Dear parent/ carer, I hope everyone is staying well as we try to adjust to these challenging times. I wanted to check in again with you and let you know that the academy is still open every day (Monday to Friday) and will be staying open for what would have been the Easter holidays. The only dates our academy will be closed is on the Bank Holidays, Friday 10 April and Monday 13 April. If you or your child need any advice or support, please do not hesitate to call the academy office on 01708 853781. The office staff can make sure you can reach any teacher or member of our team. All of our students who are unable to come into the academy at the moment will continue to receive a phone call every day from a member of our staff during the Easter break. For those of our students who are eligible for free school meals, we will also be continuing to offer free take-away lunches, Monday to Friday, during the Easter break. Please ask any member of our academy staff for more details about this offer. I know that our Year 11s and their families are keen to hear what the government is planning for those students who will not now be taking exams this summer. The government has promised to update parents, students and schools before Easter and as soon as we have this information, I will share it with those students affected. Please be assured that our support for Year 11s will not stop – and we are already in regular discussions to ensure that smooth transitions into their apprenticeships and college courses continues for all our Year 11s. The government has asked us to highlight new guidance for families about staying safe online. These are some useful links to organisations that can support you and your children whilst online at home: Internet matters– for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online (internetmatters.org) London Grid for Learning– for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online (lgfl.net/online-safety/) Net-aware– for support for parents and careers from the NSPCC (net-aware.org.uk) Parent info– for support for parents and carers to keep their children safe online (parentinfo.org) Thinkuknow– for advice from the National Crime Agency to stay safe online (www.thinkuknow.co.uk) UK Safer Internet Centre– advice for parents and carers (www.saferinternet.org.uk/advice-centre/parents-and-carers) The full government guidance for all families can be found here: www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers Remember that you can now also receive free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service updates via WhatsApp – simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. As everyone becomes tired and sometimes frustrated with the current ‘stay at home’ government advice, please don’t let you children be tempted to go out with their friends. If we are to lessen the impact of Coronavirus on all of us, it is so important that we all keep to current government guidelines. Remind your children they can talk to academy staff about any worries they have and get advice about how to stay active and well even when we are staying at home. Thurrock Council has set up a helpline this week for anyone in the community who needs help, support or advice during the coronavirus pandemic. Thurrock Council staff will be on hand to answer questions and help vulnerable residents get access to food and medicines. To make an enquiry, residents can go to the Thurrock Coronavirus Community Action web page (www.thurrock.gov.uk/forms/thurrock-coronavirus-community-action) or call the helpline on 01375 511 002. The helpline will be open Monday to Sunday, between 9am and 5pm. I will stay in touch with you and write to you again soon. We are continuing to regularly update our academy website (www.apthurrock.oliveacademies.org.uk) with news and information for you. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us at the academy if you need any help or advice. We are always here for you and your family. Yours sincerely, Collette Hunnisett, Headteacher T: 01708 853781 E: email@example.com
Dear parent/ carer, Our academy is still open every day (Monday to Friday) if you are need of any advice or support. You can call the academy office on 01708 853781 if you need help or want to reach a member of our staff. All of our students who are unable to come into the academy at the moment will continue to receive a phone call every day from a member of our staff. During this call your child can share any concerns, ask for advice and let us know if they are having any problems with using the online learning. These phone calls will continue, Monday to Friday, for the foreseeable future (including during the Easter break). For those of our students who are eligible for free school meals, we will be continuing to offer free take-away lunches, Monday to Friday, during term time. Those students who are eligible for free school meals and would like to collect a lunch should come to the academy between 12.15 and 1pm. We are also able to make some food deliveries to students who are unable to leave their homes at the moment. Please let any of the academy staff if you need this support. Please be assured that for those of our students (identified by the government as being part of a priority group) and those staff who are still coming into our academy building, we are all practicing physical distancing and maintaining careful hygiene procedures to keep everyone safe and healthy. The number of social interactions in our academy has been hugely reduced, with few students attending and classroom physical distancing being practised. The scientific advice shows that education settings are safe for this small number of children to continue attending – but asking others to stay away will help to slow the spread of coronavirus. You can see the latest government advice for families at www.gov.uk/coronavirus. You can also receive free GOV.UK Coronavirus Information Service updates via WhatsApp – simply add 07860 064422 in your phone contacts and then message the word ‘hi’ in a WhatsApp message to get started. I also wanted to let you know about a website called On My Mind (www.annafreud.org/on-my-mind) which has lots of advice and simple strategies to help young people when they are feeling low or anxious. There is also an urgent help page on the website with a list of organisations that offer 24hour support via text, phone and email. Please encourage your children to stay in touch with friends using social media, make a new daily routine at home, make time for exercise (it really helps wellbeing) and don’t let them be tempted to go out and meet their friends at the moment. Remind them they can talk to academy staff about any worries they have. Remember – if you need to contact a member of the academy staff urgently during academy hours, you can call the normal academy office number on 01708 853781. We are actively monitoring emails; you can always email any member of the academy team at firstname.lastname@example.org I will stay in touch with you and write to you again next week. We are continuing to regularly update our academy website with news and information for you. Please do not hesitate to contact any of us at the academy if you need any help or advice. We are always here for you and your family. Yours sincerely, Collette Hunnisett, Headteacher
All parents and carers will receive a letter this afternoon (Friday 20 March) and be contacted by academy staff about the plans we have in place for each student from Monday. Our academy will be open from Monday 23 March 2020 only to those students who have been identified by the government as part of designated priority groups (including the children of key workers). We have had to adapt our normal academy offer to reflect changes in available staff levels. The academy will only be open to small numbers of our students. Those students who are part of designated priority groups will have received a new timetable which will come into place from Monday. We want to reassure you that our support for you and your child will not stop even if your child is unable to attend the academy. Every student who is continuing their studies and learning from home will receive a daily (Monday to Friday) phone call from a member of academy staff. During this call your child can share any concerns, discuss their home learning, ask for advice and let us know if they are having any problems with using the online learning system (Century). If you need to contact a member of the academy staff urgently during academy hours, please call the normal academy office number on 01708 853781. We will also be actively monitoring emails; you can always email any member of the academy team at email@example.com For those of our students who are eligible for free school meals, we will be continuing to offer free take-away lunches, Monday to Friday, during term time. Those students who are eligible for free school meals and would like to collect a lunch should come to the academy between 12.00 noon and 1.00pm. We thought it would be helpful to share a few links to support and advice for you and your family which may be useful in the weeks ahead: Local Foodbank: www.thurrock.foodbank.org.uk T: 01375 416200 Local Authority website: www.thurrock.gov.uk/coronavirus-covid-19/government-and-health-information Citizens Advice: www.citizensadvice.org.uk NSPCC Childline: www.childline.org.uk T: 0800 111 The Department for Education also operate a helpline for any parents, children or staff members who would like further advice. T: 0800 046 8687 (available Mon to Fri 8am to 6pm and on Saturdays and Sundays 10am to 4pm). More information for parents is also here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers We will be staying in regular contact with you throughout these challenging times. We will also continue to regularly update this website with news and information for you. We will make sure to pass on any further advice we receive from Thurrock Council, Department for Education or Public Health England.
20 March 2020 Dear Parents and Carers, In the early hours of this morning The Department for Education released their latest guidance for schools and parents/ carers. If you have not already done so, we need you to contact our academy office (T: 01708 853781) as soon as possible if you are a critical key worker and you feel that you cannot keep your child safe at home whilst you are at work. The new government list of critical sectors / key workers is as follows: Health and social care This includes but is not limited to doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, and other frontline health and social care staff including volunteers; the support and specialist staff required to maintain the UK’s health and social care sector; those working as part of the health and social care supply chain, including producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment Education and childcare This includes nursery and teaching staff, social workers and those specialist education professionals who must remain active during the COVID-19 response to deliver this approach. Key public services This includes those essential to the running of the justice system, religious staff, charities and workers delivering key frontline services, those responsible for the management of the deceased, and journalists and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting. Local and national government This only includes those administrative occupations essential to the effective delivery of the COVID-19 response or delivering essential public services such as the payment of benefits, including in government agencies and arms length bodies. Food and other necessary goods This includes those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (for example hygienic and veterinary medicines). Public safety and national security This includes police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the delivery of key defence and national security outputs and essential to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, those maintaining border security, prison and probation staff and other national security roles, including those overseas. Transport This includes those who will keep the air, water, road and rail passenger and freight transport modes operating during the COVID-19 response, including those working on transport systems through which supply chains pass. Utilities, communication and financial services This includes staff needed for essential financial services provision (including but not limited to workers in banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity and water sectors (including sewerage), information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies to continue during the COVID-19 response, as well as key staff working in the civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (including but not limited to network operations, field engineering, call centre staff, IT and data infrastructure, 999 and 111 critical services), postal services and delivery, payments providers and waste disposal sectors. You can read the government’s new guidance for parents and carers here: 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 for your ongoing support. I will be in touch with you again later today with detailed plans for each student. Best wishes, Collette Hunnisett Headteacher, Olive AP Academy – Thurrock
19 March 2020 Dear Parents and Carers, As I am sure you are already aware, a statement was made yesterday afternoon by the Prime Minister regarding school closures starting from this weekend across England. This decision has been taken by the government to try and control the spread of the Coronavirus. The Prime Minister also announced that from Monday, where possible, schools will stay open in a limited capacity to offer support to those children considered to be more vulnerable and to the children of key workers. We understand that this is difficult news for us all. I want to reassure you that our support for you and your children will not stop on Friday. We are committed to providing support to all our students, whether the academy is forced to close or not. For those of our students who will be required to stay at home, we will provide a package of learning and wellbeing support from the start of next week. We will be able to share details of this with parents/ carers and students later tomorrow. For those students who are identified by the Department for Education as vulnerable, those who have an EHCP and those whose parents/ carers are key workers, we will ensure that the academy remains open during term time and the Easter holiday. We are waiting to receive more instructions from the Department for Education before we can confirm details of the hours the academy will be open for these students, starting from Monday 23 March. Parents/carers and students will receive a clear and detailed plan/ timetable from me later tomorrow. Many of you have already been in touch with us to explain if you are key workers and have let us know if you will need ongoing support. If you have not already done so, please could you call the academy office (T: 01708 853 781) today to let us know if you are a key worker. The government has not confirmed who qualifies as a key worker as yet but we believe this to be anyone who works for the NHS (doctors, nurses, admin, drivers, porters, cleaners etc.), social workers, teachers and nursery workers, police officers, ambulance service workers, those who work in food distribution and food delivery drivers. I can confirm that our academy will be open as normal tomorrow (Friday) to all students who are well and able to attend. We are working hard to finalise plans for next week and I will be in touch again very soon with more definite details for all our parents, carers and students. As always, we will continue to do all we can to support our students and staff at this very difficult time and I want to thank you for your support. Best wishes, Collette Hunnisett Headteacher, Olive AP Academy – Thurrock
Dear Parent/ Carer, We understand how worrying the current Coronavirus situation is for our students, families and our staff. We want to update you regularly, so that you feel reassured that we are passing on all updates and any advice we receive from the Department for Education and Public Health England. The current advice is that the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue, put it in a bin and wash your hands. Public Health England (PHE) are asking anyone who shows certain symptoms to self-isolate for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means that PHE want people to stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection. The symptoms are: – a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) -a new, continuous cough. 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 at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999. The Department for Education operate a helpline for any parents, children or staff members who would like further advice. T: 0800 046 8687 (available Mon to Fri 8am to 6pm). The situation and government advice may change over the coming days and weeks. We would like to reassure you that we have good plans in place to ensure that all our students will have regular support from our staff, even if the academy is forced to close. We know this is a particularly difficult time for our young people and our staff team are doing their best to keep a calm atmosphere in the academy, keep our normal routines going as much as possible and not speculate about the changing situation. We will continue to carefully follow government guidance and will of course act immediately as advice or instructions change. We will keep updating you as we get more information. Best wishes Collette Hunnisett, Headteacher 16 March 2020
12 March 2020 Dear Parent/ Carer, I am writing to update you regarding the current situation with Covid – 19 / Coronavirus. We are receiving regular updates from the Department for Education and Public Health England and will continue to pass on all their advice to you. Our academy remains open and we intend to continue with all of our activities for as long as the advice tells us to do so. We currently have no confirmed cases of Covid-19/ Coronavirus within the academy community. We have no specific information about any intention for school/ academy closures but are working on plans to ensure we can provide the best education possible for all our students any time the academy may close. To enable us to plan effectively and provide good support to you, it would be helpful for us to know which of our students and their families have limited IT access from home. Please could you call the academy office on 01708 853781 if: – You have Wifi/ Broadband access at home but no access to a tablet or computer. – You have no or limited Wifi/ Broadband access at home. Please be assured we will continue to be transparent with you over any information we receive that may affect our community. For now the best advice is that we all keep talking to our young people about washing hands and good hygiene. The first thing they should do when they get home is to wash their hands thoroughly. All our staff are ready to provide any support or advice you may need. Yours sincerely Collette Hunnisett, Headteacher, Olive AP Academy – Thurrock
UPDATED 16 March 2020 The government and Public Health England have updated their advice for schools regarding Coronavirus/ Covid-19: staff, young people and children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature to avoid spreading infection to others. Otherwise they should attend education or work as normal if staff, young people or children become unwell on site with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they should be sent home unless you have been directly advised to close by the local Public Health England Health Protection Team, we recommend all education settings remain open. The main messages are: if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. if you live with others and you or one of them 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. if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible if you have coronavirus symptoms: do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999 Full details of this current advice can be found at : https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance UPDATED 13 March 2020 The government and Public Health England have updated their advice regarding Coronavirus/ Covid-19: As per the current advice, the most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves remains washing their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Make sure you cough or sneeze into a tissue, put it in a bin and wash your hands. Public Health England (PHE) are asking anyone who shows certain symptoms to self-isolate for 7 days, regardless of whether they have travelled to affected areas. This means that PHE want people to stay at home and avoid all but essential contact with others for 7 days from the point of displaying mild symptoms, to slow the spread of infection. The symptoms are: a high temperature (37.8 degrees and above) a new, continuous cough 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 at 111.nhs.uk. If you have no internet access, you should call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999. The Department for Education operate a helpline for any parents, children or staff members who would like further advice. T: 0800 046 8687, E: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org Available: 8am to 6pm (Mon to Fri) More details can be found here: Guidance to educational settings about Covid-19 ———————————————————————————————————————————— 25 February 2020 Following the recent outbreak of the Coronavirus, Olive Academies is following the advice of Public Health England (PHE) and the Local Authority to ensure the health of our whole community, including students and staff. As the situation is rapidly developing, it is best to check the government’s online advice for the latest and most up-to date information. There is also a PHE blog containing further information and advice. We will contact parents and carers directly should there be any additional advice that PHE or the Local Authority ask us to share with you. Encouraging good hygiene – As always, if you have symptoms of a cold or flu, then there are measures you can take to stop germs: Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.