CORONAVIRUS UPDATE - Spring 2022
As you will be all too aware, cases of Covid-19 have increased greatly with the new Omicron variant. Although this appears to be milder than previous versions, it is still leading to illness and the need for people to isolate. Over the next few weeks, this will create a challenge for us to manage but we will do so with the support of families and we know that by working together we can help to keep our whole community safe.
The information below will hopefully answer the general queries there may be at this point:
How can I help support the school?
When adults are on site, or at the school gates we would ask that they think about the health of others. Keeping some distance between adults and people wearing face coverings will help reduce the risk of spread. We know that face coverings can be awkward, but they are a simple measure that most people can implement, easily.
The most important aspect that will help keep school open and running successfully will be monitoring your child’s health and ensuring that they do not come into school if they have (or potentially have) Covid-19.
Please look out for any of the three main symptoms (this does not mean all together):
If your child has any of these, and should have a PCR test organised as soon as possible.
If your child has symptoms and is having a PCR test, the office should be informed for our attendance procedures.
The result of this test should be reported to the School Office. Your child can return to school after a negative test or will continue to isolate after a positive test (see chart below).
If a child tests positive on an LFD test that they have taken at home, they must then have a PCR test organised for confirmation. However, they will have to remain absent from the school in the meantime.
You can try and book a PCR test here: , by going straight to a walk-in testing centre (e.g. Gateshead Library) or by calling 119. We are aware of issues sourcing these tests currently, but hopefully this will improve.
From 14th December 2021, the government strongly advised that if you have been in close contact with someone with COVID-19 take a Lateral Flow Device Test (LFD) every day for 7 days. So, if you have a case in your house, or amongst your close contacts, can we please ask that you do this with your children (who are five or older) so we can try and reduce the risk of this spreading around school and our community.
We may well be offered new advice and guidance from the Government or from Public Health and Health & Safety teams in Gateshead, in the coming days and weeks. As always, we will keep you informed of any relevant changes, and we will continue to do everything in our power to keep your children and our community as safe as possible.
If your child tests positive for COVID-19 they must isolate for 10 full days. We will support them with learning at home if they are well enough. Children can return to school after 10 days if they don’t have a high temperature.
However, new guidance means that you may now be able to end the self-isolation period earlier if they are able to undertake Lateral Flow Device tests. (See chart below).
If your child is feeling well, they can take a Lateral Flow test (LFD) from 6 days after the day your child’s symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms), and another LFD test the following day. The second LFD test should be taken at least 24 hours later. If both these test results are negative, and your child does not have a high temperature, they may end their self-isolation after the second negative test result and return to school.
If your child does not have a negative test on day 6, they are only able to return after two consecutive negative tests (e.g. day 7 and day 8) or after their full 10-day isolation.
The diagram below from the government website may help to explain.
I would like to thank you in advance for your understanding and patience as we start the term with unavoidable uncertainty.
COVID-19 UPDATE – 2nd November 2020
I would like to thank our parents and carers for their support during the very challenging first half term. Staff and governors were very pleased to welcome back all our children in September.
From Thursday 5th November the Government will take certain measures to reduce the growth in the number of COVID-19. However, schools, colleges and universities will stay open. For further information please see government guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term.
It remains very important for our children to attend school, to support their wellbeing and education. Unfortunately, we are all still working within an environment where the virus is prevalent and so we will continue to work together for the safety of everyone.
It is essential that where children or household members display one of the COVID-19 symptoms, that the household self-isolates and a test is organised for the symptomatic individual, as soon as possible.
The three COVID-19 symptoms are:
New Persistent Cough
Loss of Smell and Taste
If your child has any of these symptoms, you must:
· Keep your child and any siblings at home
· Book a test
· Notify school immediately (see below to see how to do this)
When you inform school, we will be able to clarify isolation periods and return dates although this should be supported by results from tests that parents/carers organise.
During the Week
If your child or a member of their household has symptoms, please contact the school office on 0191 487 5628 to inform them of:
· Who is unwell? (A parent may have symptoms and therefore children need to be self-isolating).
· What their symptoms are and when they began
· When the test has been organised for
· Once the test result has been returned, we will need to know the following:
o The outcome of the test - positive or negative result
o If the test is positive for a child, when symptoms started (this allows us to trace close contacts)
Weekend or Holiday Periods
Over these periods, we will require information about symptomatic household members and positive tests so that we can manage the absence period for your child but potentially manage the sharing of information which may lead to close contacts having to self-isolate (e.g. class bubbles and staff members).
If your child or a household member becomes symptomatic or receive a positive test result on a weekend or holiday, please use the school’s Facebook page to leave an in-box message. In the post please detail the following:
· Name of adult contacting us
· Phone number to contact the adult on
· Name of child
· Year Group/Class
· Name of person who is having a test/has tested positive
· Date the test was taken, and the positive test was received
· Date that symptoms began
Please note that this information will not be seen on our Facebook Page and will only be accessed by School Staff.
The action taken will depend on various factors and will be implemented after consultation with Public Health England. However, our responsibility will be to inform parents/carers as quickly as possible if a class/bubble needs to self-isolate in order to protect families and the wider community.
This means that contact may happen via text message during weekends and holiday periods. If this happens, it is essential that you follow the guidance.
We know that this is an immensely difficult time, but your support and understanding are very much appreciated in our work to keep our school safe.
Mrs Margaret R Liddle
Packed Lunches for Free School Meals (FSM)
1. LARKSPUR HOUSE - PACKED LUNCHES
A local Golf club have kindly agreed to supply 50 packed lunches and Morrisons a further 30 packed lunches each day. You can access a packed lunch for your child via Larkspur House. Larkspur House are there to help and support you, in a wide range of things.
2. FREE SCHOOL MEAL PROVISION
The Council has made the decision to continue to support pupils who are entitled to a FSM (not universal FSM) throughout the half term holidays through the Community Hubs.
Any family who receives FSM can request a food pack with ingredients to make lunches throughout half term. Support can be requested online (https://www.gateshead.gov.uk/article/16822/Free-half-term-meals) or via telephone (0191 433 7112).
Larkspur Covid Policy Document
Please click the link below.