At this time of year, as we move into the autumn and winter months, coughs and fevers are fairly common - while they may be a sign of regular cold or flu, they could also be COVID-19 symptoms.
The main symptoms of COVID are:
* a high temperature (fever)
* a new, continuous cough
* a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Other cold and flu symptoms (such as a runny nose or a sore throat) are NOT usually COVID-19 symptoms. Where non-COVID symptoms are light, school attendance can continue. If a heavy cold or flu develops, children should be kept off until they recover - as would be the case normally. Please do not attempt to get a COVID-19 test for runny noses or sore throats if other COVID-19 symptoms are not present.
When any member of your household has COVID-19 symptoms, you will ALL need to self-isolate (more details are here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/ )
During any period of isolation or quarantine, school will provide your child with online learning via ClassDojo and - assuming they are well enough - they are asked to engage with the learning for every in-school day they miss.
Class Teachers will endeavour to provide your child with material that is relevant to them, covering as much of the day's work as is possible to deliver remotely.
In the first 48 hours of any COVID-related absence, children and parents should expect the learning material to be quite generic for the child's Year Group - it is not always feasible that specific materials exist to match your child's individual remote learning needs from the outset: they may have to be created and this will take time.
During a normal day, Class Teachers are working with the children they have with them in school and so they will not be able to give immediate help with work in portfolios or to answer direct messages. Consequently, pupils and parents are asked to be patient while Class Teachers manage the demands of in-class and remote students, with updates to ClassDojo being most likely after school hours.
In the event that Class Teachers are having to isolate, they will endeavour - subject to their own health status - to maintain ClassDojo while providing lesson material to be delivered by other colleagues in their bubbles. This means there will be times when Teaching Assistants deliver classroom learning under the remote direction of Class Teachers. When this arises, it will not always be possible to provide children in class with learning support as there may well be no additional adults to deliver it. In the event of reduced staffing numbers, we will prioritise giving support to those children with EHC Plans.
When anyone (whether pupil or staff member) tests positive in a bubble, appropriate action will be taken, according to Government directives. Under certain circumstances, this might mean collapsing a bubble and isolating all of its members; at other times, greater parts of the school or the whole school may be included. In all cases we will follow the expert guidance of the authorities, including Public Health England, and will keep you posted through our regular communication channels.
Please remember that a great deal of this is precautionary: our experience is that the majority of COVID-19 tests come back negative. While being asked to isolate may well give rise to some anxious moments, try not to worry. School will support as best it can and we will always try and direct your to the best sources of help and information. Together, we'll get through this.
Stay safe; keep happy; be kind.