Covid-19 - Important Updates
When a child has displayed classic Coronavirus symptoms such as a new persistent cough, a high temperature or loss of smell and taste, they will be unable to return to school, even if they feel better, until either a negative test result has been received or the 10 day isolation period has passed.
Dear Parent / Carer
As you will be aware, Walsall schools are working extremely hard to stop the spread of coronavirus (Covid-19). We wanted to thank you for continuing to send your child to school and encourage you to keep on doing so.
We know that there are a lot of guidelines to follow. Especially around what happens if there is a positive case of the virus, testing and isolation (staying at home). To help explain these guidelines, we have attached an 8-step guide.
Following these will help keep your family safe and well and help to stop the spread of coronavirus in schools and Walsall communities.
1. If you, your child or anyone you live with has any of the following symptoms a new, persistent cough, high temperature or loss of taste and smell, they must stay at home and get tested for Covid-19.
2. If you, your child or anyone you live with tests positive, they need to stay home for 10 days from the date of the positive test. Everyone else with will also need to stay at home, but for 14 days.
3. No-one you live with needs to get a test unless they start showing symptoms of Covid-19.
4. If your child tests negative, they can return to school once the symptoms have gone and they are better. If your child has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19 and is told to isolate, this means that you need to stay at home.
5. If your child has been told to isolate, because they have been in close contact with a positive case, they need to stay at home for 14 days. They do not need to get a test unless they start showing symptoms of Covid-19.
6. You and the rest of your household don’t need to isolate unless your child starts showing symptoms.
7. Please do not get a private test these may be unreliable, and antibody tests cannot be used for a diagnosis. Only get a test through the NHS website of dialling NHS 119.
8. Schools should not be asking people to provide evidence of a negative test result before allowing children back into school.
The best way to beat the virus is to: Encourage regular handwashing, for at least 20 seconds. Keep your distance i.e. 2 metres, especially outside the school gates, and wear a face covering when on public transport or in places where social distancing is difficult.
Remember, if you or your child are told to isolate, this means staying at home. If you do not isolate when told to do so, new rules mean you could be fined up to £10,000. We know there have been issues with national NHS testing. The government is working to increase capacity, and the Council has also put in place local measures.
By only going for a test if you have one or more of the symptoms will help to make sure those who have symptoms can get a test. We hope this letter makes things a little clearer, and acts as a reminder to follow the guidelines if you are told to do so. We need your help to beat this virus, by working together, following the guidelines, and doing everything we can to ensure our schools can stay safe and remain open.
Yours sincerely, Stephen Gunther - Director of Public Heath and Sharon Kelly - Director – Access and Inclusion
Covid-19 Testing and Isolation Guidance
Coronavirus related absences reference guide
What to do if……
Return to school when…
My child has coronavirus symptoms
The test comes back negative.
My child tests positive for coronavirus
They feel better.
They can return to school after 10 days even if they have a cough or loss of smell/taste. These symptoms can last for several weeks once the infection has gone.
Somebody in my household has coronavirus symptoms
The household member test is negative
Somebody in my household has tested positive for coronavirus
The child has completed 14 days of self-isolation.
NHS test and trace have identified my child as s ‘close contact’ of somebody with symptoms or confirmed coronavirus
The child has completed 14 days of self-isolation.
We/my child has travelled and has to self-isolate as part of a period of quarantine
Returning from a destination where quarantine is needed:
The quarantine period of 14 days has been completed.
We have received medical advice that my child must resume shielding
School informed you that restrictions have been lifted and your child can return to school again
13th September 2020
We have been advised today (Sunday 13th September 2020) that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the Year 5 bubble. Upon investigation and discussions alongside an assessment of risk with Walsall Public Health, we have ascertained that the pupil was not in school when symptomatic or tested. Walsall Public Heath have therefore advised that we do not need to close any year group bubbles at this time.
We are continuing to monitor the situation and are working closely with Walsall Public Health. This letter is to inform you of the current situation and provide advice on how to support your child. Please be reassured that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
The school remains open for all staff and pupils, and we are following strict hygiene measures. Providing your child remains well they can continue to attend school as normal but please be vigilant for any COVID symptoms and follow the guidance below.
What to do if your child develops symptoms of COVID 19
If your child develops symptoms of COVID-19, they should remain at home for at least 10 days from the date when their symptoms appeared. Anyone with symptoms will be eligible for testing and this can be arranged via https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119. We encourage that symptomatic individuals get tested at the earliest opportunity.
All other household members who remain well 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. Household members should not go to work, school or public areas and exercise should be taken within the home.
Household members staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
If you are able to, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, requesting they stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of:
· new continuous cough and/or
· high temperature
· a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness.
If your child or anyone in the household does develop symptoms, you can seek advice from NHS 111 at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/check-if-you-have-coronavirus-symptoms/ or by phoning 111.
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19
· wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
· use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
· wash your hands as soon as you get home
· cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
· put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
Further Information Further information is available at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Thank you for your understanding and co-operation in this matter.
Ms K J Baker
Letter to parents 13 September 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I am just writing to say a huge thank you for all your support and patience on our full opening this week. We will still need to keep the staggered start and finish times until further notice but will obviously review this and other changes as the Government update their guidelines.
We are absolutely delighted with the fantastic attitude and amazing resilience the children have shown adjusting to the new regulations and routines in their class bubbles after so long out of school. The children are really playing their part in keeping everyone safe and well. Year 3 children have also been brilliant in settling in to their new school and are quickly getting used to us and all the new rules we have! Well done everyone!
If you have any further questions or concerns you can contact us through telephone, Facebook Messenger or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are also available to talk to before and after school on the playground.
Thank you for your continuing support and we look forward to a great term ahead!
Ms K J Baker
School Reopening Letter 27th August 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
We are looking forward to welcoming all pupils back on Wednesday 2nd September.
Please visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance from the Government to help parents plan for their children’s return to school. This includes the latest update to the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.
We have followed all the guidance from Government and Public Health England in order to make the school safe for pupils, staff and parents. As explained in my previous letters there are changes to the school times and the way the school will operate during the day. There are also changes to the Behaviour Policy, which will be posted on the Website in September and children will be taught the new rules during their first day back.
There are no changes from the information given out before the Summer Break but we have included a summary below to help you get ready for the new term.
Staggered start and finish times:
Years 3 and 4 will have a start time slot of 8.40 to 8.50am – they will leave school at 2.50pm.
School gates will open at 8.35 for Year 3 and 4.
Years 5 and 6 will have a start time slot of 8.50am to 9.00am – they will leave school at 3.00pm
Parents with siblings in the 2 phases can drop off at 8.50am.
Both the main vehicle gate and the side (Slang) gate will be open.
Please ensure you observe social distancing on the car park and on the playground.
- Please do not leave children unattended on the playground.
- Face masks and gloves will not be permitted in school.
- Bikes and scooters will not be permitted in school until further notice.
Breakfast Club and Break-time Snacks
There will be No Breakfast Club provision this half term and No break-time snack provision this half term – children may bring in a snack of their choice
No hot lunch provision this half term – children to bring in own lunch (lunch boxes are permitted) and drinks. (Fizzy drinks, cans and glass bottles are still not permitted)
Pupils eligible for Free School Meals will be provided with a packed lunch. A small choice of sandwich fillings will be available. Children will eat their lunch in their classrooms and then have some play time outside in their year ‘bubble’ - weather permitting.
Children will be required to wear full uniform – including a tie, except on their PE day.
On this day, they will need to attend school wearing their PE kit. They will need a plain, dark coloured tracksuit or joggers, a plain white or house colour T-shirt and trainers. Football kits will not be permitted.
PE will start on week beginning 7th September. Children will do PE in the afternoons. There will be no swimming until the Summer term for Year 6.
PE days: (from 7th September)
Year 6 – Tuesday
Year 5 – Friday
Year 4 – Thursday
Year 3 - Wednesday
During the day
Social distancing between pupils within the class bubble is not required but remains at 2 metres between staff and pupils. Staff are allowed within 1metre for a short period of time if needed. Staff are permitted to move between classrooms with social distancing in place. Social distancing between year groups outside will remain at 1 metre.
School will provide a full curriculum during the term, including catch-up work. During the first week back, teachers will cover work around the impact of the pandemic and the fears they may have through social stories and discussions. Shaz (Place2Be) will also be supporting children on their return to school where needed.
There is information on the website on what to do if your child is unwell or a family member tests positive for COVID-19.
Information for parents will now only be available by text, the School App, through the Website and Facebook. We will text parents when information is posted. Please look out for these messages, as we will include any updated Government guideance.
We will be limiting visitors to the school site and request that parents do not attend the school office unless an appointment has been made by telephone, email or Facebook Messenger.
For any uniform requirements please order using your ParentPay account. We will contact you with an appointment to collect the items or we will can send orders home with your child. If you do not have your account details please contact the office.
We will be unable to accommodate parents and carers who arrive unannounced to purchase uniform.
If you have any further questions you can contact us through telephone, Facebook Messenger or email at email@example.com.
Thank you for your continuing support and look forward to seeing you all soon.
Ms K J Baker
Coronavirus related absence guidelines
When pupils return to school we will be following the guidelines below with regards to Coronavirus related absences. All other absences will be dealt with as usual.
In all circumstances when your child will be absent from school, we ask that you contact the school office as soon as possible and advise us of the reasons for their absence.
Important information about re-opening school in September (from July 2020)
We are now looking forward to having all the children returning to school in September in line with Government guidance. (GOV.UK Guidance for full opening – Schools July 2nd 2020)
There will still be strict guidelines we have to follow in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and a possible outbreak in school. These guidelines are extremely important and must be followed in order to keep all pupils’, staff and parents safe. Please read the following carefully in preparation for their return.
All pupils will return to school on Wednesday 2nd September 2020
There will be a staggered start and finish time in order to control the flow of pupils and maintain social distancing.
Years 3 and 4 will have a start time of 8.40am – they will leave school at 2.50pm.
Years 5 and 6 will have a start time of 8.50am – they will leave school at 3.00pm.
Please do not attend any earlier than these times and please do not leave children unattended on the playground.
There will be no Breakfast Club or After School clubs available until after October Half Term at the earliest.
Both the main vehicle/pedestrian gate and the side (Slang) gate will be open. Please ensure you observe social distancing both on the car park and playground.
Children will sanitise their hands on entry to the school, before and after breaks, at lunch and before they leave school at home time. All sanitiser is provided by school – please do not send in bottles of gel with your child. Your child will also be required to wash their hands for 20 seconds after using the toilet.
All equipment for lessons will be provided – each pupil will have their own desk tray. They will not be able to share equipment with each other or staff.
Please ensure they have the following on their return:
Full uniform including a tie.
Lunch bag or box and water bottle.
PE kit – PE will take place outside only so a tracksuit or joggers and trainers will be needed.
Coats, hats and gloves as appropriate for the weather.
Reading books and logs (please return any reading books still at home!)
Please ensure the following are not brought in to school:
Toys, games or any non-educational items
Your child will be in their class ‘bubbles’ for indoor education and year ‘bubbles’ for outdoor play. Playtimes and lunchtimes will also be staggered during the day.
There will be no hot food available until October Half Term at the earliest. Pupils eligible for Free School Meals will be provided with a packed lunch. A small choice of sandwich fillings will be available. Children will eat their lunch in their classrooms and then have some play time outside in their year ‘bubble’ - weather permitting.
Social distancing between pupils within the class bubble is not required but between staff and pupils, it remains at 2 metres. Staff are allowed within 1metre for a short period of time if needed. Staff are permitted to move between classrooms with social distancing in place.
Social distancing between year groups outside will remain at 1 metre.
PPE (masks, gloves, aprons or visors) will only be worn by staff in school if attending to first aid or personal care.
We will be providing a full broad and balanced curriculum and support for the children including work around the Corona pandemic and the changes it has brought to their lives. Place2Be will continue to support children with Place2Talk and workshops delivered for each class by Shaz.
We hope to resume trips and visits after Christmas but unfortunately, the 5-day residential for Year 6 has been postponed.
We will be updating the Behaviour Policy to include additional rules relating to COVID-19 and the consequences for deliberately breaking these rules. The children will be taught the new expectations and the reasons for them. The new policy will be published on the Website in September.
Further guidance around children displaying COVID-19 symptoms in or out of school will be given before school starts in September and how this will link to attendance.
As I am sure you can imagine we are hoping to create a safe environment at school for all our pupils, staff and parents and endeavour to support all our pupils on their return. If you have any further questions please contact us through by Facebook Messenger or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visits to school are by appointment only until further notice.
Thank you again for all your support over the last four difficult months and I look forward to seeing you all in September.
K J Baker
Contacting School during this time.
As our telephones are not being constantly manned during normal school hours if possible please get in touch with us through Facebook Messenger or send an email to email@example.com. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
School Uniform for September
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak and to try to keep us all safe from infection we would ask that you order your uniform requirements using Parentpay wherever possible. We will then provide a time slot for you to collect your items.
Where ordering via Parentpay is not possible we will be operating a 'shop' for school uniform from 10am - 2pm every day during week 6th - 10th July 2020. We can accept cash payments only and would appreciate it if you could bring the correct amount to avoid over handling.
We ask that you adhere to social distancing measures while on the school site and unfortunately, it will not be possible to try on clothing to check sizes.
If you do not already have a Parentpay account and would like your activation details please contact the school office and we will provide them for you. New Year 3 pupils will receive an activation letter through the post as soon as possible, along with other school information.
Under no circumstances will we be selling uniform from the school office.
Edenred Free School Meal Vouchers at Half Term.
We have been advised by the Government that there will be no vouchers for parents and carers during half term week. The vouchers will recommence on Monday 1st June.
Edenred Free School Meal Vouchers.
For anyone who is waiting for their vouchers this week there has been a delay with the supplier, Edenred and should be delivered to you over the next few days.
We apologise for this delay but are unable to provide any further information.
Letter from Ms K.J. Baker regarding Prime Minister statement on 10th May 2020.
11th May 2020
Following the Prime Ministers announcement that children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 may return to school as early as the 1st June, I am sure you all appreciate that there are still a number of questions to be answered and plans to be made. At present we are unfortunately unable to answer any of your questions relating to this statement or the general return of children to education. We are anticipating additional advice and guidance over the coming days. Please rest assured that as soon as things become clearer, you will be contacted by the school.
Thank you for your continued support throughout these uncertain times.
K. J. Baker
Edenred - National Free School Meal Voucher Scheme
We are having numerous queries regarding the vouchers that are being provided by Edenred for those families eligible for Free School Meals.
This service is not being administered by Blakenall Heath Junior school, we are only supplying the details for them to distribute to parents and carers.
Please note that we are unable to confirm what your code is or re-issue a voucher once your voucher has been redeemed.
Only contact school if you haven't received your initial email with the voucher code in it.
If you do need to contact us please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or message us directly through Facebook Messenger.
Follow the link below which will take you directly to the Edenred page.
Launch of the Oak National Academy online classroom and resource hub
The sector-led Oak National Academy has today launched its online classroom and resource hub. The Academy offers 180 video lessons each week for schools to use, across a broad range of subjects. The lessons cover children in Reception through to Year 10 and are free to use by both teachers and young people.
The Oak National Academy can be accessed here:
We have now arranged provision in conjunction with Sunshine Infant School for those children who have Critical Worker parents. If you need to access this provision and your child is a pupil at Blakenall Heath Junior School please contact us. If you are unable to speak to us on the telephone please send an email to email@example.com or message us on Facebook messenger.
Free School Meals - UPDATED
From Monday 20th April 2020 we will be providing vouchers for those families eligible for Free School Meals. These vouchers will be for £15 per eligible child, per week and will be delivered via email.
To register for these vouchers please send an email to SchoolDinners@blakenall.walsall.sch.uk. Please ensure you include your child/rens names on the email.
If you have any questions regarding these vouchers please contact school. If at all possible please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through Facebook Messenger.
Teaching staff will regularly update Education City, PurpleMash and MyMaths with appropriate homework for your child. This can be found within the 'Children' section on this website.
Under this section you will also find 'Resources for School Closure'. Here are links to several different websites which offer learning packs, interactive games and videos for a range of different subjects including maths, literacy and science.
We have also included links to child friendly news along with mindfulness and yoga videos.
Explaining Covid-19 to your child
Amazon - Stories Free to Stream
Amazon have cancelled the subscription of books and audio stories for children and students of all ages as long as schools are closed.
Kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages that will help them continue streaming, learning and just being kids.
All stories are free to stream on your desktop, phone or tablet using the link below.
20/03/2020 - On-site provision for key workers
Please contact school before midday today if you require on-site provision for your child while school is closed.
Please note that verification of your employment as a key worker will be required.
School will be open 8.45am to 3.00pm and children will not need to wear school uniform.
Your child will needto bring a packed lunch. Lunch will be provided for those children eligible for free school meals.
20/03/2020 - Packed Lunches (for those eligible for Free School Meals)
We must know by 3pm today if you require a packed lunch for your child next week.
Lunches will be available to collect from the office between 11am and 12noon.
Unfortunately, if we do not hear from you today we will be unable to provide lunches next week.
Key Workers Letter
Free School Meals/Packed Lunches
We are happy to provide a packed lunch for those children on Free School Meals.
Please contact the school office on Friday 20th March if you would like to order one.