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19 Mar School Closure from Thursday 19 March 2020

18 March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,

School Closure from Thursday 19 March 2020
Further to my letter last night, the situation regarding Coronavirus continues to be uncertain and as such we intend to close the school as of tomorrow Thursday 19 March 2020. This has been a hard decision for us to make but I need to keep my staff and children safe. Our expectation is to re-open after the Easter holidays.

Staffing levels and ratio today have now placed us at risk due to self-isolation/ those with family members with symptoms or those who have underlying vulnerabilities or medical conditions. It is very stressful for staff to work in these conditions. Attendance across the school was 43% today.
Whilst the hiatus in testing means that we have not had any confirmed cases of Covid 19, we have nevertheless had a number of families who have been hospitalised or are self-isolating due to their symptoms. This has resulted in rising anxiety in staff with vulnerabilities or susceptible family members who are now making the decision to self-isolate or socially distance themselves due to underlying health conditions. This has made it untenable to keep the school open to all year groups for full school days this week and, with regret, we have made the difficult decision to close the school to allow for a deep clean.
We will not have enough staff to teach and safely supervise all year groups, even using all cover options at our disposal as we have today. We have set work for pupils and packs to those who are not here today have been home delivered.
Today a number of teachers and pupils are self-isolating in response to updated guidance and are at home due to displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, because they live with a family member who has displayed symptoms of Coronavirus, or is vulnerable . At the time of writing the guidance is:
• if you live alone and you have symptoms of Coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started.
• if you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of Coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house becomes ill
• it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
• for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14 day isolation period.

Thus we are closing from tomorrow:
Thursday 19 March 2020 Our expectation is to re-open after the Easter holidays.

In this period it is hoped that the children currently off sick will no longer be showing symptoms of the virus/ temperatures/fevers will have stopped and that other family members might also have been isolated and if infected had a chance to recover.

If in the interim Government guidance changes, we will of course follow this advice instead.

We will be reviewing this situation daily and will keep you notified/ updated.
• All year groups have had Home Learning Packs sent home over the last few days. We have organised a learning contingency plan. Please use the packs, the books, the Rock Stars log ins, the Twinkl Links, the planning on the APP with Flipcharts in class pages, the computing ideas on the APP in the information area
• There is a Literacy page on the school website with information on how to support your child with reading at home. This is also on the school APP in the information area
• All children have their Rock Stars multiplication log ins to practice and memorise all times tables
• We have set up class emails in the case of a longer than expected school closure, the children will have access three times a week to their class teacher online to check in on any learning in the packs, misconceptions and assistance we can offer- the emails that your child will have access to are: red@queensbridge.hackney.sch.uk/ turquoise@queensbridge.hackney.sch.uk ie.(*THEIRCLASS*@queensbridge.hackney.sch.uk)
• Your child can contact their teacher at three key points each week that they are off if they need to via this email: Monday Wednesday Friday- class teachers will check and respond to emails between 9 and 1pm on these days.
• Children can write stories/ non-fiction projects using this email and send to their teachers
• Children should take time to read twice daily, for about half an hour at least, at a suitable level. All children should read the texts that they have been sent home with as well as any chapter books or age appropriate materials and Andrea is at hand to support with others recommendations at reading@queensbridge.hackney.sch.uk

I am notifying you of this school closure in response to staff shortages which threaten the well-being of children and staff and I have sought advice from NAHT/ NEU and our School Improvement Advisor at HLT.

If a member of your household is confirmed as testing positive or showing the symptoms for Coronavirus it is very important that you let us know immediately by contacting our office on 0207 254 1186 or email emergency@queensbridge.hackney.sch.uk

Some of you do have Sarah’s personal email but please at the moment could you do this via emergency@queensbridge.hackney.sch.uk in this interim period.

While the school is shut I would like you please to keep in contact with me and let me know how your children and families are.

I would like to know if your children are ok and will be healthy and well after the Easter break to return. Please email me updates on
emergency@queensbridge.hackney.sch.uk

We will be reviewing the situation on a regular basis and will keep you informed of any changes/ re-assess the situation.

FREE SCHOOL MEALS children- any families that may find this situation difficult please email or see Sue/ Ms Bailey and we will try our hardest to help you whilst we are off. We can get food/toiletry parcels ready for you to help out throughout this time off school. We want you to be as comfortable as possible during this tricky time. Feel free to contact Ms Bailey directly. Do NOT feel embarrassed to contact me. Ms Bailey will be in school on Thursday and Friday to sort out. Teachers will be in weekly contact with the Head and will be required to set up their learning rooms via email with the children.

I do not wish for any of my families at Queensbridge, in this uncertain time, to feel unnecessarily challenged.

We will try our hardest to accommodate all needs and ensure both you and your children are both academically and emotionally supported during this time.

The latest information about the Coronavirus is available via https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Stay safe,
Ms Bailey
Head Teacher

 

Sarah Bailey OBE

Executive Head/ NLE

 

 

 

Sarah Bailey OBE

Executive Head/ NLE

Future Stars Teaching School Alliance

Queensbridge Primary School/ Mapledene Children’s Centre

Queensbridge Road, Hackney

London E8 4ET

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