Dear Parents and Carers,

You will no doubt be aware that we have had an increasing number of cases of Covid in school over the last few weeks. Another two classes are now in outbreak bubbles and there are other individual cases across the school.

I have again been in contact with the Health Security Agency (formally known as Public Health England).

A summary of this discussion is that:

  • as a school we are doing everything we can to minimise the spread of the infection;
  • cases are coming into school from the broader community rather than spreading between classes because of the measures in place;
  • because there is a high amount of cases in the community it will inevitably come into school;
  • they were impressed by how well we are working together and all playing out part in this (for example your willingness to test the children and yourselves was commended by the practitioner, so thank you!)

Moving forward they asked that I remind you of symptoms and procedures:

Your child should come to school unless they are unwell.

If your child is unwell they should remain at home until they are better. It is really important in our community where a number of children are medically vulnerable that you keep them at home when they are unwell to avoid the unnecessary spread of illness. This can lead to other children and staff getting poorly which can decrease staffing levels in school which has a knock on effect on learning.

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

We are still required to send children home if they are displaying any of these symptoms.

Please note that children across the school who have tested positive have also experienced a range of other symptoms including:

  • sickness
  • aches and pains
  • sore throat
  • diarrhoea
  • conjunctivitis (sore, red eyes)
  • headache
  • a skin rash,
  • discolouration of fingers or toes
  • not ‘being themselves’
  • a runny nose /the ‘sniffles’

Please, therefore, do not send your child to school with these symptoms.

Our aim is for school to remain open for as many as possible with the least disruption until the end of term and you can help in this by only sending your child in if they are well.

As an extra precaution if a member of your family tests positive it would be best if you keep your child at home until they have had a PCR test that is negative. This is because of the evidence we have from the contact tracing we have been doing about how the virus is coming into classes and then spreading within them. Thank you for your support in this.

Control measures in place at Palatine

On our website you can find further information on the control measures in place at Palatine the main ones of which are:

  • additional cleaning
  • increased ventilation
  • regular handwashing
  • “Catch it, bin it” messaging and access to lidded bins
  • Adults are wearing facemasks in communal areas
  • Packed lunches are being eaten in classrooms
  • All visitors are required to complete an LFT test and wear a facemask
  • Use of the staffroom has been limited
  • All across school staff meetings are taking place online

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries. Thank you for your ongoing support and good wishes. Our team effort is paying off and the health security agency thought the way we were working together was impressive so I wanted to say a huge thank you to you all for playing your part in this.

Kindest regards

Catriona Goldsmith

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