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Important COVID 19 Update

Dear Parents and Carers 

I am writing to make you aware that following the weekend break, Parkside has been made aware of  positive lateral flow test results.  Those with positive lateral flow tests are all isolating whilst awaiting their PCR results and are not currently in school. 

Parkside is following the DFE guidance fully and has been in contact with the Norfolk Outbreak Team for advice today; we have everything in place that they recommended.  We have a contingency plan to limit contact where a case is reported within school.  We will also inform you with an email if there are cases within your pupils class. 

If your child is a close contact the NHS Track and Trace system will be in contact with you.  They request close contacts take a PCR and daily lateral flow tests for 10 days, but they can continue to come into work/school.  If you would prefer to isolate whilst awaiting the results Parkside will authorise the absence and set up remote learning until the PCR result is confirmed. 

You may find this link useful to help you understand when to isolate and what to do. 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/

This is a reminder that Covid 19 is still very much with us and we will need to be vigilant to any symptoms.  If your child presents with any symptoms whilst at school the advice from the Norfolk Outbreak team is that we request the pupil is picked up from school and starts isolation as well as booking a PCR test.  The Outbreak Team has been clear that we need to have a low threshold towards the symptoms and be cautious in our approach as this will be the best way to keep everyone safe. 

All adults and Secondary-aged pupils (aged 11 and above) are strongly recommended and urged to do twice weekly lateral flow tests.  Please see the link below for any further information. 

Symptom-free coronavirus testing – Norfolk County Council

Thank you for your continued support, working together to keep everyone safe.  We have already experienced staffing issues due to Covid 19 and complications around this and I know this can at times be unsettling for the pupils.  We are committed to keeping everyone safe and ensuring all pupils get the education they are entitled to at Parkside.

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

The Parkside School

College Road

Norwich NR2 3JA

01603 441126

www.parkside.norfolk.sch.uk

Important COVID 19 Update

Dear Parents and Carers 

I am writing to make you aware that following the weekend break, Parkside has been made aware of  positive lateral flow test results.  Those with positive lateral flow tests are all isolating whilst awaiting their PCR results and are not currently in school. 

Parkside is following the DFE guidance fully and has been in contact with the Norfolk Outbreak Team for advice today; we have everything in place that they recommended.  We have a contingency plan to limit contact where a case is reported within school.  We will also inform you with an email if there are cases within your pupils class. 

If your child is a close contact the NHS Track and Trace system will be in contact with you.  They request close contacts take a PCR and daily lateral flow tests for 10 days, but they can continue to come into work/school.  If you would prefer to isolate whilst awaiting the results Parkside will authorise the absence and set up remote learning until the PCR result is confirmed. 

You may find this link useful to help you understand when to isolate and what to do. 

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/

This is a reminder that Covid 19 is still very much with us and we will need to be vigilant to any symptoms.  If your child presents with any symptoms whilst at school the advice from the Norfolk Outbreak team is that we request the pupil is picked up from school and starts isolation as well as booking a PCR test.  The Outbreak Team has been clear that we need to have a low threshold towards the symptoms and be cautious in our approach as this will be the best way to keep everyone safe. 

All adults and Secondary-aged pupils (aged 11 and above) are strongly recommended and urged to do twice weekly lateral flow tests.  Please see the link below for any further information. 

Symptom-free coronavirus testing – Norfolk County Council

Thank you for your continued support, working together to keep everyone safe.  We have already experienced staffing issues due to Covid 19 and complications around this and I know this can at times be unsettling for the pupils.  We are committed to keeping everyone safe and ensuring all pupils get the education they are entitled to at Parkside.

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

The Parkside School

College Road

Norwich NR2 3JA

01603 441126

www.parkside.norfolk.sch.uk

World Book Day – 4 March 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

World Book Day is 4th March this year.

Parkside has always enjoyed celebrating world book day and we do not not want this to stop during Lockdown!

Therefore Mr Nelson and Mrs Ellis-Gage have planned the following activities for everyone to join in with.

  1. Challenge number 6 is an extreme Reading Challenge – show us you reading in some ‘extreme and funny’ places!
  2. Assembly at 10 am (zoom link to follow).  Please dress up in your favourite book character clothes (if you are in school you can come in dressed up).
  3. All through the day there will be members of the Senior Leadership Team reading stories for you to join in with (zoom link and story timetable to follow)
  4. Make a reading den challenge!  Can you make a reading den at home?  Is it just you that can fit in it or can you have a pet, a brother or sister or a grown up in it too?

Kind regards

Carolyn Ellis-Gage    (pronouns she/her)

Head Teacher

Unions and returning to school

Dear Parents and Carers

I am sure you will have seen in the news that there has been a lot of speculation regarding the safety of fully re-opening all schools.  The unions for teachers and teaching assistants have issued advice and guidance for their members to invoke their rights not to return to a workplace they consider unsafe due to rising rates of Covid infection.

Today we have heard from over 30 staff members that are following their union guidance and believe it is not safe for them to return to teaching full classes at Parkside School and we are expecting more letters to come.  The letters have been received from staff across the school, and it affects every year group.  We also have some staff that have received further instruction to shield, have been instructed by track and trace to self-isolate and are off sick due to other illness.

Today there was a meeting between the Chair of Governors, Head Teacher and Deputy to decide on the safest course of action.  The Governors have decided that the safest option is to keep the school open for critical worker and vulnerable pupils only for the next two weeks due to health and safety due to safe staffing levels.  All other learning will be remote.  This will be reviewed with hope that the conditions have improved enough that staffing can return to normal from 18th January.

Vulnerable pupils will be classified as pupils that have a social worker or are in situations where it is not safest for them to be learning from home.  The school will be in touch with these families.  If you are a critical worker and therefore require a critical worker space for your child please email the pupilabsence@parksidemail.co.uk line to confirm the details of your job/working hours and your child’s name and class.

As I am sure you appreciate, a change of circumstances like this involves a lot of coordination, especially with other agencies such as transport.  Therefore we are closing for an additional inset on Tuesday 5th as well as Monday 4th. This will give us chance to contact all parents/staff etc and ensure on Wednesday 6th we have Parkside as safe as possible for pupils that are attending and remote learning will be up and running for those pupils remaining at home.

Just to clarify the main points:

  • School is closed to all pupils for Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th January to organise both the testing and in-school and remote provision for pupils
  • 6 – 15th January all pupils that deemed vulnerable by Parkside or are children of critical workers will be educated in school.  ALL OTHER PUPILS will receive remote learning
  • 18th January we intend all staff and pupils can return fully.  (However we are aware that this is a fast moving and ever changing situation)
  • Stay and Play will not be running over these two weeks.

I would like to thank the staff for their quick response to their union guidance which has enabled us to plan quickly.

I am aware this news will be a relief to some families and a concern to other families.  The decisions we are making as a school are all coming down to health and safety for pupil welfare and ensuring we have safe levels of supervision.  They have not been taken lightly and will be under constant review.

Yours sincerely

Carolyn Ellis-Gage and Stephen Hobbs

Head Teacher and Chair of Governors

Important message from Head Teacher and Chair of Governors about school return

Dear Parents and Carers

I am sure you have seen on the news and in the media that have been some changes to the start dates for Secondary pupils.  I thought I would clarify what this means for pupils at Parkside.

In Norfolk this does not affect Primary aged pupils (year 3 – 6).  All Primary pupils at Parkside should continue to attend full time school as it is still considered mandatory at this point in time.  We can only provide remote learning and authorise absence for pupils in Primary that are self isolating in line with Government guidelines (isolating as they have symptoms, are a close contact or live with someone with symptoms or a positive test.)  I am sorry if you were hoping that pupils from Primary could receive remote learning, but we have to follow what has been set out by the Government at this time.

Secondary (year 7 – 11) and Pathways pupils at Parkside are encouraged by the Government to come into school full time but have the option of requesting a leave of absence for the first two weeks.  If you would prefer your child to stay at home for the first two weeks of the school term due to the steep rise in positive cases in Norfolk, this will be authorised as a special circumstance, in line with the Government’s guidance.  They will not return until 18th January, but will have remote education in place instead for those two weeks.

If you would prefer your child to stay home for the next two weeks please email pupilabsence@parksidemail.co.uk  with your child’s name and class.  We will contact you regarding the remote learning.  We are unable to offer a mixture of days in or days off;  pupils will need to be in school for the two weeks every day or out of school every day receiving remote education.  If you are a critical worker and would only require a place in school for your secondary-aged child on your working days, please email the same place and explain your requirements and why.  Please let us know if your child is staying home by Monday 4th January so we can organise the remote learning and let transport know.

I do feel it is important to make it clear that as we are in tier 4 we do not have all our staff available in school; some need to shield as per the guidance.  This alongside the higher illness rates means that we already have high staff absence at Parkside.  If it becomes unmanageable and therefore we have unsafe levels of supervision we will have no choice but to close classes in order to keep the pupils safe.  Our intention is to be as fully open as we can safely be, for as long as we can.

We will continue to work with the families of pupils displaying dangerous behaviours such as spitting/purposeful coughing/not sticking to their bubbles in order to limit exclusion but at the same time ensure Parkside is safe for all pupils and staff.  This may include the introduction of part-time tables for example.  Whilst we are aware these behaviours may be an expression of stress, given the circumstances we are in with a global pandemic, we will need to have safety as the bottom line whilst supporting all pupils.

The school is in the process of working out the logistics of the in-school testing for Secondary pupils and we will send out further information at the start of the school term regarding this.

I hope you all had a lovely break and we look forward to seeing pupils back in Primary from Tuesday 5th January and Secondary either from the 5th or 18th January.

Yours sincerely

Carolyn Ellis-Gage and Stephen Hobbs

Head Teacher and Chair of Governors

 

 

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