Silverhill School News

Letter regarding coronavirus

Published on 17 March 2020

Dear Parents & Carers,

Following yesterday's latest government guidance concerning the coronavirus, I would like to reassure you that we are embracing every possible measure to mitigate the potential spread of the infection within our community.

If you, your child or anyone you live with has the following symptoms you must follow guidance to stay at home:

  • A new, continuous cough and/or
  • A high temperature

As from today, we are only going to allow Silverhill children and staff into the school building. Breakfast Club and After-School Club will remain open but parents will need to drop off and collect at the door. This will also be the case for parents of Reception children.

It saddens me that we have to impose such measures but we feel that this type of social distancing will decrease the number of adults that your children will come into contact with. Parents are still welcome to come onto the playground to drop off and collect.

All visitors, agencies and activity providers have been cancelled, so there will be no more after school clubs until further notice. We will not be attending any of the school trips we had planned. We hope we will be able to claim the money back on these trips but as yet none of this has been confirmed.

Parents' evenings (26th & 30th March), Y6 parents' SATs meeting (23rd March), school photographs (Friday 20th March), and all Birthday tables will be cancelled until further notice. The PTFA Easter Egg hunt will now take place during school hours (date to be confirmed) but there are still tickets available from the school office (£2).

We are entering a period of unprecedented challenge not just for school but for family life in general. I appreciate how frustrating it is for a whole family to have to self-isolate even if just one person shows the symptoms of the virus, and even then it potentially might only be a mild and undiagnosed illness.

We must, however, follow the government advice and insist on all siblings being at home if at least one family member is self-isolating.  As an educational setting we are not qualified to diagnose, therefore you must seek medical advice, and not expect school staff to advise on your child attending or not. If we send a child home because they are showing recognised symptoms of the virus, you must seek medical advice before we can consider allowing them back into school.

If your child is absent from school, the class teacher will send work via Class Dojo or upload materials to our website www.silverhill.co.uk. This can be found in the Class Zone section of the website. We will keep it updated and provide further work should Silverhill be forced to close. We will endeavour to keep home learning expectations similar for siblings but they may differ to remain age appropriate.

As staff we are being mindful not to sensationalise or be anxious about coronavirus around the children. The children obviously need to know about it and how to protect themselves and others but it is a scary time and we all must endeavour to reduce stress levels for them. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and 'Young Minds' has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety.

We'll only close if we're officially advised to do so or we don't have enough staff to run the school. In either case we will inform you by text message. We will also provide updates on our school website, where we will also keep you informed on plans if the school closure is longer term.

If you have any questions please consult the:

  • School Office, if you have any questions about our response to this issue
  • NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 Online if at all possible before calling 111
  • Department for Education's coronavirus helpline:0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government's response to coronavirus in schools
  • Government's travel advice, if you want to know whether any upcoming trip or holiday you're taking abroad should go ahead

It's a tricky time and we know you're worried about the impact this might have on our community. It's important we keep each other safe and talk about these events to help with any anxiety.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours faithfully,

Andrew Gallagher.