Coronavirus School Closure Updates
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School & Nursery Closure - Friday 20 March
Further to yesterday’s government announcement, you will be aware that schools and nurseries are required to close on Friday afternoon until further notice. This is a challenging time for everyone in the country, and the impact continues to be felt by all.
Understandably, those of you with children in examination years will be particularly anxious about the impact of the government’s measures relating to the summer examinations and what this means for all candidates. We await further clarification from the government, something that we expect to have at some stage on Friday. We will, of course, communicate this to parents once we have had the chance to analyse its implications. When school reconvenes, we look forward to inviting all the current Year 11 and Year 13 pupils to an event to celebrate their successes and achievements at St Gabriel’s.
Behind the scenes, our fantastic team of staff have been working around the clock to prepare for a period of school closure and we have produced a set of guidelines which will be sent out on Friday to pupils and parents. Teaching and learning remotely will be a new experience for us all and we look forward to delivering the curriculum through this transition to remote learning.
Lessons will continue as normal until the end of the school day on Friday, and pupils will be expected to ensure they have all their belongings before they leave on Friday afternoon.
The government has asked schools to look after the children of “key workers” over the coming weeks. At the moment we are awaiting clarification of what this means, but of course, we will do all we can to help the local and national community at this difficult time.
I am immensely proud of the way that all staff and pupils have conducted themselves during what is a deeply unsettling time. I would like to thank you all for your support, understanding and cooperation as we try to make sense of it all.
Ricki Smith, Principal
Extract from email to parents on Tuesday 17 March 4.00pm
Following the Government’s announcement last night, parents and pupils should now be following Public Health England’s updated ‘Stay at home’ guidance for households. We ask that any pupil who has experienced a recent onset of high temperature and/or a continuous cough, or any pupil who lives with someone with these systems should stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days from when the symptoms started. You do not need to call 111, but if your symptoms worsen during this period, or are no better after 7 days, you should contact NHS 111 online. Parents should observe the normal absence procedures and inform the school of their child’s expected return to school date.
As a result of the latest guidelines, we are limiting visitors to school and have decided to suspend the use of Gabbies for parents to keep this area for pupils and staff. We are trying to limit non-essential external contact with the school community so if you need to speak with a member of staff, please telephone or email and a member of staff will get back to you.
Furthermore, I would like to draw your attention to a number of other fundamental temporary changes. Firstly, all parents’ meetings for this term are cancelled. Staff will only contact parents should there be a concern over your child’s progress. Secondly, I have cancelled all assemblies, after-school activities and clubs, including all sports fixtures and trips until further notice. Thirdly, while we are still in a position to staff prep, this will continue to run.
Coronavirus information shared with parents on Friday 13 March.
Following the government press conference last night, the country’s approach to COVID-19 has changed.
We are awaiting the publication of the explicit guidelines for schools, which we will share with you as soon as possible, however, please be aware of a major change in policy that takes effect immediately.
As of today anyone who experiences even minor symptoms of a respiratory tract infection, specifically:-
1. New cough
2. Temperature above 37.8 degrees (taken before any paracetamol or ibuprofen which may confuse the result)
should stay at home for 7 days, not attending schools or workplaces.
In School we will do our utmost to ensure these guidelines are followed as far as is practically possible. Should your child develop one of these symptoms during the school day, you will be contacted and asked to collect them, and until the 7 days have expired, you will not be able to return your child to school.
We understand these changes may cause some inconvenience. However, these are national guidelines to which all are expected to adhere.
The Department for Education Coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
To aid your understanding, I would like to draw your attention to The World Health Organisation “myth buster” information:
For further information, see updates on COVID-19: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
Further to the above, as a School we continue to monitor the situation and as a consequence of current events we have taken the decision that no off-site trips or fixtures will take place from Monday, 16 March – Friday 20 March. Of course, parents will not be charged for any trips that are not taking place.
As we have control measures in place for on-site activities, we are confident for these to take place. Towards the end of next week, we will send out further information relating to any trips and events taking place week commencing Monday, 23 March.