Friday 26th February 2021
Please find below a letter detailing the arrangements for the return of all pupils to on-site, face-to-face education from Monday 8th March.
Wednesday 6th January 2021
Please find below a letter from Clare Kershaw, Director of Education for Essex.
Monday 4th January 2021
Please find attached a document which outlines our remote learning offer designed to meet the requirements set by the DfE. Remote learning will be uploaded to Google Classrooms by 9am daily.
Wednesday 30th December 2020
As you will have heard, all schools in the district of Braintree have been asked to deliver learning remotely to pupils for at least the first two weeks of term. This will be delivered via Google Classroom, the details of which were sent home last half term with all pupils. On site provision remains in place for pupils of critical workers, those with an EHCP or those to whom a social worker is allocated. This will match the learning being provided for those working remotely.
Below is a summary of those who fall under the critical worker guidance:
- Those that work in health and social care
- Those that work in education and childcare
- Those that are essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, journalists and broadcasters
- Those who work in local or national government where their occupation is essential to the effective delivery of the COVID19 responseor delivering essential public services such as the payment if benefits
- Those who work in the production or distribution of food
- Those who work in public safety or national security
- Those who work in transport services
- Some people who work in utilities, commercial or financial services.
The full list can be accessed using this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
Please be aware that at this time we are offering critical worker provision where BOTH parents/carers are critical workers or where one is in the case of a single parent family.
Please can we ask that ALL parents complete the form using the following link to indicate whether you are a critical worker or not and if so, to indicate whether you will be taking up the provision or not. I ask that you complete this form as soon as possible, and by 5pm on Thursday 31st December at the latest, to support us in our preparations.
As always, I thank you for your ongoing support and patience during the pandemic.
Friday 18th December
Information for Parents regarding COVID19 Contact Tracing over the Christmas Holiday period
I am writing to clarify the expectations around reporting cases of COVID19 and undertaking contact tracing over the Christmas holiday period.
As you know schools have played a vital role in reducing the spread of COVID19 over the last 9 months. One way in which they have done this is by undertaking contact tracing on behalf of the Essex Contact Tracing team. They identify any individuals who have been in close contact at school with someone who has tested positive for COVID19, during the time that is considered the contagious period. This is from 2 days before the person’s symptoms are displayed. Those individuals are then required to self-isolate for 14 days because they are at risk of having contracted COVID19 and being contagious themselves.
This contact tracing will not be taking place in the usual way during the Christmas break when schools are closed and there is less chance of school-based contacts existing.
Please follow the guidance below if your child begins to show symptoms of COVID19 during the Christmas break.
If your child develops symptoms of COVID19 within 48 hours of being in school
You must seek a test for your child and the household must isolate at home until the test result is returned. You should let your school know that this has occurred.
The quickest way to obtain a test is to book a test at your local testing centre via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test. Please do not use postal tests unless absolutely necessary as these take longer.
If the test result is positive for COVID19, you must inform your school, who will identify if there are any other individuals within the school community who are impacted by this.
If the test result is negative, you should inform the school and you do not need to take any further action.
*** You should contact the school on email@example.com ***
You must provide the following: name, class and date of symptoms starting.
If your child develops symptoms of COVID19 more than 48 hours after their last day in school
You must seek a test for your child and the household must isolate at home until the test result is returned.
If the test result is positive for COVID-19, having developed symptoms more than 48 hours since being in school, (Monday 21st Dec onwards) you must contact NHS Test and Trace and follow the advice given by them: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/
You should contact the school if your child will be absent, in time for the first day of the new term.
If your child has no symptoms of COVID19 but tests positive within 48 hours of being in school
It is important to follow the guidance around accessing a test only when the individual is showing signs of COVID19. However, if your child is asymptomatic and returns a positive test result within 48 hours of last being in school, please let the school know straight away.
*** You should contact the school on firstname.lastname@example.org ***
You must provide the following: name, class and date of symptoms starting.
If you are contacted by the school because your child is identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID19, they must self-isolate for 14 days. This contact will come via email.
I would encourage you to adhere to social distancing and all COVID19 social mixing guidance for the remainder of term to reduce the risk of transmission of the virus as the last thing we want is anyone being unwell or required to self-isolate over the holiday period.
Thank you for your cooperation and ongoing support.
Monday 19th October 2020
Please see attach a letter from Essex County Council for the parents and carers of school aged children.
Thursday 24th September 2020
Please find attached a letter advising you of a confirmed case of COViD 19 within our school. The letter gives full guidance on next steps. Please rest assured that we have consulted with the Test and Trace Service and have fully adhered to all guidance.
If you would like to talk through any aspect of the letter and the guidance it contains we will be happy to speak with you if you ring the school office.
In the event a child or a ,member of their household experiences any of the following symptoms they must stay at home.
- a new, continuous cough
- a high temperature (38 degrees Celsius or above)
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
The person who is symptomatic must isolate for 10 days and the rest of the household must isolate for 14 days.
Get tested as quickly as possibly. In the even of a negative test result all members of the household can stop isolating immediately. In the event of a positive test result the isolation period must be completed by all members of the household. In the event another member of the household they must begin isolation for 10 days from the point of becoming symptomatic.
Tuesday 1st September
Please find below the risk assessment which has been developed for the full re-oprning of school to pupils from Thursday 3rd September.
Monday 31st July 2020
Please find below the finalised information for pupils returning to school on Thursday 3rd September.
Friday 17th July
Please find below the school newsletter which contains information about returning to school in September and a child-friendly, St. Margaret's specific,short booklet to be read with the children.
Wednesday 15th July
Please see attached a letter from Clare Kershaw, director of Education for Essex.
Wednesday 24th June
Dear parents and carers,
In line with many other local schools, both local authority andacademies, we have made a change to our end of term date.
This is to provide time for staff to make the school ready for theanticipated wider - and hopefully full - return in September for allchildren and to ensure that we are all ready to implement our'recovery curriculum', following this lock down period.
The last day of this term for children, both in school and learningat home, will now be Thursday 16th July.
On Friday 17th July we will upload a final summer pack to the classpages on the school website for those that wish to make use of it.There is no obligation or expectation that you do so.
We thank you for your patience, support and commitment duringthis very difficult time. In 19 years of working in education, this hasbeen the most difficult period to manage in a way that works foreveryone, with ever-changing and often poorly communicatedguidelines, parameters and expectations set by the government.We shall of course respond to any new changes introduced beforethat time and keep you informed.
We are grateful for your support - and can't wait to see all of thechildren back in school again in September.
With my very best wishes to you all,
Monday 8th June
One of our pupils, Ruby in year 3, created this lovely video showing what lock down has meant for her. Well done Ruby.
Friday 1st June 2020
In line with changes in process and procedures due to government guidance regarding Coronavirus, we have made temporary adjustments to some policies. These adjustments are collated into the document below: 'Covid Policy Override'.
Thursday 21st May
Firstly, I would like to thank you all for your ongoing support and patience during this time. I apologise for not being able to inform you sooner of the plans for the potential re-opening of schools.
Please find below a copy of the letter detailing plans for the return of pupils, a set of FAQs which will hopefully address any queries parents may have and a copy of the school's risk assessment.
Thursday 14th May
Please see attached a letter for parents from Clare Kershaw, the Director of Education for Essex, regarding the wider opening of schools.
Wednesday 13th May
After reading through all the guidance I have received over the last few days I attach a letter regarding school opening.
Please take the time to read it and to respond via a ClassDojo message to myself as soon as possible in order that I am able to plan properly.
Thank you for your continued patience and support.
Tuesday 12th May
Please rest assured that the school continues to work with the DfE, Local Authority and teaching unions to decide on the best way forward as regards the wider opening of schools. We hope to have further information out to you by the end of the week.
In the meantime, the DfE has released guidance for parents and carers regarding the wider opening of schools. This can be found at the following link:
Monday 11th May
Good afternoon all,
I hope you are keeping well. We are still awaiting further guidance from the DfE and Local Authority however, in the meantime I would be grateful if you could complete the questionnaire using the attached link in order to support our planning.
Many thanks for your time.
Sunday 10th May
The Prime Minister has just announced that we may see a phased opening of schools for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. This may be introduced from June 1st.
We will need to wait to hear further guidance from the Government, hopefully in the next few days , as obviously there has been no detail provided on how this should be implemented. I have many questions!
In the meantime, we remain open only for the children of key workers that have been coming into school over the last few weeks.
I will be in touch again as soon as we have more concrete information and the chance to begin to look at how we can implement these changes as safely as possible in our schools.
Thank you for all that you are doing at home with your children and for your support and understanding at this difficult time.
With kind regards
Monday 20th April
As you will be aware, the government has confirmed the lock down will continue for at least another 3 weeks, possibly longer.
This means the start of the summer term will look very different to how school has always looked previously.
We want to support you in your home learning with things to do. For this reason we will be changing what we do slightly this term as the period of school closure lengthens.
Firstly, we will provide some activities to do each week. We will post them on here and on the class pages on the school website. They are just some ideas which will link to the topic you would have been doing in school.
Secondly, if you click on the following link there are lots of ideas for other resources to support home learning:
Finally, as of Monday 20th April 2020 there are two resources going live which have been commissioned by the DfE to support pupil home learning. The links for these are below:
Please don't forget to keep sending us updates of what you are all up to as we love seeing pictures of your achievements, both academic and fun, and seeing your smiley faces.
Monday 20th April
Letter from Clare Kershaw (Essex Director of Education)
Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update - Letter to Essex Parents and Carers
Dear Parent / Carer,
Firstly, I want to thank you for your contribution to the national response to the Coronavirus pandemic. For the majority of you, being at home with your child(ren) and supporting their continued learning, alongside your own work and wellbeing, is a significant challenge in what are both unprecedented and worrying times. However, we do know that this action is helping to reduce the spread of the virus and helping to save lives.
You will be aware that last week the government confirmed that the lock down will continue for at least another three weeks. However, alongside this news is constant speculation about when and how schools across the country will be reopened. I want to confirm that at this time these messages are pure speculation – neither your school nor the local authority has any information about what plans the government are considering once the lockdown is eased or when that might be.
Re-opening schools will be complex, even if that is partial re-opening. The priority, of course, will be to ensure that it is safe for all children, staff and parents when they return to school. At present, for those few families that are accessing school provision, you will know that social distancing is being practiced alongside good hand hygiene, and whilst some learning is being supported, it is far from the reality of normal school life. For schools to reopen, clear guidance on social distancing will be required as well as ensuring that the majority of staff can return; we are aware that for some their personal circumstance means that they are required to ‘shield’ or live with family members who are shielding, which may mean that they need to socially isolate themselves and not return to work.
As with all decisions the government are making in relation to coronavirus, the scientific evidence will be required to underpin the timing of the decision to re-open schools as well as the process for this.
To support all parents at this difficult time, yesterday the government launched a series of measures for families to assist with remote education, wellbeing and general support. The guidance can be found here alongside a whole list of on-line resources for you to use. If your child(ren) has SEND need, support can also be found in these resources.
In addition, from today, the BBC are launching bitesize daily lessons, details of which can be found here - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons.
As you will be aware, schools are also providing as much support as they are able to with home learning resources.
We have also asked all schools in Essex to make regular contact with all families during the school closure period. Therefore, if you haven’t already had contact from your school during this time, this is something that will begin to happen from this week. This is an opportunity for you to engage with your school with any support you may need with home learning and to discuss any wellbeing concerns you may have. If everything is all fine, please also report that to your school.
I want to assure you that there is no expectation that your child(ren)’s education should continue as it would if they were attending school daily. All schools and the local authority fully understand that during this unprecedented time, normal education across the country has been suspended. Therefore, any daily support, both in terms of academic learning and physical and emotional wellbeing you can provide is to be applauded, and please do not worry about your ability to replace your child(ren)’s normal education during this time. When schools do re-open, they and the local authority will work as hard and as quickly as possible to bridge any gaps in your child(ren)’s learning.
If you have any queries concerning this letter, please raise them directly with your school.
On behalf of your school and the local authority I would like to thank you for your continued support during this difficult time.
Clare Kershaw Director of Education Essex County Council
Thursday 9th April 2020
I hope all our families remain well. You are nearing the end of the third week of the lock down period and I am seeing so many happy pictures.
However, without being allowed out and being able to socialise it is entirely possible that people will need some emotional support or that you may have well-being concerns for others. If you do, please do not hesitate to contact the school by either emailing email@example.com or by sending Mrs Newland a direct ClassDojo message. Alternatively, you may wish to use one of the numbers or email addresses below.
Please look after yourselves and others.
Wednesday 1st April 2020 - Child Protection Policy Addendum
COVID Free School Meals 310320
Thursday 19th March
At 5.15pm yesterday, the Secretary of State for Education gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed from the end of the school day on Friday.
He also indicated that all the SATs, GCSE, AS and A-level examinations due to take place this Summer, have been suspended; and that students would be credited for their learning in some other way.
Having indicated that all schools would be closed, he then indicated that they would be expected to remain open for the children of key workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – providing a safe place and access to meals. We are expecting a definition of ‘key worker’ today from the Cabinet Office. It will take time to determine the nature of this provision.
Although we have been anticipating such an announcement, and prepared for various scenarios, the limited details so far released raise considerably more questions than answers. You will all have your own legitimate concerns and queries.
The Secretary of State gave no undertaking that schools would be expected to sustain a pattern of normal learning during the closure; rather that any available staff would be expected to support other front line efforts. Our school response is yet to be determined.
I will be working my senior leadership colleagues, all staff, local schools and the local authority to clarify as best we can what this announcement means for the school, for our pupils and for you. I anticipate providing more details later today.
Thank you for your support and for your patience in the meantime.
For the next two days, pupil attendance is expected to continue as normal within the COVID-19 Public Health England guidance.
Wednesday 18th March
As you are no doubt aware the Government’s guidance has changed from the contain phase to delay. We would like to inform you of what we are doing in light of this, and what we expect from all of you, to help make sure our school community remains safe and calm.
We would like to reassure you that we are taking all of the necessary steps to protect our community and are continuing to follow official guidance from the Government and Essex County Council.
What is the current situation?
- School remains open – this is the current official advice we have been given.
- All trips and events have currently been postponed until further notice. This includes the Class 1 parents evening which was due to take place on Thursday 2nd April. We will, however, aim to offer parents a phone consultation alternative with Mrs Page should they wish to take it. Further information will follow.
- As you may be aware, the government has added ‘Stay at Home’ guidance to its response to the COVID-19 virus. You can find this guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
- Pupils should attend school unless they feel unwell. If they or any member of the household develop a new continuous cough and/or temperature, the advice is that the whole household should isolate for 14 days -
- If your child is unwell please report this as you would do normally
- We will keep you up to date with any changes
What we need you to do
- Ensure we have your correct contact details in school as soon as possible
- Come and collect your child straight away if we ask you to
- Follow the government’s guidance
What we may have to do
As the recommendations from the government change so does our position in school. We currently have a number of staff who are either already self-isolating or will need to self-isolate in near future as they are vulnerable for a variety of reasons.
Our intention is, of course, to keep the school running as smoothly as possible. However, we may have to make some changes to how we run if we are low on staff. These changes may include:
- Combining classes
- A partial closure of the school for some classes or year groups
- If school is closed to identified groups of children, we share tasks that can be completed via ClassDojo. Please ensure you are able to access this.
- Ask parents to send in packed lunches if we do not have enough staff to run the kitchen
What happens if school has to close?
We will only close if we are officially advised to or if we do not have enough staff to run the school safely. In either case, we will:
- Alert parents to the closure by text, ClassDojo and a post on the school website
- We will inform parents of a date to reopen via text, ClassDojo and a post on the school website
- Send home home-learning packs for all pupils in school. If your child is not in school at the time and you wish a home learning pack to be sent with another pupil, please advise us of this and we will endeavour to get it to you.
- Set challenges via ClassDojo.
What happens if a child needs to self-isolate?
- Please contact school in the usual way to advise us of the self-isolation
- Recommended activities for those self-isolating will be posted on ClassDojo weekly.
- We will not be providing individual work packs for pupils self-isolating.
Please bear in mind we are only sending out this information to help the school community to prepare. There are currently no plans to close and we have not been put on alert to close at this time.
If you have any questions, then please consult the following:
- https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may be experiencing the symptoms please use the NHS 111 online service before ringing 111. It can be accessed here: https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
- Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have questions about the Department for Education’s response to coronavirus in schools
- Consult the Government’s advice for staying at home, vulnerable people and travel. This can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
Monday March 16th
We have taken the decision to cancel all trips, parent assemblies and church services at this time and until further notice. We thank you for your support in these challenging circumstances.
Monday March 16th
We continue to follow government advice about coronavirus, COVID-19. The government's advice to everyone including schools last changed on Monday 16th March. Key changes:
- Schools to remain open and not close unless directed to do so.
- Pupils or staff with a high temperature or a new continuous cough to stay at home for 14 days.
- Families of anyone with a high temperature or new continuous cough to stay at home for 14 days.
- Advice to schools, including about travellers returning to the UK and confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been updated.
The importance of good personal hygiene, including regular hand-washing, to prevent the spread of infection continues to be stressed. Children have been taught to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and have had a demonstration about what this looks like to be effective.
The government wants schools to remain open and not close unless directed to do so. School trips abroad are recommended to be cancelled. We will continue 'business as usual' including all off-site trips, clubs and activities. For off-site trips, parents may withdraw consent for pupils to take part. We will respect your wishes. Pupils not taking part in off-site activities will remain in school in a different class.
The government expects pupils or staff with a high temperature or new continuous cough and those living with anyone displaying symptoms to stay at home for a period of 14 days:
- Public Heath England, Stay at home: guidance for people with confirmed or possible coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
- It is for parents to decide if pupils need to stay at home.
- If you decide your child needs to stay at home, tell us. Absence from school will be authorised for 14 days from the onset of the symptoms.
- Individual members of staff will also need to decide if they need to stay at home.
- Please note this is only the case for newly developed coughs.
Advice to schools including about travellers returning to the UK and confirmed cases of COVID-19 has been updated:
- DfE PHE Guidance to educational settings about COVID-19
- It is for parents to decide if pupils need to stay at home.
- If you decide your child needs to stay at home, tell us. Absence from school will be authorised for the PHE identified isolation period.
We may experience more members of staff needing to stay at home. This may put pressure on our ability to operate normally. It has already become harder to find agency (supply) teachers to cover day-to-day teacher absence. The government wants schools to stay open. This means teaching and cover of main classes is our priority:
- we will use agency staff and/or our own school staff to cover depending upon need and availability;
- class sizes for Reception, Year 1 & 2 cannot be increased above 30 pupils by law at the current time;
- class sizes for Years 3,4,5 & 6 may increase to split classes where teachers are absent. This might be longer than typical
There is much speculation about the closure of schools in the media. I do not want to add to that speculation. We have not been put on alert to close and at present we have no plans to close the school for any additional time.
We are working closely with the Local Authority and if we are advised differently by Public Health England and the Department for Education to close, we will inform parents and carers immediately. Please be assured we have contingency plans in place should this become the requirement.
This page will be kept up-to-date with the latest information as and when we receive it.
The Department for Education advice line
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)