COVID – 19 Update
Dear students and families,
Mental Health has been defined as ‘A positive sense of well-being which enables an individual to be able to function in society and meet the demands of everyday life; people in good mental health have the ability to recover effectively from illness, change or misfortune’ (Mental Health Foundation 2005). It is our duty as a school to support mental wealth as an anxious child is not a learning child. We aim to promote:
- The capacity to enter into and sustain mutually satisfying personal relationships
- A continuing progression of psychological development
- An ability to play and to learn appropriately for their age and intellectual level
- A developing sense of right and wrong
- The capacity to cope with a degree of psychological distress
- A clear sense of identity and self-worth
(Carpenter, Happe and Egerton 2019)
Despite being supported with home learning, those young people who have not been accessing school will have experienced the ‘five losses of routine, structure, friendship, opportunity and freedom’ described by Professor Barry carpenter in his think piece A Recovery Curriculum: Loss and Life for our children and schools post pandemic, through their time out of school and, as they now begin to return to school in greater numbers their well-being and attendance will need to be encouraged and supported though a graduated response. As attendance grows, the curriculum offer at St. George’s School will by necessity grow and change. Young people at whatever developmental level will be supported to:
- revisit prior learning and experiences;
- be challenged to remember and re-engage;
- be challenged to apply what they know, understand and can do;
- develop the levels of fluency and accuracy previously attained
across the social, emotional, personal and academic curricula of the school, and achieve the objectives and outcomes expected for them.
our learners will need a holistic recovery, some may need a focused recovery
intervention programme, personalised to their needs; others may need a deeper
and longer lasting recovery period, enabling a fuller exploration of the
severity of their trauma and emergent attachment issues.
In moving through the recovery phase and beyond we will consider the following key points in our planning, development, and delivery of our ‘recovery’ curriculum:
- We will prioritise the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of our young people, staff and families as we recognise that good health and well-being is fundamental to ensuring that young people can engage effectively in their learning
- We will support re-connection with friends, the environment, expectations, and staff, factoring in play; physical activity; outdoor learning; enjoyment and relaxation, and building relationships and resilience
- We have reviewed the school’s curriculum intent and re-aligned this where necessary during the ‘recovery’ phase
- We will maximise opportunities for communication and dialogue with young people and their families about the curriculum and as changes take place
- We will focus initially on learning across literacy, numeracy and health and wellbeing with increasing and sequenced content and learning experiences within both the National and wider curriculum. Students will be given wider access as and when it suits their learning needs
- We will provide a variety of approaches for young people to demonstrate their learning, skills, knowledge and understanding across the curriculum
- We will extend our ability to work with young people and families to evidence the learning that has taken place and to identify the next steps in learning in light of the above
- We will ensure we use the principle of equity to provide additional and appropriate support where it is most needed to maximise learning and address the impact of other vulnerabilities
- We will focus on sustaining, promoting, and developing the skills that will increase the capacity of young people to learn remotely where this remains necessary, making sure that remote learning equips them to make a successful return to school when the time comes
I hope you can see that an awful lot of preparation and risk assessing has taken place to ensure we can minimise risk to students and staff alike. We will continue to dedicate ourselves to safe working practice as students, families and staff are always at the forefront of all we do. We have developed a COVID 19 handbook and have updated it according to current guidance and will continue to do so.
Students and staff who are able to do so, should wear a face covering when moving around communal areas where social distancing is not possible e.g. corridors. This is now a generic life skill in our community e.g. in shops and community facilities. Our students would find it very difficult to have rules which come and go in line with local conditions so we will be promoting consistency and asking all in the school to wear a face covering, if they are able to, in the corridors when transitioning from one place to another. This will not be a requirement in lessons and when outside. Please can you ensure you let staff know if you feel your child cannot wear a mask when moving around the corridor and we will respect your wishes. If your child is able to wear a face covering, please supply a neutral one for them to wear each day. We ask that they do not bring ones with anything which will confuse or scare their peers.
Apart from a face covering and essential items, we are asking that students do not bring unnecessary items into school from home. This is to prevent cross contamination both into school and back into your homes.
We will be keeping in close contact with families to let you know how things are going but will be doing so either by email or phone. For the same reason as above, we will not be using physical home-school books to avoid cross contamination. Please make sure we have your up-to-date contact details.
Some of our students find theoretical learning very difficult and need to experience an activity in the true setting. We will contact all families to ask permission to teach and learn in the community if that is an appropriate way forward for a individual e.g. work experience, Bodster, shopping etc. No student will be offered such an opportunity until we have your full permission.
Finally, for the moment at least, I have a heartfelt request. Please ensure your child does not arrive at school earlier than 8.45 a.m. We do not have supervision before this time to ensure they are safe and healthy. We need to avoid young people arriving in the entrance hall and mixing without supervision with other young people outside their ‘bubble’.
Please click on the link below to take a look at our plan of action to keep all at St. George’s safe and healthy.
Thank you all for your continued support at this difficult time.
Due to the current situation with COVID-19 and in order to protect our young people, their families and carers and our staff, the CCAMHS Clinic is now in business continuity and therefore face-to-face contact will only be taking place for urgent cases. Telephone and video calls are being arranged for all other young people that we are already working with.
We will still be available via the telephone and email, however, at this pressured time please only contact us for urgent matters.
Please do not email individual workers as they may be off sick, so please only use the generic CCAMHS email below.
Thank you for your cooperation
CCAMHS Tel No: 01983 523 602
(Mon–Thurs: 08:30–17:00 / Friday: 08:30–16:30)
CAMHS Email: email@example.com
Out Of Hours Tel No: 01983 522 214