Re: This half term (until Friday 12 February 2021)
What an interesting week this has been! Thank you for supporting us as we have needed to respond very quickly to an ever-changing national picture. Thank you also for everything you continue to do to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19 within your households and our school community – your help and support is much appreciated.
As you know from our website and SMS message this week, Oak Field School remains open, in line with government and LA guidance. Yesterday, the DfE published updated guidance re school attendance, which you can read here:
In the section about Special Schools (at the bottom of p27) the guidance includes the sentence: Special schools should continue to welcome and encourage pupils to attend full-time where the parent/carer wishes for their child to be able to attend.
Where you have chosen for your child to attend school, they will continue to learn in their class groups with their class staff, as appropriate. Where you have chosen for your child to access remote learning (learning at home), the class teacher will contact you early next week to discuss your child’s targets, and provide learning activities and resources for the week, in partnership with you. They will then contact you each week until half term to discuss your child’s progress with these activities and provide next steps, as appropriate.
We do recognise that families will be in very different personal circumstances, and that some of you will be supervising home learning with several children! Equally, you will be aware that our staff are also in very different positions, both in terms of their own health and their personal
household circumstances, and that at any moment any of us might need to self-isolate.
From next week, we are intending to start weekly COVID-19 self-swabbing Lateral Flow testing for staff; this is voluntary. You will appreciate that the complexity of the self-swabbing of nostrils and tonsils (without touching any other parts of the mouth) means that the pupils will not be tested at the moment. This means that if we do have a subsequently confirmed positive case of COVID-19 in school, the class bubble will be asked to isolate for 10 days, as happens now.
Also from Monday, we will be encouraging staff to wear a face covering or mask when going outside to collect the pupils from parents/buses in the mornings, and when they take them out in the afternoons. If you transport your child to school, please support us by wearing a face covering or mask and maintaining 2m social distancing, and by keeping all communication with staff very brief – please phone or use the home-school diaries where you can.
As always, if you have any questions, concerns or worries at this stage, please don’t hesitate to contact me – this is really important to us.
With very best wishes