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COVID – 19 Update

Dear students and families,

We have all been living and working under the most challenging of times due to the pandemic. Many students and families have had to cope with significant time out of the school learning environment over the last year or so, and have had to face the challenge of participating in home learning more than once. Changes to routine and security come and go and we are all having to learn new skills to manage the changing landscape. We do not under estimate the impact of students nor their families and want to emphasize that we are all here to support you.

Following a return to school for all students in September 2020 and then again in March 2021, we embarked on a way of working to try to counteract the impact of the first lockdown and to begin to build resilience and reduce loss of learning only to face another national lockdown in the new year. We are aware that there has been a significant impact of people’s mental health and take our responsibility to support students seriously regardless of if they are in school or working from home.

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. As a result the curriculum offer at St. George’s School will by necessity grow and change. Young people (at home and in school) 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.

All of 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 a COVID 19 handbook and have updated it regularly according to current guidance and will continue to do so. Our online learning for those who have to work from home reflects the ethos of our in-school provision and teaching staff will support the small number of families to adapt learning into your home setting according to your circumstances.

Teaching staff will be keeping in regular and close contact with families of students working at home to send work, support, guide, feedback and advise. As explained above, we will work with every individual family to consider your circumstances and to support accordingly. Please make the most of our support and let us know if there is anyway we can improve.

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.

Best wishes,

Sue Holman

Please Read:

Current Government Guidelines

NHS (COVID-19) resources

NHS Test and Trace detailsHome Teaching Resources Click Here

Useful high risk door signs to warn anyone coming to your door Click Here

Important Resources

CCAMHS

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:                                     iownt.spcamhs@nhs.net

Out Of Hours Tel No:                       01983 522 214