Monday 23rd March 2020
Re: Coronavirus update – school closure to most students
Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have been instructed to close the school to almost all children from Friday, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers and children with certain needs. In line with the Secretary for Education’s statement over the weekend, please do not send your child to school from Monday 23rd March onwards unless your work is critical to the COVID-19 response and we have agreed that your child is eligible to attend. Your child will not be allowed to stay at school, they will be sent home, if this agreement is not in place.
If your child is attending school, we will open for students between the hours of 8.00am and 2.30pm and they should wear their PE kit. Do not send children earlier than this time as they will not be allowed on site. Students will be expected to leave promptly at 2.30pm.
As always, your child’s education and well-being remain of paramount importance to the school. As such, we will be continuing to support you and your children in the following ways:
- You will receive daily phone calls from a designated member of staff to check on wellbeing and resolve any issues students are having with school work. Please note that they will ring from a withheld number for GDPR purposes.
- Work will be set and marked regularly through Google Classroom. Your child has been provided with the pass codes for these platforms, for each subject area, and their subject teachers will mark the work submitted and supply feedback to them.
- For students who do not have WIFI access, resources, including work books have been supplied or are available from school reception. Please telephone before you come into school so that these can be ready for you.
- Students who receive free school meals will receive a weekly food pack containing items to ensure their meal provision is continued.
Instructions for Google Classroom are being circulated and will also be available on the school website. (Click here). If you or your child has any queries please alert the member of staff during your daily check in as they should be able to assist.
If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please do not hesitate to do so via email@example.com
And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.
Other helpful contact numbers are:
- Childline – 0800 1111
- Samaritans – 116 123
- Help for Children – 0800 169 1601
- Early Help – 01274 432121
- NSPCC – 0808 800 5000
- Barnardos – 01274 513300
Please ensure that your child is safe on and offline whilst they are not attending school, the link below is aimed at parents and students and will answer some questions and provide guidance and advice.
Owing to the ever-changing picture, things may alter as we move forward. We appreciate your continued patience and support during these unprecedented times.
We will continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.
Friday 20th March 2020
Due to COVID-19 regulations, we have now been instructed to close the school to ALMOST ALL children after today, Friday, 20th March 2020, until further notice.
As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers and children with certain needs.
- Please do not send your child to school from Monday 23rd March onwards unless we have agreed that your child is eligible to attend. Your child will not be allowed to stay at school, they will be sent home, if this agreement is not in place.
- School will open for eligible students between the hours of 8am and 2.30pm. Please do not send children earlier than this time as they will not be allowed on site. Students will be expected to leave promptly at 2.30pm.
- For parents/carers whose child/children have to stay at home we will continue to set work using Google Classroom. Your child has been provided with the pass codes for these platforms, for each subject area and their subject teachers will mark the work submitted and supply feedback to them. For students who do not have wifi access, resources, including work books have been supplied or are available from school reception.
Your child’s learning is important to us and we will continue to help your child to learn. A member of staff will be in touch by telephone daily, however, if you have any concerns please do not hesitate to contact school and we will do our best to help.
If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch with more information about how we will continue to provide this.
Thursday 19th March 2020
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis One In A Million Free School will be CLOSED tomorrow, Friday 20th March for ALL STUDENTS until further notice.
For those students who receive free school meals, if your child has not already collected one, packed lunches will be available from school reception at 12 noon.
An email will be sent detailing school arrangements throughout this difficult period once clear guidance is available the government. Further information on provision for vulnerable students and children of keyworks will follow.
Wednesday 18th March 2020
One In A Million Free School will be partially closed tomorrow (Thursday 18th March) and only students in years 7, 8 & 11 should attend.
For those students in years 9 & 10 who receive free school meals, a packed lunch will be available to collect at 12 noon from school reception.
Tuesday 17th March 2020
As we look at plans and preparations for any potential disruption to school regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), we thought that it would be helpful to explain our plans in order to reassure you that your child’s safety, well-being and education remain our biggest priority.
Firstly, we continue to receive daily updates from the government and we continue to follow their advice. As a school, we have developed contingencies, in line with our emergency plans, should we have to close, or partially close, due to either government instruction or staff absence.
After considering the recent advice issued by the government, we have taken the decision to postpone all none essential contact, including parents’ evenings, offsite trips and sports fixtures for the foreseeable future. This is with immediate effect and we will keep you updated regularly.
In the event of any closure, partial or full, we will place messages on our website, along with updates on our Facebook and Twitter accounts. We will also send messages via our parent text service. Most importantly, we remain open and hope for excellent attendance unless you hear, via one of these methods, to the contrary.
We have also increased significantly the cleaning around school and made provision for additional hand washing/sanitising facilities around the building. Our hand washing areas remain well-stocked and we have spoken with all students about how to wash their hands properly, placing posters in key areas to remind us all of good hygiene. Areas like ICT (keyboards), and all door handles/high contact areas are receiving additional cleaning throughout the day.
Rest assured, we are now preparing work to provide for your children should we have to close the school for any length of time.
We are well prepared for this situation and have already spoken to students about Google Classroom and have instructed them how to access and submit work through this system. Teaching staff will be in contact with students regularly if school is closed and will be available to assist with any issues which arise with study during this time. Marking and feedback will continue to be given for work submitted. We are also working to ensure that printed materials are shared with students who do not have internet access at home.
Our pastoral and leadership team remain committed to supporting the wellbeing of our students and are available should you have any questions or concerns. The team will also be checking in with students regulalry throughout any closure.
I know that this is a very difficult time but I hope that this letter gives you some comfort that we are making the best possible preparations. In the meantime, we will continue to operate a full and normal school day.
Tuesday 17th March 2020 – Public Health Guidance
To understand what Coronavirus/Covid-19 is? What do I do if you think you are at risk? And how to HELP PREVENT THE SPREAD! Please click on one the pdf translation below:
- Amharic – covid -19 ia pack
- ENGLISH – COVID -19 IA pack – 020320
- farsi – ar_covid -19 ia pack – 020320
- pashto – covid -19 ia pack – 020320
- punjabi – covid -19 ia pack – 020320
- somali – covid -19 ia pack – 020320
- tigrinya – covid -19 ia pack – 020320
- urdu – covid -19 ia pack – 020320
I am writing to update you on the development of the school’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak, following yesterday’s UK government meetings and latest Public Health England (PHE) advice which you may find helpful.
A team of staff representing teaching, pastoral and operational areas of school meet daily to review the latest government guidance and coordinate the school’s response. Our approach remains in line with advice and guidance from the relevant health authorities, in particular the NHS – specifically Public Health England (PHE) – and where travel may be impacted, we are also taking account of advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO).
At the time of writing, the government’s focus has moved to the second phase of ‘Delay’ and in addition to the continued advice for regular and thorough hand-washing, it has now included a requirement for anyone with a new, continuous cough or temperature, however mild the symptoms, to self-isolate for seven days and we are now requesting all the members of our school community to follow this if necessary.
Within the school’s action plan, we are prioritising health and safety and student education over other activities. We especially wish to support our year groups taking public examinations in the summer and ensure the continuity of their teaching and learning.
In light of recent actions taken by other countries to close educational establishments we must be mindful that this remains a possibility in the UK, even though today’s advice is for schools to remain open. Even if not required to close, we may have to consider curtailment of some of our activities and are drawing up contingency plans for all areas of school life, including:
- Educational continuity – we are putting provision in place for remote learning, subject appropriate for all year groups, and planning alternative arrangements if required for GCSE examinations.
Pastoral and medical support – we take seriously the wellbeing of all our students and ask parents to contact school if they have any concerns about how a child may be impacted if unable to come to school. Please reassure your child that they can visit their Head of Year if they have any worries or feel unwell during the school day.
Trips, visits, fixtures and events – we appreciate the significant disappointment caused by the postponement or cancellation of activities, and are considering all trips, fixtures and events on a case by case basis. We will take into account the educational merit, the destination, accommodation arrangements and itinerary and of course the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s advice. We will notify parents at the earliest opportunity of any changes to planned activities.
Volunteering – volunteering activities involving elderly people have been suspended as our partners seek to minimise the risk to their residents.
Maintenance of the school buildings and facilities, including IT services required to enable remote learning and any necessary deep cleaning. We are keen to ensure that students can resume their studies without further interruption in a safe and fully operational learning environment.
May we ask families to follow government advice if they visit any country named on the government website as a concern, or if any family member does so. In such circumstances, or in light of even a potential threat from such travel or connections, please inform school of this situation as soon as possible. Official travel advice to and from the UK is being regularly updated, so please bear in mind that entry and exit restrictions may change, as well as the advice on self-isolation for different geographical locations which could affect you upon your return to the UK. After the Easter break, we will require all members of the community to self-declare if they have been in an area of particularly high risk – more information will follow about this at the end of this month.
The best way to prevent coronavirus spreading is to wash your hands more than usual, for 20 seconds, using soap and water or a hand sanitiser. Please remind your children to follow these guidelines. We are taking additional steps to support the health and wellbeing of our community, primarily through extra cleaning and widespread provision of hand sanitisers.
Should there be any developments that affect the running of the school we will be in touch with parents as a matter of urgency.
Finally, can I say that I have been very appreciative of how students and families have responded to this difficult situation. I would like thank you all for your support and cooperation in helping us to keep the school a calm and kind place for students and staff alike.
I am sure you are aware of the outbreak of novel coronavirus and the subsequent confirmed cases in the UK. At One in A Million Free School we take the health and safety of our pupils and staff very seriously, so we’re sharing guidance from Public Health England on steps you should be taking.
There is currently no cause for concern at the school, but we’ll keep you informed about any developments and ensure we’re keeping the school clean to prevent the spread of any virus.
Prevent the spread of infection
Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
- Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol based sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
- If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment
If you or your children have returned from a category 1 country or area in past 14 days
- Wuhan city and Hubei province, China
- Daegu or Cheongdo, South Korea*
- >Any Italian town under containment measures (see https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/868839/Map_showing_specified_areas_of_Italy_250220.pdf for details.
*Only if you’ve returned on or after 19 February 2020
Contact NHS 111 for advice, and:
- Self-isolate for 14 days after leaving the country or area (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-self-isolationfor-patients-undergoing-testing/advice-sheet-home-isolation for details.
- If you become unwell, call NHS 111 immediately for an assessment (or 999 if you require emergency medical attention) – see below for the symptoms to look out for
If you or your children have returned from a category 2 country or area in last 14 days
- China (other than Wuhan city or Hubei province)
- Hong Kong
> Italy: north* (see:
- South Korea (other than Daegu or Cheongdo)
- *Only if you’ve returned on or after 19 February 2020
If you or your children are well:
- You don’t need to avoid contact with other people
- Your other family members don’t need to take any precautions or make any changes to their own activities
If you become unwell (see below for a list of symptoms):
- Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses (see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-selfisolation-
Call NHS 111 immediately for an assessment (or 999 if you require emergency medical attention).
Symptoms to look out for:-
If you’ve returned from any of the category 1 or 2 areas or countries, look out for the
- Difficulty in breathing
- Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)
According to other official guidance, while you wait for further advice:
- Avoid contact with others
- Stay at home – don’t go to work or school
- Don’t travel while sick
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when
- coughing or sneezing, throwing tissues in the bin
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds (or an alcohol based sanitizer if soap and water aren’t available)
If you or your child have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact school on 01274 723439.
Mr Stuart Rees,