Coronavirus updates

As updates from the Department for Education (DfE), Public Health England and / or West Sussex County Council are made available to us, we will be posting the relevant information here.
Update 27/03/20
During this period of partial closure this school site continues to be open for provision for vulnerable pupils and children of key workers. Irrespective of any partial closure or collaboration with another school, the safeguarding of all our children remains our top priority. At this time, our school will continue as normal in supporting our vulnerable children and if anyone has any questions regarding this they are asked to make contact via sen@southwayjunior.co.uk. Please contact the school if you have any queries.

School Closure - Home Study 

Following the recent outbreak of Covid-19 and the Government’s decision to close all schools with immediate effect we are writing to you to outline the school’s expectations on children whilst at home. We recognise that formal schooling will no longer be an option, however, we would expect that all children continue their good learning habits whilst absent from Southway.

 We would really appreciate you supporting your child with the following:

  • Continued reading at least three times a week with relevant comments made in reading journals.
  • Times Tables practise on TT Rockstars every day. This will be regularly monitored by teachers.
  • Spelling practice using the lists provided to all children as well as the spelling word mats appropriate to each year group.
  • A research project, using a variety of online and book sources, on a subject of their own choice. This might be a hobby, a specific interest or something they are keen to find out more about. This should be handwritten and in A4 with no less than 10 pages. Please note this is not to be written using word processors or PowerPoint. Children might also choose to make a model to accompany the book. The books and models will be shared on return to school.

The above is an expectation for all children and we look forward to seeing the children’s efforts on their return.

Thank you for your continued support.

Key Worker

West Sussex County Council are considering a County-wide response to the provision of schooling for children of 'key workers'  and vulnerable pupils. This will require a short period of co-ordination.

The current plan is to set up hubs of schools to reduce the number of schools open. This *may* centre around those schools with Special Support Centres and nurseries to provide support to the widest group of Parents.

Key workers are:

  • health workers
  • police officers
  • supermarket delivery drivers (not supermarket workers)
  • workers looking after the vulnerable and elderly

Key workers are people who work within the public sector in roles that are vital to the infrastructure of the community. While a full list has not yet been revealed, this could also include:

  • Teachers and nursery nurses
  • Police officers, Community Support Officers and some civilian police staff
  • Prison officers and some other Prison staff
  • Probation Service staff
  • Social workers, educational psychologists, and therapists
  • Local Authority Planners
  • Firefighters
  • Connexions Personal Advisers
  • Some Ministry of Defence personnel
  • Environmental Health Officer
  • Highway Agency Traffic Officers

Until we have further information it is difficult to say whether the hubs will be offering childcare or education. I suspect it is likely to be the former, in which case, pupils should spend some of their time working on the homework they will be receiving from their teacher.

We will be in contact with families where one parent identifies as a key worker shortly to outline plans for more immediate childcare.

Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils

Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.

As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs.

We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories. This can be via email, text or phone call. We would appreciate a response by 2pm this afternoon in order for arrangements to be made. 

All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday, 23rd March onwards.

Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is by website, email and text following any instruction from the government.

What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home

Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn. A separate letter is being sent home today outlining expectations. VLEs have been updated and will display all the information you will need.

If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch with more information when the government has announced its intentions.

This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.

If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via parentline or phone.

And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.

Thank you again for your continued support, and we will be in touch with more information when we can.
DfE update 17 March 2020
 
New guidance for households with symptoms

Yesterday, the Government introduced new guidance on whole household isolation in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak:

  •  if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The symptoms are:

  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
  • A new, continuous cough 
Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance: https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

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), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.