COVID - 19
Documents for Returning to school on 1st June
Hampshire County Council’s Leader (Councillor Keith Mans) and Executive Member for Education and Skills (Councillor Roz Chadd) have been very keen to thank all of Hampshire’s pupils and students for the part they have played in helping to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
They have made a short film (under two minutes in length) in which they, personally, express their thanks.
21st May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you so much for the messages and video following on from Thank a Teacher Day yesterday.
Our wonderful PTA, who work tirelessly to help the school asked for videos and photographs to put into a montage and sent it to us last night then posted it on the PTA and Wallop Primary School facebook pages.
It is an absolute treat and many of the teachers were very moved by the gesture and brought to tears. We have all been working so hard and the reason why all of us came into the teaching profession was suddenly wrenched away when the school closed to most children and I know without exemption, my wonderful staff miss every one of them.
So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you - there is not a gift that I have received in 25 years of teaching that has touched me so deeply or meant so much to me.
I have enclosed the links in case you haven't seen it, as well as a thank you from me to the children, the PTA and Louise Ellison for putting it together - she is very clever at this sort of thing!
No doubt there will be more announcements from the government soon, so I will be back in touch then.
In the meantime, stay safe.
With warmest regards,
20th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you are safe and well. I would like to thank you for your continued support and your kind words and deeds – it was especially lovely to be greeted by children with signs saying “Thank You Teachers” as I drove the minibus this morning and for the lovely cake that another child made thanking the staff.
So today, I start as I finished the letter on Saturday, and on Teacher Appreciation Day, thanking the wonderful teachers, LSAs, Office and Site staff who are working exceptionally hard to ensure that you have all you need, as well as getting the school ready for re-opening to more children on 1st June 2020.
We are guided by the Government in this and we are still unsure if the Government will say that the country has met the 5 outcomes that is needed to be able to reopen to more children on 1st June – however, we are planning as if the 5 outcomes are met and the Government has instructed schools to reopen.
I can’t as yet give you any further information about the ambitions of Boris Johnson to open to all children by the end of June – some of you may find this hard to believe, but we receive information at the daily briefing as you do. When we have more clarity on this, I will write to you and outline the plans.
However, we are reopening for Year R, Year 1 and Year 6 along with the critical worker children and the vulnerable children on June 1st. The parents who want children to return have completed an online form or been telephoned by the office.
I am including with this covering letter a booklet that should give you all the information that you need along with a Frequently Asked Question Sheet. I am hoping that I have thought of every eventuality for reopening the school and that all your questions are answered – if not – please do email and we will answer any questions you have.
When your children come back – they will come back socially distancing – see the video assembly I put together for 20th May https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EBdVsMeMnzo
So it will be very different for them – although, before they come back I will do a video tour of the school to help them to see how it is changed and therefore is not to much of a shock for them.
In the meantime, please keep yourselves safe and please do email your child's class teachers if you need anything in the way of work or support.
Yours with kindest regards,
16th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Please be prepared, this is a long mail!
Following on from the information produced by the Government and from Gavin Williamson’s press briefing this evening I wanted to summarise for you the current position and guidance as I understand it.
I sent you a copy of the document ‘Opening schools and educational settings to more pupils from the 1st June: guidance for parents and carers’. There are a number of links within this document to other guidance and information so you may prefer to read it online. At the bottom of this mail, I have included links to online documents.
Overview of the expectations on school
- If the 5 key tests set by the government justify change then the government plans to move to Step 2 of their adjustment plan, but not before the 1st June. At this step, the government plans to include the phased reopening of primary schools for the education of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
- Schools are asked to continue to provide childcare provision for priority groups (vulnerable children and children of critical workers).
- It will not be compulsory for children to attend.
- Children who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should not attend. Parents of children who have a health condition that makes them vulnerable and are at higher risk of severe illness from Coronavirus should seek and follow medical advice.
Managing risk and rate of transmission
- Settings are asked to reduce contact between children and staff as far as possible by children being grouped into small groups and keeping that group away from any other group. Mr Williamson referred to these as “bubbles”.
- Year groups will be split into smaller groups of no more than 15. The number will depend on the size of the classroom and how many children in the cohort.
- We are advised that groups should not be mixed. Children should be in the same small group at all times of each day and different groups should not be mixed.
- The same staff will be allocated to a group and as far as possible these staff should remain the same throughout the day and on all days that the group attend.
- To ensure children use the same classroom or area throughout the day. Schools are asked to consider seating children at the same desk each day they attend.
- Thorough cleaning is crucial as always but during this time particularly in the following ways:
- In between group use of any shared space e.g. between sittings in the dining room if that is used or between groups attending school.
- Frequent cleaning of surfaces that children touch more regularly e.g. toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, etc.
- To continue to ensure frequent and quality hand washing.
- To ventilate rooms as much as possible.
- To consider one-way circulation around the building or divide corridors to keep groups apart.
- To stagger breaks and lunchtimes.
- To use outdoor space as much as possible for exercise, breaks, and learning.
- Outdoor equipment should not be used unless it is appropriately cleaned between groups.
- Wherever possible equipment or toys which are not required should be removed and stored away.
- To limit sharing of resources, stationery, and home-school items.
Curriculum & school day organisation
- School’s should consider pupils’ mental health and wellbeing and support pupils so they are ready to learn.
- Schools should also, at the same time, do their best to support pupils remaining at home continuing with a home learning offer.
- Schools are asked to provide meals for all children in school and these should be free of charge where pupils meet the free school meal eligibility criteria.
There have been a number of documents released, these are also attached at the bottom of this mail. Updates have been frequent and will continue I am sure.
I am in the process of completing a risk assessment considering updates, advice, and problem-solving teamwork across local schools. I aim to have this completed and ready to send out once checked by staff and governors of the school to you by Wednesday 20th May.
I can tell you that we will be able to offer full-time education to the 58 children in Reception, Year 1, Year 6 and those of critical workers and vulnerable children who have so far completed the survey saying that they want to come into school. We will ensure that we comply with the safety expectations in the guidelines. Once the risk assessments are all completed I will be able to better pinpoint the specific challenges and will then seek advice from the Local Authority to help solve the problems if needed.
My understanding of the guidance is that I must prioritise attendance in the following order:
- Provide places for priority groups (childcare for vulnerable children and children of critical workers)
- Pre-School/ Reception
- Year 1
- Year 6
We want nothing more than to be able to welcome children back to school, but in reality, this is what we face:
- There are 54 children alone in Reception, Y1 and Y6. These would need all of our classrooms and all of the teaching and support staff to teach them in small “bubbles”. Yet, these children alone have many siblings. What are families to do with these children?
- Add to this the 4+ (at least) extra children who would have a parent classed as a critical worker not in YR, 1 or 6.
- A number of staff classed as ‘vulnerable’ and will not be able to return to work.
- A number of staff, with children in other schools, may also be without childcare if these schools do not accept them as critical worker children.
The school would be asked to fulfil three functions: childcare for critical worker children, education in school for some year groups and support home learning for those not in school. As you can see staff will be stretched very thinly to be able to do this effectively.
These are just some of the challenges faced before beginning to look at the physical limitations of the school building.
The numbers need us to ensure an incredible amount of planning and physical changes to the environment needs to take place before we can even consider reopening the school if we are to ensure social distancing is in place, maintained and your child is safe.
Therefore, I am asking for your help in the following ways:
- Please do not make plans based on the dates given by the government. These are aspirational and are heavily dependent on the specific challenges that each school faces as well as the scientific evidence stacking up.
- Give us the time we need to devise a plan based on guidance that we only received this week.
- Please support the decisions that we make, even if they negatively affect your own arrangements.
There is not a single solution to these issues. The guidance is contradictory and each school must find its own path based on the building they are in and the staff available. I want to maintain and protect the excellent relationships we have with our families, so I will be fair, open and transparent at every stage.
We have spoken to many parents over recent days and I want to say a huge thank you for your patience, support and confidence in the Wallop Primary School Team as we work out how we move forward. You have shared your worries and questions and understood that for the majority of these I only know the same amount of information as everyone else.
Some questions asked by parents since Monday, (there are more specific ones which I will send out early next week.)
When will we know if ‘Step 2’ is going ahead on the 1st June?
This was an interesting question. All the statements and guidance talk about Step 2 only being applied if the 5 government measures are met. I haven’t yet been able to find a definitive answer to this question. I will keep asking and reading the information provided. I am not sure if the government has announced the next review date. If it is 3 weeks after the last one it will be at the end of May.
Is it definite? Are schools starting to reopen from the 1st June?
No. This is part of the government’s Step 2 and they have made it clear that it will not be before the 1st of June and is dependent on continued positive progress towards the 5 measures. The more we can stay home, stay safe and minimise our risk of spreading the virus the more likely we are to be able to open in June.
Will I have to send my child to school if I am concerned about their safety?
No. The government uses the phrase ‘we strongly encourage’ when talking about attendance but have been clear that there will be no fines for non-attendance. As far as I am concerned this will be your choice as to whether you send your child. We will respect that.
I have a household member with a significant health concern do I have to send my child in?
There is very clear guidance on this in the parent guidance. The answer seems to depend on if the household member is ‘extremely clinically vulnerable’ in which case only if stringent social distancing can be adhered to.
Will the children be all together in their normal class?
No - group sizes are not allowed to be more than 15 and will vary by the classroom size being used. Most of ours will be in groups of 10 and therefore will not necessarily be able to be with their friends or class teacher.
Will they be split over a number of classes?
Yes, children will be split into small groups across year groups.
If split into smaller groups who will teach them?
Teachers or teaching assistants under the direction of teachers.
Will the kitchen be open to serve dinners?
Yes, the kitchen open as usual – but with social distancing in place.
How will you keep 2m between reception and year 1 children when playing?
As you will understand this will be impossible to enforce especially with our youngest children. However, the staff are very aware of this and will try – being in smaller groups will help this.
How will we safely drop off and pick up children in each year group?
This is going to be a significant challenge and we will send this information out on Wednesday. However, days will be staggered.
Will the breakfast club and after school club be reopened when schools begin their phased reopening?
I have given this a lot of thought and the biggest challenge to being able to do this is keeping all the children who attend separated by group and in separate spaces as they are cross-class and cross and year group. The challenges of cleaning areas used during the day are also considerable.
Therefore, at this time we will not be opening the breakfast club.
Is it worth doing all this planning if we aren’t sure it will happen?
Yes. At some point (hopefully sooner rather than later if medical science supports the decision) we will begin our phased reopening. We want the school open again and without exception we all miss our wonderful Wallop children. I see the work being put into planning, preparation and problem solving as a positive step towards a safe, informed and well-resourced return when we are allowed to.
Will the staff and children have to wear PPE?
I have left this up to individual staff to decide what they feel they need and I am sure you will support them in their worries about this. The only time adults have been instructed to wear PPE by me is whilst supervising a child waiting to be collected if they are displaying symptoms associated with coronavirus. We have plastic gloves and aprons for staff and they are welcome to wear these now in childcare and when we reopen to education. Up to this date, we have ordered face masks and shields but are considering this as part of our risk assessment and particularly for staff supervising pupils with symptoms waiting to be collected. If a pupil or staff member feels more comfortable wearing a face-covering then that is fine. The link at the bottom of this letter entitled - Coronavirus: implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings contain more information.
What do you think about reopening to these year groups?
I want our school to reopen. I want our children to be able to return to their classroom, their friends and their education. I want you to be able to return to work. I want to lift the trauma of home education for you. BUT only when it is SAFE to do so.
I want to believe that the government has only made this proposal for step 2 because the science tells them it is right.
I think it is going to be a stressful and anxious time for staff, parents and pupils as we all learn to work, play and interact in this new way. I cannot guarantee that any child will stay 2m away from another, I cannot guarantee they will be in a group with their friends, I cannot guarantee they will be in their own classroom, I cannot guarantee they will be taught by a familiar adult. Every age group presents different challenges. Thank you so much for all your questions and please keep them coming in. You can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org .
As you can appreciate this is a huge undertaking for us as a school but we are also aware of the concerns that our parents have of returning their children to school at this time. Whilst we will make every effort to make it as safe as we can, the conditions we are required to meet to do so will be very difficult to implement, practically on a day by day basis.
However, to help us manage this going forward if you could fill in the survey sent out by the office so we gauge the feeling and numbers of children that our parents are considering keeping at home and who intend to send them back into school at the beginning of June. I will keep you updated as regularly as possible, as I am aware that this has massive implications for you all.
Siblings in classes other than those specified will not be allowed back into school until the time of their phased return.
Ambition to send all children in a month before the summer holidays
The government have an ambition to have all children back a month before the summer holidays. We have no further news or advice on this. However, reading the above, you will no doubt have come to the same conclusion as me, if we are to continue to social distance effectively as we can then this will cause a monumental issue. All the classrooms are being utilised for the 3 year groups coming back to school. This is something that the staff and governors will need to seriously consider in line with Government guidelines and Local Authority support. Please do not plan for this eventuality yet.
Year 6 children
For Year 6 children, I would like to reassure you that, we will be holding their ‘Leavers Party’ and ‘Wallop Leavers Assembly’ as soon as it is safe to do so, even if this is after they have officially left. We will not be doing a leavers play this year as I am sure you understand.
In the meantime, please can you let us know your intention by complete the short survey on the link sent to you if you have not already done so. If you don’t complete the survey then I will assume that you are happy for your child(ren) to return to school at their allocated phased return.
I would also like to place on record huge ‘THANKS’ for the AMAZING job my staff have done in responding to this pandemic and the unprecedented times and conditions they have had to work in. Without choice, they have had to work putting themselves and their families at risk. They have fully supported me in the difficult decisions I have had to make and are a credit to the school and education profession. ‘THANK YOU’, TEAM WALLOP.
Stay safe and take care.
With continued kindest regards,
Wallop Primary School
12th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Good evening, I hope you are all well and staying safe.
To add to yesterday's mail that I sent and following on from the Government's announcement on the reopening schedule for schools I am attaching the guidance for parents and carers sent by the Department for Education.
I am currently devising a plan, along with my senior leaders, staff and governors and when we have a clear plan I will contact you all again.
In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss anything.
Please look out for the email link from the office for anyone who needs key worker places at school for next week and over half term (please note that we will not be opening on bank holiday as we had no children on the last bank holiday).
Thank you for your continued support and patience and I am looking forward to seeing some of the children again soon.
With best regards,
Head Teacher, Wallop Primary School
11th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thankyou for your patience over the last 7 weeks. I have tried to give you information as soon as I have it, and when we have clear plans of action. I am writing today following on from the Prime Minister’s speech last night, where it was anticipated we’d have a clearer message on the return to schools across our country.
Thank you also for your support over the last 7 weeks, especially from our key worker families who have mostly been able to keep children at home and only absolutely essential workers send their children into school – this has helped keep other children and staff safe and virus free.
I do understand that this is a confusing but challenging time for all of you with children now home longer than they ever have been before – we are now over the length of a summer holiday. I know, through our contact with many of you in the last few weeks, that children are at various stages of thriving or just surviving staying at home for so long and I hope that my daily assemblies may be a way of cheering them up. I am currently looking into ZOOMing with the classes so that children can get to chat to each other in their class with the teacher over the coming few weeks - which may ease tensions and worries a little.
Along with my peer group of headteachers, I have had to make some of the most challenging decisions of my career in the past few weeks, namely around the safety of my staff and the children in my care. I am truly grateful for the support you have, almost without exception, offered during this time. I know that the message last night: to return to work in certain sectors if you can’t work from home, may prompt many of you to want to send your children back to school but I must stress, I would ask for your further support for a few weeks more to keep children at home and limit the spread of this disease.
We remain open for key worker and specific categories of vulnerable children only although a caveat to this limits children who should be in school even further – they should only be in if they are not able to be at home safely. At the moment, we vary between 12 and 20 children in on any one day. This is a sizeable number compared to other schools, many of whom are considerably larger than us. Staff have remained healthy and on their designated rota of 2½ days in then a week at home, supporting children’s learning from there.
The Prime Minister offered 1st June as a possible date for children in Years R, 1 and 6 to complete a phased return to school. We will, in the coming days, begin to put together a plan for what this might look like but it will be subject to many changes, not least the conditions set out in whatever the ‘COVID-secure’ guidelines the Government will publish in the near future.
I appreciate that this letter does nothing other than keep the status quo however, I wanted you to all know that we continue to be committed to working in line with the Government’s recommendations but safety for staff and children is uppermost in our plans.
I end as I began this email - thank you for your continued support and patience at the unprecedented time. As I have stated in many communications with you - the mental health and safety of your children and the families of the school remains my top priority.
If you would like to discuss anything further - please contact the office and I will keep you updated as soon as I have any further information.
With the kindest of regards,
Head Teacher, Wallop Primary School
7th May 2020
To our Amazing Wallop Pupils and Magnificent Parents,
I wrote to you at the start of the lockdown saying what a strange and funny time we’re having! We know things must still seem very topsy-turvy and upside down right now. Even the grown-ups feel a bit like this. Well, we have been in lockdown and home-learning now for 7 weeks, including 2 weeks of the Easter holidays. Some of you have been into school for all, or some of that time, others have been in lockdown and able to go out to exercise and some of you have been shielding and not allowed out at all.
You all have heard of how we all want to keep you safe from this virus, and therefore you haven’t seen your friends or some of your family for weeks. You may also of heard about all the people who have got ill from the virus and of how quite a lot of people around the country and world have tragically lost their lives and died. I said before not to be frightened as these worries are not for you. Tell someone you trust about your worry and let them continue to look after you.
It remains a very scary time for us all, and you will have seen or heard grown-ups close to you getting anxious and feeling worried. This is because they love you and their family very much and want to keep you safe. As do the staff at school, we all miss you, we all miss the noise, hustle and bustle of school and the busy corridors, classrooms, the laughter in the playground and hall.
Your teachers have been working really hard to keep work coming to you on a daily basis, and some of you have been working hard to complete it all, some of you just some of the work. I want to talk about balance with you, balance between work and play. We human beings are very special and are a mix of physical and emotional needs. In all we do we need balance, we need a balanced diet – too many chocolates and sweets are bad for you, we need a balance between exercise and rest – too much exercise will tire us out, too little and we will be very unhealthy, a balance between screen time (on your x-box or play station) and non-screen time and finally a balance between work set by the teachers and play. You need to keep learning and therefore need to do some work in the day – but in balance, not all day, and not to distract your mum or dad from the work they need to do at home. Don’t worry if you don’t complete all the work set by your teacher, but please do some, to keep your brain muscle (I know the brain isn’t a muscle) working well, like all the other muscles in your body – it needs exercising! Keep sharing with us any learning you have done. Don’t forget we’re as excited about any Lego models, drawings and cooking as we are about your beautiful handwriting and tricky number work. Keep singing, playing, making, drawing, writing and problem-solving, exercising and learning about our amazing world.
Also, be extra-specially kind and caring to your parents – they have been amazing having you at home and enabling the home-learning for you over these past weeks.
Over the next few weeks, I will be instructed to get some children back into school by Boris Johnson and his Government – as yet I don’t know what this will look like, but we will find out about it on Sunday. Rest assured though that me and my senior leaders in the school are thinking about this and will continue to keep you safe.
In the meantime, keep having all these big adventures, be brave and find a balance between work and play. Keep washing those hands, just as we have taught you to and be kind and caring to your amazing parents.
Stay safe, stay well.
Lots of love,
Wallop Primary School
18th April 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you are all safe and well and will remain so for as long as this next period of staying at home and remote learning goes on for. Although it has been a strange Easter holidays – I hope you took some time out from work schedules and home learning to enjoy each other’s company.
I would like to start by thanking you for all your continued support for the school and for your children as we remain in this period of lock-down.
In preparation for the start of the summer term I wanted to update our advice and guidance to parents and carers with what we currently know and have learnt over the last few weeks.
After the two weeks that would have been the Easter break there is always a degree of motivation and encouragement needed to get children back into the swing of things and routines of learning. This, for some, is likely to present as a challenge as it was when we first went into lock-down and for this we ask for your help.
When we eventually return to school we will of course look at where your child is in the curriculum and how they are developing towards age-related expectations. However, anything that can keep that learning moving forward is an absolute bonus. It is critical that your child engages with the home learning every day to keep in the habit of learning. It is easy to get into bad habits – we are human, slightly later bedtimes, “It’s just ten minutes more,” and then “ten minutes more,” and so on and before you know it you have a battle with normal bedtime routines – it is the same with learning.
We are doing everything we can to make sure the work is accessible by all and that feedback is given where ever possible to support learning. All teachers will engage daily and therefore we ask you to engage daily with us and our children need to do their bit in regard to completing the work set by the teachers – it can be uploaded to SeeSaw or Tapestry if you are in YR and the teachers will see it.
As a local Secondary School teacher wrote: “The greater the engagement the smaller the potential learning gap when we return.”
There will be some anxiety out there, notwithstanding the challenge to the country, but there will be some of our parents who be apprehensive with the next block. Two weeks prior to the Easter break was manageable but we are now going into an undefined time period before the schools are given the go ahead to reopen, so this challenge is significantly different. Please keep talking to us – we will help in any way we can and we are still here for you. Use the class emails to talk to us and tell us how you are coping and if you need support.
Like many of you I am having to do this with my own children, whilst continuing to juggle working.
So, with this in mind please remember that as parents our role is to: Support home learning, not to be home schooling.
Children Working from Home
If children have access to a computer and the internet they can look at SeeSaw and their daily work will be there. If they can’t access the internet please get in touch with the class teacher and we will organise to have printed copies delivered to you.
Any/all contact with the school should happen by email to the class emails or to Mrs Evans (email@example.com). You can call us by phone but there may be no-one to answer - please bare with us, we have limited capacity. Email addresses for your children’s teachers are:
We continue to provide daily provision in school for the children of key workers (jointly with Grateley Primary School) and we look forward to welcoming back these children on Monday 20th April. You have been sent an online questionnaire to complete to tell us if you require in-school provision and we have contacted all that said they wanted it. If you are key workers and you have not yet made use of this offer, but your circumstances have changed, please contact the school via the admin email address and we will make relevant provision available to you.
Other relevant Information
If you have questions about school closures, the most up to date Department for Education (DfE) guidance can be found from the link below:
The NSPCC have produced information about keeping children safe from abuse, children home
alone, parents working from home and supporting conversations with children anxious about
Parent Zone have produce some information about looking after your family’s mental health:
Finally, it is likely that your child/children are sending more time in front of a screen/on line than
usual. You might find this guidance useful:
17% increase in children Livestreaming since lockdown- who’s watching yours? https://www.safe4me.co.uk/parents/
In the meantime, please do keep in touch and stay safe and well.
Wallop Primary School
2nd April 2020
Good afternoon. I hope everything is going well and the children are enjoying the work set by their teachers. Most classes are setting work through the app SeeSaw, however, all teachers are setting daily work. If your child isn't receiving this work then please do email your child's teacher on: c.kites/c.buzzards/c.hawks/c,firstname.lastname@example.org
We have been working hard putting together an Easter timetable for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. The same direction from Government is in place - only send your child into school where you absolutely have to - schools are trying to keep numbers low to affect social distancing and slow the spread of the virus.
If you are a key worker and want your child to attend school over Easter please send a mail to email@example.com
We will be having a programme over the two weeks which is: daily from 9am - 3:30pm
Week 1 Week 2
Monday 6/4 Forest Fun (MLambert) 13/4 Forest Fun ( MLambert)
Tuesday 7/4 Art (ABrown) 14/4 Art (ABrown)
Wednesday 8/4 Multi-Sport (AParker) 15/4 Multi-Sport (AParker)
Thursday 9/4 Baking (VCole/APickering) 16/4 Baking (VCole/APickering)
Friday 10/4 Orienteering (BFowler) 17/4 Orienteering (BFowler)
The children will need a packed lunch, drink and snacks daily as food will not be provided over Easter as well as waterproof clothing.
There will not be a bus running this week as the minibus needs to go in for servicing.
After Easter, as far as we know, it remains as it is now, school being partially open for key workers and vulnerable children. If we get any more information on this we will let you know.
Again, thank you for the hard work that you are putting into everything during this very difficult time. If we can help in any way, do please call us and we will endeavour to rectify your issue or concern.
With very best regards,
Head Teacher, Wallop Primary School.
1st April 2020
I hope everyone is well and keeping safe. The news of more and more cases of COVID-19 and the proximity to us all is getting very frightening. To those of you who have family members or friends with the virus, we at school wish them all the best. If there is anything we can do please ask.
Most of the children are now engaging with the work set on SeeSaw or with the teachers through the class emails (firstname.lastname@example.org) which is fantastic and there are some amazing and really creative work being done - please see our facebook page and newsletter for some examples.
However, there are still a few people that we haven't had contact with - if this is you, then could you please make contact with your child's class teacher as soon as possible please. I will be sending out text messages to those that we haven't heard from presently.
With the increase of working online then, I would like to share the school's stance on being safe online alongside some updated guidance from the Department oF Education.
Staying Safe Online:
Wallop Primary School is committed to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all its Children and Young people.
Wallop Primary School and its DSL will work closely with all stakeholders to maximise the effectiveness of any communication plan. This plan must be reviewed regularly (at least once a fortnight) and where concerns arise, the DSL will consider any referrals as appropriate. Wallop Primary School will share safeguarding messages on its website and social media pages. Wallop Primary School recognises that school is a protective factor for children and young people, and the current circumstances, can affect the mental health of pupils and their parents/carers. Teachers at Wallop Primary School need to be aware of this in setting expectations of pupils’ work where they are at home.
Below are some things to consider when online, especially where webcams are involved and videos are being made:
• No 1:1s, groups only
• Staff and children must wear suitable clothing, as should anyone else in the household.
• Any computers used should be in appropriate areas, for example, not in bedrooms; and the background should be blurred.
• Language must be professional and appropriate, including any family members in the background.
• Staff must only use platforms provided by Wallop Primary School to communicate with pupils
• Staff should record, the length, time, date and attendance of any sessions held.
The Guidance from the DFE is:
Guidance for parents and carers: keeping children safe online
The DFE have updated their information for parents and carers to include a section on keeping children safe online. It provides links to online resources that will help support parents and carers in keeping their children safe online.
Full details can be found in section 6.3 of the guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings:
6.3 Where can I go to get support to help keep my child safe online?
There is a lot of support available to keep your child safe online. Below are some useful links to help parents and carers:
- Thinkyouknow (advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online)
- Internet matters (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Parent info (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- LGfL (support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online)
- Net-aware (support for parents and careers from the NSPCC)
Thank you for your continued support during this time. Remember we are here if you need us - please email the class teachers or the office.
With kindest regards,
Martin Lambert, Head Teacher, Wallop Primary School
26th March 2020
Ref: Pupil Letter (Adults please read/share) Date: Thursday 26th March 2020
To our amazing Wallop Pupils,
What a strange and funny time we’re having! We know things must seem very topsy-turvy and upside down right now. Even the grown-ups feel a bit like that.
You all know there is a horrible virus going around at the moment. Everyone wants to keep you safe and as you all know, as Headteacher, that’s my job. The government and scientists have decided school pupils need to stay away from each other, some of you are doing this at home and a small number are coming in to school. These children who are coming to school are not more special than those of you at home. We are going to be looking after them during the day because their parents can’t, because they are doing some particularly important jobs right now.
Our Wallop school family is going to be very different from now on because most of you will be learning at home, but you are still part of your class, your year group and of school. Your home grown-ups are now your new teachers, isn’t that exciting! Be kind to them and listen as carefully as you do to your school grown-ups. They think they are new to the job, but actually they have been the most amazing teachers to you since the day you were born.
Your grown-ups at school will miss you very much, but just because we can’t see or hear you, doesn’t mean we are not thinking about and love you every single day! So I just wanted to let you know that we will be sending messages and keeping in touch. We’ll be planning some new learning to add to what you are doing already and we hope you’ll let us know how you’re doing and share with us any learning you have done. Don’t forget we’re as excited about any Lego models, drawings and cooking as we are about your beautiful handwriting and tricky number work.Keep singing, playing, making, drawing, writing and problem-solving, exercising and learning about our amazing world. Ask your home grown-up to take a picture of your work and I will include some of it in our weekly newsletter - I am really excited to know what you have been up to at home.
Don’t be frightened. You may hear some things that you are worried about, but these worries are not for you. Tell someone you trust about your worry and let them look after it for you.
We are all having a big adventure, and like all good adventurers, we also have to be brave.
Keep washing those hands, just as we have taught you to.
Stay safe, stay well.
Lots of love,
Wallop Primary School
25th March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I thought I would share with you some thoughts from a teacher in China who has just finished seven weeks of isolating lock down that was imposed.
We are just finishing our 7th week of E-Learning, seven weeks of being mainly housebound and seven weeks of uncertainty. We are healthy, we are happy, and we are humbled.
We are allowed to move around freely now with a green QR code that we show when we get our temperature taken. You get your temperature taken everywhere, and it's just become part of the routine. Most restaurants and shopping centers are now open, and life is coming back to our city.
As we watch the rest of the world begin their time inside; here are some of my reflections on the last seven weeks:
1. Accept that you have no control over the situation. Let go of any thoughts of trying to plan too much for the next month or two. Things change so fast. *Don't be angry and annoyed at the system*. Anxiety goes down, and you *make the best of the situation* - whatever that might be for you. Accept that this is what it is and things will get easier.
2. Try NOT to listen/read/watch too much media. It WILL drive you crazy. There is a thing as… too much!
3. The sense of community I have felt during this time is incredible. I could choose who I wanted to spend my energy on - who I wanted to call, message and connect with and found the quality of my relationships has improved.
4. Appreciate this enforced downtime. When do you ever have time like this? I will miss it when we go back to the fast-paced speed of the 'real world'.
5. Time goes fast. I still haven't picked up the ukulele I planned to learn, and there are box-set TV shows I haven't watched yet.
6. As a teacher, the relationships I have built with my students have only continued to grow. I have loved seeing how independent they are; filming themselves to respond to tasks, while also learning essential life skills such as balance, risk-taking and problem-solving, that even we, as adults, are still learning.
7. You learn to appreciate the little things; sunshine through the window, flowers blossoming, birds singing... and being able to enjoy a coffee in a cafe.
To those just beginning this journey, you will get through it.
*Listen to what you are told.
Follow the rules, and look out for each other*.
*There is light at the end of the tunnel*
With very best regards,
24th March 2020
I hope everyone is well. With the new directive from Government to start to isolate within your homes and the tough sanctions imposed on this. What makes it more difficult is the fact that the weather is lovely.
We have been approached by Hampshire Local Authority to help out a local school as they do not have many "key worker" children. So as of Monday Grateley School will be joining with us as Wallop to help out the key worker children.
As always, please do contact your teacher or the office if any issues.
With very best regards,
21st March 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Good afternoon, I write to you as we go into the unprecedented phase of closing the school for the vast majority of pupils. Please do bare in mind though that as children are at home you are not alone- we are still here. If you need anything please contact us- if your child needs a new reading book, or advice, or guidance in their learning please contact us and we will get back to you. A reminder that each class has its own email set up for you to use at:
These emails can be used to ask the teacher advice or submit work. The office and I are in the process of setting up a class blog on our website which will allow children to talk to each other and help with the sense of social isolation they may feel. We will be in touch when this is set up and usernames and passwords will be sent to you.
It is a strange time and a pressured time as adults are trying to comprehend the enormity of what is happening alongside the face that they are either working from home or not and that the shops are empty of all we need- it is going to be a testing time- notwithstanding your children being at home.
As I know you all have, I would like to share some of my thinking with you. You might be inclined to create a minute-by-minute timetable for your children- the teachers have sent daily timetables for your children to follow. You may have high hopes of hours of learning, including online activities, science experiments, and book reports. You will plan to limit technology until everything is done!
But these are the things I want you to consider...
Our children are just as scared as we are right now- for instance our year 6 are not sure if they’ll ever come back, if they’ll have their leaving party, their hoodies, their leavers celebration assembly. Our children not only hear everything going on around them, but they feel our constant tension and anxiety. They have never experienced anything like this before. Although the idea of being off school for weeks on end sounds exciting for some, they are probably picturing a fun time like the summer holidays, not the reality of being trapped at home and not seeing their friends.
Over the coming weeks, you may see an increase in behaviour issues with your children. Whether it's anxiety, or anger, or protests that they can't do normal things - it will happen. You will potentially see more meltdowns, tantrums, and oppositional behaviour. This is normal and expected under these circumstances.
What children need right now is to feel comforted and loved. To feel like it is all going to be okay. That might mean that you need to tear up your perfect timetable and focus on giving them lots of love and attention. I know this may be hard if you have the added pressure of trying to work at home with the children there. Please try to play outside and go on walks. Bake biscuits and paint pictures. Play board games and watch movies. Do a science experiment together or find virtual field trips of the zoo. Create a fitness circuit in your garden. Start a book and read together as a family. Snuggle under warm blankets and do nothing.
Don't worry about them regressing in school. Every single child is in this boat and they all will be okay. When we are back in the classroom, we will focus on their learning and meet their educational needs. Teachers are experts at this! They are already thinking and planning for the great ‘catch up’ so that we can continue. Wallop school staff are excellent teachers and Learning Support Assistants and they will work tirelessly to help children. Don't pick fights with your children because they don't want to do any activities. Don't scream at your children for not following the timetable. Don't insist on 2 hours of learning time if they are resisting it. See if you can make learning fun through their play.
If I can leave you with one thing, it is this: at the end of all of this, their mental health will be far more important than their academic skills. How they felt during this time will stay with them long after the memory of what they did during these weeks is gone. So keep that in mind, every single day.
Take care and stay safe,
Thank you for your cooperation and kind words during this time, don’t forget, we are there for you.
with very best regards,
20th March 2020
Good morning Parents and Carers,
First of all apologies for the lateness of sending out the Key Worker List for children to be able to be at school next week- we were waiting for the official government response.
They have now published the list and you can find it at this link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision
The government line is that to:
Please, follow these key principles:
- If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
- If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
- Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
- Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
- Residential special schools, boarding schools and special settings continue to care for children wherever possible.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed in the document, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
We sent out an online survey form yesterday- however, if you now feel you fit into the category outlined in the government directive then please contact the school as soon as you can so that I can arrange staffing for the coming weeks.
I thank you for your patience and cooperation in this unprecedented time in our nation’s history. As the Prime Minister relayed yesterday- with the responses we have in place, washing hands regularly, social distancing and ensuring only children who absolutely need to be educated in school are, then we should break this outbreak within twelve weeks.
We all realise that for families this is a huge ask, and as the Government stated we all thank you for your role within this pandemic.
Please do contact the school if you would like to discuss anything. Children know the work they need to do and teachers will be in touch with you regularly to touch base. Each class has its own emails which we have created for this time and you can contact the teachers on:
Kites class- C.Kites@wallop.hants.sch.uk
Buzzards Class- C.Buzzards@wallop.hants.sch.uk
Hawks Class- C.Hawks@wallop.hants.sch.uk
Owls Class- C.Owls@wallop.hants.sch.uk
Eagles Class- C.Eagles@wallop.hants.sch.uk
The Government have also produced a FAQ for parents which is: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers
Thank you and best regards,
18th March 2020
Dear Parents or Carers,
Following the announcement this evening by Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary and Boris Johnson I can confirm that I will be closing the school from Monday 23rd March 2020.
Teachers will confirm work and online arrangements over the next two days with the children.
We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this school closure may cause. As a school leader I found out about the school closure directive at the same time by following the announcement on Radio 4.
Can we ask if you could confirm to the school office by 10:30 Thursday 19th March if you require childcare as a parent of a key worker (for example NHS, Police, Delivery Driver) or as a parent of a vulnerable child (with an EHCP, a CP plan or a social worker for example). We ask for this information tomorrow so we are able to put arrangements in place for staffing moving forward.
If your child is in receipt of Free School Meal’s (FSM) - but not the universal infant FSM- we will be in touch over the next two days to discuss arrangements.
This is an unprecedented time and I would like to thank everyone for pulling together especially my staff who continually go above and beyond for our children.
Thank you and very best regards,
GOVERNMENT GUIDELINES: WALLOP PRIMARY SCHOOL WILL BE CLOSED TO ALMOST ALL CHILDREN FROM MONDAY 23RD MARCH 2020 UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.
DfE Advice for Schools:
As I am sure you are aware, the Government is closely monitoring the spread of the Coronavirus and is taking action at home and abroad. We are currently moving from the Contain phase of the coronavirus action plan and into the Delay phase, in response to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.
To minimise the spread of COVID-19, the UK Government has made it clear that all parents are to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. That is why it is important to underline that WALLOP must remain a safe place for our children. We will also need to take account of both: a) the latest government scientific advice on the proportion of pupils that it is advisable to maintain direct support for in order to maintain efforts to delay the spread of the virus. At present this has been set by the government as a maximum of 20% of the school population and b) the number of staff available to work. This may require us to prioritise which pupils receive an offer, according to greatest need.
WHERE POSSIBLE CHILDREN and YOUNG PEOPLE SHOULD STAY AT HOME.
Full details of each stage in the government action plan can be found here:
To support the delay of the spread of the virus, the Department for Health and Social Care has asked anyone who shows certain symptoms to stay at home for 14 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means people should stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 14 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection.
Guidelines for whole household isolation are:
- if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
- if you live with others and you or another member of the household have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. It is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
- for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.
The symptoms are:
You do not need to call NHS 111 to stay at home. If your symptoms worsen during your stay at home period or are no better after 7 days contact NHS 111 online at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
Further information on what you should do if you are asked to self-isolate can be found here:
Frequently Asked Questions:
What if the UK Government classes me as a key worker?
Parents who are working in a critical sector and cannot make any alternative arrangements, our school staff are committed to providing childcare whilst you are at work. We are also committed to keeping our extended hours from 7:30 am to 5:30pm to enable you to keep the country operating. These are testing times and it is our civic and moral duty to keep our community safe, whilst at the same time keeping our critical services operating.
What do I need to do if my child has ‘flu-like’ symptoms?
If a parent or child is ill and is worried about coronavirus they should contact NHS 111. You should not go to your doctors, health centre or pharmacy. The NHS and Public Health England will ascertain if the case is coronavirus or, as is most likely, seasonal cold or flu. Public Health England along with the county council’s Health, Safety and Wellbeing Service will offer further advice to us as a school on what we need to do.
In the event that someone has been diagnosed with Coronavirus in school, can the school reveal who it is?
For reasons of patient confidentiality, we are not able to disclose who has contracted the virus. This is for the health and safety of the patient.
The local Public Health England Health Protection Team will contact school to discuss the case, identify people who have been in contact with them and advice on any actions or precautions that should be taken. If there is a confirmed case, a risk assessment will be undertaken by the educational establishment with advice from the local Health Protection Team. In most cases, closure of the childcare or education setting will be unnecessary but this will be a local decision based on various factors such as establishment size and pupil mixing.
What action you can take?
Personal hygiene is the most important way we can tackle COVID-19, especially washing hands more; and the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy for those with coughs and sneezes.
Wash your hands more often for 20 seconds with soap and hot water
In addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, both children and staff should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
Public Health England has a dedicated webpage with a range of posters and digital materials at:
A UK wide campaign has been launched to provide clear advice on how to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Please help to support the campaign which promotes basic hygiene practices, such as regularly washing hands and always sneezing into a tissue, to stem the spread of viruses.
Public Health England and the Foreign Office have issued advice for anyone travelling or returning from outside the UK.This can be found at:
Latest information and advice can also be found at:
The Department for Education has launched a new helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
In summary, the scientific guidance is clear the fewer children we have in school each day the greater chance we have of limiting the chance of the virus spreading.
These are testing times and it is our civic and moral duty to keep our community safe, whilst at the same time keeping our critical services operating.
The overwhelming gratitude and support that we have received from so many parents over the past few days has been very moving, these messages really are appreciated. Thank you.