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Covid-19 Update

Information regarding the spread of 'coronavirus' Covid-19, and its impact on Black Firs School 17th march 2020

This news link will be updated as regularly as possible with information regarding the spread of Covid-19, and its impact on our School.

The Government has issued the following general guidance to parents and carers regarding the impending school closures

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

Parents and carers are advised to review this guidance alongside specific guidance issued by Black Firs here to ensure they are clear about how school provision will operate from Monday 23rd March.

Information on our Distance Learning arrangements is available here too 

School closure from Monday 23rd March until further notice

Wednesday afternoon the Government have confirmed that schools will be closed to the vast majority of children from Monday 23rd March until further notice.
 
However, the announcement indicated that the children of key workers and vulnerable children will be expected to attend their current school from Monday 23rd March, and that schools will remain open to supervise these children for the foreseeable future.
 
We are currently awaiting a clear definition of key workers, and also how the provision of education to the children of key workers and vulnerable children will operate in practice beyond next week.

We will be contacting parents shortly to gather further information on those in key worker roles and to confirm which children are expected to attend school from Monday 23rd.
 
Summer examinations cancelled

The Education Secretary has confirmed that this year’s summer examinations and national curriculum assessments - end of key stage 1; key stage 2 assessments; yr1 phonics screening check; yr4 multiplication tables check - will not take place.

We are currently awaiting further information regarding how grades will be awarded and the impact of this decision on children’s progression to the next stage of their education, work or training and will provide an update to parents as soon as we have received further information from the government.

School remains open as usual

As advised by the Government, School will continue to operate so long as we have enough Staff to do so safely. Children should attend unless they present the main symptoms. See stay at home guidance below:

Yesterday, 16th March 2020, the Prime Minister held the first of a new series of daily briefings on the Covid-19 outbreak.

14 days self-isolation if a household member is exhibiting symptoms

The government is now advising that anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should stay at home for 14 days.

It is therefore important that students exhibiting or with a household member exhibiting these symptoms do not come into school, and parents follow their school’s absence reporting procedures, clearly indicating in their communication with school the reasons for their child’s absence.

In the light of latest advice a number of events are being cancelled. Sporting tournaments which the School were involved with have been cancelled. Otherwise, activities will continue as normal until such time as Government advice changes.

It will not be possible, at this moment, for teachers to provide work for children being isolated at home, however our aim is to provide these resources in the near future. In the meantime, you are encouraged to make use of available resources such as Khan Academy or Scratch or Twinkl or BusyThings. We have just bought subscriptions to EdShed and will make logins available soon via ParentMail. We have SATs companion working but this is for yr6 only who have been shown how to access this.

In School, we will continue to encourage regular handwashing, and the use of tissues to

"Catch It, Bin It, Kill It"

Any further available information will be provided on this page as and when it is available. Up-to-date information on the actions taken by Public Health England are available on their website:

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

School closures may be necessary

The UK chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has confirmed that school closures may be necessary to support efforts to control the virus’s spread. However there was no indication during the brief as to when these may come into force.

DfE Coronavirus Helpline

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

• email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

The opening hours are 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday).