Dear Parents/Carers,

We are writing to you to share further information regarding school’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak. We are continuing to receive and act upon daily updates published by the Department for Education and our regular handwashing routines are now well established. We have been impressed with the maturity that all pupils have demonstrated in response to these measures. At the point of writing this letter the advice is that schools remain open but this is a constantly changing situation.

We continue to ask that if you suspect your child is showing symptoms of the Coronavirus you do not bring them into school. We are following guidance which states that all staff, young people and children should stay at home for 14 days if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others even if the symptoms have eased or subsided. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal. Please be aware, if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they will be sent home. Guidance issued yesterday evening states that anyone who lives with someone who has a cough or a temperature should also remain at home for 14 days.

In response to ongoing government advice and the Prime Minister’s announcement which outlined the need to stop all non-essential contact and travel we have decided to cancel/postpone the following planned events;

  • Theatre production for pupils in school due to be held on 19/03/20
  • Y3/4 Concert due to be held on 24/03/20 and 26/03/20 (we hope to reschedule this during the Summer term. Any ticket money already sent into school will be reimbursed)
  • Y5 Rewind to Easter event at Heckmondwike Salvation Army on 26/03/20
  • FOH Easter event due to be held on 30/03/20
  • Easter Service due to be held at Christ Church on 02/04/20

It is with much regret that we have had to take the decision to cancel these events. However, the safety, health and wellbeing of all of our staff, pupils and families must remain the priority. In addition to this, we have also taken the decision to stop all whole school assemblies/gatherings in our school hall. Opportunities for collective worship will now take place in classes.

Members of the senior leadership team met on Monday afternoon to discuss measures to be adopted should the school be required to close in the near future. Of course, we hope this won’t be the case, but want staff, pupils and families to be prepared. Our aim will be to continue to provide some learning opportunities for all pupils but we also recognise that a school closure could present difficulties for many families, particularly with regards to childcare. Therefore, work will be available for those families who are able to and wish to access it but there will be no expectation from school staff that all work set is completed. Should the school close, staff will set weekly tasks for the pupils in each year group to complete via the following website;

Unfortunately, this work will only be set should school be fully closed. We are not able to set work for pupils who are already self-isolating or who may need to begin self-isolation over the coming days and weeks. In each year group, set tasks are likely to include activities to develop skills in Reading, Writing, Maths, Phonics/Spelling, Science and/or Topic. These tasks/guidance will be available for pupils to begin to access each Monday morning. Pupils will be provided with an exercise book in which to record their work and answers. For some tasks, answers may also be provided so that pupils and parents can self-mark the work completed. If you or your child have any questions about the work set for that particular week or would like some feedback, teachers can be contacted via the email addresses listed below;

These are temporary email addresses which will only be active in the event of a school closure. We would like to take this opportunity to stress that these email addresses must only be used by parents wishing to seek further guidance/clarification regarding work set or to submit completed tasks for feedback. Teachers are not authorised to respond to any other queries. You may want to photograph the completed work and attach it to an email which will enable the teacher to briefly comment upon it. Staff will endeavour to respond to any email from parents regarding work set on a daily basis. Please be aware, that teachers will only be able to set and receive work for feedback providing they are fit and healthy themselves. Should our IT manager become unwell, then we will no longer be able to upload any further materials to the learning website. If these circumstances arise, we would endeavour to inform parents via the school’s groupcall texting service. In addition to the work set by class teachers, we have also provided lots of useful links to educational websites that your child may wish to access to further develop skills in a wide range of curriculum areas. These links can also be accessed via the new website listed above. In the event of a closure, we would strongly urge all children to continue to read daily and practise age appropriate spellings and rapid recall of mental calculation facts such as times tables. We recognise that some families may not have online access. These families will have an opportunity via our school texting service to state this and as such, a single printed home learning pack will be provided at the start of a closure. Tasks in the printed home learning pack are highly likely to differ to those set online but will still be age appropriate and provide opportunities for children to practise some basic skills.

Even if closed, we are keen to support the pastoral needs of our students and families. Therefore, in the event of a school closure, if you have any safeguarding concerns our Designated Safeguarding Leaders can be contacted using the email address below;

Again, please note, this email address will only be active during a school closure and during usual school hours. Furthermore, we would like to remind you that if you have any significant safeguarding concerns during any school closure, advice and support can be found at the Kirklees Duty and Advice team on 01484 456848. We appreciate that some of our families are eligible for Free School Meals. Unfortunately, if there is an enforced closure of schools, it is unlikely that our school kitchen will be able to provide a catering service but we will keep you updated if there are any changes. If you are in receipt of either Housing or Council Tax benefit and require support we would like to signpost you to the Local Welfare Provision Office on 01484 414782 who can refer you to any of the three foodbanks situated in Batley, Dewsbury or Huddersfield.

As we are sure you will appreciate this situation is new to us all and we are entering a period of considerable uncertainty. We already have a number of staff who have been advised to self-isolate. As you can imagine, this has already imposed additional pressures within school. Should the number of absent staff continue to rise to a level where we are unable to sustain adequate and safe supervision of pupils it may be necessary to partially close the school which could affect individual classes or key stages. Again, if this circumstance arises we would contact you as soon as possible via the school’s groupcall texting service. With that in mind, we ask for your continued patience and support. We will continue to provide you with updates as the situation develops.

We send our best wishes to all families associated with our school in the hope that you stay safe and healthy in the weeks to come.