17th March 2020
Dear Parents & Carers,
The school is still open at the moment, and we plan to be tomorrow, however as the situation is changing so rapidly we are preparing our website with home learning activities that can be accessed by those who are currently self-isolating, and by all should the school need to close in the coming days/weeks. If we do need to close this will be communicated by email and on the school website.
Along the main banner of the website is a tab named ‘Home Learning’. When you click on this tab there is a page for each class. On each class page the teachers will be adding activities for each week – this is not complete yet and we hope to have this ready by the end of the week, if not before!
Today we have sent each child home with an exercise book and a pencil in case of closure. Should your child not be in school because of self-isolation or school closure, the books can be used to record work from any subject and we ask that the paper is used carefully and frugally, as we do not know for how long the home learning may need to be continued. An additional reading book has also been sent home today. Year 2 & 6 have also been sent with SATS practise books.
If your child is already at home and you wish to make arrangements for someone else to collect an exercise book and pencil or Y2/6 SATs books, please let the office know in advance of their arrival so we can make sure it is ready for collection.
We are following Government guidance when asked if children/staff should come to school.
Updated Guidance from the government:
- If you live with others and you or another member of the household 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 became 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.
The symptoms are:
A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)
A new, continuous cough
The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here:
I would like to thank you all for your support at this unprecedented time. I will keep you informed at all times with any news we receive which may impact school and families, please check your emails regularly.
With best wishes,
The UK Government has made some major changes to its advice on the actions required to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. There are significant implications for pupils, parents and staff.
If anyone in your household has a temperature, or a new continuous cough, your whole household must now remain in isolation for 14 days. Please keep us informed if your child/children will be absent by telephone or email.
The following will be in operation from tomorrow, Tuesday 17 March:
The School is open tomorrow and will run as normally as possible. (As time passes however, it may become necesary to combine classes together, due to staffing shortages).
Regrettably, all Share and Shine assemblies are cancelled, as are next week's Parents' Evenings and Swans' Stibbington trip.
There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at Benwick Primary at this time or within the local community. The situation is very fluid and we will update you whenever we have new information.
Mrs Clare Talbot Mr Darren Gore
Headteacher Chair of Governors
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline
Today (11th March), we have launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Below is additional information and links to guidance that the DFE have provided this week:
The importance of hygiene
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19. Please help us in sharing simple and effective hand hygiene messages.
Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:
Sign up is quick, free and means you will be alerted as more resources are made available.
I am writing with a brief update on the coronavirus (COVID-19).
At present, we are not aware of any cases in the School or in the local community.
All staff are aware of the symptoms, and are encouraging children to follow good hygiene practices. The UK Government may soon put new arrangements in place to help delay the spread of the coronavirus: we are developing contingency plans and should schools be affected we will be in touch with you if becomes necessary to implement them.
We know that some children may be worried about the coronavirus: each class has today discussed this, in an age appropriate way, to try to settle any concerned children, please reassure your child that we are monitoring the situation very closely and following all guidance from Public Health England.
In line with previous guidance, you can also help us by:
- Encouraging your child to wash their hands properly with soap and water several times a day. Hand washing is more effective than hand sanitiser, and should be the focus for your child.
- Encouraging your child to cover their mouth and nose with a tissue or the crook of their elbow (not their bare hands) when they cough or sneeze, and to put used tissues in the bin immediately.
- The advice on self-isolation has changed and the new advice is that, regardless of travel history, people should stay at home for seven days if they have either:
a high temperature
a new continuous cough
Further information is available on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/Self-isolating
You may find the following resources useful:
You can use this online NHS tool if you think you may have symptoms, or think you may have been exposed to the virus while travelling.
The Department for Education has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents, carers and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Email: DfE.email@example.com Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
The situation is changing on a daily basis, and we will continue to keep in touch with further updates. We now have a Coronavirus tab on our website with information to help you.