5th March 2021

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you have had a good week and that you especially enjoyed World Book Day yesterday. Please do look at our social media to see what we were up to!

Last night I posted a video on you tube and the school website explaining the control measures we have in place at Palatine. You can also find our latest risk assessment and written and communicate in print versions of our control measures on the school website should you need to refer to them. I do hope that all this information will support you in feeling that it is safe for your son or daughter to being in school.

 

Arrival and Departure

 

Please note there has been a slight alteration to the published plan last week and parents effected have been notified.

  • We ask that all parents who are not exempt continue to wear face masks for drop off and collection. Staff have the option to wear masks in the classrooms as well as communal areas should they feel safer in doing so.
  • Please ensure you keep a safe distance from other families as far as possible at arrival and departure and arrive as near as possible to your allotted time slot which will continue to be the same as it has been since September (please see the table below).

Arrival – Parent Pool door:

8.50 Penguins, Hedgehogs, Jellyfish 

9.00 Flamingos & Bluebirds

9.10 EYFS

9.20 Any personalised arrivals

9.30 Seahorses

Departure – Parent Pool door:

2.20 Any personalised departures

2.30 Seahorse & EYFS

2.40 Flamingos & Bluebirds

2.50 Jellyfish, Hedgehogs, Penguins

 

 

Arrival – Parent Side Gate:

8.50 Squirrels & Wolves 

9.00 Elephants and Giraffes

9.10 Starfish, Dolphins, Rainbow Fish

Departure – Parent Side Gate:

2.30 Dolphins, Starfish, Rainbow Fish

2.40 Squirrels & Wolves

2.50 Elephants and Giraffes

I ask for you patience and co-operation with this. It will take everyone a while to get used to this and the busyness of school again. Thank you

Covid symptoms and procedures: essential protocols that should be followed by all

  • The covid19@palatineschool.org email is for parents and carers to use if their son or daughter tests positive out of school hours. This is checked out of hours at regular intervals by the duty manager. If that occurs before 9 pm in the evening we will phone the parents and staff who have been in direct contact to explain the situation and to ask them to remain at home the next day. If we cannot get hold of someone we will email them. If we get notified after 9 pm (10 pm is the latest time we will check the email) a message will be sent via School Ping to those who need to stay at home the next day. We will then contact the DfE and PHE once they are open and follow their instructions and contact you again with full details of the actions we and you need to take. Please do follow these procedures to enable us to remain open. Please only use this email if your son or daughter has tested positive. All other information should be shared using the usual channels and in the working day. Thank you.

Vigilance with Covid Symptoms

I ask that you are extra vigilant and take the extra precaution of not sending your child in even if they are presenting with what you think is a normal cold or bug.

 

It is absolutely essential that we follow the guidelines and children must not come to school if they are displaying the following symptoms:

 

Symptoms of COVID 19

The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

 

What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19

If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they must not come to school and should remain at home for at least 10 days from the day after their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119.

 

All other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days after the day the first person developed symptoms or had a positive test result.

Staffing

As you will be aware if staff are ill or staff have to isolate because they have been contacted by track and trace or have received a positive lateral flow test result this puts pressure on staffing and may make it unsafe to have all classes in.

The list of those being identified as clinically extremely vulnerable was updated at the end of last week by the government and we now have more staff who fall into this category and are not able to be in school until March 31st.

This means we are running on extremely tight staffing with no wiggle room. This may mean that we need to contact you in a morning to say that a particular class is closed. We will do everything we can to avoid this. Safety is paramount and we will only do this if we have no choice. I hope that preparing you for this possibility will help.

Access to Lateral Flow Device Tests

NHS Test and Trace announced earlier this week, that all adults in households with school and college age children without symptoms can now access regular rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing.

 

Undertaking regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing helps reduce transmission of the virus. Parents and other adults in households with children at school or college, who do not have symptoms, can now access regular, rapid coronavirus (COVID-19) testing. This includes childcare and support bubbles.

Tests are fast, easy and completely free. There are different ways for a household, childcare or support bubble to collect their test to take at home, twice-weekly:

·         through your employer, if they offer testing to employees

·         by collecting a home test kit from a local test site – anyone aged 18 or over can collect 2 packs of 7 tests

·         by ordering a home test kit online – please do not order online if you can access testing through other routes, this frees up home delivery for those who need it most

If you have any queries about the tests, and you live in England, please call 119 (free from mobiles and landlines). Lines are open every day from 7am to 11pm.

Children of primary school age (and below) without symptoms are not being asked to take a test.

 

Testing is voluntary, but strongly recommended to all who are eligible. Alongside the vaccine, washing hands, wearing face coverings, and maintaining social distancing, rapid testing plays a vital role in reducing transmission rates. Getting into the habit of regular testing as part of our everyday lives will help us all to play our part and do what we can to protect each other.

 

I hope you all have a lovely weekend and enjoy the spring sunshine! We are really looking forward to seeing you all on Monday!

Very best wishes

Catriona

 

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