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Covid-19 Information for Families

Please find below information that we have previously shared on the school website homepage.

  • May 2020 : Message from Clare Kershaw - ECC

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    Coronavirus (Covid-19) Update – Phased Reopening of Schools

    Firstly, I want to thank you once again for your contribution to the national response to the Coronavirus pandemic.  For the majority of you, being at home with your child(ren) and supporting their continued learning, alongside your own work and wellbeing, is a significant challenge in what are both unprecedented and worrying times.   However, we do know that this action has helped to reduce the spread of the virus and is helping to save lives.

    I am sure that many of you will have watched the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday evening and read subsequent details either online or in the media about the plans to begin to re-open schools more widely.

    You will have heard the Prime Minister indicating that the government believes that as well as schools being open to the children of critical workers and for vulnerable pupils,  it may be in a position to implement a phased re-opening of schools from 1st June at the earliest, starting with pupils in nurseries, reception, year one and year six.   This will be in addition to accommodating children of critical workers and vulnerable pupils.

    Secondary Schools and Alternative Providers are considering their approach to offering some face to face time for pupils and we are working with Special Schools on their plans to gradually increase the number of children and young people on site, again from the 1st June at the earliest.

    This is part of the government’s conditional plan which it says will remain under regular review, which is yet to be finalised and will only happen if the level of new infections continues to decrease and the government’s other conditions are met.

    We are working with schools to support their plans for a gradual and phased re-opening.   Their plans will be guided by a thorough Health and Safety Risk Assessment taking in to account their physical capacity on the school site and staffing levels.  

    We know that you will understand that the safety of everyone in the school community is paramount.  We all want to get more pupils back into school as soon as it is safe to do so.  However, in supporting schools to re-open in a phased and gradual way, the first priority to consider will be the health and well-being of all pupils and families and the staff.   

    Whilst all schools are working hard to respond to the guidance provided by the Department for Education, depending on each individual school context, some primary, infant and junior schools may not be able to offer full time provision for the relevant year groups, and any new arrangements may not be introduced exactly from  the 1st June.   Schools will be writing to parents over the next week to outline the offer and response that they are able to make, which will be based on the health and safety risk assessment that they have been asked to complete.

    The guidance made it clear that it is not compulsory for parents to send their children to school at this time and there will be no penalties if you choose to keep your child(ren) at home.

    All schools will continue to provide a home learning offer to all pupils not accessing support on site and will also keep in regular touch with the families of all pupils, whether or not they are attending school.

    Further information for parents and carers can be found in the attached government guidance:


    If you are the parent of a child with an Education, Health and Care Plan we will also be writing to you in the next week, via your child’s school or setting, to update you on the temporary changes made by the government to the SEND legislation and what this means for your child.  We will also be sharing this information via the Local Offer and the Essex Family Forum.

    I want to assure you that schools are working closely with the Local Authority and the Headteacher Associations in order to offer a consistent and safe response to the proposed plans.

    Finally, I would like to reassure you that the health and safety of children and staff remains everyone’s first priority during this period.  

    If you have any questions regarding this letter, please do contact your school in the first instance.

    Thank you for your continued co-operation at this time.

    Kind regards,

    Clare Kershaw (Director of Education)

    Sent on behalf of: Essex County Council, The Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex, Essex Primary Headteacher Association, Essex Special Schools Education Trust

  • April 27th 2020 : Message from Mr Messer

    If you would appreciate help with learning at home, in the first instance, email the teachers in your child's year group (click the School Closed Work tab abve for email addresses) or call StarLine on 0330 313 9162. StarLine is an independent body, staffed by teachers and Ofsted employees, who are available to give advice to families. Be aware that the call will be charged at the local rate.

  • April 26th 2020 : Message from Mrs Dale

    Firstly, I would like to say a massive THANK YOU to all of you who are working so hard to support your children at home. We appreciate this is not always easy, but it is great to see so many children logging on each day to engage with the learning their teachers are setting both online and in their CGP books (which have now all been delivered). If you are having any problems accessing the learning, please do not hesitate to contact us via email. A list of useful email addresses can be found in the 'School Closed Work' tab at the top of the page. Although the vast majority of staff are not on site, they are working hard from home and will answer any of your queries. Could I also ask you to ensure the school have your most recent contact details including email, home address and telephone numbers. This information can be emailed to the admin team and will ensure you are kept up to date with any information we need to share. 

    Please continue to stay safe and we all look forward to seeing you again once it is safe to do so.

    Keep smiling!

    Judith Dale smiley

  • April 23rd 2020 : Message from Mr Messer

    Following the government briefing yesterday, it is clear that some aspects of social distancing will need to remain in place for the foreseeable future. This clearly means that it is likely that most children will still be required to learn at home for some time yet. It is imperative that children staff safe whilst not attending school. To help families at this time we are sharing some online resources for you (below). Take care everyone :-) Mr. Messer.








  • April 19th 2020 : Message from Mrs Dale

    I hope you are all keeping safe and well in these difficult times.

    None of us underestimate the impact this is having on all of us, particularly the children. We miss them very much and look forward to having them all back in school when it is safe to do so. Until then, we will continue to offer support, both for their learning and their emotional wellbeing.

    I know the children and parents from Class 10 have already been informed, but I would like to mention Mrs Bell who is moving on to pastures new. We will all miss her and her amazing enthusiasm for all things musical and her total commitment to every child at St George's. She will be greatly missed by the children and team at St George's.

    I have updated the 'School Closed Work' tab above, where you will find the learning activities for every year group for the next week. There is also updated information regarding refunds for school trips etc and a list of email addresses which you may find useful. Please do not hesitate to email with any queries or questions you may have.

    Please continue to follow the guidance on social distancing and keep yourselves, your loved ones and the wider community safe. 

    Keep smiling and stay safe!

    Judith Dale smiley

  • April 9th 2020 : Message from Mr Messer

    As you will be aware, the country continues to be under 'lockdown' and the school is closed. This will be the situation for the foreseeable future, and schools have no additional information on this other than that which is shared through the daily government briefings in the media. However, we expect this situation to exist for a significant time.

    To help maintain learning, teachers were available online (via your child's DBPrimary login) in order to support children for the first two weeks of the lockdown. For the two Easter weeks the teachers have provided a list of open ended activities that the children may wish to try. On April 20th, the teachers will once again be available online to support your child. Learning and activities can be seen without having to login. Simply look at the School Closed Work tab (above) to see what has been planned. With the launch of the new BBC Bitesize service being launched on April 20th, we expect the activities that teachers will plan will alter a little in style to help keep learning fresh and interesting. I would like to thank the teaching team and parents for supporting their children so well at this time. We are certainly receiving a lot of positive feedback about the learning that is taking place.

    The school will be closed to the children of key workers on Friday 10th and Monday 13th April as there have been no bookings made for these days. We are also likely to be closed on Tursday 16th and Friday 17th April as there are no booking on these days either.

    Please continue to take care and maintain your social isolation. Together we will win! Tonight I will once again join the 8pm applause for the key workers that are making such an amazing difference to our society. Thank you everybody who step out each day to face the reality of situation that we are facing, and also tp all you amazing families who stay indoors to help stop the spread of the virus.

    Finally, a big 'virtual high five' to all the children of St George's School. I miss you enormously and can't wait to see you all again soon. In the meantime, keep learning, keep smiling and keep safe.

    Mr Messer :-) 

  • April 2nd 2020 : Message from Mr Messer

    On the 'School Closed Work' tab above you will find a PDF file for your child's year group. This file details the work that your child will need to complete whilst at home. Your child can also log in to DBPrimary using the the link on the bottom right hand side of this screen.

    The Easter break (weeks of April 6th and 13th 2020) will be slightly different again. The teaching team have suggested ten open ended activities that your child might like to do (and which might be a good 'go to' for you if at a loose end!). These can also be found on the School Closed Work tab above. Of course, any child who has not completed the two weeks of work set for them can get this finished at Easter!

    Teachers will set new work online from April 20th 2020. We will let you know when it is there for you.

    Take care everyone, Mr Messer :-)

  • March 24th 2020 : Message from Clare Kershaw - ECC

    Letter to Parents and Carers

    Dear Parent / Carer,

    This letter follows the Government action taken on 23rd March 2020 to restrict all nonessential travel of action and the decision taken on the 20th March 2020 to close all early years’ settings, schools and colleges. Both decisions have been taken as part of the Government’s response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency. This is a direct intervention to reduce the spread of the disease and to prevent unnecessary deaths.

    The Government has directed early years settings, schools and colleges to remain open to provide support to vulnerable children and their families and for people identified as critical to managing the outbreak of the virus. I need to make it clear that school closures are critical to reduce the spread of the virus to a level the NHS can cope with. This is essential to save lives. If a substantial number of children continue to attend school this will unravel this initiative and make this pandemic likely. The Government have also stated that all non-essential travel must be stopped.

    Children of Critical Workers Schools are remaining open only to the children of workers critical to the ongoing management of Covid-19, that are unable to safely stay at home. We need to ensure that the number of children and young people accessing the offer of provision in a setting, school or college is kept to the lowest number possible. Therefore, even if you have been deemed a critical worker, if your children can remain at home rather than attend school, on some or all days, then they should. Please only use the offer of provision when it is crucial for you to undertake your critical role.

    The list of critical workers can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educationalprovision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

    If the school, setting or college feels that your role does not fit the critical worker criteria, you may be asked to verify this or to keep your children at home. If you have a partner who is not a critical worker, you may be questioned as to why they are not able to stay at home as per the Government’s guidance. Schools, settings and colleges are open to provide care to enable critical workers to respond to the crucial role you will play in the response to the COVID-19 emergency, but you must also support your school, setting and college and only use this offer of support if you have no alternatives for childcare for your child(ren). Clearly the more children and young people that attend an education setting the wider the risk of spreading the virus grows.

    Children with Education Health and Care Plans (EHCP) or a Social Worker.

    If your child has an EHCP and/or an allocated Social Worker and it is not possible to safely keep them at home, they may attend school, college or early years setting. Please only use the offer of provision when it is absolutely necessary and let your education provider know what you decide. If you do decide to keep your child/ren at home and you need additional support, please contact your school and they will work with the local authority to support you.

    Government Advice re Leaving Children Unattended

    There is no law about when you can leave your child on their own but it is an offence to leave them alone if it places them at risk. As parents, you should use your judgement on how mature your child is before you decide to leave them at home. If you are at all unsure, the NSPCC recommends that children under 12 are rarely mature enough to be left alone for a long period of time, children under 16 shouldn’t be left alone overnight and babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone. It is important to note that schools, settings and colleges will not be able to provide an education offer to your child(ren) but will be able to provide facilities to enable you to go to work and/or keep vulnerable children safe.

    All normal and usual education activity has been suspended during this emergency period. Schools continue to work closely with the Local Authority and the Headteacher Associations in order to offer a consistent and safe response to the current crisis. The health and safety of your children and your family is everyone’s first priority.

    Thank you for your co-operation at this time.

    Kind Regards, Clare Kershaw Director of Education Sent on behalf of: Essex County Council The Association of Secondary Headteachers in Essex Essex Primary Headteachers’ Association Essex Special Schools Education Trust

  • March 21st 2020 : Message from Mr Messer

    Dear Parents and Carers,

    Friday 20th March was a devastating day for us as we had to close the school for the foreseeable future. I know that our amazing young people also found the day challenging, but I have to congratulate them on their resilience and positivity in such circumstances, they really do embody everything that we aspire children to be at the school. I would also like to give a shout out to those fantastic colleagues who have poured emotional warmth into the lives of the pupils of the school so that we were all as prepared as we can be for this inevitable closure.

    From Monday 23rd March we are physically distancing our team. The teaching team will be working remotely in order to provide support for every class online. They have structured the first ten days of learning (see the School Closed Work tab above) and will be signed into DBPrimary every day in order to keep learning going as best as possible! As time goes on we will access new resources and ideas and continually evolve the support available. If the children have any great ideas about what this might look like, they can share this via DBPrimary with their teacher.

    Our site team will be deep cleaning the school to ensure it is as bright as a pin when we all return in the future. The administration team will continue to run the school business, and the learning support team, under the guidance of Mrs Dale, will be supporting those few children who will be accessing the school. I cannot thank this wonderful team enough for what they are doing.

    Below, I have posted the criteria for critical key workers, and how supervision of children can be registered. Our amazing NHS personnel and other critical workers need all the support they can get so that they can help US. To do this, workers who are performing a listed role, which is also critical to the fight against Covid-19, and involves them needing childcare within normal school hours, can apply for support. Let me be clear, our team will support these essential workers the best we can. However, we do ask that evidence is received by the school that the above criteria are met for a child to continue to receive supervision in the school building (or that they are 'at risk', or have an EHCP). Any family found trying to take advantage of this facility will have the place withdrawn. To try and manipulate this provision is the very worst of personal behaviours in the current crisis being faced. We also ask that identified key workers, when able, do keep their child at home. The service provided at the school is supervision of last resort. It is less safe than staying at home, as every other family is required to do. If this was not the case, schools would not be shut. The need for self-isolation remains in the case of families of key workers if required.

    Like you, it is my absolute desire that we are able to return to some normality as soon as possible. However, to do this we will need to apply rigidly the national advice being received daily. It will not always be an easy journey, but together we can show what a fantastic community we are, and work in unison to achieve the end goal.

    Stay safe everybody.

    Mr Messer :-)

  • March 20th 2020 : Message from Mr Messer

    Critical Key Workers in the fight against Covid-19 

    The guidance is as follows: 

    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 to avoid transmission of the virus.

    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.

    What does this mean for my family?

    The message is clear that, if at all possible, children should be safely cared for at home, in order to minimise unnecessary social mixing and to minimise risk of spreading the virus.

    However, if either parent plays a critical key worker role, and in order to do so needs to use child supervision within school (as you cannot care for your child at home), you will need to fill out the school questionnaire below.

    The school does ask that parents that need to use this provision ensure that this is the ONLY point of social contact for your child. We are seeking to protect the children staff within the school facility through minimising social mixing outside of this. Over time, this supervision may be provided on another local site with different staff. It is not guaranteed that our own school will stay in operation.

    You will be asked for evidence of your place of work in order to access the supervision places. 

    Who is classed as a critical key worker? 

    For more detail from the guidance as to those identified as possible critical key workers see below: 

    Health and social care
    Doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers, frontline health and social care staff including volunteers, health and social care sector workers, those working in the social care supply chain, producers and distributers of medicines and medical and personal protective equipment.

    Education and childcare
    Nursery and teaching staff, social workers, 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

    Only 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

    Those in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery as well as those essential to the provision of other key goods (eg hygienic and veterinary medicines).

    Public safety and national security

    Police and support staff, Ministry of Defence civilians, contractor and armed forces personnel (those critical to the COVID-19 pandemic), fire and rescue service employees (including support staff), National Crime Agency staff, border security, prison and probation staff and national security roles.


    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

    Essential financial services provision (banks, building societies and financial market infrastructure), the oil, gas, electricity, water and sewerage sectors, information technology and data infrastructure sector and primary industry supplies supporting the COVID-19 response, civil nuclear, chemicals, telecommunications (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.

    We are currently looking into the provision of vouchers for those who receive support for school meals. This information is still not updated from the government at this point. Please bear with us and we will keep the appropriate families informed as soon as we have clarity over the way forward for this. 

    We’d like to thank you for your continued support at this time. The importance of being a safe and kind community is key to the situation we are in. We, as a school, are fully committed to playing our role in the community and providing the best provision that we can for those in our care. 

    If you would like to clarify any points please ring or email the school office. To register for supervision, please complete the questionnaire via SchoolPing


    In addition:

    We have issued a physical pack of learning for every child  (Year 6 already have their CGP packs). For those in self isolation, packs will be available from the school entrance next week, and will be posted out if not collected.

    Can I thank the many of you who have passed on their best wishes and supported us at this unique time. Your support is appreciated by everybody at the school.

    As you may be aware, all schools closed indefinitely on March 20th 2020. From Monday 23rd March a service will be provided at the school for just the children who have an EHCP, a social worker, or who have carers who are ‘key workers’. The details are above.

    For children who will not be attending school (the majority) we will be providing support for learning. Every child will be provided with a physical learning pack to take home, and learning will be available via DBPrimary. The teachers at the school will be creating the content for you online. 

    We cannot lie. The staff and children are distressed at what is happening. We are a tight community and clearly unsettled by the open timeframe of this national closure. However, we know we have awesome power when we work together, summon our inner strength, and drive on as a team. This situation will bring out the very best in us.

    I will keep this page updated for you. You will therefore know that you have accurate information, direct from the Headteacher. 

    In the meantime, know that we will do our very best for you.

    With best wishes and oodles of virtual hugs, Mr Messer :-)


    National Health Advice

    New Town is a wonderful community, and nothing is more important than ensuring that we look after each other. We will therefore have the following steps in place at the school whilst dealing with the global Covid-19 outbreak:

    • Ensure hands are washed with soap at regular intervals for 20 seconds minimum, including before leaving for school.
    • Catch coughs and sneezes in tissues (and sleeves if required), and dispose of tissues in an orange bucket.
    • Avoid touching your face
    • Cleaning processes have changed to ensure touchable surfaces are regularly treated.
    • If a member of your family develops a continuous cough or a temperature over 38 degrees your family must self isolate at home for 14 days.
    • If your child develops a continuous cough or fever at school we will sit them away from their peers and call you to collect them immediately. Your family will need to self isolate for 14 days.
    • Meetings and large group events (inc parents attending celebration assemblies) will be postponed. This may include some legal meetings. The health of children and colleagues, and the need to be socially distant, will take priority.
    • Entry to the school will be for essential visitors only. They will not be allowed into the school if showing symptoms, and all visitors must wash their hands upon entry.
    • General enquiries to the school by families must be by telephone please. We are limiting who enters the school in order to keep children and colleagues safe.


    Remember: If you, your child or a member of your household has a continuous cough or high temperature, you must all self isolate for 14 days and must keep your child away from school for the same period.

    Thank you for your wonderful support, and for helping us to keep all children protected and safe.

    Mr Messer :-) 

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