Further to my last letter of Friday 13 March, St Hugh’s continues to take steps to minimise the risk of COVID-19 to our pupils and staff, their families, as well as the wider community. Our aim has been (and continues to be) to operate according to our usual routines and to do so according to the school calendar. There are no confirmed cases of the coronavirus at St Hugh’s at this time. I apologise for the length of this letter but, in order to avoid confusion, my preference is to include everything in one communication.
Yesterday’s Government Briefing has introduced some additional elements that we shall be implementing to keep our children safe.
So that we can achieve this in as safe a manner as possible, please could I highlight the following:
- Should your child exhibit the symptoms of coronavirus I ask that you follow the recent government advice and keep them at home. Further information can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19
- This link includes the latest guidance (as of 16 March) for staying at home which you can also find at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
- In short, if anyone in your household has a fever, or a new continuous cough, your whole household must now remain in isolation for 14 days.
- The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature. Public Health England has stated that for most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild infection.
- School fixtures against other schools are cancelled and will be replaced by an internal Games programme.
- The Year 3 – 6 Gala has been postponed, with a future date in the Summer Term to be decided. The Year 7 and 8 Gala has been cancelled.
- The ESSA Primary Schools (Thursday 26 March) has been postponed by the organisers. We will be advised of a new date.
- The Duo Dash Charity Run will be held in the Easter Term of 2021.
- Following England Hockey’s guidance, all hockey at Horncastle is now cancelled for the foreseeable future.
- As all public sports events are cancelled, there is no access to the site for spectators and children should be collected at 3.30pm on Wednesdays from the Pavilion.
- The Junior Concert, scheduled for Thursday 19 March has been cancelled. A normal hobbies programme will be in operation.
- Paid hobbies and those from external providers were cancelled this week to accommodate the Concert. The cancellation of paid hobbies remains in place for the foreseeable future.
- The Associated Boards of the Royal School of Music have suspended all Grade Exams, scheduled for Monday 23 March, until further notice. Full refunds will be issued by ABRSM.
- The production of Calamity Jane has been cancelled due to the guidelines in place about gatherings and social distancing.
Pre-Prep Trips and Assemblies:
- The Trip to The Collection on Tuesday 24 March is cancelled.
- The Reception (Thursday 19 March and Year 2 Thursday 24 March) Assemblies are cancelled.
Visitors to site:
In order to reduce the amount of footfall through the school when dropping off and collecting children, please could I request that access to the school is from the rear car park only. Furthermore:
- The Nursery Open Morning (scheduled for the 28 March) has been cancelled.
- Early Years and Nursery children can be dropped off at the EYFS door where the staff will receive them.
- Year 1 and 2 children should be dropped at the classroom doors.
- Years 3 and above can be dropped off at the signing out door and they can then make their way to their form rooms.
- If dropping off items then the front entrance can continue to be used. However, Mrs Sim can be contacted by phone / email if you have any enquiries.
The routine for Signing Out will move to the Pavilion from today where you will be able to sign your child out at 5pm. If for any reason you run late, please call the Office and we will make arrangements to look after your children until you arrive.
St Hugh’s Summer Ball:
Due to the uncertainty surrounding the development of Coronavirus / COVID19 over the coming months, the Ball will be postponed until a later date which will be communicated to you by the PA in due course. I am grateful to all of those involved so far for their hard work in setting it up and look forward to it eventually taking place.
I understand how disappointing cancelling all of these events will be. The School’s Senior Leadership Team meets daily to review events and implement what is essentially a dynamic risk assessment. As a school, our overriding priority is the children’s welfare; ensuring this underpins our decision making. Preserving the quality of Teaching and Learning is our next priority. Details of how children will be able to continue their learning have been communicated to you and Mr Sinnott and the teaching staff have already worked hard to build up resources which will be available to all children during any period of school closure, should this become a reality. We have been through with pupils in lessons how to access work but, if you are unsure at home, please refer back the email sent on the 13 March.
As ever, I am grateful to all of you for your understanding as this situation continues to develop. Rest assured that we are doing all that we can to operate as normally as we can during this unpredictable time and I apologise in advance for changes to events at shorter notice than we would usually provide.