Statement from Ordsall Primary School on May 12th 2020
Since 23rd March 2020, and in line with the scientific advice, Ordsall Primary School has been proud to have remained open to a priority group of children and young people, children of critical workers and vulnerable children. It has provided this service each day including throughout the Easter Holidays, including Good Friday and Easter Monday and also again on the VE Day Bank Holiday. Alongside this the school has also provided home learning packs through its learning platforms, ensured that the Free School Voucher System has worked as effectively as possible for families, delivered packs of work to families, certificates from the Lord Lieutenant of Nottinghamshire, produced challenges and videos of the home learning on Twitter and Facebook, set up an IT helpdesk and been present in school every day to support the children and families who are part of our school and local community. This week the government have now asked our school to plan for the return of children.
In the latest guidance from the Government, “Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June: guidance for parents and carers”, dated May 11th, the government have clearly stated that they want to get all children back into education, as soon as the scientific advice allows. This is because they feel that it is the best place for them to learn, and because they know it is good for children’s mental wellbeing to have social interactions with other children, carers and teachers. Therefore, as part of this strategy to reopen schools, the government have asked that from the week commencing 1 June:
They have stated that, in reaching this decision, they have been guided by scientific advice at every stage and the latest scientific advice which states that:
This means that at Ordsall Primary School we are now beginning to plan and prepare for at least some of the children in FS1, FS2, Year 1 and Year 6 to return to school in June 2020. This will obviously have many aspects to it, including the fact that social distancing will be very challenging to enforce with the children, but we are undertaking specific tasks to determine if we are able to comply with the instructions that we have, and are to be given, to welcome some children back to school in June including:
At Ordsall Primary School it is our plan, in the coming week, to communicate with parents and carers to find out how many parents and carers of children in FS1, FS2, Year 1 and Year 6 plan to bring their children into school. This is so that we can plan how we will organise the day, which teachers and staff will need to be available, how we will maintain the home learning platforms, if staff are now in school each day and no longer working from home, and what curriculum and provision we will plan to deliver from June 1st.
In their document the government have also produced some Frequently Asked Questions to help inform Parent and Carers which may answer questions or concerns that you have:
What if my child is in one of the eligible year groups to return to school but has siblings who are not?
We are asking that only children in FS1, FS2, Year 1 and Year 6 return from 1 June. This does not include siblings in different year groups unless those siblings are in a priority group, for example, the children of critical workers.
Will any action be taken against me if my child is in one of the year groups and does not attend?
Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.
We strongly encourage children and young people in the eligible year groups and priority groups (such as children of critical workers) to attend, as requested by their school, unless they are self-isolating or there are other reasons for absence (such as shielding due to health conditions).
You should notify your child’s school or college as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss with you.
How will risks to children, teachers and families be managed?
The government has provided guidance and support to schools on implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings to help them to reduce the risk of transmission as more children and young people return.
To prevent the spread of coronavirus, schools and other settings will use a range of protective measures to create safer environments in which the risk of spreading the virus is substantially reduced. Whilst such changes are likely to look different in each setting, as they will depend upon individual circumstances, they are all designed to minimise risks to children, staff and their families.
Should I keep my child at home if they have an underlying health condition or live with someone in a clinically vulnerable group?
Children who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should continue to shield and should not be expected to attend.
Can children be tested for the virus?
Once settings open to more children, staff and pupils in all settings will be eligible for testing if they become ill with coronavirus symptoms, as will members of their household. This will enable children and young people to get back to childcare or education, and their parents or carers to get back to work, if the test proves to be negative.
A positive test will ensure rapid action to protect their classmates and staff in their setting.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in my child’s school, college or childcare setting?
When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class/group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class/group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
Will education be provided as normal to children and young people who are attending?
Education settings still have the flexibility to provide support and education to children and young people attending school in the way they see fit during this time.
Schools and colleges should use their "best endeavours” to support pupils attending as well as those remaining at home, making use of the available remote education support.
Will school meals be available for children and young people who are in school?
The provision of food vouchers for those eligible under the benefits criteria will continue to be available, where needed, for those not attending. Schools should provide meal options for all children who are in school, and meals should be available free of charge where pupils meet the free school meal eligibility criteria
Will childcare, schools and colleges keep their usual opening hours?
It is possible that some settings will make changes to their start and finish times or introduce processes for drop-off and collection times to keep children and families safe.
Start and finish times will be clearly communicated to parents and carers alongside any other new arrangements.
This information is taken from the Government document “Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from 1 June: guidance for parents and carers” which can be accessed by clicking here .
We understand that this information may raise further concerns for you and we would like to assure you that we are working with Nottinghamshire County Council to get more guidance and advice as it becomes available to try and address any concerns that you have.
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April 3rd 2020 Statement From Ordsall Primary School
Hello to all our Parents and Carers,
At Ordsall Primary School we thought that at this time we would reach out and make contact with everyone, as we would normally do at the end of a term and bring you up to date with who is doing what and how we are working.
At the moment we are all going through this very difficult time and it is really important that we cling on tightly to the values that we have at our school. Throughout our work with the fabulous children who come to our school, we focus really strongly on pride, compassion, understanding, support for others and being the best that we can be. At this time our moral purpose is more important than ever and our values permeate all that we strive to achieve. This period of time is one that will put this to the test.
Over the last two weeks it has been absolutely fantastic to see all the pictures, videos and comments that you, our parents and carers, have posted. Our numbers of followers on twitter has increased as many other people, schools and organisations look at what we are doing to provide for our children. The staff are now in two teams and they are working very hard to ensure that we continue to provide a version of the contextualised curriculum that we have developed in school. At the very core of this is helping the children to learn how to learn and to use first-hand experience to develop and apply their skills. The world that will emerge after this will probably look very different but our children need to be ready for life in the 21st Century when we expect responsibility, empathy, interpersonal skills, cognitive skills and system skills to be in high demand. Keep up the good work.
Free School Meals
Over the last two weeks the school has carried out its duty to provide a pack up meal for those children eligible for Free School meals who want one. This service ends on Friday April 3rd 2020. Over the next two weeks of the Easter Holidays we will be moving to the Government’s National Voucher System and when we have it arranged and organised we will give you the details of how it will work at Ordsall.
It is really important that parents and carers understand that there is no requirement for the school to continue to provide universal infant free school meals to pupils in reception (FS2), year 1, or year 2. The Free School Meal voucher DOES NOT cover these children, unless they are named on the school’s list. If you believe that your child would qualify for Free School Meals, but currently has a universal meal, it may be worth you checking your eligibility. The vouchers will only be issued to those children listed on our register of children eligible for Free School Meals. Do not assume if one child is on the list that a sibling will be. This is not always the case. For more information please go to how to apply for free school meals and type in Ordsall Primary School into the search tab or read guidance on supporting children eligible for free schools meals, from the DfE.
Staff Teams and Remote Learning
We have staff working remotely to provide learning challenges led by Mrs Croker, Mrs Joyce and Miss Pedersen. The staff in that team include Mrs Brown, Mrs Palmer, Mrs Crossland, Mrs Pollard, Mrs Sprowell, Mr Atkinson, Mrs Wilde and Mr Miles. You will have seen their tweets and probably responded to the challenges that they have given. They have been doing a brilliant job. The school is now moving to a “teams” platform for key stage 1 and 2, to provide the work that the children can engage with. Mr Fenton and Mr Miles have done a great job, alongside Orchestrate IT, coordinating the technical aspects of the platform in school and remotely, and we hope that you are all becoming familiar with it as we have moved forward. If you have any issues please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Easter is now here and the guidance from the Department For Education is that school staff should have their holiday entitlement before, during or after Easter so you may find that over the next two weeks, once the challenges come out, the platforms and twitter may quieten a little. Don’t worry about this as the remote team will be taking their Easter break during this time.
The in school Team
The in school team have been busy providing provision and care of our most vulnerable children and the children of our critical workers. The team includes Miss Crummack, Ms Smart, Mr Fenton, Mrs Greatwood, Mrs White, Miss Rollison, Mrs Craven, Miss Dixon, Miss Heather, Mrs Carlisle, Mrs McIntyre, Miss Baker, Mrs Rouse, Mrs Smith, Mrs Tomlinson, Mrs Partington, Miss Hamilton-Clark, Mrs Purkiss, Mrs Irani and Miss Longden. These staff are now in 3 different teams and have already been working with the children who have had to be at the school during the last two weeks and when they are not in school, during the next few weeks, they will be taking their holiday entitlement.
Miss Shaw has been working alongside Mr Fenton to respond to Facebook questions and to pull together compilations of you work including Home learning Week 1, the dinosaurs, the jungle animals in your home and next it will be the teddies in the window. Other staff have also delivered work packs and returned some of the children’s belongings that were left in school. We have begun our 100 Songs to Make You Feel Good and we have loved the videos and pictures of the children you have sent. This will continue and we hope that you will continue to engage with it all.
We also have a team of people: Mrs Frost, Mrs Perry, Mrs Moss and Miss Rollison who will spend some of their time contacting families just to check in with them and to offer support.
Supporting the in school team are the facilities team, led by Mr Jackson, who are making sure that our school is clean and ready for the children each day, and supporting everyone is Mrs Elkington and the administrative team who are always there to help. This is our team and we are proud to be part of it.
The team at Ordsall is everything and it is our strength but people do come and go from our team. As we come to Easter, we would like to let you know that Miss Slack, who has been covering for Miss Miles in FS1 and Mrs Reynolds, who has been at the school since September 2016, will be leaving the Ordsall team at Easter. I am sure that you would like to thank them, as we do, for their work here and wish them the best of luck.
At this time we believe that the role of our school is to support those people who do far more important jobs than we do. These critical workers are the ones who will help support the community, as we move forward, and at Ordsall we are very proud to play our part. As we head towards Easter, we would like to thank every person who has written or phoned to thank us for the provision that we have put in place and how we have supported our families. We will continue to work in school over the Easter holidays to provide care for children and for as long as it is needed.
Please stay safe, take care and know that if you need help we are here to offer it in these very difficult times.
We are proud to be here and proud to be Ordsall.
Visit, Club and Enrichment Letters
Please find below, copies of all letters sent home.