Coronavirus Information Page:
Coronavirus Updates for Parents / Carers:
Dear Parents / Carers,
Please be aware that this page will be used to keep you updated as and when there is new information to share, so please check regularly.
Scroll down to see the latest information.
Useful links: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Parent Survey - please CLICK HERE to access the parent survey mentioned in the letter above. Thank you.
Please CLICK HERE to see the full (19 page) Risk Assessment, findings and extra details around how we arrived at our proposed phased return approach.
Click here to download the poster with advice on how to protect your child from online grooming.
Government Guidance for Parents and Carers on How to Help Education Your Child at Home:
The government have published some helpful ideas to support parents and carers during this time of school closure. Please click here to access this online:
Guidance on using Free School Meal Vouchers: (20/04/20)
For those families who qualify and have been sent vouchers under this scheme (see information lower down this page for more details), this is a useful guide that has been published on how to use them. CLICK HERE
Free School Meal Voucher Scheme (updated 01/04/20 )
The government have created a scheme for the parents of all children who are eligible for 'benefits related free school meals'.
This is not the same as 'universal free school meals' where ALL children get free meals in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
This is only for families who are in receipt of certain benefits and that have applied for benefits related free school meals online.
How the scheme works:
If you have registered for benefits related free school meals then the school have a record of this. I then send your details to the company chosen to run the scheme on a weekly basis'
In return, they will send you a weekly email with a £15.00 voucher per child you have in our school (I have asked for this to be on a Monday). In the email you get the chance to say which supermarket you wish to use the voucher at and then it is created for you. You then use this at the checkout to get money off your bill. There are some restrictions, such as not being able to be used for alcohol or tobacco.
All families recorded on the school system will get a text to inform them of this scheme and directing them to this page for full details.
The first vouchers should arrive on Monday 20th April 2020.
Now that this scheme is in place, we will no longer be providing the daily packed lunches or weekly hampers that we have done up until now.
If you feel you may be eligible for benefits related free school meals but have not yet registered, you can find out (and if eligible, apply) using this link: https://www.suffolk.gov.uk/children-families-and-learning/schools/school-meals-uniforms-and-trips/apply-for-free-school-meals/
Please can you inform the school via firstname.lastname@example.org if you make an application so we can look out for confirmation of this.
Any questions, then please use the same email above to contact us.
Many thanks, Mr Clark
Coronavirus Information Update: 19/03/2020
During this time of enforced closure, we will be providing you with suggestions for activities and tasks that your children can do in order to keep their learning alive and their brains active!
We are currently working on setting this up and plan for the system to be live and fully working by 10.00am on Monday 23rd March, 2020.
Firstly, there will be a central page, which you can access via a link on the home page of our website.
This central page will contain ideas for writing as well as a growing number of ideas / links for websites you can visit and possible activities for all ages too. The page will develop as time goes on.
On this central page you will find links to individual pages for each year group. These pages will contain ideas and suggestions for learning activities and tasks specifically for the children in that year group. The page will be updated at least once a week. Teachers will aim that by 10.00am every Monday, there will be new ideas put on to their page to engage the children for the next 5 days. Sometimes these may appear in advance, but there will be ideas for each week we are closed (except for school holidays).
These pages will cover a whole range of subjects and ideas.
You are welcome to look at the pages for other year groups if you find the resources and suggestions more suitable for your child.
As well as ideas generated by the teachers, we will be ‘signposting’ you to other websites that have a great number of superb resources for the children to use. These are not school run websites but ones which are offering resources for families to use free of charge.
Please note, however, that staff illness may mean that pages cannot be updated as we intend – if this becomes the case we will of course let you know!
Keeping in Touch During Enforced School Closure:
During the time we are closed we will be in contact in a number of ways:
- The usual texting and emailing service may be used by both class teachers and / or the school leadership team, especially when there are important bits of information to share.
- The school website will be regularly updated with any news – the key page to visit has a link on our home page, or you can go to the NEWS tab at the top and select the Coronavirus Info link at the bottom of the drop down menu. Often you will receive a text to inform you of any new updates!
- If you wish to contact us, you will be able to do so in the following ways:
- Teachers – each class will have a class email operating, which teachers will check each day. We will aim to respond to any questions / queries within 24hrs (excluding weekends or holidays) but cannot guarantee this in all cases. The email addresses are simply the class name followed by our usual email address stem, for example Wild Cats class would be email@example.com
- Leadership Team (Mr Clark, Mrs Tanner & Miss Fuller) – if you wish to contact the school leadership team rather than your child’s class teacher, please do not use the normal admin email address (this needs to be reserved for official use and may not be checked every day, so your emails may easily become lost). Instead, you will be able to email school leadership email which has been set up especially for the closure period – this is firstname.lastname@example.org – this will be checked daily!
If parents of older children wish their child to be able to email their teacher directly, the email should be cc’d to their parent’s email each time. This will allow teachers in the first instance to check with parents that they are happy for this, plus it will ensure that all emails are seen by parents and parents are fully kept involved and in the loop.
Please could we ask that parents explain to their child that emails should only be about school work and any inappropriate emails will be passed on by teachers to Mr Clark to respond to.
Update for Child Care for Designated Children:
You will be aware that the government have asked schools to remain open in order to provide child care for the children of key workers, as well as some of the most vulnerable children.
Regrettably we still have not been told who this list will include.
However, we need to start planning and we recognise that parents need to make arrangements too, for this Monday onwards. Therefore we are working on the assumptions that the following will be part of this group:
- Emergency services workers (fire, ambulance & police)
- NHS Workers
- School Staff
- Supermarket Delivery Drivers
- Care Workers
We are also waiting for confirmation as to whether this only applies if BOTH parents are ‘key workers’ – our understanding is that it may, but we really cannot be sure!
As soon as we get anything more concrete, we will of course let you know!
Whilst we are operating as a child care facility rather than a school, the children will not be required to wear their school uniform; they should however, wear sensible clothes such as jeans and T-shirts / jumpers. They may well spend time outside as well as indoors, so no party clothes or costumes please!
If you feel your child would qualify for this child care and you would like this to be considered, please contact us through using the email address: email@example.com.
You will need to give the following details:
- Child's name
- Child's Class
- Reason why you feel they would qualify - e.g. Parent's job, including hrs worked (both parents) or that they have an EHCP (if you do know what an EHCP is then don’t worry, they won’t have one!)
We can then check to see if your child would qualify and if so, get in touch as to what this means and how we can help! Please wait for confirmation from the school before you bring you child in - thank you!
Finally, as the school will remain open for a small group of designated children, you can try using the school phone to get in touch as well, although there may not be staff in the office at all times, in which case, please use the leadership email shown above.
As always, our thanks to everyone for their support and together we will see ourselves and our loved ones through this difficult time!
Coronavirus Information Update: 18/03/2020
Children of Key Workers & Vulnerable Children:
As yet we do not know exactly which children will come into this category, but we have been told that it will include:
- NHS hospital staff
- Delivery drivers for supermarket food deliveries
- Children with a Social Worker
- Children with an EHCP (special statements of need - if you do not know this term then do not worry, your child won't have one!)
By Monday we need to have identified who might fall into this category and if their parents have no other care arrangements (such as partners) so may require them to be at school. This is an awfully short time scale, so we would be very grateful if any parent who THINKS they may have a child in one of these categories and WOULD NEED child care, could please let us know as soon as possible.
If you think you might have a child in one of these categories and would need them to be in school, please send an email to the following special email address that we have set up: firstname.lastname@example.org We can then begin checking to see if the children would qualify.
You will need to give the following details:
Reason why you feel they would qualify - e.g. Parent's job, including hrs worked (both parents) or that they have an EHCP
Please note, brothers or sisters of children with EHCPs would not, as we understand it, qualify!
Finally, please be aware that it has also been suggested that the child care provision (schools have been told they would not be expected to run lessons and educate the children, but instead, provide child care), may not be in the child's own school - they may need to go to another local school in order to access it!
Whilst providing this information WILL NOT guarantee that your child will be able to access child care provision, either at Combs Ford or another local school, it will at least help us to start looking at possible numbers. Similarly, if you have a child that fits one of these categories but you know you definitely WOULD NOT require child care, please also let us know via the email above, as this would also be very helpful.
Many thanks, Mr Clark
Government Announcement to Close Schools:
As you may have already heard, today the government have announced that all schools will be closing as from the end of the school day this Friday, 20th March. Also, as you are aware we have many staff who are self-isolating or unwell, (today we had 19 staff absent). Please be aware, whilst we will do everything we can to keep open until the end of the week, if the number of staff absent were to increase, we may not have the capacity and may have to close before this!
We have already been working on plans on how we can support your child’s learning through this period of enforced closure and we will be posting up details on our website of how this will work, before the end of the week.
In the announcement the government have said that some children may be able to remain at school if they fall into certain categories; currently we have no guidance on this and there are many questions to be answered, such as:
- Exactly which children this would include?
- Will this would be full time or part time?
- Will these children have meals provided by the school?
- Presumably any child whose family is self-isolating will not be able to come in, regardless of being in a category?
- Will parents actually want their child to be coming in and mixing with others at this time?
As soon as we have the answers to these and many more questions, we will of course let everyone one know, but as yet we have no information or guidance at all.
I wish I were able to give you more clarity and appreciate this leaves so many questions unanswered, but until we get the guidance we need from the government, we are not in a position to tell you anything more.
Please keep checking our website for any further updates.
Thank you for your continued support; we will be in touch with you as soon as we know more!
Coronavirus Information Update: 17/03/2020
Keeping School Open:
Currently we have a high number of staff needing to self-isolate and the number is growing fast.
We are also seeing a growing number of children who are having to stay away from school.
In order to keep the school open we are moving the remaining staff around and therefore your child may have a different person teaching them at times over the next day or so. It may also be necessary to move children around and combine classes, although we will do our best to avoid this if we can.
Please be aware this may mean our usual lessons being changed and some of the planned activities being cancelled.
Whilst not ideal, we are facing an unprecedented situation where significant numbers of staff are going to be absent. Whilst we can maintain a safe environment for the children we will remain open; if this changes we will of course let you know.
Reminder: If anyone in your household shows symptoms of the Coronavirus, the WHOLE household should now go into self-isolation for 14 days. Therefore, any child who has developed either a cough or a high temperature, will not be able to return to school for the full 14 days (if they develop these during the school day, we will call and ask for them to be collected as soon as possible).
Please keep checking our website for any further updates.
Thank you for your support in this!
Monday 16th March 2020
These will now take place over the phone.
Rather than parents / carers coming into school, teachers will call you on the same evening at the same time, using the number you have given the school. If your number needs updating, please let the office know ASAP. In order to make this work, teachers will of course have to keep to a very tight schedule. Therefore:
- Teachers will need to keep strictly to the 10 minutes as a maximum, slightly less if possible; please can we ask everyone to be understanding that calls cannot take longer than this as it would mean the timings being wrong for everyone that follows!
- If you are unable to answer the call, this would be the same as not being able to attend the meeting – teachers will need to move on to the next parent and it may not always be possible for them to call again later, though this will be tried if time allows.
- Caller ID – as we do not have enough phone lines in school to do this all at once, staff will be using their own phones; I will be asking all staff to block their caller ID for obvious privacy reasons, so please be ready to receive a call showing this – it will not be the school number they call on!
We are currently going to suspend any school assemblies as this will avoid any unnecessary large group gatherings. We will use this time for a mixture of extended playtime to get plenty of fresh air and some additional classroom time for learning.
It is most likely that any planned events which involve additional people coming to the school or trips out of school, will for the time being, be suspended. Where possible, we will reschedule these for another time.
In the event of school closures:
We are working right now on plans for if this does happen. If the time arrives then we will ensure you are fully informed of what the school will be doing and how we can keep in touch.