It has been so lovely to have our FP children back in school this week, it is great to hear laughter and learning going on! And we are hopeful that we can have the whole school back open in the very near future, but please be aware that we have not been given a firm date yet.
Just a few messages you may have missed this week.
Roadworks outside the bottom gate at school may cause some problems for traffic. KS2 pupils will still be able to access through the gates on foot.
£100 fines come into force from Monday 1st if you are smoking on school grounds or in playgrounds
Although we are back in school the same covid restrictions apply regarding not meeting up, having playdates or sleepovers. Can I refer you back to the message from Claire Homard from before half term- When children chat about things that are happening outside of school to their teachers, which is quite normal, we hear stories of some families not abiding by the rules and are socially mixing. These stories are supported by information gathered by the Test, Trace and Protect Team who follow up with calls to people who have tested positive who are asked to identify their close contacts. Breaches of the guidance helps the virus spread. Where a school has strong evidence that families who are accessing face to face provision are not following the guidance, the offer of that place may be withdrawn. The Council is asking for everyone to play their part and follow the guidelines to keep our children and our school workforces safe.
And finally a big thank you to all those foundation Parents who have tried to synchronise their arrival times at school this week. As you are aware, we are asking that you arrive at a specified time to avoid the chances of transmission when the area is busy. With an eye to the junior classes coming back, it is so important to arrive at your given time, not early or late, so that we do not have large numbers of people waiting. Even by arriving 3 minutes early you are having to stand and wait and therefore increasing the likelihood of the transmission of the virus. Please help us to keep the pupils, our staff and the whole community safe by arriving on time.
I hope you have a lovely, and safe, weekend.
Dear Parent / Guardian,
As part of the return to face to face learning for pupils we are introducing a number of additional measures to provide an added level of assurance for parents and staff. This includes the introduction of twice weekly testing for staff members. All those working in schools will have access to Lateral Flow Devices (LFDs). This enables them to undertake a test for coronavirus at home twice a week. The LFDs provide a result within 30 minutes and don’t require a laboratory to process. The testing will take place on either Sunday and Wednesday evenings or Monday and Thursday mornings – schools have made their own decisions on when to test. If a member of staff tests positive and has been in contact with the children within the last 2 days, the whole of the contact group will need to self-isolate. This means that you, as parents / carers, will be contacted advising you that your child must self-isolate immediately. In the meantime, the staff member will be tested again using a laboratory test (a PCR test). If this second test is also positive, the self-isolation will need to continue as advised by Public Health Wales. If the PCR test is negative, the school will contact you to arrange for the children to return to school the next day. We will ensure that in those instances of a positive test that we can get a message to you as soon as possible. These arrangements are to provide additional assurances of the safety of your child.
Claire Homard Chief Officer, Education & Youth
As I am sure many of you will have seen, parts of Englefield Road and Fulbrooke will be closed for up to three days starting next Monday 1st March. I have spoken with the contractors and they are confident that we will still be able to have pedestrian access to the school through the bottom gates, but we do not recommend that you try to bring your car through this way as, at times, it is likely to be fully blocked.
Can I ask those of you who are walking to school (KS2 Bottom entrance) to use either the path next to the school to come down Fulbrooke, or the path that is the same side as the park to come down Englefield?
Can I ask those of you who need to drive to school, for whichever entrance, to be aware access will be severely restricted whilst work is going on and therefore not to attempt to park between the 'road closed' signs between the middle gate and Englefield Road.
As a staff we will be vigilant, but please help us to keep the pupils safe by being aware of the road closure and the chaos it may cause, and by taking actions to avoid bringing your card into this area whilst closures are in place.
Thanks in advance for your help with this matter.
As you will be aware, COVID-19 continues to pose a significant risk to the health of the population and Wales remains in a Tier 4 lockdown.
Tight restrictions remain in place in all aspects of daily life including for schools. Schools are directed to only provide face to face learning for those learners identified as vulnerable and those whose parents are defined as critical workers. Face to face education is only to be offered where no suitable alternative provision could be made for children to remain safely at home.
Alert level 4 means that:
This whole experience can be very disruptive for critical worker parents who really need to rely on this provision for their child/children to enable them to do their job – jobs which we will all depend on such as frontline healthcare workers and social care workers.
When children chat about things that are happening outside of school to their teachers, which is quite normal, we hear stories of some families not abiding by the rules and are socially mixing. These stories are supported by information gathered by the Test, Trace and Protect Team who follow up with calls to people who have tested positive who are asked to identify their close contacts. Breaches of the guidance helps the virus spread.
Where a school has strong evidence that families who are accessing face to face provision are not following the guidance, the offer of that place may be withdrawn.
The Council is asking for everyone to play their part and follow the guidelines to keep our children and our school workforces safe.
Claire Homard, Chief Officer Education & Youth
I am sure many of you will have, like me, been listening to Kirsty Williams, Education Minister, this lunchtime and her announcement that schools will be opening up to Foundation Phase pupils in the week beginning 22nd Feb. We are so pleased that we will be able to increase the numbers we have in school and we can't wait to see the smiling faces of our youngest pupils as they come in.
As yet we have not been given any details of how this will happen but we are hopeful that we will be able to give you a clear plan by the middle of next week. We can tell you that KS2 hub childcare will continue after half term (we are not open during the half term period for any children) and that on line learning will be provided for KS2 pupils from the week beginning 22nd, with a new 2 week topic being available both on line and one paper.
Thank you for your patience as we work with the Local Authority to ensure all children get the best care and education we can give in these most difficult of times.
Mr Cass, Headteacher