Menu
Home Page
Please note: Following a review on the 15th June, it has been decided not to open to the wider school until September 2020. Please continue to take care and stay safe.......If there is anything you would like to talk to us about please email schooloffice@blessedjohnduckett.net. For information about coronavirus please go to Useful Information for Parents - Coronavirus

Coronavirus

Please note school is now open for children of key workers.  

 

If anybody needs to contact school urgently about emergency childcare, or indeed, for any other matter, please ring school or email schooloffice@blessedjohnduckett.net. We will respond to you as quickly as possible.

 

If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible

 

Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a worrying time and we should make sure children feel supported. BBC Newsround has regular updates for younger children and YoungMinds has practical steps older children can take to help with anxiety.

 

Please consult the NHS, if you want to know more about the symptoms of coronavirus. If you think you or your child may have the symptoms, use NHS 111 online if at all possible before calling 111  

 

Department for Education’s coronavirus helpline: 0800 046 8687, if you have any questions about the government’s response to coronavirus in relation to schools

 

If you wish to contact the school nursing service please ring 03000 263538

Latest Update 8th June

Please see attached document from Durham Public Health

Latest Update: 21st May 2020

Please note:   After carrying out an extensive risk assessment, it has been decided not to open to the wider school on 1st June 2020.  This situation will be reviewed again in two weeks time.  Please continue to take care and stay safe.

Latest Update 19th May 2020

FYI: Please follow the link below for information from the National Education Union regarding comparisons between schools in the UK and Denmark.

 

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157513233922613&id=698797612

Latest update - 10th May 2020

Despite the announcements made by the Prime Minister this evening, can I remind parents that in the short-term, nothing has changed.  As you will appreciate, like yourselves, we have only just heard these announcements and so, at this stage, we are not in a position to have all the answers to your questions. We are waiting to receive more information from the government about what this means for our school. Rest assured that in the coming days and weeks we will provide further information as soon as we are able to do so.  In the meantime, please continue to stay safe and maintain your social distancing.

Latest Update - 30th April - 3 Towns Partnership Bulletin

Please find some of the articles from the 3 TOWNS PARTNERSHIP E-BULLETIN 

April 2020 – Issue 3

 

Welcome

Hi everyone and welcome to another 3 Towns AAP E-Bulletin. In these unprecedented times we have decided to send E-Bulletin’s out more frequently to ensure you have the most up to date information.

 

We are urging residents to stay home. Whilst we know the weekends make it tempting to venture out, we all have a part to play in reducing the spread of Coronavirus, protecting members of the community at risk and supporting our NHS.

 

Only leave the house for essential reasons outlined by the government. These include shopping for basic necessities, one form of exercise per day, any medical need, or to travel for work purposes but only when this cannot be done from home.

 

County Durham Together / Durham Locate Hub

A helpline, webpage and support network have been set up to help people in County Durham who are struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic.  Following government advice that people with certain health conditions must stay isolated for the next 12 weeks in order to be shielded from the virus, Durham County Council also wants to reassure residents that they will receive the help they need.

 

County Durham Together has been set up by the council to provide people with support, either through established networks of community or volunteer groups, or from the council itself through staff volunteers. They will be able to help with several requests, such as food shopping, deliveries, general help and guidance, or someone who can listen and support.

 

People are advised to accept help from friends, family and neighbours where possible, but anyone in need of extra support can find a list of local groups on the council’s website www.durhamlocate.org.uk or fill in our Coronavirus help form at www.durham.gov.uk/covid19help

 

Those enquiries will be directed to our virtual council hubs, staffed by council volunteers, who will assess any requests for information and provide appropriate help to residents.

 

Alternatively, help can be accessed by emailing help@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000 260 260.

 

Durham BRASS Festival Cancelled

Durham BRASS was due to take place across County Durham this summer, with ten days of live gigs, open air concerts, street parties and school performances set to entertain people of all ages between 10 and 19 July.

 

Organiser Durham County Council has been closely following Government guidelines in response to the pandemic and is regularly reviewing its 2020 festival and events programme as the situation evolves.

 

This week, the local authority made the regrettable but necessary decision to cancel BRASS. The decision follows the cancellation of a number of other council-run events, including Bishop Auckland Food Festival, Durham Adventure Festival and Seaham Food Festival.

 

More information available here

 

Garden Waste Collections to Resume

Last month, Durham County Council had to postpone garden waste collections in order to maintain its essential refuse and recycling services during the Coronavirus outbreak.

 

After reviewing its operations, and as part of its plans to reinstate services, the council is now able to once again deliver its garden waste collection to residents.

 

The council is aware of how valuable this service is to residents so, to ensure it will be able to continue in conjunction with normal waste collection services, it will be changing garden waste collection days to Saturdays and Mondays. This will allow continued support to rubbish and recycling collections which operate from Tuesday to Friday.

 

Residents who are scheduled to have their usual collection on a Tuesday or Wednesday can expect their new collection day to be on a Saturday while those who are scheduled to have a collection on Thursday or Friday can expect their new collection to be on a Monday.

 

The council will be informing residents who are signed up to the service of their specific collection dates which will begin on either Saturday 2 May, Monday 4 May, Saturday 9 May or Monday 11 May, dependent on their collection calendar. Collection dates can be checked online via MyDurham at www.durham.gov.uk.

 

The council continues to monitor government guidance and will keep the service under review over the next four months. Customers will be given advice on remaining collections beyond this time.

 

Durham County Council Volunteer Unit

A new volunteering unit has been set up in County Durham to provide more support to local organisations and charities during the coronavirus pandemic.

The unit builds on the work of County Durham Together, the community hub operated by Durham County Council to support people and families who are vulnerable and in need during these unprecedented times.

It will provide a central location where organisations needing additional help or practical resources can go to register that need.

The aim of the unit is to help manage offers of support from businesses and individuals who have volunteered their services and resources in County Durham.

Staff will be able to match them to groups across the county’s voluntary and community sector who have requested help in a number of different areas. For example, many organisations are in need of extra staff, equipment, premises, vehicles, IT support and communications and marketing skills.

The team is also working with key organisations including local charities and the care sector to assess their needs and establish where additional support may be needed.
Any businesses which are able to offer support to charity groups or local organisations should fill in a form on the council’s website:
https://www.durham.gov.uk/volunteerunit

Any organisation or charity in need of either IT, financial, telephone and customer services support, or in need or resources such as premises, vehicles, drivers or other essential equipment, can also request help online at the same page https://www.durham.gov.uk/volunteerunit

 

Business Grants

Durham County Council is inviting local companies to apply for Business Support Grants to ease the financial burden they may be facing during the coronavirus pandemic, where they meet the government’s eligibility criteria.

 

The council is determined to be as flexible it can be within the restrictions of the eligibility criteria, to ensure that as much of the government grant provided as possible is allocated to businesses in County Durham.

 

The council and its economic development arm Business Durham have been approaching companies which were not originally identified as eligible for the grants to encourage them to apply, where they can demonstrate they meet the government’s eligibility criteria.

 

The grants of either £10,000 or £25,000 are designed to help small businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

 

Guidelines around which businesses are eligible for the grant have been set by the government.

One of the key eligibility criteria is that a business must have been occupying a qualifying business premises that was listed in the council’s rating list at 11 March.

Businesses can find out whether they are eligible and get more information by visiting http://www.durham.gov.uk/ndrgrants

 

Latest Update - 27th April - Testing for Essential Workers

Durham County Council information on Covid testing for essential workers who have coronavirus-like symptoms to see if they currently have the virus. The FAQs in the attachments are a very helpful guide.

 

  • Testing for COVID-19 is being conducted at Bishop Auckland College today and tomorrow (27th and 28th April).  Further sites will be running around the region, which will be publicised as they are confirmed.

 

  • If you require a test, you should register through this link, which will provide you with a QR Code that needs to be taken to the testing site.

 

  • Please note we have been told that essential workers will not be turned away if they do not have a QR Code, as long as they meet the following criteria:
    • They, or a member of their household, are showing symptoms of Coronavirus and are self-isolating. 
    • They are classed as an essential worker, which are listed here.

 

Those that do not meet these criteria will be turned away from the testing sites.

 

  • Those being tested must travel to the sites in a private vehicle and cannot walk-in to the site. 

 

Background information

 

Gov info on testing generally: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested

 

Testing for Under 18s should be self-administered, or given assistance by a parent or guardian.  This can be done at Regional Testing Centres. There will be Assisted Testing Lanes at all Regional Test Centres to provide assistance in swab tests for 12-18 year olds.

 

Further Mobile Testing Units will be appearing in your local area and further details of locations will be distributed once confirmed. 

 

This information is being updated so please look out for emails entitled Coronavirus Testing Latest update.

Department for Education

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing extended to all essential workers who have symptoms

The Government has announced that all essential workers in England and Scotland, and members of their households who are showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can now be tested. This list of essential workers includes education and childcare staff: support and teaching staff, social workers and specialist education professionals in addition to social care staff.

Booking is done through a new online system. Employers can register and refer self-isolating staff, and employees are able to book a test directly for themselves or members of their household who are exhibiting symptoms.

Employees can choose to visit one of the drive-through testing sites across the country, or to receive a home testing kit.

To obtain a login to the employer referral portal, employers of essential workers should contact: portalservicedesk@dhsc.gov.uk

Full details can be found here:

Latest Update: 21st April 2020

Latest Guidance from the Department of Education

 

 

Launch of the Oak National Academy online classroom and resource hub

The sector-led Oak National Academy has today launched its online classroom and resource hub. The Academy offers 180 video lessons each week for schools to use, across a broad range of subjects. The lessons cover children in Reception through to Year 10 and are free to use by both teachers and young people.

The Oak National Academy can be accessed here:

 

Launch of BBC Bitesize

The BBC has today launched an education package across TV and online, featuring celebrities and teachers, helping to keep children learning at home and supporting parents.

BBC Bitesize can be accessed here:

 

Get help with technology and remote education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

Following the announcement by the Secretary of State for Education on Sunday 19 April, laptops and tablets will be made available to help the most disadvantaged young people access online learning and social care services. Young people and families eligible for devices must not already have access to one, and must be in one of the following groups:

  • Children with a social worker
  • Care leavers
  • Disadvantaged children in Year 10, ahead of sitting their GCSEs next year

Responsible bodies will need to work with schools to identify eligible young people, and then place an order through our website when it launches later this week. Where care leavers, children with a social worker at secondary school and disadvantaged children do not have an internet connection, they will also receive a 4G router.

Schools will be able to keep these devices once they’ve reopened, allowing children and young people to continue to learn and receive support at home in the future.

Any 16 to 19-year olds in education without a suitable device and/or connectivity to study remotely and whose family can’t afford these costs will also be eligible for support via the 16-19 Bursary Fund. Decisions on support will be made by education providers.

 

Guidance for parents and carers on supporting their children’s education during coronavirus (COVID-19)

We have published information, guidance and support for parents and carers of children who are learning at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Guidance on helping children aged 2 to 4 learn at home can be found here:

Guidance on helping primary school aged children learn at home can be found here:

Guidance on helping children with special educational needs and disabilities learn at home can be found here:

Updated guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings

The guidance for parents and carers on the closure of educational settings has been updated with additional information on the support available for parents, online educational resources and support for vulnerable children.

The guidance can be found here:

8th April 2020

 

Find find below some resources from the SEND and Inclusion Team

 
31st March 2020

I have received E-Bulletin from 3 Towns Partnership with offers of help during this difficult situation.  Please read on..

 

Virtual Support Hubs

A helpline, webpage and support network have been set up to help people in County Durham who are struggling during the Coronavirus pandemic.

 

Following government advice that people with certain health conditions must stay isolated for the next 12 weeks in order to be shielded from the virus, Durham County Council also wants to reassure residents that they will receive the help they need.

 

County Durham Together has been set up by the council to provide people with support, either through established networks of community or volunteer groups, or from the council itself through staff volunteers.

 

They will be able to help with a number of requests, such as food shopping, deliveries, general help and guidance, or someone who can listen and support.

 

People are advised to accept help from friends, family and neighbours where possible, but anyone in need of extra support can find a list of local groups on the council’s website www.durhamlocate.org.uk or fill in our Coronavirus help form at www.durham.gov.uk/covid19help

 

Those enquiries will be directed to our virtual council hubs, staffed by AAP workers and council volunteers, who will assess any requests for information and provide appropriate help to residents.

 

Alternatively, help can be accessed by emailing help@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000 260 260.

 

Jack Drum

Jack Drum are offering Arts and Crafts packs for 6+ Years children in the Crook, Willington and Tow Law areas. Packs are free for those families in receipt of benefits (evidence required) otherwise they can be purchased for £12 per pack.

They are also providing online dance classes for 7+ Years and 12+ Years. Please send the following information to the address below to register your interest:

Name

Age

Parent/Carer Mobile Phone Number

Postcode

Any disability we should be aware of

These classes are free however if you are in a position to make a donation for the class and help us continue to be able offer our activities both during, and beyond this crisis, please email info@jackdrum.co.uk so we can give you our bank details. You can also use this address to sign up to the classes or order an arts and crafts pack.

More information is available via their Facebook Page

 

Age UK County Durham

Age UK County Durham have provided an update on their services right now. They are extending their Home Help services to include community based volunteering scheme to support those older people self-isolating. This will include weekly phone calls.

 

If you know an older person who would benefit from a weekly phone call during the Coronavirus outbreak please ask them to phone us on 0191 386 3856 or email info@ageukcountydurham.org.uk

30th March 2020

 

Online Safety advice for parents and carers during Covid 19

Many families will be encouraging their children to make good use of technology while we start the second week of lockdown with no opportunities to see their classmates “in real life”.  Technology can help us all stay in touch safely but parents and carers will want to make sure that their children are as safe as possible.

Parental Controls

Almost all devices allow parental controls to be set.  These can be adjusted depending on the ages of the children.  They can :-

  • Stop children putting new apps on a device until the parents approve them
  • Reduce the chance of a child accidentally spending money on virtual goods
  • Limit the time that children use a device without having a break

A good starting point is the internet matters website https://www.internetmatters.org/ , go to the SETTING CONTROLS section at the top!

Talking

Probably the best thing you can do to help your son or daughter is to talk to them regularly about how they use technology, which apps and sites they use and who their online friends are.  Some children struggle with online relationships perhaps either sending or receiving hurtful messages.  Parents and carers will be able to help guide youngsters through this difficult area.  If children receive unpleasant messages these can  usually be reported and each app or site will have a different way of doing this.

Apps and Sites

The list of apps and websites children are using grows by the minute so printed advice is likely to be out of date.  In the UK the NSPCC have a site called Net-Aware https://www.net-aware.org.uk/ which explains many current apps , the risks and the benefits of their use.  More apps are listed on the American site Common Sense Media https://www.commonsensemedia.org/

 

Activities for Children

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/ is the website aimed at children and their parents from the National Crime Agency.  It has lots of useful suggestions and advice on how to report issues.  It also has games and activities including Jessie and Friends for the younger children and Band Runner for the older ones.

For the youngest children being tricked into sharing pictures can be an issue.  LGfL have produced a lovely free video https://undressed.lgfl.net/ which has some great advice and a very catchy song!

More Help?

The NSPCC have teamed up with O2 https://www.nspcc.org.uk/what-we-do/about-us/partners/nspcc-o2-online-safety-partnership/  to provide advice to parents and have a free helpline on 0808 800 5002.  They will also give support in any O2 shop – you do not have to be an O2 customer.

Children can call Childline on 0800 1111  for advice on anything that is worrying them.

Finally since 2015 is has been a criminal offence for an adult to send a message with sexual content to a child (This is Section  67  of  the  Serious  Crime  Act  2015).   If you are concerned that this might have happened please contact The Police without further using the device.  This will help ensure that evidence can be preserved.  The Police can be contacted by phone or from the Thinkuknow website.  https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/

26th March 2020

Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

Stay at home

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (where this absolutely cannot be done from home)
  • Stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home

You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms.

Staying at home and away from others (social distancing)

 

24th March 2020

Yesterday, the Prime Minister addressed the nation on coronavirus (COVID-19) and asked people to stay at home, except for very limited purposes.

There is no change in guidance for education settings, which remain closed except for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children. We continue to ask that parents keep their children at home, wherever possible.

The full stay at home guidance is available at:

Would parents of Free School Meal children please note that we are currently working with a provider to enable you to receive e-vouchers.  We will text you when this is up and running.

20th March 2020

 

Early this morning the Government set out its list of Key Worker categories that may be prioritised for educational provision in the period of wider school closure.

The most important message for parents is that any child who can be at home should be at home.

The recommendation to send children to school is only so that key workers who don’t have any alternative arrangements are not forced to stay off work. Therefore it does not follow that all key workers on the list would or should be sending their children to school. The guidance explicitly states:

“Many parents working in these critical sectors may be able to ensure their child is kept at home. Every child who can be safely cared for at home should be. This is an offer to parents and carers and there is no requirement for parents and carers to send their children to school if they do not need or wish to do so."

It goes on to say

 “The most recent scientific advice on how to further limit the spread of COVID-19 is clear. If children can stay safely at home, they should, to limit the chance of the virus spreading.”

The Government is asking schools to open to provide care for children of key workers and vulnerable children. This is not a statutory requirement – schools are being asked to help as part of a national response.

This will be a very different type of provision to that schools normally provide; it will be about care, not education. "This is about keeping children safe and allowing key workers (such as NHS staff) to go to work and care for the sick, or to keep food supply chains moving. All expectations regarding educational provision have been lifted. Schools that provide this care are free to determine what the provision looks like and what they deem to be best for the pupils they are supporting."

Would parents please note that Government have placed a requirement on key worker parents to obtain confirmation from their employer that, based on business continuity arrangements, their specific role is necessary for the continuation of this essential public service. However, in order to ensure that pupils who have parents in critical key worker roles e.g. NHS staff are kept safe, this can be done retrospectively. 

 

School is officially closed as from today but it will reopen on Monday to provide the reduced provision offer for pupils by prior arrangement. 

 

We very much want to do what we can to support our families, given these unprecedented circumstances and we wish you all to stay safe.

 

19th March 2020

The Prime Minister and Education Minister Gavin Williamson have announced that all schools in the UK will close from Friday, with exceptions for vulnerable children, children with an Education Health and Care Plan and children of key workers (exact details on these categories are yet to be released). 

 

The Prime Minister has announced that the government will be supplying vouchers for children who currently receive free school meals although full details have not yet been released. Durham County Council will be working over the coming days/weeks to explore arrangements around provision of food for families who receive free school meals.

 

The Prime Minister noted that exams in May and June will not take place and the details on this will also follow.

 

We are awaiting further guidance in order for us to support you to the best of our ability and we thank you for your patience at this time.

 

We will keep you updated as further details become available.

 

18th March 2020

The advice from Public Health England continues to be that all educational settings, including nurseries, preschools and childminders, should remain open unless advised otherwise.

17th March 2020

 

Dear Parent,

I am writing to update you about the school’s current position regarding Coronavirus.

We take the health and safety and wellbeing of our pupils and staff very seriously, and, as such, we want to reassure you that we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the Department for Education (DfE).

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-educational-settings-about-covid-19

 

If circumstances arise where the school must close, we will inform you in our usual way.

We are currently making plans for supporting your child’s education should a closure become necessary and will keep you informed on this.

 

Prevent the spread of infection

Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often – with soap and water and scrub 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 unwell
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then place the tissue in a bin and then wash your hands
  • 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

The most recent UK government advice (16.03.2020) is: 

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started
  • if you live with others and you or another member of the household 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
  • for anyone in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they 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.
     

Symptoms to look out for

Cough

Difficulty in breathing

Fever (a temperature of 38 degrees C or higher)

  • Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people as you would with other flu viruses.
  • Please see the link below for information about self-isolation.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-self-isolation-for-patients-undergoing-testing/advice-sheet-home-isolation

  • Call NHS 111 immediately for an assessment (or 999 if you require emergency medical attention)

 

As I mentioned, we are following the guidance from Public Health England and the DfE, but this is being updated regularly in response to the changing situation. We will monitor and follow the national guidance as it is updated and would urge you to do the same.

If you or your child have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Thank you for your support

Mrs S. McQuiggin

13th March 2020

 

The Department for Education Coronavirus helpline for staff, parents, carers and young people is open Monday to Friday 8am to 6pm:


Coronavirus helpline 0800 046 8687


Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Picture 1
Top