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Headteacher's News 9.12.22

All the most recent news from Edith

Friday 9th December 2022

Dear parents and carers of Stepney Park Primary School.

As we near the end of the year 2022, I can’t help reflecting on how much has changed in the world in the last year. 

A year ago, we were still experiencing the aftermath of the Covid pandemic and international travel was still very difficult. The world seems to have largely moved on, but other events such as the war in Ukraine, the soaring energy prices and the economic crisis have given us new challenges. 

Coping (and learning to cope) with challenges can be difficult, so one of our school values is ‘resilience’. By talking to children about resilience, as well as giving them activities which will help them to develop resilience, we hope we can do our bit to help prepare them for some of the challenges they will undoubtedly encounter on their own future life journeys.

We have almost reached the end of the school term, and are all looking forward to a well deserved break. I hope you will all have some quality time with families and friends. I would like to thank you for your continued support and wish you a happy, healthy and prosperous 2023!

Parental Survey - Outcome 

Thank you to all parents who responded to our parental survey, we had 117 responses in total. 

The responses, which were overwhelmingly positive, were as follows:

We were delighted to find that almost all children feel happy and safe at school and that almost all parents think that their child is doing well. Although our school is still very new, many of you feel this is already a great school, thank you for your trust in us. 

I hope that over time, all parents will see just how ambitious we are for every child in our school. For example, this year all of our KS2 SATs results at the expected level were significantly above the National Average, as well as our Yr 4 Timetables Checks and our Yr 1 phonics results.

Our response:

We have carefully read your responses and comments, thank you for taking the time to write them.  We will review them all and will take appropriate actions where applicable. For example, we will ensure that parents get more advance notice about special events, such as non-uniform days. 

From your feedback we can also conclude that parents would like to find out a bit more about what their child will learn during the year; this is something we will consider carefully going forward too.

In the last few months (as well as through the comments in the survey), a number of parents have said that they would like us to consider changing our one way system at pick-up time, so we have decided that we want to try and listen to these requests. 

We want to ensure that we can do this safely, so we will do a trial run for a few weeks after the start of the spring term.  We will need to allocate slightly different pick-up places in the playground and will tell you where to pick your child up once we introduce the changes.

In summary:

  • Children from some year groups will be picked up from a different location in the playground from Jan 4th.

  • All large gates will become two-way gates from Jan 9th.

  • Further information will be shared soon.

Strep A infections

I imagine some parents may be a bit anxious about Strep A infections, and thought it would be good to share some information about Strep A in this letter.  

The UKHSA is reporting an increased number of cases of Group A streptococcus (Strep A) compared to normal at this time of year. There is no evidence that a new strain is circulating and the increase is most likely related to high amounts of circulating bacteria and social mixing.

What are scarlet fever and Strep A?

Scarlet fever is caused by bacteria called Group A streptococci (Strep A). The bacteria usually cause a mild infection that can be easily treated with antibiotics.  In very rare occasions, the bacteria can get into the bloodstream and cause an illness called invasive Group A strep (iGAS).

What are the symptoms of Strep A/scarlet fever?

Strep A infections can cause a range of symptoms that parents should be aware of, including:

  • Sore throat

  • Headache

  • Fever

  • A fine, pinkish or red body rash with a sandpapery feel

  • On darker skin the rash can be more difficult to detect visually but will have a sandpapery feel

If a child becomes unwell with these symptoms, please contact your GP practice or contact NHS 111 (which operates a 24/7 service) to seek advice.

If a child has scarlet fever, they need to stay at home until at least 24 hours after the start of antibiotic treatment to avoid spreading the infection to others.

Please trust your own judgement and if your child seems seriously unwell, call 999 or take your child to A&E if:

  • your child is having difficulty breathing – you may notice grunting noises or their tummy sucking under their ribs,

  • there are pauses when your child breathes,

  • your child’s skin, tongue or lips are blue,

  • your child is floppy and will not wake up or stay awake.

How to help prevent Strep A?

To prevent the spread of Strep A, UKHSA advises children and staff to implement good hand and respiratory hygiene practices, such as washing hands frequently and covering the mouth and nose if coughing or sneezing.

Managing confirmed cases

Schools have been asked to contact their UKHSA health protection team if there is an outbreak of two or more scarlet fever cases within 10 days of each other and if the affected individuals have a link, such as being in the same class or year group. Please let us know if your child has been diagnosed with scarlet fever and do not send them into school until at least 24 hours after they have started a course of antibiotics. 

If there are confirmed or suspected cases in a school, there is no reason for children to be kept at home if they are well.

Christmas Holiday

Please remember that the school will close for the Christmas holiday on Friday Dec 16th at 1 pm and will reopen on Wednesday January 4th.

Thank you for reading this newsletter and enjoy the weekend.

Kind regards,

Edith Philipsen

Headteacher- Stepney Park Primary School.