Yesterday, the Prime Minister announced that all schools will close for most pupils after school has finished, on Friday 20th March. Schools have been asked to play a different and vital role in the national effort in tackling the Coronavirus Covid-19: to remain open to provide support for the children of identified Key workers, enabling them to continue to provide vital services during this difficult time. As well as provide support for identified vulnerable pupils.
From Monday 23rd March, schools are being asked to open to provide care for vulnerable pupils and those whose parents or carers are key workers. The Secretary of State is clear: this is an entirely different role for schools and school staff. Teachers and other school staff will be considered as part of the public service workforce to enable them to support vulnerable children and vulnerable members of the community. It is primarily about care, not education. The Secretary of State has also indicated that he would like schools to continue to provide this care during the Easter holidays.
Therefore, Barrowby CE Primary School will remain open for those children of identified key workers, as well as for identified vulnerable pupils who are not showing any symptoms for the Covid-19 virus.
The Government have taken this action to slow the transmission of the Coronavirus Covid-19 by further reducing social contact throughout society. At this stage, we do not know how long this forced closure will remain in place.
As a result of this action, the Government have announced that there will be no examinations in May or June. Of course, our thoughts go to all those families who have children who were preparing to sit their GCSE or A Level exams, later this year. The Government have announced that they ‘will work with the sector and Ofqual to ensure children get the qualifications they need.’
The Government have also announced that all forms of primary assessment have been cancelled for this year, as have all accountability measures and league tables. Indeed, for our school, this means that our children will not participate in the annual Primary School Assessments including: the Year 1 Phonics Screener, the Year 4 Multiplication Tables Checker as well as the Year 2 and Year 6 Statutory Tests (SATs).
We will continue to keep our school community well-informed as we remain vigilant and stay abreast of developments.
Whilst we remain open, we are very keen to keep our school a happy and safe place for those pupils who will be in attendance.
These include children of identified key workers. Possible examples include:
As well as identified vulnerable pupils, including those who:
• Have a social worker
• Have an EHCP
We await confirmation from the Government for who is categorised as a key worker. Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care, from Monday 23rd March. The Government advise that children should not be left with older grandparents as these are deemed a vulnerable group.
As soon as the Government inform us of the list of key workers, we will send a survey via ParentmailPMX . The purpose of the survey is to ascertain which children can be identified as children of key workers; and whether or not they will attend school from Monday 23rd March 2020.
We appreciate that these are unprecedented times, with many families feeling anxious or worried about our school being forced to close for most of its pupils, due to the Coronavirus Covid-19.
During this difficult time, there may be many questions that your child/ren may have about the current situation. They may feel a sense of anxiousness due to these changes and have lots of questions. I have included some website links which you may find useful to ensure your child receives the facts about the virus at an age appropriate level, as well as helping you to answer any potentially difficult questions.
Young Minds:: this offers tips on how to talk to your child about the virus.
UNICEF: this offers tips on how to talk to your child about the virus.
Newsround: age appropriate news where children can be given key facts.
This will hopefully be useful for both you and your child/ren as a way of understanding the key facts, providing information and some reassurance, potentially reducing any worry.
With school being closed, normal routines and structure will not be in place and for some children this can be a particularly difficult time. It will be important for adults and children alike to focus some time on their wellbeing as this is a priority for all.
The NHS have a Wellbeing Guide which you may find useful during this period. Evidence suggests that there are 5 steps you can take to improve your mental health and wellbeing.
There are 5 key points:
Trying these things may help everyone feel more positive.
As the school is now being forced to close for most pupils, parents can also access the Home Learning Guidance which can be found in the documents section of the school website. These suggested resources are available and accessible for your child/ren to use whilst at home; encouraging a ‘school-friendly’ home learning day(s), through this period of school closure.
We will do our very best to support and guide our school community through this difficult time. Please could all parents respond to the survey as soon as they receive this to enable us to put plans into place.
Thank you once again for your support and understanding.
Any changes to this advice will be communicated to parents via ParentmailPMX and our school website.