Weekly Bulletin 21st January 2022
As we end another week at school I wish to thank parents for working with us in order to keep pupils, staff and the school community safe. Locally, cases are still high and this has been reflected in school as we have had to implement a number of protective measures in certain classes. The measures we put in place do help to reduce transmission and your cooperation is greatly appreciated. As you will have seen in the news, there have been further updates from the government with regards to Covid guidance and I have shared the latest updates below.
Each week I want to include a ‘snapshot’ of some of the things going on in school. For example, news from our ECO team, Worship group, V.I.P. (Very International People) and SNAG (School Nutrition Action Group). This week our focus is on our V.I.P. group in school and some of the members have shared an update on this below.
This week we had some special visitors in school to help us prepare for the Lunar New Year celebrations at the Town Hall in Durham, which takes place next month. The Chinese students who visited had previously shown us a PowerPoint on Zoom before Christmas, explaining how they celebrate Chinese New Year and why. Yesterday, they taught us a traditional Chinese song that we hope to perform on the 5th February as well as origami crafts and posters about the Lunar New Year.
Poppy, Ellie, Esther and Bertie
COVID-19 Guidance – message from the DFE
The Prime Minister announced on 19th January that the temporary introduction of Plan B is to end. As a result, the Plan B measures for schools are being removed. This advice remains subject to change as the situation develops. COVID-19 continues to be a virus that we learn to live with and the imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education remains. Our priority is to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health. We have worked closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the United Kingdom Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to revise this guidance and this is updated below:
From 20 January, face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in classrooms. From 27 January, face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in communal areas. From 27 January, staff and pupils should follow wider advice on face coverings outside of school, including on transport to and from school.
Vaccination We recommend all school staff and eligible pupils take up the offer of a vaccine. You can find out more about the in-school vaccination programme in COVID-19 vaccination programme for children and young people guidance for schools.
School attendance is mandatory for all pupils of compulsory school age and it is a priority to ensure that as many children as possible regularly attend school.
Self-isolation period for those who test positive for COVID-19
People who are self-isolating with COVID-19 will have the option to reduce their isolation period after 5 full days if they test negative with a lateral flow device (LFD) test on both day 5 and day 6 and they do not have a temperature. For example, if they test negative on the morning of day 5 and the morning of day 6, they can return to their education or childcare setting immediately on day 6. The first test must be taken no earlier than day 5 of the self-isolation period, and the second must be taken the following day. All test results should be reported to NHS Test and Trace. If the result of either of their tests is positive, they should continue to self-isolate until they get negative results from two LFD tests on consecutive days or until they have completed 10 full days of self-isolation, whichever is earliest. Anyone who is unable to take LFD tests or anyone who continues to have a temperature will need to complete the full 10 day period of self-isolation.
Further information on self-isolation for those with COVID-19 is available.
Changes to testing
Confirmatory PCR tests following a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result are temporarily suspended. This will mean that anyone who receives a positive LFD test result will be required to self-isolate immediately and will not be required to take a confirmatory PCR test.
Daily testing for close contacts for COVID-19
The public health advice also states that those close contacts who are fully vaccinated, or children and young people aged between 5 and 18 years and 6 months “should take an LFD test every day for seven days and continue to attend their setting as normal, unless they have a positive test result or develop symptoms at any time”.
We continue to monitor punctuality daily. We request that all parents ensure that their children arrive promptly for the beginning of the school day. This not only means that pupils are present and ready for teaching at the beginning of the morning session but also teaches pupils the importance of meeting deadlines and showing respect for others who may be impacted by poor time-keeping. In cases of persistent lateness, the services of the Education Welfare Officer will be enlisted to support families in meeting their obligation to ensure that their children attend school on time.
For a full list of school holiday dates please see the school website.
Saturday 5th February 2.30pm – 2.45pm– Y6 Lunar New Year at Durham Town Hall
Monday 14th & Tuesday 15th February – Parents’ Consultation Evenings
Friday 18th February – Break up for February half term holiday
Monday 28th February – School re-opens for Spring Term 2
Thursday 7th April – Break up for the Easter holiday
Monday 25th April – School re-opens for Summer term 1
Monday 2nd May – Bank Holiday
Monday 9th – Thursday 12th – May Y6 SATS week
In order to ensure that packed lunches are suitably healthy and meet the guidelines set by Durham County Council, parents are reminded that they should not contain any of the following:
- Fizzy / sugary drinks in cartons, bottles or cans
- Chocolate-coated products / sweets / confectionary
- Chocolate spread as a filling for sandwiches
- Chewing gum
- Sugared / toffee and salted popcorn
Please also remember that we are a nut-free school- your supporting in keeping all children safe is appreciated.
St. Mary’s Church Notice
Epiphany Celebration: 4.00 pm Sat 22nd Jan outside St. Mary’s Church. Refreshment, making rustic stars and short service. All ages, all welcome. Check St. Mary’s Shincliffe Facebook site in case weather causes cancellation.
WILD CHURCH SPRING TERM DIARY
Sat 17th Feb Wild Church World Social Justice Day: 4.00 p.m. Meet outside St. Mary’s – prayer station, bring a tin or pasta for an extra foodbank collection, making string telephones.
TBC Sat March 19 or 26 Wild Church International Forest Day: Refreshment, short service, paper trees, tree identification, plant-a- tree, March Marian Garden.
SAT 16TH April Looking to Easter: St. Patrick: Meet outside Church, its Easter Weekend. Refreshment, ceramic lights to paint, re-telling and building of St. Patrick’s Easter fire, prayer station, Celtic (Northumbrian style) prayers and a short service.
We are exploring the value of peace this half term. Worship will be led by Mr Rumbles, Mrs Matthews, Fr. Bill, Fr. Peter and the pupils.
Some further information about this half term’s value, Peace:
The biblical concept of peace is not just the absence of war. It includes peace with God, positive harmony and healthy relationships between people. It involves spiritual as well as material security. Peace, in the sense of total well-being for the whole of creation, is the ultimate goal. Matthew 5:9 says “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”.
In the school context peace-making actions can include everything from conflict resolution to creating times and places for stillness and reflection.
We would like our children to continue their reflection and experience at home.
Some things to think about:
- How do you feel when you are peaceful?
- What sort of things make you feel peaceful?
- How important is peace in your life?
- Do you have a special place where you feel peaceful?
If you would like to receive a copy of the Weekly Bulletin by e-mail please e-mail the school. Shincliffece@durhamlearning.net The Weekly Bulletins from previous weeks can be found in the Parents’ section of the website.