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

World diabetes day

World diabetes day

Sunday 14th November was World diabetes day. We celebrated the day on Friday by asking the children to come dressed in non uniform but in as much blue as possible.

We have 2 children in school who are diabetic and we are hoping to raise money for Snack Pack, which is a support group in Exeter.

We raised a massive £140.89 for snack pack.

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day choir

The children at Heathcoat Primary School have been learning all about the history of Remembrance Day this week.  There have been several assemblies about Remembrance, and different year groups have produced some beautiful artwork linked to the poppy.  At 11am on 11.11 the children and staff held a 2 minute silence to remember the fallen and give thanks to the serving military, with the Last Post being played by Mrs Bard.

Remembrance Day

Summer Reading Challenge

Congratulations to the children who completed the Summer Reading Challenge at Tiverton Library this summer. I am delighted to say that of the 19 schools in the local area, Heathcoat Primary School ranked 4th in terms of the number of children completing the competition, with 38 of our children finishing. Well done to all those who took part. It’s lovely to hear that you enjoyed reading over the summer.

Summer Reading Challenge at Tiverton Library Summer Reading Challenge at Tiverton Library Summer Reading Challenge at Tiverton Library

Heathcoat scores a win in the Year 4 football

We’re delighted that the boys and girls of HPS had a win at Tiverton Cooperative Learning Partnership football competition at Tiverton High School.

Despite the children having little training together and playing in torrential rain, this did not stop their determination to work as a team to continually fire the ball into the net.

Well down to all the Year 4 football players. Team A won and Team B were second in their pools. What a great result!!
Thank you also to Yvonne and Naomi for accompanying the children.

The Year 10s Sports Leaders did their best to collate everything in soggy conditions; thanks for everyone’s support on the day!

Results for the Y3/4 Football, from a very wet Tuesday 28th Sept:

Pool 1
1st Place – St John’s A
2nd Place – Heathcoat B
2nd Place –  Castle
3rd Place – Wilcombe A
3rd Place – Rackenford B

Pool 2
1st Place – Heathcoat A
2nd Place – Wilcombe B
3rd Place – Halberton
3rd Place – Rackenford A
4th Place – St John’s B

“I really enjoyed it and we scored 19 goals altogether. The weather was bad, but it was still great fun!” Eva

“I had a great time playing matches. I loved it and wish I could do it again.” Kai

HPS enters ‘Fun & Active Playgrounds’ competition

We’ve entered in the Fun & Active Playgrounds competition and are in with a chance of winning a playground transformation worth £3000 in time for the new academic year! We’re crossing our fingers as the Silver Sports Package includes 6 bright and colourful playground markings that encourage physical play and activity. With a Netball Court, Dance With Me, Active Trail, Jump Game, Dartboard and 4-Way Hopscotch – the range of markings can be used to enhance breaktimes and PE lessons!

Find out more here: https://fun-play.co.uk/playground-competition/

Join us in wearing the wrong trousers!

wrong trousers

You may know that Heathcoat Primary School pupil Joe received treatment at Bristol Children’s Hospital last year, and has written a letter asking local people to get behind a national fundraising campaign this Friday [2nd June].

Following his road accident last year, Joe wants as many as people as possible to join him in supporting Wallace & Gromit’s Wrong Trousers Day. There’s a prize being awarded to the best ‘wrong trousers’ at our school on Friday!

Joe wants everyone from kids to businesses to take part by wearing the wrong trousers, or through some other ‘cracking’ ideas. His letter says:

“On the 25th August 2020 I was rushed to Bristol children’s hospital after being in a road accident. I had over 20 hours of surgery and me and mummy spent 3 and half weeks at Bristol Children’s Hospital and we still go now for my check ups. All the nurses, doctors and the staff really looked after me and made being in hospital kind of fun for me even with the added pressure of Covid.

I want to raise some money for the hospital but I need your help so let me tell you about Wallace & Gromit’s Wrong Trousers Day on Friday 2nd July. All you have to do is dig out those wacky trousers – from pyjamas to tu-tus and waders to work wear, anything goes, and wear them to school/work.

By donning your wrong trousers and making a donation you are helping to support sick babies and children and their families at Bristol Children’s Hospital and St Michael’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. I am going to try and get as many schools and businesses to take part in Wallace & Gromit’s Wrong Trousers Day!

I would also like children to design their own Wrong Trousers for a competition. Children will be given the colouring to complete on Friday.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.

Thank you

Joe”

You can donate to Joe’s Go Fund Me page: https://uk.gofundme.com/f/tiverton-lets-see-your-wrong-trousers

 COVID-19 update

Devon County Council has issued an update on COVID-19. This is the content of their most recent communication:

As you may have seen in the news, cases of COVID-19 are rising again.  Here in Devon we still have lower rates than many parts of the country, but it is expected that Devon’s rates will continue to rise as we all start to socialise more.  This is starting to be reflected in the rise in positive cases among school age children in the county. 

We want to thank parents and carers for all you are doing to help keep school communities safe – and ask everyone to keep going with the ‘hands, face, space and fresh air’ measures when you and your family are out and about, as well as at school:

·       Wash hands frequently

·       Use face coverings where required, including school transport, public transport, and indoor public spaces

·       Make space – keep your social distance

·       Choose to meet outside in the fresh air where possible

 

Regular testing also helps to stop the spread of the virus – here’s a reminder of what tests are available and when to use them:

LFD tests (Lateral Flow Device)

LFD tests can identify people with lots of the virus and who are very infectious.  1 in 3 people with COVID-19 have no symptoms and could be spreading the virus to other people without knowing.  These tests are for people who do not have any symptoms of coronavirus.  They provide quick results within half an hour, so that you can get on with your day if you test negative, remembering to keep following public health guidance.  If you test positive, you’ll need to arrange a follow-up PCR test (see below).  LFD tests are available for all adults and secondary aged pupils to test twice weekly.   You can pick them up for free from your local pharmacy, and they are available to order online for home delivery.  Assistance with the test is available at any of our Community Testing sites.  You can find details about where our sites are across Devon on our website, devon.cc/flow.

PCR tests (Polymerase Chain Reaction)

PCR tests are more sensitive and used to confirm if someone has COVID-19.  The result takes longer as it is processed in a lab.  PCR tests are for people with COVID-19 symptoms – high temperature, new and continuous cough, change to usual sense of taste or smell – or for follow up after a positive LFD result.  Close contacts of a positive COVID-19 case can also get a PCR test.

Please remember to report test results on the national website as well as to the school, this helps us monitor cases and support quick and appropriate action to keep schools operating as normal.

You can keep up to date with the latest coronavirus news from Devon County Council.

Download their advice to parents and carers here:

Schools advice to parents and carers – JUNE 2021 final