On behalf of the children, parents, staff and governors, I would like to welcome you to Old Heath Community Primary School and to our website. Our school is located on the outskirts of Colchester town centre at the junction of Old Heath and Abbots Road (CO2 8DD).
LOCKDOWN UPDATE: Following Boris Johnson’s announcement at 8pm on Monday 4th January 2021 we are now in the third national lockdown which has resulted in schools being closed until February half term. We are operating a Critical Workers provision for children who have parents involved in the direct support of the Covid pandemic response. Please contact the school on firstname.lastname@example.org if you think your family might eligible for a place.
We are working to ensure families with FSM status that are not at school get vouchers to support providing food for the children. We have decided not to go back to Edenred for vouchers, as apparently we can choose our voucher supplier and hopefully everyone entitled to FSM vouchers should have received an email from Wonde for last week. We will be sending the vouchers out according to the previous week so that if we have children entitled to FSM who are then needing to self isolate etc and not in school don’t get missed and without the drama of Edenred!!
UPDATE ‘PANDEMIC V SCHOOLS!!!’ This is the content of the email sent to all parents, staff and governors of Old Heath Community Primary School on Sunday evening (3/1/21)
On Saturday Essex County Council wrote to the DfE to better understand the situation and the rationale for the decision for Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford primary schools to remain open.
The response from the DFE was as follows
- decisions are not based on case rates alone, but also on rates of change, and understanding of NHS pressures
- taking a localised approach rather than treating the county as a single entity is critical, to allow as many children as possible to be in school receiving an education
Essex County Council feel strongly that there is clear and valid reason for them to further engage in further urgent discussion with the DfE, as their point around local pressure on the NHS, combined with the rate of change in case rates, is central to the position in Essex. Essex’s health system is in a ‘major incident’ situation, declared by the Essex Resilience Forum’s Strategic Coordination Group in the past week. Equally, the latest available data indicates that cases are rising in all three districts.
On balance, therefore, following internal meetings both yesterday and today Essex County Council feel there is a strong case for those primary schools in the three Essex districts that are currently due to return on Monday or Tuesday next week, to be brought into the contingency framework. Essex County Council will be writing to the DfE this afternoon (Sunday) to request that the position is urgently reviewed.
Essex have suggested that in order to provide some certainty for the Colchester, Tendring and Uttlesford schools whilst these discussions are ongoing, that ALL primary schools in Uttlesford, Tendring and Colchester to MOVE TO A REMOTE EDUCATION DAY on both Monday 4th January (as previously advised) and now for Tuesday 5th January.
For Old Heath we already have a NON PUPIL DAY on Monday 4th January, so we would only need to provide work for Tuesday 5th January initially and then the rest of the week would be dependent on the discussions between Essex and DFE and if the decision is still to keep open then it will depend on staffing level in school. The work will be sent out via Parentmail or downloadable from the school website. There will not be time to print the work for Monday and get it picked up ready for Tuesday!
We are also being asked by Essex CC to provide Key Worker Provision for the Tuesday. If your child was part of the Key Worker group that attended school in the first lockdown we will be running a Key Worker group or groups depending on numbers and attempting to keep year groups within the group separate dependent again on staffing in school. If your child did not attend Key Worker last year and you feel that you qualify now and need cover on Tuesday please contact me via email@example.com asap, I will not be answering any more emails tonight (Sunday). Please explain what your role is and what hours you are working on Tuesday. If you don’t want to send your child/ren in given the current circumstances then please do not feel you have to!
With regard to the rest of the week or longer I am very sorry but I really do not have the answers at the moment!
Many thanks for bearing with the situation and fingers crossed for a workable outcome by end of play on Tuesday!!
Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic we are operating the following systems to ensure the health, safety and well being of our community
- Each class and staff are their own bubble, we are not mixing class groups at all
- Staggered play times and lunchtimes, with timetabled separate spaces
- School staff are cleaning surfaces in the toilet areas after each class visit to the toilets
- Over a two hour lunch time, we have extra cleaning staff cleaning classrooms, corridors, doors, toilets etc
- At lunch time children are sitting in their class groups, not mixing with other classes in the hall and all tables are wiped and anti bac sprayed between sittings.
- Parents are requested to wear masks entering school grounds and to keep 2m distance. Any childcare arrangements should just be within one childcare bubble and not across a variety of families.
We are also requesting that parents pick up their child from school as quickly as possible when they are notified that their child is showing one of the three symptoms of Covid-19 as specified by the Government / NHS;
- high temperature
- new persistent cough
- loss of taste and smell
We are now on Christmas Holidays! Please click here for a final Xmas offering from everyone at Old Heath Community Primary School and Old Heath Pre-School!! We gathered in our windy playground as socially distanced classes and had a good old fashioned sing song in the very fresh air! I have uploaded a sound clip of each classes singing on their class page. I just have a little problem with the Y4’s ‘The 12 Days of Christmas’ as it is a little long and is refusing to upload!
Amanda Mitchelson, Headteacher