Shhh… it’s the teddy sleepover

Our teddy sleepover for CHAT was a great success. The children were invited to bring a teddy to school for the teddies to have a sleepover at school., and they were asked to make a donation to CHAT.

Year 6 trip to Blundell’s

On Thursday 26th May, our Year 6 children were invited to Blundell’s for a day of fantastic biology and sports activities.

In the morning, the children spent time in the science labs and enjoyed exploring real life fossils, discovering parts of the human body and studying microorganisms using a microscope. They even had the chance to handle live stick insects, hissing cockroaches and African land snails!

In the afternoon, we explored the communal areas of the school, then the sixth formers of Blundell’s led some cricket and ball games on the field.

Our Year 6 children had a brilliant time and we look forward to making more links with Blundell’s in the future.

The Queen’s Jubilee celebrations

What a great time we had on our jubilee celebration day. Thank you to everyone for their support and participation.  The day was enjoyed by both pupils and staff and it was lovely to see so many happy, smiley faces enjoying the special occasion. Children enjoyed lots of Jubilee  related activities throughout the day including a whole school lunch on the field with music and dancing by both adults and children.

A big thank you to all those who entered the art competition we were overwhelmed with how many entries we received (nearly 140!). Miss Higginson and Mrs Crook had the very difficult job of being judges. It was so lovely to see such a variety of entries and how we have so many talented artists in our school. We hope you enjoyed producing your art work as much as we enjoyed seeing it!

Updated guidance for children and young people aged 18 years and under who have a positive Covid-19 test result

If a child or young person has Covid-19 symptoms (see below) or a positive Covid-19 test result they should try to stay at home and avoid contact with other people for 3 days after the day they took the test or began to feel unwell, if they can. For example if the test was taken on Sunday, then assuming the child or young person feels well and does not have a high temperature, they can return to school on Thursday.

If after 3 days, they feel well and do not have a high temperature, the risk of passing the infection on to others is much lower. This is because children and young people tend to be infectious to other people for less time than adults.

Children and young people who usually go to school, college or childcare, and who live with someone who has a positive Covid-19 test result should continue to attend as normal.

Symptoms of Covid-19 can include:

  • A high temperature or shivering (chills) – a high temperature means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • Shortness of breath
  • Feeling tired or exhausted
  • An aching body
  • A headache
  • A sore throat
  • A blocked or runny nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea
  • Feeling sick or being sick

Red Nose Day!

Latest guidance around Covid-19

Updated guidance around Covid-19 came into place on February 24th and we are continuing to implement the following control measures to reduce the risk of infection:

· Ensure good hygiene for everyone.

· Maintain appropriate cleaning regimes.

· Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.

· Follow public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of Covid-19.

Face coverings are no longer advised for pupils, staff and visitors in classrooms or communal areas. Staff and pupils should follow wider advice on face coverings outside of school, including on transport to and from school. (The legal requirement to wear a face covering no longer applies. However, the government suggests that you continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet).

Self-isolation
· If someone develops symptoms or has a positive test result the guidance still advises people to stay at home to avoid passing the infection on to others. Many people may no longer be infectious after 5 days and so as previously, if people have no temperature and negative LFD tests on day 5 and 6 the risk of them being infectious greatly reduces and so can safely return to normal routines.

· The school’s operational guidance outlines that in most cases parents and carers agree that a pupil with the key symptoms should not attend the school given the potential risk to others. If a parent or carer insists on a pupil attending your school as a confirmed or suspected case of Covid-19, you can take the decision to refuse the pupil if, in your reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with Covid-19.

· Close contacts are no longer required to self-isolate or advised to take daily tests, and contact tracing has ended.

Testing
· PCR testing is still currently available for anyone with Covid-19 symptoms.

· Regular asymptomatic testing of staff and pupils in mainstream secondary schools will not be expected to continue. Students have today been given a final box of lateral flow tests to bring home. We do not anticipate any further deliveries.

· Staff and pupils in specialist SEND settings, Alternative Provision, and SEND units in mainstream schools are advised to continue regular twice weekly testing.

· In the event of an outbreak, a school may also be advised by their local health team or director of public health to undertake testing for staff and students of secondary age and above for a period of time. In these circumstances, we would provide you with lateral flow tests.

Talking to children about the conflict between Russia and Ukraine

We understand that the current world news regarding the conflict in Ukraine can be a very frightening topic of discussion for everyone and for our children. Many children have come into school talking about it this week.

The class teachers have spoken to the children about the current situation in an appropriate way to explain what is happening. We will continue to talk to the children and support them over the coming weeks.

There is a great deal of useful information online about how to talk to your child.

The following advice comes from Save the Children experts, specifically for talking to children about conflict/war:

1.     Make time and listen when your child wants to talk: Give children the space to tell you what they know, how they feel, and to ask you questions. They may have formed a completely different picture of the situation than you have. Take the time to listen to what they think, and what they have seen or heard.

2.     Tailor the conversation to the child: Be mindful of the child’s age as you approach the conversation with them. Young children may not understand what conflict or war means and require an age-appropriate explanation. Be careful not to over-explain the situation or go into too much detail as this can make children unnecessarily anxious. Younger children may be satisfied just by understanding that sometimes countries fight. Older children are more likely to understand what war means but may still benefit from talking with you about the situation. In fact, older children will often be more concerned by talk of war because they tend to understand the dangers better than younger children do.

3.     Validate their feelings: It is important that children feel supported in the conversation. They should not feel judged or have their concerns dismissed. When children have the chance to have an open and honest conversation about things upsetting them, it can create a sense of relief and safety.

4.     Reassure them that adults all over the world are working hard to resolve this: Remind children that this is not their problem to solve. They should not feel guilty about playing, seeing their friends, and doing the things that make them happy. Stay calm when you approach the conversation. Children often copy the sentiments of their caregivers—if you are uneasy about the situation, chances are your child will be uneasy as well.

5.     Give them a practical way to help: Support children who want to help. Children who have the opportunity to help those affected by the conflict can feel like they are part of the solution. Children can create fundraisers, send letters to local decision-makers, or create drawings calling for peace.

This advice comes from ELSA (Emotional Literacy Support Assistant) and is about talking to children after a frightening event:

Find out what they know and correct any misconceptions. Children do hear things on the news, on the playground and they may not fully understand what has happened. Find out what they know and then you are able to explain gently and in an age appropriate way so they can have some understanding of the situation. Encourage questions and answer as honestly as you can without causing distress. Think of the age of the child and their potential level of understanding.

Express feelings. Feelings are important. There may be a whole range of feelings around a frightening event from sadness to anxiety to anger. Encourage your child to express how they feel about an event and don’t be scared of expressing your feelings too. Don’t hold back the tears if you feel sad. Children need to see it is ok to let your feelings out. Use drawing or puppets to help children express their feelings.

Shield very young children from disturbing images on the TV/internet. There is absolutely no need for children to see scary and frightening images on TV/online. This is something that does need shielding from your children. They will not understand and it could cause a lot of fear and anxiety. Shielding images and news on TV/online is not shielding them from what has happened. You can explain that to them in a truthful and age appropriate way.

Risk Assessment. Children are often scared that this might happen to them. Look at risks in life and how likely or unlikely things may happen. We just hear about them more on the news so it seems like a real threat and that it might happen anytime.

Routines, routines, routines. Keep to your child’s normal routines and don’t change them. Children feel safer when things carry on as normal.

We would like to take this opportunity to share with resources that you can access at home to support any discussions you have with the children.

 

The link below directs you to a range of different sites to access resources and support.

Babcock LDP – Discussing the News with Children – Ukraine

Newsround, from the BBC’s, CBBC channel, has lots of videos and reports about the war in Ukraine that have been produced for children. There is also a section containing tips for children who are feeling sad or upset about something they have seen heard or read.

Home – CBBC Newsround (scroll down)

Place2Be’s educational psychologists have also share advice about how to discuss war and conflict with children and how best you can support them at this difficult and worrying time.

Talking to children and young people about war and conflict | Place2Be

Please continue to monitor children’s device use at home as children can sometimes see distressing content online.

 

Some of the children have been asking about how they can support those living in Ukraine. We are aware that North Devon Tyres are acting as a collection point for resources.  There is also a collection point at The Old Heathcoat School Community Centre on Sunday 6th March 1pm – 4pm.

 

Miss Higginson

Head of School

Children in need

Children in need jumper