COVID-19

For our parents who identify as "Key Workers" and require childcare from Monday, please register here: https://www.monmouthshire.gov.uk/school-closures/

Information about Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in December 2019. The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with somebody with confirmed coronavirus, they have not been infected. The following symptoms develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19:

  • cough;
  • difficultly in breathing; and/or
  • fever.

Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, such as older people and/or those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups - very few cases have yet to have been reported in children.

How COVID-19 is spread?
From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with an infected person. It it likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

Prevention
There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

  • students/staff who feel unwell (or develop high temperature or a new cough) should stay at home for 7 days;
  • washing your hands often - with liquid soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if hand-washing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport; covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin. Students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:
    1. before leaving home;
    2. on arrival to school;
    3. after using the toilet;
    4. after breaks and sporting activities;
    5. before food preparation
    6. before eating any food, including snacks;  and
    7. before leaving school
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands;
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell;
  • if you are worries about your symptoms or those of of a child or colleague, please use the Coronavirus COVID-19 symptom checker on NHS Direct Wales. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment;
  • see the latest information about Novel coronavirus on the Public Health Wales website.

Actions taken by the school to support wellbeing of students and staff
School leaders have been working to establish a continuity plan in response to the pandemic. This also includes planning for delivery of activities in the situation of a forced closure and planning for a return to 'usual practice' should a short-term and/or long-term closure take place.

Preventive measure have been introduced, including:

  • Establishing a critical incident management team to plan for all eventualities;
  • Identify members of the community (students and staff) with underlying medical conditions which place them in the 'at risk' group;
  • Raising awareness of the symptoms closely linked to COVID-19 and the precautionary measures through posters;
  • Purchase of quantities of liquid soap for all bathroom facilities
  • Additional cleaning of the regularly touched surfaces throughout the school day i.e. door handles, hand rails, light switches etc; and 
  • As of 13th March 2020, all non-essential activities will either be cancelled or postponed.

In the event of a full/partial school closure (short-term and/or long-term)

The school will only close where there is direct guidance/recommendations from appropriate authorities e.g. Public Health Wales and/or where there are insufficient numbers of staff available to safely deliver an education to students. In the event of a school closure, staff will not be able to access the school site. Therefore, in this situation the school will:

  • Provide students (with increased support for those students preparing to sit public examinations in the summer) with online materials utilising Microsoft Teams, to facilitate distant learning;
  • Communicate with families/students on a regular bases to provide updates on the recovery phase i.e. safe return to normal school life. 

Upon return to 'normal practices' the school will:

  • Undertake a learning audit for examination classes to identify skills gaps in readiness for the summer examination series;
  • Communicate with the relevant awarding bodies to make them aware of any requirements for special considerations;
  • Respond to any ongoing support requirements for students and/or staff. This may include counselling services. 

Communication

Throughout the UK Government response phases to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) the school will work closely with relevant authorities to make decisions which are in the interest of all members of the community. However, to support the safety, wellbeing and continued learning of students the school asks that all families:

  • Sign up to the school Twitter Feed @ChepstowSchool to be able to access relevant information in the eventuality of a partial/full closure;
  • Ensure that the school has the correct email address for parent/carers and families are linked on ParentMail;
  • Students are able to access their school Office 365 Accounts/Microsoft Teams in order to maintain communication throughout the process.