Silverhill School News

Silverhill will remain open on 18th December

Published on 11 December 2020

                                         Silverhill will remain open on 18th December 

After consideration of the government's advice to shut schools early and shorten the responsibility window for track and trace, we have decided to stay open for all children on Friday 18th.  

If we were to close, the day would have to be used as a training day for staff (INSET). This day would not be an extra INSET but would need to be swapped for an already existing day that we have diarized for 2021. As you are aware it is our 50th birthday celebrations next year which we are using some of the training days to prepare for it. I am keen to keep the traditional 'long weekend' in July (Friday & Monday INSETs) as this is favoured by many families and we use the two days to plan for the following academic year. I don't feel using the last day of a long and challenging term would be an effective or strategic use of our precious training day allocation.  
We have lasted 13 weeks without having to close a bubble and (albeit luck plays a part in this) I am very proud that we have all worked hard to follow our COVID risk assessment and stay safe, both inside and outside of school. 

Having said all this, we mustn't be complacent going into the last week of the autumn term. In fact, we must be more vigilant than ever next week. It would be the most disastrous week to have to close a bubble!! If we were to get our first positive case with a Silverhill child next week, then this would result in children having to isolate and not leave the house for 2 weeks, which will include Christmas Day!  

Even if we get to Friday 18th without any positive tests for Silverhill children, parents still have the responsibility to report any symptoms their child may show within the first 48 hours after we break up. Staff will also need to do the same if they show symptoms. As the school term finishes on a Friday, pupils or staff who develop symptoms up to the Sunday could still have had close contact with others in school within those 48 hours. As it is only schools, that hold the information about bubbles and seating plans, Public Health England (PHE) is relying on schools and school leaders to provide this information and inform families that could be affected.   

The additional challenge is that while the symptoms may develop two days after the end of the term (eg. on the Sunday), in many cases it could take people a few additional days to book a test and receive the results. This means that PHE may need information about close contacts into the start of the following week.  

Where a pupil or staff member develops symptoms after the 48 hours, they should not need to contact the school and can use the 'normal' national track and trace system.  
If your child shows symptoms in the 48 hours following school closure on 18th, then please ring this number. 07835 965 522 
NOT the school number. It will be an answer machine on the Silverhill COVID Notification Number. Please Say...  

 "My child ______________ in class ________ has tested positive for COVID-19 on ____ December, after first showing symptoms on ____ December."

Each day we will check for notifications of positive cases on the answer machine and inform parents appropriately if their child could have been affected. We will send a text message advising parents, of children who have been in close contact, to selfisolate and refer parents to the pre-prepared letter on the school website for further details.  

If you do not receive a text, your child has not been affected.