COVID-19 – School closure information

Update 3rd April 2020

We hope that you, your family and loved ones are safe and well during these difficult times. As you know, the government directed all schools to close on 20th March 2020 other than to provide emergency childcare. The government guidance states: ‘We have asked parents to keep their children at home wherever possible, and for schools to remain open only for those children of workers critical to the COVID-19 response who absolutely need to attend.’ There is also provision where a risk assessment deems it is better for a child with an Education Health and Care Plan or one with an assigned Social Worker to attend. The government’s message is very clear: children should stay at home if at all possible – #StayHomeSaveLives

We are currently able to offer emergency childcare for those eligible. The school is open 8.30-3.15 Monday to Friday (please provide a packed lunch or a cold packed lunch can be purchased at school). Please note: Our School will be closed on April 10-14. If you have not booked a place, please email c.heaton@crossleyheath.org.uk

Please note that safeguarding remains our key priority and it is important that you share any concerns. If you have any safeguarding concerns, as ever, you are free to report these direct to Calderdale MAST via 01422 393336 or MASTadmin@calderdale.gov.uk  If you wish to speak directly with Mr Chesters on a safeguarding matter please call on 07789440603

Vouchers for FSM Students

We apologise for the delay in sending vouchers to those families on FSM, this has been due to the unavailability at supermarkets to purchase them in bulk and computer system issues. However, the government have now centralised a buying source and we are awaiting our log in details in order to the place the order. Families will receive vouchers for the two weeks we have been closed in the first instance (initially it is anticipated these will come via post) once we have obtained them and we will contact you to let you know when they are being sent. However, the plan longer term will be to start sending these electronically via email, therefore, it is essential we hold the correct email contact details. Please click on the link to provide these so we can cross reference with our school system: https://bit.ly/3dO9Y2x

Please be careful when entering your information as the school will not take responsibility for inaccurate information provided which could result in vouchers being delivered to the wrong person.


Update 24th March 2020

New Government Lockdown Guidance Letter from Julie Jenkins / Calderdale Council

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for all the support you have offered to the school over the last week or so.  It has been a difficult time for everyone and I have been immensely impressed by the calmness, maturity and resilience shown by our wonderful students and staff.

The further restrictions announced by Boris Johnson last night are difficult for everybody and I know you will all be concerned about what is to follow.  I have attached a letter for all parents and carers from Julie Jenkins, Calderdale’s Director of Children and Young Peoples’ Services for information.

We are determined to hold together our fantastic school community, of which you are all such as valuable part.  We recognise that it is difficult for students to study alongside family members, possibly sharing computers and work-space.  I said to all students in assembly last week to do their best, that is all we can ask.  Likewise, our staff members are doing their best in similar circumstances.  We will of course review and revisit our home-study arrangements as this period of closure continues.

We will continue to support our critical worker families over the coming weeks.  We are almost ready with a voucher scheme for families of children who are in receipt of free school meals, these families will be contacted individually.

Please keep checking the website for updates.


Update 23rd March 2020

CYP-COVID 19 Parent and Carer Letter from Julie Jenkins, Director of Children and Young People’s Services.

Statement to Year 11 and Year 13 Students from Mrs Cassidy


Update 20th March 2020

School is now closed to all students except those of key workers who are unable to keep their child/ren at home. The Dept for Education have clarified their guidance today to confirm that where key workers can look after their child/ren at home, they should do so.

“Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so. For vulnerable children, your child’s social worker will work with you to assess the best option for your child”.

The government has now published the full list of who can register their child to attend. The government has made clear that to be eligible one parent/carer must have been told by their employer that they are an essential worker. Please read the guidance carefully.

We will be in direct contact with families who have registered their child/ren’s attendance next week. If your circumstances change, please contact Mrs C Heaton c.heaton@crossleyheath.org.uk

GCSE & A level exams: The examination boards and Ofqual are working on this and have released a statement today. We await further clarity and will update you as soon as we have some definite information. In the meantime, we advise against speculation (which may cause undue anxiety) or engaging with companies/individuals who may be offering to help make sure your child gets the grades they need. We are aware that these kind of offers may be advertised by opportunists. Rest assured, we are determined that all of our students will not be disadvantaged by the current situation.

There are some good emotional health and well-being resources for covid-19 that you and your child may find useful. The Joe Wicks blog gives students access to exercise during their time away from school. Guidance is that it is even more important at this time that physical activity is undertaken for both physical and mental health. Other resources can be found on the school VLE under parents and in the closure 2020 file on the VLE.

And finally, students have been fantastic today. It has been quite an emotional day, for Y11 and Y13 in particular. We have had some lovely photos and a lot of shirt signing. We will, of course, provide a ‘proper’ traditional leavers send off when we can. It has felt very odd to wave goodbye to all of our students in these abrupt circumstances but we have assured them that the school is still here and we are all still part of a great community, albeit a ‘virtual’ one.


Update 2 – 19th March 2020

School will close for all students at 3.15 on Friday, except for provision offered to children of key workers and vulnerable children.

Vulnerable children
We will directly contact parents of the children concerned about the offer of provision.

Children of Key workers
The government is yet to confirm the categories of workers who qualify as ‘key workers’, or whether they will specify, where there are two parents, that both parents must be key workers. In the meantime, we have used our understanding of the likely categories on the linked form below. For the purposes of attendance next week, we will work on the basis that one key worker parent/carer qualifies your child to attend school.

If you are a key worker and intend to send your child to school next week, please advise us as soon as possible and no later than 12:00 noon tomorrow (Friday 20th March) by clicking this link https://tinyurl.com/qt5r6hg and completing the online form to register your child’s attendance. This will enable us to make staffing and catering arrangements. We will then contact parents directly with information about schooling from Monday.
We expect that parents may need to use school provision flexibly over the coming weeks and we will update you on longer-term arrangements in due course. Please note that we may contact your employer for verification of key worker status.

Preparations for closure
We have held assemblies for students in all year groups today. Students were provided with guidance and instructions for home study. The Student Home Study Guide and our previously distributed Home Study Procedure have been made available on our website. The guidance tells students how to access the work set by their teachers. In addition to being set specific subject work, students are able to access general subject-based learning activities, revision strategies and a ‘Help, I’m Stuck!’ Guide.
Please note that teachers will set work weekly for students. Students will then work independently of their teachers and they will assess your child’s learning on their return to school to ensure that every child has made good progress. Year 11 and Year 13 students only will be able to contact their teachers by email with questions and queries about their work during the working day (09:00-15:00).
We will award rewards and merits on return to school. Where students are found to not to have attempted work, sanctions will apply.

A guide for parents to help support your child’s home learning has been made available on the school’s website. We appreciate that your child may be sharing workspace and computer access with other family members. We have advised students to mix their activities over the course of a particular day and over the course of the week so that they have a variety of tasks. This will support their well-being and aid effective learning. It is not necessary for your child to follow the order of their usual timetable as long as they cover the work set for the week.
If your child is ill during the closure period please inform the school by email admin@crossleyheath.org.uk or leave a message on 01422 360272.

Safeguarding
The safeguarding of our students is of paramount importance. If you have any safeguarding concerns, please contact our Designated Safeguarding Lead, Mr Chesters by email l.chesters@crossleyheath.org.uk or, for serious or immediate concerns about safety of a student, on 07789 440603. Further information on safeguarding, including how to make a MAST referral, is available on the Safeguarding section of our website, under the Well-being tab.

Well-being
Our pastoral and SEN staff will be proactive in contacting students whom we know may require support. Students can refer well-being issues via our website by using the green ‘Are you worried about something’ button at the bottom of our homepage.
If parents are worried about the Mental Health or the Well-being of their child, information, resources and services are on our school website.

Public Examinations (Y11 and Y13)
The government announced last night that public examinations will not take place in May / June. The Federation of Examination Boards are working with Ofqual to determine how final GCSE and A Level grades will be awarded. At present there is no further information about this and accordingly we are unable to respond to any queries. Please rest assured that we will update parents and students as soon as more information becomes available. There is a button on the homepage of our website for Y11 and 13 where we will post examination information as we receive it. We are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that our students are not disadvantaged by the current situation.

Music Tuition
We are aware that a number of students currently have instrumental tuition lessons in school. Parents of these students will be contacted under separate cover regarding our plans for the continuation pf peripatetic music services.

General
The school will use its website to update parents of any new or changed information, so please check it regularly.

The school phone line and email will be available for urgent messages only.
During closure, the school will operate on the minimum staffing levels needed to ensure the Health and Safety of staff and students, to ensure a positive experience for students who are attending, and for the continuity of essential business. The majority of staff are likely to be working from home, as advised by the government. Many staff have caring responsibilities, may have family members at home and/or be sharing workspace. I am sure you will understand that our capacity will be limited. I therefore ask you to support us by not contacting school or individual staff members unless the matter is urgent.

Following the unprecedented upheaval and uncertainty of the last few days, I have been immensely proud of how our whole school community has responded – with calm resilience and a steadfast determination to overcome the challenges we face. Our students have been magnificent and are a credit to you and the school.


19th March 2020

You will may be aware following the Secretary of State’s announcement, that the school will be closed from Monday.  Schools have been asked to remain open for vulnerable children and the children of key workers.  We are awaiting further clarification about this and will update you in due course.  The announcement also confirmed that GCSE and A-level exams will not go ahead in the summer, but that students will definitely receive their qualifications.  Again, we are awaiting clarification about how students’ grades will be determined.  The Federation of Awarding Bodies confirmed this morning that they will be working on this with Ofqual and schools, but it is unclear when definitive information will be available.

The school is running normally today and tomorrow.  Staff are very busy teaching and supporting students whilst also making final preparations for closure.  Your support at this challenging time will be greatly appreciated.  I am sure you will understand that we are unable to respond to individual queries about exams or provision for vulnerable children/children of key workers.

All parents and carers will receive another update, including arrangements for closure, later today.


18th March 2020

The school will open as normal today.

The school will remain fully open unless:

  • We are told to close by the Department for Education or by Public Health England, or
  • Remaining fully open becomes unsustainable or
  • The health and safety of students and staff is compromised

Please see Letter to parents 17th March 2020. Please see our Home Study Procedures in the event of closure

We have made contingency plans for continuity of education in the event that we become partially open or closed.

Parents, students and staff should follow the current DfE/Public Health England (PHE) advice. A copy is attached, or you can use the following link:

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

Specifically, if your child, or anyone in your household presents, with a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) or a new continuous cough, your household should self-isolate for 14 days.

Please do not send your child to school if they have a continuous cough or a high temperature, or if they have been in contact with someone in your household who has these symptoms. This is to protect the health of staff and students and to ensure that our Health Care Assistant and pastoral staff can continue to work effectively for the benefit of all students.

Please help us further by:

  • Following the Government advice.
  • Checking our website regularly.
  • Avoiding contacting us with general queries about Covid-19, government policy or the government’s advice in relation to Covid -19.
  • Reminding your child about basic hygiene practices, particularly handwashing.

We continue to follow the DfE and PHE guidance for educational settings.

  • We have cancelled/postponed all non-essential school activities and have limited visitor access to the school.
  • We are advising students and staff about the importance of basic hygiene practices, particularly handwashing, on a regular basis.
  • Hand sanitisers are provided at key points throughout the school, particularly the dining room and reception area, however, the advice is clear that thorough handwashing remains the most effective method for infection control.
  • PHE posters advising on how to minimise the spread of infection are on display.
  • Our cleaning regime follows PHE guidance. The cleaning rota for our staff prioritises effective cleaning of surfaces.

 


13th March 2020

Following the Government’s announcement yesterday, I am writing to update you on the school’s position.

The school is to remain open unless advised otherwise by the Department for Education or by Public Health England. All information and relevant updates will be posted on the school’s website and we will share official guidance and details of our planning at the appropriate times. During this time please help us by refraining from contacting the school with general requests for information regarding Coronavirus.

Parents, students and staff should follow the current advice, a copy of which is attached. You can also use the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19. Specifically, if your child presents with any of the symptoms listed in the guidance, ie a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) or a new continuous cough, your child should self-isolate. All other children should attend school as normal. If you are advised by a medical professional that your child needs to self-isolate then please let the school office know about the absence in the normal way. Work will be made available where possible.

We are currently creating contingency plans in order to maintain continuity of education for all our students should we be instructed to close. Further details of how work can be accessed by students in all year groups will be published in due course. Rest assured, appropriate support will be available for students approaching external exams and for those with particular needs. Safeguarding will remain a high priority for all.

In order for further contingency planning to take place with staff, the Y9 Parents’ evening, scheduled for Tuesday 17 March, will be postponed until further notice.

We continue to follow guidance with regard to large gatherings and trips and visits, both locally and abroad. Any changes to plans will be communicated directly to the parents and students involved. With regard to yesterday’s advice about foreign trips being cancelled, we are seeking further clarification and liaising with tour and insurance companies. We will keep parents fully informed as decisions are made.

In the meantime, we advise you to check that your son or daughter can access their school email (and Student Public on the VLE) from home as this is likely to be the principal means by which students and teachers communicate in the event of closure.

As you will appreciate, this is very much a changing picture, with many decisions being made above and beyond school level. Please be confident that we will act in accordance with the Department for Education and Public Health England’s advice in order to keep everybody safe and well.

We anticipate that we will be communicating with you more frequently over the coming days/weeks and will do so via the website. Please check the website on a regular basis to see updated information.

Lynnette Cassidy / Head Teacher

 


 

12th March 2020

You will be aware of the evolving situation with COVID-19. I can confirm that Crossley Heath does not have any confirmed or any suspected cases of the virus but we remain vigilant.

We are closely monitoring developments, taking our advice from the Department of Education (DfE) and Public Health England (PHE). A copy of the current guidance issued to schools can be found at the following link: www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19   This guidance has been shared with our staff and all parents.

In order to reduce the risk for our school community, we ask that students follow the Public Health England guidance on preventing the spread of infection and we have taken the following action:

  • Guidance from DFE and PHE has been shared with staff, governors and parents.
  • Our school nurse is available to speak to parents with specific queries.
  • We are advising students and staff about the importance of basic hygiene practices, particularly handwashing on a regular basis. Students are receiving further lessons based on PHE guidance.
  • Hand sanitisers are provided at key points throughout the school, particularly the dining room and reception area, however, the advice is clear that thorough handwashing remains the most effective method for infection control.
  • PHE posters advising on how to minimise the spread of infection are on display.
  • Our cleaning regime follows PHE guidance. The cleaning rota for our staff prioritises effective cleaning of surfaces. We have ordered wipes for keyboards.
  • Handshaking will not take place between staff/parents/visitors as a precautionary measure for all concerned.

We have a variety of exciting trips and visits coming up over the coming months. We can understand that there may be some concern from some parents about travelling abroad. Current PHE advice is that these should go as planned unless we are advised to the contrary by PHE/the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

If you have visited any of the countries which are affected by the outbreaks (as included in the above hyperlink), or are unwell and have been advised to self-isolate, please inform the school and follow the guidance issued by Public Health England.

We will continue to share updates to the DfE/PHE and will, of course, inform you should anything change.

Thank you for your support with this matter.

Lynnette Cassidy / Head Teacher