4th September 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I do hope you were able to have an enjoyable summer.
We are really looking forward to seeing all the children again and welcoming them back to school. I know some members of our community are keen to get back to a more ‘normal’ day to day routine whilst others are feeing anxious about the ongoing situation we find ourselves in and a return to wider society.
The staff at Palatine are committed to supporting you through this and we will continue to communicate with you regularly and work with you to ensure we do the very best for our pupils and families in regards to safety, happiness and learning.
Please do look on our website under information / useful information / covid 19 where you will find a welcome video which I hope will help you feel confident in the steps we are taking to keep everyone safe and to welcome all of our children back to school. You will also find a hello video from me to the children. Over the weekend Nathan will be uploading a video about the changes in school for you to share with the children. Unfortunately the building work in school was delayed over the summer so final works are being carried out around us today! We felt the video needed to capture school as it really looks which means Nathan and Janetta will be shooting the film at the end of today. Nathan will then need to edit and upload. You will be able to find the video by following the link to you tube provided below. At present you can see some of our earlier videos and over the weekend Nathan will upload the latest one. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7GICxV1BpWORGHwl7pJhTw
A huge thank you to him for doing this over the weekend. We do hope all of this information will help you in feeling confident about returning to school.
Building work often doesn’t go to plan and in current circumstances the challenges have been even greater. Staff have worked tirelessly around their training to get the school ready and the classrooms are looking lovely. You will note that the entrance is not quite finished and the staff have again done a great job at coming up with solutions that ensure everyone will still receive a warm welcome to school.
- Please follow carefully the instructions in your letter at the end of term about arrival and departure times: these will help the children to have safe, calm and smooth transitions into and out of school.
- Please only send your son or daughter for the two days allocated next week. This will ensure all the children get an opportunity to learn and experience new systems and procedures in a quieter environment than usual.
- Please be aware there are ongoing road works very near to school on Palatine Road which is making the road harder to navigate and more difficult to park in. Please do take care to park safely and respectfully of our neighbours.
- Please do make sure you provide your son or daughter with the right equipment to meet their personal care needs including nappies, towels and bibs as required. We cannot wash items in school within this current situation so everything will be sent home each day to be washed and you will need to have sufficient spares and items for each day. Thank you.
- Please also provide your son or daughter with their own snack.
- Please do not send your son or daughter into school if you have visited a country on the government’s quarantine list. Please telephone school if this has been the case.
- Please note uniform is not required currently. We are more than happy for it to be worn but please dress your children in easy to wash, comfortable clothing that helps make your family life as easy as possible to manage. Name labels are essential. If your son or daughter has Forest School or PE please dress them in their kit for the day in order to minimise close physical contact. We recommend old clothes for Forest School as they can get dirty! Please do send in a spare set of clothes. We cannot wash items in school at the moment and personal belongings will be sent home daily.
Please be absolutely rigorous in upholding the rules around what to do if you or a member of your family is experiencing coronavirus symptoms. This will ensure we are able to keep everyone safe and well and ensure minimum disruption to school.
Symptoms of coronavirus
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- 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 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
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
If a child displays these symptoms we will ask you to collect them and carry out the required procedures around this. Please do ensure school has up to date contact details as this is essential to keeping out community safe.
What you need to do if a member of your family has symptoms of coronavirus
- If you/ your child have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your /their symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test / arrange for them to have a test to see if you/ they have COVID-19. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
- If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken.
- If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart your 10-day isolation from the day you developed symptoms.
- After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice.
- You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. See the ending isolation section below for more information.
- All other household members need to stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.
- The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken.
- If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period.
- Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.
- If you develop COVID-19 symptoms again at any point after ending your first period of isolation (self or household), follow the guidance on self-isolation again. The section below has further information.
Government guidance about Track and Trace
Follow this advice if you’re told by NHS Test and Trace that you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus (COVID-19) and must stay at home (self-isolate).
Stay at home for 14 days
If you’re told to self-isolate because you’ve been in contact with a person who has coronavirus:
- self-isolate for 14 days from the day you were last in contact with the person – as it can take up to 14 days for symptoms to appear
- do not leave your home for any reason – if you need food or medicine, order it online or by phone, or ask friends and family to drop it off at your home
- do not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for essential care
- try to avoid contact with anyone you live with as much as possible
- people you live with do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
- people in your support bubble do not need to self-isolate if you do not have symptoms
If you get symptoms of coronavirus
If you get any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) while you’re self-isolating:
- get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
- anyone you live with must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result
- anyone in your support bubble must self-isolate until you’ve been tested and received your result
What to do when you get your test result
If you test negative (the test did not find coronavirus):
- keep self-isolating for the rest of the 14 days from when you were last in contact with the person who has coronavirus – as you could get symptoms after being tested
- anyone you live with can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms
- anyone in your support bubble can stop self-isolating if they do not have symptoms
If you test positive (you have coronavirus):
- self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started – even if it means you’re self-isolating for longer than 14 days
- anyone you live with must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started
- anyone in your support bubble must self-isolate for 14 days from when your symptoms started
If you do not get symptoms of coronavirus
If you do not get any symptoms of coronavirus while self-isolating:
- you can stop self-isolating after 14 days
- you do not need to have a test
How NHS Test and Trace will contact you
You’ll be contacted by email, text or phone.
Text messages will come from NHStracing. Calls will come from 0300 0135 000.
Children under 18 will be contacted by phone wherever possible and asked for their parent or guardian’s permission to continue the call.
You’ll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk.
If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.
The NHS Test and Trace service will not:
- ask for bank details or payments
- ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
- ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
- ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087
All of this information can be found on the government’s website. I felt it was useful for you to have it in one place.
Next week we will make a video to support us all in remembering this! We will also be sending some letters home that require you to sign and return them to school. Please can you make sure that you include all contact information fully. Thank you.
Last year the Palatine community did a wonderful job of working together and ensuring we all played our part in keeping the community safe. I know that we will continue in this vein over the coming months and appreciate your continued support and co-operation. Thank you very much!
Have a lovely weekend.