Firstly, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Happy New Year! I do hope you have had a restful Christmas break. I speak on behalf of all staff in saying that we are really looking forward to welcoming the children back to school tomorrow.
Covid 19 and Lateral Flow Tests
As you are no doubt aware, Covid 19 rates are still very high and we need to continue to work together to reduce the transmission in our community and nation as a whole. Therefore, in preparation for tomorrow, we would like to strongly encourage your child to take a lateral Flow Test prior to their return. If it is positive, your child will need to isolate and have a follow up PCR test.
Covid 19 and symptoms
We will continue to be vigilant in identifying children who may display symptoms of Covid 19 while at school. We will contact you should your child became unwell so please ensure your emergency contact details are up to date. Please do not send your child in to school if they are displaying any of the main symptoms of Covid 19 as identified by the NHS:
- a high temperature – this means hot to touch on the chest or back (you do not need to measure your child’s 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 your child usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means your child may have noticed s/he cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If your child has any of these symptoms, your child will need to get a PCR test (test that is sent to a lab) to check if your child has the coronavirus and stay at home until your child gets their result, even if the symptoms are mild.
Please ensure that you inform the school office (firstname.lastname@example.org) of any positive LFT or PCR test results and provide a screen shot of the isolation details (this helps us to monitor the number of cases in school and provide the daily update to the Department for Education).
There have been recent changes to the self-isolation period for individuals who test positive for COVID 19:
Since Wednesday 22 December, the 10 day self-isolation period for people who record a positive PCR test result for COVID-19 has been reduced to 7 days in most circumstances, unless you cannot test for any reason.
Individuals may now take LFD tests on day 6 and day 7 of their self-isolation period. Those who receive two negative test results are no longer required to complete 10 full days of self-isolation. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 6 of the self-isolation period and tests must be taken 24 hours apart. This also applies to children under 5, with LFD testing at parental or guardian discretion. If both these test results are negative, and you do not have a high temperature, you may end your self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to your education or childcare setting from day 7.
Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.
If your child tests negative on these LFTs (on days 6 and 7) and is able to return to school before the end of the 10 day isolation period please provide evidence to the school prior to them returning. Thank you.
Isolation and Home learning
If your child needs to isolate for COVID reasons, please ensure that you make the school aware. For children who are isolating and are well enough to access learning, school work will be provided on a daily basis via Google Classroom. Please be aware that teachers will be teaching in their classrooms and may not be able to respond to questions related to the learning immediately.
The school will not be able to provide remote learning for children who are absent from school for other reasons.
COVID arrangements for the spring term at Purbrook Junior
We have this morning, revisited the school’s COVID measures in light of the most recent government guidance. The clear message from the guidance is that schools should continue to operate as normal wherever possible.
The children will be returning tomorrow as normal and we will not be separating them into year group bubbles. We will be continuing with our washing/sanitising routines and the school will be well ventilated (see section on school uniform below).
As always, we will continue to monitor the COVID situation in school closely and work with the UK Health Security Agency whenever required.
Despite it being colder at this time of year, we will continue to ensure the classrooms are well ventilated. Therefore, we suggest that your child wears an additional layer of clothing, alongside their usual school uniform, to ensure they keep warm. Children can continue to wear their PE kit on their allocated PE days – again we would recommend an additional layer as the majority of PE lessons will take place outside.
Thank you once again for all your help and support in keeping our school community safe.
Mr C Williams