If we are directed to close by Public Health England, information will be sent out to all parents and carers. There will also be information on the Class Pages in our Children's section on this website for work set for your children to complete at home. Your child may also bring home some work to do if medical advisers suggest them to self-isolate. Please keep checking this page for more updates. Thank you.