Coronavirus Update CO-VID19

21st March 2020

Somehow we have made it to the end of the week, without doubt the craziest week of my working life – and that is saying something! I cannot speak highly enough of the staff at Highfield this week. I already knew they were amazing, but their dedication and commitment to the cause has been genuinely incredible. I know from the many messages of thanks and support that you appreciate their efforts. They have put themselves at risk and gone far beyond normal expectations to make sure your children are safe and happy. They have responded to the phenomenal pace of change in government direction with real positivity and team spirit.

I must make special mention of our Senior Leadership Team who have battled against the odds to achieve the impossible and get everything in place for Monday. I have not been in school for the last couple of day and - apart from having me bombard them with emails and a few conference calls – they have managed this unprecedented situation themselves.
I had to make the difficult decision to self-isolate as of yesterday, after the hospital contacted me and advised a 12-week lockdown to protect my son, who takes daily chemotherapy for a form of blood cancer. I have a makeshift office/bedsit and will be distancing myself from my family for 7 days, then we’ll be isolating together until June. I’m not telling you this for sympathy … but I do want to make a point … This situation is serious!

Please stay indoors with your family and look after each other, wash your hands, distance yourselves from others and your actions will save lives! Please don’t let your children congregate at the park or the shops. They may be just fine, even if they contract Coronavirus, but the people they come into contact with may not be. We know how special our community is, and how much our pupils care for their families and each other. Now is the time to show it!

For the small minority that have children in school next week, thank you! You are the front line who will get our country through these challenging times. You will have received a letter to confirm your child’s place, along with details of provision. Normal school opening hours apply.

There are others too, on the front line, who have agreed to make alternative childcare arrangements for the greater good and not put others at risk by sending their children to school. Thank you! And we wish you all the best. If you have not received an offer letter to confirm your child’s place next week, then please do not send them to school. We will have to turn them away.

Some of you have requested free school meals if your child is not at school. They will be available to collect at the school reception between 12:15 and 1:00pm. Please can we respect social distancing advice and allow only one person or family into reception at a time.

We will keep in touch through email and Facebook and we’ll be sharing lots of ideas to keep you active and entertained over the coming weeks. I know many of you have accessed our online learning resources on the school website, and there will be a wealth of additional resources released tonight. Please use them, the teachers have worked their socks off to make them available for you. If you have any important questions, or are struggling as a family, please contact us via email at admin@highfield.northumberland.sch.uk.We will respond as soon as we are able and support in any way we can.

Highfield will be a strange place next week. The hustle and bustle, the sounds of learning and laughter, will all but subside – and we will miss it. But we will be here when all this craziness is over, stronger and closer for what we have been through, more appreciative of what we have, and ready to make up for lost time.

Stay safe Highfielders.

Richard Oades
Headteacher