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Update after week 1.

13 September 2020 (by admin)

Dear Fairfields Community,
Thank you for all of your support and adjustments in our first week of opening.  It has been challenging for everyone although things seemed to be becoming smoother towards the end of the week.  The children have been incredible and have made us all proud with how quickly they have settled into our new routine!
I wanted to clarify the following to you to help to speed up the dropping off and collection times.
  1. Please drop your child at school on the time allocated and not after.  Teachers will now take their children into school after checking them.  This may be after a few minutes after their slot.  The 10 minutes between is to be used to check and take the children to their classrooms.  this is not for parents to arrive in.  If you arrive after your child's class has gone in you will need to wait until after Foundation Stage arrive (9:20am).
  2. Parents of years 1,2 and Foundation Stage pupils will need to wait until their child's teacher is ready to dismiss the class.  We have had reports of children being called over to their parent whilst walking from the school door to the collection point.  This has meant that teachers have been concerned about whether they have lost a child on route and is a safeguarding concern.  From Monday, Year 2 will be collected from the football area and Year 1 will walk into the Foundation Stage garden area.  Once everyone is in the area, the children will then be dismissed.  Please can we ask that you stay away from the canopy area and stand back from the point where children will be dismissed.
  3. Please could parents continue to be vigilant and remain socially distanced in the playground.  Please only come at the correct time and leave as soon as you have collected your child.
  4. Due to the staggered lunch and break times, your child may need to wait slightly longer before they have food.  If this is the case and your child has complained about waiting, please provide them with a fruit or vegetable snack.  Please do not allow your child to bring in crisps, chocolate or nut items for a snack.  
In other news, you may have heard over the last few days that there is a shortage of tests in the country.  Over the last week three pupils have been kept at home due to high temperatures or symptoms of COVID 19.  Two of the three children were able to get tests and these have been negative results.  One of the Year 6 teacher's sons has also developed a high temperature over the weekend.  She will not be in school on Monday as her son will need to take a test before returning. 
I will endeavour to keep you informed about the situation in school each week so that you are aware of the number of people that have reported symptoms and whether they have positive or negative results and what action we have taken as a result.  
 Over the weekend, I have been in contact with Public Health England for advice as it seems that testing is becoming problematic.  They explained that there are tests but that people are requesting tests without having the symptoms of COVID 19.  
They continued to describe how our immune systems will have become overwhelmed after returning to school and mixing with other children and that we should expect sickness and other cold symptoms.  In the current climate, we are bound to be worried about any signs of illness and especially with so much information about differing symptoms of COVID 19. 
They have advised that children and adults should stay at home if they are unwell regardless and that they should only be tested if they have the symptoms of COVID 19.  They have also asked me to clarify when to isolate.  Pupils and adults who are unwell, should stay home until they feel better and have no symptoms.  If the symptoms are those of COVID 19, they must be tested and the household needs to isolate until the test is positive or negative.  
Anyone outside of the household, who has come into contact with the person who is waiting to be tested, should continue as normal.  If the test is positive, we then have to start a track and trace system.   Please do let us know if your child is unwell as we will be keeping track of this as part of our information gathering.
The official guidance is below:
At present, I am not able to guarantee that everyone in the school community will have access to a test if needed despite the guidance provided by the Government prior to opening.  We have been given ten as a school to use in emergencies.  We have already used one this week.  
Please could I ask that we work together as a community to keep everyone safe.  If you or your child is unwell, please do not come to school.  I understand that this is a slightly different message to the one in the past but we are in different circumstances.
Finally, I wanted to inform you that I have been in contact with the BBC to explain that challenges we have been faced with in the first week of opening.  I believe that there needs to be more public awareness about the challenges faced, especially by schools, with obtaining a test and also with the mixed messages around COVID 19 symptoms on social media.  They are planning to come into school on Monday after the children have settled in class.  They would like to film a classroom from the doorway and I have offered that they could film Year 6 classrooms as these are slightly away from the school and are older pupils.  If you do not want your child to be filmed, please tell them or email the school and we will move them out of the camera shot.  It is likely to be a few moments of filming.  
Thank you for your continue support and I look forward to seeing you next week.

Kind regards

Miss Kelly Dillon