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Welcome to St. Mary's C.E. Middle School

Welcome to St Mary's C.E. Middle School

Thank you for visiting the website for St. Mary's C.E. Middle School. We are a 9-13 middle school situated on the outskirts of Puddletown, a small village in the beautiful Dorset countryside. We are a church school with an ethos built on the core Christian values of respect, forgiveness, justice, uniqueness, equality, acceptance and kindness.

We look to inspire our school community and give them the tools to thrive in the modern world, summed up by our school aim of 'Inspire today to shape tomorrow'. We are proud to have been assessed as an outstanding church school in our last two Church of England inspections. We expect the highest standards in both academic work and behaviour and we place our children at the centre of everything we do.

The pupils, staff and governors are very proud of our school and we hope that this website will allow you to see why. We look forward to having the opportunity to meet you in person.

Coronavirus Information

This page has been set up to allow parents to access the most up to date information regarding the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and, more specifically, the effect that this may have on the operations of St. Mary's C.E. Middle School.  This page will be updated as new advice and materials become available.

What’s the current situation?

 

Schools reopen for all pupils from Thursday 4th January 2022 onwards.  From this date, the normal rules regarding school attendance will apply (unless you have specific medical advice to shield due to an underlying health condition).  Schools are being asked to test all pupils in Key Stage 3 upon return to school.  To facilitate this requirement, the school will remain tutor based (to limit the mixing of pupils) whilst testing of pupils takes place during the first part of the day.  Pupils should go straight to their tutor rooms upon arrival at school on Tuesday January 4th.

 

Even if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 90 days, they are strongly encouraged to take part in LFD testing on-site through ATS or at home once they have completed their isolation period for their prior infection.

 

It is a requirement that pupils MUST stay at home if any of the following apply to them:

 

  • are ill with virus symptoms (even if this is suspected) and are awaiting the results of a confirmatory PCR test.

  • have tested positive on a lateral flow test and are awaiting the results of a confirmatory PCR test.

  • have tested positive for coronavirus, even if they are asymptomatic (are showing no outer signs of the virus).

  • have been advised by NHS Track and Trace to self-isolate.

  • are required to self-isolate for travel-related reasons (for example, whilst waiting for a PCR test result taken as a result of travel to a foreign country)

  • are self isolating having come in contact with a confirmed case of the omicron virus variant (under advice from NHS track and trace)

 

Failure to follow these guidelines will put all members the school community at risk and may result in large scale disruption to the how the school can function.  If you are in any doubt that your child or a member of your household may be infected with coronavirus, do not send them to school until it is confirmed that they are not infected through a confirmatory PCR test.

 

NEW January 2022 - In addition to all pupils being required to wear a face covering in the communal areas of the school and school transport, all pupils (unless exempt) will be required to wear face coverings in lessons for the first three weeks back at school.  This is following a change in advice from the DfE.  There is no new guidance for pupils who are in Years 5 and 6 (in middle schools) needing to wear face coverings in lessons but the school strongly suggests that pupils in these year groups also wear a face covering.  Please note: teachers may or may not wear a face covering in lessons when teaching from the front of the room to allow pupils to see their mouths.  Staff will wear face coverings for all close contacts with pupils.  All members of the school community do not need to wear a face covering whilst outside in the open air.

 

New Isolation Procedures - The rules regarding isolation periods for a person who have tested positive for COVID-19 on a PCR test changed on Wednesday 22nd December.  The new rules are:

  • Pupils must remain in self isolation for the first 5 days after they have a positive PCR test result.
  • On the sixth day after a positive test result, the person can take a LFT test and, if negative, can take a second LFT the next day.  If both of these record a negative result, the person may return to school (end isolation) on day 8 providing that they do not continue to show any of the recognised symptoms of infection.
  • If either of the lateral flow tests taken on days 6 or 7 show a positive result, the person must complete the full 10 days of self isolation.
  • If a person is unable to carry out a LFT on days 6 and 7, they must complete the full 10 days isolation.

 

A reminder that only a person who has a LFT positive result and is waiting for a PCR test result, is showing symptoms of the infection or has a positive result on a PCR test should remain off school.   People in the same household as a person who has/is suspected of having COVID-19 do not need to isolate but should take daily lateral flow tests for 7 days as a precaution.  The school will require proof of any advice to self-isolate outside these situations given by a medical professional. 

Updates, Newsletters and Other Parental Communication

Please use the links below to find the pages where updates and letters sent home to parents are posted.  These will be continually updated throughout the period of the school closures.

What we need you to do

 

  • If you’ve recently changed your contact details, please inform the school office as soon as possible, either by phone, e-mail or through use of the SIMS parents app.  It is vital that we are able to contact you if we have any concerns over the health of your child.
  • Come and collect your child straight away, if we ask you to (we’ll contact you if they become ill with either a temperature or a new, continuous cough).  We understand that this may be difficult but please do this as soon as possible.
  • Check that you and your child has access to Show My Homework/Satchel:One from home, and let us know if there are any issues (so we can make sure we are well prepared for remote home learning).  Please make sure that pupils are using their own log-ins and not their parents.
  • Talk to your children about the coronavirus. It’s a scary 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.

If you have any questions

 

Please consult the:

  • School office, if you have any questions about our response to this issue.  A member of staff will be able answer the phone between 8.30am to 3.30pm each school day.
  • 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.
  • All DfE guidelines for schools can be found online by clicking here.

General Advice

St. Mary's C.E. Middle School will continue to follow the advice provided by Public Health England (PHE) and the Department for Education (DfE).  The main documentation that we are reffering to can be accessed through the links below.

In addition to the information published on the school website and through Department for Education (DfE) website, parents are able to contact the dedicated DfE Corona Virus Telephone Helpline using the contact details shown below.

 

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.

 

Dorset Council Helpline for Families

 

Are you worried about how your child is coping with the coronavirus crisis and lockdown?

Dorset Council’s Educational Psychology Service has set-up a helpline to support those who are worried about their child or teenager during the lockdown.  The COVID helpline is here to support parents and carers so they can help their children cope with the lockdown. If you live in the Dorset Council area and are concerned about how your child is managing and you need someone to talk to, please ring us.

 

The helpline number is: 01258 474036. It is open from Monday to Friday from 9am to 4.45pm. Callers need to ring and make an appointment for a 30 minute phone consultation.  Calls are confidential unless there is a risk of harm to the caller, their child or someone else. Brief records are kept of each call.

 

If you are experiencing financial difficulties due to the current crisis, support is available.  If your income has dropped, or you have lost your job you may be able to get help with costs including school meals, transport and uniform. Call Dorset Citizens Advice on Freephone 0800 144 8848.

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