UPDATE - Coronavirus
17 March 2020
As you’re probably aware, the government’s guidance on the coronavirus has changed from the ‘contain’ phase to one of delaying the spread of the virus. We’re getting in touch to let you know what we’re doing in light of this, and what we expect from all of you, to help make sure our academy community keeps safe and calm.
We’d like to reassure you that at Bradfields Academy we’re taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the government, Public Health England and the Local Authority. We are following all guidance as it is issued each day to ensure that we make informed decisions.
What’s the current situation?
- The academy remains open – this is the current official guidance we’ve been given. Due to the self-isolation guidelines we now have increased staff absence. To ensure we have suitable staffing ratios and ensure all lessons are covered we may need to reduce to a partial opening in the future. However, we will ensure you are given adequate notice and information should this be necessary.
- We have made the decision to postpone and cancel academy events until further notice, this includes The Programmes Afternoon Tea on the 19th March, the Programmes Trip on the 20th March, the Exam Preparation evening on the 26th March and the Arts Showcase on the 1st April. We will be sending out information packs regarding exams in due course.
- Offsite trips are being considered carefully, in line with the government guidelines on social distancing. As such we are avoiding non-essential use of public transport, varying our travel times to avoid rush hour, avoiding large gatherings, and gatherings in smaller public spaces such as cinemas, theatres, shopping malls and bowling alleys. To avoid disappointment where possible alternative destinations have been arranged to places such as Capstone Park where students will be in the open air and not interacting with lots of people, in line with guidance. We are sorry for any disappointment and will inform parents and carers of plans for reschedule or refunds as soon as we can. We have had to make this decision to prioritise learning within the classroom and abide by the social distancing guidelines.
- Breakfast Club will continue to operate as normal. Academy lunches will also continue as normal. Students will be eating their lunches in a well ventilated space.
- All after-hours clubs, will stop until further notice. This includes Guides and Rangers.
- Due to the current situation, some businesses are unable to take work experience students. Therefore, we have taken the decision to cancel work experience for students in Years 12, 13 & 14. These students should stay at home on the days they would normally be at their work experience placement, until further notice. A pack of work to be completed during this time is being sent home with the students today.
Work experience days when students should stay at home:
- Year 14 students - Wednesday & Thursday
- Year 13 students - Wednesday
- Year 12 students - Thursday & Friday
When to Self-Isolate and those at increased risk
In line with Public Health England guidance, we are asking that if you, your child or anyone you live with has the following symptoms you must follow guidance to stay at home:
- A new, continuous cough and/or
- A high temperature
If your child is unwell or is self-isolating, report this as you would normally by contacting the academy office on 01634 683990
The advice is that those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus
(COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. This group includes those who are:
• aged 70 or older (regardless of medical conditions)
• under 70 with an underlying health condition listed below (i.e. anyone instructed to get a flu jab as an adult each year on medical grounds):
- chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
- chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
- chronic kidney disease
- chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
- chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
- problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
- being seriously overweight (a BMI of 40 or above)
- those who are pregnant
Additionally, adults and students who may also be at particular risk due to having complex health problems such as:
- People who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
- People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
- People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukemia who are at any stage of treatment
- People with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
- People with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)
Should your child fall into this high risk group, we ask that you consider carefully whether it would be best to reduce their social contact and isolate them at home. We will fully support any decision you feel you need to make for the best interests of your child.
Access to learning
Should the academy close or partially close over the next few weeks, or should students be absent due to their own circumstances, it is important that they have access to academic work.
Students who are studying for an examination course will, wherever possible, be given work that supports coursework or their exam materials. Where this is not possible, or relevant, students can access a variety of materials:
- Students in Primary should focus on their reading and literacy skills. They will be provided with appropriate reading material.
- Students in the secondary phase of the academy can access booklets from the link below, where they will find subject-based activities linked to practical life skills. They too can also focus on their reading.
- Students also have an IXL login where they can access English and mathematics activities. Recently students have been given a Times Tables Rock Stars login and again this can be accessed to help develop skills. Login details are in your child’s planners.
- A list of websites available to all students to assist their home learning can also be found on the academy website. Parents and carers would need to look at sections of these to assess their suitability for individual students.
At this stage the academy is getting daily updates, and as yet although nothing definite has been put into place with regards to public examinations, please be reassured that the examination boards are monitoring the situation and will ensure that those students whose studies are disrupted by schools and academies having to close will not be penalised through the examination system. Again as soon as we have full details we will publish these on our website.
It is important to try and maintain a routine for learning. It may be a good idea to have a timetable or calendar on show so that your child knows when they will be doing their learning and when they will be having a break. We understand that it may not be possible to do every single activity but we appreciate your support in ensuring that learning can continue whilst off school for longer periods of time.
What we’re doing to protect and support students and staff
- All staff have been made aware of concern countries and are vigilant to identify any of our students returning from infected areas. If this is the case PHE advice will always be followed.
- Staff are aware of the symptoms of Coronavirus and if anyone is spotted with these we will follow the latest PHE advice and inform parents.
- Students are being reminded of the importance of good hand and respiratory hygiene.
- Students have received additional lessons on hygiene, the virus and how to deal with anxiety during their tutor periods.
- Additional hand sanitisers, and tissues have been provided across the academy and our cleaning schedule have been further increased in line with the published guidance.
- If there is a confirmed case of Coronavirus within the academy, we will inform parents immediately through School Gateway/ Text/ Email /phone call.
What we need you to do
- Come and collect your child straight away, if we ask you to (we’ll contact you if they become ill with either a temperature or a new, continuous cough).
- If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the academy office as soon as possible via 01634 6683990 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Check that your child has access IXL and the Times Tables Rock Stars from home, and let us know if there are any issues (so we can make sure we’re well prepared for remote learning if the academy does need to close at some point).
- Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a scary time and we should make sure children feel supported. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety.
What happens if the academy has to close?
We’ll only close if we’re either officially advised to do so or we don’t have enough staff to run the academy safely. In either case, we will make our decision as early as is possible to give you as much warning as we can and will communicate with you in one or all of the following ways:
- Through Schoolcomms – please ensure our records are up to date if you have recently changed mobile contact details, just call in and let us have your new number! This is our quickest and best way of getting text messages to you, so please look out for them and make these your first port of call for information.
- With an announcement on the academy website: https://www.bradfieldsacademy.co.uk/
- With a post on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BradfieldsAcademy
- Like us on Facebook to be notified of posts.
Please keep in mind that we’re only sending out this information to help the academy community prepare. There are currently no plans to close.
If you have any questions
Please consult the:
- Academy office, if you have any questions about our response to this issue
- NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home. Testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home.
- Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools
- Government’s travel advice, if you want to know whether any upcoming trip or holiday you’re taking abroad should go ahead
It’s a tricky time and we know you’re worried about the impact this might have on our community. It’s important we keep each other safe and talk about these events to help with any anxiety.
Thank you for your continued support. We’ll keep you up to date with any changes to the current situation.
Ms M Sweetlove