Category: Covid

COVID Case: 22/10/2020

22nd October 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

We have been advised this morning that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within year 11. We have carried out a full risk assessment with Public Health and identified all those who have been in close contact with the affected cases and have recommended that they stay at home and self-isolate until 14 days after their last contact.

If you have not already been contacted your child has not been identified as a close contact and therefore does not need to make any change to their usual routine, including school attendance.

All year 10 students need to continue to isolate until 29th October as per previous guidance.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature and/or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). Please ensure that if your child, or anyone in your household, develops these symptoms, you whole household must remain at home and not go to work, school or public areas. You should arrange testing for the person who has developed symptoms. When the result is known further advice will be available.

Testing can be arranged by calling 119 or via the NHS website: nhs.uk/coronavirus

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things we can all 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 nhs.uk/coronavirus

Yours sincerely

Allie Denholm

Headteacher

COVID case in school 20/10/2020

20th October 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

We have been advised that there have been two confirmed cases of COVID-19 within school.

We have carried out a full risk assessment with Public Health and identified all those who have been in close contact with the affected cases and have recommended that they stay at home and self-isolate until 14 days after their last contact.

If you have not already been contacted your child has not been identified as a close contact and therefore does not need to make any change to their usual routine, including school attendance.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature and/or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia). Please ensure that if your child, or anyone in your household, develops these symptoms, you whole household must remain at home and not go to work, school or public areas. You should arrange testing for the person who has developed symptoms. When the result is known further advice will be available.

Testing can be arranged by calling 119 or via the NHS website: nhs.uk/coronavirus

How to stop COVID-19 spreading

There are things we can all 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 nhs.uk/coronavirus

Yours sincerely

Allie Denholm

Headteacher

Letter to Parents of Years 7, 8, 9, 11 and Post 16 – 16/10/2020

Dear Parent or Carer,

A confirmed case of COVID-19 in our School

A member of our school community has tested positive for Covid-19. We have been working closely with the Public Health Team to carry out a full risk assessment and we have decided that year 10 students need to isolate for 14 days.

Students in years 7,8,9,11 and 13 are not part of this bubble therefore do not need to make any change to their usual routine, including school attendance.

We are already taking appropriate action to clean affected areas across the school. All appropriate measures are in place in line with the guidance provided to ensure the health and safety of our communities. As a result, the Public Health Team have confirmed that it continues to be safe for the school to remain open, and that all students who are not in year 10 should continue to attend school, including siblings of year 10 students.

Yours sincerely

Allie Denholm

Headteacher

Letter to Parents of Year 10 – 16/10/2020

Dear Parents and Carers of year 10 students,

This letter applies to year 10 students only

A member of our school community has tested positive for Covid-19. The school is working closely with Gateshead’s Public Health Team to reduce the risk of infection for your children and our staff.

We have followed the national guidance and have identified that students in year 10 should now stay at home and self-isolate until 29th October.

We are asking you to do this to reduce the further spread of COVID 19 to others in the community.

If your child is well at the end of the 14 days period of self-isolation, then they can return to usual activities. If they become unwell with symptoms please arrange a test (see below). However, a negative test does not mean that your child can return to school earlier than 14 days.

Other members of your household can continue normal activities provided your child does not develop symptoms within the 14 day self-isolation period. This is because they are NOT contacts of the positive case. They are contacts of contacts of a case. Contacts of contacts do not need to self-isolate unless someone in their household develops symptoms or they come into contact with another case.

Please see the link to the PHE Staying at Home Guidance

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection

If you think that someone else in your household has come in contact with a confirmed case or you need help or advice about self-isolation, please contact Gateshead Local Authority.

Public Health Advice on symptoms

As your child is identified as a contact of a case, please try not to worry. For most people COVID-19 is a mild illness.

If anyone in your household becomes unwell with one of the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) to book a test by visiting:  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

Symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

A new continuous cough

A high temperature (fever)

A loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

Any one of the above symptoms gives reason for high level of suspicion for COVID-19.

Information about COVID-19  symptoms and management of the virus can be found here, www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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/

Although COVID-19 is circulating in the community, usual childhood illnesses are too; and it is important that these are not missed. Please contact your GP or NHS111 if you are worried; or call 999 if seriously unwell.

Best wishes

Allie Denholm

Headteacher

Confirmed case of COVID-19

Dear Parents and carers,

A confirmed case of COVID-19 in our School

A member of our school community has tested positive for Covid-19. We have been working closely with Gateshead Public Health Team to carry out a full risk assessment and identify all those who have been in close contact with the affected case.

If you have not already been contacted to inform you that your child should isolate then your child has not been identified as a close contact and therefore does not need to make any change to their usual routine, including school attendance.

The school has already been in touch with parents of close contacts to explain the next steps. We have explained that close contacts must self-isolate for 14 days (this includes household members of the positive case). Only the close contact needs to self-isolate; other members of their household do not need to self-isolate.

If you think that someone in your household has come in contact with a confirmed case or you need help or advice about self-isolation, please call the Gateshead Local Authority. Also, if you need public health advice on testing, that is the number to call.

All appropriate measures are in place in line with the guidance provided to ensure the health and safety of our communities. As a result, the Public Health Team have confirmed that it continues to be safe for the school to remain open, and that all students who are not required to self-isolate should continue to attend school.

Yours Sincerely,

Allie Denholm
Headteacher

Letter from the Headteacher 2nd October 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

As we come to the end of another week I would like to thank you again for your support.  It has been extremely encouraging to receive such positive feedback from parents and carers by telephone and email.  It is very challenging working within the strict guidelines but knowing we have your support makes a big difference to us all.

Year 11 and Year 13 Intervention

We are well aware that Year 11 and Year 13 have missed out on vital learning at such a crucial time leading up to exams.  We have therefore arranged catch up sessions during co-curriculum time on Wednesday and Thursday after school, starting week beginning 5th October for Year 11.  We are currently arranging Year 13 interventions and more details will follow shortly.  Letters detailing intervention for Year 11 are being distributed to students on the 2nd October.

Toilets and Lunchtime

I know that some parents and carers are concerned about lunchtime arrangements.  The shorter lunchtime arrangements are in place to reduce the time students sit opposite each other and to keep the students in their bubbles.  We have to follow government guidelines on this which I appreciate have presented challenges.  We have however taken feedback from parents and carers and students to try and speed up the process.  All toilets are now used by students to reduce queues and we are working with the catering service to open more tills to speed up food queues.  We hope this will help to improve the service in the near future.

Virtual Open Evening

This will take place on Tuesday, 6 October 2020.  Please can you encourage friends and families to join this event and of course promote our wonderful school.

It was a delight to meet with Year 7 students this week to ask them about starting at Heworth Grange School.  They were all so happy to be here and talked about their favourite lessons and of course the school dinners, which they were keen to tell me about.

I am as ever grateful to you for all your support and despite the difficulties of our North East local lockdown I hope you are all managing to keep safe.

Yours sincerely

Ms A Denholm
Headteacher

Letter from the Headteacher 25th September 2020

Dear Parents and carers,

I am writing to you at the end of our first two weeks back both to thank you for the overwhelming support for our return to on site education and to update you on on-going issues and adjustments.

There is a great deal to celebrate about our students returning to school. In particular the way that they have been able to re-focus on their learning and how well they have adjusted to the new measures in place around school. 

Teachers and support staff have been delighted to see how well our students have settled back to work with a strong ambition to do well. During leadership walks around school it has been wonderful to see and hear the familiar sights and sounds of purposeful learning.

Students have adapted exceptionally well to the new seating plans used for lessons, the dining hall and advisory time. This is to ensure that if we need to, we can implement track and trace very quickly. In addition, students have been extremely compliant and thoughtful about using hand sanitiser and wearing their masks in the appropriate areas whilst remaining in their bubbles. I would like to thank you for your support in making sure all our students attend school with their masks. I am aware that false information has been circulating on social media around an outbreak of Covid-19 in school. If school is made aware of any Covid-19 cases we link closely with Public Health and the Department for Education. Parents and carers will be made aware if we are advised that any students should isolate or if any other action needs to be taken. This is a very challenging time for all of us, I ask parents and carers to ensure that they take information from our official social media pages, text messages or letters home and to avoid speculative sources of school information.

Attendance
Obviously, it is really important that our students benefit from being able to learn from their teachers in person, which requires them to be in school. We understand that families may have concerns, but it is really important that unless your child is genuinely ill or isolating due to Covid-19 symptoms in the household or direction from track and trace, that your child attends school.  In addition, if you are in a position where your child has to be off school for a Covid-19 related reason, please ensure that you can provide evidence to cover this absence. It is normal for children to get winter illnesses, but unless symptoms of Covid-19 appear students should to come into school if they feel well enough. We want every child to aim for at least 96% attendance.

Website
We are updating the Covid section of the website regularly as we review daily and adjust our practice in the light of experience and the reality of 1200 students and 120 staff on site. Whilst we are delighted with how well things have gone, equally we continue to work to improve and adjust where needed. Please make sure you check this area of the website to ensure you are familiar with the Covid-19 information.

Arriving to and leaving school site
Students should wear masks on public transport and maintain social distancing on the way to and from school in line with Government guidelines. We have asked students to ensure they are courteous towards local residents by behaving sensibly on the way to and from school and ensuring any litter is put into a bin. We would appreciate your support in reinforcing this message at home.

We would like to thank parents and carers for being conscious of our neighbours when picking up and dropping off students by car.

We will be monitoring well-being of students carefully and ensuring that everyone is adjusting as well as possible to a return to different routines and systems. Please continue to let pastoral staff know if you have any concerns. Thank you for your support which has clearly prepared the students well for their return, this is not unnoticed and is very much appreciated.

Yours sincerely,

Allie Denholm
Headteacher

Letter from the Headteacher 7th September 2020

Dear Parent/Carer,

We have nearly arrived at the exciting moment when we welcome our students back to school for the start of a new academic year. Staff have been preparing relentlessly over the summer both the site and the teaching to allow students to be able to return to what we all do best in a safe and happy environment.

I am writing today with some final details which will hopefully allow you to make the arrangements you need to for the start of term. Other useful information on the school website includes:

Updated Parent/carer FAQs: To reflect changes to government guidance and some additional detail in response to feedback and discussion. This includes information about what to do in instances or suspected cases of Covid-19.

Updated Risk Assessment: This document will remain organic and will reflect changes as and when necessary.

Updated Welcome back booklet Which includes information about entrances, exits, year group zones and how to keep safe.

Staggered start times information- Explaining the dates and times that different year groups return to school.

Wellbeing information: A summary of the range of approaches we will use during this year to support our students. 

A reduced lunch menu– For students to decide what they would like to eat in advance.

There will be changes to the school site, some for Covid-19 secure measures and some because we have continued to make improvements over the summer holiday period. Students will have an extended advisory/tutor period on their first day to learn everything they need to know about how we will be working.

We know the vast majority of our students are well placed to return to an environment they know and in which they are successful both academically and personally. We believe we know the students for whom some additional support may be needed for them to feel confident coming back and we are prepared to provide that to help them as well as any other students in the coming weeks. Teaching staff are preparing to diagnostically determine where the students are academically and plan for their onward progression.

Finally, the preparation for any new school year is always a mixture of nervousness and excitement. This year feels especially heightened, I would you to encourage a sense of calm when discussing returning to school with your child as the partial re-opening before the summer with year 10 and year 12 was a success. I would also ask you to discuss the importance of returning to school to support your child’s learning as well as their well-being.  An enormous amount of planning has gone into ensuring that students and staff will be safe in school. If you have concerns about your child returning to school please contact us to discuss this.

Thank you for your support as we begin our new academic year, I look forward to working with parents and carers as we move forward and our students and staff settle into slightly different patterns. I know that our practice will change and adapt as new information is released but I would ask that we work together with mutual respect and kindness, knowing that Heworth Grange always has your child at the heart of everything we do.

Yours sincerely,

Allie Denholm
Headteacher

© Heworth Grange & Consilium Academies 2020
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