Virus updates

Update 1:

Key Workers

Good morning everyone,
We are currently working through guidance as it breaks – largely through news channels. As mentioned last night, we hear government updates at the same time as everyone else; no prior notification is given to schools.

I will update Facebook and Class Dojo throughout the day to keep everyone as informed as possible. Please be patient and understand that this is a very difficult time for everyone.

Key Workers
If you fall into the following categories, and require a place for your child(ren) in school, please contact main reception ASAP.

This is the is current list (as we understand it to be at the minute):

NHS staff
Teachers
Police
Supermarket delivery drivers (food)

Update 2:

Our Children

We can’t be entirely sure how the children will interpret what’s going on at the moment. To ensure consistency, teaching staff will share the following message with the children after registration this morning…
Thursday 19th March 2020
Dear children,
In order to keep everyone safe and well (children and adults), the Government has made the decision to close our school from 3.30pm tomorrow afternoon – this is the right thing to do. This does however, make the grown-ups at Ribbon sad because we know how much you love to come to school and learn. At the moment, we don’t know how long our school will be closed but, don’t worry Ribbon will re-open when it’s safe to do so.
Your teachers have planned work for you to do at home – there will be lots to keep you busy! Whilst you’re not at school, please try to remember all of our Ribbon Values and try to be the best version of you.
If you get through your work, please ask your grown-up to message school (they know what to do) and remember to keep reading!
I’m sure time will pass quickly and you will be back at school before you know it!
Be good and keep safe.
Mrs Sheridan and all of the grown-ups at Ribbon

Update 3:

Home > School

Dear Parent/Carer,
During our closure we will aim to provide you with enough work and support for you and your child.
At the end of the day your child will receive:
a pack of printed work to complete;
a pencil;
a reading book (which can be tested on the Accelerated Reader);
their login for Mathletics and TT Rockstars (if your child uses both of these websites in class)
…and a mini Easter egg which they would have received on the last day of term!
In addition to this, there are a number of websites on our school website http://www.ribbonacademy.co.uk/year-groups/home-learning-websites/. We will update the list over the coming weeks and notify parents via Class Dojo.
Your child has also been provided their own login for Class Dojo. Your child’s year group (if they are fit and able to do so), each Monday and Friday, will set one piece of Writing, Reading, Maths and ‘Topic’ work through Dojo. Children will be able to share work with their teacher. Information about Class Dojo Portfolios can be found at: https://www.classdojo.com/en-gb/studentstories/?redirect=true.
If you require any further work please contact school via our email address p3517.admin@durhamlearning.net. Your request will be directed to the most relevant member of staff and we will aim to respond within 48 hours.
During these unprecedented times we want to be as present and visible as possible. We completely appreciate the difficulties that you and your family may be facing.

Best wishes

Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 4:


Remaining Spring & Summer Events

Dear everyone,
As we don’t know when school will open again, we have no other option but to cancel all planned events between now and the end of the academic year. Some of these decisions have been forced by external providers who are closing their services on an indefinite basis.
It’s amazing how many events and activities we did had planned between now and July; it’s utterly heartbreaking to have to cancel.
Thanking you again for your continued support.

Mrs A Sheridan

Update 5:


Social & Emotional Needs

Dear everyone,
As school prepares for closure, we would like to ensure that our families can continue to access advice and support during these unprecedented times.
The following numbers may be of assistance during the coming weeks:
First Contact (Social Care): 03000 267 979
One Point, Seaham: 03000 261 117
Families First, Seaham: 03000 262 522
CAMHS Crisis Team: 0191 441 5733
Durham Food Bank: 0191 303 7559
Citizens Advice: 03444 111 444
Durham County Council: 03000 260 000
We are currently working with local supermarkets to facilitate a voucher scheme for our most vulnerable families. Both the Co-op and Spar are currently taking advice from their respective Head Offices. We will provide further information on how to access this support once we have confirmation of details.
If you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact Kathryn Maddison (Family Support Advisor) between 9.00am > 3.15pm today and Friday 20th March 2020. Following the school closure, you can continue to contact Kathryn between 10.00am and 2.00pm (Monday > Friday) by calling: main reception or alternatively email: p3517.admin@durhamlearning.net and Kathryn will aim to respond within 24 hours.
Best wishes
Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 6:


Medication

If your child is in receipt of medication which is administered during the school day, can you please collect all items from main reception after 3.30pm tomorrow afternoon.
Kindest regards,
Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 7:


Work Packs

If you are currently in isolation and would like a work pack for your child(ren), we ask that you contact school and nominate a person that can collect a pack, on your behalf, and deliver through your letterbox. We are inundated with requests and our staff are stretched to maximum capacity at the moment.

Thanking you in anticipation of your understanding with this matter.

Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 10:

Good morning everyone,

As I promised yesterday, I would release guidance as and when we are able. The most recent guidance was released just after midnight last night. After careful consideration of guidelines, we are able to offer the following information:
Government advice is clear that parents are being asked to keep children at home wherever possible. We are only providing a limited service and need to keep staff as well as learners as safe as possible. Therefore we strongly encourage you to keep you and your family safe and stay at home.
And the most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading. That is why the government has asked parents to keep their children at home, wherever possible, and asked schools to remain open only for those children who absolutely need to attend. It is important to underline that schools, colleges and other educational establishments remain safe places for children. But the fewer children making the journey to school, and the fewer children in educational settings, the lower the risk that the virus can spread and infect vulnerable individuals in wider society; this is key to our strategy at Ribbon.
Schools are, therefore, being asked to continue to provide care for a limited number of children – children who are vulnerable and children whose parents are critical to the Covid-19 response and cannot be safely cared for at home.
Parents whose work is critical to the COVID-19 response include those who work in health and social care and in other key sectors outlined below. Many parents working in these sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. And every child who can be safely cared for at home should be.
Please, therefore, follow these key principles:
1. If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.
2. If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then educational provision will be available for them.
3. Parents should not rely for childcare upon those who are advised to be in the stringent social distancing category such as grandparents, friends, or family members with underlying conditions.
4. Parents should also do everything they can to ensure children are not mixing socially in a way which can continue to spread the virus. They should observe the same social distancing principles as adults.
If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:
1) 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.
2) 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.
3) 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.
3) 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.
4) 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).
5) 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.
6) 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.
7) 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.
If workers think they fall within the critical categories above they should confirm with their employer that, based on their business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service.
Please remember, many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so.
What next?
If you fall within the categories above, we ask that you complete an online form which can be found on the school’s website wwwtheribbonacademy.co.uk. (home page > Key Worker form > within the banner). This must be done by 2.00pm today. In light of brand new guidance, we ask that parents/carers who have previously completed a form, re-complete the online version.
We ask for your continued patience and understanding with this matter. As a school, we are trying to do our very best to support the ‘front line services’ however, we also have to consider an increasingly reduced staffing level which complicates the matter further. We fully appreciate that this is an ever-changing situation and we feel the same frustration as everyone else. Please continue to monitor Facebook/Class Dojo for further updates throughout the day.
Best wishes,
Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 11:

Support at Holy Trinty Church, Murton

During these difficult times, volunteers at Holy Trinity Church are offering help to anyone in the community who is struggling. Support can be accessed through the contacting the following number: 07437546254. The food bank remains open on a Saturday morning.
The volunteers at Holy Trinity are an amazing set of people and I know that they will do whatever they can to support the community during such unprecedented times.
Kindest wishes,
Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 12:

Technical Glitch

We are currently experiencing issues with the online form for Key Workers. Please bear with us whilst we resolve the issue. This should take no more than 15 minutes.
Thank you for your patience!

Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 13:

Glitch fixed!

We are now up and running with the online ‘Key Worker’ form. Please ensure that you complete this by 2.00pm so that we can make plans for provision.
Many thanks,
Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 14

A re-post from Sue Hardy from Sue Hardy (Place 2 Be Hub Manager @ Ribbon)

Dear Parent/Carer,
I am writing to update you on Place 2 be’s current position and the provision which will be put in place should Ribbon Academy have to close due to Coronovirus.
At present, I am working from home due to my own underlying health issues therefore, I am not available to meet ‘face to face’ with parents or children. I am, however available should you need to speak with me by phone on: 07989143296.
If your child is currently in one to one work with one of our counsellors, then unfortunately their sessions may be suspended. The sessions will recommence once the situation returns to normal. If Ribbon does have to close then all sessions will be suspended.
In order for me to contact you by phone (either now or if indeed Ribbon does have to close) could you please complete a consent form (available from main reception). Should you have any problems accessing or completing the form please contact reception in Ribbon.
In the event of school closure the following numbers may be of assistance:
CAMHS Single Point of Access 0191 4415733
Easington CAMHS 0191 2888400
CAMHS Crisis Team 0191 4415733
Social Care 0300 0267979
Thank you for your patience and understanding during this very difficult period.
Yours sincerely,
Sue Hardy
School Project Manager
Place2Be

Update 16:

Further details on exams and grades announced

Further details on arrangements for exams which have been cancelled to fight spread of coronavirus
The exam regulator, Ofqual, and exam boards will work with teachers to provide grades to students whose exams have been cancelled this summer, following our actions to slow the spread of coronavirus.
University representatives have confirmed that they expect universities to be flexible and do all they can to support students and ensure they can progress to higher education.
This year’s summer exam series, including A levels, GCSEs and other qualifications, and all primary assessments, have been cancelled as we fight to stop the spread of coronavirus.
The Government’s priority is now to ensure affected students can move on as planned to the next stage of their lives, including going into employment, starting university, college or sixth form courses, or an apprenticeship in the autumn.
This means ensuring GCSE, A and AS level students are awarded a grade which fairly reflects the work that they have put in. There will also be an option to sit an exam early in the next academic year for students who wish to. Ofqual will develop and set out a process that will provide a calculated grade to each student which reflects their performance as fairly as possible, and will work with the exam boards to ensure this is consistently applied for all students. The exam boards will be asking teachers, who know their students well, to submit their judgement about the grade that they believe the student would have received if exams had gone ahead.
To produce this, teachers will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance on mock exams and non-exam assessment – clear guidance on how to do this fairly and robustly this will be provided to schools and colleges. The exam boards will then combine this information with other relevant data, including prior attainment, and use this information to produce a calculated grade for each student, which will be a best assessment of the work they have put in.
Ofqual and exam boards will be discussing with teachers’ representatives before finalising an approach, to ensure that it is as fair as possible. More information will be provided as soon as possible.
The aim is to provide these calculated grades to students before the end of July. In terms of a permanent record, the grades will be indistinguishable from those provided in other years. We will also aim to ensure that the distribution of grades follows a similar pattern to that in other years, so that this year’s students do not face a systematic disadvantage as a consequence of these extraordinary circumstances.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said:
Cancelling exams is something no Education Secretary would ever want to do, however these are extraordinary times and this measure is a vital but unprecedented step in the country’s efforts to stop the spread of coronavirus.My priority now is to ensure no young person faces a barrier when it comes to moving onto the next stage of their lives – whether that’s further or higher education, an apprenticeship or a job.I have asked exam boards to work closely with the teachers who know their pupils best to ensure their hard work and dedication is rewarded and fairly recognised.
We recognise that some students may nevertheless feel disappointed that they haven’t been able to sit their exams. If they do not believe the correct process has been followed in their case they will be able to appeal on that basis. In addition, if they do not feel their calculated grade reflects their performance, they will have the opportunity to sit an exam at the earliest reasonable opportunity, once schools are open again. Students will also have the option to sit their exams in summer 2021.
There is a very wide range of different vocational and technical qualifications as well as other academic qualifications for which students were expecting to sit exams this summer. These are offered by a large number of awarding organisations, and have differing assessment approaches – in many cases students will already have completed modules or non-exam assessment which could provide evidence to award a grade. We are encouraging these organisations to show the maximum possible flexibility and pragmatism to ensure students are not disadvantaged. Ofqual is working urgently with the sector to explore options and we will work with them to provide more details shortly.
The Government will not publish any school or college level educational performance data based on tests, assessments or exams for 2020.

Update 17:

Last update for today!

Good afternoon everyone,
In such turbulent times, it’s always good to listen to children who can always make sense of a situation. Over the last couple of days, the children have been contemplating what ‘school closure’ means to them. I hope you enjoy reading Annabelle’s letter which sums up the mood of children at Ribbon very well.
Thursday 19th March 2020
Dear Diary,
Today, I found out unfortunately our school is closing because of that silly Coronavirus. I am really annoyed because I want to learn wheat we are supposed to learn at school! I don’t want to say anything because I know it is necessary. I have mixed emotions and I am grateful but, sad at the same time. Take the people in China for instance they are worried because they have seen how bad it is and, they are trying to find a cure. Our government and Boris Johnson have agreed that the virus is too dangerous.
My soul was screaming NOOOO when I first found out that I wouldn’t be in school. Mrs Bates has said that she has put crafts on Class Dojo so that is a big relief. I get bored VERY easy so Mrs Bates is a life saver! I love school and we don’t normally do activities at home so this is exiting.
If you are wondering what Coronavirus is, it is just like flu or common cold but the symptoms are coughing, fever and shortness of breath. There is nothing to be worried about. It will all be over soon and life will go back too normal.
I wish you the best of luck!
Annabelle (Year 3)
xxx
p.s If you are small and feel ill tell a grown up or a doctor.

No doubt there will be further updates to come but, for now please try to not to worry too much and enjoy the weekend. Please remember from now, general communication will be via phone call to main reception or through email: p3517.admin.durhamlearning.net.

Look after yourself and stay safe.

Mrs A Sheridan (HT) the Ribbon Team

Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Education) has today reminded us that:

“You should only send your child to school on Monday if you have to, because your work is critical to our COVID-19 response.

If you are able to keep your child at home, you should.

#StayHomeSaveLives”

We appreciate the difficult situation our families are in. It is only with our collective response that we can beat this terrible virus, protect our families and return to normal.

We would like to take this opportunity to share advice (which we will all have seen) regarding ‘social distancing’. Some of the activities in ‘avoid’ have now been banned – this shows the seriousness of the situation we are all in. The measures are by no means easy, but this is the only way we will be able to stem the spread of the virus.

For our families and children the advice is that children should not be socialising outside of the home, nor should children be socialising in groups inside the home. Over the coming days we will share suggested timetables to keep your children active and to provide them with a structure.

Please use our school email address (p3517.admin@durhamlearning.net) to contact school. Kathryn Maddison (Family Support Advisor) will be available between 10am and 2pm each day to support any families who need help. Again, please contact Kathryn through our email address or by calling 0191 517 5900.

In addition to this, the following numbers may also be of help:

The following numbers may be of assistance during the coming weeks:

First Contact (Social Care): 03000 267 979

One Point, Seaham: 03000 261 117

Families First, Seaham: 03000 262 522

CAMHS Crisis Team: 0191 441 5733

Durham Food Bank: 0191 303 7559

Citizens Advice: 03444 111 444

Durham County Council: 03000 260 000

We may not be able to see you or children, but we are still here.

Stay healthy, happy and positive.

Kind regards,

All of the staff at Ribbon

Update 18:

This is important information for parents and carers following updated advice from the Government over the weekend.

Good afternoon everyone,
The Government’s advice about sending your child to school even if you are a Key Worker, or if your child is vulnerable, can be interpreted in different ways. Following communication with parents and carers on Friday, the situation is developing; we need to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both children and staff, so please familiarise yourself with the following information:
** The default position is that our school is closed **
The Secretary of State has clarified his initial comments, and now says that ‘if a child can stay safely at home, then they should be at home’. Sending your child into school, places both them and the staff at greater risk.
Children in Care/Social Worker/EHCP
Parents of children with social workers or children with an EHCP do not have to send children into school; it is the parents’ or carers’ choice.
Children of Key Workers
Again, a consensus has emerged which replaces previous advice. Even if you are a ‘Key Worker’ yourself, is there another parent / carer who is not a ‘Key Worker’? We need to keep the number of children who we are expecting to attend Ribbon on Monday to an absolute minimum. If you did not complete the online form on Friday, your child will be sent home as we have not planned for their provision.

I do hope that you understand the very difficult (and unprecedented) situation we find ourselves in. Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of the children and staff is my number one priority.

Kindest regards,

Mrs A Sheridan (HT)

Update 19:

Children of Key Workers in School

Good morning,
It’s great to see that parents/carers are exercising due diligence and, where possible, keeping their children at home. Please understand, if your child displays symptoms of COVID-19 we will contact you immediately and ask you to collect (your child); I need to ensure the safety of all children and staff on site. Admin will contact parents to ascertain which ‘child-care’ sessions are required (if any at all); some parents/carers have opted for partial sessions if they can secure childcare in the home.

Packed Lunches
We are providing packed lunches for children who are ordinarily in receipt of free school meals. All packed lunches were pre-ordered with school last week. These will be available for collection on tables positioned in front of main reception from 12.15pm. The packed lunches will be named and arranged in year group order from Reception > Year 6.

School Work
The work staff provided for your child is not to be classed as ‘homework’ which would normally be completed over the weekend, it is for school days (Monday to Friday). As directed by the DfE the purpose of a school (from today and for the foreseeable future) is not to provide education, it is to provide ‘childcare’ and as such our programme reflects our new status.

Access to School
To mitigate any further contact with staff in school, we ask that contact is only made via telephone or email (p3517.admin@durhamlearning.net).

Stay safe and where possible please keep your child at home.

Mrs A Sheridan (HT)