Update 27th March 2020

Dear parents/Carers

We wanted to update you with the latest developments, both concerning Lark Hall and government advice.


We apologise in advance for the length of this letter. We think it is important that you have as much information as possible at this time.


We firstly want to say a huge thank you to all of families for the support shown to all of our staff during these strange times. This is a time where support for each other is critical in order to get us all through this crisis. Please support those in your neighbourhood, such as the elderly, who would value you ‘checking in’ with them.


We appreciate that this is a very uncertain time for families. During these times, we ask you to please follow government advice to ensure your families are protected as much as possible. You and your families’ health are the most important consideration.


We also want to reiterate the fact that all school staff are working hard to do what we can to ensure all of our children, those in school and those at home, are supported during these days and weeks.


We now want to stress some key messages.

Children Invited to Attend School

 

Just to reiterate, the only children that are allowed to attend schools from Monday 23rd March have been Vulnerable Children (those with an Education Health Care Plan or a social worker) and children who have a parent designated as Key Worker.

 

Just to remind you, below is the list Key Workers as stipulated by the government:

  • Health and social care (This includes doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers)
  • Education and childcare (This includes childcare, support and teaching staff and social workers).
  • Key public services (This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff and charities).
  • Local and national government (This only includes those occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response, or delivering essential public services).
  • Food and other necessary goods (This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery)
  • Public safety and national security (This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces, fire and rescue service employees, border security, prison and probation staff).
  • Transport (This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating).
  • Utilities, communication and financial services (This includes essential financial services provision, the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors, IT and data infrastructure sector, the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications, postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors).

 

If you have one of these jobs, and have not already contacted the school, please inform the school via email or phone at the earliest opportunity. Please use this address: eligibleforschool@larkhall.lambeth.sch.uk. Once this has been confirmed, a member of school staff will be in touch with you. 

 

Where key workers have a partner who is working from home or who is not working, we would not expect to provide school services.

 

We have already been in communication with all of our families with a Vulnerable Child. We will be in constant contact over the coming weeks.

 

For any parent of a Vulnerable Child or any parent who is a Key Worker, please inform the school if you intend not to send your child into school as this is be important information for us to know.

 

Please note that if you have chosen to keep your child (who is eligible to attend) at home during the period of school closures, but change your mind later on, you must inform the office who will provide you with a start date. You must not bring them in to school until you have received confirmation from the school.

Children at Home

It is not feasible for schools to continue to provide a ‘normal’ school education during this time. We also recognise it is not possible to copy the usual school experience at home. It is also not realistic for family members to suddenly step into the role of a teacher.


We do of course want to provide you with as much support as possible. Just to remind all of families, all of our children have been provided with learning folders for them to carry on working at home. If any family has not picked up a home learning folder, please contact the school to make arrangements to come into school to collect one. Please do not come to school without first contacting the school.

 
There are also additional resources available online. These resources can be accessed by the school website - on the home page, click the tab entitled ‘Coronavirus Remote Learning’ and then select the year group.

 
These resources are intended to last until the end of the Easter holidays. As schools are closed until further notice, next week you will receive additional information with regard remote learning resources after the Easter break in the event of school still being closed.

 
In providing these resources, we understand that children have very different home lives and very different levels of parental support. In supporting children at home, we are mindful of these very different circumstances. The remote learning resources are designed to support families throughout this period. We hope you find them useful, but please use these resources as little or as often as you like. I’m sure you have other ideas of how to support your children whilst at home.Of course, if you are using internet-based resources, please be mindful of safe internet usage.

 

It is important to stress that schools are more than centres of learning. Lark Hall is a community where our families play a central part. The purpose of the support from all at Lark Hall is to sustain a sense of school over what is perhaps a lengthy period of time.

 

It is vital that each and every one of our children feel part of this community. Also on the website remote learning page are the email addresses of your child’s teacher. Teachers and children are eager to maintain communication channels and keeping in touch with each other is massively important at this time.

 

We want to finish this section by stressing how much our teachers and support staff are missing our children. Your children are in their thoughts each and every day and they are doing everything they can to help support you and your family during this time.

Free School Meal Children

 

Today we have updated all of our families who are entitled to Free School Meals for their children. 

 

You may be aware that the government are working on putting in place a national scheme to enable families to access vouchers from a local supermarket. We are awaiting further guidance from government and will keep you informed as soon as we hear news. 

 

In the meantime, from Monday 30th March Lark Hall and Tesco have organised vouchers to be sent directly to families eligible for Free School Meals. This voucher will be worth the value of £15 per week for each eligible child.

 

Families will receive an email containing a barcode. They can either print this email off and take it to the Tesco store or show the barcode on your phone. Those families have been contacted today to ensure we have their correct email address.

Public Health England and Government Guidelines

 

I want to highlight the key advice provided for families.

 

 

Social Distancing

 

  • People are not allowed to leave their home apart for limited purposes – shopping for basic things, medical needs, one form of exercise each day and to travel to and from work when absolute necessary.

 

  • People are not allowed to meet friends and family they do not live with.

 

  • Libraries, playgrounds, gyms and places of worship are closed.

 

  • All gatherings of more than two people – aside from those you live with - are banned.

 

  • Parks are open for exercise.

 

  • All social events re banned.

 

  • Police have the power to enforce these rules

 

Please follow the social distancing guidelines at the links below.

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-social-distancing-in-education-and-childcare-settings

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults

 

Further Guidance for Lark Hall Families:

 

  • Families should not visit school if they are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

 

  • We re advising families talk to your children about coronavirus (COVID-19), social distancing and hand washing.

 

  • Families, please model social distancing so that your children learn good practice.

 

  • We are ensuring class sizes reflect the numbers of teaching staff available and are kept as small as possible

 

  • We are staggering the movement of pupils around the school to reduce large groups of children gathering

 

  • We are ensuring anyone who is feeling ill stays at home

 

  • We are ensuring all staff and children wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds frequently, and are encouraged not to touch their face, while using a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and using bins for tissue waste.

 

  • We are increasing the cleaning of surfaces in classrooms, including desks and handles, and within toilet blocks and changing rooms.

 

 

Displaying Symptoms

 

  • The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or high temperature. If you have these symptoms, however mild, stay at home and do not leave your house for 7 days from when your symptoms started (if you live alone), or 14 days (if you live with someone who has symptoms). You do not need to call NHS 111 to go into self-isolation. If your symptoms worsen during home isolation or are no better after 7 days, contact NHS 111 online. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

 

Hygiene

 

  • Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

 

  • To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue in a bin immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

 

  • Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

 

 

That’s it from me at this time.

Please be assured that the school will be in contact with you whenever we have further information to share. Of course, you are always welcome to contact the school in the usual ways via email or telephone. If any family would like to speak to a member of the leadership team at Lark Hall, please contact the school on 020 76223820. Sometimes a chat is all that is needed to get us through these times.

In the meantime, stay in, keep safe and we will be in touch again very soon.

 

Kind regards

 

The Senior Leadership Team