Meridian Community Primary School & Nursery

  1. COVID-19

Information for families about Coronavirus 

 To stay updated please ensure you and members of your family who care for your children have downloaded the Meridian App. For instructions how to do this please click here

Wednesday 1st December - COVID-19 Update

 

Symptom testing

Please remember that if your child is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, however mild, then you need to get a PCR test to confirm if they are negative before they can return to school. Lateral flow tests are to find out if people without symptoms are negative or positive. If your child has a positive lateral flow test without symptoms, you will need to get a PCR test to confirm this result.

 

Refusing to carry a PCR test

We are starting to see a few parents who are refusing to carry out a PCR test on their children if they are showing symptoms. The Government guidance is very clear, if your child is displaying symptoms (temperature, continuous cough, loss of taste and/or smell) then you are advised to isolate your child and complete a PCR test. Once the PCR test has returned, if it is negative, your child can return to school. If it is positive, they will need to isolate at home. If you do not wish to carry out a PCR test on your child who is showing symptoms, then you will need to isolate them for 10 days from the onset of the symptoms.

 

Refusing children into school

Government Guidance:

“If you suspect your child has coronavirus or has a positive test. Do not send your child to their nursery or school if:

- they are showing one or more coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms

- they have had a positive test result

- there are other reasons requiring them to stay at home, for example, they are required to quarantine, or they are awaiting their PCR result after a positive lateral flow test

You should follow public health advice on when to self-isolate and what to do.

If you insist on your child attending nursery, school, or college when they have symptoms, they can take the decision to refuse your child if, in their reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with COVID-19.”

 

I do not want to have to refuse children attending school so please help us by either getting a PCR test or isolating your child at home for 10 days.

 

Sending children home from school

The advice from the Government is that if a child is showing symptoms, however mild, that we send them home and ask you to get a PCR test. If you do not wish to do this, then you will need to keep your child at home for 10 days from the day they were sent home.

 

For more information about guidance for parents, please click here

 

Thank you so much for your support and understanding during this time. It is so important that we work together to keep each other safe.

Monday 29th November - Covid 19 Update

 

Dear Parents and Carers

Following the Prime Minister’s (Boris Johnson) announcement at the weekend about the new Omicron variant, I am writing to inform you of some changes to keep everyone safe. 

 

Face Coverings 

Staff at school have been advised to wear face coverings in communal areas inside the school. All visitors in school will be asked to wear face coverings (even if you have been vaccinated) to support keeping everyone safe. 

 

Self-isolation 

If you are informed by Test and Trace that your child is either a suspected or confirmed close contact of the Omicron variant, your child will be asked to isolate for 10 days. Test and Trace (not the school) will contact you directly to tell you that your child needs to isolate. 

 

Christmas Performances 

At the moment, we are hoping that we will still be able to go ahead with these performances but I am monitoring local positive cases regularly to inform any decisions to cancel. In order to keep everyone safe, we will be asking all parents/carers to wear a face covering in the school hall and to complete a lateral flow test on the day of the performance. Obviously, if you have COVID-19 symptoms you will not be able to attend unless you have a negative PCR test result. I will keep you informed of any changes over the coming days – fingers crossed that they can go ahead as I know the children have been practising lots ready to celebrate with their families and friends. 

 

Finally, a general reminder about the difference between a Lateral Flow Test and a PCR test 

Symptom testing 

Please remember that if your child is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, then you must get a PCR test to confirm if they are negative or positive. Lateral flow tests are to find out if people without symptoms are negative or positive. 

For more information about the restrictions Boris Johnson spoke about, please click here

 

Thank you so much for your support and understanding during this time. 

Things are developing at a fast pace and I will be in contact with you with any further updates. 

 

Yours sincerely


Ms. Claire Westcott

Friday 26th November - Letter from East Sussex Director of Children's Services

 

Dear Parents and Carers


Parents’ and carers’ role in reducing the impact of COVID-19 this winter


COVID-19 infection rates for in school aged children are currently high in East Sussex. There are some key actions that we can all take to reduce the impact of COVID-19 on our lives and help us prepare for Christmas and the winter months ahead.


We would like to ask for your help with:


• continuing to test for COVID-19 

• supporting the vaccination programme, particularly for 12–15-year-olds 

• the contact tracing process for children who test positive 

• supporting any existing or additional measures at your child’s school to protect the school community
 

 

Testing for covid 19

Secondary school pupils should continue to test twice weekly at home, with a lateral flow device (LFD) test. Schools are reporting high levels of LFD test positives, but these are not always being followed up with a PCR test to confirm the result.

It is important that pupils self-isolate when they have received a positive LFD test result, in line with the stay-at-home guidance for households. They will also need to get a free PCR test to check if they have COVID-19. If the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the positive lateral flow test, and is negative, the pupil can return to school if they don’t have any COVID-19 symptoms. 

Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms can order a PCR test. Symptoms include: 

• a high temperature, 

• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours 

• a loss or change to sense of smell or taste 

There are a number of ways to get a PCR test, including through the post.

See Get a free PCR test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)  


Vaccinations

Coming forward for a vaccination is one of the best things young people can do to protect themselves and those around them. It reduces the likelihood of getting COVID-19, helps limit the spread within schools and reduces the need to take time off school. If you have children aged 12-15 years who missed their vaccination at school, you can: 

book their COVID-19 vaccination appointment online for an appointment at a vaccination centre or pharmacy 

check if there is a walk-in COVID-19 vaccination site near you to get vaccinated without needing an appointment 

 

Contact tracing process 

Schools are no longer responsible for contact tracing and this is now done by NHS Test and Trace. For children aged under 18, contact tracing should be completed by parents and carers. Following a positive PCR test result, parents and carers will receive calls from the national test and trace service. These calls will take approximately 30 minutes. If the national NHS test and trace service cannot reach parents, a local tracing team will contact you to complete the process. 

Completing contact tracing helps break chains of COVID-19 transmission, reduces disruption to work and education, illness and saves lives. If you need additional support, contact tracing teams can also put you in touch with the help that you need. We ask that all parents and carers engage with this important process when needed. 

 

End of term events 

Schools are currently considering how best to manage events at the end of term that may bring large groups of people together. There is currently no national guidance on this issue and decisions will need to be made at a local level, based on infection rates and risk assessments at individual schools. Like us, I am sure that you will support school leaders if they need to change plans due to the rising number of cases in East Sussex. 

From Monday, we have asked secondary schools to reintroduce face masks in communal areas to reduce the risk of infection. Over the coming weeks, your school may introduce further measures, such as putting pupils into ‘bubbles’ and having meetings online. These will help to protect the school community and we thank parents, carers and their children for supporting these measures. We really appreciate the support of all our families and would like to thank you for your continued support in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

 

Yours faithfully, 

Darrell Gale FFPH                                               Alison Jeffery
Director of Public Health                                    Director of Children’s Services 

Thursday 22nd July - Arrangements for September 2021

 

School times from September

At the moment, the plan is to go back to our usual start and finish times – unless there is a change to the guidance in September.

Nursery: 8.45am – Early Bird. 9.15am – 12.15pm Morning Session; 12.15pm – 3.15pm Afternoon Session

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2: 8.35am – 3.00pm

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6: 8.35am – 3.10pm

 

Drop off and Pick Up arrangements

Nursery – Drop off and pick up via Nursery gate/doors

Reception – Drop off and pick up by Reception gates for their outdoor area

Year 1 – Drop off and pick up at the fenced area on the small playground – entry through the main doors at the top of the steps

Year 2 – Drop off at bottom of path to the Cabin classrooms. Pick up at the fenced area on the small playground

Year 3 – Drop off and pick up at the fenced area on the large playground – entry through main doors at top of the steps

Year 4 – Drop off and pick up at the fenced area on the large playground – entry through side fire exit door opposite the field

Year 5 – Drop off and pick up at the top of the steps by the Nursery building – entry through the grey double doors

Year 6 – Drop off on small playground – entry through side fire exit door opposite cabin classrooms. Pick up at fenced area on small playground

 

Car Park 

One of the great things that has happened during the lockdown restrictions is the number of children that now feel confident and safe enough to say goodbye to you at the entrances to the school and walk themselves to their classrooms. In order to support this carrying on, the car park will now remain permanently closed to all parents and carers during the busy drop off and pick up times. Our car park is for staff and visitors only and this will remain the case. A member of the Meridian team will be at each main gate into the school to welcome the children and ensure everyone is kept safe.

Friday 16th July - Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE

 

Re: Changes to contact tracing in education and childcare settings – information from the Government that has been sent to all schools. 

 

As you know, the Prime Minister announced on 12 July that Step 4 of the roadmap would go ahead on 19 July. 

 

One of the key changes that will take place from 19 July is that education and childcare settings will no longer be asked to conduct routine contact tracing. As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with either the positive case – or in the case of children – the parents, carers or guardian of the positive case to identify close contacts. NHS Test and Trace already manages the contact tracing process for the rest of society – including children who have recorded a positive PCR test – and has expertise in supporting people to identify close contacts. 

 

This letter sets out in more detail below how that process will work and what you need to do if your child tests positive for COVID-19. 

 

 

Self-isolating and taking a test 

1. If your child has symptoms, they and other members of the household should self-isolate – and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a PCR test for them. If the PCR result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the PCR result is positive, they, other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the onset of symptoms. 

2. If your child has a positive result from a lateral flow device (LFD) test, they and other members of the household should self-isolate – and you should inform their education or childcare setting. You should immediately order a confirmatory PCR test. If the confirmatory test is taken within two days and the result is negative, they and other members of their household can stop self-isolating (unless instructed to self-isolate for other reasons). If the confirmatory PCR test is positive (or is taken more than two days after the LFD), other members of their household and any close contacts identified by NHS Track and Trace must self-isolate until 10 days after the LFD test.

3. PCR tests can be booked online through the NHS Test & Trace website or by calling 119. 

4. PCR test results will be recorded with NHS Test and Trace automatically, but you should also communicate the result to the education or childcare setting during term time or summer provision. 

 

 

Contact tracing 

5. If your child gets a positive PCR test result, NHS Test and Trace will contact you, using the details you registered when ordering the PCR test. You and/or your child will be asked a series of specific questions designed to identify who your child has been in close contact with. Being in an education or childcare setting with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not necessarily mean a person is identified as a close contact. 

6. You will be asked to provide the contact details, if you know them, of any of the individuals – or their parents or guardians – who have been identified as close contacts. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch with these close contacts and provide appropriate instructions or advice (see below). 

 

 

Self-isolation and/or testing of close contacts 

7. At present, anyone identified as a close contact is legally required to self-isolate and must not attend their education or childcare setting (the only exception is if they are participating in a daily contact testing trial). Anyone identified as a non-household close contact by NHS Track and Trace must selfisolate until 10 days after the date of their most recent contact with that person. If they live in the same household, they must self-isolate until 10 days after the date of that person developing symptoms (see point 1 above) or, if that person was asymptomatic, the date of their test (see point 2 above). NHS Test and Trace will notify you of the day on which the self-isolation period ends.
 

8. Close contacts are also advised to take a PCR test. If the test result is negative, they must still complete the full self-isolation period, as the test will not detect all positive cases. If the result is positive, they will need to self-isolate for a further 10 days – and NHS Test and Trace will contact them to identify any close contacts. 

9. From 16 August, if the close contact is under 18, they will not have to self-isolate (in line with the policy for fully vaccinated adults) but will be asked to take an PCR test immediately, other than for very young children identified as non-household contacts, and they will not need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of the test. If the PCR test is positive, they will be required to self-isolate for 10 days from the date of the test. NHS Test and Trace will then get in touch to identify close contacts (see points 5 and 6 above).

 

Further guidance on these changes to self-isolation will be provided shortly. 

 

We recognise how difficult the past 18 months have been and the sacrifices that all families, education and childcare settings have had to make. This has been an enormously challenging time for everyone and we would like to take the opportunity to thank you for everything you have done.

Monday 21st June - Coronavirus COVID-19 UPDATE
 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

You will have read the letter that was sent out earlier today from the Director of Children’s Services and the Director of Public Health about keeping safe and vigilant to avoid the spread of the latest variant of Coronavirus.

 

What are the symptoms of Coronavirus COVID-19?

The most important symptoms of COVID-19 are recent onset of any of the following:

• a new continuous cough

• a high temperature

• a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell

 

Symptoms

If you are concerned that your child has symptoms, please contact NHS119 online for advice. Please do not call the school to ask for advice as we know only as much as you do. Please contact the NHS who will be able support you. If their advice is to keep your child off school and get a test, please follow this advice and inform the school. If the test is negative, your child can return to school. If the test is positive, then you must let the school know immediately so that we can inform the Local Authority and the Department for Education. If this is over the weekend, please email the office as this email account is monitored over the weekend and the school needs this  information to make any decisions about closing bubbles. Please do not leave this information on the absence line. 

 

What to do if someone in your household develops symptoms

If someone in your household develops one or more of these symptoms the household needs to stay at home and arrange a PCR test for the person showing symptoms. Other members of the household can arrange to have a PCR test as they may be positive but asymptomatic. Also people living in the same household are at higher risk of being infected. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive test result should stay at home and self-isolate
immediately. This is because you could pass the infection on to others even if you don’t have symptoms. This guidance still applies even if you have received one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccination. 

 

How long do I have to self-isolate for? 

Once there is a positive case in the household, the whole household has to isolate for 10 days. The isolation period starts immediately from when the symptoms started. If you or your child tested positive but did not have symptoms, the isolation period starts from the day the test was taken. This means that if, for example, your symptoms started at any time on the 15th of the month (or if you did not have symptoms but your first positive COVID-19 test was taken on the 15th), your isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th.

If your child is isolating because of a positive test result in the household but did not have any symptoms, but then your child develops COVID-19 symptoms within the isolation period, your child must start a new 10 day isolation period by counting 10 full days from the day following the symptom onset. 

If your child tests positive and has completed the 10 days isolation and no longer has a temperature, they are able to come back to school even if someone else in the household tests positive. 

It is really important that as a community we work together in order to minimise the spread of any further positive cases. 

This means the following will continue to happen: 

• Staggered drop offs and pick ups 

• Keep a safe distance from each other 

• Regular handwashing throughout the day 

• All adults on the school site to wear a face covering, including on the playground at drop off and pick up times 

• Year Group bubbles in school 

• Lunches in classrooms and outdoor play rotas 

• Staff wearing face coverings in communal areas of the school and when speak with parents and carers 

The last thing I want to have to do is close year group bubbles and ask families to self-isolate, especially with the summer holidays getting closer. Please support the school and each other to stay safe. 

Thank you for all your support with these restrictions to keep everyone at Meridian School safe. 

Take care and best wishes to everyone. 

Yours sincerely 

 

Claire Westcott
Headteacher

Monday 21st June - Letter from East Sussex County Council 

 

Dear Parents and Carers

This letter provides some new guidance to parents, carers, children and schools, reflecting the change in the Government’s roadmap to ease COVID restrictions. It covers school arrangements for:

• PCR testing of asymptomatic close contacts

• the use of face coverings in secondary schools

• primary school taster/transition days within secondary schools

It remains our priority to minimise the disruption to learning for children and young people. Whilst East Sussex has one of the lowest rates of COVID in the country, it is experiencing an increase in cases in line with the national trend. The new ‘Delta’ variant is now the most common in England and there are an increasing number of cases in schools and educational settings. It is more transmissible than previous variants and we are starting to see a number of local outbreaks in Sussex. As with all phases of the pandemic, the most effective methods for reducing transmission in and out of school are:

• handwashing

• social distancing

• the use of face coverings

Twice weekly testing at home is also an important part of keeping infection rates low and secondary schools are seeing a fall in the number of home tests being reported to the NHS. We are, therefore, encouraging staff, pupils in secondary schools and their families to continue to test twice weekly at home. Please note that testing is vital if you display symptoms, as too is social isolation for the case and their contacts. It is sensible to consider what additional measures can be introduced to help keep the number of infections low during the last part of the school year. We would, therefore, draw your attention to the following points.

PCR Testing

As an extra precaution, the Government have recently updated advice to recommend that, in addition to isolation, all contacts of a confirmed case take a PCR test, even when they have no symptoms. This offer extends to close contacts of cases in early years settings. There is no lower age limit. However, if the parent/guardians do not want to test very young children when they are without symptoms, it is recommended that the adult carer/s of the contact test themselves as an alternative.

Please note: Anyone who is symptomatic, whatever age, should get a PCR test.

Face Coverings

The Government changed their advice about the use of face coverings by pupils in secondary schools and these came into effect after the half term break. However, given the emerging situation regarding the new ‘Delta’ variant and the increasing cases in local schools, we support secondary schools with the reinstatement of the wearing of face coverings in communal areas from Monday 21st June until the end of term. We will continue to monitor infection rates in schools and may need to consider a return to face coverings in classrooms as well should we see a significant rise in numbers.

Primary Taster/Transition Sessions within Secondary Schools

As you will know, secondary schools have been planning taster sessions for their feeder primary school pupils during July. The government have issued guidance to schools advising them to complete a thorough risk assessment before running taster days.  unfortunately, this means that traditional transitional and open days are unlikely to go ahead this academic year in most cases. We have, therefore, advised schools to consider moving these events online in order to reduce the potential for transmission. Transition days for Year 6 can go ahead if they are organised in a way that maintains Covid controls and avoids social mixing between pupils from different schools. We are also encouraging schools to arrange individual visits for vulnerable children where this is possible, including those with a special educational need or disability (SEND). Primary schools and post-16 colleges are also advised to compete a thorough risk assessment for their taster days and transition activities this term.

We understand that this is not ideal and is a change from the normal transition activities at this time of year. However, as we’re sure you will appreciate, we want to support school leaders to do everything they can to provide a COVID safe environment.

Thank you to you and your families for your support and understanding at what we know is still a challenging time.

Yours sincerely

Stuart Gallimore

Director of Children’s Services

 

Darrell Gale FFPH

Director of Public Health

Wednesday 16th June - COVID 19 - Update

 

Following the announcement on Monday from the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, the current restrictions in school will remain in place until the end of this term. 

We have been incredibly lucky at Meridian that we have had very few cases of the virus and have not had to close any year group bubbles.

However, in East Sussex and Brighton and Hove, the number of positive cases is starting to go up. 

It is really important that as a community we work together in order to minimise the spread of any further positive cases. 

This means the following will continue to happen: 

  • Staggered drop offs and pick ups 
  • Keep a safe distance from each other 
  • Regular handwashing throughout the day 
  • All adults on the school site to wear a face covering, including on the playground at drop off and pick up times 
  • Year Group bubbles in school 
  • Lunches in classrooms and outdoor play rotas
  • Staff wearing face coverings in communal areas of the school and when speak with parents and carers 

The last thing I want to have to do is close year group bubbles and ask families to self-isolate, especially with the summer holidays getting closer. Please support the school and each other to stay safe. 

Symptoms and testing 

If you or your child is showing symptoms: 

  • The household will need to isolate whilst the person with symptoms gets a test – please inform the school in the usual way. 
  • If the test is negative, the household can stop isolating and your child/children can return to school 
  • If the test is positive, the household will need to continue to self-isolate – please inform the school as soon as you know the test is positive either by calling the school during opening hours or emailing the school office any time office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 

The office email is checked over the weekend for any positive test emails – so please do not wait until the school reopens to inform us of any positive test result for your child/children.

Please note the absence line is not checked over the weekend, just the office email. 

Car Park 

Recently the office team have had a few queries regarding the car park being re-opened for drop off and pick up times for those in receipt of disabled badges. The car park will remain closed for the rest of this academic year and I will be reviewing the car park risk assessment with Governors in July before making any decisions about whether or not we will be re-instating this provision. Please continue to make alternative arrangements for drop off and pick times. 

One of the biggest successes during these restrictions is the huge number of children that now feel confident enough to be dropped off at the gates and walk into school independently. This has been so lovely to see. This has only been made possible by closing the car park off during drop off and pick up times. This will be taken into account when we review the car park risk assessment. I will let you know the decision in July in one of our newsletters. 

 

Meeting friends and family indoors (rule of 6) 

Please remember the following Government guidance about meeting family and friends to help minimise the spread of the virus. 

“It is safer to meet people outdoors. This is because COVID-19 spreads much more easily indoors. However, you can meet up indoors with friends and family you do not live with, either: 

  • in a group of up to 6 from any number of households (children of all ages count towards the limit of 6) 
  • in a group of any size from up to two households (each household can include an existing support bubble, if eligible) 

If you are meeting friends and family, you can make a personal choice on whether to keep your distance from them, but you should still be cautious." You should read the guidance on meeting friends and family

I will keep you all up to date should any of the guidance change. 

Thank you for all your support with these restrictions to keep everyone at Meridian School safe.

Tuesday 27th April - COVID - 19 - keeping your children safe

Whilst lockdown guidance on a national level has changed over the last few weeks the guidance remains the same in schools.

Therefore please can we ask our families to continue to stick to the measures in place to keep your children, our staff and our community safe.

  • Parents and carers will need to continue to support social distancing at drop off and pick up times and observe our staggered start and finish times.
  • When waiting outside the school site please queue on one side and leave plenty of space for other families to pass.
  • At the start and end of the day please do not allow your children to run off and use any of the equipment. Once they are handed over to you by the teacher please ensure you are supervising them whilst on the playground. The sandpit, trim trail and slide remain out of bounds.
  • Please can all adults coming on to the school site, including drop offs and pick ups, wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) so that we can continue to protect each other.

Once we have updated guidance from the government we will write to you again to inform you of any changes necessary.

Thank you for your continued support.

Monday 8th March – Welcome back to school for all our children

It is lovely to see all the children back this morning.

They have settled into their learning and are busy reconnecting with their teachers and friends. 

We appreciate this morning was very exciting for lots of reasons. 

It is vitally important that we all work together and follow our guidance in order to prevent any further disruption to your child’s education. The last thing we want is for bubbles to close because families aren’t following our safety measures. 

May we remind you of the letter sent on Friday 5th March which states ‘by sending your child to school you are agreeing to the full contents of our reopening plan and strategies for keeping everyone safe’.

Therefore, please can we ask for your support with the following:

Drop off

Cripps Avenue – please queue on the right hand side as you face the school and leave a clear path.

Roderick Avenue – please queue on the pavements to either side of the entrance and leave a clear path.

Where possible please do not arrive earlier than your allocated time.

Children should remain with their adult at all times.

Only one adult should accompany the children to and from school.

Please join the end of the queue and do not cut in front of other families. 

Pick up

Do not arrive before your allocated time as we need to minimise the number of adults waiting on site.

Do not let your children play on the outdoor equipment or go on the field.

All children should remain with their parent / carer at all times.

Only one adult should collect the children.

Please do not enter the fenced areas where the teachers are releasing your children. 


Thank you for your support


The Meridian Team

Re-opening on 8th March – Letter 5

 

It’s the final letter today before we welcome the children back on Monday.

 

Signs around school

We have put signs around school to help everyone understand how we can support each other in minimising the risk of the virus spreading. Please help us by doing the following:

 

  • Maintain social distancing at all times
  • Keep your children with you when queuing up
  • Ensure you queue up on one side
  • Do not allow your children to run off and play with school equipment when waiting on the school site
  • Wear a face mask

 

Lateral Flow Tests

All school staff now complete lateral flow tests twice a week to support identifying the virus if someone is asymptomatic.  This has been really supportive of us being able to keep everyone safe in school. The Government have now announced that more people can access these lateral flow tests as part of their new guidance released this week, “Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff.”  In this guidance it states:

 

“About 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not have symptoms but can still pass it on to others. Regular testing of people without symptoms is important to help stop the virus spreading and protect your loved ones. As lockdown restrictions gradually ease we all need to play our part to help protect each other. The following people in England will have access to regular rapid lateral flow testing made available to them as schools reopen:

  • secondary school pupils
  • primary and secondary school staff
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils
  • households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary staff

 

Primary school pupils will not be asked to test at this time.”

 

 From 1st March 2021, if you’re a member of a household, childcare bubble or support bubble of staff or a pupil you can get a twice-weekly test:

  • through your employer if they offer testing to employees
  • at a local test site
  • by collecting a home test kit from a test site
  • by ordering a home test kit online

 

For more information, including how you can collect or order a home test kit, please read this guidance:  Rapid lateral flow testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff

 

School Office

In order to keep our Office Team safe, the office will remain closed to visitors unless a prior appointment has been made.  If you have any questions for the office, please call or email the team.  If you have something to drop off at the office, please either give this to your child to give to their teacher or leave on the bench outside the school main entrance.  Thank you for your support with this.

 

Parent and Carer Agreement

By sending your child to school you are agreeing to the full contents of the five letters that have been sent out this week and the statements below:

  • I understand what is expected of me and my child/ren.
  • I will ensure my child arrives at the agreed start times.
  • I agree to socially distance in and around the school site and to ensure that my child also does this.
  • I will communicate the school expectations to anyone responsible for taking my child to and from school
  • I will talk to my children about safety measures and the behaviour expectations they will need to follow, in a way that they can understand.
  • By allowing my child to walk to and from school without a parent/carer, I confirm that they are capable of understanding the 2 metre plus social-distancing expectations without an adult prompt and are capable of following signs and instructions on site.
  • I will ensure that the school has the most up-to-date contact details in case of an emergency.
  • I will arrange for my child to be collected if unwell as soon as possible.
  • I understand that the school may need to reduce the number of children attending, or close the school, in response to any serious health & safety concerns or in line with government advice.
  • I will notify the school of any suspected cases of Covid-19 at home and engage with NHS Test and Trace.
  • I will notify the school of any positive testing for Covid-19 in the family.
  • I will not enter the school building without an appointment.
  • I will respect the seriousness of the Covid-19 pandemic at all times.

  

Welcome Back!

Please do tell your children that we are really looking forward to seeing them all on Monday.  The teachers have been busy getting their classrooms ready today and can’t wait to see everyone back in school. 

We have added some materials to support our families and their children with the reopening of schools on our website - https://www.meridianschool.co.uk/covid-19

Thursday 4th March - Reopening on Monday 8th March - Letter 4

 

Please do take the time to read today’s letter about what to if someone in your household or support bubble develops symptoms at home, what the school will do if a child or adult develops symptoms in school and our remote
learning offer for children that are isolating at home.

 

COVID-19 symptoms

Actions you should take (From Parent and Carer guidance from the Government) Do not send your child to nursery or school if: 

• they are showing one or more coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms – a high temperature; a new, continuous cough; a loss or change to sense of smell or taste 

• someone in their household is showing symptoms 

• someone in their support bubble has symptoms and they have been in close contact with them since the symptoms started or during the 48 hours before they started 

• they or someone in their household has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) 

• they are required to quarantine having recently visited a red list travel ban country 

You will need to book a test if your child develops symptoms and inform the school of the results. If your child’s test is positive please follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process. 

Other household members (including any siblings) should self-isolate from the day your child’s symptoms started (or the day they took a test if they did not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days. 

If your child or someone in your household has tested positive while not experiencing symptoms but develops symptoms during the isolation period, they should restart the 10 day isolation period from the day they developed symptoms. If your child displays symptoms, or has a positive test, while at school or college, they should not use public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household. In exceptional circumstances, if you cannot arrange to have your child collected and they cannot walk, cycle or scoot home, alternative arrangements may need to be organised by the nursery, childminder, school or college.
 

Your child does not need a test if they: 

• have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell, but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste 

• are advised to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), for example, another pupil in their class, but are not showing symptoms themselves 

 

Actions the school will take 

• If your child develops symptoms in school, an adult will accompany them to wait in a designated area of the school and wait with them until their parent or carer collect. 

• If your child tests positive and they have been in school for 48 hours before either the symptoms or the positive test result, the school will seek advice from the dedicated DfE team and then close the year group bubble. 

• If an adult in school tests positive and they have been in school for 48 hours before either the symptoms or the positive test result, the school will seek advice from the dedicated DfE team and then close either the class or the year group bubble depending on track and trace evidence. 

• All children and staff in a closed year group bubble will have to self-isolate for 10 days from either the date of the symptoms or the date of the test. A letter will be sent to parents informing them of the need to self-isolated. 

• If there is a positive case in school, we will inform all parents of this. 

• All classrooms where there has been a positive case will be quarantined and deep cleaned. 

 

Remote Learning 

If your child is at home self-isolating whilst awaiting a test result either for them or a member of their household, the school will not offer live teaching. We will provide a sheet of activity ideas and links to websites that you might find useful to support your child with learning at home If your child is well but has to self-isolate due a positive test in their household, the school will provide live teaching. However, this will be different to the live teaching that has been in place since the January lockdown. Once all the children return next week, the teacher’s priority will be to teach the class and so will not have the capacity to engage with your child at home as much. Work will be uploaded onto Google Classroom to support your child accessing the same learning as in school and they will be expected to complete this. If a class or year group bubble has to close, the school will provide live teaching as the teachers will
deliver remote learning from their home to the class through Google Classroom If a teacher has tested positive and is unwell, work will be uploaded on to Google Classroom for the children to complete but there will obviously be no live teaching.

Resources to support children prepare for the return to school on Monday 8th March

Places2Be

Top tips for parents and carers

Useful resources for families

Wednesday 3rd March - Re-opening on 8th March – Letter 3

 

Please do take the time to read today’s letter about attendance, emotional well-being and mental health and the curriculum 

 

Attendance 

The Government have now stated that it is an expectation that all children must return to school on Monday 8th March. In the guidance “What parents need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during COVID-19” is says: “From 8 March all children and students should return to school or college and attendance will be mandatory once again from this date. Mandatory attendance means that it is your legal duty as a parent to send your child (if they are of compulsory school age) to school regularly if they are registered at one. Local authorities and schools have a range of legal powers to enforce attendance if a child or young person misses school without a valid reason.” 

From Monday 8th March our Attendance Policy will be reinstated. 

You can help us by: 

• calling the absence line for every day your child is absent – this absence line is available 24 hours 

• sending in a signed letter on the day your child returns to school – please note, your child’s absence will not be authorised unless we receive this letter 

• contacting the school if you have concerns about your child’s absence 

• ensuring the school has the most up to date contact details for parents/carers and any emergency contacts 

• providing evidence of any medical appointments that cannot be made outside of school hours e.g hospital letter 

Our attendance policy requires us to: 

• call parents/carers if we have not received a message on the absence line by 10am 

• call emergency contacts if we cannot make contact with parents/carers 

• consider carrying out a home visit if we still cannot make contact 

• to call the police and request a welfare check if we still cannot make contact after the home visit 

We regularly review the children’s attendance and so you may receive a phone call or letter from the attendance team if your child’s absence drops below 98% or if three separate absences remain unauthorised. 

Our Attendance Team is: 

Miss. Laura Miles (Assistant Headteacher) 

Mrs. Jacqui Dray (Attendance and Admissions Officer) 

Mrs. Claire Erridge (Education Welfare Officer) 

Mrs. Gemma Kirton (Behaviour and Pastoral Support Assistant) 

If you are worried about your child returning to school next week, please do contact a member of the attendance team who will be able to support and advise you. Our full attendance policy is also available on our school website.


Curriculum

Our curriculum plan for the children as they return to school is based on the principles of: re-connecting, reestablishing and identifying/addressing learning gaps.

Re-connecting

We will be supporting children in reconnecting with each other and the adults in school, including revisiting our school values and why these are such an important part of Meridian school. There will be additional adults at break times and lunchtimes to support positive play, support re-building or forming new friendships and manage any friendship issues that may occur. We want the children to re-connect with why they all enjoy coming to school which is why social connections, play and friendships are crucial to this. 

Re-establishing 

We will also be re-establishing the rules and expectations around behaviour and learning. This will include ensuring the children understand the school rules but also all the safety rules that remain in place. We will also continue to support children with managing their emotions and helping them to feel safe and happy in school. As part of this process, we will be ensuring children are ready and excited to learn. 

Identifying and addressing learning gaps 

Once the children are settled back into school and are happy, safe and ready to learn, we will start the process of identifying and addressing gaps. The teachers are brilliant at this already because this is what teachers are trained to do! It will involve low key assessments, sometimes a test, talking to the children and putting plans in place to support those children who need this. As well as all the excellent teaching they will be getting every day. Parents and carers are a crucial part of children’s education and we might ask for your support with doing some work at home to help your child with their learning. This could include extra reading, learning number facts or practising  and writing. The important thing is that the children who do best at school are the ones whose parents/carers help them at home too. Teachers and parents can be a great team to ensuring your children do their best at school and we are looking forward to working together with you to support your children’s education. 

Emotional Well-Being and Mental Health 

We have started a dedicated page on our school website to provide support and links to advice about how to your children’s emotional well-being and mental health. Over the coming months we will be updating this page with different resources and links to services to support you. You can visit the web page here. I expect that some children will be feeling nervous and worried about coming back to school – and this is absolutely normal. As it states in “Supporting children and young people in their mental health – A guide for East Sussex schools,” 

“It is important to remember that anxiety is a natural, normal feeling we all experience from time to time. It can vary in severity from mild uneasiness through to a terrifying panic attack. It can vary in how long it lasts, from a few moments to many years. Naturally, anxiety will be more prevalent for children and young people during periods in their lives that are associated with stress, such as exams, leaving school, and starting new academic years, and during these times additional support may be needed. 

All children and young people get anxious at times; this is a normal part of their development as they grow up and develop their ‘survival skills’ so they can face challenges in the wider world. In addition, we all have different levels of stress we can cope with - some people are just naturally more anxious than others and are quicker to get stressed or worried. Concerns are raised when anxiety is getting in the way of a child or young person’s day to day life, slowing down their development, or having a significant effect on their schooling or relationships.” 

I hope this helps to support you if your child is getting nervous or anxious about coming back to school. Please do get in touch with your child’s class teacher this week to let us know if you child is extremely anxious about returning to school so that we are able to support them on Monday. I hope today’s letter has been useful. Tomorrow’s letter will be about what to do if your child or a member of your household develops symptoms
and remote learning.

Tuesday 2nd March - Update: Re-opening on 8th March – Letter 2


Today’s letter is about the measures that will continue to be in place to minimise the risk of the virus coming into school and spreading.

 

Social Distancing

Social distancing measures will remain in place wherever possible and we will, in line with Government guidance, avoid having large groups of children together or large groups of people gathering together. The Year Group bubbles will need to maintain social distancing from other Year Group bubbles so our staggered break times and lunchtimes and playground zones will support the year group bubbles not to mix. Parents and carers will need to continue to support social distancing at drop off and pick up times. Please keep your children with you at these busy times.

 

Handwashing

Regular handwashing will continue throughout the school day. I know that for some children, their hands can become really sore, so children are welcome to bring in hand cream but they will have to be able to manage this independently as staff are not able to support with this. If children want to bring in anti-bac, they can but they need to use this responsibly and independently – please note they will still be expected to wash their hands with soap and water. As a minimum children will wash their hands:

• On arrival to school

• After break time

• Before lunchtime

• After lunchtime

• Every time they go to the toilet

 

Additional cleaning

We will continue to have additional cleaning of touch points (like door handles, light switches, bannisters) and toilets, as well as emptying bins with tissues and hand towels during the school day. This is in addition to the thorough cleaning that happens at the end of the school day as usual. Cleaning resources will be in place in all classrooms to support wiping down tables and resources throughout the day. Toys in Nursery and Reception will be put in the washing machines and dishwashers to ensure these are cleaned regularly.

 

Face Coverings

Please can all adults coming on to the school site, including drop offs and pick ups, wear a face covering (unless you are exempt) so that we can continue to protect each other. The guidance states that primary school children do not need to wear a face covering. However, if you would like your child to wear one, please can you ensure that your child is able to do the following steps independently.

  1. If your child walks to school with a face covering on they will need to wash their hands immediately on entry to school, remove their face covering correctly and put temporary face covering in the lidded bin in the classroom or if using a reusable face covering put this in a sealable plastic bag to be kept in their school bag to be taken home for washing or disposal. They will then need to wash their hands again before they put on a new face covering correctly.
  2. If putting a mask on in school, your child will need to wash their hands, put the mask on correctly and independently and then wash their hands afterwards.
  3. Throughout the day if they need to remove their face covering, they will need to wash their hands, remove it independently and correctly, place in a sealable bag and then wash their hands.
  4. To put it back on again, they will need to wash their hands, put the covering on correctly and independently and then wash their hands.
  5. If the face covering becomes damp, they will need to repeat the instructions above to remove and replace with a new face covering

Please note, teachers will not be able to support with these steps and if they notice that your child is not able to manage their face covering in school, they will contact you and ask that your child does not wear their face covering until they are able to manage this independently.

 

Ventilation

An important factor for preventing the spread of the virus is to ensure all rooms are well ventilated. This means that the classrooms will have windows open at all times. If your child is cold, you are very welcome to send in an extra jumper, cardigan or fleece for them to wear during lesson times.

 

Respiratory Hygiene

We will continue to support children with having good respiratory hygiene e.g. catch it, bin it, kill it. There are lidded bins in all classrooms for tissues and we will continue to remind them to wash their hands after coughing and sneezing to minimise the spread of germs.

 

Following Government Advice

It is really important that a community we follow the Government advice about mixing with other households. From Monday 8th March some of the rules on what you can and cannot do will be changing in relation to mixing with others:

You will be allowed to spend time in outdoor public spaces for recreation on your own, with one other person or with your household or support bubble. This means you can sit down for a drink or picnic. You must continue to maintain social distance from those outside your household. This is in addition to outdoor exercise, which is already permitted. At the moment we are still not allowed to mix indoors but we are starting to hear from the children about this happening. We strongly encourage you to support these rules to keep everyone at school safe. None of us want to have a rise in cases and bubbles having to close and self-isolate. But in order for this to happen, we need to work together as a community to follow the advice and support one another. There will be more
changes from 29th March that the Government has shared in their roadmap.

I hope this letter has been useful.


Tomorrow’s letter will be about attendance, the curriculum and mental health/well-being

Monday 1st March - Update to re-opening to all children on 8th March – Letter 1

 

 

We are all really looking forward to seeing all the children back on Monday 8th March! It will be so lovely to have everyone back in school and enjoying learning and playing together. I will be sending several letters this week to spread out the information about re-opening. Please do read each letter carefully so that you are fully informed about the re-opening plans and how you can support keeping everyone at school safe. Today’s letter is about the running of the school day.

 

Drop offs and Pick ups

In line with Government guidance, we will continue to have staggered timings at the beginning and end of the day to support minimising the numbers of adults on the school site at any one time. The times have not changed and are:

Drop Off

8.35am – Years 5 and 6

8.40am – Years 3 and 4

8.45am – Early Bird Nursery, Years 1 and 2

8.50am – Reception

9.15am – Nursery

• Please queue along the fence for the Cripps Avenue entrance on the right hand side as you face the school.

• Please queue either up or down Roderick Avenue on the pavements and please do not allow your children to climb or sit our neighbours’ walls or run up and down their driveways.

• All children should remain with their parent/carer at all times. Only one adult should drop off the children.

• Please remember to drop off in the allocated places (fenced areas/bottom of ramp to Y2) to support our staff with social distancing.

• Please can you not wait on the pathways to watch your children walk into school as this can cause congestion for other parents waiting to enter or exit the gates.

Pick Up

12.15pm – Nursery

2.50pm – Reception

3.00pm – Years 1 and 2

3.10pm – Years 3, 4, 5 and 6

3.15pm – Nursery

• Please do not arrive before your allocated time as we need to minimise the number of adults waiting on site.

• Please do not let your younger children play on the outdoor equipment e.g. Trim Trail, sand pit, slide or go on the field – all children should remain with their parent carer at all times.

• Only one adult should collect the children.

• Please remember to pick up children from the allocated places (fenced areas) to support our staff with social distancing. Please do not enter these places.

Please note, if we notice that children are running around, going on the field or accessing school equipment after school, we may decide to ask all parents to collect their children and exit the school site before reentering to collect older siblings.

We would encourage as many parents as possible to allow their children to walk independently into school to reduce the number of adults on the school site. The car park remains for staff and visitors only so this increases the safety for children walking independently to school.

Nursery

From Monday 8th March, our Nursery provision will be fully open and children will be able to attend all their allocated sessions. If you are unsure about your sessions, please contact the school office or speak with one of the Nursery Team. If your child is a new starter, you will be contacted about start date and sessions.

Year Group Bubbles

The children will continue to be in Year Group Bubbles as this supports both preventative measures in minimising the number children they will be mixing with and friendship groups across classes to be maintained. In Nursery and Reception, children will continue to have their usual provision of carpet times and free flow times to support both learning and behaviour. Children will continue to used shared resources in their classrooms and these will be regularly cleaned and they will continue to wash their hands throughout the day.

In Years 1 and 2, children will continue to have carpet times and group tables to support both learning and behaviour. The use of shared resources in each classroom will be limited as much as possible and all shared resources across the bubble will be regularly cleaned and the children will continue to wash their hands throughout the day.

In Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 children will continue to be seated in same place all week with access to individual resources provided by the school. The use of shared resources will be minimized and the children will continue to wash their hands throughout the day.

Lunches

Children in Years 1 – 6 will continue to eat lunches in their classrooms. The kitchen is fully open and a menu will be shared with you very soon. Alternatively children can bring in a packed lunch and these can be in packed lunch boxes. Free School Meal vouchers will not be continuing from Monday 8th March and all children eligible for free school meals will be able to access their entitlement through the school kitchen meals.

Toilets

Reception and Year 1 children will be supervised to use the shared toilets by an adult to ensure that there are a minimum number of children accessing the toilets at any one time. For all other year groups, children will be taught how to wait outside if someone is accessing the toilets before going in themselves. For some children we will continue to support this if we feel it is needed.

Water Bottles

It is an expectation that all children bring a water bottle to school everyday. Please can you ensure that you send your child to school with a named water bottle – water only please, no fruit juices or squash. If we notice that your child does not have a water bottle, we will contact you and ask you to bring one in for them the same day.

Snacks

Children can bring in a portion of fresh fruit or vegetable for their snack which can be eaten at break time.

Uniform

School uniform will need to worn from Monday 8th March. We appreciate that shoe shops are currently closed, so the expectation for school shoes will be in place from term 5 onwards. PE kits will need to be in school for all PE lessons. Forest school kits will need to be in school for all Forest School lessons.

Book bags

Children will continue to need to bring in their book bags and reading diaries to school so that we can ensure they are reading regularly and to support them changing their books.

School Trips

The current Government guidance still states that we cannot take the children on school trips at the moment. However, the guidance is always changing and we will update you with more information about this as and when any changes occur. With this in mind, we are continuing to plan for the Year 6 children to attend the Isle of Wight PGL trip in term 6 – so please do keep making your payments if you still need to. Should the Government advice mean that this trip has to be cancelled, you will be refunded and we will write to Year 6 parents separately about this.

 

Thank for taking the time to read this letter through. If you have any questions about the content of this letter, please do email the school office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 


Tomorrow’s letter will contain information about the measures the school will continue to have in place to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.

Monday 22nd February - Reopening of schools

We hope you all had a restful half term break. It is wonderful to see all children back either in school or learning online at home.

Like us, we are sure you are all waiting to hear from the Prime Minster this evening with information about the reopening of schools. Please be aware that at this moment in time we do not have any more information than you do at home so we will wait to hear what is said and then await further guidance from the Department for Education.

Once this has been received we will then be in a position to begin planning accordingly and will write to all our families once this has all been confirmed. Thank you for your continued support The Meridian Team

Parent Consultations - Tuesday 9th & Wednesday 10th February

 

Next week our teachers are looking forward to meeting with you to discuss your child's progress.

Appointments have been sent out via your child's Google Classroom Gmail account. You can find out how to access the meeting below

Video - How to access my child's parents evening

Letter - How to access my child's parents evening

If you have not yet received your child's appointment please contact your child's teacher via the year group emails. 

Children's Mental Health Week (Monday 1st - Friday 5th February)

 

Meridian Community Primary School & Nursery are proud to support Children's Mental Health Week 2021 run by Place2Be from Monday 1st February - Friday 5th February.

Information and activities for parents and carers can be found here

A letter explaining what the week is about

Thrive - wellbeing toolkit for children (4 - 7 year olds)

Thrive - wellbeing toolkit for children (7 - 11 year olds)

Wednesday 27th January - Virtual Library 

 

The National Literacy Trust have created a virtual library! Each week, they will release a book online for children to enjoy at home.

 

The books can be found here: Virtual School Library | Oak Academy (thenational.academy) This week's book is aimed at Upper Key Stage 2, but keep checking for books suitable for younger children too.

Wednesday 20th January - Allocation of government laptops

This week we hope to receive our allocation of government laptops. To enable us to quickly distribute these to families who require one we are writing to update you with the following information. Please be aware that the allocation covers less than 8% of our whole school and we are not able to order any further devices at this stage. We anticipate demand will be high so we might not be able to offer a device to all families who request one.

Before making a request please read the following points carefully:

• The laptops for children to access our provision of remote learning on Google Classroom.

• They will be given out on a loan basis for a fixed period of time.

• If your child is attending school as part of our Essential Provision then you should not request a device.

If you would like to request a laptop please can you submit a form available on this link – Laptop Request Form

Alternatively you can click on the Laptop Request Form on the dashboard of our app.

Please only complete this form if you have no other suitable device at home.

We need to receive your requests no later than Friday 22nd January by 12:00pm. We will then write to families to inform them if they are eligible for a device

Wednesday 20th January - Accessing book banded books from home

 

Please read the following letter which gives you instructions to enable your child to access suitable level reading books from home

Monday 18th January - Free School Meal Survey

In order to help us support families whose children are entitled to free school meals we are asking these families to complete a short survey about their preference for receiving either supermarket vouchers or a food parcel. 

Please complete this survey by 20.1.2021. 

If your child is not entitled to benefits related free school meals please do not complete this survey. 

You can access the survey by clicking on the link when loading up the app. Alternatively by following this link - http://meridiancommunity.surveys.schooljotter2.com/surveys/page/JTMH75 

Wednesday 13th January - Covid - 19 Update

Essential Provision for Critical workers

We continue to support many families whose work is critical to the coronavirus (COVID-19) response and obviously we are committed to doing this. However, as stated in a letter last week, to support the health and safety of everyone in school (staff and children) and to protect the chance of a spread of the virus in school, if you can keep your children at home, we would encourage you to do so. The latest guidance states “Parents and carers who are critical workers should keep their children at home if they can”.

Therefore if you think your circumstances are as such that you can now keep your children at home please contact us on criticalworker@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk and please make sure you have considered this before applying for our Essential Provision for Critical Workers.

Please help us to minimise the spread of this virus by following the guidance of staying at home wherever possible.

Remote Learning 

Thank you to all those families who are logging on the ensure the children at home are getting the same teaching as the children in school. If you are having trouble logging on, please do contact the school and we will try to help you with this. If you are having trouble engaging your child/children in their online learning, please do contact the school and we will try to help you with this, including speaking with your child if this would help. It is really important that all the children are completing as much of the work as possible to ensure that they are accessing the full curriculum. If you don’t log on for the live teaching, that is fine but please make sure that the children are completing the work at home and this is uploaded to Google Classroom each day. 

We will be in contact with families who are not logging on and are not uploading work to see how we can support this happening so your children are still learning whilst at home. 

 

Laptops for schools 

Our Government allocation of laptops is now being processed and we hope to have these very soon. We are only getting 29, so Mr. Doody, Miss. Miles and I are working together to look at how best to use these laptops as obviously we do not have enough to share with lots of parents. Once we have approval from Governors about our proposed plan, we will share this with you all. In the meantime, don’t forget that you can access Google Classroom in lots of different ways, including Xboxes and Playstations, which we know lots of the children have! If you need any help with this, please see previous communications. 

 

Support for SEND children 

We will be sending out additional support and resources to families of children that are on our SEND register and who are accessing the learning at home. This will be linked to their new SEND targets and plans which the teachers are busy writing at the moment. If you have any questions about how your child is accessing or engaging with the learning, please do email the class teacher via the year group emails. 

 

Following the Lockdown Rules 

It is really important that as school community that we follow the Lockdown rules to reduce the spread of the virus. 

I was really disappointed to hear about a few families, whose children are currently attending school, that are mixing for large get togethers with several different households, such as birthday parties. 

This is really unfair on the whole Meridian community, in particular the staff team who are working tirelessly to keep everyone, including themselves, safe. 

If I hear of further incidents of this nature, I will be seeking advice about withdrawing our offer of these children attending the school. 

 

The Lockdown rules are: 

“Meeting others - You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one). You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area. You cannot meet other people you do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason. Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.” 

PLEASE HELP EVERYONE AT MERIDIAN TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE. 

 

Mental Health Support 

I know that we are all struggling with the new lockdown restrictions and it is incredibly hard to manage if our mental health is being affected.

There is some really useful guidance here that has lots of strategies to help you with looking after your mental health. Please do read this guidance as there may be something that you can try at home to look after yourself and your families. 

There is another useful document here that has information about how to support your child’s mental health during lockdown. 

There is another simple document that you might find useful here

We are continuing to offer Thrive both in school and online for some children. Our mental health support worker and school counsellor are also continuing their support for the children they are working with. 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read this – it is important to encourage each other to read the communications from school so that we can all support each other during this difficult time. 

Take care and keep safe.

Tuesday 12th January - Free School Meal Parcels

 

The Government issued guidance this week about how to support families whose children are entitled to benefits related Free School Meals.

This guidance states: “We strongly encourage schools to work with their school catering team or food provider to provide food parcels to eligible free school meal pupils who are at home.”

As stated last week, I have been working with Caterlink to ensure they are able to offer food parcels for children who are not attending school and these are now ready to collect. Each parcel has got food, menu suggestion and cooking instructions for 10 lunches for one child. So if you have more than one child eligible for a parcel, you will be given one per child.

These parcels will be available every two weeks unless the Government guidance changes. This week’s parcel is for last week and this week, so the next parcel will be available on Monday 18th January.

These parcels can be collected from school tomorrow (Wednesday 13 th January) between 9am to 10am and again at 2pm to 3pm.

Please come to the main school office wearing a mask between these times and you will be directed to where you can collect your parcel. If there is a queue, please remember to wear your mask and ensure you are following social distancing rules of 2 metres.

If you are unable to collect your parcel/s in person, you can nominate a member of your family or a friend to collect on your behalf. Please make sure you contact the school office to inform us of who is collecting if it someone other than you.

If your child is in school, they will be getting a free school meal provided by the kitchen.

 

Letter sent to all families to update them - Wednesday 13th January 

 

 

Friday 8th - Free School Meals

Caterlink are in the process of putting together food hampers for families whose children are eligible for benefits related free school meals.

I will write to you again next week once we have more details about when and how you can collect these. Thank you for your patience with this.

Best wishes

Ms Westcott

Wednesday 6th January - Using Xbox or PlayStation to access Google Classroom

 

Did you know you can access Google Classroom and Google Meet using the Xbox or PlayStation?

This might be helpful if you’re learning at home and limited with devices.

 

Xbox

  1. Go to Home Menu
  2. Select My Games and Apps
  3. Scroll down to Apps
  4. Go to Microsoft Edge
  5. Type in search for Google Classroom
  6. Select Go to Classroom
  7. Login as normal.

 

PlayStation

  1. Turn on your PS4
  2. Use your controller to scroll to the far right of the bar with games and select Library
  3. Use the search bar to type in Internet
  4. Select the Internet Browser app
  5. Start Internet Browser and press the triangle button on the controller to search
  6. Type Google Classroom and select the first link that comes up.
  7. Select Go to Classroom then login using your normal details.

 

Hope that helps!

 

The Meridian Team

 

Wednesday 6th January - Essential Provision Update

 

Dear Parents and Carers

We continue to receive a very large amount of requests for children to access our Essential Provision in school for families who are critical workers or vulnerable. The school is following the government guidance to support us make these decisions. However the number of children in some classes is rising rapidly. The overarching government guidance remains the same and that is, in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, where children can be kept at home, they should be. Many parents working in critical worker roles will be able to ensure their child is kept at home and this remains the safest place for them to be.

Please can we ask families accessing our Essential Provision in school to consider this message and if your circumstances are as such that you can keep your child at home, please let us know.

For those parents and carers who work part time please can we ask that you only send your child in on the days you absolutely need to.

As the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, states in the lockdown guidance about closing schools, “This decision does not suggest that schools and colleges are no longer safe places for young people. Instead, limiting attendance is about reducing the number of  contacts that all of us have with people in other households.”

With this in mind, you need to consider that the more children that attend school, the greater number of households will be coming into contact with each other. This ultimately could lead to an increase in the spread of the virus between children and staff, resulting in bubble closures and even whole school closures. The impact of this will be devastating for the whole community, in particular our frontline NHS workers who would potentially not be able to go to work. Also if staff become ill, this will impact on us being able to offer online teaching for the children at home.


We all have our role to play in getting the virus back under control so please do not request a place if you are able to keep your children at home.

 

Thank you for supporting us in keeping your children, your families and our staff team safe.

 

Yours sincerely

Ms. Claire Westcott              Mr. Matt Doody                       Mr. Chris Bonner
Headteacher                          Deputy Headteacher              Chair of Governors

Monday 4th January - Provision for remote learning 

 

Due to the school being closed for most children except those of critical workers and vulnerable families, all learning will now be on line and accessed via your child’s Google Classroom account. For information about how to login please visit - https://www.meridianschool.co.uk/parents/google-classroom. Class teachers will be uploading the suggested activities at the start of the day. Throughout the day the teachers will be streaming their teaching from the classroom live. 

School day timings remain the same with learning starting at 8.55am and finishing at 3pm. Each day the class teacher will outline the timetable for the day. During break, lunch and at the end of the day children should leave the google meet and their teacher will demonstrate how they can do this.

 

What to do next?

Our remote learning plan has been made with our children and their families in mind. This is an expectation placed upon schools by the government. We believe that this strategy will work best for the children at our school. Children should login into their class from 8:50am and click on the Meet Link.

Children will then need to click Join now to enter the classroom. We request that children mute their microphones so as not to disturb the other children.

All learning will be uploaded onto Google Classroom and it is an expectation that your child submits these activities each day. Feedback will be provided online either verbally or a written comment for each activity. We recommend where possible children to have a quiet space to work in. If your child does not have access to suitable technology, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can help support you.

 

What we expect from your child

It’s important that your child engages with all remote learning to ensure their education remains unaffected during this period. If they aren’t engaging with the learning, their teacher will give them a phone call to see how we can support them to engage. Children should continue to demonstrate the same high expectations for behaviour and learning that they show in school. All children are responsible for the content they post online. As part of our ongoing work in online safety all children understand that anything they post has an electronic footprint which even when deleted can still be seen by others. Please talk with your child about what this means.

Any unkind or disrespectful behaviour towards staff or children will not be tolerated and dealt with in line with the school’s behaviour policy.

 

What you can do to help

We appreciate that this situation may present some challenges for you and we want to reassure you that we’re aware every family will have their own personal set of circumstances. We kindly ask for your support so that we can continue to provide high-quality education for your child during this time. Younger children in particular may need support in accessing online materials and staying focused with their remote learning. We ask that you help them as much as you can.

At the same time, we don’t expect you to watch your child all day, and we wouldn’t expect parents/carers to get involved in remote lessons in place of our teachers. But, it would be really helpful if you can take an active role in your child’s learning by asking them about their day and what they’ve learned.

We appreciate that there might be circumstances children cannot access the live teaching (e.g. multiple siblings need to use one device) so we will record the sessions. This way children can watch these later on when the device becomes available. If you do not wish your child to be recorded you have the option to switch your child’s camera off. These videos will only be stored on our internal Google drive and not shared with anyone. All videos will be deleted after 28 days.

 

Our top tips:

Ensure your child is ready and dressed for the start of the school day, and to keep to their timetable.

Distinguish between weekdays and weekends, and make it clear when the school day is over, to separate home and school life.

Teachers will build in opportunities for breaks and exercise into the day to help keep your child active.

Please keep in touch with us via year group emails and do let your child’s teacher know if you’re having any difficulties with remote learning, or if you have any questions.

If you need to contact us please visit https://www.meridianschool.co.uk/contact-us to find out how to do so.

 

Monday 4th January - Arrangements for Essential Provision & Remote Learning

 

I wrote to you yesterday following information that I had received late on Sunday evening which has meant that due to insufficient staff numbers we need to move to remote learning for at least the next two weeks for all pupils, other than those who are considered vulnerable and those who are the children of critical workers. This letter contains more information about the provision we are able to make in school (our Essential Provision), and about the remote learning we will offer during this period.  

 

Children of Critical Workers:

I cannot stress to you enough how important it is that the nature of this Essential Provision is understood. It is in place for those pupils where a parent or carer would not be able to carry out a critical role if the school did not offer a place. If another adult is available to provide supervision and support at home, then please do not apply for our Essential Provision. This action is being taken to minimise the spread of Covid and therefore, we need to keep the number of children and staff on site to a minimum.

We will prioritise places according to the following criteria:

  1. The sole parent or carer / both parents or carers are a critical worker according to the government’s definition (which can be found here), who would be unable to fulfil their role if the school didn’t offer a place to their child/ren and where full-time provision is required from Monday to Friday during school hours.
  2. The sole parent or carer / both parents or carers are a critical worker according to the government’s definition, who would be unable to fulfil their role if the school didn’t offer a place to their child/ren and where part-time time provision is required between Monday and Friday during school hours – the greater the number of days required, the higher the priority.

 

Please be aware that parents or carers will be asked to provide evidence that they are a critical worker, eg. staff ID, letter from work, official documentation.

 

If you wish to apply for your child to access our Essential Provision please complete the short form attached to this link.  There will also be a link to the form on the dashboard of our app. Please complete the form by 1pm today. We will be in touch with everyone who sends in a form by the end of today. If the number of requests exceeds our limit we will have to prioritise the children and families who are offered the places, with NHS staff taking priority.

 

You only need to submit it once – completing the form more than once might delay our capacity in getting back to you. If your child was attending school during the previous closure between March 2020 and July 2020 we still require you to apply as your circumstances may have changed.

 

Remote Learning at home

The school will continue to provide learning for all our children via Google Classroom. This will be with their usual class teacher and follow the same timings as a normal school day. Please refer to the Google Classroom area of our website for further information - https://www.meridianschool.co.uk/parents/google-classroom.  Please see separate letter regarding remote learning which will be sent out shortly. Remote learning will begin from Tuesday 5th January.

Finally…

I understand that this news is far from ideal for many of you, as is the amount of notice you have had to put some sort of provision in place for your children. All I can do is thank you for your support and understanding at this hugely challenging time. We hope to do all we can to keep our school and community safe and want to have all of our children back at school as soon as possible. Whilst we appreciate that the school closure is frustrating please understand that we are unable to currently open safely to all children. The situation will be reviewed every week and as soon as we are able to do so we will be opening to all children once more.

 

Meridian is taking seriously our shared responsibility and commitment to supporting the response at tackling Covid-19, reducing the burden on our health care system and providing supervision for children of critical workers and vulnerable families.

 

Please be advised that any form of intimidating or aggressive behaviour aimed at any of our staff will not be tolerated.

 

Thank you for your continued support.

 

Ms. Claire Westcott

Headteacher

Sunday 3rd January - January 2021 reopening 

 

Dear Parents & Carers

We are writing for inform you that this evening we have had to make the difficult decision that from Tuesday 5th January Meridian Community Primary School & Nursery will only remain open to children of critical workers and those who are vulnerable. The reason for this is that earlier this evening (Sunday 3rd January) we were made aware that we do not have sufficient staffing numbers to open the school to all children safely.

Therefore from Tuesday 5th January children who are not attending school for the reasons outlined above will access their learning remotely via Google Classroom with their class teacher. Further information will be sent out tomorrow.

Parents and carers can request a critical worker place for their child if they meet the criteria and we will be writing to you with further information on this tomorrow. We will also be contacting our vulnerable families separately. Please do not contact the school to request a critical worker place until we have sent out this information.

As we are sure you appreciate, this is as short notice for us as it is for you, and we are working hard to prepare for this change in our plans. As always, our children and our community are our first priority, and we will write to you with more information as soon as we have it.

Whilst we understand this might be frustrating for some of our families. However we will do everything we can to support you during this difficult time.

Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Ms Claire Westcott & Mr Matt Doody

 

Friday 18th December - What happens if a child has a positive COVID-19 test result in the Christmas break?

 

Friday 11th December

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE - A letter from Public Health for East Sussex

Dear parents and carers,

COVID cases are rising at a worrying rate in some of our towns. While the rising infection rate is worrying the actions we each take can reverse the trend and stop the spread of the virus. Darrell Gale, Director of Public Health for East Sussex has asked that schools share this letter with you and your families.

Letter from Public Health East Sussex

Please read and share this advice with your children as appropriate. We have been really lucky at Meridian that we have had no positive cases in school.

Please help us to ensure that this remains the case by being extra cautious over the next week. The last thing I want to have to do is to tell people they have to self-isolate over the Christmas holidays. I will send the letter through after this notification.

Help us to keep everyone safe.

Kind regards Ms Westcott Headteacher

FREE SCHOOL MEALS IN RECEPTION, YEAR 1 AND YEAR 2

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope you are well and keeping safe.

I wanted to write to parents/carers of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 in particular about eligibility for benefits related Free School Meals. There sometimes an understandable confusion about Free School Meals in Reception, Year 1 and Year because all the children get a free school meal through a scheme called Universal Infant Free School Meals.

As a school, we get additional funding to support the learning and curriculum for every child that is eligible for benefits related free school meals. We use this additional funding in a variety of ways – you can how we spend this on our website here

So, if your child is in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2, please do consider applying so that the school can receive additional funding but more importantly you can get the food vouchers you are entitled to over Christmas.

If you claim the following benefits, you may be eligible for benefits related Free School Meals and so also eligible for Christmas Food Vouchers:

• Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)

• Income Support

• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance

• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999

• The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit

• Child Tax Credit only, if your annual household income (assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) isn’t over £16,190.

If you think you might be eligible, go to www.eastsussex.gov.uk/educationandlearning/schools/school-life/meals/free and complete the online application. If you need any help with this, please do contact the school and someone will be able to help you.

If you find out that you are eligible for Free School Meals, East Sussex County Council will then issue you your Christmas Food Voucher.

I hope this helps you – but do contact the school office, office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk  and we will try our best to help you.

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – CHRISTMAS FOOD VOUCHERS

 

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope you are well and keeping safe. I have ordered everyone’s food vouchers whose children are eligible for benefits related Free School Meals.


How much will I get?

Each child is eligible for £15 per child, per week – so a total of £30 per child for the Christmas holiday break. 

If you have 1 child, you will receive 1 £30 voucher 

If you have 2 children, you will receive 2 £30 vouchers 

If you have 3 children, you will receive 3 £30 vouchers 

If you have 4 children, you will receive 4 £30 vouchers 

How will I receive them? 

You will get an e-mail from a company called Huggg who are the voucher providers that East Sussex County Council have chosen to deliver these vouchers. Please make sure you regularly check your junk and spam inboxes to see if they have been delivered there. 

 

When will I receive them? 

I have ordered them today, so they should arrive within the next few days. If you have not received them by Tuesday, please e-mail the office and I will look into this for you. 

 

How do I redeem them? 

Once you have received the e-mail, follow the instructions and these will help you to download your voucher so that you can spend them at the supermarket. 

For more information, please see the Parent Guide 

 

Which supermarkets can I spend the vouchers in? 

Aldi, Asda, Iceland, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, McColls, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose.

For more information about this, including whether you can use the voucher online, please see the Parent Guide.

 

How can I find out if I am eligible for Christmas Food Voucher? 

You will need to apply for Free School Meals via the East Sussex website here. If you claim the following benefits, you may be eligible for Free School Meals and so also eligible for Christmas Food Vouchers: 

• Universal Credit – if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get) 

• Income Support 

• Income-based Jobseekers Allowance 

• Income-related Employment and Support Allowance 

• Support under Part VI of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999 

• The Guaranteed element of State Pension Credit 

• Child Tax Credit only, if your annual household income (assessed by HM Revenue & Customs) isn’t over £16,190. 

If you think you might be eligible, go to www.eastsussex.gov.uk/educationandlearning/schools/school-life/meals/free/  and complete the online application. If you need any help with this, please do contact the school and someone will be able to help you. 

 

If you find out that you are eligible for Free School Meals, East Sussex County Council will then issue you your Christmas Food Voucher. 

I hope this helps you – but do contact the school office, office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk and we will try our best to help you.

Friday 11th December

Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE

 

INSET day on Friday 18th December

You may have heard in the news this week that the Government announced that schools could use one of their INSET days this Friday. One of the reasons for this announcement is that schools have been asked to remain on call for Test and Trace purposes for 6 days following the end of term. By closing to children on Thursday 17th December, it would mean that the school would not need to be on call on Christmas Eve.

I have made the decision that we will be open on Friday 18th December as usual for the following reasons:

• It is too late to organise relevant and meaningful training for staff

• Too short notice to ask working parents to find additional childcare

• This is not additional holiday time for schools and we would rather be with the children than have online training

So to clarify, school is open as usual on Friday 18th December.

 

Test and Trace during the Christmas Holidays

In guidance released this week, schools have been asked to assist with Test and Trace for the first 6 days after schools have broken up.

The advice is as follows:

• If your child tests positive on Saturday 19th December or Sunday 20th December, please email the school office to let me know and I will contact the Local Authority and Public Health England

• If your child tests positive on Monday 21st, Tuesday 22nd, Wednesday 23rd or Thursday 24th December, please contact NHS Test and Trace directly – they will contact me to support the process and advise about communicating with parents

• I will be checking the office e-mail from Saturday 19th December to Thursday 24th December between 9am and 10am, then again between 4pm and 5pm to support with Test and Trace only.

• If your child tests positive from Friday 25th December to Sunday 3rd January, please contact NHS Test and Trace directly

• From Friday 25th December until Sunday 3rd January, the office e-mail will not be checked.

If there is a positive case and I need to inform families about this, I will do this via the school app. If you know any parents that do not have the app, please can you encourage them to download this. For more information about Test and Trace please visit  https://www.covid19.nhs.uk/ 


Christmas Food Vouchers

I am going to order these today. I will write to you separately about this with instructions about how to redeem the vouchers. I will be using the e-mail addresses we have in school for you to receive these vouchers. Help me to help you by making sure we know your most up to date e-mail address.

Friday 4th December

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE

The Government announced recently about supporting children eligible for benefits related free school meals over the Christmas Holiday. This is part of the Winter COVID fund that has been sent to all Local Authorities.

I received information this week about how these vouchers will be distributed to families in East Sussex and I will be attending a webinar next week to find out more and get training on how to order these vouchers.

My understanding is that the voucher is £30 per eligible child to cover the two weeks of the Christmas holidays (£15 per child per week). A different provider is going to be used this time for schools to access and deliver these vouchers to families before the school breaks up for the holidays. Once I know more about how this will work, I will write to you again.

These vouchers are only for those children in receipt of benefits related free school meals from Reception to Year 6. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 who get Universal Infant Free School Meals but whose family are not in receipt of certain benefits, will not eligible for these vouchers.

If you want to find out if your child is on our school data base as eligible for benefits related free school meals, please contact the school office.

If you think you might be eligible and not applied yet, please visit this website and make an application as soon as possible. https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/educationandlearning/schools/school-life/meals/free/ 

Friday 27th November 

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE

 

New Tier Measures

As you will probably now know, East Sussex will move into Tier 2 on 2nd December. The Government have published what restrictions are in place for each tier. You can read these here. The new tier measures do not mean there are any changes to the school arrangements and we will continue to keep children safe through year group bubbles, staggered starts/finishes, washing hands and not mixing during the school day.

Please continue to support us in the following ways:

• Only one parent/carer should be dropping off/collecting their child(ren) from school.

• Please make sure you drop off/pick up at the allocated times

• Please ensure your child(ren) remain with you at all times when queuing to get on the school site and when waiting on the playground.

• Once your child is released by their class teacher we are relying on your support to maintain social distancing between year groups.

• Please do not stop to have conversations with other families once you have collected your children as this causes congestion and reduces the space to socially distance.

• Although the official government guidance does not make it a requirement for adults to wear face coverings in schools, we would encourage our parents and carers to consider wearing a face mask whilst on the school site.

 

Ventilation in school

One of the key measures to lower the risk of the virus spreading is ensuring that classrooms are well ventilated as much as possible. This has been happening since the children returned in September. This will continue to happen this term even though the weather is getting colder. So if you would like to send your child in with extra layers to keep them warm during this time, you are very welcome to do so. This could be an extra jumper, fleece or hoodie that children can put on if they are starting feel cold – this doesn’t have to be school uniform colours. Children can keep these on their pegs or in their PE bags that they can get if needed. Thank you for your support with this. If you need any additional school jumpers or coats, please do get in touch with our PTFA Chair, Louise Clarkson - meridianptfa@gmail.com or visit their Facebook Page

 

Google Classroom – Live Teaching

It is an expectation if your child is self-isolating due to a positive test in your household that they access the online learning through Google Classroom. All the teachers have been amazing in learning how to use this online platform to ensure that children do not fall behind. If you need any help with this, please do speak to your child’s classteacher.

We will be live teaching for children when:

• Your child is well but has to self-isolate for 14 days due to a positive test outcome in your household.

• A year group bubble has to close due to a positive test outcome for a pupil or teacher in that year group

• There is a whole/partial school closure and all/most children have to remain at home.

 

What to do if someone in your household has symptoms

A reminder, that if anyone in your household develops symptoms of COVID-19, the whole household needs to self-isolate – this means children must stay at home. The person with symptoms needs to get a test and then the whole household needs to wait for the test results. If the results are negative, the children can return to school. If the results are positive, the whole household, including children, will need to continue to self isolate.

The Government states: “Stay at home if you have symptoms If you’re getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result. This also applies to anyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone - or just with their children - can meet people from 1 other household). You must also self-isolate if you cannot get a test.”

Please visit NHS 111 online for advice about symptoms and getting a test

Friday 6th November 

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE

 

New Lockdown Measures

As you will know, from Thursday 5th November there are new lockdown measures in place across England. The latest update from the Government about these new measures states that schools remain open and current risk assessments need to continue to be in place. “Schools continue to remain open for all children and young people as they have since the start of the autumn term for the duration of the national restrictions. Being at school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. Time spent out of school is detrimental for children’s cognitive and academic development, particularly for disadvantaged children. This impact can affect both current levels of education, and children’s future ability to learn. It continues to be our aim that all pupils, in all year groups, remain in school full-time.” So all children are expected to attend school during this lockdown. I will update you further should this situation change. 

 

Safety measures

Please can I remind everyone of the following guidance put in place in order to keep our staff, your children and yourselves safe.

· Only one parent/carer should be dropping off / collecting their child(ren) from school.

· Please make sure you drop off at the allocated times

· Please ensure your child(ren) remain with you at all times when queuing to get on the school site and when waiting on the playground.

· Once your child is released by their class teacher we are relying on your support to maintain social distancing between year groups.

· Please do not stop to have conversations with other families once you have collected your children as this causes congestion and reduces the space to socially distance.

· Although the official government guidance does not make it a requirement for adults to wear face coverings in schools, we would encourage our parents and carers to consider wearing a face mask whilst on the school site. 

 

Ventilation in school

One of the key measures to lower the risk of the virus spreading is ensuring that classrooms are well ventilated as much as possible. This has been happening since the children returned in September. This will continue to happen this term even though the weather is getting colder. So if you would like to send your child in with extra layers to keep them warm during this time, you are very welcome to do so. This could be an extra jumper, fleece or hoodie that children can put on if they are starting feel cold – this doesn’t have to be school uniform colours. Children can keep these on their pegs or in their PE bags that they can get if needed. Thank you for your support with this. 

If you need any additional school jumpers or coats, please do get in touch with our PTFA Chair, Louise Clarkson - meridianptfa@gmail.com or visit their Facebook Page here

 

Google Classroom – Live Teaching

One of the expectations of all schools is to have a Remote Learning strategy in place to support children’s learning. The teachers have been busy learning and practising how to use Google Classroom for live teaching should this be needed. So please do remember to make sure you are able to log on to Google Classroom. If you are having trouble with this, please do contact your child’s class teacher.

We will be offering live teaching when:

• Your child is well but has to self-isolate for 14 days due to a positive test outcome in your household .

• A year group bubble has to close due to a positive test outcome for a pupil or teacher in that year group

• There is a whole/partial school closure and all/most children have to remain at home.

 

Childcare Arrangements

I have been asked by some parents about whether or not they can still ask family (who don’t live with you) and friends to drop off and pick up each other’s children under these new lockdown measures. Although there is no specific school related guidance, it states in the National Restrictions document that: “Meeting others safely In general, you must not meet people socially. However, you can exercise or meet in a public, outdoors space with people you live with, your support bubble (or as part of a childcare bubble), or with one other person. You should minimise time spent outside your home. When around other people, stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household - meaning the people you live with - or your support bubble. Where this is not possible, stay 1 metre apart with extra precautions (e.g. wearing a face covering). You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household or support bubble.

A support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight in each other’s households, and visit outdoor public places together.

 

You can exercise or visit outdoor public places with:

• the people you live with

• your support bubble

• or, when on your own, 1 person from another household. Children under 5, as well as disabled people dependent on round-the-clock care are not counted towards the limit on two people meeting outside”

Also:
“Parents are able to form a childcare bubble with one other household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under”

So in order to follow these guidelines and keep everyone safe, we would request that you do not ask your family (who do not live with you) or friends to drop off and collect your children unless you have formed a childcare bubble with that one household

2nd November - Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE

Message sent out via the School Jotter

Dear Parents & Carers,

Welcome back. We hope you had a restful half term break.

You will have no doubt seen the Prime Minsters announcement over the weekend about new measures being introduced from Thursday 5th November. We will be writing to update you as and when we receive guidance from the Department for Education.

In the meantime please can we remind you all of the following measures the school has put in place to keep our staff, your children and yourselves safe:

· Only one parent/carer should be dropping off / collecting their children from school.

· Please make sure you drop off at the allocated times.

· Please ensure your children remain with you at all times when queuing to get on the school site and when waiting on the playground.

· Once your child is released by their class teacher we are relying on your support to maintain social distancing between year groups .

· Please do not stop to have conversations with other families once you have collected your children as this causes congestion and reduces the space to socially distance.

· Although the government guidance does not make it a requirement for adults to wear face coverings in schools, we would encourage our parents and carers to wear a face mask whilst on the school site.

 

Thank you for your support in keeping everyone in our community safe.

23rd October - Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE

Thank you all for your support this term in keeping everyone safe when we fully re-opened to all the children in September. As a community we have shown real commitment in following the Government guidance and our school risk assessments to keep everyone safe. I know all the staff at Meridian have felt really supported by you all.

 

Reception Pick up times

A particular thank you to our Reception parents for adapting to the new staggered pick-up times. Feedback from families and school staff as well as observing at the end of the day would indicate the area is now far less congested which in turn is supporting social distancing measures and ultimately ensuring we are doing everything we can to do our bit in limiting the impact of the virus.

 

Safety measures for Term 2

As I am sure you will be aware that, whilst we remain at Tier 1, there continues to be a rise in cases in Brighton and Hove, as well as our local area with some schools nearby closing bubbles. Although we have not had to do this yet, we remain vigilant at all times and so it would be foolish to relax any of our strategies as set out in our reopening plan. At this time we would like to remind everyone of the following guidance put in place in order to keep our staff, your children and yourselves safe.

· Only one parent/carer should be dropping off / collecting their child(ren) from school.

· Please make sure you drop off at the allocated times

· Please ensure your child(ren) remain with you at all times when queuing to get on the school site and when waiting on the playground.

· Once your child is released by their class teacher we are relying on your support to maintain social distancing between year groups.

· Please do not stop to have conversations with other families once you have collected your children as this causes congestion and reduces the space to socially distance.

· Although the official government guidance does not make it a requirement for adults to wear face coverings in schools, we would encourage our parents and carers to consider wearing a face mask whilst on the school site. Please be advised that we cannot  enforce this. However, with the  fantastic community response we’ve witnessed so far we are sure you understand we’re only suggesting this in order to keep everyone safe.

 

Google Classroom

Please do remember to make sure you are able to log on to Google Classroom to access the children’s homework. If you are having trouble with this, please do contact your child’s class teacher. If there is a year group bubble closure, a local lockdown or national ‘circuit breaker’ the children will be taught through Google Classroom. So it is really important to practise now logging on so that you are ready for online learning should that be necessary.

 

Symptoms

If you are concerned that your child has symptoms, please contact NHS119 online for advice. Please do not call the school to ask for advice as we know only as much as you do. Please contact the NHS who will be able support you. If their advice is keep your child off school and get a test, please follow this advice and inform the school. If the test is negative, your child can return to school. If the test is positive, then you must let the school know immediately so that we can inform the Local Authority and the Department for Education.

 

I will write to you again soon with any further updates or changes to guidance.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards

Ms. Claire Westcott

Friday 9th October - Parent Consultations

As you are aware it will not be possible to meet face to face this term. However, we still value the importance in communicating with our families and are keen to update you with the progress your child has made this term. Therefore, you will need to log into your child’s Google Classroom account to attend the meeting. Letters inviting you to these meetings were sent out in September. If you have returned the slip to your child's teacher they will be sending out confirmation of the date and time of your appointment via your child's Google Class room Gmail account. In the letter there are also instructions for how to access the virtual meeting. 

We have created a short video to support you accessing the meeting on this link

 

If you still need to book an appointment your child's teacher may still have some available slots so please contact them on the year group email. 

Nursery, Reception & Year 1/2/3

Dates available - Wednesday 21st October

Year 4/5/6

Dates available - Thursday 22nd October

 

 

Friday 2nd October - Covid-19 UPDATE

 

Public Health England Advice

The South East Public Health England has produced a document to support schools. In this document it states: “How to stop COVID-19 spreading COVID-19 is passed from person to person mainly by large respiratory droplets and direct contact (close unprotected contact, usually less than one metre). These droplets can be directly inhaled by the person or can land on surfaces which another person may touch which can lead to infection if they then touch their nose, mouth or eyes. These are the most important things you can do to protect yourself and others from coronavirus (COVID-19):

Do:

• Follow the government’s rules on social distancing

• 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 and before you eat

• 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

Don’t

• Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean”

 

So please remember the following:

Social Distancing

Thank you so much for your continued support with the staggered starts to the mornings. It is feeling much safer now that everyone is getting used to the routines.

 

Drop off times

Can I remind parents that we have staggered drop off times to limit the amount of mixing between year group bubbles and staggering the number of adults on the site at any one time. We are starting to get a few children arriving much later than their drop off time – please can you support the school by ensuring your children arrive at the right time:

Years 5 and 6 – 8.35am

Years 3 and 4 – 8.40am

Early Bird Nursery, Years 1 and 2 – 8.45am

Reception – 8.50am

Thank you for your support with this.

 

Pick up times

Thank you for your feedback about pick up times, in particular the crowding near Reception. From Monday 12th October, we are going to ask Reception parents to collect their children at 2.50pm to try and support social distancing measures at this particular pinch point. We will of course continue to monitor this and will keep you informed of any further changes.

Pick up times will now be:

Reception – 2.50pm from Reception play area (new arrangement)

Years 1 and 2 – 3.00pm from smaller playground (no changes to arrangements)

Years 3 and 4 – 3.10pm from larger playground (no changes to arrangements)

Year 5 – 3.10pm from doors near Nursery (no changes to arrangements)

Year 6 – 3.10pm from smaller playground (no changes to arrangements)

Nursery – usual times (no changes to arrangements)


Speaking with teachers

Please can I remind everyone, that teachers are not available to speak with parents and carers at drop off time. Please leave a message with the Teaching Assistant or e-mail the dedicated year group e-mail address and teachers will get back to you when they are available. It is not appropriate to demand to speak to a teacher at this time as it places unnecessary stress on everyone.

Here are the year group e-mail addresses and apologies for sending out the wrong e-mail address for Nursery and Reception:

YearN@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 

YearR@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 

Year1@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 

Year2@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 

Year3@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk

Year4@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk

Year5@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk

Year6@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk

Thank you for your support with this.

 

Informing parents of suspected cases and confirmed cases

Advice from Public Health England is now that schools do not need to inform parents if staff/children are selfisolating and waiting for a test due to having possible COVID-19 symptoms. So we will no longer send letters out about suspected cases. We will send out letters about confirmed cases and any subsequent changes to year group bubbles.

 

Google Classroom

Please do remember to make sure you are able to log on to Google Classroom to access the children’s homework. If you are having trouble with this, please do contact your child’s class teacher. If there is a year group bubble closure, a local lockdown or national lockdown, the children will be taught through Google Classroom. So it is really important to practise now logging on so that you are ready for online learning should that be necessary.

Tuesday 29th September - Parent Curriculum Chats

As the start of each term we would normally invite our families into school to introduce ourselves and share with you our curriculum maps for the upcoming term. In order to follow government guidance this will not be possible so we have attempted to come up with the next best thing. Please see links below for your child’s year group to watch a short video sharing lots of information about what is going on this term.

Nursery

Reception

Year 1

Year 2

Year 3

Year 4

Year 5

Year 6

 

Thursday 24th September 2020

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – HELP TO KEEP EVERYONE AT MERIDIAN SAFE

 

Dear Parents and Carers

I do hope you are all keeping well and safe. I wanted to write to you today to update you and clarify some things that have arisen this week.

 

Test results update

So far, all those that were off school who have received COVID-19 test results, these results have been negative. Which is great news. I will update you on this situation again next week.

 

Test and Trace App

Today, NHS Test and Trace have introduced the new NHS COVID-19 App. The latest guidance states: “On 24 September, NHS Test and Trace will launch the NHS COVID-19 app to help control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It will do this by alerting people who may have been exposed to infection so that they can take action.” For more information click here

 

Social Distancing 

This continues to be a cause for concern for many parents/carers when they are dropping off and picking up. In the Prime Minister’s announcement this week on further measures to address the rising cases, he stated: It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

• HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for at least 20 seconds.

• FACE - Cover your face in enclosed spaces, especially where social distancing may be difficult and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

• SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place.

Please help us to keep everyone safe in our local community and support social distancing during drop off, pick ups and waiting on the playground.

 

What is a new continuous cough?

As the weather is starting to get colder, we will start to see more coughs and colds in school. This can then be confusing about deciding when a cough is possible symptom of coronavirus.  The NHS guidance states that “a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours”. If you are still unsure, please go to https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ for further advice. If parents/carers call the school to inform us that they are keeping children off because of a continuous cough which fits the criteria above, then we have to trust your judgement and that you have sought appropriate advice. If the advice is to get a test, then you must get a test and inform the school. You cannot then change your mind if your child stops coughing and send them back to school without having a test. If we see any children coughing continuously in school in line with NHS definition, we will seek NHS advice and if necessary send them home and ask you get a test for them. You must then get a test. I appreciate that most of us are not medical professionals, however, if we all follow the NHS advice, we will be able to keep each other safe.

 

Why do I need to get a test for my child?

The Government guidance for reopening schools is very clear that if your child is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, then parents need to get a test. The guidance states: "Schools must ensure that staff members and parents/carers understand that they need to be ready and willing to:

• book a test if they or their child are showing symptoms"

The reason we need children to get a test is to support the safety of the school community because we need to know about any confirmed cases. This is to enable me to get advice and make decisions about closing bubbles and sending children home. If the test is negative, your child can come back to school. If the test is positive, I have to contact the Department for Education and East Sussex County Council to inform them and then close Year Group Bubbles.

 

Stay at Home Guidance

This guidance was updated yesterday. You can read it here. It is really useful to read should some in your household develop symptoms compatible with COVID-19.

 

I will write to you again soon with any further updates or changes to guidance.

Thank you for your continued support.

Kind regards

Ms. Claire Westcott

Headteacher

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-youhave-coronavirus/ 

https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19?StartParameter 

Friday 18th September

Remote Learning - Google Classroom

 

Remote Learning Letter

Introduction to Google Classroom

Looking at the activities

Friday 18th September 2020

Re: Covid 19 – UPDATE

 

 

Test results update

So far, all those that were off school who have received COVID-19 test results, these results have been negative. Which is great news. I will update you on this situation again next week.

 

Drop off and Pick up
Thank you to everyone who is supporting the school during drop off and pick up times. Please can everyone remember to follow social distancing expectations with others around them to help keep everyone safe. If you are dropping off children at different times, you are welcome to wait on one of the playgrounds until the next drop off time. If you are waiting to drop off a Reception child, please also wait on one of the playgrounds rather than by the Reception play area as this pathway can become quite congested.

 

One-way system

A few parents have questioned the decision to remove the one-way system now the school is fully re-opened. As part of our many discussions about re-opening safely for all children, we decided that the one-way system would no longer be suitable now that the Cripps Avenue entrance is open. We will continue to review the situation and if any changes need to be made, I will inform you.

 

Social Distancing
I am getting increasing numbers of comments and e-mails about the lack of social distancing at drop off and pick up times. Please can I remind everyone that we all have a personal responsibility to keep each other safe. The school team are not in the position to remind adults to do this – we have to rely on everyone understanding and respecting social distancing measures. You may have heard on the news that the number of confirmed cases of Coronavirus COVID-19 is rising again at the
moment and it is important everyone is mindful of this. The last thing any of us want is a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Meridian because that will result in children being sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. Please help us to keep everyone safe.

The latest Government guidance states:

“You should continue to avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone you do not live with or who is not in your support bubble – even inside other people’s homes. It is critical that everybody observes the following key behaviours:

• HANDS - Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.

• FACE - Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.

• SPACE - Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).”

For more information go to Staying alert and safe 

Why do I need to get a test for my child?

The Government guidance for reopening schools is very clear that if your child is displaying COVID-19 symptoms, then parents need to get a test.

The guidance states: "Schools must ensure that staff members and parents/carers understand that they need to be ready and willing to:

• book a test if they or their child are showing symptoms"

The reason we need children to get a test is to support the safety of the school community because we need to know about any confirmed cases. This is to enable me to get advice and make decisions about closing bubbles and sending children home.

 

What are the symptoms I need to look out for?

According to the NHS website:

“Symptoms of coronavirus in children The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

• a high temperature

• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours

• a loss or change to sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal”

 

What happens if the test result is negative?

If the result is negative, then if your child is well enough, they can come straight back to school without completing the full 10 days self-isolation.

 

What happens if the test result is positive?

If the test result is positive, then you need to contact the school as soon as possible. We then have to contact the Department for Education helpline and the Local Authority who will then support the school in making decisions about sending Year Group Bubbles home to self-isolate. As soon as any decisions are made, the school will contact parents/carers to inform them.

 

I am having trouble getting a test for my child. What should I do?

Nationally there is a shortage of tests available and I know that some people have really struggled to get a test. The school’s advice is to keep on trying until such time as you can get one. The school needs to know the outcome of the test to enable any decisions to be made about the other children in the Year Group bubble. If you either have not managed to get a test or the results have not arrived after the 10 day isolation period is over, please contact the school and we will advise you what to do next.

 

My child’s cough/temperature has stopped and they are no longer feeling unwell but we haven’t had the test results back yet. Can my child come back to school?

Until such time as the test results come back, you will need to continue self-isolating for the 10 days. If after the 10 days you still have not received the test results, please contact the school and we will advise you what to do next.

 

How is the school supporting children’s education whilst they are self-isolating at home?

We have trained staff in using Google Classroom and a letter will be sent to parents about how to access this from next week. From October onwards, we will have plans in place to support remote learning for all children who are well but isolating at home. A separate letter will be sent out about this very soon.

 

I do hope this letter helps clarify the school’s position about how we have to manage any potential COVID-19 outbreaks.

 

Finally, a bit of a plea. I know that emotions are running high, particularly with the lack of tests available but I would like to remind everyone that the staff team at Meridian are working so hard to keep all the children safe whilst also catching up lost learning and teaching new things. There have been a small minority of parents/carers who have been aggressive, confrontational and unsupportive towards members of staff. Indeed, Mr. Doody and myself have both been sworn at, which I am sure everyone will agree is totally unacceptable. We are here for everyone and committed to supporting everyone through these difficult times, but it is very disheartening to be treated like this when we trying our best to keep everyone safe.

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – Getting a test

Thursday 17th September 


I am writing to you all to remind you that if someone in your household displays any of the main coronavirus symptoms, the whole household needs to self-isolate and the person showing the symptoms must get a test.

The most recent Government guidance states: "If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, which sets out that they should self isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19)"

If this test is negative, then the household can return to school/work.

If this test is positive, then the household must self-isolate and should any further members of the household show symptoms, then they must get a test.

I appreciate that at the moment it is incredibly hard for people to get hold of a test but the school needs to know there has been a negative test before children are allowed back in school.

Should your child become sick or need to self-isolate, please report this to us in the usual way by calling the school office and speaking to a member of the office team or leave a message on the absence line.

Once you have got the test results, please inform school as soon as possible so that we can welcome your child back to school.

By the beginning of October, we will have remote learning in place to ensure children are not missing out on their education. This remote learning will be for:

• children who are self-isolating for 14 days or more due to a positive test in the household

• children who are quarantining for 14 days due to travelling abroad to certain countries

• if a year group bubble closes

• if there is a local or national lockdown

We will send out more information about this very soon, including how to access national online learning resources if your child is at home whilst the family is awaiting test/test results.

 

Useful Links

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/ 

https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19?StartParameter 

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – COVID-19 Symptoms

Monday 14th September 

Dear Parents/Carers,
I am writing to let you know that some children who attend Meridian are staying at home after developing symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19) or are living with someone who has developed symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19). In line with current government guidance, they are now self-isolating for 10 days and arranging with NHS.UK to have a test. The school remains open. None of the individuals have been on the premises while experiencing symptoms, but we will continue cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and objects across the school to help prevent any viruses spreading in line with Government guidance.

As well as thorough cleaning throughout the day, we’re also continuing to:

• oversee regular hand-washing and/or the use of hand sanitisers

• comfort and support pupils through lessons and assemblies seeking to improve their understanding of hygiene and how to deal with any anxiety

• review our school policies, risk assessments and the arrangements for our school day in line with the most up-to-date Department for Education guidance

We appreciate that you may be concerned, but we have no current reason to expect any increased risk to your child and you should continue sending them in if they are feeling well.

The NHS website gives details about how to check for the main coronavirus symptoms.

As a reminder: if you, your child or anyone you live with develops any of the following symptoms:

• A new, continuous cough and/or

• A high temperature and/or

• A loss or change to their sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

then you must follow Government guidance to stay at home.

Should your child become sick or need to self-isolate, please report this to us in the usual way by calling the school office and speaking to a member of the office team or leave a message on the absence line.

You can use NHS 111 online if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next or read the Government guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested

I have also attached a flow chart to support you with making decisions if you, your child or a member of your household develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19)

If you have any other questions or concerns, please get in touch with the school via office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 

I appreciate that this is a difficult and worrying time, and would like to thank everyone for their continued support.

 

 

Friday 11th September 2020
Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – STAGGERED DROP OFFS

We have enjoyed welcoming everyone back to school this week and as part of our ongoing commitment to keeping everyone safe, the Leadership Team met today to review our risk assessments and re-opening plan. I noticed this week that the staggered drop off time from the Roderick Avenue main entrance has had a few teething problems and so we have decided to make the following changes to prevent crowding on the pathway leading into school:

  1. Parents/Carers and children will only be able to access the path to the new gates to queue at their allocated times. 8.35am – Years 5 and 6; 8.40am Years 3 and 4; 8.45am Early Bird Nursery, Year 1 and Year 2; 8.50am Reception
  2. Parents/Carers dropping children off to walk independently into school will need to drop off at the top of the pathway and not walk down to accompany them to the gate as this then halts the flow of people.
  3. Parents/Carers will need to wait on Roderick Avenue until the next group is called to come into school. Please queue with social distancing measures in mind or wait in/near cars until your allotted time.
  4. If you are dropping off siblings, you can bring both children into the school grounds and wait safely on the playgrounds until it your child’s drop off time.
  5. Please do not wait on the grass banks or pathway as it can block access for those coming in.

We also reviewed the drop off via Cripps Avenue and at the moment we feel that the system here does not need any adjustments, however we will continue to monitor and inform you of any changes should they arise.

Thank you to everyone for your support and understanding with this and for the feedback we have received about the new drop off arrangements. We will continue to review all processes to support the safety of everyone.

Friday 11th September 2020
Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – FACE COVERINGS IN SCHOOL

We have noticed that some children are wearing Face Coverings since returning to school and if this is something that you and your child want to do, that is fine. However, it is really important that your child is able to manage their face coverings independently following the Government guidance set out below.

In the guidance about re-opening schools, it states: “Primary school children will not need to wear a face covering” and “Based on current evidence and the measures the schools are already putting in place, such as the system of controls and consistent bubbles, face covering will not be necessary in the classroom even where social distancing is not possible”

There is Government guidance about safe wearing and removal of face coverings. “Schools should have a process for removing face coverings when those who use face coverings arrive at school and when face coverings are worn at school in certain circumstances.”

“Safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn ad the face covering should be replaced carefully. Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing it and they must dispose of temporary face coverings in a ‘black bag’ waste bin (not recycling bin) or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again”

If you would like your child to continue wearing a face mask, please can you ensure that your child is able to do these steps independently:

  1. If your child walks to school with a face covering on they will need to wash their hands immediately on entry to school, remove their face covering correctly and put temporary face covering in the lidded bin in the classroom or if using a reusable face covering put this in a saleable plastic bag to be kept in their school bag to be taken home for washing or disposal. They will then need to wash their hands again before they put on a new face covering correctly.
  2. If putting a mask on in school, your child will need to wash their hands, put the mask on correctly and independently and then wash their hands afterwards.
  3. Throughout the day if they need to remove their face covering, they will need to wash their hands, remove it independently and correctly, place in a sealable bag and then wash their hands. To put it back on again, they will need to wash their hands, put the covering on correctly and independently and then wash their hands.
  4. If the face covering becomes damp, they will need to repeat the instructions above to remove and replace with a new face covering I am sure you will appreciate that school staff are not able to help with this process to keep themselves
    and others save. So if you would like your child to wear a mask, they will need to be able to do the above steps completely independently.

For instructions about how to put a face covering on correctly, please visit https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-53395513 

Or there is written Government guidance here on how to wear a face covering: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-makeyour-own/face-coverings-when-to-wear-one-and-how-to-make-your-own 

Help us to keep everyone safe by making sure your child can manage their face coverings independently – so please practise at home to help them get everything right.

If teachers notice that you child is not able to manage their face covering in school, they will contact you and ask that your child does not wear their face covering until they are able to manage this independently.

Thank you for your support with this matter.

Friday 4th September 2020

See below the video about drop off and pick up arrangements starting next week (with guest appearances from a neighbour's cat and another neighbour's football!)

September 2020 Reopening

Welcome Back Arrangements


I am really looking forward to welcoming everyone back from Monday 7th September. Here are the arrangements that will be in place to support everyone in keeping safe once school is open next week.

School Start dates

Here are the dates for when the children start back:

Year 6 and Nursery – Monday 7th September

Year 5 – Tuesday 8th September

Year 4 – Wednesday 9th September

Year 3 – Thursday 10th September

Year 2 – Friday 11th September

Year 1 – Monday 14th September

Reception children will start back at school from Tuesday 8th September – please see the separate letter that was sent
out about Group start dates or go to https://www.meridianschool.co.uk/parents/all-newsletters 

Year Group Bubbles

All the children will be in Year Group bubbles once they start back. This will mean that children will be able to mix together across year group classes and will make break times much easier for the school to manage with children having larger spaces to mix and play together. This will also allow friendships across year group classes to remain as the children will continue to be able to play with each other in this year group bubble. Year Group bubbles will not be able to mix together (e.g. Year 3 bubble cannot mix with Year 4 bubble). Most teachers and teaching assistants will stay in these Year Group bubbles, but some will move between bubbles in order to ensure the children are getting the lessons and support that they need.

 

Social Distancing Measures

Social distancing measures will remain in place wherever possible and we will, in line with Government guidance, avoid having large groups of children together or large groups of people gathering together. The Year Group bubbles will need to maintain social distancing from other Year Group bubbles so break times and lunchtimes will support the year group bubbles not to mix. Parents and carers will need to continue to support social distancing at drop off and pick up times. It is recognised that younger children find social distancing difficult and so it is ok for children not to. All children will be encouraged not to touch each other’s faces and avoid physical contact with each other. Parents and Carers will not able to come into the school building during drop off, pick ups or during the day (unless for a prearranged appointment)

 

Face Masks

The current Government guidance is that Primary aged children do not need to wear face masks. Staff in Primary Schools do not have to wear face masks but some may choose to do so when moving around the school building

 

Drop off and Pick Ups

This is one of the most important changes that we are making to support everyone in minimising risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Drop Offs
The new front gate and the back gate will now both be open for drop off. However there will be staggered times for children to start school. It is vital that parents are prompt with these times to avoid increases in numbers and to support minimising contact.

Years 5 and 6 – drop off time is now 8.35am

Years 3 and 4 – drop off time is now 8.40am

Years 1 and 2 – drop off time is now 8.45am

Reception – drop off time is now 8.50am

At these times, a member of staff on the gate will call the appropriate year groups in to be dropped off. All children and parents will need to form a socially distanced queue at both entrances to support keeping everyone safe. If you miss your allotted time, you will need to join the end of the queue and wait until the next time. Please do not walk down the side of the queue if you are late as this does not support social distancing. Once through the gates, there will no longer be a one way system, but there will be zoned areas where you will need to drop your child off and they will walk independently into the school building. Please note, parents and carers will no longer be able to support their children into the school building.
Teaching Assistants will be around to support children into school if needed. However, please respect social distancing expectations to keep everyone safe. Teachers will not be available to speak with parents and carers in the morning as they will be in the classrooms meeting and greeting the children but you are welcome to either give a message to a Teaching Assistant or e-mail/call the office to get a message to them. You are still welcome to drop your children off at the gate and allow them to walk into school independently. This includes the new front gate as the car park will remain closed to parents, carers and taxis. Some of our younger children have really enjoyed saying goodbye at the gate and then walking in by themselves!
For our older children in Years 5 and 6 who might walk to school on their own, they must not arrive at school before 8.30am as they will be unattended. If your child does arrive too soon, we will call you and ask that this does not happen again. On their first day back, it would probably be a good idea if a parent/carer accompanied them to help them understand the new rules and expectations in the morning. If you have several children to drop off in the morning, you are welcome to walk in with all the children and then wait on the playgrounds (safely distanced) until the allotted time. Please keep all children with you at all times.

Pick Up

Pick up times remain the same:

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 – 3pm

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 – 3.10pm Years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6 – You will need to wait on the appropriate playground in a socially distanced way until the children come out into the zoned off areas to be released back to you. Please do not enter the zoned areas.
Please do not allow younger children to climb on the playground equipment as these will only be cleaned on a Friday at the end of the week so we cannot guarantee children’s safety.

Reception – You will need to wait near the Reception outdoor play area – please do not enter this area.

Year 5 – You will need to wait at the top of the stairs near the Nursery.

Nursery

We will be going back to our usual Nursery times:

8.45am – Early Bird session – please join the queue with the Year 1 and Year 2 parents

9.15am – Morning session 12.15pm

Afternoon session 3.15pm –

 

End of the day

You will need to access 9.15am onwards via the new gate. Please buzz the office for entrance to the school grounds.

 

Car Park

The car park will remain closed to parents, carers and taxis. This is to support children being able to walk independently into the school.

 

Classroom organisation 

Wherever possible from Year 1 upwards, children will be on tables facing the front rather than group tables to support Government recommendations “. . . seating pupils side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or side on”. All in Year 1 upwards will have their own individual resources (e.g. pencil, ruler, scissors) to limit the sharing of regularly used items. Nursery and Reception will continue to share a larger range of resources but these will be washed regularly in the washing machine or dishwasher to support hygiene.

 

Playtimes and Lunchtimes

Playtimes and lunchtimes will be staggered to avoid the year group bubbles coming into direct contact with each other. The playgrounds and field will be zoned to support the children to know where they can play. Each year group bubble will be supported by adults as they usually are and First Aiders will continue to support all children outside. The outdoor equipment will be put on a rota to allow children to have imaginative play and then this will be cleaned on a Friday for the next group to have the following week. All children will eat their lunch in their classrooms. The kitchen will re-open and hot food can be ordered and will be taken to the children to eat in their classrooms by an adult. Once the routines are in place and understood by all the children, the older children may be able to collect their hot lunch from the kitchen and take it to their classroom independently. Reception will eat in the hall with adult support to help them get used to being here ready for when we hopefully can return to having lunch altogether. Children can bring in their own lunchboxes if they have a packed lunch as these will be stored within their year group bubble. Please make sure these have their names on.

 

Water Bottles

All children must bring in their own named water bottle as the water fountains will not be available. Drinking water is available in all areas of the school so that these water bottles can be refilled. Please do not send your child into school with fruit juices or squash – water only. If you are worried about this, please do contact your child’s class teacher about how we can support your child with drinking water.

 

School Uniform

School Uniform will be re-instated from September and it is an expectation that all children are in the correct uniform when we start back next week. If you need a reminder, please do go to the school website. The PTFA have got some great second hand and nearly new school uniform to donate to families – please contact Louise Clarkson (PTFA Chair) via the Friends of Meridian PTFA Facebook page. Please make sure all school uniform is named.

 

Bags

Children are able to bring in their book bags and take home reading books from September. Other bags for their belongings can be brought into school but children will not be able to bring in toys or other equipment from home.

 

PE Kit

Most of our PE lessons will be outside wherever possible, so children will need to bring in their PE kits from September onwards. All PE kits will be sent home on a Friday for washing before bringing back to school on Monday. Please make sure your child’s PE kit is named.


Forest School kit

Forest School kit will be needed too as these important outdoor lessons will continue in the Autumn. All Forest School kits will be sent home weekly for washing before bringing back to school the following week. Wellies can stay in school as children can access these when playing on the field. Some year groups may be able to come to school in their Forest School kits. This information will be shared with you in the new term. Please make sure your child’s kit is named.


Lost Property

We are not going to be able to operate a lost property system any more as this will not support our safety measures. Please make sure all your child’s clothing is named – this includes coats, hats, gloves and scarves. If teachers notice that items have not been named, they will contact you and advise you to do so. Alternatively, with your permission, teachers can write names on labels with a permanent marker to support your child not losing their belongings.

 

Travelling to school

The Government is encouraging parents to walk or cycle to school wherever possible and this is something we would encourage too. If you do use public transport, please read the Government’s advice: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronaviruscovid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

In the updated guidance for parents, it states: If your child needs to share a car to school with someone outside of their support bubble or household, they should share with the same people each time; open the windows for ventilation; if over the age of 11, wear a face covering.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/whatparents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-andcolleges-in-the-autumn-term  

 

Wednesday 22nd July - September 2020 Reopening

 

This is the final update about the September re-opening before the school closes for the Summer Holidays.

Drop off and Pick up maps

This shows where the drop off entrances are and the pick up areas on the playgrounds. Please do have a look at these as they will help you get ready for September. At the beginning of next term, we will also be filming the areas to support everyone when they are coming back with the new systems and expectations.

Drop off entrances

Nursery – morning session – wooden gate; afternoon session – double doors by the Nursery building

Reception – the usual entrance with children being dropped off into the outside Reception play area

Year 1 – double doors at the top of the stairs accessed via the smaller playground zoned area

Year 2 – drop off at the bottom of the slope to the outside cabin classrooms

Year 3 – double doors at the top of the stairs accessed via the larger playground zoned area

Year 4 – double doors at the side of the school near the field – 4Y will walk through the doors and access their classroom via the internal staircase.

Year 5 – double doors by the Nursery building accessed by the steps near the main office – parents to stay at the top of the stairs

Year 6 – single door opposite outdoor cabins – 6H will walk in this way and access their classroom via the internal staircase

Pick Up areas

Nursery – end of morning session – double doors by the Nursery building; afternoon session – wooden gate

Reception – children wait in Reception outdoor play area and parents wait by the fence

Year 1 – children will wait in zoned area on smaller playground

Year 2 – children will wait in zoned area on smaller playground

Year 3 – children will wait in zoned area on larger playground

Year 4 – children will wait in zoned area on larger playground

Year 5 – children will wait in/leave from double doors by the Nursery building – parents to wait at the top of the stairs

Year 6 – children will wait in/leave from zoned area on smaller playground.

There will be adults around every morning in the zoned areas to support children coming into school and to help everyone understand where to go.

Public Transport

If you do use public transport to come to school, children will need to remove their masks and put them in a plastic bag to either go home with you or be kept in their school bag. Children will not be able to wear the same mask into school that they used on public transport.

Swimming

We have made the decision to cancel swimming lessons for the Autumn term in case there are continued restrictions in place. We will be looking at alternative ways to support school swimming lessons and hope to be able to do these again in the Spring terms.

Attendance

It is an expectation that all children return to school in September and the usual Attendance policy and procedures will be in place to support children’s education. Please don’t forget to call in school if your child is off sick and then send in a written note to confirm this absence on their return. If you need any support with this, please do speak with Mrs. Dray our Admissions and Attendance Officer in the school office.

When the school returns in September, I will send out more information and reminders about the new systems and expectations for parents, carers and children to ensure that everyone is kept safe.

Wednesday 22nd July - Nursery children starting in September 2020

If your child is starting Nursery in September please click here for a tour. 

Friday 17th July - Transition Booklets

We have made some transition booklets for the children in Year 1 - Year 6 next year. In these books, the children can see pictures of their new teacher and teaching assistants along with pictures of their new classroom, cloakroom, toilets and school entrance. Transition books can really help children to prepare for a new school year and to settle some of the worries or questions they may have about their new year group. Please encourage your child to look through their transition book at different points over the summer. They are a really good way of starting a conversation about what is new and what will stay the same next year. 

1HS - Mrs Halls & Mrs Sagar

1T - Ms Treglown

2M - Mrs Mackay

2P - Miss Platt

3B - Miss Butcher

3D - Miss Dew

4M - Miss Moffat

4PS - Mrs Passingham Smith

4Y - Miss Yates

5JB - Mrs Jackson & Ms Baldrian

5P - Miss Pulleine

6dP - Mr de Panama

6H - Miss Howell

6R - Miss Roberts

 

Don't forget you can also watch our meet the teacher videos here

 

Tuesday 14th July - Coronavirus Update

 Letter from Ms Westcott sent out via app/website

As stated in previous letters, I have been working with the Leadership team and Governors to puttogether a plan for re-opening in September which I am able to share with you today. In the guidance it states that “In welcoming all children back this autumn, schools will be asked to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls . . . to reduce the risk of transmission”.

Protective measures

We will be following the guidance to minimise coronavirus (COVID-19) risks by following these protective measures set out by the Government:

Prevention

  1. Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
  2. Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
  3. Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  4. Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergent and bleach
  5. Minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible
  6. Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)

Numbers 1 – 4 must be in place in all schools, all the time

Number 5 must be properly considered and schools must put in place measures that suit their particular circumstances

Number 6 applies in specific circumstances

Response to any infection

7. Engage with Test and Trace process
8. Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
9. Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice

Numbers 7 to 9 must be followed in every case where they are relevant.

With this in mind, here is how we are going to support the children coming back to school in September.

 

School re-opening to all children

In order to support the children returning to school, learning new routines and helping with any worries, we will be welcoming children back full time from the following dates:

Year 6 and Nursery – Monday 7th September

Year 5 – Tuesday 8th September

Year 4 – Wednesday 9th September

Year 3 – Thursday 10th September

Year 2 – Friday 11th September

Year 1 – Monday 14th September

I am sure you will understand that having all 470+ children return on the same day under these unusual circumstances will be difficult to manage whilst trying ensuring ongoing social distancing measures. This will allow parents and children to understand the new routines for drop off and pick up in stages so that we can support everyone as best we can. The children will have a lot to learn when they come back and so we can support them by building up gradually to having all the children back in the building.

 

Reception staggered starts

These will continue to support children to have a settled start to school. A separate letter will be sent out with these final details.

 

Nursery

For children who already have a place at Nursery and attended prior to lockdown, they will start back on Monday 7th September. For new starters, we will be in contact soon about a starting date for your child.

 

‘Bubble’ Organisation

In line with Government guidance, we are now extending our ‘bubbles’ to be Year Group bubbles from September. This will mean that children will be able to mix together across year group classes and will make break times much easier for the school to manage with children having larger spaces to mix and play together. This will also allow friendships across year group classes to remain as the children will continue to be able to play with each other in this year group bubble. Year Group
bubbles will not be able to mix together (e.g. Year 3 bubble cannot mix with Year 4 bubble). The new guidance also states that teachers and Teaching Assistants can mix across all Year Group bubbles so this will allow for continued support for all children.

 

Social Distancing

Social distancing measures will remain in place wherever possible and we will, in line with Government guidance, avoid having large groups of children together or large groups of people gathering together. The Year Group bubbles will need to maintain social distancing from other Year Group bubbles so break times and lunchtimes will support the year group bubbles not to mix. Parents and carers will need to continue to support social distancing at drop off and pick up times. It is recognised that younger children find social distancing difficult and so it is ok for children not to social distance in their bubbles, although for some of our older children, we will be encouraging this. The Government states: “We recognise that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group.”

 

Classroom organisation

Wherever possible from Year 1 upwards, children will be on tables facing the front rather than group tables to support Government recommendations “. . . seating pupils side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or side on”. All in Year 1 upwards will have their own individual resources (e.g. pencil, ruler, scissors) to limit the sharing of regularly used items. Nursery and Reception will continue to share a larger range of resources but these will be washed regularly in the washing machine or dishwasher to support hygiene.

Children are able to bring in their book bags and take home reading books from September. PE kits and Forest School kits will also be able to be used again.

School Uniform will be re-instated from September and it is an expectation that all children are in the correct uniform when we start back in the autumn. If you need a reminder, please do go to the school website.

 

Handwashing

Regular handwashing will continue throughout the school day. I know that for some children, their hands were becoming really sore, so children are welcome to bring in hand cream but they will have to be able to manage this independently as staff are not able to support with this. If children want to bring in anti-bac, they can but they need to use this responsibly and independently – please note they will still be expected to wash their hands with soap and water. As a minimum children will wash their hands:
On arrival to school

After break time

Before lunchtime

After lunchtime

Every time they go to the toilet

 

Drop off and Pick up

This is one of the most important changes that we are making to support everyone in minimising risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

Drop Offs

The new front gate and the back gate will now both be open for drop off. However there will be staggered times for children to start school. It is vital that parents are prompt with these times to avoid increases in numbers and to support minimising contact.

Years 5 and 6 – drop off time is now 8.35am

Years 3 and 4 – drop off time is now 8.40am

Years 1 and 2 – drop off time is now 8.45am

Reception – drop off time is now 8.50am

At these times, a member of staff will call the appropriate year groups in to be dropped off. All children and parents will need to form a socially distanced queue at both entrances to support keeping everyone safe. If you miss your allotted time, you will need to join the end of the queue and wait until the next time. Please do not walk down the side of the queue if you are late as this does not support social distancing. Once through the gates, there will no longer be a one way system, but there will be zoned areas where you will need to drop your child off and they will walk independently into the school building. Please note, parents and carers will no longer be able to support their children into the school building. Teaching Assistants will be around to support children into school if needed. However, please respect social distancing expectations to keep everyone safe. Teachers will not be available to speak with parents and carers in the morning as they will be in the classrooms meeting and greeting the children but you are welcome to either give a message to a Teaching Assistant or e-mail/call the office to get a message to them. You are still welcome to drop your children off at the gate and allow them to walk into school independently. This includes the new front gate as the car park will remain closed to parents, carers and taxis. Some of our younger children have really enjoyed saying goodbye at the gate and then walking in by themselves!

For our older children in Years 5 and 6 who might walk to school on their own, they must not arrive at school before 8.30am as they will be unattended. If your child does arrive too soon, we will call you and ask that this does not happen again. On their first day back, it would probably be a good idea if a parent/carer accompanied them to help them understand the new rules and expectations in the morning.

If you have several children to drop off in the morning, you are welcome to walk in with all the children and then wait on the playgrounds (safely distanced) until the allotted time.

 

Pick up
Pick up times remain the same:

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 – 3pm

Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 – 3.10pm

You will need to wait on the appropriate playground in a socially distanced way until the children come out into the zoned off areas to be released back to you. Please do not enter the zoned areas. Please do not allow younger children to climb on the playground equipment as these will only be cleaned on a Friday at the end of the week so we cannot guarantee children’s safety. I will send out a separate letter about where you will need to drop children off and pick up and we are planning to have a video ready for September to support everyone to understand this system.

 

Nursery

We will be going back to our usual Nursery times:

8.45am – Early Bird session – please join the queue with the Year 1 and Year 2 parents

9.15am – Morning session

12.15pm – Afternoon session

3.15pm – End of the day

You will need to access 9.15am onwards via the new gate. Please buzz the office for entrance to the school grounds.

 

Car Park

The car park will remain closed to parents, carers and taxis. This is to support children being able to walk into school independently without additional vehicles coming and going.

 

Curriculum

Our first mini topic will be “All about me” to support children in coming back to school and having the chance to re-establish friendships and get to know each other again, as well as form relationships with new teachers. Forest school will continue as outdoor learning is still encouraged and I know how much the children love these sessions! PE will continue and will be mainly outside or in the hall. Music lessons will continue and will be based in the Annexe Room. We will continue to ensure the children are engaged with their learning and we will share the learning topics in September.

 

Events

We will not be having assemblies in school as we need to avoid large gatherings. However, we will try and do these virtually so that we can still foster our school community atmosphere. All other events, such as Parent Curriculum Chats, Parent Open Afternoons and Parent Evenings, will have to be managed in a different way to support social distancing measures. We will let you know more about this in September. 

 

Supporting children’s well-being

We recognise that for some children, they will not have not been in school since the end of March and so coming back to school may make them nervous. Children’s well-being will continue to be supported by their teacher through PSHE lessons and extra circle times in the first couple of weeks as well as the mini-topic where they can be supported in expressing their worries and concerns. Mrs. Ebeling will be continuing with Thrive for some children and we will have a new school counsellor in place in September too. If you are worried about your child, the first person to speak with is your child’s teacher who will be best placed to help in the first instance. 

 

Play times and Lunchtimes

Playtimes and lunchtimes will be staggered to avoid the year group bubbles coming into direct contact with each other. The playgrounds and field will be zoned to support the children to know where they can play. Each year group bubble will be supported by adults as they usually are and First Aiders will continue to support all children outside. The outdoor equipment will be put on a rota to allow children to have imaginative play and then this will be cleaned on a Friday for the next group to have the following week. All children will eat their lunch in their classrooms. The kitchen will re-open and hot food can be ordered and will be taken to the children to eat in their classrooms  by an adult. Once the routines are in place and understood by all the children, the older children may be able to collect their hot lunch from the kitchen and take it to their classroom independently. Reception will eat in the hall with adult support to help them get used to being here ready for when we hopefully can return to having lunch altogether.

All children must bring in their own named water bottle as the water fountains will not be available. Drinking water is available in all areas of the school so that these water bottles can be refilled. Please do not send your child into school with fruit juices or squash – water only. If you are worried about this, please do speak with your child’s class teacher about how we can support your child with drinking water.

 

Toilets

Reception and Year 1 children will be accompanied to the toilet by an adult to ensure that there are a minimum number of children accessing the toilets at any one time. For all other year groups, children will be taught how to wait outside if someone is accessing the toilets before going in themselves. For some children we will continue to support this if we feel it is needed.

 

Additional cleaning

I have met with EMCOR leads and East Sussex County Council and it has been agreed that in addition to a thorough clean at the end of each day, after lunchtimes, there will be additional cleaning of touch points (like door handles, light switches, bannisters) and toilets as well as emptying bins with tissues and hand towels. Additional cleaning resources will be in place in all classrooms to support wiping down tables and resources throughout the day. Toys in Nursery and Reception will be put in the washing machines and dishwashers to ensure these are cleaned regularly.

 

Attendance

The Government has made it clear that it is an expectation that all children need to attend school from September. They state “Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.” So from September, our usual Attendance Policy expectations will be in place. I will remind you of these expectations again in September. You can also read our Attendance Policy on the school website.

 

Coronavirus COVID 19 symptoms

If your child develops symptoms, such as a new, continuous cough or high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of smell or taste, you will be required to keep them off school, self isolate for 7 days and get a test. Tests can be booked online or you can call NHS 119. All other members of the household will also need to self-isolate for 14 days. If your child tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19) they can stop self-isolating and return to school. Other members of their household can also stop self-isolating and return to school. If your child still feels unwell, they could still have another virus, such as the flu, so please seek GP advice about whether they can return to school.

If your child tests positive, they must continue to self-isolate for at least 7 days form the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste (anosmia). This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 7-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue to self-isolate.

For more advice about this please go to: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-homeguidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection 

 

What happens if there is confirmed case of coronavirus in school?

Where a child or staff member tests positive, the year group bubble will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.

 

What happens next?

I appreciate that this is lot of information to take in and digest, so over the coming days, I will be writing to you again to provide further information and added details to some of the planned actions describe above.

If you have any questions, please do e-mail office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk and I will send out another FAQs sheet as soon as possible.

I am hoping to be able to meet with the Parent Council (virtually of course!) to answer any questions that they might have or that you might want them to ask on your behalf.

I cannot guarantee that I will know the answers to everything, but I will try my best to answer them based on the Government guidance.

I am really looking forward to welcoming all the children back in September and hope you can see all the hard work that has gone into planning this in a safe way for everyone.

 

Take care and best wishes to everyone

Kind regards

Ms. Claire Westcott

Friday 3rd July - Coronavirus Update

Letter from Ms Westcott sent out via the app/website

Back to school in September

I am pleased to say that all schools received the guidance yesterday about how to plan for reopening in September – so now I can start to work with the leadership team and Governors to write a plan that I will be able to share with you all very soon. It was announced that all children will be returning to school in September – which I know we all welcome. The DfE stated “It is our plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full time from the beginning of the autumn term.”

We are all really looking forward to seeing everyone back in school in the new academic year – we have missed seeing all the children that have not been able to attend.

I will write to you again once I have a clear plan in place. Please look out for this information in future letters.

The Government has produced guidance to support parents to get ready for autumn term.
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-yearsproviders-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-toknow-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term 


Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children 

I would like to encourage parents/carers of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to send their children back for the last two weeks of term wherever possible. The children in school have really enjoyed being back and learning in their bubbles. It will really support all children, particularly those in Reception and Year 1 to re-familiarise themselves with school and start to learn new routines ready for September. For Year 6, it will be a chance for them to finish their primary school in a positive way and engage in some important transition activities to get them ready for secondary school. If you would like to send your child back, we would love to see them!

Wednesday 1st July - Coronavirus Update

Letter from Ms Westcott sent out via the app/website. 

Summer Holiday Arrangements

It was announced officially yesterday that schools will not be asked to open over the summer holidays.

“The Secretary of State for Education has confirmed that we are not asking schools to open over the summer holidays, and there is no expectation that schools should open for vulnerable children and children of critical workers over this period. Teachers, support staff and school leaders deserve a break, to recharge and rest.”


So the last day of term for Reception children will still be Wednesday 15th July.

For Nursery and all other year groups the last day of term will still be Friday 17th July.

Once I know more about arrangements for September, I will write to you about when children will return to school.

 

Summer Holiday Food Vouchers

I have ordered the Summer Holiday vouchers for all parents/carers whose children are eligible for benefits related free school meals (Reception – Year 6). I decided to change the delivery date for this additional voucher to Friday 10th July in case there are any delays and to ensure everyone has received this voucher. It will be one voucher for the whole summer holiday with a value of £90 per child. Please note the school office will be closed from Thursday 23rd July until our return in September so if you have any problems with this voucher once we have closed, you will need to speak directly with Edenred.

 

Plans for September

The Government have indicated that they are due to announce school plans for September this week. Once this guidance has been released, I will be working with the Leadership Team and Governors to plan for September at Meridian. Once these plans are finalised, I will share these with parents and carers so that everyone knows what to expect for the new academic year. 

Friday 26th June - Coronavirus Update

Updated Parent Guidance

The DfE have updated their guidance about online resources for learning at home. Please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-online-education-resources for links to online resources that you might find useful in addition to the learning we are sending home too. Don’t forget that Bitesize and Oak National Academy also have great online learning support.

The DfE have also produced new guidance called “Advice to parents and carers on keeping children safe from abuse and harm.”

To read this document please go to https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-keeping-children-safe-from-abuse-and-harm.

There is also new guidance about staying safe outside your home which was published on Wednesday 24th June – please do read this advice as I am conscious that whilst the school continues to support minimising the children mixing or coming into contact with others outside their teaching ‘bubble’, as the social distancing measures are starting to change, we still want to be able to support all children and adults in keeping safe. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/staying-safe-outside-your-home/stayingsafe-outside-your-home

Food Vouchers

We will continue to order weekly supermarket vouchers to parents/carers whose children are in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 as well as children that are having to shield. These will be delivered on the following dates: Monday 29th July, Monday 6th July, Monday 13th July and Monday 20th July. These will then be replaced by one Summer Holiday food voucher.

We will be ordering Summer Holiday vouchers for all parents/carers whose children are eligible for benefits related free school meals (Reception – Year 6) next week in the usual way. You do not need to apply for these vouchers as we have all the information about children who are entitled to this voucher. The delivery date for this additional voucher will be Monday 20th July. It will be one voucher for the whole summer holiday with a value of £90 per child.

Please note the school office will be closed from Thursday 23rd July until our return in September so if you have any problems with this voucher, you will need to contact us before this date or speak directly with Edenred.

Tuesday 16th June - Coronavirus Update

Letter sent out to all parents and carers


Are additional year groups going to be invited back to school?

You may have heard in the news that the Government has announced that schools are not required to invite additional year groups back to school in July as had previously been suggested. They have said that if schools have the classroom space and enough staff, then Headteachers could invite more children back if it is safe to do so but they must still follow the ‘bubble’ group expectations of no more than 15 children per class.

Unfortunately, I am not able to safely accommodate more children in school as we do not have enough classrooms, teachers or teaching assistants to introduce more year groups. The main barrier to returning is the space within school as all classrooms are in use for teaching bubbles and the remaining two are being used for additional staff rooms to support social distancing.

This means that children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 will not be able to attend school before the summer holidays. However, we will continue to support children at home with our learning activities and recorded lessons.

We are sad that we are not going to be able to see more children in school in the next few weeks but I am sure you will understand why this is not possible.

 

What will be happening in September?

At the moment, there are no guidelines about September from the Government. As soon as we receive this information, we can start planning and communicating with you all.

 

Transition plans

We are currently putting plans together to support all children in their transition into their new year groups. Year 6 teachers are continuing to work closely with secondary schools to support children into Year 7 and we are planning to update the  website for new Reception parents very soon. I will write again to parents very soon with more information about how we are going to support all children to get ready for their new year groups. As part of this commitment to supporting this important transition time, we have changed our end of term dates to ensure that teachers are able to support this process.

 

New term dates

As mentioned above, the term dates for the children are changing to support transition.

The four Reception ‘bubble’ teaching groups’ last day of the summer term will be Wednesday 15th July.

This will allow us to offer transition meetings for new Reception parents and children in a safe and manageable way before the summer holidays.

All other year groups (Nursery, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6): the last day of the summer term will be Friday 17th July.

We have taken two INSET days for Tuesday 21st July and Wednesday 22nd July (that had been planned for terms 5 and 6) and allocated an additional day on Monday 20th July to support teachers in the additional transition plans that we will share really soon.

This additional time will also allow staff to get classrooms ready for September and for EMCOR to have a deep clean.

Reopening (One-Way System)

On Thursday 28th May we wrote to all our families to provide information about the one way system which will be operating from Wednesday 3rd June when more children begin to return to school. We have produced a short video to walk you through the one way system. 

Click here for more information

Reopening information for children in Nursery Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Also those currently accessing childcare arrangements.

 This information was sent out on Thursday 28th and Friday 29th May. 

Nursery Letter

Please refer to letter on the link above for AM and PM sessions.

.

Reception Letter

Drop Off - 9:15am    Pick Up - 3:00pm

.

Year 1 Letter

Drop Off - 9:05am   Pick Up - 2:50pm

 .

Year 6 Letter

Drop Off - 8:55am   Pick Up - 2:40pm

.

Children accessing childcare arrangements (Key worker / Vulnerable Families in Years 2, 3, 4 & 5) 

Drop Off - 8:45am   Pick Up - 2:30pm

Friday 29th May - FAQs of additional questions that have been asked over the last few days. 

 

For Year Six children what sort of work will be done with them towards transition to secondary school? And will any be sent home for those not returning?

Miss Roberts will be planning closely with the other Year 6 teachers activities to support transition. These are usually taught every year and include learning about making new friends, managing and organising themselves and coping with change. The same work will be able to be accessed via the school website for children not returning to school.

 

Do the children coming back need to wear uniform or is it own clothes?

Children will now to wear school uniform as we are coming back to school. However, the expectations will be slightly more relaxed than usual so that if children have grown out of their uniform you don’t need to buy
more just for the last 7 weeks. They can wear other clothes (which you don’t mind getting dirty!) if you do not have enough or any school uniform that fits. Please can children wear sensible shoes, ideally trainers because for outdoor activities, such as PE and Forest School, the children won’t be changing in and out of clothes or shoes. Trainers don’t have to be black this term – any colour will be ok so you don’t need to go out and buy black trainers if you haven’t got any. Government guidance advises parents to send their children in clean clothes every day to support good hygiene practices.

 

The Nursery hours aren’t long enough. I understand about the children not being able to have lunch but 2.5 hour slots make it impossible for me to work.

We are following Government guidance and can only offer morning or afternoon sessions for children to support social distancing and allow staff to clean the Nursery between sessions. We are also only able to offer places to a certain number of children as we cannot go over the recommended numbers of children.

 

Will the bubbles include key worker children or will they be kept separate?
Keyworker children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be part of the year group bubbles so that they can be with the teachers and their friends.

 

With 15 kids and 2 adults in a classroom are the school actively preparing classrooms to try to maintain a 2m distance? E.g. seating plan, table and chairs for reception kids or if we them do we have to accept that this will not be something they will be focusing on?

We are organising classrooms to maximise the space between children to support an element of social distancing, however our classrooms are not big enough to support 2m distance between all children and adults.

However we are following Government guidance about following the recommended hierarchy of measures:
“We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account. Schools should therefore work through the hierarchy of measures set out above:
• avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
• frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
• regular cleaning of settings
• minimising contact and mixing

It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and we can achieve that and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children, young people and staff where possible, only mix in a small,  consistent group and that small group stays away from other people and groups. Public Health England (PHE) is clear that if early years settings, schools and colleges do this, and crucially if they are also applying regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures and handling potential cases of the virus as per the advice, then the risk of transmission will be lowered.”

 

If Government start making plans for other years to return there’s not enough classrooms for the bubble, especially for 3 form years.

That’s correct. If the Government starts making plans for other years to rreturn and have the same expectations as now, then we do not have enough space to support opening the school safely for other year groups. We will be guided by the Government on this matter as well as looking at the capacity of the school.

 

As I understood the children going back won’t be following the school curriculum and will be focusing on body health and well-being, will these work sheets still be sent home for those that choose not to send children back to school?

There will still be elements of the curriculum taught, including reading, writing and maths albeit under theme of Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds. All the work that the children will receive in school will still be able to
be accessed via the school app and website.

 

If we have children in different years where should we be waiting to make sure we can do the drop off times and not get in the way? Or are we to wait out the front? Can Year 6 still come in unsupervised or do you require adults to drop them off?

At drop off time, there won’t be an area to wait and you will need to exit and the come back in to drop off other children. We will continue to review these arrangements to ensure we can support everyone as best we can but this is something new for us to sort out. At collection times, there will be coned off areas for parents to wait to collect their children before exiting via the one-way system.

 

With children leaving Nursery, will there be any way to still visit reception and meet teachers?

We won’t be able to do this at the moment due to limiting the number of children and adults moving around the school and accessing different spaces. We are looking at how we can support transition for children starting Reception in September via our website.

 

Government are saying no tests for under 5s, if nursery children are showing symptoms do they get a test as government is not saying anything.

I don’t know – you will need to speak to NHS 111 about this matter or access Government guidance online. Is there any way for a little walk through video to be uploaded like Kaitlin did to show what we’re supposed
to do – getting anxious about getting it wrong and kids going the wrong way or it all being too different and not knowing teacher to ask – nothing professional or edited – just to help them (and us) prepare I have sent out a letter this week with a map and directions to support parents and there will be staff around in the mornings to help everyone whilst we all get used to this new way. I think it is a good idea about the video and I will try to get this organised for next week.


What reassurances can they give to those of us like myself who are worried their children may pass on the virus to other vulnerable people in their family and/or workplace? Can anyone give some kind of advice as to the risk to them or please recommend where I could go to for advice on this?

The reassurance I can give to everyone is that the school has followed the guidance, including the hierarchy of measures stated above. I have also written a detail Recovery Plan and risk assessments to support returning to school which the Governors have read. Every parent and carer can make their own decisions about whether or not to return their children based on all the information shared with everyone from the school.
The Government website has lots of documents that you can access for further specific advice. https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus 

 

Is the school definitely going to open on the 1st June for more than just key worker and vulnerable children?

Yes – the school will open when the Government announces the date


Do parents need to phone in every day for absence if they are keeping children off because of concerns about safety?

Yes – we will need parents to do this so that we are able to keep an accurate register and this is in the Government guidance.


If the children do not attend school, will they still be provided with homework?

Yes – the children at home will be getting the same work as the children at school.

 

If parents decide to initially keep their children at home but feel more secure in a few weeks time, what do they need to do? Does the school need a set amount of notice for their return?

Parents and carers are able to send their children back to school once they feel more secure – the school is open for everyone in those year groups. We would request at least one full day’s notice of your intention to return your child to school so that the teacher can be informed and will be expecting them. Please do not e-mail the school in the afternoon or evening requesting a place for the next day as we cannot guarantee this information will be received and passed on in time.

PGL refunds. Do you have any news about this? Someone said they’ve looked on the website and the school has to make a claim on the insurance. Has this already been done? Apparently it also says that schools have been kept informed but we haven’t heard anything!

This is something we are continuing to get advice about and Mrs. Hunt (School Business Manager) will contact parents next week with more information about this. Parents will be refunded but the arrangements as to
how to do this have yet to be agreed.


Also, will we receive the £50 deposit back as it was not our fault that it was cancelled?

This information will be shared with you next week once Mrs. Hunt is back in school.


Is there any possibility of setting up Zoom meeting lessons?

Zoom is not recommended for live teaching or using in schools as their site is not completely secure and there have been incidents of inappropriate people gaining access to these online meetings. We are starting to  train teachers on a new system called Loom. Teachers can record themselves sharing some learning with the children and showing them how to complete the learning tasks. We are hoping to have these recordings up and running in June so that children at home can see a teacher explaining the work that they need to complete. These won’t be live lessons as these are difficult to achieve safely and not all children may be able to  access these. However, these recorded sessions will be able to be accessed at any time to support learning. More information about this will follow soon.

Lots of people are asking about transition to secondary school. Do you have details of this and how this will work?

Not at the moment as this is the secondary school’s responsibility to organise and run. I know that the secondary schools have been in contact with Miss Roberts and Miss Howell to talk about the children who will be attending in September. Once I know any more, I will let you know. Alternatively, parents can always contact the secondary school directly to find out more about transition arrangements for Year 7 in September.


Lots of comments and worries that school will be so different and restricted that the children will leave with tainted memories instead of the nice memories of Meridian that they currently have. Is there any way to reassure people?

Although school will be different I know that Miss Roberts is looking at different fun activities for the children at the end of term that they can do whilst also keeping them safe. They will still have autograph books to
create memories and we will be sending out information about how to buy the hoodies with their names on next week. We will do everything we can to make sure their last few weeks at primary school as positive as
possible.

 

Can the teachers send out a video of what the classroom will look like, where they will sit, what equipment they’ll have, what will happen at playtime and lunchtime etc? Could you send something similar to the video Miss Duffy has done for the new reception?

The teachers won’t have time to do videos as well as get classrooms ready and plan for the return of the children. The classrooms won’t be vastly different to usual and part of the planning to welcome children back will be to support them getting used to new classrooms and new routines.

 

Do you have any information about leavers jumpers? If not who do we need to ask?

A letter about leavers hoodies will be going out next week.

 

How is the school going to manage when all the year groups go back? Surely there won’t be enough classrooms to split all the year groups up and what about staff?

You are right – there won’t be enough classrooms or staff to increase the number of year groups coming back based on this Government guidance. So, if there is no change to the expectations of school, we won’t be able to welcome back any more year groups in June or July.

 

What if you have several children at school. If my 4 went back, that’s 60 children that they are sharing in ‘bubbles’ with between them. How is that safe?

The school is following Government guidance for minimising risk and keeping children safe. Parents are encouraged to follow strict hygiene rules at home too, such as washing hands and wearing clean clothes to school every day.

 

Will teachers and children need to wear a mask?

The Government guidance states that children and teachers do not need to wear masks. However, if any members of staff wish to wear cloth masks to feel safe when the school is re-opened, I have agreed to this. Equally if any child wishes to wear a cloth mask to support with any anxieties or worries, they are welcome to do so. However, please note, all children who wear masks will need to be able to manage these independently as staff will not be able to support them with taking these off and putting them on.

Government guidance: “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social
contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops. This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Face coverings (or any form of medical mask where instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as  directed (for example, young children or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission”

 

What happens when dropping off and picking up as its very crowded? 

We will be staggering drop off and pick up times. There will be social distancing signs on the floor and around the school site. We will also be operating a one-way system to minimise contact with other parents/carers.
The back gate accessed via Cripps Avenue will be closed until further notice. The car park will not be available for parents to access, including those with disabled badges. Further information will be sent out before the school reopens, including a map to show the one system and drop off/pick up arrangements.

 

If our children need help with going to the loo or getting dressed what happens?

Children will still be supported going to the toilet if needed and there will be restrictions of the numbers of children able to access the toilets at any one time. Staff will wear protective face coverings, aprons and gloves when changing nappies or dealing with toileting accidents. We won’t be asking the children to change during the school day to support the issue of helping getting dressed/undressed. If any adult helps a child in close contact children and adults will then make sure that they wash their hands thoroughly afterwards.

 

What happens if a child needs comforting or a hug during the day?

All adults will continue to support children if they get upset or anxious – we are committed to doing that. In terms of hugs, this will be down to professional decision on part of the adults in the teaching groups as I am sure you will appreciate that some adults are worried about managing social distancing during these times. If any physical contact happens, children and adults will wash hands afterwards.

 

How many children will be in one class?

We will be following strict Government guidance of no more than 15 children per teaching group. Each teaching group will have a designated classroom that will be their base.


What happens at play time?

The playgrounds and fields will be divided up into zones and each teaching group will be allocated a section (which will rotate) to play in with only the children in their teaching groups and the adults in their teaching groups.

 

I currently receive food vouchers. Will this continue as I presume no school meals will be provided so us single parents still have to provide for our child?

At the moment the Government is saying that for children eligible for benefits-related free school meals will continue to receive food vouchers if they are not attending school. For these children attending school, the
kitchen will re-open and be offering hot meals. These hot meals will also be available for any child to order. Also, the Universal Infant Free School Meals will be reinstated for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children.

 

Are you expecting to have the children back full time 5 days a week?

Yes. The Government has asked schools to reopen for education as normal and no longer offer childcare as has happened during the current partial opening.

 

If I was to decide I didn’t want to send her back until I am 100% safe or I don’t send her back straight away and then think she should go?

The Government is encouraging all those children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to come back to school when we re-open. Obviously it is a parental decision and we will support you in the decision you make. If once you have heard about the plans and make a decision to restart your child after the official opening time, you will be welcome to send them in. We would just ask that you let us know in advance of this so that we can ensure the teacher knows and can prepare for a new child to join.

 

If I was to decide I didn’t want to send her back until I am 100% certain it’s safe would I have to contact the school every day?

Yes. The expectations remain the same as usual for children not attending school. If your child is in Reception, Year 1, Year 6 or are attending as Critical Keyworker children/vulnerable children and you are keeping your child at home, then we would need to know about this absence. You can leave a message on the voicemail facility via the school office.

 

How will the cleaning be monitored for each child after they have used the toilet?

All children will be accompanied to the toilet to ensure there are a minimum number of children using this space at any one time. Adults will wait outside. Hands will be washed afterwards. If there is an accident, then EMCOR team will clean. Additional cleaning has been set up with EMCOR for during the school day, including the toilets.

 

How will you keep the social distancing in place during lunch and break as my child does not fully understand why she will not be able to play with her friends like before?

Play time and lunch times will be zoned so children will only be playing with their friends in their smaller teaching groups. One of our jobs as teachers will be to help children understand why this is in place in an age appropriate way.

 

Will there be any support to have the transition week or day at secondary school given they are closed or will there be small groups able to go in etc?

I am unsure what secondary schools are planning, although it seems unlikely that they will be offering visits during this time. If I hear any more about this, I will let you know. A large part of the learning planned for Year 6 children in term 6 will be about supporting them with preparing for the transition to secondary school.

 

PGL – it is very clear that the trip won’t be going ahead. So what are the arrangements made for us to receive the full refund before the children finish their Year 6 and leave the school?

We are waiting to hearing from PGL about arrangements for refunds as they hold the money – the school doesn’t. As soon as we know more about how you will be refunded, we will contact all Year 6 parents/carers

Thursday 28th May 2020 - Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – Benefits Related Free School Meals

Following Government guidance about re-opening schools, there will be changes to arrangements for children eligible for benefits related free school meals. From 8th June supermarket vouchers will stop for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children as the school is opening for these children and the kitchen will be offering free school meals for these children. If you have received a letter from the NHS to say that your child is clinically extremely vulnerable and needs to shield and you are eligible for benefits related free school meals, supermarket vouchers will continue. Please send in a copy of the letter from the NHS to confirm this.

 

If a member of your household is shielding due to being clinically extremely vulnerable so your child cannot attend school and you are eligible for benefits related free school meals, supermarket vouchers will continue. Please send in a copy of the letter from the NHS to confirm this.


Universal Infant Free School Meals for all children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (for those children who will be attending school) will start again.

 

For families with children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 who are not attending school that are eligible for benefits related free school meals, you will continue to receive supermarket vouchers.

Friday 22nd May - FAQs on Schools Reopening

Will teachers and children need to wear a mask?
The Government guidance states that children and teachers do not need to wear masks. However, if anymembers of staff wish to wear cloth masks to feel safe when the school is re-opened, I have agreed to this. Equally if any child wishes to wear a cloth mask to support with any anxieties or worries, they are welcome to do so. However, please note, all children who wear masks will need to be able to manage these independently as staff will not be able to support them with taking these off and putting them on. Government guidance: “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops. This does not apply to schools or other education settings. Schools and other education or childcare settings should therefore not require staff, children and learners to wear face coverings. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Face coverings (or any form of medical mask where instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission”


What happens when dropping off and picking up as its very crowded?
We will be staggering drop off and pick up times. There will be social distancing signs on the floor and around the school site. We will also be operating a one-way system to minimise contact with other parents/carers. The back gate accessed via Cripps Avenue will be closed until further notice. The car park will not be available for parents to access, including those with disabled badges. Further information will be sent out before the school reopens, including a map to show the one system and drop off/pick up arrangements.

 

If our children need help with going to the loo or getting dressed what happens?
Children will still be supported going to the toilet if needed and there will be restrictions of the numbers of children able to access the toilets at any one time. Staff will wear protective face coverings, aprons and gloves when changing nappies or dealing with toileting accidents. We won’t be asking the children to change during the school day to support the issue of helping getting dressed/undressed. If any adult helps a child in close contact children and adults will then make sure that they wash their hands thoroughly afterwards.

 

What happens if a child needs comforting or a hug during the day?
All adults will continue to support children if they get upset or anxious – we are committed to doing that. In terms of hugs, this will be down to professional decision on part of the adults in the teaching groups as I am  sure you will appreciate that some adults are worried about managing social distancing during these times. If any physical contact happens, children and adults will wash hands afterwards.

 

How many children will be in one class?
We will be following strict Government guidance of no more than 15 children per teaching group. Each teaching group will have a designated classroom that will be their base.


What happens at play time?
The playgrounds and fields will be divided up into zones and each teaching group will be allocated a section (which will rotate) to play in with only the children in their teaching groups and the adults in their teaching groups.

 

I currently receive food vouchers. Will this continue as I presume no school meals will be provided so us single parents still have to provide for our child?
At the moment the Government is saying that for children eligible for benefits-related free school meals will continue to receive food vouchers if they are not attending school. For these children attending school, the kitchen will re-open and be offering hot meals. These hot meals will also be available for any child to order. Also, the Universal Infant Free School Meals will be reinstated for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children.

 

Are you expecting to have the children back full time 5 days a week?
Yes. The Government has asked schools to reopen for education as normal and no longer offer childcare as has happened during the current partial opening.

 

If I was to decide I didn’t want to send her back until I am 100% safe or I don’t send her back straight away and then think she should go?
The Government is encouraging all those children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to come back to school when we re-open. Obviously it is a parental decision and we will support you in the decision you make. If once you have heard about the plans and make a decision to restart your child after the official opening time, you will be welcome to send them in. We would just ask that you let us know in advance of this so that we can ensure the teacher knows and can prepare for a new child to join.

 

If I was to decide I didn’t want to send her back until I am 100% certain it’s safe would I have to contact the school every day?
Yes. The expectations remain the same as usual for children not attending school. If your child is in Reception, Year 1, Year 6 or are attending as Critical Keyworker children/vulnerable children and you are keeping your child at home, then we would need to know about this absence. You can leave a message on the voicemail facility via the school office.

 


How will the cleaning be monitored for each child after they have used the toilet?
All children will be accompanied to the toilet to ensure there are a minimum number of children using this space at any one time. Adults will wait outside. Hands will be washed afterwards. If there is an accident, then EMCOR team will clean. Additional cleaning has been set up with EMCOR for during the school day, including the toilets.

 

How will you keep the social distancing in place during lunch and break as my child does not fully understand why she will not be able to play with her friends like before?
Play time and lunch times will be zoned so children will only be playing with their friends in their smaller teaching groups. One of our jobs as teachers will be to help children understand why this is in place in an age appropriate way.

 


Will there be any support to have the transition week or day at secondary school given they are closed or will there be small groups able to go in etc?
I am unsure what secondary schools are planning, although it seems unlikely that they will be offering visits during this time. If I hear any more about this, I will let you know. A large part of the learning planned for Year 6 children in term 6 will be about supporting them with preparing for the transition to secondary school.

 

PGL – it is very clear that the trip won’t be going ahead. So what are the arrangements made for us to receive the full refund before the children finish their Year 6 and leave the school?
We are waiting to hearing from PGL about arrangements for refunds as they hold the money – the school doesn’t. As soon as we know more about how you will be refunded, we will contact all Year 6 parents/carers

 

Thursday 21st May

Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – School Re-opening planning

 

Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you are all well. Since I last wrote to you all I have been busy putting together plans with the Leadership Team, Chair of Governors and the staff team to support a safe and gradual return to school for the following year groups: Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Over the coming days, I will be writing to you with information about the plans and to answer any questions you might have.

Monday 1st June and Tuesday 2nd June
The school will continue to be open for those children currently accessing childcare. All staff will return to school on this date to start preparing classrooms and planning for re-opening.


Wednesday 3rd June and Thursday 4th June
We will be welcoming Reception back to school. More details will be shared with you about how this will be arranged. Childcare children will still attend.


Friday 5th June
We will be welcoming Year 6 back to school. More details will be shared with you about how this will be arranged. Reception and Childcare children will still attend


Monday 8th June
We will be welcoming Year 1 and some Nursery children back to school. More details will be shared with you about how this will be arranged. Reception, Childcare children and Year 6 children will still attend.


From Tuesday 9th June
Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 6 and Childcare children will attend. Other Year Groups will not be invited to attend until the Government have announced this and further guidance is received about managing this.

Class Organisation
In line with Government guidance, we have arranged for every year group to be split into four smaller teaching groups, with no more than 15 children. Each group will have a teacher and an additional adult to
teach and support these children. I will let you know very soon who the teachers and additional adults are – this information is just being finalised.


Social Distancing
Every teaching group will become what is called a ‘bubble’ which means that this group will not mix with any other groups during the school day. All classrooms will be prepared to accommodate as much social
distancing as possible, however we are not able to guarantee 2 metres distance between any of the children and staff in our classrooms. We have made plans in line with Government guidance which states:

“We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and
schools, we are taking this into account. [Schools] should, therefore work through the hierarchy of measures set out in implementing protective
measures in education and childcare settings:
• Avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
• Frequent handwashing and good respiratory hygiene practices
• Regular cleaning of settings
• Minimising contact and mixing”


Social distancing for parents will be supported by developing strict dropping off and picking up rules that we will expect parents to follow to support us in keeping everyone safe. Please respect the safety of our school staff by keeping 2 metres distance when speaking with them. Please do not be offended if a member of staff asks for their social distancing space to be respected.

 

Handwashing
Regular handwashing with soap and running hot water will continue throughout the school day. I know that for some children, their hands were becoming really sore, so children are welcome to bring in hand cream but
they will have to be able to manage this independently as staff are not able to support with this. Drop off and Pick up We will be staggering the drop off and pick up times to minimise the numbers of people on site at any one time. It is vital that parents are prompt with these times to avoid increases in numbers. The times will be:

Drop Off Pick Up
Childcare 8:45am 2:30pm
Year 6 8:55am 2:40pm
Year 1 9:05am 2:50pm
Reception 9:15am 3:00pm

Nursery will be operating two sessions with the following drop off and pick up times.

Drop Off Pick Up
Morning Session 8:45am 11:15am
Afternoon Session 12:15pm 2:45pm

Please note to support safety and additional cleaning for the Nursery, we will not be able to support lunches being eaten in the Nursery. Further information about this will be sent out to Nursery parents soon. There will be a clear one-way system for parents to access the school grounds with social distancing and signage around to support everyone with this. It is an expectation that parents following this social distancing rules for everyone’s safety. The car park will not available for any parents/carers including those with disabled badges. The back gate accessed via Cripps Avenue will not be opened for these new school reopening plans. A map of this one-way system will be shared with you soon. For the first few days of this new system, members of staff will be available to support you with this.

Learning Activities
The teachers will continue to plan exciting activities for all children and for those that do not or are not able to attend school, these activities will be available on our website to access at home. We will be having a theme of “Healthy Bodies and Healthy Minds” to support keeping ourselves physically and mentally well – which is very significant at the moment. We are hoping that if the weather continues, we will have lots of opportunities for the children to enjoy learning outside with their teaching groups.

Play times and Lunchtimes
Playtimes and lunchtimes will be staggered to avoid the teaching groups coming into direct contact with each other. The playgrounds and field will be zoned to support the children to know where they can play. Each
teaching group will be supported by one of the adults in their group at all times. The outdoor equipment will not be used to avoid cross contamination. Children will eat their lunch in their classrooms. The kitchen will
re-open and hot food can be ordered and will be taken to the children to eat in their classrooms by one of the adults from their groups. All children must bring in their own named water bottle as the water fountains
will not be available. Drinking water is available in all areas of the school so that these water bottles can be refilled.


Toilets
All children will be accompanied to the toilet by one of the adults in their group who will wait outside to ensure that there are a minimum number of children accessing the toilets at any one time.

Additional cleaning
I have met with EMCOR leads and East Sussex County Council and I completed a Health and Safety walk with members of the EMCOR and Michelle Hunt to identify additional cleaning for the school. In addition to a
thorough clean at the end of each day, after lunchtimes, there will be additional cleaning of touch points (like door handles, light switches, bannisters) and toilets as well as emptying bins with tissues and hand towels.
Additional cleaning resources will be in place in all classrooms to support wiping down tables and resources throughout the day.

Toys in Nursery and Reception will be put in the washing machines and dishwashers to ensure these are cleaned at the end of every day. Another washing machine has been purchased to support these additional
cleaning expectations.


Attendance
I completely understand that this is a big decision for parents to make and there is no expectation for your children to attend if you make the decision not to do so. If you decide not to, there will be no penalties for
non-attendance in line with Government guidelines, which states “Parents and carers of eligible year groups, critical workers/parents and carers of vulnerable children, are strongly encouraged to bring in their children,
but they will not face fines or other sanctions if they don’t”

If your child is in one of the groups that the school is reopening for and you decide not to bring them in, we would ask that you still call the school and leave a message every day that your child is absent just so that
know what is happening and to offer support if you require it.


Coronavirus COVID 19 symptoms
If your child develops symptoms, such as a continuous cough or high temperature, you will be required to keep them off school and seek appropriate advice, including self isolation for 7 days and 14 days for the
household. You will be able to arrange a test through NHS from 1st June, according the latest Government advice. If your child develops symptoms in school, we will call you and ask you to come and collect them and
arrange a test. One of the adults in the teaching group will accompany your child to a safe space away from others and wait with them until you arrive to collect them. You will need to self-isolate for 7 days and 14 days
for the household.

Here is the official guidance from the Government:
“What happens if there is confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting?
When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14
days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus. Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation. Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms. As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.”


What happens next?
I appreciate that this is lot of information to take in and digest, so over the coming days, I will be writing to you again to provide further information and added details to some of the planned actions describe above. I will be sending out the FAQs sheet tomorrow and will update this again next week with any more information or questions received. I have invited the Parent Council to meet with me (virtually of course!) to answer any questions that they might have or that you might want them to ask on your behalf.

I cannot guarantee that I will know the answers to everything, but I will try my best to answer them based on the Government guidance.

I know that we are looking forward to welcoming some of the children back once the Government has made a final announcement towards the end of next week and I hope you can see everything that we are doing to
keep you, your children and the staff safe.

Special thanks to Mr. Doody and Miss. Miles for all their help with putting these plans together.
Take care and best wishes to everyone
Kind regards
Ms. Claire Westcott

 

 Tuesday 12th May - Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – UPDATE – School Re-opening

Yesterday’s update was to share with you the Government’s plans for reopening schools and what some of their advice and guidance is. Today I wanted to write to you all to reassure you that I will be doing everything I can to keep the children safe when they return to school. There is nothing that I want more to get all the children back to school learning and playing together but we have to manage this as safely as possible to support children, parents/carers and the staff team. So over the next two weeks I will be working with lots of people to ensure we are all safe in school: Staff, Governors, East Sussex County Council, EMCOR and other local headteachers.


Once we have received confirmation from the Government to start to welcome certain year groups back to school, I know the amazing Meridian team will work hard to help your children settle back in and feel safe in school. We will continue to wash hands several times a day as well as encouraging the children to have safe routines and practices, such as coughing and sneezing into our elbows, trying not to touch our faces and washing hands really well. There will be other changes to routines in school which I will explain in more detail once the plans have been finalised next week. Above all else, we will still be there for the children to support them through these changes and make sure they feel happy and safe in school.


If you have any questions about this, please do send me an e-mail via office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk and I will put together an FAQs sheet for parents to try and support you through this too.

If you would like to start to support the children in getting ready for returning school, please do look at these resources from E-bug. There are links to youtube clips and other resources about washing hands and sneezing for younger children and hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene They are really helpful to support with keeping us safe. There is also handwashing song from the NHS .

Plans for re-opening the school
As you will probably be aware, the Government has requested that school leaders start to plan for re-opening schools for Nursery, Reception, Year One and Year Six children only from the 1st June. The Government has said “As a result of the huge efforts everyone has made to adhere to social distancing measures, the transmission rate of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased. We therefore anticipate, with further progress, that we may be able, from the week commencing 1 June 2020 to welcome back more children to early years, school and further education settings”

This is conditional on the rate of infections not increasing. “We will only do this provided that the five key tests set by the government justify the changes at the time, including the rate of infection is decreasing . . .
The Government has stated that: “Our ambition is to bring all primary year groups back to school before the summer holidays, for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review. We will only welcome back additional year groups if the most up-to-date assessment of the risk posed by the virus indicates it is appropriate to have larger numbers of children within schools. The safety of children and staff is our utmost priority

What happens next?
The Government issued guidance for schools yesterday evening and today I met with Mr. Doody and Miss. Miles to start thinking about how we can support this in the best and safest way for everyone – children, parents/carers and staff. We have started to make plans and think about how we can follow the guidance and make it suitable for Meridian children. I will be writing a risk assessment and sharing it with staff and our Chair of Governors before finalising any plans at the beginning of next week. Once plans are firmly in place, these will be shared with parents and carers next week so that you know in advance what will be happening to children in these year groups. If your child is currently accessing childcare arrangements in school, these arrangements will continue to happen once the school starts opening for more children to attend.


How will the children be protected in school?
The Government also issued guidance about protecting children and staff in school and these measures will form part of the risk assessment. They have said “We know that, unlike older children and adults, early and primary aged children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and school, we are taking this into account.”

They go on to state that schools should adopt the following measures:
- “avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
- frequent hand cleaning and respiratory hygiene practices
- regular cleaning of settings
- minimising contact and mixing”


Once I know more about how we will plan for these, I will let you all know. I am also meeting with EMCOR and East Sussex this week to discuss cleaning during this phase to ensure everyone is as protected as possible.

If you would like to read more about these plans and other useful information, please read this document from the Government:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-andcarers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june 

 

Critical Keyworkers
The Critical Keyworker role list remains unchanged and we continue to assess each request from parents/carers in the following way:

  1. Places will only be offered where both parents are Critical Keyworkers or single parent households where the parent/carer job is considered a Critical Keyworker role
  2. Written confirmation from the employer that the role is considered a Critical Keyworker Role and is reflected in the Government guidance
  3. Proof of ID from parents/carers that they work in this Critical Keyworker role

Please do not apply for childcare places if your role is not considered a Critical Keyworker role. The full list is available here:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-forschools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision 

Schools reopening FAQ from Department for Education 

 

Monday 11th May (UPDATED)

We are starting to receive new requests for childcare in school today. At the moment, we are not accepting additional children whilst we wait for updated guidance from the Government about schools. Once we have this additional information, I will write to you all again to let you know what they have said, including anything about childcare arrangements. The news today is currently saying that any new information and guidance about the Prime Minister's briefing yesterday, should be released by Wednesday this week and so hopefully I will have more to share with you then.

The children who are currently accessing this childcare can still come to school. If you do want to apply for childcare places please make sure your role is considered a Critical Keyworker role:
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educationalprovision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision 

You will also need to provide evidence from your employer that your role is considered essential critical keywork and ID (such as ID badge) to support your application.


Thank you for your support and understanding whilst all schools wait clarification and guidance from the Government.

Prime Minister’s briefing yesterday
Following on from the Prime Minister’s briefing yesterday, I want to let you know that, until we get further clarification and guidance from the Government later in the week, there will be no changes to current arrangements for children being in school. Once we have got more information from the Government I will update you again. In the meantime, I want you to know that I am meeting with EMCOR and East Sussex County Council this week to discuss plans for re-opening the school, including cleaning arrangements to keep everyone safe. I will also be speaking with our Chair of Governors to keep her updated about any plans. I will be working with the leadership team to put together an action plan and updated risk assessment for any planned school reopening. All of which will be based on the guidance once we have received this information.


Please do continue to follow the Government’s advice about keeping safe and social distancing.


Supermarket Vouchers
I continue to monitor these and will be ordering these again later today. Here are two links that will help you when redeeming the vouchers:
https://www.edenred.co.uk/reward-recipients/Free-School-Meal-Vouchers/ 
https://www.edenred.co.uk/Documents/DfE/DfE_FreeSchoolMeals_ParentCarer

Friday 1st May

Supermarket Vouchers
I continue to monitor these and have called some parents today who don’t appear to have managed to redeem any of their vouchers yet. Here are two links that might help you:
https://www.edenred.co.uk/reward-recipients/Free-School-Meal-Vouchers/ 
https://www.edenred.co.uk/Documents/DfE/DfE_FreeSchoolMeals_ParentCarerFAQs.pdf 


I know that there has been a problem with this week’s vouchers that were meant to be delivered on Monday 27th April.  

These vouchers are all showing as paid and live, so hopefully you will be able to get these very soon. I will keep checking too.

The next vouchers that have been ordered are for Monday 4th May and Monday 11th May.

Free School Meals Applications
If you find that you are no longer in employment and in receipt of Universal Credit, you may find that you are able to apply for free school meals and then I can add you to the supermarket voucher scheme. Please go to
https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/educationandlearning/schools/school-life/meals/free/ 

Newhaven Food Bank
If you are finding this situation particularly difficult financially and need support for food, please do contact the Newhaven Food Bank http://sussexcommunity.org.uk/advice-services/newhaven-food-bank/  Or e-mail
office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk  and I will see how we can help.

 

14th April Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 - Supermarket vouchers UPDATE

The vouchers are now showing as being sent.  Please check your emails, including your junk box.  If you are not sure how to redeem these vouchers, please click here for Parents/Carers FAQs

The status of the vouchers for last week and next week are still showing as not sent to parents.  The school will continue to monitor the situation over the weekend and get in touch with parents via the app with more updates.  For emergency supplies, please contact the Newhaven Food Bank http://sussexcommunity.org.uk/advice-services/newhaven-food-bank/ who may be able to help or offer advice.

6th April Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – Free School Meals Supermarket e-vouchers UPDATE


Over the weekend, the Government announced that e-vouchers for those children who are eligible and currently in receipt of benefits-related free school meals could now be claimed during the Easter Holidays.
 

There has been no official release from the Government yet about this.

However, I have uploaded the relevant information and have requested vouchers are sent to parents and carers on Wednesday 8th April and Wednesday 15th April, in addition to the dates I sent out on Saturday. 

So to clarify, I have ordered vouchers for children who are eligible and currently in receipt of benefits-related free school meals to be e-mailed to parents on the following dates:
Wednesday 8th April
Wednesday 15th April
Monday 20th April
Monday 27th April


Instructions about how to access and redeem these vouchers will be included in the e-mail you will receive.
If you have not received your e-voucher by 5pm on Wednesday 8th April, please e-mail the office and we will look into this for you.

Please do not e-mail before because we do not know the exact time that these e-mails will be sent.


For more information about these vouchers:
https://www.edenred.co.uk/Documents/DfE/DfE_FreeSchoolMeals_ParentCarerFAQs.pdf

2nd April Re: Coronavirus Covid 19 – Free School Meals UPDATE

Here is the latest update about Free School Meals for those children who are eligible and currently in receipt of benefits-related free school meals.
 
We are currently in the process of adding all our Free School Meals families onto the supermarket voucher scheme.  These vouchers will start from Monday 20th April and will be sent out weekly via email.  We are aiming to set everyone up by tomorrow and will send out further instructions then.
 
I am pleased to say that during the Easter Break, we have organised for Caterlink to still offer packed lunches to children who are eligible and currently in receipt of benefits-related free school meals.

For those families at home who would like to order these packed lunches, please complete this form by 5pm tomorrow

Please note that choices of fillings for the rolls are subject to availability and there may be changes made if items are not available.
 
For children that are attending child-care at school, children who are eligible for free school meals will be provided with a packed lunch for the days that they attend. 
 
If you have any questions, please do e-mail office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk

 

31st March - Covid 19 Update

Today, the Government announced a national voucher scheme to support families whose children are eligible for Free School Meals.  Please note, this does not include children who receive Universal Infant Free School Meals in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 (unless your child also eligible for Free School Meals).
 
Schools can now provide every eligible child with a weekly shopping voucher worth £15 to spend at supermarkets while schools are closed due to coronavirus.
 
We can also continue to provide free packed lunches from Caterlink during the school closure, although these will not be available during the Easter Holidays (9th – 20th April).  
 
Children will only be entitled to one of the following options:  Supermarket Voucher or Caterlink Packed Lunch.
 
The advice states that schools will be contacted later today with further details and instructions about how to support families who wish to receive these vouchers.  Once I know more, I will write to you again about how we will organise this.
 
For more information:  https://www.gov.uk/government/news/voucher-scheme-launches-for-schoolsproviding-free-school-meals

 

24th March - Covid-19 Update

Coronavirus update – Latest Government Advice - 24th March 

 

Coronavirus update – Children eligible for Free School Meals.

If your child is eligible for Free School Meals, Caterlink are providing a free packed lunch for those children who are staying at home.

The packed lunch will be:
Sandwich / Roll Fruit

Crudité Snack

Cake or Cookie

Drink

You will need to order any lunches a week in advance via this form:  https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7lIh17wpgEq3MHYOiaVCtq7hWRSYyJHpPXsJbOgCtNUQlA1WlI0RUlMS0ZHOTRGUlQwVTQ2RUVLNy4u

To order this week you will need to submit this form by 9am tomorrow morning.


To order during the rest of the school closure, you will need to submit this form by 5pm every Friday for the following week.


To collect the packed lunch, please come to the school kitchen entrance between 12 and 12.30pm.  The kitchen entrance is by the gate that leads to the Reception classes.


Please make sure that you are practising social distancing when you arrive to collect.


For those families that are self-isolating, you are welcome to send in an order and for it to be collected by a friend or a neighbour.


Please do not come on site if you are self-isolating or showing any symptoms.


Please note this is for those children who are eligible for free school meals only.  If you are not sure if you are eligible, please e-mail the school office.


If you have any questions, please do e-mail the school office.

21st March - Covid-19 Update

Applications for Child Care Arrangements

We have received a large number of requests from parents and carers about children accessing child care arrangements in school and we are committed to supporting as many children and families as possible.

However, due to the very high demand we have received and our very limited staffing capacity, we have made the decision to prioritise the key workers eligibility criteria to those households where both parents/carers, or a single parent family, fall into this key worker category. 
 
This is also in line with government guidance for schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend.
 
We appreciate that this is a frustrating and challenging time and we are doing our best to ensure that we can accommodate as many requests as possible without compromising the health and safety of the children and staff.
 
Once our final numbers have been confirmed next week, if we feel we have capacity to offer additional places, we will be back in touch next week. 
 
Please do not bring your child into school unless you have received a confirmation e-mail from the school offering your child/children a child care place.  We really do not want to be put in the difficult position of having to turn families away.

 

Childcare Provision from Monday 23rd March

Drop off will be at 8:45am via the main school office where you will be met by a member of the leadership team to confirm arrangements and places offered.  We will also need to know who will be dropping off and collecting children.
 
Pick up will be at 3:00pm from the main school office. Children must be collected from school by an agreed adult.

If your child is entitled to free school meals, a school meal will be provided as usual. Caterlink will be offering two hot choices for lunch – final menus have not yet been released.  Alternatively please provide a packed lunch.
 
Children do not need to wear school uniform. 
 
Should you require wrap around care please contact CATS club. 
 
During the day, children will complete the learning tasks that teachers have set and then there will be a choice of play based activities for them to enjoy.
 

Learning Activities for children at home

From Monday 23rd March all teachers will plan daily learning activities and these will be uploaded onto the school website every day during the school closure. 

The children need to complete these at home with you.  We have created a dedicated web page for this https://www.meridianschool.co.uk/home-learningduring-covid-19 and we will send these activities out via an electronic daily update.

I will send out a weekly update to parents which will include additional optional activities that you can do with your children too.

Hopefully all children have got their login details for SumDog, Times Tables Rock Stars and Numbots – if not, please e-mail us and we will do our best to send you this information.

During this time, we will be receiving e-mails so if you have an emergency question or need emergency advice, please contact the via the office e-mail office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk

19th March - School Closure

As you will know from my update yesterday evening, we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice. As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, others in frontline services) and children with certain needs. We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories.

If you think your job is considered as a key worker, please e-mail the school office office@meridian.esussex.sch.uk with the following information:

Your name

Your child’s/children’s name/s

Your occupation (if you believe that you fit the key worker criteria.)

Your place of work

 

We’ll be in touch again as soon as we are sure who this does apply to. All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards. Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is in the usual ways – letter, notification and via the school website. What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn. All teachers will plan daily learning activities and these will be uploaded onto the school website every day during the school closure. The children need to complete these at home with you. We have created a dedicated web page for this https://www.meridianschool.co.uk/home-learning-during-covid-19 and we will send these activities out via an electronic daily update.
I will send out a weekly update to parents which will include additional optional activities that you can do with your children too. We are making sure all children have got their login details for SumDog, Times Tables Rock Stars and
Numbots.

 

During this time, we will be receiving e-mails so if you have an emergency question or need emergency advice, please contact the via the office e-mail office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk 

If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch with more information about how we will continue to provide this, with support from a scheme that the government has just announced.

What we won’t be able to go ahead with

School trips, after-school clubs

Year 1 Phonics Screening

Year 2 SATs

Year 4 Multiplication Tables Check

Year 6 SATs

Other school events, such as Sports Days and Year Group Assemblies

This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience with as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops. If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via the office e-mail office@meridian.e-sussex.sch.uk  or you can call the school – please be aware that we are experiencing high levels of phone calls during these challenging times

And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online and follow their advice about whether you need to self-isolate.

Thank you again for your continued support, and we will be in touch with more information when we can.

Best wishes and please look after yourselves during these tricky times.

 

18th March 2020

New guidance for households with symptoms

The latest advice for about self-isolation was released to schools yesterday afternoon.

It states:

- If you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started

- If you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members 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. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community

- For anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period

The symptoms are:

A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above)

A new, continuous cough

The full stay at home guidance for households with these symptoms can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance 

Families in isolation

If your family is self-isolation, please do remember to call into the school office every day to let us know what is happening. We have a duty to safeguard all children so if we don’t hear from you, we will call you to find out how everyone in the family are doing. Please help us during these challenging times to call the office if your child is not in school. We have had a few requests for the school to send home work for children in isolation, however whilst the school remains open, we are not able to manage this as well as teach the children who are in school. However, we do appreciate that children will need to continue to access learning activities during this time, so here are some recommended websites that you can use to help with learning at home.


Build a Book Review - https://wherereadingrocks.com/free-resources/build-a-brilliant-book-review/ 
 

StoryLine - https://www.youtube.com/user/StorylineOnline 
 

National Geographic - https://www.natgeokids.com/uk/ 
 

Maths Games - https://www.coolmath4kids.com/ 
 

Science For Kids - http://www.sciencekids.co.nz/ 
 

Science Made Simple - http://www.sciencemadesimple.co.uk/news-blogs/bbc-bitesize-ks2-science 
 

iMoves (Being Active @ Home) https://vimeo.com/398010428 

 

Non-Online Activities
 

Be Active At Home 

 

On Your Bike - https://readysetride.co.uk/prepare 
 

Woodland Trust - http://treetoolsforschools.org.uk/menu/?_ga=2.253719882.273677247.1584531339-2005380509.1584531339 

Please note: Meridian is not responsible for the content of external websites. Therefore in line with our online policy and keeping children safe we recommend children are supervised when accessing external material.

Don’t forget children also have access to Phonics Play, Numbots, Timestables Rockstars and SumDog!


What happens if the school closes?
If the school were to close, daily learning activities will be uploaded onto the school website every day during the school closure and the children would need to complet

17th March 2020

Following the Prime Minister’s briefing late yesterday afternoon, we have brought in additional measures to support the health and safety of all the children and staff in school.

School Trips/Swimming

The latest guidance asks for people not to make any unnecessary travel and in light of this, all school trips and swimming lessons have now been cancelled with immediate effect until further notice.

PGL Residential

The school is currently in communication with PGL about the Year 6 residential trip to Little Canada on the Isle of Wight in July. We will keep you updated with any further information about this when we know more.