Coronavirus

 

Downs View will re-open on Thursday 3rd September for year 1 and 2 children. Reception pupils will visit in small groups on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th September. Reception will officially start school on Monday 7th September (full details were sent in the post, detailing where to come during these settling in sessions. The leaflet details the route to take on your child’s first full day)

Please find below a guide to support children and parents for this safe return:

http://www.downs-view.kent.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Parent-guidance-booklet-sent-to-parents-updated-Sept-20.pdf

Video to show how Reception children will come safely to school:

https://youtu.be/SSliJfM27HI – Penguins and Polar Bears video
https://youtu.be/XiLmZBamFlY – Year One video

The parent  risk assessment can be found below:

http://www.downs-view.kent.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Parent-Risk-Assessment-govs-updated-Sept-20.docx.pdf

The children risk assessment can be found below:

http://www.downs-view.kent.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Children-Revised-for-September-2020.pdf

Safeguarding policy was updated in conjunction with Covid-19.

Please click here:

Safeguarding policy updated 4th April 2020.

Family Support Guide

To download this please click here: http://www.downs-view.kent.sch.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/Family-Support-Guide.pdf

With current routines disrupted and families having to stay at home, some families may feel overwhelmed and unsure of what to do for the best. Current advice suggests there are a number of things families can do to make the situation a little better.

Here are a few helpful tips:

Be open and honest

  • Don’t be afraid to discuss the Coranavirus – children will have heard lots of people talking about it and might have seen people wearing face masks. Not talking about it can sometimes make children worry more.
  • Listen to your child’s concerns, empathise with their worries and try to reassure by giving factual information and explain what you’re doing to keep safe.
  • Answer questions as honestly as you can but in an age-appropriate manner. Try not to give too much information as it can be overwhelming.
  • Keep communication open so they can talk to you whenever they need to. Allow children to tell you what they know and how they feel.
  • There are lots of online support clips that can help you explain what Coronavirus is and can open up conversations. ‘Dave the Dog’ is a simple online book that helps children understand what Coranavirus is and reassure young children’s concerns.
  • Be aware of your own anxiety as children will pick up on how we are feeling – so if we are calm, children will be calm.

Keep to a routine

Children are used to structure, so start the day with your normal routine, including getting up at a regular time, getting washed, dressed and having breakfast. Try and keep to a schedule of daily activities, but include a good mix of both school learning and downtime. If both parents work from home, try and take turns to supervise the children and set aside time to talk and listen to each other’s concerns. Structure regular mealtimes and try to keep to bedtime routines to keep the children happy and healthy.

Suggested downtime activities for 5-11 year olds

  • Art and craft activities: drawing, painting, junk modelling, clay modelling
  • Outdoor activities: walking, scooting, cycling, roller skating, hopscotch, obstacle courses, skipping
  • Eye Spy
  • Make play-dough
  • Treasure hunts (hide a favourite toy somewhere in the house, give clues where to find it)
  • Making music – singing and making musical instruments. Listening to music.
  • Board games, party games and charades
  • Puzzles and card games
  • Construction play – Lego, Meccano, Knex
  • Exploring science – magnetic sets, plan and carry out experiments
  • Imaginative play – performing their own shows, dancing, karaoke, dressing-up
  • Cooking with family – have a bake-off
  • Reading: favourite comics/magazines and books
  • Computer games
  • Watching TV and favourite films
  • Helping with household chores
  • Gardening (if you have one)
  • Planning a project together – building something or making a den.

Keep moving

At present families can still go out once a day to exercise as long as they stay at a safe distance from others (2 metres) however for families who are well but self-isolating, there are also ways in which they can build exercise into their daily life.

Some suggestions are:

  • Mini circuits
  • Bear crawls
  • Dancing
  • Yoga
  • Make up a workout and do it together (10 star jumps, hop like a bunny, running on the spot, leg raises, planks)
  • Online children’s exercise sessions
  • If you have a garden – skipping, running, cycling, jumping/hopping, scooting, throwing and catching a ball.

Adults need around 30 minutes of exercise per day and children need 60 minutes.

There are many benefits for why children should exercise daily, these are:

  • Help strengthen bones and muscles
  • Promotes healthy growth and development
  • Improves child’s cardiovascular fitness
  • Improves concentration and thinking skills
  • Less likely to become overweight
  • Helps maintain positive well-being
  • Increases self confidence
  • Learn new skills

Give each other space

Self-isolating may be difficult for families who are used to having their own space. Try and create spaces within your home where people can have some time on their own. This does not have to be in a different room, it can be a chair or bean bag in a specific part of the room where children can go to do a quiet activity away from others including listening to music/stories using a headset, looking at a book or playing with a toy.

Stay in touch

Staying in contact with family and friends can be essential for our well-being. There are a number of different ways to connect with people and share experiences without having physical contact. These include;

  • Phone calls
  • Video calls
  • Group chats
  • Letter
  • Email
  • Texts
  • Adults can use social media such as, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter.

Self-Isolation may be challenging for many families, unfortunately we cannot magic the situation away but we are here to listen and talk through any concerns and worries that you have. Sam Ansell (Family Liaison Officer) will be around during school hours to support families, she can be contacted on 07884866105 or by email sansell@downs-view.kent.gov.uk. Please do not hesitate to get in contact.

Other support agencies that may be of help during these difficult times are:

Fareshare – charity aimed at getting food to vulnerable people.

Monday-Friday 9am-9pm

Saturday 6pm-9pm

Sunday and Bank Holidays 2pm – 9pm

Contact No: 01316080967

Support@fareshare.org.uk

Regional Centre

01233 502 355??

fskent@fareshare.org.uk

Ashford Vineyard –

The Warehouse

Ashford

Cobbs Wood

Brunswick Rd

Ashford

Kent

TN23 IEH

01233 331919

info@ashfordvineyard.org

Salvation Army

115 Cudworth Road

Ashford

01233 643480

Ashford.corpse@salvationarmy.org.uk

Samaritans

Contact no: 116 123

jo@samaritans.org

 

This update was made on 20th March 2020

Schools, colleges and early years settings to close

Following guidance given on Wednesday night by the Government, Downs View closed at the end of the school day on Friday 20th March.  It will remain open for children of key workers and vulnerable children only.

Children who may still attend

 If you feel are a key worker and will need childcare at school next week, please can you call the office. The list of key workers can be found on the Government website.

‘schools are safe for a small number of children to continue attending- but asking others to stay away will help to slow the spread’.

 There has been an indication from the Secretary of State that schools will continue to provide this service during Easter holidays but we will need to await further guidance about this.

Pupil premium/Free school meals

We are conscious that a number of children are eligible for Free school meals. We will be open for children to come onto site to have a hot meal if safe to do so. There will be social distancing in place for this and you will be informed of your time slot on Monday.  If you are not able to come to school for this please contact the office and we will be able to advise you. Update: packed lunch take away packs will be available from Tuesday for pupil premium children.

We would not want to leave any child in need without food; therefore during this initial period, if you require support with provision of food please contact Sam Ansell our FLO during school hours and we will support where we can. Her number is 07884866105.

Support for parents

Sam will also be available during school hours if you need further support.  She will help as she can and somebody else will monitor the phone in her absence. A support sheet will come home with every child today with useful telephone numbers and links to local support.  Please do not suffer alone, your children need you at this challenging time. Keeping a routine from day one will help you and your child to get through so please keep to this, building in learning time and breaks including time for some fresh air in gardens or in your street with you. Look out for a social story which we have used in school to explain the Coronavirus in a child friendly way can also be found on our website.

Home learning

Your child will bring home their home learning book with the topic grid and creative learning which you can complete with your child over the next few weeks. In addition there are a range of apps and links to website which will also support you with activities to complete with your child at home. We will keep updating our website and will alert you via parentmail or facebook about this. Children must be kept at home or indoors during school hours.

Absence coding

Throughout the period of school closure all pupils will be Y coded. No absences, authorised or unauthorised will be registered against pupils.

 Primary Assessments

The government have announced that no Primary Assessments will take place in May and June. This includes Year 1 Phonics Screening and Year 2 SATs. Some of the learning provided practises these essential skills and knowledge.  Please continue to support your child with learning spellings and using these within their writing.

Safeguarding and other urgent concerns

A Designated Safeguarding Lead will be on site daily so if you have any concerns you can contact one of them via the school office. May I also remind you that you can contact KCC safeguarding team if you need to via calling 03000415648.

I assure you we will continue to send regular information as soon as we have it.

May I remind you that Government guidance regarding self-isolation has not changed. Even if you are a key worker you still need to follow the guidelines below:

  • If your child or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from 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 give to others in the community
  • The symptoms are:
  • A high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) OR
  • A new continuous cough

We have been very fortunate to remain open all week and would like to commend my staff who against all odds have put your children first and ensured that the Downs View’s team work has shone brightly.  They have shown dedication, hard work and provided emotional support to you and your children as well as trying to keep their own families safe too.

They will continue to be on a rota whilst we are open to come in and support children in school or work at home to prepare for when your children return.

Thank you for your ongoing support, we will continue to do our very best for you and your children, keeping that positive community spirit alive.

Please stay safe, follow the Government guidelines and as hard as it is keep calm and support one another.

Best wishes

Mrs Kent

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/news/schools-colleges-and-early-years-settings-to-close

The Department is working through the policy implications of this announcement and, over the coming days, will be sharing with you the further information that you need.

Update on assessments and examinations

Yesterday, we confirmed that we will not go ahead with assessments or exams, and that we will not be publishing performance tables for this academic year. Tomorrow we will provide greater clarity on how students and young people will be awarded the examination results that they deserve.

New free school meals guidance

We have confirmed that we will give schools the flexibility to deliver meals or provide shop vouchers to children entitled to free school meals if they are no longer attending school, either due to closures or as a result of self-isolating at home.

Schools will be able to provide meals or vouchers for supermarkets or local shops, which can be sent directly to families who are either self-isolating at home or whose schools are closed on government advice. Final rates will be confirmed in the coming days, but we have confirmed that the voucher value for each eligible child will exceed the rate that schools are paid for free school meals, recognising that families will not be buying food in bulk and may therefore incur higher costs.

Full guidance can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-free-school-meals-guidance

Update on school funding

We will put in place new measures, to reimburse schools for reasonable, additional costs that they face in order to stay safely staffed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.

Funding for all schools and colleges (including maintained and academy special schools, non-maintained special schools, independent special schools, pupil referral units, general further education colleges and special post-16 institutions), whether from local or central government, will be maintained and not reduced because many pupils are not in attendance (either because of self-isolation, or where the institution has closed). This includes top-up funding in respect of individual children and young people, which will still be needed by the school to keep their staff in employment.

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

The latest guidance and video on hand washing can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

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)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

·         https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Educational resources:

·         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

·         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·         https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·         https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

Please keep your GIAS school contacts up to date

If you work in a school, please take this opportunity to review your contact information in Get Information About Schools (GIAS).

To update your record, please go to the GIAS home page, “Sign in” using your “DfE Sign-in” credentials and select GIAS from your available services here:

·         https://www.get-information-schools.service.gov.uk/

New guidance for households with symptoms

 

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

The Prime Minister’s statement from Monday 16 March can be found here:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/pm-statement-on-coronavirus-16-march-2020

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Watch this short NHS film for guidance:

·         https://youtu.be/bQCP7waTRWU

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

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)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

·         https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Guidance for educational settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

·         https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-for-social-or-community-care-and-residential-settings-on-covid-19

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

·         https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus

Educational resources:

·         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/resources/campaigns/101-coronavirus-/resources

·         https://campaignresources.phe.gov.uk/schools

Latest Department for Education information:

·         https://twitter.com/educationgovuk

·         https://www.facebook.com/educationgovuk/

 

Home Learning

Further to this we would like to support our families and children with home learning whilst isolation rules are in effect.

Please see below a list of websites and links with free resources, activities games and apps which will help you support your child and keep them engaged during the isolation period.

EYFS Resources

Year 1 Resources

Year 2 Resources

Websites & Apps

How to stay active at home

30 Day Lego Challenge