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Coronavirus Update

Latest Press Release - 27th May

 

Good evening,

 

I hope you are all safe and well and enjoying the sunshine!

 

This evening, Lancashire County Council have informed schools that they are NOT SUPPORTING THE REOPENING of schools on June 1st. As the 5 safety measures have not been met, they don't feel it is safe for schools to open. This means that sadly, we will NOT be able to open Whitefield to our Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children as planned on 1st June. We have not been given a date as to when this may be possible at this stage.  We have worked exceptionally hard since the announcement was made regarding the re-opening  of schools to put all the necessary safety measures in place, however, we have to follow the County guidance.

 

School will be open for 'Key Worker' children only.  If your child needs  'Key Worker' care from 1st June, please email Mrs Mason (head@whitefield-inf.lancs.sch.uk) stating your child's name, class and the days needed by 12pm tomorrow (28th May) and I will make and communicate arrangements as fast as possible for Monday. Proof of being a key worker will be needed.

 

I feel very deflated by this news tonight, as we were all ready to go on Monday and all the staff have been looking forward to welcoming the children back. It is a very late decision by the authority, with only a few days to go before schools re-open, but the safety of all is paramount in their decision making.

 

I am looking into ordering some workbooks that parents can collect to further support our online learning.  I will inform you when these are ready for collection next week.

 

Take care and keep safe,

Love and best wishes,

Mrs Mason

 

A explanation from Lancashire:

'Lancashire County Council is advising schools in the county not to open to more pupils from 1 June. This is because, in our assessment, we do not currently meet all five of the government's tests in Lancashire which would allow this decision to be taken safely. We will regularly review the situation and provide further advice so that we can advise schools to open to more pupils as soon as we judge it safe to do so.

 

We are actively encouraging schools to follow this advice.

 
Locally, we are currently able to meet the requirements of the first three tests; however, we do not meet the requirements for the final two tests. The test and trace programme is not at a state of readiness to respond to Covid-19 community setting outbreaks in a timely manner, which poses a risk to school environments. Furthermore, we are not confident that adjustments to the current measures of the lockdown policy will not risk a second peak of infections locally.
 
Consequently, our advice to schools is to not re-open to more pupils on June 1st. The safety and wellbeing of children, their families, and school staff outweigh the benefits of opening schools of 1st June.
 
The key information supporting this advice is that:
 

  • The current support system in schools for children of key workers and valuable children, which is how we describe our vulnerable children, is sufficient at this time. Additionally, safeguards are in place in Lancashire to support those children who are at risk in the community, and this support will continue.
     
  • There has been no evidence of education outcomes worsening due to the effects of government lockdown policy.
     
  • It is not going to be possible to implement social distancing in early years school settings.
     
  • There is currently no evidence of widespread immunity in community settings.

 

  • There is a significant risk that should outbreaks occur in school settings, the current system will not allow for tests to be conducted in a timely manner and therefore, the virus will continue to spread.
     
    Schools will be kept well informed on a regular basis from the Director for Public Health in Lancashire and Lancashire County Council. We will regularly review the situation and provide further advice so that schools can re-open as soon as it is safe to do so. 

     


 

 

 

Letters have been posted to all our families who have confirmed that they would like their children to return to school on 1st June 2020. This is subject to the Prime Minster confirming this plan on 28th May. Please see copies of the letters and arrangements below.

Please find details of the school re-opening arrangements and our home-school agreement for return in the documents below:

Reopening of Schools

 

Dear parents and carers,

 

I hope you are all keeping safe and well. I am missing our children and families so much and I can’t wait to see our school full of happy children once again!  

 

I am so proud of all the wonderful home learning that has been emailed to class teachers. Well done for working so hard during these difficult times! 

 

Following on from the Prime Minister’s speech this week, we are starting to make plans for the re-opening of our school on 2nd June 2020. Mr Johnson has stipulated Nursery and Reception children are a priority for returning to school, and then Year 1.  The Government will advise on the return of Year 2 in a few weeks - they have stated that this will be before the end of the summer term. This provision maybe on a part-time basis to ensure safety measures are in place and is all-dependent upon the improving trend of Covid-19.

 

We do have more children than most schools to consider returning, being an infant school with a Nursery.  We are looking at  270 children, plus staff returning, so there are many things we need to consider to ensure safety is paramount at all times.  

 

The guidance for schools states that children can not be in groups larger than 15 and have to stay in that group all the time (including lunch and playtimes).  This means children may not be with their class mates, may not be in their classrooms and may not be with their class teacher. Children will also have very limited access to resources and play equipment, so school will be very different for them during this time. We will do all we can to encourage the children to maintain social distancing, but the guidance does acknowledge that this is a huge challenge with young children!

 

The Government have also acknowledged that it is the parent’s decision if they choose to send their children back to school.  There will be no fines given if parents choose to keep their children at home at this time.

 

We will do all we can over the next few weeks to plan a safe return and communicate our plan with parents.  We will be considering staggered arrival/collection times, health and safety implications, cleaning routines as well as the general organisation of staff, children and space.

 

To help with our planning, can we ask all our Nursery, Reception and Year 1 parents to email their class teacher (addresses listed below) with ONE of the following options:

 

  • A – I would like my child to return to school on June 2nd.

 

  • B – I DO NOT want my child to return to school on June 2nd.

 

  • C – I am unsure at the moment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will keep you informed of our plans as they are compiled.

 

Take care and keep safe.

Love and best wishes,

Mrs Mason

All the teachers have made a little video for the children.  Click on the link below and scroll down to 'School Videos'.

Pupil Premium Food Vouchers:

 

All children under 7 are entitled to 'Universal free school meals', however during this time, the Government are only providing support for families who are eligible for Pupil Premium. This is based on the overall family income.

 

All families that we have registered in school that are eligible for Pupil Premium vouchers have been contacted.  Mrs Snowden in the school office has set these families up to receive a £15 food voucher each week.

 

If you think you are eligible for Pupil Premium, please see the information on our website about that and details on how to apply. 

Please click on the link below for more information on Pupil Premium

Update:

I just want to say what an absolute privilege it is to work with such amazing staff, children and parents!

 

As a parent, I know how hard it is to make the best decisions for your children during these uncertain times. You have all done everything you can to protect your children by keeping them home where possible. I know many of you have made sacrifices to do this, so thank-you! #stayhomes #savelives.

 

For our 'key Workers', who are on the front line, please do not struggle.  Any Key Worker’s requiring our 'critical childcare' needs to book this in advance via e-mailing Mrs Mason (head@whitefield-inf.lancs.sch.uk).  School will only be open to support families on request via this booking system. It will otherwise be closed. There are now some Hub schools emerging to support the 1/2 children in each school requiring support.

 

 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch for anything - I will do all I can to help.

Keep safe and look after your family. I am missing you all lots!

 

Love and best wishes,

 

Mrs Mason

 

 

Whitefield Staff delivering food to our NHS workers at Burnley, Blackburn and Airedale Hospitals. A credit to our community!

Whitefield Staff delivering food to our NHS workers at Burnley, Blackburn and Airedale Hospitals. A credit to our community! 1
Whitefield Staff delivering food to our NHS workers at Burnley, Blackburn and Airedale Hospitals. A credit to our community! 2
Whitefield Staff delivering food to our NHS workers at Burnley, Blackburn and Airedale Hospitals. A credit to our community! 3
Whitefield Staff delivering food to our NHS workers at Burnley, Blackburn and Airedale Hospitals. A credit to our community! 4
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As the situation changes daily, please only send your child to school if you HAVE to because you have no other alternatives at all. The best place for children is at home to keep them away from contracting the virus. Due to the nature of children and social distancing not being guaranteed, children are ‘super spreaders’, showing no symptoms but spreading the virus to other children and then to family members when they come home. Please only send your child if your role is critical to our COVID-19 response #StayHomeSaveLives.
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A poem for us all...

 

THE TIME WE SPRING-CLEANED THE WORLD

 

The world it got so busy,

There were people all around.

They left their germs behind them;

In the air and on the ground.

 

These germs grew bigger and stronger.

They wanted to come and stay.

They didn’t want to hurt anyone -

They just really wanted to play.

 

Sometimes they tried to hold your hand,

Or tickled your throat or your nose.

They could make you cough and sneeze

And make your face as red as a rose.

 

And so these germs took over.

They started to make people ill,

And with every cough we coughed

More and more germs would spill.

 

All the queens and kings had a meeting.

“It’s time to clean the world up!” they said.

And so they had to close lots of fun stuff,

Just so these germs couldn’t spread.

 

We couldn’t go to cinemas

Or restaurants for our tea.

There was no football or parties,

The world got as quiet as can be.

 

The kids stopped going to school,

The mums and dads went to work less.

Then a great, big, giant scrubbing brush

Cleaned the sky and the sea and the mess!

 

Dads started teaching the sums,

Big brothers played with us more,

Mums were in charge of homework

And we read and played jigsaws galore!

 

The whole world was washing their hands

And building super toilet roll forts!

Outside was quiet and peaceful,

Now home was the place for all sports.

 

So we played in the world that was home

And our days filled up with fun and love,

And the germs they grew smaller and smaller

And the sun watched from up above.

 

Then one morning the sun woke up early,

She smiled and stretched her beams wide.

The world had been fully spring cleaned,

It was time to go back outside!

 

We opened our doors oh so slowly

And breathed in the clean and fresh air.

We promised that forever and always

Of this beautiful world we’d take care! ๐ŸŒŽ๐Ÿ’—

 

Louise Gribbons

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Dear parents,

As you are aware, as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak and in attempt to slow the spread, the Government have closed all schools.  We are unsure when schools will re-open at this stage. The closure will affect the vast majority of children in our school and I am saddened that this unavoidable measure has been taken.

May I thank you for all your support and patience over the last few days! It has been a very hard and emotional time for both staff, parents and children and there has been a vast amount to arrange.

We have spoken to all parents eligible for ‘key worker’ support from Monday 23rd March.  May I thank the parents who have managed to find alternative child-care, as this has helped keep the numbers down in school and limit the potential spread of the virus.  We have plans in place, but they maybe subject to change if the Government make any new announcements.

 

‘Key Work Provision’:

  • Whitefield Infant School will be opened 9am-3pm. 
  • We are offering a breakfast club from 8am for any parents who need to get to work before 9am. 
  • All children need to enter the school by the Nursery Gate on Portland Street, as the children will be using the Nursery and Studio as their facilities.  No other doors and entrances will be open during this time. 
  • Children are to be collected promptly from the same location at 3pm. 
  • Children will be provided with a lunch in school. 
  • Children may wear their home clothes (please ensure these are sensible clothes and appropriate footwear for outdoor play).

 

With regards to our pupil premium families, a food pack for the week is now being delivered to school (this is instead of vouches or ‘daily grab bags’ as initially suggested). I will contact the families eligible on Monday when the packs arrive with details of how to collect.

I wish you all the best of health.  Keep safe and look after each other.

I can’t wait to see you all again VERY soon!  If you need to contact me, please do so on head@whitefield-inf.lancs.sch.uk

 

Love and best wishes,

Mrs Mason

 

Please see the letters that have been sent home to parents;

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