Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

4th May 2020

Guidance – What parents and carers need to know about schools, colleges and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak:

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

16th April 2020

Advice for Everyone from the NHS – https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

Parents and Carers

Don’t forget the 5 ways to look after your mental health during #coronavirus; connect with others, help and support others, talk about your worries, look after your physical wellbeing and manage your information intake. For more tips visit www.durham.gov.uk/covid19mentalhealth

It’s normal for children to feel anxious during these uncertain times. Try to spend some time as a family and visit www.durham.gov.uk/covid19mentalhealth for some activities to do together.

There’s a lot of information to take in at the moment. If it’s all getting too much for you, try and limit your media and information intake. For more tips visit www.durham.gov.uk/covid19mentalhealth

Your children will be looking to you during these odd times, try to react in a way that doesn’t make them worry. For tips on how to ease anxiety and talk to your kids about everything visit www.durham.gov.uk/covid19mentalhealth

You can access a free online course on recovery college online which can help you to cope during the pandemic. It contains information about current guidance, as well as exploring how you might be feeling, what you can do to support your mental health and how you can support other people, including children and young people.

Don’t forget to always follow government guidance, you’re children will be looking to you for reassurance. Visit www.durham.gov.uk/covid19mentalhealth

Children

If you are worried about anything during these odd times, don’t be afraid to speak to your parent or carer. They may be able to help you understand what is happening and stop you worrying

Have you read something that you weren’t sure about or it didn’t sound very nice? Speak to your parent or carer about it. They can help you understand and worry less

The Recovery College Online has resources for children, young people, parents and carers that can help you and your family stay positive while things are different.  Ask your parent or carer for help if you need it.

If you’re feeling worried or scared about everything right now, don’t worry this is normal. However, if it stops you enjoying the things you normally love please speak to an adult about your worries. You’re not alone.

There’s a lot of information at the minute and adults are talking a lot about #coronavirus. If you’ve got questions about it, don’t be afraid to ask. Visit www.durham.gov.uk/covid19mentalhealth

19th March, 2020

The local headteachers have published a letter regarding provision for children of key workers and the most vulnerable.

Download the  School closure letter

17th March, 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Coronavirus update

Following the Government update yesterday, we have been reviewing our procedures.           We’d like to reassure you that we are continuing to take all of the necessary steps to protect our community. 

What’s the current situation?

The school remains open – this is the current official guidance we’ve been given. However, if staffing drops to a level where we cannot maintain the safety and wellbeing of the school community, we may be forced to close some, or all classes.

Pupils should attend unless they, or anyone they live with, has any of the following symptoms:

  •   Continuous, new cough and/or
  •   a temperature

If the above symptoms are displayed, you should stay at home for at least 14 days, to avoid spreading the infection outside the home. If you are unsure, ring 111.

All internal school functions continue to run as normal, including all wrap around care e.g. breakfast club and the whole school after school club. However, if staffing levels drop, we may have to cancel or shorten the wrap-around care.

We will no longer attend any events outside of school or hold events that invite others into our environment in the close proximity of our children.  In addition, in order to limit footfall into school, we are cancelling all extra-curricular clubs from today. This includes Tennis, Lego club, Football, Fun club and Dance. Booster classes after school for Year 6 and Year 2 will also be cancelled with immediate effect.  

Currently SATs, Phonics and Times Tables Testing are still scheduled to run on the same dates in the Summer Term. 

What we need you to do

If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible

Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a worrying 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).

 Ensure that lunch boxes and water bottles are thoroughly cleaned, inside and out, daily.

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:

Alert parents to closure via:

  • Text
  • Email
  • Confirmation on the school website: www.stcuthbertscrook.org.uk
  • Confirmation on the Local Authority school closures webpage www.durham.gov.uk/schoolclosures

We would let you know when the school would reopen using the methods above. Teachers are in the process of organising work and access to websites to support children’s learning in the event of closure. Details of these will be shared as the need arises. 

If you need advice

Please consult the:

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

Finally, if you are worried about your child in these unusual circumstances, parents are invited to make their own decision whether to send their child to school. Whatever your decision, you will have our full support. We have a duty of care to protect the children, the staff and all of our families.

Thank you for your continued support

Yours faithfully,

Miss McElhone (Head Teacher) T. Devereux (Chair of Governors)


16th March, 2020

Dear parent/carer,

I am writing to update you about the school’s current position regarding Coronavirus.

We take the health and safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff very seriously, and, as such, we want to reassure you that we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education (DfE).

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Following this advice we are: 

  • Washing hands at least 5 times a day.
  • Catching coughs and sneezes in tissues.
  • Cancelling larger gatherings i.e Mothers’ Day tea, Easter Fayre, St.Cuthbert’s Day Mass and Yr3,4 and 5 Easter celebration.
  • We have restructured lunchtimes to ensure smaller groups are eating in the hall together.
  • We have  increased cleaning and disinfecting of areas that children may touch such as door handles.
  • Working with the children to ensure a high standard of cleanliness.
  • Extra cleaning and disinfecting of equipment that children use. 

 

Planned Visits:

  • No school trips will be planned for and those already organised will be cancelled until further notice.
  •    France Trip – we are taking advice from the International office and will keep parents involved up to date. At the moment if we cancel, parents will be liable for the full cost of the trip, therefore we are awaiting a ‘ban’ on travel rather than advice. 

If circumstances arise where the school must close, we will inform you in our usual way through text, website and letter.

We are currently making plans for supporting your child’s education should a closure become necessary and will keep you informed on this. 

Prevent the spread of infection

Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often – with soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then place the tissue in a bin and then wash your hands
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
  • If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment

The most recent UK government advice (12.03.2020) is that anyone with a new continuous cough and a high temperature should self-isolate for seven days. 

If you or your children have returned from abroad in the last 14 days, please follow the link below for advice about category 1 and 2 countries. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas/covid-19-specified-countries-and-areas-with-implications-for-returning-travellers-or-visitors-arriving-in-the-uk

Symptoms to look out for

If you’ve returned from any of the category 1 or 2 areas or countries, look out for the following symptoms:

Cough

Difficulty in breathing

Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses. Please see the link below for information about self-isolation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-self-isolation-for-patients-undergoing-testing/advice-sheet-home-isolation

  • Call NHS 111 immediately for an assessment (or 999 if you require emergency medical attention)

As I mentioned, we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the DfE, but this is being updated regularly in response to the changing situation. We will monitor and follow the national guidance as it is updated and would urge you to do the same.

If you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school office in the usual manner.

Thank you for your support

Yours sincerely

M.McElhone

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information: