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Wirksworth Junior School

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Corona Virus Updates

17 March 2020


Dear Parents,


In these unprecedented times the school has decided to make some changes to the school procedures which we hope will ensure we all remain safe. 


Changes to the start of the school day: From Thursday morning, to help reduce the impact of the Coronavirus on the running of the school, we would ask that children are dropped off at the school gates/door, and that parents then leave the school site as soon as possible.  


Cancellation of trips and activities off site. From government guidance issued yesterday that all “non-essential” contact, including trips to pubs and clubs, and mass gatherings to be avoided, we have decided that the Liverpool trip planned for Wednesday 25th March is to be cancelled, along with swimming, the year 5/6 singing concert and forest schools.  We understand that this may feel frustrating to some of you however we want to keep the children safe. 


Contact with school.  Please use the schools’ emails, text message or phone numbers to communicate with us, rather than coming into school unless you absolutely need to. Should you not get a quick response, please understand that it will be because we are busy supporting children and/or staff.  I know this all sounds very anti-social but these are hopefully short-term measures that will enable us all to stay fit for work and school, for as long as possible.  


Parents evening cancelled.  These were due to be run next week on Tuesday 24th March and Thursday 26th March and they will be cancelled. Reports on the current progress and attainment of your child will be sent out next week.  You will have the opportunity to ask questions via email, however please be mindful that school teaching staff do not have the capacity to answer questions from every parent immediately so please be patient with responses.


Attendance: In terms of school absence, if your child is off because they have displayed symptoms and have to ‘self-isolate’, this will be recorded as being off school with illness. For the children who are ‘self-isolating’ but are fit to learn at any point during their absence, please contact the school so that we can try and arrange for some learning at home to be provided (online work or suggested tasks). For those parents that may be feeling uncomfortable about their child attending school despite their child being well and not showing any symptoms, we would ask that you contact us directly to discuss this with you and hopefully reassure you.  


Ending self-isolation and household-isolation (government advice)

If you have been symptomatic, then you may end your self-isolation after 7 days. The 7-day period starts from the day when you first became illIf living with others, then all household members who remain well may end household-isolation after 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day illness began in the first person to become ill. Fourteen days is the incubation period for coronavirus; people who remain well after 14 days are unlikely to be infectious.

After 7 days, if the first person to become ill feels better and no longer has a high temperature, they can return to their normal routine. If any other family members become unwell during the 14-day household-isolation period, they should follow the same advice - i.e. after 7 days of their symptoms starting, if they feel better and no longer have a high temperature, they can also return to their normal routine.

Should a household member develop coronavirus symptoms late in the 14-day household-isolation period (eg on day 13 or day 14) the isolation period does not need to be extended, but the person with the new symptoms has to stay at home for 7 days. The 14-day household-isolation period will have greatly reduced the overall amount of infection the rest of the household could pass on, and it is not necessary to re-start 14 days of isolation for the whole household. This will have provided a high level of community protection. Further isolation of members of this household will provide very little additional community protection.

At the end of the 14-day period, any family member who has not become unwell can leave household isolation.

If any ill person in the household has not had any signs of improvement and has not already sought medical advice, they should contact NHS 111 online. If your home has no internet access, you should call NHS 111.

The cough may persist for several weeks in some people, despite the coronavirus infection having cleared. A persistent cough alone does not mean someone must continue to self-isolate for more than 7 days

Music teachers. For the moment, we are allowing music teachers, sports coaches and regular helpers to continue to come into school having received a clear understanding of the action they are taking but we will continue to review the situation daily and as we know more.


Children’s Well-Being: At the moment, one of the biggest impacts of the coronavirus outbreak on the children is the potential for them to be anxious about the responses they are seeing on the news and in local society. I have attached a guidance poster from the World Health Organisation that parents may find useful. Within school, we are talking to the children at an age-appropriate level to help dispel some of the myths they are picking up and to generally provide reassurance.


Future Planning: So far, we have been fortunate not to have any staff off work who are self-isolating, but if this becomes an issue, there are measures that we may have to consider:


  • Putting classes together with shared staff;
  • Possible closure if staffing levels are too low to open


Despite the Education Minister’s announcement that schools will remain open for the time being, we are doing what we must, including preparing for a national closure. I have shared our current and ever-changing risk assessment and action plans with the staff team; this includes planning for health and safety, what action would be taken should staff fall ill and how we would continue to provide an education for the children if the schools were to close.


If the school is to close, staff will be sending out more work via email, which will have more structured tasks, however for the time-being if you are self-isolating your children and they are well, please do take this opportunity to read, learn timetables and use My Maths.


Finally, we remain extremely grateful to everyone for your continued support of the staff team during this time – it is hugely appreciated. Whatever challenges we may face in the next week or so, I feel confident that we will meet these together.


Yours sincerely

Mrs Isabel Webb