There is a new strain of the COVID-19 virus which spreads even faster.
With the emergence of a new and highly transmissible strain of COVID-19, it is more important than ever to continue to encourage behaviours to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
* Around 1 in 3 people have no symptoms and could be spreading it without realising it.
* Everyone should act as if they have the virus, even if they do not show any symptoms.
* Anyone can spread coronavirus. Remember: Hands. Face. Space.
Although RBWM is in Tier 4, the Government has decided that all primary schools in our area - including All Saints CE Junior School - must return, as normal, from next week.
During the Autumn Term, we were successful in managing the risk factors in school to minimise infections in the pupil population until we got to the end of the term and the spread of the new COVID-19 strain. In the last week of term and at the start of the holidays, two Year Group bubbles burst due to positive tests amongst our children - one child in each year.
To try and avoid similar problems from next week, I am heightening our COVID-19 precautions:
* All adults (including any child in Year 7 or above) visiting us - even if this is outdoors only in the school grounds - must wear a face-covering while on the school site.
* Even when wearing face-coverings, adults must not get within 2m of each other.
* On site meetings are not possible - conversations can be held by phone, Microsoft Teams or by ClassDojo direct-messaging.
* Conversations in classroom doorways are not permissible - please converse with your child's teacher by remote methods only.
* Classroom staff are being directed to wear face-coverings anywhere on site.
Otherwise, the heightened ventilation and cleaning regimes - which we have had in place since the start of the pandemic - as well as hand-washing, will continue.
While the guidelines do not recommend children wearing face-coverings, my approach has always been that - if parents want their children to - they can. However, they cannot be worn when engaging in physical activity and there are strict rules on how they are to be removed and stored - please see the end of this message (+) for more details.
Also, I am receiving messages from concerned parents who plan to keep their children off while they see how things develop and want us to provide remote learning in the interim. While I understand and respect the sentiments behind this, I will not be directing already overstretched teachers to provide remote learning under the circumstances where parents elect to keep children out of school as a precautionary measure. Government regulations state that remote learning should be provided when a child is officially told to isolate or quarantine and these are the only circumstances I will direct teachers to undertake the provision - consequently, my position is that we do expect children (unless isolating or quarantined) to be in school from 5th January 2021.
(+) As mentioned earlier, here is the DfE guidance re face-coverings:
Safe wearing and removal of face coverings
Schools should have a process for removing face coverings when those who use face coverings arrive at school, and when face coverings are worn at school in certain circumstances. This process should be communicated clearly to pupils and staff.
Safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and the face covering should be replaced carefully.
Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing it and they must dispose of temporary face coverings in a ‘black bag’ waste bin (not recycling bin) or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom.