Message from the Headteacher

26th June 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you and your family remain safe and well and are managing to enjoy the glorious summer weather safely.

Earlier this week, our Prime Minister announced that schools will be open to all students in September. The detailed guidance is due to be published in the next two weeks and as soon as we know the plans for September, we will inform parents. In the meantime, we are working hard on four possible scenarios for delivering our curriculum that we can default to quickly at any time during next academic year should we be forced into a full or partial lockdown at any point.

Year 10

It has been wonderful to welcome back some of our Year 10 students over the last couple of weeks and we are looking forward to seeing them all before the end of term. Attendance has been very high and their positivity admirable. Live lessons have been taught across all subjects and we continue to be impressed with the high levels of engagement with these. Our House leaders have made a short video about their full return which is available to watch on our social media accounts so please take a look!

Years 7, 8 and 9

The option process is now complete and choices have been finalised for all students in Years 8 and 9 for September. A letter will be coming home to you next week to confirm the option subjects your child will be following next year. Thank you to the vast majority of students in Year 7 who have chosen their language option for September. If you have not done so, please make sure your child makes their selection via google classroom as a matter of urgency. Year 9 have completed their first week of live lessons in their core subjects and these have been very well received so will therefore continue until the end of term. Teachers will continue to set work for their classes via google classroom until the 17th July for all year groups.

Key Worker Families and Vulnerable Children

We will continue to open the school for the children of Key Workers and for vulnerable students until 17th July. We are grateful to the parents who have written to us about the attendance of their child. The students in school do the same online work as the students at home, guided by a small number of staff, with some additional practical learning. If you (or your partner) is a Key Worker returning to work and need to send your child to school, please contact us at [email protected] to register your child so that we can factor your child’s attendance into our staffing planning.

Timings of the school day consultation

Our 12 week consultation period on the change to the start time of our school day from September has now ended. I would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their thoughts with us. Although the feedback was overwhelmingly supportive of these changes, a small number of parents raised concerns about the length of lunchtime being shortened and the impact on staff and students being able to have time to eat. Some had asked if breakfast club would still be available if they needed to drop their children off earlier to be able to get to work.

Having carefully considered all feedback I can confirm, with the support of staff, governors and the majority of parents, we have taken the decision to amend the timings of the school day from September. I would like to reassure all parents we are taking steps to ensure students have plenty of time to eat during the day, including installing another food service point and offering breakfast club (free to all students) from the earlier time of 8.15am. This means all students will start school at the slightly later time of 8.50am when we return.

Summer Holidays Childcare Provision

Trafalgar School will be closed during the summer holidays. However, the government has funded numerous free activities for children during this time. More information about what is on offer is available in our parent newsletter.

Thank you, as always, for your on-going support throughout this difficult time. Stay safe.

Yours sincerely,

Claire Copeland
Headteacher

 

School closures

No school should close in response to a suspected (or confirmed) COVID-19 case unless directed to do so by Public Health England.

Home Learning – In event of self isolation/school closure

The school has established a Google Classroom for students and a list of other online resources for use at home, in the event of students having to self isolate/school closure.

Click Here

How families can cope with self-isolating together

Please see attached article with suggestions on how to structure the days in the event of a school closure. We will keep you fully informed of any changes.

BBC: Coronavirus: How families can cope with self-isolating together

Help with food

The Salvation Army can provide up to 3 food parcels without a voucher:
Haven Community centre, Lake Road, PO1 4HA: Tuesday 1-3pm, Friday 10am-12pm.

Helpline

The DfE have also launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline as follows:

  • Phone: 0800 046 8687
  • Email: [email protected]
  • Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)

24/3/20: The Universities of Oxford and Reading have put together a resource containing advice around supporting young people at a time when anxiety and worry will likely be high.

You can find the resource on the Emerging Minds website here:

https://emergingminds.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/COVID19_advice-for-parents-and-carers_20.3_.pdf

Portsmouth School Nursing Service

Portsmouth School Nursing Service continues to provide non-emergency health related advice and support

eg. sleep, bedwetting, healthy weight, soiling, emotional health and wellbeing, additional and long term health conditions.

If you would like to discuss any aspect of your child’s health or development then please contact us by

Telephone –03001236629 or Text us on 07491163276

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and support for parents and carers (NSPCC) The NSPCC has created a number of resources to support parents and carers during this difficult time. Topics include:

  • Talking to a child worried about coronavirus
  • Parents working from home
  • Children staying home alone
  • Lockdown and separated parents
  • How to cope with tantrums and other difficult behaviour

The advice can be found on the NSPCC website here: https://www.nspcc.org.uk/keeping-children-safe/coronavirus-advice-suppport-children-families-parents/

Updates

You can find the latest updates on COVID-19 on the Government page here:

Updated travel advice for travellers returning from Italy

On the 9th March 2020, Public Health England updated their travel advice, recommending that anyone returning from Italy should self-isolate, even if you do not have any symptoms. If you do develop symptoms, call NHS 111.

The latest travel guidance can be found here:

The importance of hygiene

Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.

Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water.

In addition to handwashing before eating and after sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and after travelling on public transport.

Guidance for Education Settings

They have also released the following guidance for education settings:

Coronavirus_advice_for_educational_settings_poster.pdfDownload

You can read the advice given to schools by the Government on the link below, including more information about the Coronavirus which will hopefully help dispel some of the myths that are going around!

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

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