Dear Parents and Carers,
Happy New Year. Not the start to the year that I wanted but I am very sorry to have to inform you that school will be closed to all children except Key worker children for the next two weeks. This is due to staff acing on advice given by their unions. They have been advised that it is unsafe to return to work teaching full classes on Monday. The unions have called on all primary schools to move to remote learning for the first two weeks of January except to vulnerable children and the children of key workers. Unions have written to employers, urging them to look at the advice of SAGE, the Government’s scientific advisory group, and are urging their members, on the basis of that science, to tell their head teacher that it is unsafe for them to be in school – in crowded buildings with no/limited social distancing, no PPE and inadequate ventilation.
I wanted to give you as much notice as possible hence this e-mail on a Sunday afternoon! I will write to you all again tomorrow to give details of remote learning etc. Please note we will be open from Tuesday to the children that accessed Key worker places in the summer term. If you require a place please let me know by contacting me on firstname.lastname@example.org at school tomorrow stating the name of your child/ren and the days you require. You may be asked to provide proof that you are a key worker. Your understanding and support with this matter is greatly appreciated.
The Local Authority have issued the following statement from Councillor Martin Gannon, Leader of Gateshead Council.
In light of the Government’s decision to keep primary schools in London and parts of the south east closed, we are concerned about the safety of the schools in Gateshead.
Obviously we are now also in tier 4, figures in the borough, along with the rest of the region, have risen significantly (Gateshead is up from 107 cases per 100,000 on 14 December to 397 per 100,000 of the population as of 1 January), and along with the impact of the new variant, the safety of our residents is paramount.
Our schools have been amazing throughout the pandemic, showing incredible resilience and all of our school staff have done everything they can to protect our young people and their families.
The national position may change once again, however if it does not and any Gateshead primary school feels unable to open, then we, as a Council, will fully support their decision to move to online learning.
Schools where possible will remain open to support vulnerable children and those whose parents are key workers.
We understand that this is a very difficult time for our parents, carers and school staff as well as all of our young people, but if we all work together we can help to reduce the infection rates in Gateshead.
We would ask that you check your individual school’s website for the latest information and any updates relating to closures.
Please use the e-mail address below to report any Covid information.
Dear parents and carers,
Hope you are all fit and well. I am really pleased to inform you that we are working on a full opening in September with all children from Y1 to Y6 returning on Tuesday 8th September. As you can imagine a lot of thought is going in to the organisation of this and I will be sending you some information by Friday then more information the week before we return, so you know what’s what!
Although some children have returned to school already, for many, the new autumn term will be their first time stepping into a classroom since lockdown began. Understandably, this may be a strange or worrying time for some children and their parents and carers.
Supporting children’s mental wellbeing during the return to school is a key priority for us. To help you support your child/children over the summer and prepare them for their return I am sending you a link to this useful toolkit - this toolkit, is focused on making sure the return to classrooms in the autumn is a mentally healthy one. The resource for parents and carers, features activities and tips to help you prepare your child for re-starting school in September. I will also post the link on the website.
PARENT/CARER UPDATE - APRIL 17th
I hope you all managed to have a good Easter and were able to spend time as a family together.
I doubt any of us could have predicted this situation and even now, things are constantly changing. As a Headteacher I do not receive any information from the government before you do, we are therefore constantly adapting to try and make life as manageable as possible for your families and for the staff in the school community.
May I say a huge thank you for your understanding and support over the last 4 weeks. It has been anything but business as usual and we are all still coming to terms with what the ‘new normal’ is. Headteachers across the country are dealing with challenges none of us have faced before in this time of national and international crisis. I am lucky to have had such fantastic support from staff, governors and families and am very grateful.
As parents and carers I know you will have many questions and in this letter I will try and answer what I can, based on the current situation.
When will school be open again?
In short, I don’t know. When schools were closed by the government, we were told that they were closing until further notice. My advice is to assume that school will remain closed at least the next 3 weeks as the lockdown has been extended. Schools will only reopen when it is safe to do so.
What should my child be doing in terms of school work?
I want to be absolutely clear that families must do what is best for them. We are living through difficult and unusual times and how you choose to organise your child’s day is entirely your decision. There is enough stress and worry in our society without you feeling that you have to suddenly become teachers and deliver hours and hours of home schooling every day. From Monday 20th April, teaching staff are preparing and uploading resources onto Class Dojo once again so work is available. Whilst I would encourage children to keep up with what work is being set where possible. Also, education does not have to be limited to just the work that is on Class Dojo. With children having more time at home, this is also the ideal opportunity to teach your child some useful life skills such as cooking, gardening, fastening their laces, telling the time, cleaning up etc!
The current government advice is very clear. Stay at home. I understand that having had your children at home for a number of weeks without them having their usual freedom of movement could be a challenge, but there is a reason why we are being asked to stay at home – to protect our NHS and to save lives. Could I also strongly advise all parents to ensure that they are monitoring their child’s internet use to check that they are safe online. In the parent’s section of our website we have lots of useful information to help you with this.
The main form of communication through school closure will be via the Parent Section of the school website, which is updated regularly. I would also recommend watching the daily briefing from the government each day as that is when new information is released.
If you are concerned about your child or we can help in any way, please give us a ring at school. I am in school Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mrs Roe our SENDCo and Mental Health First Aider is in every Thursday and Mrs Brooks our Deputy is in every Tuesday. We are here to help!
Your support over the last few weeks has been incredible, and I want to thank you for your understanding and patience. Having worked in the profession for 30 years I have never known anything like this, and I hope that we never have to live through times like these again.
But we must have hope and we must believe that life will get back to normal as soon as possible. As ever, you all remain in our thoughts and we look forward to welcoming your children back to school as soon as possible. We miss them!
Please take care of yourselves and each other.
EASTER HOLIDAY INFORMATION
Dear Parents/Carers and children,
Well that is two weeks done and dusted! Well done everyone for playing your part in helping keep everyone safe and beating this virus. We miss you all; the school is very quiet without you! We miss the daily hello and all your smiling faces. There’s no coats on pegs and the playground and field are empty. We miss the laughter and fun at lunchtimes and the buzz of a classroom full of children working hard. The welly racks are tidy though ha ha.
Over Easter you will have some fun tasks to do with your families. Teachers will not be setting daily work tasks during this time and will not be answering messages. It’s time for them to have a rest and enjoy time with their families too. Your teacher will post these ideas on Class Dojo today. Try and have fun together as a family over the Easter holiday period – read books together, play games, help in the garden, get fit together, bake a cake – the list is endless.
School will remain open for Key worker families over the Easter holidays but is closed to everyone Good Friday – Friday 10th April and Easter Monday – Monday 13th April.
Keep going, be good for your parents and carers and we will see you all as soon as possible.
I am so proud of you all. Take care.
For advice about keeping your child safe online see the E-Safety Section. Click on link below.
Please click on the following link to find resources to help with children's well being during this difficult time.
24th March 2020
Dear Parents and carers,
You will no doubt have heard the message from our government that the country is in partial lockdown and movement outside of your home is significantly restricted. Parents and carers who work as ‘critical workers’ or those of vulnerable children will have already been in touch with school and requested reduced provision. Those children can still access emergency childcare but I would ask those parents and carers to consider the following very seriously before sending their children into our emergency childcare tomorrow. Please note this is purely child care and not educational provision.
Reduced provision is only for vulnerable children and children of parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response.
Many parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response may be able to ensure their child is kept at home.
And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
I can not stress enough that these are extraordinary times and that requires extraordinary measures.
As the Head Teacher of this school I need to do all I can to ensure that I can provide emergency childcare for the small minority of parents and carers who are currently playing a significant role in fighting COVID-19. Please heed government advice and do not send children in unnecessarily.
Sending children into emergency childcare when it is not necessary will jeopardise our ability to support those parents who need it most.
The days, weeks and months ahead will be tricky and we need everyone to play their part.
Please let me do mine and please do not send your child in if they can be safely cared for at home.
Thank your you cooperation.
Dear Parents and Carers,
No doubt you heard the news yesterday evening that schools will be closed to most children from Monday but will remain open to children of key workers and some vulnerable children. As yet I have not received clarification of which workers and children this applies to. The wheels are in motion and I will receive clarification from the Local Authority later today. When I hear I will get in touch with you all immediately.
We are happy to support key worker’s families who provide a vital service helping our country in a time of need. Genuine life-saving stuff! The Ravensworth Terrace staff are positive and supportive, ready to step up to the challenge.
Our school motto ‘Together we are winners’ has never been more apt.
We understand that there will be children with virus symptoms in the coming weeks which may require them to be in isolation and, therefore, absent for two weeks (under new advice). We also know that parents/carers are conscious of the time being missed from school, especially when the children’s own symptoms can be minor. To support parents/carers we have organised access to work packs for each year group so that children can practise and rehearse aspects of learning previously taught.
You can click on the Home Learning Packs link above and print from home. Your child may need your support to complete some of the activities. There are answers in the packs to help you. Each pack contains English, Maths and Practical Activity ideas. Clearly other curriculum areas are equally important and you may decide to do some drawing, colouring in, painting, cooking and exercise too. GoNoodle (see link above) is a dance/PE website we use in school.
Taking time to read together and play board games could also be a way of alleviating boredom and having fun as a family.
There is no expectation that these activities are all completed, we just want to help support your child’s learning and help reduce the impact of this period of absence.If there are any queries, please feel free to contact us.
We are currently preparing for the possibility that the Government may close schools at some stage. We therefore want to ensure that our children’s learning is supported during this period. The likelihood is that if school does close, class teachers would set learning tasks and communicate with parents and carers through Class Dojo. It is therefore important that all families are signed up to Class Dojo and are able to access it. If you are having any difficulties or need support with this, get in touch with your child’s class teacher. Please also let us know if your child will not be able to access learning online and we will see if we can provide alternative tasks for them.
Please know that all of our staff are committed to making sure that learning continues and children have interesting, fun tasks to keep them engaged and happy. On behalf of the staff and governors, I would like to say how much we appreciate your help and understanding at this challenging time. We all need to rally round and support each other through this difficult time.
Today (16/03/20), the Department for Education and Public Health England have issued updated guidance for education settings on COVID-19. This guidance will assist staff in addressing COVID-19 in educational settings. This includes childcare, schools, further and higher educational institutions.
What you need to know:
Current advice remains in place: no education or children’s social care setting should close in response to a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case unless advised to do so by Public Health England.
The Chief Medical Officer has advised that the impact of closing schools on both children’s education and on the workforce would be substantial, but the benefit to public health may not be. Decisions on future advice to education or children’s social care settings will be taken based on the latest and best scientific evidence, which at this stage suggests children are a lower risk group.
We would like to share the following procedures that have been put in place from Monday 15 March 2020:
– Anyone entering school; children, staff and visitors must wash their hands using soap and water.
– All children and staff must wash their hands before lunch.
– All children and staff must wash their hands after lunch before going back into the classroom.
– All children must wash their hands after using the toilet.
– At least one window will be open in each classroom all day, please ensure children have a cardigan or jumper in case the room is cool.
Children with a new persistent cough or high temperature should not be in school for 7 days.
If we are concerned, a First Aider will take a child's temperatures if they become unwell and we will ask parents/carers to take them home if it is high. They will then be expected to remain off school for 7 days in-line with the current advice.
These measures have been put in place for the benefit of children and staff and it is very important that they are followed until further notice. Thank you for your support.
Coronavirus - what you need to know!
You can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus!
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline - this helpline has been set up to answer questions about the virus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline.