St. Vincent’s Catholic Primary School has worked really hard to comply with the government advice to make our school as safe as possible whilst maintaining a happy, inspiring learning environment.
Government guidance for parents and carers can be found here.
We regularly review our Risk Assessment and you can read the latest version here (most recent update 16.09.21).
One of the ways that parents can support us to maintain this is by following the advice below and keeping your child at home if they display any symptoms of coronavirus and getting tested as soon as possible. If your child develops symptoms at school and you have difficulty booking a test please speak to Miss Coleman.
The main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) 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
On 30th June Public Health England advised the the symptoms of the new Delta variant are:
- sore throat
- runny nose
These symptoms present as a common cold so schools have been advised to have a low threshold of suspicion for cases.
Please see the letter from Public Health here.
To protect others, do not go to places like a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital if you have any of these symptoms. Get a PCR test to check if you or your child has coronavirus and stay at home until you get your result.
If your child is not displaying the above symptoms, but is unwell for example with an upset tummy, please keep them home, as always so they can recover and not pass this onto others.
Response to Infection
If anyone in our school develops a new and continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), or presents with a common cold (headache, sore throat, runny nose, fever) we must:
· send them home to begin isolation – the isolation period includes the day the symptoms started and the next 10 full days
· advise them to follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed COVID-19 infection
· advise them to arrange to have a PCR test as soon as possible to see if they have COVID-19
Other members of their household (including any siblings and members of their support or childcare bubble if they have one) should self-isolate. Their isolation period includes the day symptoms started for the first person in their household, or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms, whether this was a Lateral Flow Device (LFD) or Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test), and the next10 full days. It remains essential that anyone who gets a positive result from an LFD result self-isolates immediately, as must other members of their household, while they get a confirmatory PCR test.
If a member of the household starts to display symptoms while self-isolating they will need to restart the 10-day isolation period and book a test.
If anyone tests positive whilst not experiencing symptoms, but develops symptoms during the isolation period, they must restart the 10-day isolation period from the day they developed symptoms.
If your child is displaying any of the COVID-19 symptoms described above, testing is available for all ages (including the under 5s). If children report symptoms, parents should apply to have a coronavirus (COVID-19) PCR test. These are available for all ages (including the under 5s) and online via the NHS portal https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ or by calling 119.(119 is the Covid number for NHS Test and Trace. 111 is still the number for all other non-emergencies.)
COVID-19 Help & Advice –Please complete this form if your child or someone in your household has symptoms
This form will help you with what action to take if your child is ill or if someone in your household is ill. It does not offer medical advice. Consult your GP or Call NHS 111 for medical advice. It is essential that all families complete the information if they or a member of their household displays any symptoms. It is very important that the school is kept up to date and informed at every stage. Thank you.
As one of the measures to keep our school family safe, all staff working at St. Vincent’s undertake lateral flow tests twice every week. This testing is important because staff could be carrying the virus without knowing it and may spread it to others. Testing all staff without symptoms supports our school to continue to operate and breaks the chain of transmission.
All adults in households with school 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. 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.
The asymptomatic testing programme does not replace the current testing policy for those with symptoms. Anyone with symptoms (even if they recently had a negative LFD test result), should still self-isolate immediately according to government guidelines. Those with symptoms are also expected to order a test online or visit a test site to take a lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test to check if they have the virus. It remains imperative that the system of controls continues to be rigorously applied to enable the safest possible environment. The testing programme is an important addition to supporting leaders to maintain the continuity of education through the pandemic.
Roadmap Out of Lockdown
From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift and the government’s four-step roadmap offer a route back to a more normal life.
The success of the vaccination programme is one factor . The public have also risen to the challenge of suppressing COVID-19: by obeying the law; staying at home; getting tested when needed; isolating when required, and following the ‘hands, face, space’ and ‘letting fresh air in’ guidance.
School will re-open to all pupils but there will still be some precautionary measures in place such as bubbles and staggered drop off and collections.
From 12th April we were in Step 2. This enabled the school to offer a greater range of physical education activities, especially outdoors, and means we could start to resume after school clubs, although to start with these will still retain the bubbles.
From 17th May we were in in Step 3. This means we can try to organise trips for pupils-although the bubbles must be retained. We are particularly pleased that Year 6 will be able to go on a residential visit to Sayers Croft.
From 19th July we have been in Step 4. However, for our school family we have decided to keep all current restrictions in place until we break up on 21st July. This includes maintaining bubbles with staggered start and finish times and wearing face coverings. However, as they are such important celebrations and rites of passage, we will be allowing Year 6 parents and carers to attend the Year 6 Leavers Mass and the Year 6 Production, with appropriate safety measures in place.
All systems will be reviewed in September for the start of the new academic year.
Remote Learning Plan
We have developed a Remote Learning Plan in case a class or Bubbles needs to self-isolate, or there is a local lockdown requiring pupils to remain at home. A summary of this is below. Using Google Classrooms will enable children to have daily interaction with the class team and the use of video explanations of the tasks by the classteacher. To support those families with limited devices we have purchased Chromebooks that pupils can borrow. However, as much as the technology is essential, we have looked to provide activities that can be completed away from the screen, with lots of reading and written work to be completed in books as well as physical activities that can be completed indoors. The work set matches the school curriculum and tries to mirror the school day so there is consistency and routine, and it will be easier to return to school after the designated period of remote learning.
Click here to see our Catch Up Plan. We are using the full amount awarded by the Catch Up Premium but greatly supplementing this with our school budget and independently raised funding (COVID Fund).
Thank you once again to everyone who contributed to our COVID Fund-your donations have benefitted everyone in our school family and helped us to ensure that our remote learning offer is ready immediately and addresses the needs of our school community.
What is Coronavirus?
For all of us, COVID-19 , sometimes referred to as Coronavirus , can be difficult to understand. There are a number of different ways of trying to explain this virus to children, and to show that there are measures they can take to keep safe.