Post 16 E/N group Life Skills lesson – Resilience

The students in Post 16 E/N teaching group have been learning about resilience. The students have been telling each other stories about how they have been resilient this year, particularly during lockdown. We decided it would be nice to create our own Superheroes and the group went on to design their own personal hero, based on their own ‘super powers’.

 

Here are a few examples:

Gamer Girl            The Gamer            Your Hero             Big Brains

Welcome back and an update

Dear Parent / carer

Its been lovely to welcome the students back to Percy Hedley school in what has been a challenging start to the new school year. We find ourselves in an ever changing picture both locally and nationally, and as a school we are responding to these changes and ensuring we keep your children safe.

As you are all aware we have a range of measures in place to keep our school covid secure, and it has been amazing to see how fantastically your children have adapted to our new ways of working. I have been hugely impressed by their resilience in coping with situations that we as adults find challenging.

Please do continue to keep us up to date of any illness your child may have, and please continue to support us by keeping your child at home if they present with any coronavirus symptoms. As a school we have strict policies and procedures which we adhere to, should we find ourselves in a situation where we have a positive case. If this were to happen, the next steps we follow would be guided by Public Health England as they determine the course of action based on our specific situation. If we do have to close a bubble we will do this as quickly and as promptly as we can.

Of equal concern at this time, is the fact that I may have to close areas of the schools due to insufficient staffing. Whilst strict guidelines are in place in relation to isolation periods, we are increasingly finding that our staffing team is reduced. As a senior leadership team we are monitoring this daily and ensuring we have enough staff in school. One challenge is in relation to children who require specific training, and if we find ourselves with insufficient staff to meet these needs, I will have to send children home. I will of course try to avoid this situation, but am unable to control all the variables, and my main priority is keeping your children safe.

Please can you ensure that we have your latest contact details on file, to ensure we are able to contact you promptly should we need to?

Any concerns or queries please contact the senior leadership team.

Take care and stay safe

 

‘Our plan to rebuild’ : Next steps

14 May 2020

Dear All

I hope you are well in these current circumstances, and are managing to keep your families safe. It is so lovely to read the updates from the staff about how everyone is getting on. I am immensely proud of how the staff team is working in these difficult times. Their care and devotion to each and every one of pupils shines through. We are trying to continue you to support your children from a distance and thank you for bearing with us as we iron through some of the teething problems.

As you are aware we have remained open to children whose parents are key workers, and have operated with a reduced staff. Through this time we developed systems in school to support us through the period of sustained transmission, when guidance from the government for education was nonexistent.

This week the government “urged” all children in the vulnerable category (those with an EHCP or social worker) to attend school. This creates a significant issue for us, as all of our 174 pupils have an EHCP! As such we are working to develop systems to support as many of our children as we can, whilst adhering to the guidance which is now available, and most importantly ensure we keep everyone safe.

We will be offering places to everyone who has requested them, although this may be on a week on, week off basis. This helps us to minimise the number of people our staff and students come into contact with at any one time and keep numbers in school low. We have reduced the class sizes down to a maximum of four and we are trying to ensure students stay as much as possible in a particular area. We are also reducing the staff in school to those working directly with the children and a skeleton team of other support.

Since this began, we have been taking childrens and staff temperatures in school each day. New guidance has told us not to do this, but I would ask that you continue to check your child’s temperature before sending them into school, and I will be advising staff to do the same.

We took a belt and braces approach to PPE, but guidance states that PPE is not needed in schools, and indeed if PPE is not used correctly, this causes a higher chance of transmission. As such staff will wear PPE during personal care tasks and when assisting children to eat/drink- this will be gloves, apron and facemask. Staff will also wear face masks if children become symptomatic.

We will ensure all staff regularly wash their hands, and will ensure all pupils to do the same.

We will ensure all staff adhere to the 2m social distancing rule where possible, and will encourage children to do so as much as we are possibly able. However, as you can imagine this brings unique challenges with any children and an increased challenge for a lot of our pupils.

Thank you for those people who have responded to the questionnaire sent out requesting for information about places, this is not intended to cause any pressure to send your child to school, indeed it is entirely your choice- and there will be no penalties of any sort for non-attendance.  Also please feel free to change your mind at any time- there is no right answer to this and we all find ourselves as parents with exceedingly challenging decisions to make.

If you do decide to send your child back to school, please be reassured that I will do everything I can to ensure all children and staff are as safe as possible. But I must also follow direction of the government guidance. If you do not choose to send your child to school, we will continue with the home learning/therapy tasks as currently.

For those parents who have confirmed they would like their child to return to school, we will be confirming places for the following week via a telephone call, please only send your child to school if you have received this weekly telephone confirmation.  We will also be advising the local authority transport department who will be attending on a weekly basis, it would be useful if you could also confirm with them whether you intend accepting the school place.

If you have any concerns or queries please get in touch with a member of the senior leadership team, or the class team.

We all miss the children greatly and I look forward to welcoming them all back to school, once this is over.

Please take care.

Very best wishes

Katie Murray

Headteacher