COVID updates March 1st 2022
Schools have been advised to take a cautious approach to easing restrictions.
Very small changes will be made to the Operational Guidance over half term. In the main, all schools are required to implement the interventions outlined in the high-risk section of the Local Covid-19 Infection Control Decision Framework for Schools after half-term. https://gov.wales/local-covid-19-infection-control-decision-framework-schools-html
This is a stepdown from the very high-risk measures that have been in place this term.
Please see below a brief overview of the changes for the return to school 1.3.22 after the half term break.
Arrangements will be sustained and aimed at reducing close interactions between staff and learners. This includes:
• not holding large group gatherings such as assemblies
• consistent seating plans and physical distancing in classrooms
• forward facing desks Yr1- Y6, as this is not be possible with younger children or with learners that require one to one support
• using outdoor spaces where possible
• floor signage
• Class bubbles and staggered play/lunch times
• Ongoing entry and exit requirements for pupils entering and leaving school
• Face coverings will be worn by staff and visitors in school and when moving around indoor communal areas outside of the classroom, such as corridors, where physical distance cannot be maintained
• Parents/carers will not be permitted to walk through the school grounds and drop off and collection points will still be in operation
• Staff are strongly encouraged to use LFD tests twice a week
This advice does not impact on arrangements for those identified as contacts of positive cases (who are advised to use LFTs each day for 7 days) or those who have symptoms (who should self-isolate and arrange a PCR test as soon as possible).
• Face coverings will no longer be routinely recommended in classrooms.
We will continue to ensure core interventions remain in place. These include:
- reminding all staff and learners to follow self-isolation guidance
- reminding staff and learners to not attend school if they have any COVID-19 symptoms
- regular handwashing and respiratory etiquette to prevent spread and manage cases, incidents and outbreaks
- ensuring adequate ventilation
- maintaining appropriate levels of cleaning.
SELF-ISOLATION & TESTING
The following self-isolation and testing requirements apply from 28.01.2022 and also include anyone already in isolation.
Initial Test Required
Index Cases (all ages/ categories*)(*Note- there is specific guidance for those working with extremely clinically vulnerable)
No symptoms of respiratory illness= LFD test Any symptoms of respiratory illness= PCR test
LFD on day 5 and 6 to be negative before release on Day 6 *#
Contacts- Vaccinated and 5-17 year olds (including household contacts)
Not required to isolate
Daily LFDs for 7 days or until 10 days since your last contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19 if this is earlier.
Contacts- Unvaccinated (all employments and age over 5)
Day 2 and Day 8 LFD recommended
Contacts- Under 5s
Not required to test even if symptomatic unless on medical advice or best interest of the child
Not required to isolate
Contacts- Health and Social Care, vaccinated
Negative PCR test before attending work on first day
Not required to isolate
Daily LFDs for 10 days
Updated guidance and important attachment to this email, received today from the Local Authority:-
My e-mail of 25th of January outlined the position regarding school operations in light of the move to Alert Level Zero from Friday 28th of January, namely:-
As Wales moves to Alert Level Zero, Welsh Government advice is that Schools should plan to move back to using Welsh Government’s Local Infection Control Decision Framework at the start of the next half term (i.e. 28th of February). Face coverings will remain in schools for the time being, just as they are required in most public places, at Alert Level Zero.
Welsh Government subsequently announced that from the 28th of January, the self-isolation period for confirmed Covid-19 cases would reduce from 7 days to 5 days. Although the move to Alert Level Zero is not applicable to school operations until after the February half-term, the self-isolation period reduction applies with immediate effect to all (including schools).
The position is thus:-
On day 5 of isolation, they should take a lateral flow test and another on day 6.
If both results are negative, it is likely they are not infectious and they can end isolation and return to school if they are feeling well and providing that they don’t have a high temperature.
All lateral flow test results should be uploaded to www.gov.uk/report-covid19-result.
Please note: unvaccinated adults (18+) who are contacts of confirmed cases must self-isolate for a 10 day period and take lateral flow tests on day 2 and day 8 ( the 10 day isolation period applies regardless of the outcome of these tests).
Updated FAQs are attached and RCT operational guidance will be updated in due course.
Further information regarding self-isolation is available via - https://gov.wales/self-isolation
I hope this clarifies the position in relation to self-isolation changes.
PCR testing requirement does not apply to under 5s – under 5s do not need to PCR test unless a clinician advises they should, or their parent/carer has particular concerns)l.
At Alaw Primary we use Seesaw for communication with parents/carers and for sharing learning. Seesaw gives parents and carers an immediate and personalised window into their child’s school day, helping to answer, “What did you do at school today?”. It is a platform that allows schools and pupils to engage with parents and carers to create an online environment which empowers pupils to take ownership of their learning and to reflect on their progress over time.
It gives pupils tools to show what they know in the way that works best for them. It
inspires pupils to try their best by providing an audience for their work beyond the classroom.
It creates a meaningful home-school connection so that parents and carers can better support their child’s learning.
Children can “show what they know” using photos, videos, drawings, text, PDFs, and links. Seesaw helps capture the learning process and children can use Seesaw’s built-in audio recording and drawing tools to reflect on what they’ve learned or explain how they got their answer.
As a parent/carer you can collect pupil work from almost any device – Seesaw exists as an app on tablets and phones, as well as on a desktop computer.
Under the EU law called the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), states that in order for your child to use Seesaw, we have to obtain your consent and that in signing a consent form you are allowing the app to use your child’s name in order to be able to associate learning like photographic evidence of work, videos or voice recordings with their account. Seesaw only uses this information to provide the service and doesn’t advertise in Seesaw, create profiles of students, or share or sell your child’s personal information or journal content. You can read more about their strong privacy promises online at https://web.seesaw.me/privacy
1: Once teachers have received consent for each pupils they will create a class where each student gets their own journal stored in the cloud. Parents will then be emailed a link of how to access this class and link to their pupil journal.
2: Pupils & teachers then add examples of learning, like photos, videos, or drawings and pupils can also add voice, text or drawing annotations to an item. At Alaw Primary group photos of pupils will be shared inline with the signed parental agreements in addition to photographic and video examples of individual pupil work.
3: Teachers approve new journal items which are then shared with parents and carers via the app.
4: Over time, Seesaw builds an organised, digital portfolio of each student’s learning, accessible via iOS app or on the web. It is not shared with anyone else as each child has their own individual unique journal.
If you have any further questions regarding Seesaw - please contact the school.
If you are NOT accessing SEESAW on a weekly basis, please can you contact your teacher on the email shown below - Many thanks for continued support.
Dosbarth Coch and Oren - Miss Mason
Dosbarth Melyn – Mrs Gideoni
Dosbarth Gwyrdd – Miss Pritchard
Dosbarth Glas – Miss Watson
Dosbarth Porffor - Miss Griffiths
Dosbarth Fioled- Mr Trace
Eye to Eye Young People’s Counselling Service
We are still providing a free and confidential online and telephone counselling service. If you are aged 10-25 and live in RCT you can either Call: 01443 202940 /07541783767
or email: email@example.com
Eye to Eye Young People’s Counselling Service/ Gwasanaeth Cwnsela ar Gyfer Pobl Ifanc-Eye to Eye
Bryn Celynnog School/Safle Ysgol Bryn Celynnog
Penycoedcae Road/Heol Penycoedcae
Wellbeing Packs, provide a summary of advice and useful links on key theme for parents, professionals and young people with supporting videos being uploaded to the RCT and Merthyr Facebook pages.
We hope you are all staying safe and well in these unprecedented times.
In order to protect everyone involved in the personal data sharing aspect of the Covid19 pandemic, we have produced and attached a Privacy Notice to cover the safeguarding and wellbeing calls being made from school staff to pupils.
Stay Safe. Stay Learning - Links to Advice and Support
Stay safe. Stay learning - Distance learning support
This area is changing daily; check back regularly for updates for resources and support available for:
• Senior leaders
• Parents and carers
Safeguarding is still everyone’s responsibility
The Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board (CTMSB) is a statutory partnership made up of the agencies that are responsible for safeguarding children and adults at risk in the Cwm Taf Morgannwg area.
During these unprecedented times, safeguarding children and adults at risk remains a priority throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf, Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend. In order to ensure that safeguarding functions continue, the Regional Safeguarding Board and its partners have been working to implement revised operating models which enable us to comply with Government advice and still provide a safeguarding service and response within the region.
National and regional updates are provided on a regular basis via the Safeguarding Board’s website. The website also contains information, advice and resources for professionals and those within the community on how to respond and stay safe during this pandemic:
We ask everyone, that during these uncertain times, that you please be vigilant and look out for friends, families and neighbours and if you see any signs at all that you think they may be experiencing any type of harm, please report your concerns on the numbers below:
§ Rhondda Cynon Taf (Adults) - 01443 425003
§ Rhondda Cynon Taf (Children)- 01443 425006
§ Merthyr Tydfil - 01685 725000
§ Bridgend (Adults) - 01656 642477
§ Bridgend (Children) - 01656 642320
§ Friday: 8.30am - 4.30pm
§ Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays: Closed
Out of Hours Emergencies
To contact social care services outside office hours, at weekends and bank holidays, contact the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Emergency Duty Team on 01443 743665(this covers RCT, Merthyr Tydfil and Bridgend).
If you suspect a person is at immediate risk of harm call 999 and speak to the Police.
Finally, the Cwm Taf Morgannwg Safeguarding Board Co-Chairs would like to thank all those incredibly hard-working key workers throughout our partner agencies who are helping to ensure our communities remain safe and that people are safeguarded.
With the prospect of schools across Wales remaining closed for a significant period of time, the likelihood of children spending a considerable amount of time researching, gaming or communicating online will increase. The priority for all parents and teachers is to keep children safe online, prevent harm and safeguard at all times. People may choose to exploit the most vulnerable within our communities because they understand during these challenging times children will be online more than usual. Please consider the following when you or your child is online;
·Know who they are talking to
·Check if they can access material, play games
·Protect their online reputation
·Only open messages from sources they trust
·Do not give out personal information
·Do not share images, video of inappropriate material
·Speak to someone if they feel uncomfortable
·Understand not everything online is true
·Block and report people who are trolling
·Do not give into pressure
·Think before they post
·Keep safe online
·Monitor who their child is communicating with online
·Monitor the content and material accessed or downloaded
·Check content is appropriate
·Set boundaries and parental controls
·Discuss their online activity
·Manage / check privacy settings
·Know where to find help
Other useful resources
Nessy Online Reading and Spelling
As a school we have been looking at ways of supporting your child with their reading and spelling, but in a more individualised way, whilst they are home learning. We have been given access to an online learning platform called Nessy.
The programme allows your child to do a quick quiz in reading and in spelling to assess what phonics or spelling patterns need to be worked on. The quiz keeps going until 5 questions are wrong. It then highlights which games your child should play to help develop them, exactly where they are.
This is a highly regarded online platform and when used daily for 15 minutes can really improve reading and spelling. The children find it great fun too! Currently this is being offered free for schools, although to access this we need your email address so that you can authorise their accounts.
If you are interested, please respond to the announcement sent on Seesaw to your families with the email address you’d like us to use and we’ll send you the username and password.
Coronavirus Advice & Information for Parents
You can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus.
Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.
If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
For the latest information from the NHS Wales website, please visit https://phw.nhs.wales/topics/latest-information-on-novel-coronavirus-covid-19/
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline - this helpline has been set up to answer questions about the virus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline.
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)
Stop germs spreading with our fun
You can help stop germs spreading by using our range of fun lesson plans on hand washing and respiratory hygiene.
KS1: Horrid Hands
KS1: Super Sneezes
KS2: Hand Hygiene
KS2: Respiratory Hygiene
KS3: Hand Hygiene
KS3: Respiratory Hygiene
These resources are on the e-Bug website.
social story that may work for older pupils: