Dear parents and carers
Please find below an update on measures being taken in school regarding COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Please be assured that we are monitoring the situation very closely and continue to act on the latest local and national advice.
The school is following the latest guidance for non-health care settings. The latest NHS advice regarding Coronavirus is available on this link: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
Encouraging good hand hygiene in school
Children and young people continue to be guided to observe good hand hygiene, the advice being given in school is in keeping with the latest NHS advice:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds (especially after activities)
- Use alcohol based hand rub where available if you don’t have access to soap and water.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not come to school if they have symptoms of COVID-19.
- Avoid using the personal items of others such as their mobile phone.
- Cover the nose and mouth with a disposable tissue when sneezing, coughing, wiping and blowing the nose. dispose of all used tissues promptly into a waste bin.
What are the typical signs and symptoms of COVID-19?
Common symptoms, which can range from mild to moderate include:
- new continuous cough; and/or
- high temperature
What should I do if my child or young person has symptoms?
If your child or young person has symptoms of recent onset (within the last 7 days) of a continuous cough and/or high temperature, however mild, they must stay at home and not leave the house for 7 days from when the symptoms started. Everyone else in the household should stay at home for 14 days whether they have symptoms or not. Children and young people cannot attend school at this time.
What if the symptoms of my child or young person appear to be worsening?
Seek prompt medical attention if your child’s illness appears to be worsening. If it’s not an emergency, contact NHS 24 or your GP. If it is an emergency and you need to call an ambulance, dial 999 and inform the call handler that there is a risk of coronavirus (COVID-19).
Where can I get further information on COVID-19?
Additional information can be found on the COVID-19 pages of the NHS Inform website.
People who want more general information on COVID-19 but do not have symptoms can also phone the free helpline on 0800 028 2816 (NHS 24). The helpline is open:
- Monday to Friday – 8am to 10pm
- Saturday and Sunday – 9am to 5pm
Where can I find information on “stay at home” advice?
Information on when and how to self-isolate can be found on the NHS Inform website.
Over the last 2 weeks our cleaning teams have increased the level of cleaning in schools. Cleaning is now at a level beyond that being recommended by Public Health. National guidance published on the 16th March recommends that schools should not close when pupils are self-isolating unless the Health Protection Team instruct otherwise. Clear advice on how to disinfect areas has been provided and we have measures in place to ensure this takes place timeously. Schools have considered how to isolate areas of the school as part of their Business Continuity arrangements.
If there are occasions where a school needs to close temporarily prior to re-opening following cleaning we will send out a Group Call Text message indicating that this the case, information will also be published on-line on the city website.
In line with our procedures for Adverse Weather Closure, parents and young people should ensure that they have made suitable arrangements e.g. access to their house, keys etc. If you have changed any of your contact details (e.g. mobile phone number, home address and emergency contact details) please advise the detail of this by emailing StMacharAcademy School@aberdeencity.gov.uk indicating your child’s name and year group.
Preparations for the SQA examinations are going ahead as scheduled. The school is following all guidance and advice issued by the SQA, this can be found on their website www.sqa.org.uk. We are putting plans in place should we need to respond to any updated advice. Please reassure your child of this and advise them to continue to focus on preparations for their examinations.
Current guidance is that all International school trips should be cancelled. This decision has been taken due to the potential difficulty in managing a situation where potentially large numbers of students are unwell. This guidance may change over time and we will conform the position for school trips 2 weeks before planned departure.
Domestic school trips are subject to risk assessment and may be postponed.
CONTINUITY OF LEARNING
Plans are in place to continue learning using online tools such as Google classrooms and Scholar (S4-S6). Our classes make use of Google Classroom during the normal course of the year. Your child will be familiar with this and how to use this effectively. If your child does not have access to a device or internet at home, please contact their Principal Teacher Pupil Support and we will make alternative arrangements.
Our key priority is to maintain our core business which is continuing educational provision for our children and young people. As such, there is a need to prioritise the work being undertaken at present and acknowledge ‘social distancing’. The Senior School Prom scheduled for Saturday 21st March, S1 Science Baccalaureate scheduled for Wednesday 25th March and the Easter Service have all been cancelled. Parent Council meetings will be postponed. The situation regarding events planned as part of the school calendar for next term will be reviewed following the holiday period.
I realise that this is a very unusual and unsettling time for our school community and want to thank you for your patience. Please be assured that we continue to take every measure to safeguard the wellbeing of our children and young people.