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Fulbourn Primary School

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

QUESTIONS ABOUT SELF-ISOLATION

 

Should I be isolating my child at home?

The advice continues to be that children should attend school unless they have relevant symptoms (a temperature above 37.8°C, or a new, continuous cough) or are otherwise unwell. Government has today advised that everyone in the household should stay away from work or school if any member of the household has these symptoms. In addition, some of you have medically vulnerable children and have been advised to keep them off for the time being or are medically vulnerable yourselves and therefore you wish to reduce the chance of being infected by isolating the whole family. All such absence will be coded with a special code for self-isolation and children who are ill will be coded as such.

 

What should I do if I am isolating my child at home but they are well enough to do some learning?

Whilst we do not currently have the capacity to arrange individual home-learning for children who are currently absent from school, we have set up links to educational websites on the Parents/Carers- Home Learning- General tab of the website. Many companies are currently providing free access to their resources at this time and we will signpost you to these. Should the school close, we will make different arrangements for home learning (see below). In the meantime, if your child is at home and well enough, please read with them, play games, do some practical maths (e.g. teaching them about time and money) and keep screen time to a sensible level. 

 

How should I inform the school that I am keeping my child at home?

Please send an email to office@fulbourn.cambs.sch.uk, informing us whether your child is unwell, whether this is with relevant Coronavirus symptoms (high temperature and new, persistent cough) or something else, or whether you are keeping them off because someone else in the household has symptoms and you now need to isolate the whole family.

 

Do I need to contact the school every day of my child’s absence?

From today, Government advice is for self-isolation to be for a period of 14 days, so once you have informed us that your child is staying at home for the purpose of isolation, you do not need to contact us again for 14 days. We are awaiting further advice on whether a child can return to school earlier, and certainly if your child’s absence is going to be longer than 14 days, we would like you to email us with an update.

 

QUESTIONS ABOUT SCHOOL CLOSURE

 

What is partial school closure and how will you decide which children will be able to attend school?

Partial school closure is when we have enough staff for some of the children to attend, but not enough for all children to attend. In the first instance we would prioritise children and families in the following ways:

  1. Children of families where parents/ carers work in health services (e.g. hospital, NHS, GP surgery, maternity care, paramedic)
  2. Children of families where parents/ carers work for the emergency services (e.g. ambulance, police, fire)
  3. Children of families where parents/carers work in an industry that you consider essential to the running of the country.

We have asked you for information about your working to help us to draw up a list of children whose attendance would be prioritised. If you have not yet given us a response and you fall into one of these categories, please let us know immediately.  

What will lead to a decision to fully close the school?

The school will close if:

  • Government orders all schools to close;
  • Public Health England (PHE) or the Local Authority (LA) advise our school to close, e.g. because of a high infection rate.
  • We do not have enough members of staff available to keep any of the children safe. We would liaise with the LA before making this decision.

 

How will I know the school is closing?

Decisions about school closure will be communicated via email and the school website. Updates will be communicated in the same way, including information about re-opening the school. Information about which schools are partially or fully closed can also be found at https://www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/residents/children-and-families/schools-learning/school-term-dates-closures/school-closures

 

What will home-learning arrangements be?

In the case of either partial or full closure, teachers will set work daily via the website. In the Parents and Carers drop-down menu, there is a new tab called Home Learning which contains folders for each phase of the school. Daily learning tasks will be set there and we are creating new team email addresses for you to send completed homework to, or to request help and advice. 

 

What can I do if we do not have access to the internet or devices my children can use for completing homework?

Please let us know immediately, so we can make arrangements to support you and your child in the event of school closure.

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS THE CORONAVIRUS SITUATION

 

My child’s hands are becoming sore through frequent washing? Is this really necessary?

We are strictly following PHE and DfE guidance on hand washing and it is absolutely necessary to reduce spread of Coronavirus. If you would like to send hand cream in for your child to use, please do do in a named tube or container and make sure the product has no nut oils. A simple E45-type cream is best. Children must not share their hand cream with others in case of skin reactions.

What should I do if I’m feeling anxious, stressed or isolated by the Coronavirus pandemic?

DO:

  • Look after yourself. Basic self-care is really important when you’re feeling anxious. Eat as well as you can, keep to a regular schedule for sleep, and get some fresh air and exercise.
  • Keep to a regular routine as much as possible and structure your day. Having set times for waking up, eating meals and going to bed is not only important for your physical health but can also be emotionally reassuring.
  • Connect with other people. Keep in touch by phone, email, Skype or similar. The PTfA is reaching out to our school community. You can make contact via the Fulbourn Primary School PTfA facebook page.
  • Think of ways of helping others.
  • Think very carefully about how you engage with social media, WhatsApp groups and so on. These can fuel existing anxiety and often the accuracy of any information obtained is questionable.
  • Use distraction up to a point. Keep busy doing things you find enjoyable or that give you a sense of achievement. Even if you don’t feel like doing anything.
  • Keep a gratitude diary: Write down things, big or small, that you are grateful for. Doing this will help to shift your attention towards positive things.
  • Take a deep breath and let it out as slowly as you can. Often we forget to breathe properly when we are anxious.

DON’T:

  • Spend all of your time checking for news updates. Consider designating 2-3 set times of day to do this.
  • Pretend it isn’t happening. Denial won’t get you very far in the long term.
  • Keep your worries to yourself. It’s ok to share your feelings.
  • Add guilt to your anxiety. What you are feeling is a normal response. We are allowed our feelings.
  • Rely on alcohol, binge-eating, or other unhealthy habits to numb your feelings. It’s fine to do these things in moderation but make sure they’re not your main coping strategy.
  • Link to the MIND website for tips on looking after your mental health during the Coronavirus outbreak: https://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/coronavirus-and-your-wellbeing/

 

What should I do if my child is feeling worried about the Coronavirus?

DO:

  • Look after yourself. It is impossible to support others if you’re not taking care of yourself.
  • Allow your child to ask questions.
  • Acknowledge that things feel scary and uncertain.
  • Reassure your child that it’s ok to feel worried.
  • Ask your child what they know already so that you can tailor your response and so that you can dispel any false information.
  • Use age-appropriate explanations for what is going on.
  • Keep things calm, reassuring, and simple.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so.
  • Focus on what everyone can do to protect themselves.
  • Make sure you have the facts.
  • Keep life as normal as possible in terms of routines and activities in order to give reassurance.

 

DON’T:

  • Tell your child “Don’t worry” and leave it at that. They will try to come up with their own explanations and get themselves more worried.
  • Overwhelm your child with too much information. Let their questions guide you.
  • Allow unsupervised access to the internet.

There are lots of guidelines about this subject on the internet. This one is endorsed by the British Psychological Society: https://childmind.org/article/talking-to-kids-about-the-coronavirus/

 

What if our family income is affected by the crisis and we’re struggling financially, including with buying food and provisions?

  • It is completely understandable that this has caused people into difficult positions even more so than normal. The key is not to be afraid to ask for help.
  • The government has announced plans for relief with mortgages etc, as more information on this comes to hand we will update with appropriate links to direct you.
  • In case of loss of income and the need for universal credit you can find out more about this via this link, they have promised to reduce the waiting time for payments. https://www.gov.uk/government/news/coronavirus-support-for-employees-benefit-claimants-and-businesses
  • Cambridge has several food banks available to the public. Emergency food packages with three days worth of food are given with a voucher. To apply please click through from this link, either email or call. If your unable to get to a food bank, make sure you explain this so alternative arrangements can be made. https://cambridgecity.foodbank.org.uk/get-help/
  • Within the community a group has been set up to support locals as much as possible. Whether you need to just have a chat to talk through things or groceries or medication picked up or advice on getting food they will do their best to help. Email:fulbourncommunityaid@gmail.com
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