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Gladstone Primary Academy

COVID-19 Updates

14th September 2020

Covid-19 Related Absence from school – a Quick Guide for Parents

What should I do if ….?

Action needed …

My child is feeling ill with Covid-19 symptoms of:

  • a high temperature – this means your child feels hot to touch on their chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means your child cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.

Most children with Covid-19 have at least one of these symptoms.

DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL.

The whole household must self-isolate. Your child will need to isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms; the rest of the household should isolate for 14 days.

You should book a test for your child using this link here, or by phoning 119.

Please note - only the person with symptoms should be tested and there is no need for others in the household to have a test, unless they also have any of the symptoms mentioned.

Make sure you tell the school immediately about the result of the test.
My child is feeling ill with other symptoms such as a sore throat, runny nose or a headache.

You should act in the same way as you would have done before the pandemic. This may involve sending your child to school or keeping them at home, depending on the nature and severity of symptoms.

Of course you should seek medical advice via your GP or NHS direct on 111 if you would normally do so.

Please note – if your child has sickness or diarrhoea they should not return to school until 48 hours after the last bout of this, as is normal policy.

Someone in my household has Covid-19 symptoms

DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL.

The whole household must self-isolate and the person with symptoms should book a test using this link here, or by phoning 119.

Someone in my household tests positive for Covid-19

DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL.

The whole household should isolate for 14 days. The person who has tested positive must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms, and until there is no fever for 48 hours.

Someone in my household tests negative for Covid-19

Your child can return to school, if they have been well for 48 hours and no one in the household or support bubble has any further Covid-19 symptoms.

My child tests positive for Covid-19

DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD TO SCHOOL.

Your child must isolate for 10 days from the start of symptoms, and until there is no fever for 48 hours. The rest of the household should isolate for 14 days.

My child tests negative for Covid-19

Your child can return to school once they have been well for 48 hours and no one in the household or support bubble has any Covid-19 symptoms.

 

13th July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Back to School – September

The government have decided that schools will reopen fully in September. This means all children must be back in school after the summer holiday. We have already had nearly 200 children back in school and will use this experience to bring all children back safety in September.

From September -

  • Children will only mix with children from their year group.  
  • Children will have lessons, play times and lunch just with their year group.  
  • Children will eat dinners in their classroom.
  • Children will wash their hands more often.
  • Each year groups will have their own set of toilets.
  • School will be cleaned more regularly, including during the school day.

Children will start school on different days in the first week. From Thursday 10th September all children will back in school.

Year 6 and Year 1

Monday 7th September

Year 5 and Year 2

Tuesday 8th September

Year 4

Wednesday 9th September

Year 3

Thursday 10th September

For the first week back, all children will be with their teacher from last year, but in their new year group and new classroom.

To make sure that children in different year groups do not mix and parents have enough room to socially distance, we are changing the start and finish times for different year groups. This is a temporary change to the school day for the autumn term.

Year 6

8:30 – 2:50

Year 5

8:40 – 3:00

Year 4

8:50 – 3:10

Year 3

9:00 – 3:20

Year 2

8:45 – 2:55

Year 1

8:35 – 2:45

Children must not come into school if they are unwell. If your child has a cough, temperature or a loss of sense or smell then they will need to get a test for coronavirus. If we have a confirmed case of the virus in school, then we will take advice from Public Health England and will close the year group affected for 14 days.

Online learning will not continue in September. We will only provide learning for children at home if a year group must close.

Children will need to wear school uniform. You can buy school jumpers, cardigans, and PE shirts from school ordering through parent pay, ready for September. (Please note that collection times for school uniform is between 10:00am and 2:00pm Monday – Friday.)

Children will need to follow our usual school rules and our four new COVID rules –

  • Stay apart (hugs are for at home)
  • Always wash your hands (on entering a room)
  • Felling unwell? Stay at home
  • Every cough and sneeze must be caught by a tissue or your elbow

We will continue to offer a full curriculum with all subjects, even those subjects including  music, art, PE and Spanish where they are taught by specialist teachers.

There will be a great deal of planning to do over the summer and more detailed information will be available at the end of the summer holidays. We will ring every family to confirm the details in the week commencing 31 August. We will update information on our website and send information by email.

We look forward to seeing all children back in school in September.

With best wishes from all at Gladstone,

Mr Simon Martin, Headteacher

 

3rd July 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are sure that you are aware that the British government wants every child back in school in early September. Likewise, so do all of us at Thomas Deacon Education Trust.

However, we also want our parents, carers and families to know that we intend to do everything in our power to keep children and staff (and consequently our communities) safe from the virus.

This means big changes to the way we have organised our academies previously. ‘Bubbles’ may need to arrive and depart from school at different times as children from all year groups cannot come to school or leave school at the same time. It may mean that we have a staggered start to the year. This is due to the virus and not because we do not want to have all the children back.

The government safety measures will affect our school day working patterns and as soon as possible, each Principal/Headteacher will let you know what those arrangements might look like for your child.

The guidance was only issued yesterday and there is a lot for us to work through. We ask that you are patient whilst we undertake all the risk assessments and find the best ways to ensure that your children can return to school in September in an environment that feels happy and safe.

We will only open our TDET academies when we deem it safe to do so and when we are confident that all our health and safety measures are in place for our staff and your children. The safety and good health of all in our TDET family remains our major priority.

You will hear from the Principal/Headteacher of your child’s school about the arrangements for September as soon as it is possible.

In the meantime, thank you for your continued support and stay safe.

 

Yours sincerely

Mrs Julie Taylor, Chief Executive

 

26th June 2020

Dear Parents

Over the last three weeks, we have successfully and safely welcomed back some children in Preschool, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Children have enjoyed being in small groups with the same teacher, with social distancing and lots of handwashing to keep everyone safe.

We are now ready to offer a small increase in the number of children back in school for the last two weeks of term. This will be for children in Year 2 and Year 5 who qualify for additional funding (pupil premium) and a few children who will need support with the transition into the next year group. Will be contacting the families of these children next week to discuss the details.

I know there are children (and families) in other year groups who will be disappointed about not being back at school before the holidays, but we don’t have enough rooms to have all children in school while we must have children in smaller groups. The learning on the academy's website will continue for children not yet in school.

At the moment, we think all children will be back in school in September and are just waiting for more information from the government. We can’t wait to have everyone back in school and get back to normal as the levels of the virus in the community continues to reduce.

Best wishes,

Simon Martin

Headteacher


19th June 2020

Is your child eligible for £90.00 worth of Free School Meal vouchers over the Summer?

The Government have decided to issue Free School Meal vouchers throughout the summer holidays.

Free School Meals - How to apply

 We understand that the times we are currently living in are both uncertain and challenging. Alongside this, many families are facing changes in their financial circumstances. If your circumstances have changed and you feel that you now meet the following criteria outlined below, please complete the form on the link below;

You can apply for free school meals online using your Norfolk Education Online (NEO) account.

https://fiso.norfolk.gov.uk/synergy/Enquiries/Citizen/FreeSchoolMeals.aspx

  • Income Support.
  • Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance.
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Child Tax Credit - but no element of Working Tax Credit - and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)) that does not exceed £16,190.
  • If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit.
  • Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work fewer hours per week.
  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (as from 1 April 2018).

Further Information:

Click here for information from the Thomas Deacon Education Trust: 

https://www.tdet.education/page/?title=Covid%2D19&pid=48

 

11th June 2020

From next week year groups can collect home learning from school. Please watch the helpful videos below to show you where to go and at what time:

Reception and Years 1 and 2:

 

 

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6:

 

 

 

2nd June 2020

In readiness for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 returning to school next Monday, we have been doing some preparations and the year group teams have created some videos to show the children what to expect on their first day back. 

Have a look at the videos below and I am sure you will spot some friendly faces!

Reception

 

 

Year 1

 

 

Year 6

 

 

 

2nd June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope that you and your families are well and are staying safe in these very difficult times. You will be aware from the recent press coverage that the Government is aiming to open schools more widely from 1st June to children in the Early Years (Nursery and Reception), Year 1 and Year 6. I am sure that we would all agree that we would like to see all children back in school full time, but the safety of our children and staff is paramount in all of our planning and decision making and we have been working together with our Headteachers/Principals to consider how we are able to do this in a timely and safe manner.

We would ask for your patience while we finalise plans to open more widely for children. We are currently evaluating each academy individually, taking into account the size of rooms, the layout of the buildings and staffing availability to consider carefully how the next phase of your child’s education will look. Please be assured that as a Trust, we will not make any decision that puts a child or member of staff at risk.

The Prime Minister announced on Sunday his intention to ask schools to start to open more widely from 1st June and he confirmed on Thursday that the government's five tests have been met. Please note that this does not mean that all schools and academies will open fully for those year groups on this date.

The guidance to schools is continually changing and new guidance arrives almost daily which means plans that may have been put into place are being constantly evaluated and changed, all of which have consequences on staffing levels and risk assessments. Some of our academies will be ready to accept more children in Early Years, Year 1 and Year 6 from Monday 8th June. The Board of Trustees has approved this decision in the interests of the safety and welfare of our children and staff. We will ask Principals to write to you towards the end of this week with the final arrangements. It is highly likely that some academies will not be open to all year groups at the same time.

We will continue to provide childcare for the children of key workers and our most vulnerable children during the intervening time and this should be arranged with your child’s academy in the usual way. Online work will continue to be set for those children not in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 6 or who do not attend during this period.

However, we are expecting a considerable increase in the number of children attending our academies and I feel it is important to point out that the experience in school will be very different to the one they left in March. Each of our academies has carried out a detailed risk assessment and assessed their capacity to be able to deliver the additional provision to Early Years, Year 1 and Year 6. In all cases, we will not be able to have the maximum of 15 children in some classes due to limitations with the room size or layout of the building. The maximum number may be considerably lower than this which will impact on the number of children we will be able to accommodate at any one time.

It is widely accepted that children, particularly very young children, will find it difficult to follow the social distance guidelines. Our academies will do their utmost to ensure that social distancing is maintained but we cannot guarantee that your child will always maintain social distancing. This is in line with the guidance published by the Department for Education.

Where possible, academies have tried to keep teachers in their current year groups but due to having to reduce class sizes it is possible that your child will not be in their normal classroom or taught by their current class teacher; the adults in the room will however be familiar to them.

Children will be placed into groups that will stay together. Groups will not be able to mix; for example, during break or lunchtime and may not be together with their usual friendship groups. Unfortunately, academies will be unable to move children between groups during this time and children will be unable to move freely around rooms or the academy.

It is likely that your child will see staff wearing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during this time, especially if staff must administer first aid or intimate care. It is important that parents discuss this with their child so that they are not scared should they see a member of staff wearing a face covering or gloves.

To prevent any risk of infection, there will be no physical contact between academy staff and your child. This may prove difficult with our younger children who will need reminding as they will often seek regular reassurance from adults working with them. Staff will be unable to hug children, even if they show signs of distress.

I appreciate how upsetting it may be to read this, but I hope that it gives you an idea as to how very different your child’s experience of school will be from the one they left. As the Government has announced the wider opening of schools and your academy is able to do so safely, it is vital that you talk to your child about how different in look and feel their classroom and academy will be, at least in the short term. Each academy will write to you directly to outline how this will look and the new school rules that will have to be introduced to ensure everyone’s safe return to school.

Academies are currently working on addendums to their behaviour policy, which will outline the additional rules and protocols that will need to be in place. This should form part of any communication with you.

I would strongly encourage all parents and carers to think very carefully about what is right for their child as wider opening begins. The decision to send your child back to school is entirely your own, but our staff will do everything that they can to provide the best possible experience for all children.

If parents or carers decide that they are uncomfortable sending their child back to school our academies will respect that decision. There will be no pressure about non-attendance and no fines will be administered. Your child’s place at the academy they attend will not be affected. Whatever decision a parent makes this will be the right one for your child. Nobody knows your child better than you do and as a Trust we will respect and support whatever decision that you make.

Take care and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Mrs Julie Taylor, Chief Executive

 

 

22nd May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Returning to school                                                                                                 

We are currently making contact with all our Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 families to explain the latest situation on those year groups returning to school. You will have seen recent news stories to say that schools will reopen on 1st June for some year groups. The staff at Gladstone Primary Academy are working hard to ensure that school does open in some capacity as soon as possible after half term, however our main priority is making sure that school is a safe and friendly environment for staff and pupils that are on site.

Therefore Gladstone Primary Academy will not re-open on Monday 1st June, whilst we put these safety measures in place. We will be contacting all Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 families during the week commencing 1st June to let you know of further details and arrangements, ready to return to school on Monday 8th June.

To help make this clear:

  wc 25th May wc 1st June wc 8th June
Reception Half Term Online learning Return to school - following guidance
Year 1 Half Term Online learning Return to school - following guidance
Year 2 Half Term Online learning Online learning
Year 3 Half Term Online learning Online learning
Year 4 Half Term Online learning Online learning
Year 5 Half Term Online learning Online learning
Year 6 Half Term Online learning Return to school - following guidance

 Once we have made contact to Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 during week commencing 1st June, we will then ask families to indicate if their child/ren will be returning to school so that we get an idea of pupil numbers on site. Please also have a read of the key messages about the phased reopening of school.  In the meantime, enjoy the half term week, take care of yourselves and stay safe.

With best wishes from all at Gladstone,

 

Mr Simon Martin

Headteacher

 

Key Messages About the Phased Reopening of School

 


Update - Monday 18th May 

In recent days, false information has emerged on social media that children will be taken away from their parents for quarantine in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. We would like to assure all parents that this is false information

Polish translation

W ostatnich dniach w mediach społecznościowych pojawiły się fałszywe informacje, że w związku pandemia COVID-19 dzieci będą odbierane rodzicom w celu odbycia kwarantanny. Chcielibyśmy zapewnić wszystkich rodziców, że to nieprawdziwe informacje.

Video by Petr Torak (Slovak tranlation)

 

 

Video (Romanian translation)

 

 

Letter for all parents/carers from TDET - Friday 15th May

Dear Parent/Carer,

This is a short initial communication around the more extensive opening of academies in the Thomas Deacon Education Trust. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be working hard to produce more detailed documentation around the things we will be doing to secure your child’s safety on site for when they return to their school. I hope it will go some way towards alleviating the concerns you may have and to reassure you. The following is a very brief introduction to the return to school. There is a lot of information for us to build in to our risk assessment (classrooms, drop off/pick up, break times, playgrounds, canteen, lunches, cleaning rotas, staff rotas, transport to and from school) and to convey this information will be an extensive document. Your Principal/Headteacher will communicate these plans with you, but I wanted to write to you to give information, so you have a view of what we’ll be doing across the TDET family of schools.

Who will be returning to school? 

Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. There are suggestions around Year 10 and Year 12 returning in some form, but this is lacking detail from the Department for Education as yet.

Why have these year groups been picked? 

The three year groups have been priorities because they are key transition years – children in Reception and Year 1 are at the very beginning of their school career and are mastering the essential basics, including counting and the fundamentals of reading and writing, and learning to socialise with their peers. Year 6 children are finishing Key Stage 2 and are preparing for the transition to secondary school and will benefit immensely from time with their friends and teachers to ensure they are ready.

When are they going back to school?

We will begin to bring children back into school in these year groups from Monday 8th June. Your Principal/Headteacher will give you clear information about the arrangements for your children in your school.

What is the science saying about children in school? 

The DfE guidance is underpinned by their latest understanding of the science, which indicates that we need to take a phased approach to limit the risk of increasing the rate of transmission (often referred to as R) above 1. They have factored in:

  • severity of disease in children – there is high scientific confidence that children of all ages have less severe symptoms than adults if they contract coronavirus (COVID-19) 
  • the age of children – there is moderately high scientific confidence that younger children are less likely to become unwell if infected with coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • numbers of children going back – which needs to be limited initially then increased gradually as the science permits
  • systems to reduce the size of the groups coming into contact with each other – such as smaller class sizes spread out across settings 

What measures are the DfE suggesting schools take? 

One of the protective measures suggested that schools take to reduce transmission is to have smaller group and class sizes. The DfE says that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff. Schools, the DfE state, should therefore work through the hierarchy of measures set out in their guidance which will form the basis for our more detailed response.

In short, they are:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
  • frequent hand cleaning and good hygiene practices
  • regular cleaning of settings
  • minimising contact and mixing 

It is still important to reduce contact between children and staff as far as possible, and settings can take steps to achieve that and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children, and staff where possible, mix in a small group and keep that small group away from other people and groups. The DfE have stated that schools should look to have around 15 in a class when they re-open. For most of our classes, this is not possible, and our class sizes will be around 10.  Due to the nature of our sites, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are, on their return to school, able to have their own classrooms. We will need to manage carefully their access to toilets and handwashing facilities. This goes a long way to mitigating risk of transmission. More details will be provided in due course.

Will the school day be as normal? 

No. Each year group on their return will have amended drop off and pick up times to keep the year groups separate and limit contact amongst parents too. Some of our schools may only offer a shortened day as lunchtime arrangements may prove to be difficult to organise safely.

My child has been working hard at home and the remote learning has been good. Can they stay at home until after the summer holidays and return in September?

The government and the Local Authority are not going to impose fines for non-attendance during this time. The decision rests with you. We’re exploring the options for what we can do over this period to try and give as much support to you to continue home-learning.

I have children in other year groups and I need to go back to work – can they come to school? 

Your Principal/Headteacher will have sent out a questionnaire to gather information about this option. All our planning is subject to government guidance but if we can provide care for children not in the priority year groups, we will try to accommodate it. However, it may not be possible due to the number of children in school and the number of staff available.

Will provision still be in place for the children of Key Workers, and other vulnerable children, regardless of their year group? 

Yes. The hub approach will end and from 8th June, these children will attend provision at their own school.

I do not have all the answers as yet and with all of our TDET Principals and Headteachers, I am working hard to find answers to enable us to bring some of our children back into school safely and carefully. The safety and well-being of children and staff is at the heart of the decisions we are making, and we will continue to keep you updated as we move forward.

In the meantime, take care of yourselves and stay safe.

Best wishes,

Mrs J Taylor, Chief Executive

 

Announcement 11th May regarding possible phased re-opening

Dear Parent / Carer,  

I write following the Prime Minister’s announcement on Sunday of a phased plan to beat the virus and provide a road map for re-opening society. This may lead to an easing of the restrictions that have been put in place to minimise the spread of COVID-19 in relation to schools.

I recognise that this has been a very stressful time for young people and their families. I am sure we are all looking forward to children returning to school when it is safe for this to happen.  Gladstone Primary Academy will be following the government guidance, as soon as it is released, to enable this.  

Our top priority is the safety of pupils, their families and school staff. Safety has to take priority over any other consideration.  Every school’s circumstances are different and will not be able to respond to the government’s decisions in the same way. The Academy will evaluate the size of classrooms and play areas to ensure children can be safely accommodated, along with the number of staff required. This may limit the number of children who can be accommodated safely under social distancing rules and staffing shortages may limit the speed at which pupils can return.  

The Academy is awaiting further advice from the Department for Education and needs time to plan. We are working with the Trust to make the necessary arrangements. We will communicate those arrangements to parents as quickly as we can.  

Gladstone Primary Academy will continue to provide childcare for children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils in line with national guidance but capacity will be limited especially with more people returning to work.

Gladstone Primary will also continue to provide support for home learning until guidance for doing so changes.

To support Gladstone Primary Academy at this time, please try not to make contact about re-opening arrangements unless your enquiry is an urgent one. Please be assured that, further to the announcement, we will communicate with you as quickly as possible.

Best wishes,

Simon Martin

Headteacher


Free School Meals - How to apply

 We understand that the times we are currently living in are both uncertain and challenging. Alongside this, many families are facing changes in their financial circumstances. If your circumstances have changed and you feel that you now meet the following criteria outlined below, please complete the form on the link below;

You can apply for free school meals online using your Norfolk Education Online (NEO) account.

https://fiso.norfolk.gov.uk/synergy/Enquiries/Citizen/FreeSchoolMeals.aspx

  • Income Support.
  • Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance.
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance.
  • Child Tax Credit - but no element of Working Tax Credit - and have an annual income (as assessed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC)) that does not exceed £16,190.
  • If you are supported under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999.
  • Guarantee element of State Pension Credit.
  • Working Tax Credit during the four week period immediately after your employment finishes or after you start to work fewer hours per week.
  • Universal Credit with an annual net earned income of no more than £7,400 (as from 1 April 2018).

Further Information:

Click here for information from the Thomas Deacon Education Trust: 

https://www.tdet.education/page/?title=Covid%2D19&pid=48


School update:

20th March 2020

Dear Parent/Carer 

SCHOOL CLOSED 

Gladstone Primary Academy will be closing from the end of the day today Friday 20th March, along with schools across the country to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

We do not know when we will reopen. Please watch the news to see when schools will open again. 

We will be closed for the vast majority of children. We will be open for a small number of children of critical workers and other identified children. Please do not send your child to school if they are not in one of these groups.  If you are a critical worker and need childcare, please see the separate letter being sent out today. We will be contacting families of identified children about coming into school.  

Learning at home 

We will be providing work for children on our website at www.gpa.education . New work will be added each day and will follow the lessons that your child would have had if they were in school.  There is a tab on the home page labelled 'Learning at Home'.  This is where teachers will upload work for your child/children.  Your child may have brought home an exercise book this week.  You may use this for your child to complete activities set by their teachers.  School staff will do their best to deliver a book to your home if you haven't already got one. Please continue to read every night and complete the reading diary. We would appreciate your support in educating your child at this time. 

Free School Meals 

We are working on how we will provide meals for those children who have free school meals. This may be vouchers you can spend on food in shops, or food provided by the school or other groups. Once this has been decided we will contact you with the details. 

Contacts 

If you have any issues or problems please contact the school, by phone on 01733 343908 between 9am and 3pm, Monday to Friday. We are here to help and support. Teachers’ emails are on the website and please contact them if you need help with home learning.  

I would like to thank all the staff at Gladstone Primary Academy, for continuing to do all they can to support children and help children learn over this difficult time. All the staff at school and I wish you all the best and we look forward to seeing everyone back at school at some time in the future. 

 

Kind regards,

Mr Simon Martin

Headteacher


Further Information 

Here is a great resource from our friends at ELSA Support, explaining Corona Virus for children. You may want to read this with your child. 

https://www.elsa-support.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Childrens-story-about-coronavirus.pdf

(Copyright ELSA Support)

Hand Washing