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Covid 19 Advice and News

Dear Parents/ Carers,

I hope you are keeping well and safe and you were all able to enjoy a good break over the holiday period.

Yesterday Gavin Williamson announced that primary schools in certain Tier 4 areas including Barking and Dagenham will close to all but vulnerable children and key workers from 4th January until 18th January due to high Covid infection and transmission rates. The situation will be reviewed towards the 18th and a decision made to either return on 18th or continue remote working. This was an unexpected decision and we are working hard to get the provision in place for Tuesday 5th. We are still working from the current guidance for primary schools and contingency guidance for this particular period operates alongside the usual arrangements.

The definition for key workers is at the end of this letter. (Please note some occupations are defined as key workers only if they are directly related to COVID provisions.) Please contact me on covid@fiveelms.bardaglea.org.uk or text 07733037466 to register for a key worker place. I am trying to respond as quickly as I can – it’s getting a bit busy! Huge thanks to all those parents who have already contacted me though, that is very helpful to compile our numbers.

Vulnerable children (those with an EHCP, social care or other identified high need) are required to attend school under the contingency guidance. Parents of these children will be contacted on Monday.

Attendance rules have been kept in place for this period, so children are required to be online and “present” from 9am. We are arranging a registration system via Google Classroom which children must attend online and absence will be followed up. If your child is unable to attend either in school or remotely you should ring the office as usual to report their absence.

If anyone in your family has a positive test result for COVID, the normal procedures will be followed regarding self-isolation.

Please note the following information:


· Temporary year group bubbles will be in place to enable staff to be available for remote learning. They are likely to be much smaller bubbles and therefore distancing will be easier in the classroom setting. Bubbles will be taught by a teacher in their year group.

· Remote interventions to continue as usual for children who have 1:1 or small group support in school on Google Meets.

· Children learning remotely can use their school iPad – recommended as they have been using them in class and know how to log in to Google Classroom etc. The school office will be open on Monday between 9am and 2pm for parents to come and collect them and then during normal school hours from Tuesday onwards. If you have not signed a form,

you will need to do this. If you have a suitable device at home (preferably not a phone) children can use that instead as long as they can easily access the work online.

· Free School Meals will be provided for those with an FSM benefit entitlement. It does not include universal infant free school meals. We are unsure as to whether this will be hampers or vouchers, but will let you know as soon as the Government clarify what arrangements we are to make. If possible we will arrange vouchers. If you think you are eligible to claim FSM as a benefit, please contact the office and we can help with the application process.

· Breakfast club will remain open from 7.45am. We will confirm shortly if the Sun and Moon after school club intends to open.

· Normal staggered start and finish times at the usual gates please.

· Children in school to wear school uniform and PE kit on PE days as usual.

· Children in Nursery and Reception will have paper packs as it will be easier than all online. We will notify you when and how to collect the packs via text message.

Remote Learning Y1-6: 

· A daily timetable will be published on Google Classroom you will know what work children should be completing. You can send the teacher a message on the stream or via your child’s private messages if you need to.

· Teachers will be working across all classes in their year group to cover the teacher working in school.

· Morning registration will be on Google Classroom/ Google Meets, where the teacher will explain the day’s timetable.

· Typically the day will include reading, English, Maths and 2 other subjects.

· A day is typically 9am-12pm with a 15 minute break and 1-3pm when teachers will be online to support children at these times.

Remote education report for parents Click here

In-School Learning Structure:

· Normal school timetables will be followed.

· The curriculum will mostly be the same as the one provided remotely so children learning at home and in school are doing the same things.

More information will be made available as we receive it. I hope this letter answers most of the immediate questions.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year,

Yours sincerely

Mrs B. A. Turner

Critical workers definition

Parents whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined in the following sections.

Health and social care

This includes, but is not limited to, doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributors of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

Education and childcare

This includes:

· childcare

· support and teaching staff

· social workers

· specialist education professionals who must remain active during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response to deliver this approach

Key public services

This includes:

· those essential to the running of the justice system

· religious staff

· charities and workers delivering key frontline services

· those responsible for the management of the deceased

· journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting

Local and national government

This only includes:

· those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the coronavirus (COVID-19) response

· or delivering essential public services, such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies

Food and other necessary goods

This includes those involved in food:

· production

· processing

· distribution

· sale and delivery

· as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines)

Public safety and national security

This includes:

· police and support staff

· Ministry of Defence civilians

· contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak)

· fire and rescue service employees (including support staff)

· National Crime Agency staff

· those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas


This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass.

Utilities, communication and financial services

This includes:

· staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure)

· the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage)

· information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the coronavirus (COVID-19) response

· key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services)

· postal services and delivery

· payments providers

· waste disposal sectors

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