Coronavirus update

Dear Parents / Carers

As we are all well aware, these are difficult times; as a school community we are working hard in an ever changing situation.  We thank you for the sensible and caring attitude you are all showing towards each other and our school.

As you’re probably aware, the government’s guidance on the coronavirus has changed from the ‘contain’ phase to one of ‘delaying’ the spread of the virus.  I am writing to let you know what we are doing at Blanford Mere in light of this, and what we expect from all of you, to help make sure our school community keeps safe and calm.

We’d like to reassure you that we are taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government and Dudley Local Authority.

What’s the current situation?

  • The school remains open – this is the current official guidance we’ve been given
  • All school functions continue to run as normal, including Breakfast and After School club and activity clubs (where possible)
  • Currently the following symptoms, no matter how mild, should be taken very seriously, and you should follow the isolation guidance if EITHER of these apply to ANYONE in your household.
  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back

    A new continuous cough – coughing repeatedly.

  • On Monday 16th March, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation. This now means that everyone who lives in the home should self-isolate.
  • If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • If you live with others and you or another member of the household 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.
  • The current, full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance.
  • As a school we have children in each year group who are currently not in school following these new regulations. At this moment in time we have no confirmed cases of Covid 19 amongst staff or children.
  • At present, we have enough staff to keep all of the school open, and to continue to provide teaching for all year groups whilst maintaining the safety of our children. This situation is changing all the time, and we will use our website and notifications to update you as we need to. Please ensure that you can access the School Life App – if you are unable to access please contact the school office on 01384 818365 for assistance.
  • If your child is unwell, report this as you would normally do by calling the school.
  • We’ll keep you up to date with any changes to the current situation and changes to any activities in school.
  • What we’re doing to protect and support pupils and staff

  • Reducing the amount of time spent in assemblies, carpet time etc
  • Sending any children home that are experiencing any symptoms
  • Increasing the level of cleaning taking place in key areas
  • Reducing the number of outside visitors to the school
  • What we need you to do

  • If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possibleby telephone
    • Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a scary time and we should make sure children feel supported. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety
    • Come and collect your child straight away, if we ask you to (we’ll contact you if they become ill with either a temperature or a new, continuous cough)
    • Children who are not currently attending school, should access the following at home so that they do not miss out on valuable learning opportunities: Mathletics, TT Rockstars, Numbots (Year 6 - only Monster SATs) and Spelling Shed. Children should also continue to read regularly, practice spellings and be given writing opportunities at home. E.g. Diary of the day, write the next chapter of your reading book, book review, letter to a friend/ neighbour etc. We hope that this is of help in supporting your child's learning.
    • What happens if the school has to close?

      We’ll only close if we’re either officially advised to do so or we don’t have enough staff to run the school.

      In either case, we will:

    • Notify you via letter on our school website or via our School Life App
    • Send out regular updates to advise you when school will reopen.
    • Provide information about how to access the work set for your child on a variety of learning platforms and what you can do to support them.
    • Please keep in mind that we’re only sending out this information to help the school community prepare. There are currently no plans to close.

      If you have any questions

      Please consult the:

    • School office, if you have any questions about our response to this issue
      • NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible before calling 111
      • Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools
      • Teachers have been working hard to ensure that there are opportunities for you to continue working with your children in the event of you being at home together for whatever reason, both short or longer term. 

        We also appreciate that internet access is not always possible for everyone.  Reading, board games and family interaction will be incredibly important at this time, and we do not expect families to put themselves under extra undue pressure at a time when they may also be juggling a balance of health, work and home life.  As a school we will do what we can to keep you all updated with relevant learning support resources.

        It’s a difficult time and I know you may be worried about the impact this might have on our school and community. It’s important we keep each other safe and talk about these events to help with any anxiety our children may have.

        Thank you for your continued support.

        Mrs Miller

        A School Life Website
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        School Life app download