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COVID-19

CORONAVIRUS

We have set up this page in order to keep you up to date with the latest advice regarding COVID-19. Globally as a country, and as a school we are approaching the challenge presented by the spread of the virus as proactively as we can. Delay underpins all current strategy and we will continue to follow the advice given as and when it changes.

At Westholme, as you are aware, we are monitoring the situation carefully and reviewing all updates and information on a daily basis.  Daily briefings now will also inform our position  as a school, just as it will for you and your family.

We are following guidance from Public Health England (PHE), the Department for Health, the Local Authority and accessing daily bulletins from the Department for Education.

The advice regarding symptoms, self-isolation and social distancing changes regularly – it is essential that everyone in our community follows whichever guidance is current.

KEY WORKER CHILDCARE AND SCHOOL SITES CLOSURES

In light of the latest Government advice from 5.00pm on Tuesday 24th March Senior and Junior School sites will close.  Key worker childcare will continue at Billinge House until Friday 3rd April.

All sites will be closed from 4.00pm 3rd April until Monday 20th April.  If the school closures and restrictions remain in place for the Summer Term, Billinge House will continue to be the base for providing care (if required) for key worker children critical to the COVD-19 response.

HYGIENE

Our focus in school with all staff and pupils remains centred on hygiene, as this is proven factually to be the most effective way of limiting the spread of germs and the virus. Personal hygiene is the most important way we can contain COVID-19. Chief Medical Officer for England, Professor Chris Whitty, stated:

“The measures outlined in the plan are based on the best available scientific evidence – and led by our world-leading infectious disease experts. Simple as it sounds, the single most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves right now is wash their hands regularly, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. We have always said it is likely we can expect more cases and the action plan outlines the types of options open to government in each phase of an outbreak.”

Washing hands with soap and water, 5 or more times a day for 20 seconds remains one of the most important ways of reducing the chance of infection.

Using tissues when coughing and/or sneezing is also essential. Please could you ensure your child comes to school with a packet of pocket tissues so they can ensure good personal hygiene.

It is important to avoid touching your face and to reduce physical contact with others, therefore, please do not be offended if we do not offer to shake hands at our events at present.

We continue to promote healthy hygiene in class and form time – thank you for your support to ensure the same good practice at home.

Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials – Find out more here

RISK ASSESSMENT

We take our safeguarding responsibilities towards every child in our care very seriously. As such, our approach to the current situation, particularly with regard to trips, events and activities is proactive, measured and careful. Our risk assessments are dynamic and reflect the challenges of the current situation, recognising that changes may have to be made swiftly, taking into account the welfare of staff, as well as broader health and safety matters.

We continue to closely monitor Government advice in these ever-changing circumstances. We have also been looking at contingency plans with Governors in the event that the Government closes schools down nationally. Maintaining continuity of education (remotely) will be our priority for all children. In the case of school closure we will issue guidance for contact with teachers and staff.

We will keep you updated as and when the situation develops.

We are committed to maintaining the best education for every Westholme child, whilst balancing this with a robust approach to safeguard the health and welfare of our community and beyond.

Safeguarding

Online contact and support for students:

Kooth – free, safe and anonymous online support for young people

Childline – a free, private and confidential service where children can talk about anything

Samaritans – for anyone who is struggling to cope; who needs someone to listen without judgement or pressure

Talkzone – part of the Children and Family Wellbeing Service which enables children and families to access appropriate support on a wide range of issues

WHERE TO FIND THE LATEST INFORMATION

New guidance for households – https://www.gov.co.uk/government/news/new-guidance-for-households…

Guidance for households – https://www.gov.co.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance…

Updates on COVID-19 – https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living oversees – https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

It’s a national effort to win coronavirus fight, we all have crucial part to play by Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance – https://www.gov.co.uk/government/speeches/its-a-national-effort…

Click here for the most up-to-date statement from OFQUAL.

School Updates

24/03/20

In light of the latest Government advice from 5.00pm on Tuesday 24th March Senior and Junior School sites will close.  Key worker childcare will continue at Billinge House until Friday 3rd April.

All sites will be closed from 4.00pm 3rd April until Monday 20th April.  If the school closures and restrictions remain in place for the Summer Term, Billinge House will continue to be the base for providing care (if required) for key worker children critical to the COVD-19 response.

 

From 23 – 27/03/20

To support our civic duty and social responsibilities provision will be made for the children of parents who are key workers.

 

21/03/20

You should only send your child to school on Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response. If you are able to keep your child at home, you should.

 

19/03/20

School will close at the end of the day.

Friday is for a staff contingency planning at all sites.

 

18/03/2020 -12:00 

Year 6 to Lockerbie – cancelled

Yorkshire Caving outdoor weekend – cancelled

 

17/03/2020 -16:45

Year 11 Parents’ Evening – Cancelled

Infant and Junior Class Assemblies – Cancelled

 

16/03/2020 -19:00

If you or anyone in your household have either of the key symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough

Stop all non-essential contact with others and all unnecessary travel

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

 

16/03/2020

Westholme sports fixtures, school events and educational visits suspended with immediate effect to increase social distancing.

 

16/03/2020

Spring Fayre postponed.

 

12/03/2020

The Government announced that we are moving out of the contain phase and into delay, in response to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

If you or anyone in your household have either of the key symptoms, you should stay at home for 14 days:

  • A high temperature
  • A new, continuous cough

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

 

11/03/2020

  • Year 11 and Upper Sixth students briefed regarding possible impact and contingency plans in the event of public examination series being impacted by Government policy.

 

  • Contingency planning from all teachers to ensure and enable remote learning in the event that school is required to close temporarily.

 

10/03/2020

  • Two School Trips to Italy scheduled for the Easter holiday have been withdrawn in light of the recent Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice.

Keeping in touch with school

  • Please can we remind you that you will need to get in contact with the School Nurse if you or any of the immediate members of your family have travelled to or plan to travel to a high-risk area. This will help us to monitor the risk within the School appropriately.

 

  • In line with all Government guidelines, I must also request that if you and your close family have plans to travel abroad at Easter, that you review the guidance carefully and self-isolate or seek medical assistance as necessary – please keep us informed.