It’s been great to see the children back at school this week after the Christmas holiday. We have had an energetic and lively start – everyone seems pleased to be back. It’s destined to be a tricky term as we continue to battle with Covid-19, but I am confident the good humour and positive attitude of the children and staff, as well as the patience and support of parents, will help us tackle everything that will be thrown at us.
As of today, there are 14 children isolating at home because of a positive test result. We have no staff absences due to covid.
Close contact letters
We are expecting there to be a large number of coronavirus cases in school over the term, as Omicron cases nationally continue to rise. I am obliged to send letters to close contacts of positive cases as they arise so that you can plan the appropriate response – so please prepare to receive these often over the next few weeks. They will be standard letters each time – I have given up trying to make them any more interesting or specific.
Changes to covid rules
The latest changes to our covid arrangements are:
- Reduction of isolation time, in the event of a positive test, from 10 days to 7. This means the child can return to school on Day 8, providing they have received a negative LFD result on days 6 and 7.
- Confirmatory PCR tests following a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result are to be temporarily suspended from Tuesday 11 January. This will mean that anyone who receives a positive LFD test result will be required to self-isolate immediately and will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.
Information about what to do in the event of a positive test is available on the front page of our website. We keep this up-to-date as it is designed to be a quick reference for anyone worried about an actual or suspected covid case in their household.
Free School Meals
To continue the school’s funding for free school meals, census information is gathered about how many children choose a school dinner. This year our Census Day is on Thursday 20th January. In order to maximise our funding we will be ordering all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 a main meal on this day. Please go on the local food links website if you would like to change this. You are of course free to provide a packed lunch as normal that day, if you would prefer.
Parents and carers whose children will be starting primary, infant, junior or middle school for the first time this September, have until 15 January to submit their applications on the Dorset Council website.
And finally, the cold weather…
It’s been a cold start to the term and some of our children still don’t have coats in school. I have noticed more than a few shivering children outside this week. Please can all children have a coat available in school and please can you encourage children to wear them – for reasons I’ve never fathomed some children would rather go cold than wear a coat! We also recommend adding some long trousers and warm tops to PE kits this term – we’ll be looking to go out for PE as much as possible, regardless of the cold. Thank you for your help with this.
Free Family Learning course: Understanding and supporting your child’s mental health
We are delighted to offer the chance to attend this free 10-week course to all parents and carers of school aged children 16 and under, to help develop an understanding of children’s mental health and how they can be supported within the family circle. It has been noted that there are many young people who are feeling helpless and unsettled, mainly due to the restrictions that have been implemented during Covid and the prolonged nature of the restrictions. It is recognised that parents are becoming more anxious too. This course will offer parents and carers an understanding of how to boost good mental well-being and will be able to take part in some of the activities, coping strategies, resilience building tactics and in the process of helping their children, will feel better themselves.
From 17 Jan 2022 to 28 Mar 2022
Some of the topics covered will be:-
- Common mental health problems
- Risk factors
- Dealing with change
- Promoting resilience
- How to support good mental health
Attendees should be prepared to commit to the whole course, as this course is subsidised by government funding and it will be of greater benefit to have a more comprehensive understanding of all aspects, as included in each weekly session.
Please call 01202 123444 to enrol. It is vital to enrol in advance, as without sufficient numbers, the course cannot run and enrolled learners is how we calculate this.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and our Customer Service Team will be able to help.