COVID-19 Updates

We have set this page up to keep you updated with the very latest information and advice regarding COVID-19.

Tuesday 28th April

Dear Parents,

We are now in the 6th week of school closure (including the Easter holidays). As staff, we are missing all of our children immensely and look forward to getting back to some semblance of normality, whenever that may be.

During this difficult time, I wanted to let you know that, even though our school is currently closed to all but a few children, we’re still here to support your child and your family in whatever way we can.

We have been delighted to see so many of our children posting on Seesaw. Apart from seeing some of their continued learning, it has been nice to have that feeling of contact with them.

We’re realistic about what pupils will be able to do during this period, and we want you to be too.  For anyone struggling to motivate their children to do their work, remember that your children aren't expected to learn as they do in school. Even structuring a day around learning activities can become more and more difficult as the days and weeks pass – believe me, I’m finding this with my own daughter!

We are obviously providing daily work, especially for the core subjects of English and Maths, but sometimes accessing online resources can be difficult, or the task may simply not be what the child wants to do at that point. We set out a weekly timetable to offer some structure to home learning, but we fully appreciate that this may not end up being strictly followed. Please don’t worry about your children getting behind with learning. Our teachers will be fully aware of what needs covering and revising when we return to school, and will ensure that our curriculum is tailored to meet the needs of our children.

Many varied kinds of activities can be equally useful for children at this time, especially when considering their wellbeing, which I know will be of the utmost importance to all of us. Doing some baking, drawing, music or a family quiz or game will all be beneficial. If you wish to share this kind of activity with us on Seesaw, please do so. All of our staff are checking the platform regularly and it is lovely to see what the children are up to.

If you have any concerns about how your child is coping, wish to talk to us about accessing the home learning, or you need any other support from the school, please let us know by emailing school at oakdene@sthelens.org.uk or by phoning our school office on 01744 678410. There is generally a member of senior leadership team in the school office throughout regular school hours. Even if you just want to let us know how you are getting on generally, we will always be happy to hear from you.

We’re extremely grateful for all the support you’ve shown us as we have all adapted to these new circumstances, and we want to reassure you that we are still here to support you too right up until the days we are able to re-unite in person as one Oakdene family.

All best wishes, and take care of yourselves.

Mr Weston & all the Oakdene staff.

 

Sunday 12th April

School will be closed on Easter Monday as we have no children scheduled to be coming in. If you need to contact us, please send an email to oakdene@sthelens.org.uk. We are back in school providing care for children of key workers on Tuesday 14th.

Thursday 2nd April

Information about Free School Meals is provided in the pdf file at the top of this page. We will update when more information comes through to us.

Well done to all our parents who have managed to get children completing home learning activities over the past two weeks! Information about our future Home Learning tasks will be posted here over the weekend. We are not setting specific tasks over the official 2-week Easter holiday, but some ideas for activities will be posted in case you want to keep your children busy!

 

Wednesday 1st April - IMPORTANT UPDATE

See Easter provision letter below (same letter attached as pdf file above)

Dear Parents,  

As we approach the Easter holidays, we now need to ascertain from you the emergency provision you may require for your children over that period.

We are still planning to provide care for children of critical key workers only throughout the Easter holiday. This is likely to include the bank holidays of Good Friday and Easter Monday. At present, this care is likely to be here at Oakdene. Apologies that my wording does not seem more definite, but at present things are changing almost daily and I do not want to make promises that I cannot keep.

Please remember, this care is for emergency provision only when parents have no other option for providing care for their children. If either parent is at home, the local authority message is that children are now expected to be at home with you. Provision should only be needed where key worker parents are working shifts that leaves no other option for childcare. As a duty of care for our children and parents, our school staff and their own children, it is vital that we are only providing care in school when absolutely necessary.

During the Easter holiday, there will be no provision for school dinners or free school meals. Therefore, all children attending over the Easter holiday should be prepared to bring a packed lunch with them.

Please send an email to the school office on oakdene@sthelens.org.uk by the end of the day on Thursday to clearly inform us of the days you require over the next two weeks, including potentially bank holidays. If you are unsure on shift patterns, please let us know your best guess for provision. As school is officially closed at the moment, the school office is not running regular hours. However, there is usually a member of the senior leadership team in the office from 8:30 to 3:30 each day if you wish to phone with your requirements instead.

If we have not heard from you by the time school opens on Friday morning with your requirements, we will assume you do not require any provision over the Easter period and will not grant you a place, as we need to staff accordingly based on our expected numbers of children, and let the local authority know our numbers.

Thank you for your continued consideration at this difficult time.

Mr Weston
Acting Head Teacher

 

Thursday 26th March

Dear Parents/Carers,

Yesterday, we posted a letter to parents from the local authority. It promised further updates from head teachers as soon as we had any more information.

At the present time, we are planning to continue our emergency provision at Oakdene for the children of our key workers. This will only change in the foreseeable future if there are issues with staffing levels in schools. Next week, our provision will continue as it has been this week. The only alteration is that we are now only offering care in core school hours from 8:45 to 3:15.

Please keep checking this page of the website regularly for any further updates, especially as we head towards the Easter holidays.

In the meantime, please remember to contact us at school as soon as you know of days that you will or will not require the emergency provision so that we can provide the most appropriate care. The government advice remains the same – if your child can be cared for at home, that is the best place for them.

Many thanks to all those parents who have offered kind words in recent days. It is much appreciated, just as we are extremely grateful for the amazing work our key worker parents are doing for our community at this time.

 

Wednesday 25th March

Dear Parents & Carers,

Please read very carefully the letter from the local authority - see the pdf file 'Local Authority Letter to Parents' on this page. It is going out to parents of all schools in St Helens.

As a school, we need to know your needs for future provision as soon as possible so that the local authority can put in place a sustainable model to support children of key workers. Please contact us at school on oakdene@sthelens.org.uk or by phoning the school office to confirm the care you will need in the coming days.

We do not have any further information beyond what is written in the letter at this point. We will continue to update you as soon as we know anything more. 

Tuesday 24th March

This is a message for parents currently accessing our emergency provision.

Due to the extremely low demand for Breakfast & After-School Club, from Monday 30th March we will only be offering our normal school hours of 8:45 to 3:15. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Please remember to email the school office with any changes you have to your plans for sending children into school. Every day, we are receiving fewer children than are on our lists. The clearer we are on numbers, the easier it is to ensure staffing levels are correct.

Many thanks for your continued support.

 

Monday 23rd March pm

The Prime Minister has this evening announced the strict new measures to help stop the spread of COVID-19. The clear message is that social distancing is increasing, gatherings of more than two people are banned, and people must not be mixing with those outside their household. 

As a school, we remain open for the few children who desperately need our emergency care. For any parents who can possibly have their children at home at this time, it is vital that those children are now kept at home for their own safety, as well as that of our school staff and our own children.

Thank you for your continued understanding.

 

Friday 20th March pm

Thank you to everyone who filled in the local authority questionnaires this morning. Letters were sent out this afternoon to children whose parents alerted us to the fact that they are key workers or where their children fall into the vulnerable category. Some parents will have received that letter who do not intend to send their child into school. However, you received the letter because you would fall into the key worker category.

If your child was not in school today, but you have already alerted us to your status as key workers, then the letter also applies to you. A copy of the letter is at the top of this page of the website and includes the necessary details for school next week.

We are aiming to provide care for your children, on the days you require it, starting on Monday 23rd March.

These same parents will also have received a text message this afternoon relating to possible requirements for breakfast and after-school provision.

It is now vitally important that we know exactly which children we are expecting into school each day. Therefore, please ensure (as stated in the letter) that you inform us by email of the days you are expecting to send your child into school, preferably as far in advance as possible. We need to make a daily register of children and keep track of numbers. At the moment, we are aiming to care for all those children whose parents need it. However, we are a small school with a small number of staff, and we have a relatively large number of children with key worker parents. Please always remember that on days where you can possibly care for your child at home, this is what should be taking place. School care should be used as an emergency for parents who desperately need it.

We will continue to send text messages and update this website page with any new information for parents.

Today was quite an emotional day for many of us. We have never had this uncertainty of saying goodbye to people on a Friday afternoon in March, not knowing when we will next see them. Hopefully, we will all be able to join together as a full school community again soon. To our parents whose children will not be in our school care over the coming weeks, we would like to say thank you for your support, and we wish you all good health and best wishes in our time apart. We have been touched by the kind words we have received in recent days. For our amazing children, we will see you again in the near future, and we will miss you in the meantime. Hopefully, we will have our Year 6 children back and able to do a fantastic end-of-year production before they leave us.

For our children and parents who we will be continuing to provide care for in the coming days and weeks, we look forward to seeing you all and continuing to serve our fantastic school community.

I’d like to thank all of our incredible children, our understanding parents and my amazing staff for their support in recent days. This wasn’t necessarily what I bargained for in my primitive days of being a headteacher! Although things are changing rapidly on a daily basis, one thing will remain consistent – our strong Oakdene school family. I wish you and your loved ones safety and wellbeing in the days and weeks ahead.

Mr Weston – Acting Head Teacher

 

Friday 20th March UPDATED

Dear Parents & Carers,

As you are aware, the Government has stated that schools will remain open for the children of key workers; those with Educational Health Care Plans and those children who are vulnerable.

As we prepare to open the school on Monday for these children, it is vitally important that we are able to ascertain how many children we will be expecting on site. This will help us to provide meals for those who have school lunches as well as ensuring that we have enough staff to clean classrooms and wipe down surfaces.

We have been awaiting further information on what is meant by ‘key workers’. However, in the continued absence of an official national key worker list, the Local Authority collated their own list and has asked that we gather numbers based on this. A request for information is detailed on the Local Authority COVID-19 Parent & Carer Questionnaire document linked above. I ask that you complete and return this questionnaire as soon as possible today if you believe you fall into the appropriate categories and are intending to bring your child to school on Monday. Ideally, we need this response by midday so we can gather numbers. We apologise for the quick turnaround but this has been out of our hands.

UPDATE - The government has, in the early hours of this morning, issued a list of key worker categories. Please refer to this list. See the links below for further details.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers

We will endeavour to have printed copies of the key worker list and questionnaires available when parents drop off at school today.

If parents think they fall into these categories, 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.

The government have also reminded parents of the following:

1) If it is at all possible for children to be at home, they should be.

2) If a child needs specialist support, is vulnerable or has a parent who is a critical worker, then 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.

Please forward your completed form to oakdene@sthelens.org.uk.

Please note - these are emergency childcare arrangements. Parents are asked only to use school as a childcare provision if it is absolutely necessary to do so.

If your child is currently in isolation due to symptoms, or symptoms shown from someone within the household, they will need to remain isolated for the full 14 days. If you believe that following this isolation period your child would require this emergency child care, then please also complete the form but indicate clearly from what date this would apply for your child. We are obviously keeping the provision under review and will follow any further Government advice.

When we receive any further guidance, we will of course share this with you as soon as possible, and hope to send out more specific information about Monday’s arrangements by the end of the day.

Thank you for your continued understanding,

Mr Weston (Acting Head Teacher)

 

Thursday 19th March

Based on current government information, we envisage that school will be open on Monday for  those children who fit into the categories of vulnerable children, or children of key workers. However, the full list of key worker categories promised today has still not been issued.

We will be contacting those parents who have already identified as key workers from our initial letter tomorrow to ascertain if they wish to take up the provision being offered.

We are still expecting a further pro-forma to be produced today with more specific details on key worker categories. The moment we receive this, we will text parents and place the pro-forma on this website. The sooner parents can get back to us by email with any additional information required, the better - and certainly by midday tomorrow (Friday 20th) so that we can finalise arrangements for Monday.

Many thanks to all parents who have continued to send their children to school this week. We'd like to praise all the children in school for their demonstration of our school values of responsibility, respect and friendship during this difficult time.

 

Wednesday 18th March  EVENING UPDATE

It has just been announced in the Prime Minister's daily briefing that all schools across the UK are to close at the end of the day on Friday. We will be closing our doors once all children have left after-school club that afternoon.

Over the next two days, school will continue as it has done over the past few days, with increased hygiene and other measures to ensure the wellbeing of our children and staff.

On Friday, we will be sending out a pack of learning activities. This will include 2 weeks' worth of activities and should be used up to the beginning of the Easter holiday. At the beginning of the summer term, further work will be provided for children, with details provided via the school website.

If your child is currently away from school, the learning activities for the coming two weeks will also be provided on the Home Learning and class pages of the school website where possible.

Brief written reports for parents who were due to attend parent meetings this week will also be sent home with the children on Friday.

We appreciate that there will be many unanswered questions at this point. As we, like yourselves, have only learned this information about school closures during the live broadcast, we do not have all the answers at this stage. Please bear this in mind if contacting the school office tomorrow morning.

We thank you for your continued support during this unfortunate and extraordinary time. 

 

Wednesday 18th March 

A reminder that today's parents' evening is cancelled and as stated yesterday, we will be writing a brief report for all those who were due to attend. 

For those children currently away from school, a home learning page has been set up for each year group on the website. There you  will find a number of activites that the children can be doing. Alongside these, they have spellings and a half term project to complete. All of which can be found on your year group's web page. If you don't have access to a printer, then please record answers to the questions or tasks on separate paper whilst viewing the sheets on the website. 

If school were to close at any point, individual home learning packs will be sent home. These wil initally have two weeks worth of work for each child. Then further work will be posted on the school website. 

We are continuing with the extra hygiene measures and children are washing their hands regulalry. We have also reduced the numbers of pupils in the lunch hall at one time. This also includes assemblies which are now taking place in classes. 

 

Tuesday 17th March 

The latest advice from the Government and Public Health England is that:

  • anyone who lives alone and has symptoms* of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, should stay home for 7 days from when the symptoms started.
  • anyone who lives with others and they, or one of the household members, have symptoms* of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days.  The 14 day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill.
  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community.
  • anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms will need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period.

The most common symptoms* of coronavirus (COVID-19) are the recent onset of a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature. 

As sent in a text today, Parent's evening on 18th March has been cancelled. We will endeavour to provide a brief written report for those parents who were due an appointment this week. We will not be writing one for those parents who attended parents' evening last week.

As you will know from this morning's text, from 24th March toast will be cancelled. If this continues beyond Easter we will endeavour to refund monies paid already for Summer Term toast. Thank you for your understanding. 

As of tomorrow, all extra-curricular morning and afterschool clubs will be cancelled until further notice. 

If anyone is self-isolating, there are some activities for each year group under the Home Learning tab.

 

 

 

Files to Download

‘Growing and Learning Together’
STAFF LOGIN
PARENT LOGIN
SCHOOL BLOGS