friday, 6 NOVEMBER 2020
Second National Lockdown
In response to the current pandemic, the Government announced a four-week national lockdown, from Thursday 5 November until Wednesday 2 December.
The Government made clear, however, that it is committed to keeping schools and colleges open so that young people can continue to benefit from attending school for their wellbeing and to ensure their long-term futures. They also reiterated that public examinations should go ahead next summer and have moved them so that they begin 3 weeks later, another important reason for keeping schools open.
We would like to reassure you that we are working really hard at St Martin’s to support every student with their learning and their wellbeing. This is an incredibly difficult time however we must put our trust and hope in the Lord. ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’ Joshua 1:9
St Martin’s is planning to remain open to provide as full as possible an educational experience for students that meets our vision ‘Inspired to learn, Ambitious for the Future’.
We have been working hard since reopening in September to ensure that there has been a positive experience in school. Looking ahead to this half-term and having reviewed our working practices we are confident that we continue to work and learn as safely as possible. Thank you to everyone’s commitment to following the health and safety measures that are in place to ensure a covid secure environment.
Regarding the Second Lockdown, the Government released guidance for schools making further recommendations to support our ongoing risk assessments. They also provided clarity for adults and students who fall into the vulnerable categories. Please visit the government website to read the guidance in full.
Protecting vulnerable students
Students who are deemed to be clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) are recommended to stay at home during the current restrictions. All other students including those who are clinically vulnerable (CV) and those who live in a household with clinically extremely vulnerable people should still attend school.
If your child is in the CEV category, the school will make appropriate arrangements for them to continue their education at home. Read the government guidance on shielding and protecting the vulnerable or contact the school if you have any concerns.
When Lambeth and the rest of London were placed into Covid Alert Level High in October, the school followed the government guidance and introduced face coverings. This guidance is still in place for the National Lockdown.
All students, staff and visitors wear a face covering when moving around communal areas in the school. This is part of our risk assessment to further protect our school community. Any staff or students who are exempt, wear a blue badge. The school has a stock of face coverings to provide students should they not have one. The wearing of face coverings is also permitted in classrooms if it is the wish of the staff member or students.
We have further heightened our hygiene regime and ensure students are washing their hands regularly and/or using hand sanitiser. Our enhanced cleaning regime by our daily cleaner ensures the school site is cleaned throughout the day, particularly the high touch areas.
A measure that all schools have introduced to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus in classrooms is increased ventilation. This means that the windows will be open a crack classrooms at all times to reduce the concentration of any virus in the air. In the event that it is very cold, students will be permitted to wear their outdoor coats and scarves in classrooms. The rules on hoodies or similar applies. They are not permitted.
Meetings and events
We are cancelling less essential events and visits, but those that are continuing have been thoroughly risk assessed. We have rigorous risk assessment protocols for any visitor to the school.
Where possible, we are moving some of our school/staff meetings to remote.
COVID-19 What to look out for
Here is a reminder of the COVID-19 symptoms to look out for.
A high temperature
A new continuous cough (this means coughing a lot, for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours)
A loss or change to sense of smell or taste (this means they cannot smell or taste anything or things smell or taste different)
Please do not send your child to school if they, or anyone in your household, has symptoms or tests positive. They should not come to school whilst they are waiting for the test result, even if they feel well. Only if the test is negative should they return to school, otherwise they remain at home and self isolate according to the NHS guidance.
Further information and government guidance for parents What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term
Lockdown rules (New National Restrictions from 5 November 2020)
The government has made it clear that the privilege of coming to school does not mean that students are exempt from lockdown rules.
A reminder of our existing expectations and the lockdown expectations are that students:
must not be in groups and must go straight home immediately after school finishes
wear a face covering on public transport and in places where social distancing is not possible
wash and sanitise hands regularly
not hang around with friends or visit each other’s houses
only be with one other person outside of their home for some exercise
How to stop COVID-19 spreading
There are things you can do to help reduce the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19. Stringent respiratory and hand hygiene as well as social distancing.
Remember - ‘Hands. Face. Space’
hands – wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds
face – wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet
space – stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors)