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Covid-19 Information

Below you can see all information from 2020 onwards. Anything you cannot see then please contact the school office.

 

PREVIOUS GUIDANCE 2020/2021/2022

Change in Guidance - 01/04/2022

Dear Parents/Guardians

I wanted to write to you following changes to the National guidance surrounding COVID-19 testing and isolation, which comes into effect from today.

In summary the key points are:

  • Free testing for most people ceased on Thursday 31 March. There are exceptions to this, based on medical vulnerabilities and for certain occupations but for most students and parents, this is not the case. School cannot provide Lateral Flow Device test kits to any family without instruction from our local health protection team, local authority or director of public health.
  • Children who are unwell and have a high temperature should stay at home and avoid contact with other people. They can go back to school when they no longer have a high temperature and they are well enough to attend.
  • Children who have tested positive for COVID 19, are advised to isolate for a period of 3 days or until they no longer have a high temperature.

If your child is unwell and has a high temperature then they should not attend. If a child develops a high temperature or starts to feel unwell whilst at school we will request they are collected as soon as possible.

Could I please ask that all contact details are up to date and contact the school office if there are any changes to telephone numbers etc.

Thank you for your continued support on these matters.

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

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Latest Advice Re-Testing - 21/09/2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

It has come to our attention that children who are close contacts of someone who is positive for Covid are being given the advice to self-isolate until PCR tests results come through. We have taken advice from the Local Outbreak Team and they have confirmed that this advice is incorrect. As long as children do not have any symptoms they can return to school whilst they await their results. The local Outbreak team are going to address this misinformation.

Many Thanks

Mrs A Elwell

Covid-19 Update - 20/09/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Following on from my recent communication regarding an increase in illness in school and the reintroduction of pupils attending school in PE kits on the days when they have PE, I feel I need to update you on the current situation within school. As of this afternoon we have 20 positive COVID pupil cases and 2 positive members of staff. Additionally, we have 25 pupils who are symptomatic and awaiting results.

As you are aware school is no longer responsible for track and tracing following a positive COVID cases, however we feel that to ensure parents are made aware of possible contact in a timely manner, we will recommence notifications. The advice now recommends that pupils who have had contact with a positive case have a PCR test and only isolate if they are, or become symptomatic. We do ask if your child becomes unwell with any possible symptoms you book a PCR test and inform school as soon as possible. Please do not rely on lateral flow tests if your child is symptomatic, or has been a close contact, as we have seen children test negative on a lateral flow test, yet positive on a PCR test.

I have been in contact with the Worcestershire Local Outbreak Team this morning who confirmed that we are already taking all the necessary precautions that they would advise and that this situation is mirrored in many of the Worcestershire schools.

Following a meeting with the Trust this afternoon, we have made the decision to reintroduce the following measures:

  • Masks should be worn in communal areas by all staff and pupils from all year groups, unless exempt.
  • Extracurricular clubs are suspended until we feel it is safe to resume.
  • Visitors to school should be by appointment only and visitors will be asked to wear masks
  • Gatherings such as indoor assemblies are postponed and will now take place within the form classroom.
  • Pupils are asked to wear school PE kit to school on the days they have their PE lesson to eradicate the need to use changing rooms.
  • Close contact notifications will be sent out via Parentmail.

Please be reassured that we are doing everything we can to ensure the safety of our school community whilst continue to deliver a high quality education.

As always thank you for your continued support

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

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Lateral Flow Testing YEAR 7 - 30/08/2021

Dear Parents/Carers

Further to the ParentMail sent out on the 7th July regarding the children's return in September. All Key stage 3 pupils will receive two on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart on their return to school.

A consent form for the permission of testing is located within the ‘Forms’ section on ParentMail, please complete the permission form as soon as possible if you haven't done so already.

First Lateral Flow Test - Thursday 2nd September

7WW - 09.30 - 09.55

7MMO - 09.55. 10.20

7ALK - 10:20 - 10:45

7PM - 10.45 - 11.10

7JD - 11.25 - 11.50

7MH - 11.50 - 12.15

Second Lateral Flow Test - Monday 6th September

7WW - 09.10 - 09.35

7MMO - 09.35. 10.00

7ALK - 10:20 - 10:45

7PM - 10.45 - 11.10

7JD - 11.25 - 11.50

7MH - 11.50 - 12.15

Children must arrive no earlier than their allotted start time and not before, children will be met at the pedestrian entrance to the school car park on Watt Close and after their test will be expected to return home

Year 7 then start school from Tuesday 7th September.

Please be advised that there will be no access to the school car park for cars to ensure the safety of the children arriving.

Many thanks in advance

School office

Lateral Flow Testing YEAR 8 - 30/08/2021

Dear Parents/Carers

Further to the ParentMail sent out on the 7th July regarding the children's return in September. All Key stage 3 pupils will receive two on-site lateral flow device tests, 3 to 5 days apart on their return to school.

A consent form for the permission of testing is located within the ‘Forms’ section on ParentMail, please complete the permission form as soon as possible if you haven't done so already.

First Lateral Flow Test - Friday 3rd September

8MC - 10.15 - 10.40

8KLN - 10.40 - 11.05

8JCD - 11.05 - 11.30

8NGE - 11.30 - 12.05

8CSS - 12.05 - 12.30

8MF - 12.30 - 13.05

Second Lateral Flow Test - Tuesday 7th September

8CSS - 09.10 - 09.35

8MF - 09.35 - 10.00

8MC - 10.15 - 10.40

8KLN - 10.40 - 11.05

8JCD - 11.05 - 11.30

8NGE - 11.30 - 12.05

Children must arrive no earlier than their allotted start time and not before, children will be met at the pedestrian entrance to the school car park on Watt Close and after their test will be expected to return home.

Please be advised that there is no access to the school carpark for cars to ensure the safety of the children arriving.

Year 8 then start school from Wednesday 8th September.

Many thanks in advance

School office

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Testing During May Half Term - 28/05/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Please can you encourage your child/ren in Year 7 & in Year 8 to continue to test twice a week even if they do not have symptoms and even throughout half term. Most importantly, please ensure they test the Sunday before returning to school.

Around 1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and are spreading the virus without knowing. Recording all test results helps scientists stay ahead of the virus by spotting new outbreaks quickly and advising how to respond. The result of the rapid test could be positive, negative or even void. But whatever it is, it should be reported straight away, every time through NHS track and trace.

Important for all Years: If your child tests positive before Monday 31st May, please inform the school immediately by contacting us at [email protected] after this date, please continue to inform the NHS track and trace as you usually would.

Thank you for your continued support and we hope you have a wonderful half term.

Kind regards

The Office Team

Information from Worcestershire Children's First - 17/05/2021

We are pleased to report that since your children returned to school in March, Covid-19 case numbers in schools have remained low, meaning the majority of children and young people have been able to remain in school.

The safety and wellbeing of Worcestershire’s children, young people, families and staff has remained our highest priority and we continue to work with schools to review the measures they have put in place and enable pupils to get the most out of their school experience.
You will have seen the national announcements and revisions in arrangements from the 17th May. There has been very little change to the national schools’ guidance ahead of next week, however we thought it would be helpful if we wrote to you to highlight the continued expectations in relation to Covid-19 on school sites.
We must continue to remain vigilant, particularly in light of new and emerging variants. This will help us keep children and young people in schools for the remainder of the Summer Term.
Face Coverings in Secondary Schools.

The most significant change to the national schools’ guidance is that from the 17th May face coverings will no longer be recommended for pupils in classrooms or communal areas. Face coverings will also no longer be recommended for staff in classrooms. In all schools the guidance continues to recommend that face coverings should be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). The guidance also states that the reintroduction of face coverings for pupils, students or staff may be advised for a temporary period in response to particular localised outbreaks, including variants of concern. We welcome your continued support in relation to this.

The requirement to wear a face covering on public transport and dedicated home to school transport remains unchanged and is mandatory for children aged 11 and over unless exempt.
There is no national or local recommendation that children in primary schools wear a face covering within the setting.

Lateral Flow testing (LFT)
It continues to be the national and local expectation that secondary age pupils will take a LFT twice a week, and we urge you to ensure your secondary-age child is tested. LFT continues to be an important tool in managing infection rates and reducing transmission on an ongoing basis. It regularly identifies cases of people who who are not experiencing symptoms, and therefore reduces transmission and the number of children and young people that may need to isolate.

There is no national recommendation for primary-age pupils to have a LFT. You will be aware, however, that we have extended our LFT Community sites to be able to test children and young people from age 2, and we highly recommend that you do this. You will also be aware that home test kits can be collected from local collection points to be used. Further information is available on LFT Community sites, and accessing home test kits at:
https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/info/20870/coronavirus_covid-19_symptoms_and_how_to_get_a_test/2344/coronavirus_covid-19_i_do_not_have_symptoms
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/rapid-lateral-flow-testing-for-households-and-bubbles-of-school-pupils-and-staff

Other arrangements
There is little other change to the national schools’ guidance ahead of next week, and we are not expecting further changes until the 21st June. Schools will therefore be continuing with their system of controls to manage infection rates such as staggered start and finish times, one-way systems and expectation that parents remain socially distanced and wear face coverings on site. Schools will also be continuing to arrange children and young people in groups / bubbles, and managing parents’ interactions and pupil transition virtually where possible.
We will continue to review the position in line with the national guidance and local infection rates including variants to prevent any spikes in infection rates prior to the Summer holidays. We are hopeful that schools will be able to resume more normal arrangements from September. We will obviously write to you again ahead of the 21st June to confirm the position.

General controls
As a parent, carer or guardian you can continue to support your school by ensuring you continue to adhere to the following public health guidance:
• Keep 2 metres apart when dropping off and collecting children from school. Where it is physically difficult to socially distance it is recommended that face coverings should be worn.
• If you or your child has any of the three following symptoms, however mild, you should keep your child off school and book a test:
o a high temperature;
o a new, continuous cough;
o loss or change to your sense of smell or taste.
• If anyone in your household develops COVID-19 symptoms all of the household must self-isolate until a test result is received. Please inform your school immediately about test results.
• If you or your child are required to self-isolate you must not leave your home, not even for a daily walk. If you need support whilst isolating you can contact our Here 2 Help service at: www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help
• Reinforcing with your children how to wash hands, make space and minimise contact
If you would like any more help and advice around COVID-19, please go to: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus or visit https://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/

Many thanks for your continued support in helping keep COVID-19 rates down in Worcestershire and helping schools to be as safe as possible.

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Easter Arrangements - 30/03/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

As we come to the end of Spring Term I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our Parents, Staff, Pupils and wider school community for all their support over what has been a somewhat different and challenging term.

I wish to take this opportunity to remind parents and guardians that should your child receive a positive COVID test result and they have been to school within 48 hrs of the symptoms starting you must inform the school immediately via email [email protected]. This is to enable school to Track and Trace any pupils your child has been in contact with. It is imperative during this current climate that we endeavour to keep ourselves and families safe during the Easter period.

Please can we ask that if you receive a text message to view your ParentMail that you do so. Only ParentMails that require immediate attention will be sent out. The school are required to complete Track and Trace up to and including Monday 5th April 2021, if your child receives a positive result after this time you will need to contact NHS Track and Trace.

We have received further guidance from the DfE regarding Lateral Flow Tests. Following the success of the asymptomatic testing programme on the return to school, it is vital to keep testing at home throughout the Easter holidays and into the summer term. Therefore, we are asking children to continue to test twice a week at home and report positive, negative or void results using the NHS Test and Trace website. In addition, we request that children perform a lateral flow test before returning to school for the summer term, either the night before, or morning of, the first day back to find and isolate any positive cases.

We will be welcoming the children back to school after the Easter break on Monday 19th April 2021. Children will have the option to return to school wearing Summer uniform if they prefer, this consists of short sleeved shirts (not polo shirts) with a tie, open neck white blouses (not polo shirt) without ties for the girls and black tailored shorts for boys and girls. Children can continue to wear the winter uniform if they wish.

May I wish you and your families a happy and restful Easter break.

Stay safe.

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

Lateral Flow Test - 16/03/2021

Dear Parent/Guardians,

Today saw the final in-school Lateral flow test for our Year 7 pupils. I must congratulate our pupils on the sensible manner in which they have conducted themselves throughout the testing process, resulting in a seamless and successful testing programme. Acknowledgment must also go to all the staff who have operated the testing site and supported the children whilst the testing was undertaken.

The lateral flow testing is now complete in school and the process converts to home testing. The home testing kits have been issued today to all children whose parents consented to in-school testing. As I am sure you are aware one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this by carrying out tests at home twice a week.

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you, or someone in your household or support bubble, are displaying symptoms you should self- isolate immediately, those with symptoms should book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.  

If you did not consent to your child being tested within school and would like a Home Testing kit please contact the school office to arrange for a kit to be sent home with your child.

Testing students at home

We understand that each child has individual needs. Many children will adapt to testing becoming part of their twice weekly routine, others will find it more challenging. All pupils whose parents consented will have already been supervised in taking three lateral flow tests within school. Furthermore, form tutors are giving a practical demonstration on how to use the home test kits during this week and there will be additional guidance within the kit.

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part or not.

Taking the test

Your child should take the test twice a week, preferably this would be in the morning before going into school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed.

When testing in school the pupils were directed to undertake nasal swabs from each nostril rather than the more invasive throat swab that is suggested in the accompanying instruction guide. Pupils can continue to test in this way, or if preferred can combine a throat swab and one nasal swab.

We would like pupils to take their tests each Wednesday and Sunday.

What should you do after the LFD test?

If your child tests positive using the Lateral Flow Test then your child, household and any support bubbles you are part of need to self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. Your child will need to complete a PCR test as soon as possible. You will need to report the positive lateral flow test result IMMEDIATELY to both:

  • NHS Test and Trace (https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.)
  • School ([email protected]), attaching a picture of the test if possible.

If your child received a negative result using the LFD test this needs to be reported to NHS Test and Trace https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So it is imperative that they continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing their hands.

If the result of the test in unclear/void your child should carry out another test. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test.

There is no need to keep used test equipment. After the test result has been reported, you can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

Why testing is important

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part in testing or not.

Testing at home will allow your child and other children to attend school and help to reduce the spread of the virus.

Please contact your child’s form tutor via epraise if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this process.

Mrs A Elwell

Head of School

 

Some frequently asked questions

Do I need to give consent?

Students and parents do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice (located on the school website).

Can my child take the test themselves?

Students can do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the pupil to take the test if they need support.

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119.

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. 

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. 

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms.

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important. 

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes. 

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing. 

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:

  • Get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • Attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home. These can be collected from NHS Covid Testing Centre on the Stourbridge road between 1pm and 8pm.

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

How do I swab my child?

If you are assisting with swabbing as your child needs support, for example due to their special education needs or disability, you can find guidance on doing this here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/934735/coronavirus_test_guide_how_to_test_on_a_child.pdf

How will personal information and test results be shared?

When your child takes an LFD test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.

When logging your result you will be asked:

● your child’s name

● your child’s test result

● the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your child’s school if their test result is positive.

Under UK law, your child’s school can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

Schools will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice on the School website.

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Lateral Flow Home Test Kit - 16/03/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Today saw the final in-school Lateral flow test for our Year 7 pupils. I must congratulate our pupils on the sensible manner in which they have conducted themselves throughout the testing process, resulting in a seamless and successful testing programme. Acknowledgment must also go to all the staff who have operated the testing site and supported the children whilst the testing was undertaken.

The lateral flow testing is now complete in school and the process converts to home testing. The home testing kits have been issued today to all children whose parents consented to in-school testing. As I am sure you are aware one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this by carrying out tests at home twice a week.

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you, or someone in your household or support bubble, are displaying symptoms you should self- isolate immediately, those with symptoms should book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.  

If you did not consent to your child being tested within school and would like a Home Testing kit please contact the school office to arrange for a kit to be sent home with your child.

Testing students at home

We understand that each child has individual needs. Many children will adapt to testing becoming part of their twice weekly routine, others will find it more challenging. All pupils whose parents consented will have already been supervised in taking three lateral flow tests within school. Furthermore, form tutors are giving a practical demonstration on how to use the home test kits during this week and there will be additional guidance within the kit.

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part or not.

Taking the test

Your child should take the test twice a week, preferably this would be in the morning before going into school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed.

When testing in school the pupils were directed to undertake nasal swabs from each nostril rather than the more invasive throat swab that is suggested in the accompanying instruction guide. Pupils can continue to test in this way, or if preferred can combine a throat swab and one nasal swab.

We would like pupils to take their tests each Wednesday and Sunday.

What should you do after the LFD test?

If your child tests positive using the Lateral Flow Test then your child, household and any support bubbles you are part of need to self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. Your child will need to complete a PCR test as soon as possible. You will need to report the positive lateral flow test result IMMEDIATELY to both:

  • NHS Test and Trace (https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.)
  • School ([email protected]), attaching a picture of the test if possible.

If your child received a negative result using the LFD test this needs to be reported to NHS Test and Trace https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So it is imperative that they continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing their hands.

If the result of the test in unclear/void your child should carry out another test. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test.

There is no need to keep used test equipment. After the test result has been reported, you can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

Why testing is important

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part in testing or not.

Testing at home will allow your child and other children to attend school and help to reduce the spread of the virus.

Please contact your child’s form tutor via epraise if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this process.

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

 

 

Some frequently asked questions

Do I need to give consent?

Students and parents do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice (located on the school website).

Can my child take the test themselves?

Students can do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the pupil to take the test if they need support.

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119.

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. 

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. 

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms.

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important. 

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes. 

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing. 

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:

  • Get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • Attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home. These can be collected from NHS Covid Testing Centre on the Stourbridge road between 1pm and 8pm.

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

How do I swab my child?

If you are assisting with swabbing as your child needs support, for example due to their special education needs or disability, you can find guidance on doing this here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/934735/coronavirus_test_guide_how_to_test_on_a_child.pdf

How will personal information and test results be shared?

When your child takes an LFD test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.

When logging your result you will be asked:

● your child’s name

● your child’s test result

● the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your child’s school if their test result is positive.

Under UK law, your child’s school can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

Schools will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice on the School website.

Procedures for this week - 08/03/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

It is wonderful to have our Key Stage 2 pupils back in school today and we are very much looking forward to welcoming our Key Stage 3 pupils over the next few days.

I am aware that the thought of coming into school for a lateral flow test is causing many of our children anxiety and as a parent myself, I have witnessed the concerns and emotions first hand. I wanted to write to you today to reassure you and our children that they have nothing to worry about and the staff are all ready to support them through the painless process.

To try and ease the anxieties of exactly what is going to happen, I have included a detailed summary of the protocols and procedures for the testing. This along with the information about the mechanics of the actual test itself (which we have attached again) will hopefully ensure our pupils are fully informed, which in turn will ease some of their understandable anxieties.

Protocols and procedures for the testing

Tuesday 9th March 2021 - Year 7 Testing – No Zoom Lessons for Year 7

7NGE 9.05 – 9.55

7MMO 9.55 - 10.15 and 10.30 – 11.00

7CS 11.00 – 11.50

7MH 11.50 – 12.45

7JD 1.25 – 2.20

7KLN 2.20 – 3.15

Wednesday 10th March 2021 – Year 8 Testing – No Zoom Lessons for Year 8

8PM 9.05 – 9.55

8MF 9.55 - 10.15 and 10.30 – 11.00

8JCD 11.00 – 11.50

8ALK 11.50 – 12.45

8AME 1.25 – 2.20

8MC 2.20 – 3.15

Year 7 to return to school on Wednesday 10th March

Year 8 to return to school on Thursday 11th March

Critical worker children are still able to attend on the days that have been agreed.

Prior to arrival at school

  • PLEASE ENSURE THAT CHILDREN DO NOT ATTEND SCHOOL ON THEIR FIRST TESTING DAY IF THEY HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, (INCLUDING A FEVER, NEW AND PERSISTANT COUGH AND LOSS OF TASTE OR SENSE OF SMELL) IF THEY LIVE WITH SOMEONE WHO IS SHOWING SYMPTONS OF COVID-19 OR THEY HAVE BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO IS DISPLAYING ANY OF THE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS.
  • Please be mindful on their way to school children should not be walking in groups and should maintain social distancing rules.
  • Children can attend the testing wearing their own clothes, however these need to be appropriate as there may be some queuing for the test and maybe outside.
  • Children should ensure they have a face covering with them which they will need to use once they enter the school premises (unless exempt).
  • Please arrive at your designated form time slot and not before this time.

Arrival at school

  • Children will arrive on foot at school via the main blue car gate into the staff carpark. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD PARENTS DRIVE DOWN WATT CLOSE, there is no parking available at school.
  • A member of staff will be at the gate to greet students and signpost them in the right direction. Unfortunately parents will be unable to enter school premises.
  • Pupils will follow the signed arrow directions and will enter the school via the external boys changing room door.
  • Testing will take place in the gym.
  • Testing will consist of nasal swabs only and there will be staff on hand one to one to assist if necessary.
  • Once your child has completed their test they will follow the signposted one way system out of the testing area and leave the building via the main reception as directed. Your child is not expected to wait for the results of the test.

 

Outside of School

  • Children will be required to leave the school premises as soon as possible. We ask that pupils do not congregate or wait for other pupils outside the school gates.

 

If students have had a positive Covid-19 PCR test in the last 90 days through NHS Test and Trace and been recorded as a positive case on the National System they do not need to have a lateral flow test within this period. We would appreciate if you could inform of this if you haven’t already done so.

 

Test Results

  • The school will only contact parents if your child’s result is positive.
  • If you do not hear from the school then you can assume the result is negative and the pupil should return to school the following day.
  • If your child’s result following the Lateral Flow test is positive your child and the whole household will be required to self-isolate for the 10 day period following Government Guidelines. The school will provide further guidance if required.

 

NHS Test and Trace have announced that all adults in households with school age children without symptoms can now access regular lateral flow (COVID-19) testing kits.

If you would like a lateral flow kit these are now available from the NHS COVID Testing Centre on the Stourbridge Road between 1pm and 8pm.

If you have any other queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Yours Sincerely

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

Reopening Plan - 02/03/2021

ear Parents/Guardians

Further to the information sent out next week, I am now able to confirm finer details of the whole school reopening plan.

Firstly, the lateral flow testing for Key Stage 3 pupils will run on an allocated time slot for each form class. The tests will take place in form groups at the given times below:

Year 7 – Tuesday 9th March 2021

 

Time slots

 

9:05-9:55

7NGE

9:55 – 10:15

7MMO

11:00 – 11:50

7CS

11:50 – 12:45

7MH

1:25 – 2:20

7JD

2:20 – 3:15

7KLN

 

Year 8 – Wednesday 10th March 2021

 

Time slots

 

9:05-9:55

8PSM

9:55 – 10:15

8MF

11:00 – 11:50

8JCD

11:50 – 12:45

8ALK

1:25 – 2:20

8AME

2:20 – 3:15

8MC

 

If you would like your child to receive the test, please ensure you have completed the consent form located within the Forms section on ParentMail by Friday 5th March. Please you ensure your child attends school within the allocated time slot for their form group to facilitate the smooth running of the day.

Children will be required to self-swab, however there will be a number of staff available to provide guidance if required. Children undertaking the lateral flow tests will need to do nose swabs only. There is an information leaflet attached to assist with any conversations with children regarding undertaking the tests, as well as some Frequently Asked Questions below.

For those children who are unable to attend the allocated time slot there will be an appointment only session between 8 am - 9 am. These appointments will only be available to those in exceptional circumstances. If you would like a slot within this time please email the [email protected] to request a time slot.

Please can we politely remind parents that under no circumstances must the school car park or Watt Close be used to drop/collect children due to Health and Safety risks, children will be walking across the carpark to gain entry to the school and it will be a normal operating day for school, with the carpark being used to full capacity. We ask parents to use alternative local carparks and request pupils walk the short distance to the main Watt Close gate that leads onto the staff carpark. Pupils will be greeted by members of staff and signage will direct them into the school for them to undertake their test. Pupils need to wear a mask whilst on site and adhere to social distancing regulations at all times. Additionally, we would advise that your child wears a coat to attend their time slot, as they may have to wait outside prior to their test.

Please find a revised handbook attached which will provide further information regarding the finer details of re-opening for all year groups, including reminders of times of the day and gates to use. As confirmed in my previous letter, children will be expected to wear school uniform and will be able to wear PE kit on their PE days.

We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our pupils back to school next week, but in the meantime if you have any questions please epraise your child’s form tutor or email the school office and we will be happy to help.

Best Wishes

 

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

 

Frequently Asked Questions

 

How will the testing work?

All secondary age pupils are offered the lateral flow testing (LFD). Children will be able to take three LFD tests within school, following this they will be given a home testing kit. The home testing kits should be used twice a week. The LFDs supplied do not require laboratory processing and can provide a quick result within half an hour. Children testing positive will need to self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance for households for those with a possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. The pupil should then take a confirmatory PCR test to validate the positive result. Testing is not mandatory and any pupil who does not wish to take the LFD tests will not need to produce a negative test result, or provide proof of having taken a test, to attend face-to-face education. However, testing is strongly encouraged.

How accurate is a lateral flow device test?

Lateral flow tests are accurate, which means that only a very small proportion of people who do not have coronavirus will receive a positive result (false positive). If you test positive on a lateral flow test, it is likely that you are infectious at that moment. By using the lateral flow test, we can identify people with a high viral load who are the most likely to spread the virus further. Those who receive a negative test result from an LFD test must still follow social distancing guidance, wear face coverings when appropriate and wash their hands regularly.

Who will be doing the testing in schools?

Children will be required to self-swab, however there will be a number of staff available to provide guidance if required . Children undertaking the lateral flow tests will need to do nose swabs only

Will the existing testing service remain open?

The Government’s normal testing service for symptomatic individuals will continue. This is the foundation of our testing strategy. It is the most effective way to know if you are positive and need to self-isolate. If you have symptoms, you should continue to book a test via the NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) service or by calling 119.

Can my family get tested too?

No, this testing is aimed at staff and pupils in school with the goal of keeping schools open and pupils in face-to-face education. However the Government announced that households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, can test themselves twice every week at home as schools return. Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested. Schools are not able to provide these twice-weekly tests, the test kits can be accessed:

  • via employers if they offer testing to employees
  • at a local test site
  • by collecting a home test kit from a test site
  • by ordering a home test kit online

If family members experience COVID-19 symptoms, they must follow standard Government guidance, including self-isolating immediately and booking a test through the NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) service or by calling 119.

Why should my child get tested if they do not have symptoms?

Lateral flow tests are designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience and show any symptoms, but who could still be infectious and pass the virus to others. By taking a test, you will help to stop the spread of the virus, protect other people, and save lives. The LFD tests are not for individuals with symptoms, if your child has symptoms they should isolate and book a test via NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) service or by calling 119. Lateral flow tests are designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience and show any symptoms, but who could still be infectious and pass the virus to others. By taking a test, you will help to stop the spread of the virus, protect other people, and save lives. This will also mean that staff can continue going to work, schools can avoid unnecessary staff shortages, and pupils can continue in face-to-face education with their peers.

What happens if a school cannot get the consent and the child turns up to school?

Participation in the programme requires active consent from the parent or guardian Any pupil who does not take part in testing will still be able to attend school unless they develop symptoms, or have been in close contact with a positive result when they will follow the usual national guidelines and must self-isolate for ten days.

Do you need consent to process the personal data required for testing?

Schools need to satisfy themselves that they have a lawful basis for processing personal data. The duties prescribed in education legislation for schools require them to plan for safeguarding needs and promote pupils welfare may provide sufficient legal basis without having to rely on consent. Consent forms have been sent out on ParentMail.

How can you use my child’s data? What is the difference between consenting to the test and consenting to you using my child’s data?

You will need to give medical consent for your child to take the test. If you want your child to be tested, you will also need to understand that as part of testing we process their personal data. This processing of their data is allowed under data protection legislation, known as UKGDPR and the Data Protection Act 2018.

We are responsible for the processing of the test and ensuring all the personal data relating to the test is properly managed in accordance with their legal obligations.

Before we can use any personal data in the administration of taking the test and processing the results, we must tell you the lawful basis for why it is necessary to process personal data and it must be in one of 6 reasons which are allowed in UK data protection legislation. For the purpose of COVID-19 we are using Public Task where it is necessary to process personal data to ensure we meet our obligations in education legislation to safeguard and promote the wellbeing of pupils.

Public Health legislation also allows the sharing of personal data with DHSC, Local Government, Test and Trace and the NHS.

You can find details of the specific legislation in the privacy notice or ask your school’s data protection officer for more details.

What Personal Data will you be asking for?

When you register for a test you need to provide us with your child’s

• Name

• Date of birth

• Gender

• Home postcode

• Email address

• Mobile number

• Name of Parent or Carer

This allows us to register your child for a test and to process the results. Once your child is registered for a test, they will be assigned a unique barcode which will be used to identify the test without the need for sharing a lot of personal data. Once the test has been completed, we will also record the results.

Do you process any personal data if I refuse to have my child tested?

We will record that you have been offered and rejected a test so that we do not keep asking you to agree to a test. We will not tell any unauthorised person that is not directly involved in the recording of tests who has refused a test. Schools will not share refusals with other parents or pupils

Will you tell people connected with my child if they have had a test?

No. We will not tell anyone that is not directly involved with administrating the test who has had a test and who has not had a test, or the result.

If we have to advise other parents that their child has to isolate due to another receiving a positive test, we will not identify any individual positive results and you do not have any rights to know who may have tested positive.

How will my child’s data be used?

Your child’s details will be used to complete testing. As part of testing, details of pupils and their parents or guardians, as well as staff, may be used for:

• registering your child and recording their participation in the testing

• matching your child’s contact details with health data stored by the NHS

• communicating with you about testing

• contacting you if you are the parent or guardian of someone who is participating in the Programme.

• contacting you with your child’s test results by text message/email

• contacting you relating to your child’s positive or inconclusive result to collect other medical information about your child’s health relating to COVID-19

• phoning you to gather feedback to inform improvements that could be made to a full end-to-end testing process.

Attachments

School Reopening Plan -26/02/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Following my correspondence earlier this week, I’m now pleased to be in a position to confirm the key information regarding the reopening of school.

The reopening of schools is the first measure in the latest easing of lockdown, however we must not lose sight of the fact infection levels are still higher than when we previously reopened in September. Shielding has been extended until the 31st March and we still have members of our school community that are vulnerable. Hence there will be no relaxation of previous preventative precautions and there will be an introduction of some enhanced measures, until we are instructed by the Department of Education that they can be relaxed.

These measures will include the wearing of face masks by Key Stage 3 pupils, both in communal areas around school and in the classroom. Additionally, we ask that Key Stage 2 pupils wear masks in communal areas, including corridors around school, with it being optional to wear masks in the classroom. We are aware that some of our pupils are exempt from wearing a mask, please ensure your child’s class teacher is informed if this is the case and they are not already aware.

As part of these enhanced measures schools are required to offer three lateral flow tests to all secondary pupils, one of these being administered prior to all KS3 pupils return to school. Following these tests in school, pupils will be provided with lateral flow tests to complete at home. I have included with this letter the relevant consent forms for our KS3 parents to complete and return by Friday 5th March at the latest. The consent form is located in the forms section of ParentMail.

Due to the challenges of administering this number of tests, without any additional staff, it has been necessary to stagger reopening for our KS3 pupils. This is to enable us to fulfil the testing requirements set out in the Government guidelines.

The following dates are an overview of our reopening plans, more details regarding time-slots for testing and organisation of school life will follow next week with a revised school opening handbook.

 

Key dates:

Monday 8th March – All KS2 to return to school. No testing to take place. Remote learning for KS3. All KS3 Critical Worker children that have been offered a place to be in as usual.

Tuesday 9th March – All KS2 children in school. Testing for all of Year 7, no remote learning for Year 7. Remote learning for Year 8 only. Year 7 and 8 Critical Worker children that have been offered a place to be in as usual.

Wednesday 10th March - All KS2 and Year 7 children (except any children that have tested positive) in school. Testing for all of Year 8, no remote learning for Year 8. Year 8 Critical Worker children that have been offered a place to be in as usual.

Thursday 11th March - All KS2 and KS3 children (except any children that have tested positive) in school. No testing to take place.

Friday 12th March – All KS2 and KS3 children (except any children that have tested positive) in school. Second test for Year 7 only

Monday 15th March - All KS2 and KS3 children (except any children that have tested positive) in school. Second test for Year 8 only

Tuesday 16th March - All KS2 and KS3 children (except any children that have tested positive) in school. Third test for Year 7 only

Wednesday 17th March - All KS2 and KS3 children (except any children that have tested positive) in school. No testing to take place.

Thursday 18th March - All KS2 and KS3 children (except any children that have tested positive) in school. Third test for Year 8 only

Pupils will be asked to return to school in full uniform, the school uniform shop has been in touch to inform us they are available to take orders from Monday 1st March. As always the school will be happy to assist in circumstances of financial hardship.

I am pleased to confirm that breakfast and afterschool provision will be available from Monday 8th March. However, this will be with an amended finishing time of 5pm for after school care due to a number of staff currently shielding. We hope to be able to review this amended time as soon as shielding advice is lifted.

All our staff are busy preparing for the return of our children to make it as stress free and seamless as possible. There is an air of optimism around school and a buzz of excitement at the impending return of our children, who are the very heart of our school community.

I will be in touch again next week to confirm final details, until then I wish you a lovely weekend and as always please stay safe and look after yourselves.

With my very best wishes

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

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Remote Learning - 24/02/2021

Good Afternoon,

Before half term we gathered thoughts and views of parents on our Remote Learning Offer and have been really impressed with the attitude to learning that has been shown and at the support that we have received from our school community.

One change that has been suggested was that parents and carers could be notified quicker if the children were missing lessons.

Since Monday, a standard message is now being sent via epraise in any zoomed lessons that your child does not attend.

The following lessons are delivered via Zoom: English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, RE, PSCHE, French.

Epraise points will be added to reward individual's attendance of Zoom lessons upon our return.

If you know that your child is unwell and cannot attend the lesson, please notify the school office in the same way that you would if they could not attend school. If there is a reason, please let the form tutor know or the messaging teacher if it is specific to their lesson.

If the message does not require a response, the teacher will not respond. Please rest assured that all messages are read on a daily basis.

Thank you once again for your support and we look forward to welcoming all of our children back soon.

Kind Regards

 

Kevin Medway

Deputy Headteacher (Inclusion and Personal Development)

Re-Opening - 23/02/2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement last night we are thrilled that our school community can begin to reunite once again from 8th March.

We can confirm that all Key Stage 2 children will return to school on Monday 8th March, with Key Stage 3 having a phased return due to Covid testing requirements.

We will be sending out specific details over the next week so that everyone is completely clear about expectations around school, dropping off/collection times, testing arrangements, school meals, extended services, and any other important information.

I am sure you can appreciate that there is a great deal to arrange and we are grateful for your patience and understanding whilst we organise everything and prepare our school for the welcome return of all pupils.

Thank you for your ongoing support.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Elwell

Head of School

Message from Mr. Roberts - 25/01/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It has been a pleasure reading the positive messages received from parents in appreciation of the support that they have received during the latest lockdown.

I would like to express my thanks to the staff for their dedication and hard work throughout this pandemic. They have enabled us to remain open today so we can continue to support the vulnerable children and children of critical workers

May I also remind our parents that a space should only be taken up at school where there is no alternative at home. In this way we can minimise children on site and support the government in its efforts to overcome the virus.

May I thank you for your continued support and wish you all a safe week.

 

Yours faithfully,

Mr. Geraint Roberts

Executive Headteacher/CEO

The Spire CE Learning Trust

Weekly Wellbeing Newsletter
 
Issue 1    
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Lateral Flow Home Testing

Dear Parent/Guardians,

Yesterday saw the final in-school Lateral flow test for the majority of our Year 8 pupils. If your child did not receive their third and final test in school yesterday they will have it on their first day back from isolation (Monday 29th March). Following on from the isolation of some of our pupils yesterday due to a positive Lateral flow test in school, please can I reiterate that we are following DFE and Public Health guidelines, these are not individual school guidelines, they are national guidelines and are not open to negotiation by individual schools. We would not send any of our pupils home to isolate unless it was absolutely necessary.

I would like to congratulate our pupils on the sensible manner in which they have conducted themselves throughout the testing process, resulting in a seamless and successful testing programme. Acknowledgment must also go to all the staff who have operated the testing site and supported the children whilst the testing was undertaken.

The lateral flow testing is almost complete in school and the process now converts to home testing. The home testing kits were issued yesterday to all children who had their tests and whose parents consented to in-school testing. For those who will have their test on return to school, home tests will be distributed following the conclusion of the test. As I am sure you are aware one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this by carrying out tests at home twice a week.

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you, or someone in your household or support bubble, are displaying symptoms you should self- isolate immediately, those with symptoms should book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.  

If you did not consent to your child being tested within school and would like a Home Testing kit please contact the school office to arrange for a kit to be sent home with your child.

Testing students at home

We understand that each child has individual needs. Many children will adapt to testing becoming part of their twice weekly routine, others will find it more challenging. All pupils whose parents consented will have already been supervised in taking three lateral flow tests within school. Furthermore, form tutors are giving a practical demonstration on how to use the home test kits during this week and there will be additional guidance within the kit. Form teacher’s will be asked to repeat this for pupils who missed it due to isolation.

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part or not.

Taking the test

Your child should take the test twice a week, preferably this would be in the morning before going into school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed. We would like pupils to take their tests each Wednesday and Sunday.

When testing in school the pupils were directed to undertake nasal swabs from each nostril rather than the more invasive throat swab that is suggested in the accompanying instruction guide. Pupils can continue to test in this way, or if preferred can combine a throat swab and one nasal swab.

What should you do after the LFD test? (Please note the guidance for testing positive at home is different to the guidance for testing positive at school)

If your child tests positive using the Lateral Flow Test then your child, household and any support bubbles you are part of need to self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. Your child will need to complete a PCR test as soon as possible. You will need to report the positive lateral flow test result IMMEDIATELY to both:

If your child received a negative result using the LFD test this needs to be reported to NHS Test and Trace https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So it is imperative that they continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing their hands.

If the result of the test in unclear/void your child should carry out another test. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test.

There is no need to keep used test equipment. After the test result has been reported, you can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

Why testing is important

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part in testing or not.

Testing at home will allow your child and other children to attend school and help to reduce the spread of the virus.

Please contact your child’s form tutor via epraise if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this process.

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

Some frequently asked questions

Do I need to give consent?

Students and parents do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice (located on the school website).

Can my child take the test themselves?

Students can do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the pupil to take the test if they need support.

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119.

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. 

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. 

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms.

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important. 

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes. 

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing. 

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:

  • Get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • Attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home. These can be collected from NHS Covid Testing Centre on the Stourbridge road between 1pm and 8pm.

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

How do I swab my child?

If you are assisting with swabbing as your child needs support, for example due to their special education needs or disability, you can find guidance on doing this here:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/934735/coronavirus_test_guide_how_to_test_on_a_child.pdf

How will personal information and test results be shared?

When your child takes an LFD test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.

When logging your result you will be asked:

● your child’s name

● your child’s test result

● the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your child’s school if their test result is positive.

Under UK law, your child’s school can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

Schools will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice on the School website.

Lateral Flow Home Testing Kit

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Today saw the final in-school Lateral flow test for our Year 7 pupils. I must congratulate our pupils on the sensible manner in which they have conducted themselves throughout the testing process, resulting in a seamless and successful testing programme. Acknowledgment must also go to all the staff who have operated the testing site and supported the children whilst the testing was undertaken.

The lateral flow testing is now complete in school and the process converts to home testing. The home testing kits have been issued today to all children whose parents consented to in-school testing. As I am sure you are aware one in three people who have COVID-19 can spread the virus without knowing. This is because they have no symptoms. To reduce the spread of the virus, we need to identify those individuals. We can do this by carrying out tests at home twice a week.

This does not replace symptomatic testing. If you, or someone in your household or support bubble, are displaying symptoms you should self- isolate immediately, those with symptoms should book a PCR test and follow national guidelines.  

If you did not consent to your child being tested within school and would like a Home Testing kit please contact the school office to arrange for a kit to be sent home with your child.

Testing students at home

We understand that each child has individual needs. Many children will adapt to testing becoming part of their twice weekly routine, others will find it more challenging. All pupils whose parents consented will have already been supervised in taking three lateral flow tests within school. Furthermore, form tutors are giving a practical demonstration on how to use the home test kits during this week and there will be additional guidance within the kit.

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part or not.

Taking the test

Your child should take the test twice a week, preferably this would be in the morning before going into school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed.

When testing in school the pupils were directed to undertake nasal swabs from each nostril rather than the more invasive throat swab that is suggested in the accompanying instruction guide. Pupils can continue to test in this way, or if preferred can combine a throat swab and one nasal swab.

We would like pupils to take their tests each Wednesday and Sunday.

What should you do after the LFD test?

If your child tests positive using the Lateral Flow Test then your child, household and any support bubbles you are part of need to self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. Your child will need to complete a PCR test as soon as possible. You will need to report the positive lateral flow test result IMMEDIATELY to both:

  • NHS Test and Trace (https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.)
  • School ([email protected]), attaching a picture of the test if possible.

If your child received a negative result using the LFD test this needs to be reported to NHS Test and Trace https://www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result. A negative result does not guarantee that your child is not carrying the virus. So it is imperative that they continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing their hands.

If the result of the test in unclear/void your child should carry out another test. If the next test is also void, your child should take a PCR test.

There is no need to keep used test equipment. After the test result has been reported, you can put it in your normal bin (household waste).

Why testing is important

Taking part in testing is voluntary and all children will be able to attend school whether they take part in testing or not.

Testing at home will allow your child and other children to attend school and help to reduce the spread of the virus.

Please contact your child’s form tutor via epraise if you have any questions or concerns about home testing.

Thank you for your ongoing support during this process.

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

 

 

Some frequently asked questions

Do I need to give consent?

Students and parents do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the privacy notice (located on the school website).

Can my child take the test themselves?

Students can do the test themselves with adult supervision. The adult may help the pupil to take the test if they need support.

Reporting problems or issues with testing

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119.

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website: https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk

What type of tests will be used?

We will be sending home Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. 

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes. 

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms.

Are LFD tests accurate?

Lateral Flow Devices identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important. 

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect COVID-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes. 

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing. 

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:

  • polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab
  • lateral flow device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - LFD tests give rapid results, in 30 minutes after taking the test.

Can I or someone else in my household use a test kit sent home from school?

No, however whole families and households with primary school, secondary school, and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, will be able to test themselves twice every week from home. This testing can be accessed through the following channels:

  • Get a rapid test at work, through workplace testing. Ask your employer for more information
  • Attend a test site to get tested where you will be able to see how to take the test or pick up tests to do at home. These can be collected from NHS Covid Testing Centre on the Stourbridge road between 1pm and 8pm.

If these options are not possible, there will be a supply of rapid tests for order online for people who need them the most. More information can be found on www.gov.uk/order-coronavirus-rapid-lateral-flow-tests. There is more information available about testing for households and bubbles of students.

How do I swab my child?

If you are assisting with swabbing as your child needs support, for example due to their special education needs or disability, you can find guidance on doing this here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/934735/coronavirus_test_guide_how_to_test_on_a_child.pdf

How will personal information and test results be shared?

When your child takes an LFD test, you need to report the result. This is so that their test result can be traced, which means that you need to share some information about your child.

When logging your result you will be asked:

● your child’s name

● your child’s test result

● the reference number on the test Kit

You will also need to tell your child’s school if their test result is positive.

Under UK law, your child’s school can collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’.

Schools will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They may share the information with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health England. This is so that they can offer your family health services and guidance if your child needs to self-isolate. They might also use your child’s data anonymously (without their name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus.

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice on the School website.

Protocols and Procedures for Testing

Dear Parents/Guardians

It is wonderful to have our Key Stage 2 pupils back in school today and we are very much looking forward to welcoming our Key Stage 3 pupils over the next few days.

I am aware that the thought of coming into school for a lateral flow test is causing many of our children anxiety and as a parent myself, I have witnessed the concerns and emotions first hand. I wanted to write to you today to reassure you and our children that they have nothing to worry about and the staff are all ready to support them through the painless process.

To try and ease the anxieties of exactly what is going to happen, I have included a detailed summary of the protocols and procedures for the testing. This along with the information about the mechanics of the actual test itself (which we have attached again) will hopefully ensure our pupils are fully informed, which in turn will ease some of their understandable anxieties. 

Protocols and procedures for the testing

Tuesday 9th March 2021 - Year 7 Testing – No Zoom Lessons for Year 7

7NGE              9.05 – 9.55

7MMO             9.55 - 10.15 and 10.30 – 11.00

7CS                 11.00 – 11.50

7MH                11.50 – 12.45

7JD                 1.25 – 2.20

7KLN               2.20 – 3.15

Wednesday 10th March 2021 – Year 8 Testing – No Zoom Lessons for Year 8

8PM                 9.05 – 9.55

8MF                 9.55 - 10.15 and 10.30 – 11.00

8JCD               11.00 – 11.50

8ALK               11.50 – 12.45

8AME              1.25 – 2.20

8MC                2.20 – 3.15

Year 7 to return to school on Wednesday 10th March

Year 8 to return to school on Thursday 11th March

Critical worker children are still able to attend on the days that have been agreed.

Prior to arrival at school

  • PLEASE ENSURE THAT CHILDREN DO NOT ATTEND SCHOOL ON THEIR FIRST TESTING DAY IF THEY HAVE ANY SYMPTOMS OF COVID-19, (INCLUDING A FEVER, NEW AND PERSISTANT COUGH AND LOSS OF TASTE OR SENSE OF SMELL) IF THEY LIVE WITH SOMEONE WHO IS SHOWING SYMPTONS OF COVID-19 OR THEY HAVE BEEN IN CLOSE CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO IS DISPLAYING ANY OF THE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS.
  • Please be mindful on their way to school children should not be walking in groups and should maintain social distancing rules.
  • Children can attend the testing wearing their own clothes, however these need to be appropriate as there may be some queuing for the test and maybe outside.
  • Children should ensure they have a face covering with them which they will need to use once they enter the school premises (unless exempt).
  • Please arrive at your designated form time slot and not before this time.

Arrival at school

  • Children will arrive on foot at school via the main blue car gate into the staff carpark. PARENTS UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD DRIVE DOWN WATT CLOSE, there is no parking available at school.
  • A member of staff will be at the gate to greet students and signpost them in the right direction. Unfortunately parents will be unable to enter school premises.
  • Pupils will follow the signed arrow directions and will enter the school via the external boys changing room door.
  • Testing will take place in the gym.
  • Testing will consist of nasal swabs only and there will be staff on hand one to one to assist if necessary.
  • Once your child has completed their test they will follow the signposted one way system out of the testing area and leave the building via the main reception as directed. Your child is not expected to wait for the results of the test.

Outside of School

  • Children will be required to leave the school premises as soon as possible. We ask that pupils do not congregate or wait for other pupils outside the school gates.

If students have had a positive Covid-19 PCR test in the last 90 days through NHS Test and Trace and been recorded as a positive case on the National System they do not need to have a lateral flow test within this period. We would appreciate if you could inform of this if you haven’t already done so.

Test Results

  • The school will only contact parents if your child’s result is positive.
  • If you do not hear from the school then you can assume the result is negative and the pupil should return to school the following day.
  • If your child’s result following the Lateral Flow test is positive your child and the whole household will be required to self-isolate for the 10 day period following Government Guidelines. The school will provide further guidance if required.

NHS Test and Trace have announced that all adults in households with school age children without symptoms can now access regular lateral flow (COVID-19) testing kits.

If you would like a lateral flow kit these are now available from the NHS COVID Testing Centre on the Stourbridge Road between 1pm and 8pm.

If you have any other queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Yours Sincerely

 

 

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

Letter from Mrs Elwell - 12/01/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

In light of latest Government guidance, I felt it important to update our whole school community on how St John’s is adapting our provision and supporting our children and their families.

Firstly, can I thank you, for all the positive messages of support and appreciation that we have received following a successful first week of remote learning and critical worker/vulnerable pupil provision in school. These messages have been shared with staff and have given us all a boost during these stressful and ever-changing times. I would like to publically thank all the staff at St John’s for their professionalism and dedication, despite their own anxieties regarding the current pandemic, they continue to selflessly prioritise caring for children within school, whilst delivering quality teaching via Zoom.

With this in mind and the increasing seriousness of the situation described as “perilous” by our Prime Minister last night, I ask all of those parents accessing critical worker provision in school to only send your child to school if there are no other alternatives. We have seen a huge increase in the number of critical worker places during this lockdown compared to the last one, despite the situation being at a point of crisis. This is increasing the risk for all members of our community within school, some of whom are vulnerable themselves. Whilst we understand that certain families really do have no choice, for example, NHS workers, care workers, school staff whose partners are also critical workers and have to work as part of the COVID-19 response, and whilst we are more than happy to accept these children, we are equally aware that some of the children attending school have another parent who is working from home, who would not fit the criteria of being a critical front line worker. Indeed, guidance was issued on Friday that states if critical workers are working from home they should aim to keep their children at home with them if at all possible. I think the message is very clear to us all, stay at home and reduce social interaction.

I want to reassure parents that children who are at home are not being disadvantaged compared to those attending school. Children who attend school are receiving exactly the same curriculum offer as those at home and our remote learning provision is far more structured during this lockdown, with face to face teaching for the majority of subjects. We anticipate that this will make life easier for parents who are working from home, as their child has a teacher to ask rather than relying on a parent. Please also remind your child about our Enrichment day on metacognition, which promotes independence and encourages our children to problem solve before immediately asking for assistance.

If you are currently accessing a critical worker place, but now feel with the growing seriousness of the situation and our comprehensive face to face remote learning offer you can make alternative arrangements, please can you telephone the school and inform us of your decision as soon as possible.

We continually look to refine our remote learning offer and seek the views of our community. We have received some feedback, that whilst parents unanimously support Zoom teaching, there are some concerns regarding the length of time that the children are spending sitting looking at a screen. To address this and also to allow our staff some additional time to adapt their lessons and teaching to the new way of working, we are introducing one “no screen” wellbeing afternoon per week. During this afternoon, wellbeing activities will be provided for your child to access which will not involve them concentrating on a screen in a formal setting. This week’s wellbeing afternoon will be on Friday and the activities will follow shortly. If your child is in school during the wellbeing afternoon, they will be supervised completing these activities. To allow us to staff these sessions, Key stage 3 will leave school at a slightly earlier time of 3pm and there will be no change to Key Stage 2’s departure time

Please can I remind parents that have received information regarding the COVID Lateral Flow testing to return consent forms as soon as possible in preparation for the roll out of our testing programme. At present this only applies to Key Stage 3 pupils who are accessing school, but we will update you if and when this changes, potentially when schools are set to reopen.

As always, if you have any queries or concerns please contact your child’s form teacher or the school office and we will try our very best to assist you.

Take care and stay safe and well.

Best Wishes

Mrs A Elwell

Test and Trace - 11/01/2021

Dear Parent/Carer, NHS Test and Trace: COVID-19 testing for staff and KS3 pupils We are working to keep our school as safe as possible. You may have heard that testing for those without coronavirus symptoms is beginning across the country using new, quicker COVID-19 tests known as ‘lateral flow tests’. Along with the other protective measures we are taking, these tests will help those staff and pupils currently in school to remain in school safely. Our testing regime will ensure we are prepared for wider testing once all students return. Up to one third of people who have coronavirus experience no symptoms. By testing we will help to stop the virus spread and help to keep those people in school as safe as possible. The test is voluntary, but I would encourage everyone to take it. We will be testing all staff and Key Stage 3 pupils who are currently attending school who want to participate from week commencing Monday 18th January 2021. Remaining students will have the opportunity to be tested on their return when school reopens. A link to an information leaflet is here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_da ta/file/94 6612/How_to_do_your_test_COVID_19_instruction_leaflet_for_schools.pdf. If you are happy for your son/daughter to be tested, please read the consent and complete the form which you can access on ParentMail – Forms. We require one form for every pupil so if you have multiple children at our school, you will need to complete a form for each child. Those taking the test will be supervised by trained staff. The ‘lateral flow’ tests are quick and easy using a swab of the nose. Pupils will be administrating their own tests with staff overseeing the swab process. Results (which take around half an hour from testing) will be shared directly with you. We know these tests work - in validation studies conducted by Oxford University and Public Health England, they were shown to be as accurate in identifying a case as a PCR test (99.68% specificity). The tests have lower sensitivity but they are better at picking up cases when a person has higher viral load, hence the need to test frequently. Testing will be offered free of charge. continued….. 2. What if a pupil tests positive? Parents or legal guardians will be notified individually about their child’s results if participating pupils test positive. Guidance on safe travel and additional precautions will be provided along with test results. Pupils will need to take a further ‘PCR test’ (similar to those done in local and regional testing sites) on the same day (or as soon as possible). You can go to www.gov.uk/get-coronavirustest or call 119 to book a follow-up test. If ordering a PCR test yourselves, you should choose to visit a drive-through test site if possible, as it is faster than requesting a home test. During this time while pupils wait for the PCR result (via text / email) they will need to selfisolate. If the PCR test returns a positive result pupils will have to inform school, self-isolate and follow the guidance from NHS Test and Trace. What happens if the test is negative? Pupils will be able to stay in school and resume their activities as normal. A pupil will only be told if they test positive on a ‘lateral flow’ test, so if you do not hear you can assume it was negative. A small number of pupils may need to repeat the test if the first test was invalid or void for some reason. What if a close contact at school tests positive? A close contact of someone in school who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to return to school if they agree to be tested once a day for 7 days and the test is negative. If they do not want to take the test, they will need to self-isolate as per the national guidelines. This does not apply to household members or close contacts outside of school who will still need to self-isolate. Further details will be provided at the time, but if a pupil prefers to selfisolate instead of doing daily testing, he/she can. What if my son/daughter develops symptoms? This testing programme at school is for people with no symptoms. If your son/daughter develops symptoms at any time (such as a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; or a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste) they must immediately self-isolate, and book a test by calling 119 (England, Wales and Northern Ireland) or 0300 303 2713 (Scotland) or visiting https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test Yours faithfully, Mrs A. Elwell-Thomas Head to School

Arrangements as Discussed -06/01/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

I am writing to update you following the sudden announcement of school closures yesterday evening. I thank you for your understanding and patience whilst we move to virtual teaching, whilst also accommodating critical worker and vulnerable children within school.

Due to the hard work of the school staff body I am pleased to be able to communicate an outline of the plans during this lock down.

They are as follows:

  • All critical worker and vulnerable pupil places have been confirmed and we will be accommodating up to 170 children in school on a daily basis.
  • For those children attending school, we ask that they wear their own clothes that are appropriate for the school setting and would suggest warm layers as the classrooms will be well ventilated. Children should continue to wear PE kit on the days that they have PE on their timetable.
  • Breakfast club will be available to those children who have been an allocated place within school and who normally attend.
  • There will be NO afterschool provision due to staff shielding.
  • Packed lunches will be available to order, or children may bring in their own packed lunch. Toast will be available to be purchased at break, but there will be no hot food option for lunch at this time.
  • If your child is attending school and uses school transport, we have confirmed with the school transport department that this service will be available to your child.
  • The school will operate following a normal timetable and children will attend their normal lessons. The teachers will be delivering the same lesson to the children in school as those accessing learning via zoom.
  • Arrangements for arrival and departure remain the same and continue to be staggered as per DFE guidance. Therefore KS2 will continue to arrive for 8.50am until 3.15pm and KS3 will arrive at 9.05am until 3.30pm.
  • We ask ALL children (including those in Years 5 and 6, unless clinically exempt) to wear a mask when travelling in communal areas around school. Please remind children of the importance of hand sanitising and safe removal and storage of masks.

School will open for the critical worker and vulnerable children attending and for virtual teaching tomorrow morning (6th January 2021.) Please see below for information regarding arrangements and access to our blended learning offer.

  • English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, RE, PSCHE and French will be taught via Zoom.
  • Work will be set for all other subjects within the planner section of epraise.
  • Pupils will be epraised Zoom links by their subject teachers.
  • Lessons will begin at their usual timetabled times, but please allow some flexibility as staff may be moving from room to room and will need to set up their devices.
  • Pupils should set their names on Zoom to reflect their own name, without this they will not be admitted into the Zoom lesson from the waiting room.
  • Cameras should be switched on.
  • Pupils will be asked to submit work which is produced during Zoom lessons, this may be electronically or physically when they return. Therefore pupils should adhere to our presentation policy, which is attached to this ParentMail. If there are any issues with providing your child with basic stationery and paper, please let their form tutor know and we will try our best to assist.
  • All pupils have been shown how to access their timetable and Zoom using the link provided via epraise. Your child’s timetable and planner can also be seen via your parental login.
  • If staff are absent from school for any reason, no Zoom lessons will take place. Parents will be informed as soon as possible and work will be put on to epraise as soon as staff are able to.

Also attached are the pupil protocols that were sent out earlier this year, which outline our expectations whilst blended learning is taking place. These are put in place to ensure pupils and staff are safe and all children are able to learn. If you have any queries, please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance and they will be happy to assist or signpost you to a member of staff who can.

As you can see it is very much business as usual at St John’s and we are here to support all of our St John’s family during this difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we look forward to the day that our school community can be reunited.

With my very best wishes,

Mrs Elwell - Head of School

School Arrangements - 05/01/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

I am writing to update you following the sudden announcement of school closures yesterday evening. I thank you for your understanding and patience whilst we move to virtual teaching, whilst also accommodating critical worker and vulnerable children within school.

Due to the hard work of the school staff body I am pleased to be able to communicate an outline of the plans during this lock down.

They are as follows:

  • All critical worker and vulnerable pupil places have been confirmed and we will be accommodating up to 170 children in school on a daily basis.
  • For those children attending school, we ask that they wear their own clothes that are appropriate for the school setting and would suggest warm layers as the classrooms will be well ventilated. Children should continue to wear PE kit on the days that they have PE on their timetable.
  • Breakfast club will be available to those children who have been an allocated place within school and who normally attend.
  • There will be NO afterschool provision due to staff shielding.
  • Packed lunches will be available to order, or children may bring in their own packed lunch. Toast will be available to be purchased at break, but there will be no hot food option for lunch at this time.
  • If your child is attending school and uses school transport, we have confirmed with the school transport department that this service will be available to your child.
  • The school will operate following a normal timetable and children will attend their normal lessons. The teachers will be delivering the same lesson to the children in school as those accessing learning via zoom.
  • Arrangements for arrival and departure remain the same and continue to be staggered as per DFE guidance. Therefore KS2 will continue to arrive for 8.50am until 3.15pm and KS3 will arrive at 9.05am until 3.30pm.
  • We ask ALL children (including those in Years 5 and 6, unless clinically exempt) to wear a mask when travelling in communal areas around school. Please remind children of the importance of hand sanitising and safe removal and storage of masks.

School will open for the critical worker and vulnerable children attending and for virtual teaching tomorrow morning (6th January 2021.) Please see below for information regarding arrangements and access to our blended learning offer.

  • English, Maths, Science, Geography, History, RE, PSCHE and French will be taught via Zoom.
  • Work will be set for all other subjects within the planner section of epraise.
  • Pupils will be epraised Zoom links by their subject teachers.
  • Lessons will begin at their usual timetabled times, but please allow some flexibility as staff may be moving from room to room and will need to set up their devices.
  • Pupils should set their names on Zoom to reflect their own name, without this they will not be admitted into the Zoom lesson from the waiting room.
  • Cameras should be switched on.
  • Pupils will be asked to submit work which is produced during Zoom lessons, this may be electronically or physically when they return. Therefore pupils should adhere to our presentation policy, which is attached to this ParentMail. If there are any issues with providing your child with basic stationery and paper, please let their form tutor know and we will try our best to assist.
  • All pupils have been shown how to access their timetable and Zoom using the link provided via epraise. Your child’s timetable and planner can also be seen via your parental login.
  • If staff are absent from school for any reason, no Zoom lessons will take place. Parents will be informed as soon as possible and work will be put on to epraise as soon as staff are able to.

Also attached are the pupil protocols that were sent out earlier this year, which outline our expectations whilst blended learning is taking place. These are put in place to ensure pupils and staff are safe and all children are able to learn. If you have any queries, please contact your child’s form tutor in the first instance and they will be happy to assist or signpost you to a member of staff who can.

As you can see it is very much business as usual at St John’s and we are here to support all of our St John’s family during this difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we look forward to the day that our school community can be reunited.

With my very best wishes,

Mrs Elwell - Head of School

 

URGENT SCHOOL CLOSURE - 04/01/2021

Dear Parents/Guardians

Following the announcement by The Prime Minister this evening and the sudden closure of all schools it is with regret that I write to inform you that school will be closed to all pupils tomorrow, including Critical worker children and those children classed as vulnerable. There also will be no Zoom lessons tomorrow and School will reopen on Wednesday 6th January to those children who have been notified by ParentMail. We have made this decision as we are unsure of our staffing levels tomorrow and have not had any opportunity to collate information regarding critical worker and vulnerable children places in Key Stage 2 which is vital in order for us to ensure safeguarding of all children. In addition, staff need time to switch all teaching to virtual learning, rather than just Key Stage 3 as previously planned as many of the teachers teach children across both Key Stages.

Please may I ask if you need to request a Critical Worker place for your child that you return the Form sent out earlier today by 10.00am tomorrow. We will communicate with parents regarding the allocation of these places and the arrangements for the rest of the week as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

Stay Safe and well

Mrs Elwell - Head of School

Letter from The Trust - 14/12/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,


Last Day of Term
You will be aware that Government announced a flexibility for schools to allocate Friday 18th December as a teacher training day. The rationale for this is to reduce the timeframe needed for possible contact tracing that stretches into the Christmas break and the consequent impact on families and school staff.
This is a welcome step, and we as a Trust will therefore be adjusting our end of term plans. The end of term will now be Thursday 17th December.


Covid-19 Symptoms / End of Term
We are now in a timeframe where, should a 14 day isolation be necessary this will impact on the Christmas holidays. We have been asked by some parents if their child can access remote learning in the last week of term. Whilst this is an entirely sensible request, schools have been firmly instructed by Government not to allow this, despite schools pointing out both the logic of it and the potential impact on public health. In essence, all pupils are expected to attend school until the last day of term unless they have been instructed to isolate as a contact of a positive case or are otherwise unwell.
We are all familiar with the 3 main coronavirus symptoms:

  • A high temperature
  • A new and continuous cough
  • A loss of smell or taste

If your child is exhibiting any of these, they must not attend school and you should arrange a test for them.


With the approach of the Christmas holidays, I feel it is worth raising awareness of the secondary, or pre-covid, symptoms of covid-19. These are:

  • A shortness of breath ·
  • A loss of appetite ·
  • Muscle aches ·
  • A sore throat ·
  • A persistent headache ·
  • Nasal congestion ·
  • Diarrhoea, nausea and/ or vomiting

Clearly, these are often simply a cold or a tummy upset, and we have seen a great many of
these during the term that are exactly that and are not coronavirus. However, we ask that you
maintain high vigilance in the next 10 days and if you have any doubt please do not send
your child to school, and instead book a test.


In this way we will prevent any late spread of the virus that would impact on Christmas plans
for us all. In many cases we are seeing a rapid return of tests, often within 24 hours, so if that
continues the impact on schooling will be minimised.


Thank you for your co-operation with this in order that we can keep the community safe.


Yours faithfully,


Geraint Roberts
Executive Headteacher & CEO

Rosie Shorter - Chair
The Spire CE Learning Trust

Message from Mrs Elwell - 18/11/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

I am pleased to inform you we will be able to offer hot meals to Year 7 and Year 8 from Monday 23rd November.

Please can I remind parents that, unless exempt, ALL children in Year 7 and Year 8 must wear a face covering when moving around school, outside of classrooms, such as in corridors and communal areas as social distancing cannot easily be maintained.

We have given out approximately 300 masks so far this week and as I’m sure you can appreciate, masks are becoming increasingly difficult to source and are also an additional expense to the school. Please can you ensure that your child comes to school with a face covering and a small plastic bag.

If anyone have issues sourcing masks, please contact your child's class tutor.

Thank you for your continuing support

Mrs A Elwell – Head of School

Government Guidance - 05/11/2020

Dear Parents,

As we enter into another national lockdown schools have today been issued with new guidance regarding face coverings and medically vulnerable children.

We have sent a separate Parent mail regarding medically vulnerable children and I would like to reiterate if you have any concerns or queries please get in touch and we will do all we can to help.

Guidance regarding face coverings in school has now changed. In schools where pupils in Year 7 and above are educated, face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils when moving around the premises, outside of the classroom, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing cannot be easily maintained. For years 6 and below, there is no change to the existing position, although if you would like your child to wear a face mask in communal areas we would fully support your decision. At St John’s we have made the decision that all our staff, even those in Key Stage 2, will be wearing PPE outside the classroom and face shields within the classroom, if social distancing cannot be maintained. Therefore on Monday when we look forward to welcoming our Key Stage 3 pupils back into school, we ask that they all wear a face mask and bring a small plastic bag to store their mask in safely throughout the day.

We ask that you discuss with your child the following government guidance on how to wear a face covering:

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • Avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • Avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • Change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • Avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)
  • When removing a face covering:

Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing

  • Only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • Do not give it to someone else to use
  • If single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • If reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

We regret to have to inform you that due to the change in guidance to extremely vulnerable staff attending work, we are unable to offer our After School Club provision during this lock down period. Unfortunately, we do not have the required members of staff to safely offer this service and therefore sadly must close from Monday 9th November, with Friday 6th November being our last day, until our staff are advised to return to work. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause but we were only made aware of the change in the guidelines last night and have been trying to find an alternative all day, but to no avail. This does not affect breakfast club, as we are still able to staff this provision at present.

On a positive note, it was lovely to welcome our isolating Year 6 pupils back yesterday and we have not had any further reports of any positive cases linked to the initial case, which is great news. Furthermore, the contractors assure us that the Key Stage 3 toilets and corridor will all be up and running again to welcome our Year 7 and 8 pupils back on Monday.

Finally, thank you for your support and patience as we fine tune our virtual teaching on Zoom, we have really appreciated the positive feedback regarding these lessons. The amount of children accessing the virtual lessons has been very encouraging, with full attendance in many lessons.

We hope you all stay safe and well and please remember we are here for you and your children in these extremely difficult times. We will get through this by working together.

With very best wishes

Mrs A Elwell

Children with Underlying Health Conditions -05/11/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

As you may be aware the Government guidelines have recently changed regarding children with underlying health conditions which would make them vulnerable to COVID-19.

The Department from Health and Social Care state a very small number of children will still need to remain on the shielded patient list for the longer term and they have advised them to follow the new guidance for the clinically extremely vulnerable.

Unfortunately, if your child’s doctor has confirmed they are clinically extremely vulnerable, they should not attend school for the duration of the current National Lockdown. If this is the case, please could you inform the school office to enable the school to make arrangements for them to be able to continue their schooling at home.

If you are unsure if your child is clinically extremely vulnerable please speak to the hospital doctor who provides care for your child, or otherwise your GP, to check whether they should still be considered clinically extremely vulnerable and, therefore, whether or not they should continue to go to school.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support and hope you and your families are keeping safe and well.

Mrs A Elwell

Head of School

Zoom Lessons - 03/11/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

Following our first round of Virtual Lessons via Zoom yesterday, which all went very well, we want to clarify a few details, based on the feedback from staff, pupils and parents.

Firstly,

  • It is vital that when a pupil signs into Zoom to participate in a virtual lesson, they sign in using their full first name and surname as it would appear on a class register.
  • For safeguarding reasons, staff will not admit anyone they do not recognise or are not expecting into a virtual lesson.
  • When pupils are signing in using a device that isn’t theirs and has a name such as Mum’s iPad, Dad’s Computer or their own device where they have used a gamertag or nickname, they must ensure before joining a lesson they have changed the name either in settings on the device or in Zoom itself. Unfortunately, Zoom will automatically use a device name as default when signing in.
  • When pupils sign in they must keep their camera switched on at all times to enable the teachers to verify the identity of the children.

Secondly,

  • Pupils only need to join Zoom lessons as per their timetable for English, Maths and Science.
  • Pupils will receive an epraise message containing a link to the lesson or the link will be added to classwork set within the pupils’ epraise planner. Either way pupils will be told the time the lesson begins.
  • They need to click on the link and they will be taken directly to the waiting room for the lesson and then will be admitted by their teacher but only if the name is correct.

We appreciate that this new way of delivering your child’s education will take some getting used to and won’t be without its teething problems in the beginning.

In these uncertain times there is a lot of anxiety in the air and we know this can make even the simplest of tasks a lot more stressful for both pupils and parents. Whilst it is expected that pupils self-isolating or not in school due to the flood damage engage in home learning to ensure that the sequence of their learning is maintained, we understand that the wonderful technology that we are now even more reliant upon can fail us at times. If your child is unable to access the virtual lessons for whatever reason, please do not worry. Simply epraise message the teacher to explain and the work can be provided in an alternative way.

As always, thank you for your continued support and stay safe.

Kind Regards,

Mr R Upwood - Assistant Headteacher

Blended Learning Arrangements - 02/11/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

I hope you had an enjoyable Half Term and you are all safe and well in these uncertain times.

There are two reasons for my correspondence this morning.

Firstly, I wanted to update you on the flooding that occurred in school over the weekend and the resulting consequence of this on our Year 7 and 8 pupils.

Unfortunately, we have received a report from the contractors this morning that the damage is more widespread than we had hoped, resulting in all of the Key Stage 3 toilets being unusable for the remainder of the week. Additionally, the Key Stage 3 corridors have also suffered flooding and are not suitable in the present state for pupils to access their classrooms. The school is operating under strict COVID-19 guidelines which affects our ability to facilitate alternative arrangements. Therefore it is with regret that school will remain closed for all Year 7 and 8 pupils (except those in LaunchPad) until Monday 9th November 2020.

Secondly, as you are aware we had our first confirmed positive COVID-19 case during half term and as a result 56 children are isolating until Wednesday 4th November 2020. The school acted upon the information regarding the positive result as soon as it was reported to us and we want to reassure you that the Year 6 area had an additional deep clean over the holiday. We are constantly revisiting our risk assessment and from today our staff will be wearing PPE when coming into close contact with children in classrooms.

If your child is not in school due to self-isolation as a result of the confirmed Covid 19 case, or as a consequence of the flooding, we will be offering your child/children a combination of home learning tasks and Zoom virtual lessons during their time at home. The expectation is that pupils access this home learning to ensure that the sequence of their learning is maintained.

Blended Learning arrangements for Year 6

Schedule for Monday 2nd November:-

Science lesson for 6RS will be taught via Zoom.

All other work will be set on epraise.

Schedule for Tuesday 3rd November:-

6A, 6B and 6C Maths and English and all Science lessons will be taught via Zoom.

All other work will be set on epraise.

Blended Learning arrangements for Year 7 and 8

Schedule for Monday 2nd November:-

All work will be set on epraise.

Schedule for Tuesday 3rd November:-

English, Maths and Science lessons will be taught via Zoom.

All other work will be set on epraise.

Zoom lessons will take place at the same time as they would if your child was in school, you can access a copy of your child's timetable on epraise. A copy can also be found on the back of your child's planner.

To access the Zoom lesson your child will need to enter the Zoom meeting ID assigned to their teacher, these will be sent out shortly. All children practiced this in their computing lessons last half term.

In English and Maths lessons your child's teacher may also be teaching pupils who are physically present in their classroom so ask for your patience and support whilst we get to grips with this new way of working.

Please could we draw your attention to our online learning protocols in our previous parent mail. This details our online code of conduct which has been designed to keep all pupils safe and facilitate learning whilst participating in Zoom lessons.

Thank you for your continued support

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

Message from Mrs Elwell - 25/09/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

We would like to inform you of a situation that occurred yesterday at the end of the school day.

As a consequence of the heavy rainfall the drainage system leaked resulting in flooding by the Watt Close school gate.

Once alerted, appropriate action was taken however, some children had already left school via this point and may have inadvertently walked through the drainage water. We wanted parents to be aware so they could sanitise any shoes or belongings.

Please be reassured that the whole of the area was sanitised prior to reopening today.

May we add that the blocked drains were also a result of the toilets being inappropriately used in the disposal of antibacterial wipes. We will educate the children in the appropriate methods of disposal.

Thank you for your support in this.

Mrs A Elwell

Head of school

COVID-19 Parent/Carer Information Sheet for Children Attending School

What to do if your child develops symptoms

A child that develops any of the following symptoms (no matter how mild) should immediately self-isolate:

  • a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a high temperature - feel hot to touch on your chest or back (temperature of 37.8°C or higher if able to measure this)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

 

They should not attend school and parent/carers should follow the steps below:

  1. Stay at Home.

Your child must self-isolate for 10 days starting from the first day of their symptoms and the rest of the household must self-isolate for 14 days, following the Stay at Home Guidance.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

 

  1. Notify the School

If your school is unaware that your child has developed symptoms, notify them as soon as possible.

 

  1. Arrange a Test

Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, including children, should have a test as soon as possible. Do not wait. The test must be done within 5 days of symptoms starting.

A test can be arranged via NHS UK www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/ or by calling 119 if you do not have internet access.

 

You must notify your school when you receive the test result.

A Negative Result

If your child tests negative for Covid-19, they can return to school and the rest of the household can end their isolation as long as:

 

  • everyone they live with who has symptoms tests negative
  • everyone in their support bubble who has symptoms tests negative
  • they were not told to self-isolate for 14 days by NHS Test and Trace
  • they feel well – if they feel unwell they should stay at home until they are feeling better

A Positive Result

If your child tests positive for Covid-19 they must continue to self-isolate for 10 days, from the first day of their symptoms and the rest of the household must continue to self-isolate for 14 days. If any other member of the household starts to show symptoms, they should arrange a test within 5 days of the symptoms starting.

You will be contacted by the NHS Test and Trace Service to discuss where your child has been recently and who they've been in close contact with. This will help the NHS contact anyone who may have caught the virus from them. You'll be contacted by email, text or phone. Text messages will come from ‘NHStracing’. Calls will come from 0300 0135000. In preparation for this, it is recommended you start making a list of places your child has visited recently and people they’ve had close contact with as soon as their symptoms appear.

For more information about the Test and Trace Service visit www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/nhs-test-and-trace-if-youre-contacted-after-testing-positive-for-coronavirus/

After 10 days from the start of their symptoms your child can return to school if they have not had a fever (temperature of 37.8°C or higher) within the last 48 hours. The rest of the household must continue their isolation until the end of the 14 day period.

Covid-19 in Children

Children can get Covid-19 but they seem to get it less often than adults and it's usually less serious. Further advice about Covid-19 in children can be found at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/coronavirus-in-children/ or by calling 119.

What to do if your child attends a school where a positive COVID case has been confirmed and your child is told to self isolate for 14 days officially by that school and they have a sibling who attends St John’s, as long as both children do not have a positive test or present with none of the following

  • High temperature
  • New and continuous cough
  • Loss of taste or smell

You can send your child to St John’s school as per the official Government guidelines.

Please can we ask all parents remain vigilant at this time and if any further medical advice is needed please contact NHS on 119.

Further Attendance COVID Advice - 09/09/2020

Dear Parent/Carers

If your child attends a school where a positive COVID case has been confirmed and your child is told to self-isolate for 14 days officially by that school and they have a sibling who attends St John’s, as long as both children do not have a positive test or present with none of the following

  • High temperature
  • New and continuous cough
  • Loss of taste or smell

You can send your child to St John’s school as per the official Government guidelines.

Please can we ask all parents remain vigilant at this time and if any further medical advice is needed please contact NHS on 119.

Kind regards

Welcome Back - 03/09/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Lovely to see all our children looking so smartly dressed with big smiles as they returned to school today. A fantastic 98.7% of the school present.

The children have coped really well with all of the safety measures in place and the sound of children’s chatter and laughter echoes around the school once more.

Long may it continue!

Can we please remind children that they are to arrive at school as per the staggered times below in order to keep our year groups safe at this time.

Year 5 – Arrive Sanders Park 08.40 – 08.50

Year 6 – Arrive Watt Close 08.40 – 08.50

Year 7 – Arrive Sanders Park 08.55 – 09.05

Year 8 – Arrive Watt Close 08.55 – 09.05.

A quick reminder also that we are now operating a ‘Cashless’ system for the purchase of healthy break time snacks and lunch therefore please do not send your children with cash into school.

Kind regards

Mrs Elwell

Head Of School

Year 5 - 02/09/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

YEAR 5 PUPILS

We look forward to welcoming your child to St Johns school on Thursday morning and wanted to add a few instructions prior to their arrival to help make their entry to school seem a little less daunting.

We will be placing the name of each year 5 teacher on a chair in the playground so all pupils can see where they are to stand once they arrive in the playground, a member of staff will also be on the gate directing. Please ensure your child is aware of their form tutor’s name prior to arrival.

If your child has any prescribed medication that needs to be kept in school, please can you complete the attached form send the medicine in a transparent plastic bag clearly labelled so they can pass onto their form tutor.

Please can we ask that you make sure your child knows the arrangements for the end of the day before they leave for school in the morning, whether you will be collecting them or if they need to meet a sibling and where they will be collected from etc, this will help alleviate any anxiety at the end of the day.

Could we please take this opportunity to politely remind you that any queries should be directed to the class teacher in the first instance via email, ePraise (access will be granted in due course and a notification will follow) or phone as the office is closed to visitors during this current time.

Kind regards

A letter from Head of Year - 02/09/2020
 

 

Chromebook - 28/08/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

As we prepare to welcome back our pupils, we would like to thank all who showed an interest in the proposed Chromebook scheme.

This initiative was always dependant on uptake.

We had much interest (48% signed up to the scheme) but unfortunately not enough to make this a viable option for pupils at this time.

We have taken the decision to extend the sign up process by another 2 weeks to allow anyone who wanted to sign up, but missed the deadline, to do so.

The scheme will go ahead if a 75% uptake is achieved.

In addition to the benefits this scheme would bring to teaching and learning in the classroom, it is essential to our blended learning strategy, facilitating virtual teaching and learning in the event of a local lockdown.

Kind Regards

Mr. H. Cheuk - Deputy Headteacher

Parent Handbook September 2020

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Cashless Catering - 26/08/2020

Dear Parent/Carer

Cashless Catering – BioStore Card System

For the continued safety of our children, I would like to take this opportunity to introduce our new cashless catering system, Biostore, which will be active from Thursday 3rd September. The school will now become a cashless area and we ask that you do not send cash into school. This will help to keep our children and staff as safe as possible and avoid potential contamination from handling cash.

Biostore is a card based system that has been used successfully by thousands of schools and works with ParentMail, our online payment facility. As a Leadership Team we are convinced that this is the right way forward for us given the current challenges presented to us with the Covid 19 virus.

We expect the introduction of a card system to improve the services we are able to offer pupils and staff significantly, with benefits including:

  • Reduction in potential cross contamination of the Covid 19 virus as there is no longer the need to handle cash
  • Reduction in queuing time
  • Ensuring the correct account is automatically deducted

We ask that you please continue to use our online payment facility, ParentMail to make all online payments for lunches, trips and any other payments that may occur. To place money on your child’s lunch account please follow ‘accounts’ and ‘dinner top up’.

Each pupil purchasing items at break and lunchtime will be issued with a card to use at the kitchen. Please be aware that cash will no longer be accepted for items purchased at break time. The cards will be the responsibility of the pupil. Replacements for lost cards will be charged to you at £2.00 per card.

As ParentMail will continue to be our primary method of communication and sharing of information, please ensure that you are all connected to this vital service. This will ensure you do not miss out on important information and changes that we may need to send to you at short notice.

For those few who have not yet connected to ParentMail, please use the following link :

https://pmx.parentmail.co.uk

Details on ParentMail can also be found on our website.

If you require any assistance in using ParentMail, please do not hesitate to contact the Finance Office. Our support staff will be very happy to help you with your questions.

Yours faithfully,

Mrs Alison Elwell

Head of School

New EmailArchiveForwardView Recipients

Information on the return to school in September - 17/07/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Following requests from parents we wanted to provide further information regarding the children’s return to school in September. Prior to their return and after updates from the DofE, we will provide further guidance then.

Opening the school to all pupils

In line with the government’s direction, and following a robust risk assessment process, we will be opening to all pupils from Thursday 3rd September 2020.

In order to minimise crossover as far as possible at the start and end of each day, we have staggered our Drop Off and Pick Up times. Please see the table below for the relevant arrangements for your child/children.

 

Year groups

Drop Off Times

Pick Up Time

 

KS2

 

08:40-08:50

 

 

15:15

 

 

KS3

 

08:55-09:05

 

 

15:30

 

 

Group arrangements

Year Groups

Hygiene/toilets

Drop Off/Pick up Gate

Entrance into the school

 

Year 5

 

KS2

 

Sanders Park

 

Year 5

 

Year 6

 

KS2

 

Watt Close

 

Year 6

 

Year 7

 

Year 7

 

Sanders Park

 

Conservatory

 

Year 8

 

Year 8

 

Watt Close

 

KS3

With regards

School office

Home Learning W/C 13th July 2020
 
year 5  
year 6   
year 7   
 
Home Learning W/C 6th July 2020

Worcestershire Virtual School Games Week

Dear Parents and Carers,

Next week is the Worcestershire Virtual School Games Week - a week that will recognise and celebrate the hard work and achievements of schools, families and of course our young people. It will involve daily broadcasts at 10.30 am starting on Monday 6th July. Each day, they will share photos and videos from the weekly challenges, announce results and provide a 10 minute 'shake up' activity to get everyone up and moving and having fun! There will also be some special guests along the way.

Please see the attached timetable for what each day will cover. All YouTube links will be available to access via www.activehw.co.uk/worcestershire-school-games from 10.30am each day.

Kind Regards,

Miss Birmingham

Year 5   
year 6   
year 7   

Chromebook Scheme - 26/06/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Many thanks to all who participated in the survey sent out to assess the viability of a 1-to-1 Chromebook scheme for pupils.

Of all the responses received, 95% of parents were overwhelmingly in support of this new initiative. Therefore we will now be launching our parent portal where you can access the frequently asked questions section for more information about the scheme and place an order for your child’s Chromebook should you wish to join the scheme.

The deadline for ordering your Chromebook will be Sunday 25th August 2020 but we will continue to communicate with you and provide updates and reminders in the interim.

Please note, if there is not sufficient uptake of the scheme then your order will be automatically cancelled and no payment will be taken, this will be communicated with you shortly after the order deadline date.

To access the parent portal please follow this link:- https://www.albion.co.uk/stjb/

Kind regards

Mr H Cheuk - Deputy Headteacher

Home Learning W/C 29/06/2020
 

YEAR 5   
YEAR 6   
YEAR 7   

 

Student Chromebook Prevision September 2020 - 19/06/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

As this is our first communication with year 4 parents, we would like to welcome you to St John’s and say that we are looking forward to meeting you all. The following information explains a scheme that we are offering to our existing pupils and therefore we wanted to offer you an opportunity to express your views as this will affect year 5 starters.

In our drive to improve the quality of provision for our children we are continually learning, and have been working in partnership with the Birmingham e-Learning Foundation and Albion Computers to offer parents the opportunity to acquire a portable Chromebook for their child(ren) to use in school, as well as for learning at home.

We believe that all children accessing their own devices to support the use of ICT in and out of the classroom will further enhance their learning, allowing personalised access to a wealth of creative content, resources and tools. Studies have shown that the use of digital technology can advance development by 4+ months. (EEF Toolkit). It will also provide a structured solution that will enable us to minimise the disruption of the on-going pandemic.

It would also assist children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities as school would provide software such as Claroread, and Communication in Print to support identified needs. This would aid students by developing independent strategies and enable them to overcome barriers to learning.

The offer for September is detailed overleaf, with monthly contributions that include insurance and accessories at a considerable saving on the recommended retail price of a Chromebook.

Monthly contributions are collected by the Birmingham e-learning Foundation, a charity that uses gift aid collected via the scheme to cover administration costs; any excess is awarded back to the school to assist with the sustainability of the scheme. Full and comprehensive information will be provided for parents once we have established the level of support for this venture.

We do hope that you are as enthusiastic about this scheme and its potential benefits for your child as we are. Please follow the link and complete the survey to indicate if you would be willing to support this programme.

Yours faithfully


Mr H Cheuk

Deputy Headteacher

Year 8 Home Learning Timetable - 19/06/2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Many thanks for your continued home schooling efforts. We appreciate that during the extended period of time we have been closed you may have found it increasingly difficult to motivate and engage the children in an environment they do not usually associate with learning.

We understand that alongside homeschooling many of you are trying to juggle the task of working from home too, which means the children are having to manage their time and workload independently. In order to help you and our pupils manage their home schooling time effectively, we have put together a suggested timetable for each year group. We hope that this will give you a good overview of the amount of work the children have been set in a week.

New activities included on the timetable are weekly spellings to practice daily and to be tested on at the end of the week, and at least 30 minutes of reading each day, which the pupils would usually do in school alongside some reading challenges. For year 8, there are also some extended writing challenges for them to have a go at.

From Monday 22nd June, all work for the week will be set by teachers on Epraise on a Monday or the Friday before. We suggest that your child then uses this timetable to guide when they complete these activities. Please be aware that this is simply a suggested timetable, and whilst some pupils will thrive on the structure it provides and will find the amount of work manageable, others may not. It is important that you share this timetable with your child and have a conversation with them about how much work they will complete over the week. This communication with them will ensure they do not feel overwhelmed when several teachers send them tasks on Monday.

You will see that not all foundation subjects are listed on the timetable. Any subjects not shown for next week will be set on the following week. Parents and pupils should continue to communicate with their subject teacher via Epraise, but please bear in mind they may not be able to respond as promptly as they previously have due to teaching Year 6 and Key Worker pupils who are in school daily.

We hope you find this timetable useful and please be reminded again that whilst we want to ensure there is enough work to fill the time of those pupils wishing to work all day, each family needs to work out what is right for their own individual child and household.

The Year 8 suggested timetable for next week is attached. Early next week you will also be able to find this on the school website under 'Home Learning' alongside some of the associated worksheets.

 

Best wishes to you all,

 

Miss Birmingham

Year 7 Home Learning Timetable - 19/06/2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Many thanks for your continued home schooling efforts. We appreciate that during the extended period of time we have been closed you may have found it increasingly difficult to motivate and engage the children in an environment they do not usually associate with learning.

We understand that alongside homeschooling many of you are trying to juggle the task of working from home too, which means the children are having to manage their time and workload independently. In order to help you and our pupils manage their home schooling time effectively, we have put together a suggested timetable for each year group. We hope that this will give you a good overview of the amount of work the children have been set in a week.

New activities included on the timetable are weekly spellings to practice daily and to be tested on at the end of the week, and at least 30 minutes of reading each day, which the pupils would usually do in school alongside some reading challenges.

From Monday 22nd June, all work for the week will be set by teachers on Epraise on a Monday or the Friday before. We suggest that your child then uses this timetable to guide when they complete these activities. Please be aware that this is simply a suggested timetable, and whilst some pupils will thrive on the structure it provides and will find the amount of work manageable, others may not. It is important that you share this timetable with your child and have a conversation with them about how much work they will complete over the week. This communication with them will ensure they do not feel overwhelmed when several teachers send them tasks on Monday.

You will see that not all foundation subjects are listed on the timetable. Any subjects not shown for next week will be set on the following week. Parents and pupils should continue to communicate with their subject teacher via Epraise, but please bear in mind they may not be able to respond as promptly as they previously have due to teaching Year 6 and Key Worker pupils who are in school daily.

We hope you find this timetable useful and please be reminded again that whilst we want to ensure there is enough work to fill the time of those pupils wishing to work all day, each family needs to work out what is right for their own individual child and household.

The Year 7 suggested timetable for next week is attached. Early next week you will also be able to find this on the school website under 'Home Learning' alongside some of the associated worksheets.

 

Best wishes to you all,

 

Miss Birmingham

Year 6 Home Learning Timetable - 19/06/2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Many thanks for your continued home schooling efforts. We appreciate that during the extended period of time we have been closed you may have found it increasingly difficult to motivate and engage the children in an environment they do not usually associate with learning.

We understand that alongside homeschooling many of you are trying to juggle the task of working from home too, which means the children are having to manage their time and workload independently. In order to help you and our pupils manage their home schooling time effectively, we have put together a suggested timetable for each year group. We hope that this will give you a good overview of the amount of work the children have been set in a week.

New activities included on the timetable are weekly spellings to practice daily and to be tested on at the end of the week, and at least 30 minutes of reading each day, which the pupils would usually do in school alongside some reading challenges.

From Monday 22nd June, all work for the week will be set by teachers on Epraise on a Monday or the Friday before. We suggest that your child then uses this timetable to guide when they complete these activities. Please be aware that this is simply a suggested timetable, and whilst some pupils will thrive on the structure it provides and will find the amount of work manageable, others may not. It is important that you share this timetable with your child and have a conversation with them about how much work they will complete over the week. This communication with them will ensure they do not feel overwhelmed when several teachers send them tasks on Monday.

You will see that not all foundation subjects are listed on the timetable. Any subjects not shown for next week will be set on the following week. Parents and pupils should continue to communicate with their subject teacher via Epraise, but please bear in mind they may not be able to respond as promptly as they previously have due to teaching Year 6 and Key Worker pupils who are in school daily.

We hope you find this timetable useful and please be reminded again that whilst we want to ensure there is enough work to fill the time of those pupils wishing to work all day, each family needs to work out what is right for their own individual child and household.

The Year 6 suggested timetable for next week is attached. Early next week you will also be able to find this on the school website under 'Home Learning' alongside some of the associated worksheets.

 

Best wishes to you all,

 

Miss Birmingham

Head of PE,

St John's Middle School Academy.

Year 5 Home Learning Timetable - 19/06/2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Many thanks for your continued home schooling efforts. We appreciate that during the extended period of time we have been closed you may have found it increasingly difficult to motivate and engage the children in an environment they do not usually associate with learning.

We understand that alongside homeschooling many of you are trying to juggle the task of working from home too, which means the children are having to manage their time and workload independently. In order to help you and our pupils manage their home schooling time effectively, we have put together a suggested timetable for each year group. We hope that this will give you a good overview of the amount of work the children have been set in a week.

New activities included on the timetable are weekly spellings to practice daily and to be tested on at the end of the week, and at least 30 minutes of reading each day, which the pupils would usually do in school alongside some reading challenges.

From Monday 22nd June, all work for the week will be set by teachers on Epraise on a Monday or the Friday before. We suggest that your child then uses this timetable to guide when they complete these activities. Please be aware that this is simply a suggested timetable, and whilst some pupils will thrive on the structure it provides and will find the amount of work manageable, others may not. It is important that you share this timetable with your child and have a conversation with them about how much work they will complete over the week. This communication with them will ensure they do not feel overwhelmed when several teachers send them tasks on Monday.

You will see that not all foundation subjects are listed on the timetable. Any subjects not shown for next week will be set on the following week. Parents and pupils should continue to communicate with their subject teacher via Epraise, but please bear in mind they may not be able to respond as promptly as they previously have due to teaching Year 6 and Key Worker pupils who are in school daily.

We hope you find this timetable useful and please be reminded again that whilst we want to ensure there is enough work to fill the time of those pupils wishing to work all day, each family needs to work out what is right for their own individual child and household.

The Year 5 suggested timetable for next week is attached. Early next week you will also be able to find this on the school website under 'Home Learning' alongside some of the associated worksheets.

 

Best wishes to you all,

 

Miss Birmingham

Weather Warning - 17/06/2020

Dear Parents,

It is lovely to see more Year 6 and Key worker children in school this week, the sounds of children’s chatter and laughter is definitely something we have all missed at St John’s.

Unfortunately, we arrived at school today to find that parts of our school was affected by flooding last night. We have managed to relocate several of the bubbles to different classrooms and wanted to reassure parents that all of these classrooms have been deep cleaned prior to use and will be cleaned again this evening.

The weather forecast is indicating that we may experience further heavy rain and we will continue to monitor the situation carefully and update you accordingly.

We appreciate your understanding in this matter.

Mrs A Elwell-Thomas

Head Of School

Year 5 September 2020 Intake - 17/06/2020

Dear Parent/Carers

Hello from St John's Middle School, we are very much looking forward to welcoming your child(ren) in September.

We are monitoring closely Government guidelines with regard to schools opening in September and will of course keep you updated on this.

In the meantime thank you to those who have returned their Student Confidential Data Form. However, could we please ask, that if you have not already done so, to return your child’s form as soon as possible to ensure we have the correct data for your child when they join us.

The forms can be found on our school website under 'New Starters' and then 'Forms'.

Click here to access the website

Thanking you in advance.

Take care and keep safe!

Chromebooks - 16/06/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Many thanks to all who participated in the survey sent out to assess the viability of a 1-to-1 Chromebook scheme for pupils.

Of the all the responses received, 95% of parents were overwhelmingly in support of this new initiative. Therefore we will now be launching our parent portal where you can access the frequently asked questions section for more information about the scheme and place an order for your child’s Chromebook should you wish to join the scheme.

The deadline for ordering your Chromebook will be Sunday 25th August 2020 but we will continue to communicate with you and provide updates and reminders in the interim.

Please note, if there is not sufficient uptake of the scheme then your order will be automatically cancelled and no payment will be taken, this will be communicated with you shortly after the order deadline date.

To access the parent portal please follow this link:- https://www.albion.co.uk/stjb/

Kind regards

Mr H Cheuk - Deputy Headteacher

Key Worker Provision - 10/06/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

As you know we have been providing key worker provision since the Government closed schools on 23rd March 2020.

A ParentMail was sent out on 19th March 2020 enquiring as to those who needed key worker provision, to date we have accommodated every request.

However, recently we have been inundated with additional requests. Due to having to create ‘bubbles’ and invite our Year 6 pupils into school in line with the DfE guidelines our staff resources and classroom space is restricted.

We have a limited number of spaces left and therefore we may need to request proof from employers of keyworker status and we will prioritise spaces for children whose parents are both key workers or single parents who are key workers.

Please email [email protected] by 12 noon Thursday 11th June 2020 to make any requests.

If you have been allocated provision then this is still open to you, however, if you no longer require the space please let us know as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Mrs A Elwell

Head of School

Student Chromebook provision September 2020 - 05/06/2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

Student Chromebook provision September 2020

In our drive to improve the quality of provision for our children we are continually learning, and have been working in partnership with the Birmingham e-Learning Foundation and Albion Computers to offer parents the opportunity to acquire a portable Chromebook for their child(ren) to use in school, as well as for learning at home.

We believe that all children accessing their own devices to support the use of ICT in and out of the classroom will further enhance their learning, allowing personalised access to a wealth of creative content, resources and tools. Studies have shown that the use of digital technology can advance development by 4+ months. (EEF Toolkit). It will also provide a structured solution that will enable us to minimise the disruption of the on-going pandemic.

It would also assist children with Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities as school would provide software such as Claroread, and Communication in Print to support identified needs. This would aid students by developing independent strategies and enable them to overcome barriers to learning.

The offer for September is detailed overleaf, with monthly contributions that include insurance and accessories at a considerable saving on the recommended retail price of a Chromebook.

Monthly contributions are collected by the Birmingham e-learning Foundation, a charity that uses gift aid collected via the scheme to cover administration costs; any excess is awarded back to the school to assist with the sustainability of the scheme. Full and comprehensive information will be provided for parents once we have established the level of support for this venture.

We do hope that you are as enthusiastic about this scheme and its potential benefits for your child as we are. Please follow the link and complete the survey to indicate if you would be willing to support this programme.

Yours faithfully


Mr H Cheuk

Acting Deputy Headteacher

Worcestershire Virtual School Games Competition - 02/06/2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are pleased to inform you that St John's has entered into the Worcestershire Virtual School Games Competition.

The Activity Village will be open for 4 weeks and will consist of a variety of virtual challenges. The following challenges are now live:

  • Design a School Games Flag/Poster - entries close at 5pm on Friday 26th June
  • Worcestershire's Got Talent - entries close at 5pm on Friday 26th June
  • Speed Bounce - entries close this Friday 5th June at 5pm

Details of all challenges, including video demonstrations are available via www.activehw.co.uk/worcestershire-school-games. The Games are for everyone, with modified versions of physical activity challenges also available, if required.

This is a great opportunity to give all pupils a taste of competition, an opportunity to represent the school and feel part of a school team. All participants will receive an e-certificate and there will be prizes for the primary and secondary schools with the highest number of entries, along with other special awards, including a 'most improved' category. We therefore encourage the recording of first attempts and best attempts of the physical activity challenges to be in with a chance of winning.

As a school we will receive a weekly update informing us of how the pupils at St John's are getting on and we cannot wait to see your fantastic efforts and results as always.

If your child enters the Worcestershire's Got Talent Showcase which is open to all talents such as dance, gymnastics, singing, comedians, musicians, poetry writers or any thing else you are fantastic at, please do tag us on twitter @sjmspe or if you do not want to use social media email it to me at [email protected] as well as submitting it here https://www.activehw.co.uk/forms/view/wgt-showcase. That way we can also make a showcase video of the talents of the pupils at St John's.

 

I look forward to receiving your entries.

 

Miss Birmingham

Head of PE

Children of Key Worker Parents - 01/06/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Children of Key Worker Parents

As we finalise plans to welcome Year 6 alongside our children of Key Workers I would like to highlight some key points:

 

Arrival                8:50 a.m.           Years 5 and 8                 Watt Close Gate

                                                          Years 6 and 7                 Sanders Park Gate

 

They will be met by the staff allocated to their bubble.  Some of our children have been coming in throughout this period and parents should let them know that there will be a more structured environment given the significant increase in the number of children on site.  Children should bring writing equipment and a reading book.  They should have a full water bottle and a packed lunch.    

We have amended our Positive Relationship and Behaviour for Learning Policy to include Covid 19 and a copy of this is available for parents on our website.

This will be unsettling for children as they may not have their normal teacher and they may not be with their friends.  Can I ask parents to spend some time discussing this with their son/daughter.

Finally, can I thank all the staff for the extraordinary amount of work that has gone into the planning for opening in such circumstances and of course thank you, the parents, for your continued support.

 

 

Geraint Roberts

Headteacher

Re-Opening - 01/06/2020

  Your Child is In Start date School Day Gate to use Enterance Toilets Room
6MC GROUP A 2nd June 9:00 - 14:55 Sanders Park Year 5 KS2 Room 5
6MC GROUP B  8th June 9:00 - 14:55 Sanders Park  Year 5 KS2 Room 5
6HU GROUP A  2nd June 9:15 - 15:10 Watt Close KS3 Year 8 Room 21
6HU GROUP B  8th June 9:15 - 15:10 Watt Close KS3 Year 8 Room 21
6KLN GROUP A 2nd June 9:30 - 15:25 Sanders Park KS3 Year 7 Room 17
6KLN GROUP B 8th June 9:30 - 15:25 Sanders Park KS3 Year 7 Room 17
6ACJ GROUP A 2nd June 9:15 - 15:10 Sanders Park Year 5  KS2 Room 1
6ACJ GROUP B 8th June 9:15 - 15:10 Sanders Park Year 5 KS2 Room 1
6GM GROUP A 2nd June 9:00 - 14:55 Watt Close Classroom7  KS2 Room 7
6GM GROUP B 8th June 9:00 - 14:55 Watt Close Classroom7  KS2 Room 7
6SY GROUP A 2nd June 9:30 - 15:25 Watt Close KS3  Year 7 Room 18
6SY GROUP B 8th June 9:30 - 15:25 Watt Close KS3  Year 7 Room 18

 

Heads Parentmail - 01/06/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As we finalise plans to welcome Year 6 alongside our children of Key Workers I would like to highlight some key points:

Children of Key Worker Parents

            Arrival             8:50 a.m.         Years 5 and 8               Watt Close Gate

                                                            Years 6 and 7              Sanders Park Gate

They will be met by the staff allocated to their bubble.  Some of our children have been coming in throughout this period and parents should let them know that there will be a more structured environment given the significant increase in the number of children on site.  Children should bring writing equipment and a reading book.  They should have a full water bottle and a packed lunch. 

Year 6 – All Parents

As you will have been informed each “bubble” has a slightly different start time and finish time and I have attached this information again for ease of reference.  It is very important that parents keep to these times so that we can keep the “bubbles” separate and minimise the risk of cross contamination.

 

Can I ask that children come with a full water bottle and a packed lunch.  The Children who normally have a free school meal will receive a packed lunch

We have amended our Positive Relationship and Behaviour for Learning Policy to include Covid 19 and a copy of this is available for parents on our website.

This will be unsettling for children as they may not have their normal teacher and they may not be with their friends.  Can I ask parents to spend some time discussing this with their son/daughter.

Finally, can I thank all the staff for the extraordinary amount of work that has gone into the planning for opening in such circumstances and of course thank you, the parents, for your continued support.

 

 

Geraint Roberts

Headteacher

May Half Term Provision - 18/05/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

In order to assist Key Worker parents we will be offering provision in school on Tuesday 26th, Wednesday 27th and Thursday 28th May (Friday we will be carrying out a deep clean of the school).

Please email [email protected] if you wish your child to attend with your requirements. As we need to assess staffing levels if we do not hear from you by Wednesday 20th May we will presume that you do not require provision.

Many thanks

Message from Mr. Meadway - 15/05/2020

Good afternoon,

Many of you will have received your 'keeping in touch' phonecall over the past fortnight from the form tutor.

Next week form tutors will only call to update you if there were any outstanding actions from previous calls.

They will not call if you have not raised any questions or concerns.

If you have not yet received your call or need to speak to someone, please epraise the form tutor or head of year so they can speak to you next week.


Over the half term phonecalls will not be made, however, if you have a concern or question please epraise me (Mr K Medway) and I will ensure that appropriate action is taken or support offered.

Following the half-term holidays we are looking at how calls can be made to those pupils not initially named in the DfE return to school guidance. Details of this will follow once finalised.


Below are some partner agencies within Worcestershire who may be able to offer support if you are experiencing challenging circumstances:


Basement Project - Facing homelessness/foodbank

https://bromsgrovebasementproject.org.uk/what-we-do/foodbank/

Food.jpg

Food Bank | The Basement Project

We have a food bank on site at The Basement Project. If you are struggling to make ends meet, we can provide a food and toiletry parcel to see you through a few days. We accept self-referrals for food parcels, as well as from other agencies who are already working with you. Call us or drop in during our opening hours if you need a food parcel.

bromsgrovebasementproject.org.uk

https://newstarts.org.uk/ Foodbank

 

Here to Help - 01905 768053 This can be used Monday to Sunday between 8am and 8pmhttp://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/here2help

Starting Well is a Worcestershire website providing help during antenatal, post birth, and early years stages, and right throughout school life. www.startingwellworcs.nhs.uk

Parenting and Community Services Bromsgrove: Pear Tree Centre Mob. 07943 832294 Tel. 01527 835 775 www.startingwellworcs.nhs.uk

Are you a member of the public and worried about a child?

If you have reason to believe that a child, young person or adult is at immediate risk from harm contact the Police: telephone: 999

If you have any concerns about a child or young person living in Worcestershire and feel that they may be in need of protection or safeguarding contact the Family Front Door.

Staff are available Monday to Thursday from 9.00am to 5.00pm and Fridays from 9.00am to 4.30pm.

telephone: 01905 822666

For assistance out of office hours (weekdays and all day at weekends and bank holidays):

telephone: 01905 768020

Kind regards

Stay Safe

Kevin Medway

Deputy Headteacher (DSL)

Coronavirus Support - 12/05/2020

Over the past few weeks we have been speaking to parents and, after hearing some of the challenges you are facing, we have worked with an Educational Psychologist to provide a range of resources to support you and your family during the coronavirus pandemic. These can be found on the school website at the following location https://www.st-johns-bromsgrove.worcs.sch.uk/page/?title=Coronavirus+Support&pid=225

The resources include managing anxiety, speaking to children about Coronavirus and illness and supporting children with Special Educational Needs and/or disabilities.

We are also aware that some families have experienced challenges such as bereavement or tensions within the home due to the lockdown.

If you are experiencing difficulties, please refer to the school Early Help Statement https://www.st-johns-bromsgrove.worcs.sch.uk/attachments/download.asp?file=124&type=pdf or contact a member of staff to see how we can help.

Update - 11/05/2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly I hope you and your families are all well. We have been very pleased to see such a positive response to the work being set and particularly for your support in these difficult times. Our team here at St. John’s continues with the preparation and planning required in order to re-open. Following the Government announcement, we plan to re-open the school for year 6 in accordance with the guidance issued to all schools nationally from the 1st June.

I would like to stress that our prime concern as you would expect is the safety of both the children and the staff, and we are considering how we can open in a safe way. It is very likely that we will have to open to a proportion of a year group at any one time so that all the children are not in at the same time so we can maintain social distancing in school.

We will contact you again as soon as we have received additional guidance from the government and when we have been able to finalise our plans for implementation given our local context at St John’s.

Can I thank you for all the messages of support that we have received and to assure you that we will continue to do our very best to support our children and families during these difficult times.

Geraint Roberts

Headteacher

SBHS Webinar - 11/05/2020

Good afternoon

South Bromsgrove High School will be hosting a Webinar for pupils (instead of their usual Welcome assembly delivered in school) on Friday 15th at 11am. An email with a link to this should have been received however any parents that haven’t received this please email [email protected].

This Webinar is for pupils not parents, however more information regarding transition will be available on the South Bromsgrove website after half term so please keep checking there.

Kind regards

 

Miss R Bourne

DFE Guidance for Parents - 05/05/2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Please see below additional guidance from the Department for Education which you may find helpful in respect to keeping your child safe online and looking after yourselves and your families well-being whilst being at home and undertaking social isolation.

DfE Guidance for parents

Where can I go to get support to help keep my child safe online?

There is support available to keep your child safe online. You can access further information on keeping children safe online.

Here are some useful links to help parents and carers.

  • Thinkuknow provides advice from the National Crime Agency (NCA) to stay safe online
  • to help families manage during this time, the NCA has launched Thinkuknow: home activity packs, a set of fun, engaging activities based on Thinkuknow cartoons, films, games, and advice articles
  • a new activity sheet for each age group will be published on the Thinkuknow website every 2 weeks while schools are closed - these activities offer a great opportunity to help you keep up positive, supportive conversations about online safety in your home
  • Parent Info is a collaboration between Parentzone and the NCA providing support and guidance for parents from leading experts and organisations
  • Childnet provides a tool kit to support parents and carers of children of any age to start discussions about their online life, to set boundaries around online behaviour and technology use, and to find out where to get more help and support
  • Internet Matters provides age-specific online safety checklists, guides on how to set parental controls on a range of devices and a host of practical tips to help children get the most out of their digital world
  • LGfL provides support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online, including 6 top tips to keep primary aged children safe online
  • Net Aware provides support for parents and carers from the NSPCC, providing a guide to social networks, apps and games
  • Let’s Talk About It provides support for parents and carers to keep children safe from online radicalisation
  • UK Safer Internet Centre provides tips, advice, guides and resources to help keep children safe online, including parental controls offered by home internet providers and safety tools on social networks and other online services
  • staying safe online provides government guidance offering advice on parental controls, fact-checking information, communicating with family and friends while social distancing is in place and taking regular breaks

What support is available to parents to help them maintain their family’s wellbeing while their children are at home?

Social connections, alongside exercise, sleep, diet and routine, are important protective factors for mental health. Materials to promote and support mental wellbeing are included in the list of online resources we have published to help children to learn at home. Public Health England’s Rise Above platform supports young people. The Department of Health and Social Care is providing £5 million of additional funding to support mental health charities to increase their provision for adults and children at this time.

Social isolation, reduced exercise and bereavement may affect children’s wellbeing in this period. Resources to promote and support children and young people’s mental wellbeing include:

All NHS mental health trusts are setting up 24/7 helplines and seeking to use digital and virtual channels to continue delivering support during the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Kind Regards

Mr G L Roberts - Headteach

Transition - 05/05/2020

Dear Year 8 parents,

Despite the current situation and the difficulties it presents, please rest assured we are still working with the High Schools to ensure a smooth transition for your child in September. On that note we have the following notifications from South Bromsgrove High School.

A Transition newsletter from South will be emailed home to all parents by the middle of this week. This contains important information about uniform and about the pupils' Personal Information Forms and Medical Care Plans so please do lookout for this.

On Thursday 7th May the Personal Information and Medical Care Plan information will be sent to all parents directly from [email protected] which will be used for our administration and information re Transition. The deadline for this is Friday 15th May so again please check your inboxes for this.

South will be holding a webinar for the transition assembly they would normally deliver, the date for this is to be confirmed and parents will be informed via email, but we wanted you to know in advance. Miss Nicol has also been in school this week and has kindly done a virtual tour so this will be out soon too for parents and students to access and watch!

We hope that this gives pupils and parents some reassurance that we are working around the barriers to ensure you have an easy transition to High School.

Stay safe everyone!

Kind regards

Ms R Bourne

Bank Holiday Provision - 04/05/2020

Dear Parent/Carers

Friday 8th May is a Bank Holiday in honour of VE Day therefore please could you advise us if you require provision on this day. Please email [email protected], if we do not hear from you we will presume you do not require the provision.

Hope you and your families are safe and well.

Kind regards

Mr G L Robert

Message from Mrs Elwell - 30/04/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

We understand that the current Coronavirus pandemic is causing many of our St John’s families to face financial hardship; you may now be furloughed and only receiving 80% of your pay, you may have lost your job completely or be missing out on regular overtime or tips. Did you know that you may be entitled to Universal Credit as a result? If you are already in receipt of other benefits such as Working Tax Credit (also called 'Legacy Benefits'), switching to Universal Credit would not necessarily be recommended but if you are not currently claiming anything you may now be able to. You can find out by going to https://www.entitledto.co.uk/ and typing in some basic information. You do not have to put your personal details in unless you decide to proceed with a claim for Universal Credit.

Many housing associations offer impartial advice on what benefits you may be entitled to or you can click here for more information:

https://www.moneyadviceservice.org.uk/en/articles/universal-credit-an-introduction

Free School Meals

If you do begin to receive Universal Credit, you may also be eligible for Free School Meals which are being provided through a weekly supermarket voucher scheme whilst schools are closed. You can apply for Free School Meals through the school once your Universal Credit claim has been completed. Please contact us if you are receiving or begin to receive any benefits so that we can process a Free School Meals application with you.

Food Bank

We are able to refer families to the local Food Bank if you are in need please email [email protected]

Stay safe and look after yourselves.

 

Alison Elwell

Head of School

Epraise - 26/04/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

I hope you are all keeping safe and well.

We are certainly missing the normal vibrant atmosphere within school and look forward to the day when we can welcome our St John’s family back.

In the meantime, I know many of you have now received phone calls or Epraise messages from Form Teachers to offer support and to keep in touch. Please be reassured that we will continue to make contact with all of our St John’s families, as your wellbeing is our priority. Please remember you do not have to wait for a call from us, our staff are more than happy for you to make contact with them and they will offer any support they can.

As a school, we find ourselves in territories that we have never before experienced or could have predicted and therefore we are learning as each week passes. We are mindful that our children are missing out on part of their education and have therefore tried to provide activities for children to complete at home and offer the opportunity for these activities to receive feedback from teaching staff. However, I am aware that a few families felt a little overwhelmed with the amount of work that was set on epraise last week therefore I would like to offer my reassurance to you and your children that this work is optional and there will not be any sanctions for children who do not complete the work or who do not send it in on time.

If you feel as a parent that your child is not in the right frame of mind to sit down and complete work then please do not feel that you need to force the issue, we do not want to cause tensions at home during an already stressful time. If you feel your child would benefit from playing in the garden, baking a cake, watching a film with the family then these are all valuable activities. The wellbeing of you and your families are paramount and we as a school are planning to support the children both educationally and emotionally when they return to school so please don’t worry if they haven’t completed all of the home learning that we have made available.

I hope this letter has alleviated any concerns but if you would like any further clarification please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Kind Regards

Mrs A Elwell - Head of School

Interactive Learning - 22/02/2020

PARENTS GUIDE

Registering on our website.

1. Go to epraise.co.uk

2. Click login

3. Select the correct school

4. Select the Parent tab

5. Enter the email address you gave to the school (leave the password blank)

6. Click the Login/Register button

7. Follow the instructions in the email that is sent to you

Logging on to epraise.

1. Go to epraise.co.uk

2. Click login

3. Select the correct school

4. Select the Parent tab

5. Enter the email address you gave to the school

6. Enter your password

7. Click the Login

 

STUDENTS GUIDE

Logging on to epraise.

1. Go to epraise.co.uk

2. Click login

3. Select the correct school

4. Select the Login with Office 365 button orange button

5. Enter the email address the school gave you

6. Enter your password

7. Click the Login

Accessing your homework.

The Planner shows you homework and notes that have been shared with you. You can find this on our website by going to Me > Planner and on the app there is a dedicated tab. Homework can be marked as complete, which will automatically update the red indicator that shows how many tasks are left to do.

Submitting your homework.

Messenger allows you to send and receive messages from your teacher if you need to ask them a question or are having trouble with anything. You can view your inbox on our website by going to Me > Messages and there is a dedicated tab on our app. Messenger can also be used to submit completed work to your teacher by attaching your work as an attachment before you send a message.

Letter to parents - 21/04.2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

I hope you have enjoyed the lovely weather over the Easter break as well as you are able to in these difficult times and are following the Government advice on how to stay safe. We have been offering provision for the children of Key Workers through the holiday period and welcomed those children back at St John’s yesterday. We are all looking forward to the day when we can welcome all our children and staff safely back to school.

We would like to say a big thank you for all the support that you have shown over the last few weeks during these unprecedented times. The work and pictures staff have received has really raised their spirits and they have been so pleased you have been embracing the activities that have been set. We want to ensure we are providing the best opportunities for our children and with your help I believe we are achieving that.

Further to my letter before the Easter break please see below how we intend to continue to help you facilitate your child’s learning at home. Form tutors will contact families on a fortnightly basis to see how everyone is getting on and to see if we can support in anyway and as I have previously mentioned class teachers will be setting work via ePraise to facilitate a learning dialogue.

  • ePraise – teachers will be providing more learning activities and resources using ePraise. A guide is attached on how to get on to ePraise. The username is what the children use in their computing lesson followed by @st-johns-bromsgrove.worcs.sch.uk and the password is “middle”. If you or your child are having issues accessing ePraise please contact your child’s form tutor. Please see below for some general ePraise Q&A.
  • Form tutors will be calling families on a fortnightly basis to see how the children are coping and they will also be available to contact via ePraise. Should you have any queries please feel free to contact them directly.

ePraise tasks Q&A

What work will my child receive?

We will be setting tasks for all subjects this half term.

How often will tasks be set?

Tasks for core subjects (English, Maths and Science) will be set every week.

Tasks for foundation subjects (all other subjects) will be set on a fortnightly basis.

How can my child access home learning tasks?

Tasks will be sent via ePraise.

How will my child know if they have completed work to the correct standard?

Staff will provide feedback via ePraise for work that is submitted and/or provide answer sheets before the next piece of work is set.

What if my child gets stuck?

Your child can message staff directly via ePraise. Please note that although staff are checking ePraise on a daily basis, there may be some delay in replying due to the volume of messages being received.

We have limited resources at home, how can my child complete the work set?

Teachers will take this into account and provide various ways to complete the same task.

We appreciate that these are uncertain times and learning will look different in every household. Of course, learning is important but ultimately, yours and your child’s safety is the number one priority and we hope that the nature of the activities we are providing as a school can help keep the children sufficiently occupied and active.

Kind Regards

Mr G L Roberts - Headteacher

#StayInWorkOut - 20/04/2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

It is so important, now more than ever that we remain active as it is so important for our physical and mental well being. I hope the pupils have managed to remain active at home and have enjoyed having a go at some of the PE tasks and challenges we set on the website. I've really enjoyed receiving videos of dances and juggling and all kinds of activity.

Moving into next week, we are supporting the new #StayInWorkOut campaign who are providing fun and creative ideas on how to get active at home through a series of weekly challenges suitable for all ages, as well as signposting you to some of the best content providers out there. These fun activities range from fitness to mindfulness and are all designed to keep the whole family entertained! They are being officially launched on Sunday 19th April at 3pm - ready for the new term! These will be sent to your child via epraise form their PE teacher and will also be available on the school website and PE twitter page.

Please share any photos or videos of your young people (adults also welcome!) trying out any of these challenges using #StayInWorkOut via social media. We have set up a dedicated PE twitter page so you can tag us and we can keep up to date with what you are all doing. Not only will this help us to all stay connected but we could also be in with a chance of winning some prizes as a school. I will also give out rewards and prizes for the best challenge attempts in our next PE praise assembly when returning to school!

You could also share with your friends to spread the word. In a time where isolation and social distancing is required, by sharing this you could make a massive difference in inspiring others to be active and stay connected!

Remember to follow @sjmspe on twitter and you could also follow and tag @all_cic

Natasha Birmingham

Head of PE,

Message from Mr. Roberts - 03/04/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are well and safe during these troubled times. We have continued to be open offering provision for those children from the families of key workers who are unable to look after their children at home. A service we are proud to offer as those workers are making such a contribution, which we are all very grateful for.

I am pleased that the children are accessing the on-line learning materials that we have provided. This will continue after Easter and we will be adding to the provision with epraise becoming the main tool of setting some work that the class teacher can provide feedback on to develop an on going learning dialogue. Form teachers will also be establishing an on line community to enable the children to talk and to learn together. Further details will come out over the Easter break providing instructions on how this can be accessed.

We are very mindful that many of our children will be missing school and their friends and that parents will be doing their best to cope with the demands of home schooling. We will continue to use Twitter to provide tips and support for home schooling and share any resources that we see that parents might find useful.

You will have received a wonderful message from Reverend Ray Khan, a message of hope in seemingly the worst of times.

We, as all of you I am sure, look forward to the day when we can welcome all our children safely back to St. John’s.

May I end by wishing you all a safe Easter with your families.

Yours faithfully,

 

Geraint Roberts

Headteacher

Easter Arrangements - 03/04/2022

Dear Parents/Carers

Please find below the finalised arrangement for next week. Mr Snell, the Head Teacher of Alvechurch Middle School, will be there to welcome your child/ren and will give you a contact card for the Easter provision.

  1. The provision will run from 8:00 - 4:00. Parents can drop off any time until 9:00 as the activities won’t start until then. Parents can pick up anytime during the day if they are doing half days etc and should ring the contact number in this instance.
  2. Pick up and drop off will be via main entrance
  3. There is no catering facility during the holiday so please send your child/ren in with a packed lunch, snacks etc
  4. The school office is closed so there is a mobile which will be carried throughout the day for emergencies or if someone is getting picked up early. The number is 07871729376

Please be aware that provision at St John's will continue after the Easter break until we are able to welcome all the children back.

With regards

School office

An Easter Message from Reverend Ray Khan – Parish of Bromsgrove - 03/04/2020

It would seem that we live in interesting times!

I hope you are coping well with the chaos and joy of having your children at home, working from home and hunting for loo rolls!

I know that you are unable to visit loved ones, or that you may be worried for others. My heart is broken when I listen to families who cannot visit relatives in hospital or those who work in high risk jobs who put themselves at risk for the sake of others.

The plans that we had are all in the air.

As I write this I am preparing for Palm Sunday. Holy Week and Easter. At that time those who followed Jesus had dreams and expectations of what it would be like with Jesus in Jerusalem. What happened came as a shock.

They did not expect, Good Friday or one of their own betraying Jesus. The week started with Jesus as a celebrity and ended with Jesus being treated as a criminal. They started on a high and it ends with them hiding in real fear, grieving for lost dreams and a dead friend.

And in the middle of all that chaos another deeper story was being revealed. It was story that brought love and hope and life.

That week did not end with despair, it ended or rather life started, with new hope and new life, because of what happened on Easter Morning. Jesus who was killed is now alive, that event transformed the friends of Jesus!

My friends we may live in the shadow of uncertainty, worry, fear and even death, but this is not the end of the story. In the middle of all that you are going through is a deeper, silent song of love that sustains you even now and remains steadfast even in the darkest moments. That song gives hope.

My friends whatever it is that you have lost or are fearful of losing, that is not the final word, it is not your destiny, because of Easter there is always life and hope, which springs up in the darkest moments when all is numb.

Holy Week started so well and ends so badly, but that is not the whole story for there is Easter. Easter that divine explosion of love, life and light, that is a gift to you and me. A gift from God that reveals not just love, but gives hope. God final word in the middle of shadows is life!!

At St. John’s Church we will be posting services online for Thursday, Friday and Sunday on our YouTube Channel (St Johns Bromsgrove) and on our FaceBook Page. Each day we start with a short livestreamed service of morning prayer. So come and join us and discover for yourself that silent song of love.

If you have any prayer requests then post them on our facebook page or email me [email protected]

 

May God bless you.

Reverend Ray Khan

Cancellation of Ski Trip 2020 - Update - 02/03/2020

Dear Parents / Guardians

We hope you are well and looking after yourselves and your families!

We have recently received an update from the Ski Company regarding our cancelled trip to Bardonecchia, we wanted to share this with you.

Further to a change in the Foreign and Commonwealth office advice for trips travelling to Italy, Equity will now cancel your trip and you will receive a refund.

We understand that there are a large amount of queries regarding refunds from parents and how long these will take. Please be aware that we are working through these as quickly as we can. However due to Equity adhering to the government's advice on social distancing this could have an impact on how quickly we are able to work.

We thank you for your continued patience whilst we work in the background on your booking, you will receive a cancellation statement in due course which will advise you how much your refund is for.

Rest assured we will be in contact with you as soon as possible.

Equity, Inspiring Learning.

Latest advice received from the Department for Education - 01-04-2020

Dear Parents,

 

Please see latest advice received from the Department for Education:

 
 

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Department for Education

 
 

 

 

 

 

This is your daily email to keep you updated on the government’s response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Guidance for parents and carers: keeping children safe online

We have updated our information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.

Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings:


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 whenever you return home.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

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)

 

 

With regards

School office

Key Worker Provision - 26/03/2020

Dear Parent/Carers

As key workers we cannot stress how vital we know your role is during these unprecedented times and we would like to thank each and every individual for their contribution.

We are working with ‘skeleton’ staff. In order to safeguard and minimise the risk of exposure to both children and staff we request that your child is only sent in when there is no other childcare provision available within your own home.

We would also like to request that where it is practically possible please could you email us with your requirements for provision, we appreciate this may change due to the ever evolving situation, but in order for us to ensure that you, and we, know where the children are this is vital, especially if they are travelling to and from the school premises on their own. The school email address is [email protected].

If the provision you require changes and your child needs to attend or no longer needs to attend please advise us either way via ParentMail Absences by 8.00 am on that morning.

The kitchen facilities will be closing on Friday 3rd April so if any child requiring provision in school after this date will need to bring their own packed lunch and drink.

Please could you let us know via the school email address above if you require provision over Easter as this will be located off site at Alvechurch Middle School and we will need to ascertain numbers?

We appreciate this is a period of uncertainty but if you can, stay at home and keep safe.

Mr G L Roberts - Headteacher

Virtual Learning - 26/03/202

Virtual Learning

We are glad to see that all seems to be going well re the resources we have put on our Website.

After Easter epraise will become the core e-learning tool and further details on this will follow.

Website - News Post - CEOP - 26/03/2020

Good Morning,

Please see our latest news post on our website:

"CEOP have created a section on heir website dedicated to supporting parents during COVID-19..."

https://www.st-johns-bromsgrove.worcs.sch.uk/news/?pid=6&nid=1&storyid=71

DFE SCAM EMAIL - 25-03-2020

The Department for Education has been informed that some parents have received the following email:

'As schools will be closing, if you're entitled to free school meals, please send your bank details and we'll make sure you're supported'

This is a scam email - it is not from a local authority. Please do not respond to it and delete it immediately.

Thank you

Earky Help - 24/03/20202

Dear Parents/Guardians

Following the school closure announcement made last week, we have all entered uncharted territory. Having your children at home and not being able to use grandparents or support networks that you normally would is likely to present a variety of challenges. I hope that you have all discovered the Interactive Learning Resources on the school website and have been able to maintain some of the daily structure that children need. The change in your role may have raised some tensions within the household and, this is only to be expected given the extreme circumstances that we find ourselves in. However, we are aware that the closure may also have put some parents in a situation where they are unable to work or that their place of work has now been told to close creating financial issues.

Part of the role of schools is to ensure the safety of its pupils and their families during these unprecedented times. Many of you may be aware of the school Early Help Statement, which can be found on the website. However I wanted to attach it and ensure that everyone was aware that it contains a variety of agencies who are still operating remotely and can offer support and guidance.

Following the guidance set out by the Government, we have offered provision for the key groups identified. However, we do recognise that other people may require advice or support.

Epraise continues to function and any concerns or questions raised will be recorded for the school Safeguarding Lead to see. These will then be shared with the staff who can best offer guidance.

Kind Regards

Stay Safe

Mr K Medway - Deputy Headteacher (Designated Safeguarding Lead)

Interactive Learning - 23/03/2020

Good Afternoon,

A link to the 'Interactive Learning' page is now on the homepage of the website. You MUST click on ALL tabs within the page in order to access the resources you need.

Example: Interactive Learning > English > Year 8 > Reading/ Writing (PDF's attached)

We also encourage you to follow us on twitter as this is where we will post a lot of communication.

@stjohnsmiddle

Thank you

School Support/ Key Workers - 20/03/2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

We would like to confirm that will be offering childcare provision for your child from 8:45 a.m. – 3.15 p.m. Monday to Friday next week and hopefully beyond. All children should come to school through the Watt Close gate entrance only. Children can wear casual but school appropriate clothes and those who would normally attend breakfast club may still do so from 8.00am, coming in the normal way.

Please can we remind parents that this is child care provision only and that the teachers will not be teaching but facilitating the children who will be using the materials/on-line resources placed on our website.

Additionally we have just received the following notification from the Local Education Authority to politely remind parents that Provision is only available when you are required to work. It is not available at other times. Where only one parent/carer is a ‘critical worker’ there is an expectation that the child stays at home with the other parent to ensure the principal and impact of social distancing is maximised.

Regarding food provision, break time snacks and hot dinners will be available to purchase unless you qualify for Free School meals where food will be provided in the usual way.

We will be in regular contact to let you know of any changes or updates.

 

Geraint Roberts

Headteacher

New EmailArchiveForwardView Recipients

Interactive Learning Resources - 20/03/2020

Dear Parents / Guardians

Further to my letter this morning, I write to provide details of the Interactive Learning Resources that staff have created for the children to access while at home.

These are available to download from our website. If you click on the ‘For Parents’ tab, scroll down and click on the interactive learning tab.

The resources can be accessed by year group or by subject. These resources are designed to provide activities for the children up until the Easter break.

We will be looking at additional facilities to enable a more structured approach after the Easter break.

We will continue to update you regularly with regard to our resources and how we will facilitate remote learning.

Today, I have gone into each class talking to the children and telling them that the most difficult thing I have had to do so far as Headteacher, is to shut their school without providing a date for when we will re-open. I look forward to the day when we can welcome your children back to where they belong, at St John’s.

Once again, can I thank you for your support and wish you and your family every health.

Mr G L Roberts

Headteacher

Keyworkers definition from Mr Roberts - 20/03/2020

Dear Parent/Guardian

Further to my letter of yesterday with regard to offering child care provision for Key Workers the government has now published further details. I have outlined their guidance below and must stress that even for children of Key Workers if there is alternative provision at home available then they should stay at home to limit the spread of the virus. This for example would include a family where one parent is a Key Worker but the other is not therefore the other parent would be expected to stay at home to look after the children.

So the provision is only for the children of Key workers who have no alternative.

The advice we have received is as follows:

“If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.”

That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.

Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children - children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.

Vulnerable children include children who are supported by social care, those with safeguarding and welfare needs, including child in need plans, on child protection plans, ‘looked after’ children, young carers, disabled children and those with education, health and care (EHC) plansIn this case we have already contacted all parents of children who fall under this category.

The following categories have been identified as Key Workers:

Health and social care

This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach.

Key public services

This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting.

Local and national government

This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies.

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines).

Public safety and national security

This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas.

Transport

This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors.

Can I stress that the provision we will be able to provide will be dependent upon staff availability and we already have a number of staff self-isolating. We will be liaising with other Bromsgrove Middle Schools and it may be that provision at times may be at another school.

If you have not already let us know then please complete the form that was sent out yesterday and we will contact you today to confirm.

Rest assured we will do out very best to provide provision but the level may vary and we will communicate closely with those parents who need to access it. Later today I will write to confirm the Virtual learning resources that will be available on our web site for all children.

Thankyou for your support and may I wish you and your family the very best in these difficult times.

Mr G L Roberts

Headteacher.

Collection of Items from school - 19/03/2020

Dear Parents / Guardians

In order to 'maintain distance' whenever possible to limit the ability of the coronavirus spreading, please can we ask that parents/guardians DO NOT come into school to drop off or collect pupils items, e.g. PE kits, homework, etc unless it relates to a pupils medical condition or in an emergency.

Kind regards

G L Roberts Headteacher

Coronavirus Update - School Closure - 19/03/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Following the announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday, as expected, all schools have been instructed to close tomorrow from 3:15 p.m. for most pupils. The exception will be:

  • Pupils with an EHCP
  • Pupils with a PEP or social worker

Therefore we will be closing and further details will follow either today or tomorrow outlining the on line resources that we have been creating that will offer work up until the Easter Holidays.

We are also investigating a more structured on-line learning facility that will allow us to support the children in the event of extended closure.

We hope to offer provision for parents who are key workers and will communicate with parents as soon as we have information on this definition from the Department for Education. The level of provision we can offer will obviously be dependent on the availability of staff given the on going developing situation.

Rest assured we will do our very best to support our children and parents during these exceptional times.

G L Roberts

Headteacher

Coronavirus Update - 18/03/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Just to update you on the situation in respect to the Coronavirus or Covid 19.

We continue to monitor the situation closely and follow the latest Government advice.

This is having an impact on the smooth running of school as a number of our staff have come under the new category of individuals who have to avoid social contact and have therefore been sent home.

We have suspended all after school clubs, our Extended Services Provision, both breakfast club and after school club, will cease at the end of this week and we have also taken the decision to delay the sending home of Reports at this stage.

Currently we have no plans to close unless we are told to do so. However, if staff absence increases due to the ongoing situation then we may have to consider partial closure. This would involve closing to Years 7 and 8 pupils in the first instance.

We are acutely aware of the impact this will have on parents and will do our very best to avoid this. However, I am sure parents will understand the situation is very fluid and our ability to keep school open as normal may be compromised due to staff absence.

We have attached the latest advice from the Government for your information.

We continue to do our best to support the children and thank you for your co-operation during this very trying and unprecedented period.

Mr. G. L. Roberts

Headteacher

Cancellation of After School Club - 17/03/2020

Dear Parents and Carers

Due to the current risk of Covid-19 and current Government and Department of Health guidelines, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel our Afterschool Club facilities after Friday 20th March until further notice.

Unfortunately we do not have enough staff to effectively operate this service due to some needing to self-isolate and/or having underlying health conditions.

At present, we are able to continue with our Breakfast Club facilities.

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your understanding, it is a decision that we have not made lightly.

Yours faithfully

Geraint Roberts

Headteacher and CEO The Spire C of E Learning Trust

Coronavirus Update - 12/03/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians

Further to my letter regarding Coronavirus our additional guidance is that should your child be displaying flu like symptoms with a temperature then they should remain at home for a period of 5 days and this would extend to siblings too. According to recent information available the key element is temperature but if you have any doubt please keep your child at home.

Thank you for your support and co-operation myself, our staff and Governors are all trying very hard to ensure that we provide the safest possible environment for all in these difficult circumstances.

Mr G L Roberts - Headteacher

Communication from Mr. Roberts - 11/03/2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Coronavirus Mitigating Risk for the children and staff

Normal life at St. John’s continues and we were delighted to hear that over the weekend Umar Rashid received “Court Reporter of the competition” with Olivia Harvey runner up at the Mock Trials competition held at Worcestershire Magistrates Court.

This followed on from two very successful and enjoyable enrichment days.  The range of costumes on display on World Book Day was very impressive!

You will not need to be reminded of the on going concern with the outbreak of the Coronavirus.  In order to reduce the risk to the children and staff we have decided to action the following:

  1. Parents Evenings – 24th, 26th and 30th March.

We will be holding a “virtual” parents evening so parents will not need to come into school.  All Parents will receive their child’s progress report and this will be followed up with a phone call if there is a concern.  Parents can also message the class teacher to raise any concerns.

  1. Children displaying any flu like symptoms

We would ask you to keep children at home if they develop a cold and to do so for 5 days.  There are children at school with underlying health conditions and it is important that we as a community do all we can to minimise the risk to both them and other children.

These measures will be in place until the end of term at which point they will be reviewed in light of the on-going situation.

Thank you, as ever, for your continued support in these particularly trying times.

Yours faithfully,

 

Mr. G. L. Roberts

Headteacher

Coronavirus - 02/03/2020

Dear Parents/Carers

Please see below the most recent information regarding Coronavirus from the Department for Education

Kind Regards

St John's School

 

We are continuing to keep you updated on the government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

Department for Education Coronavirus helpline

Today, we have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

  • No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:

https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.

New guidance for employers

The Department for Business (BEIS) and Public Health England have issued guidance for employers, which you can find at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-covid-19

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

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

Please read - Novel Coronavirus (COVID - 19) - 25/02/2020

Dear Parent/Carer

We have just received new advice regarding the COVID-19 virus for anyone who has travelled to specific areas of the world and this may apply to some students/parents over half term. This information is included below. Please telephone the school to inform us should this apply to you/your family.

School office

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Further information received re Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) to be passed onto parents/carers

If you have returned from these specific areas since February 19th2020, you should call NHS111 and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

· Iran

· Specific lockdown areas in Northern Italy as designated by the Government of Italy

· Special care zones in South Korea as designated by the Government of the Republic of South Korea

· Hubei province (returned in the past 14 days)

If you have returned from these areas since February 19th 2020 and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call NHS111. You do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

· Northern Italy (defined by a line above, and not including, Pisa, Florence and Rimini),

· Vietnam

· Cambodia

· Laos

· Myanmar