Welcome back

Whilst Doncaster saw a number of Coronavirus cases over the first half term, all our classes continued to remain open – our overall attendance rate was above 90% throughout the term. All our staff have worked really hard to put our children’s education at the forefront of what’s happening. Preparations have been made to ensure learning environments are as safe as possible and virtual lessons and digital learning have been made available for those who may have to self-isolate to make sure their education can continue-you can read more about that in this newsletter. But as we’re now in Tier 3 restrictions and there is talk in the media that we are heading for another national lockdown, there are some things to bear in mind to help keep us all safe:
  • Please don’t use the school run as a chance to socialise with other parents at the school gates – drop your children off safely and leave the area as soon as possible.
  • Try and avoid giving parents or children from other households lifts if at all possible. If you do have to give a lift to someone from another household, you should open the windows, wear face coverings (unless exempt) and leave seats spare if possible to enable passengers to physically distance.
  • If your children are walking to school, please make sure they stick to the rule of 6 and don’t mix year groups.
  • We know how important it is for our children to have a bit of normality in their life, so if they’re playing out after school please encourage them to again stick to the rule of 6!

You can read more updates from Doncaster council by following this link, and there may be further updates depending on government announcements: https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDONCO/bulletins/2a8ade8

New appointment

On Thursday 22nd October, Kim Gray, our new chair of Governors, and I appointed a Miss Worthington, to teach the new Year 1 class that we will be arranging to start after Christmas, in Mrs Land’s old classroom. We had over 30 applications for the position and interviewed 7 candidates before making our decision. Miss Worthington is currently teaching at another Doncaster school, but will introduce herself to the children and parents before Christmas.

PTA updates

Well done to Ella Cartwright for winning our Pumpkin competition She won this Monster pumpkin and a selection of Halloween Goodies after she named the Pumpkin Purdy. Thank you to everyone who took part.

The next fundraising event is in celebration of Bonfire Night. The PTA are holding a Firework-themed Fancy Dress day on Friday. Come in anything brightly coloured or sparkly. £1 donation please

Covid-19: If your child or a member of staff tests positive

As a school, we have had several members of staff, including myself, having to isolate because family members have displayed symptoms over the last few weeks. On Friday, we were informed that a member of the school community had tested positive: fortunately we know that they and their family are all recovering well and we wish them all the best. The advice we received from the Public Health England is that no one in the class bubble needs to isolate since the child was off school for nearly a week prior to being tested.
As number rise continue to rise, I expect that more cases will be found. Whenever we hear of a confirmed case we will inform you by sending this email to all members of the school community:

We have been advised by Public Health England that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 within the school.

Continue reading “Covid-19: If your child or a member of staff tests positive”

Doncaster Council Update-Oct 31

Hi, my name is Dr Rupert Suckling and I am the Director of Public Health in Doncaster.

This has been a very difficult week for Doncaster, not least because we’re all coming to the end of our first week of being in Very High or Tier 3 of the government’s Coronavirus alert levels.

I do appreciate this has caused a lot of challenges, worry and confusion and I’ve explained some of the guidance further down in this email, as well as on the MyDoncaster social media channels. We will continue to do this over the coming days.

The situation is still very serious and I cannot emphasize that enough.

The latest rate I have for the 17th to the 23rd of October shows our 7 day rate is 530 cases per 100,000 people. This is the second highest in South Yorkshire and is in the top 10 now for England.

This is not good news.

Local COVID data


It’s clear to me that too many people in Doncaster are still meeting up and not following the guidance to keep our distance, to wear face coverings and to wash our hands.

The infection is spreading very quickly and we will need to stop it. If we do not put the fire out now it flares up and continues burning.

So I’m asking you all to go above and beyond the Tier 3 restrictions to help keep everyone in the borough safe.

Please don’t travel unless it’s essential for you to do so and please stay within Doncaster if you possibly can.

Remember the basics – face, space and hands.

If every one of us does these then we’ll help reduce the infection rates and get out of this situation quicker.

This week I’ve written to businesses, schools, care homes and the voluntary, charity and faith sector amongst others about the new guidance and I’ll be writing to the clinically extremely vulnerable to explain what they should be doing to stay safe as well.

Please look after yourselves and let’s all do it for Doncaster.

Dr Rupert Suckling

Director of Public Health

Watch my latest video update here

Your questions about Tier 3 answered
We’re almost a week into Tier 3 restrictions in Doncaster, and you’ve raised a lot of questions and concerns about what the new guidance means for you.

Our Director of Public Health Dr Rupert Suckling has addressed some of these:

Household mixing…
“Under the new restrictions the only place you can mix households is in a public outdoor space such as a park.

“Nobody should be meeting anybody from another household indoors, including in restaurants or in a private garden. Remember even in public outdoor spaces we must adhere to the rule of six. Remember the basics – face, space and hands.”

Support Bubbles…
“It is complicated but essentially, a support bubble is if you live by yourself or are a single parent with dependent children you can expand your close support network so that it includes one other household of any size.”

Childcare Bubbles…
“Childcare bubbles can also be set up for parents with one other household – whether that is a family member, neighbour or friend – but it must be the same two households.”

Travel…
“Travel seems to have been another big area of discussion.

“Under Tier 3 guidance we are asked to avoid non-essential travel, although the national guidance does not explicitly say we should not be leaving our borough I would like to ask the people of Doncaster to try and avoid leaving Doncaster for the short-term while we carry on working hard to get our rates under control. You are able to travel, following the COVID guidelines, to work, go to school, college and university.”

Enforcement…
“I have seen some comments about our ability to enforce the guidance. We continue to work closely with our colleagues at South Yorkshire Police on enforcing the rules, my hope is that we don’t need to be going down that route but harsher steps will be taken if need be.” Further FAQs Answered

Green Bins Suspended from Monday 2 November
A significant amount of waste operatives working for our contractors, Suez, have tested positive for Coronavirus (Covid-19) and other members of staff have also now had to self-isolate.

Therefore, a decision has been made to halt all green waste bin collections for the remainder of the year from Monday (2 November 2020).

This will enable us to prioritise black and blue (recycling) bin collections with the fewer staff members we have available.

If your household’s green bin is due to be collected by the end of this week, please put your green bin at the kerbside according to the bin calendar schedule and we will pick it up as soon as possible.

In line with Public Health advice, please remember to observe the ‘HANDS – FACE – SPACE’ guidance. You can do this by cleaning your hands before and after handling your bin. Find Out More

How do we celebrate Halloween this year?
Unfortunately due to the COVID situation we currently find ourselves in, we’re asking residents not to go trick or treating tomorrow night.

So many families being out and knocking on each others doors could really increase the risk of Coronavirus spreading.

That doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate though – why not organise a party for your kids at home? All get dressed up, eat some treats and watch a scary film or two?

We’ve also seen loads of examples of families using the half term to show off their Halloween craft making skills!

Next Thursday is also Bonfire Night of course, and our emergency services are asking us not to have bonfire parties that break the current social distancing rules set out by the Government.

Meanwhile, firefighters are asking people to take extra care with fireworks and to avoid having garden bonfires that could grow out of control and tie up fire service resources.

Find out more from South Yorkshire Police and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue: Find out more

Back to school

Our schools will reopen on Monday following the first half term of the school year.

Whilst we saw a number of Coronavirus cases over the first half term, the vast majority of our classes continued to remain open – our overall attendance rate was above 80% throughout the term.

Our schools and the whole education team continue to work really hard to put our children’s education at the forefront of what’s happening. Preparations have been made to ensure learning environments are as safe as possible and virtual lessons and digital learning have been made available for those who may have to self-isolate to make sure their education can continue.

But as we’re now in Tier 3 restrictions, there are some things to bear in mind to help keep us all safe:

  • Please don’t use the school run as a chance to socialise with other parents at the school gates – drop your children off safely and leave the area as soon as possible.
  • Try and avoid giving parents or children from other households lifts if at all possible. If you do have to give a lift to someone from another household, you should open the windows, wear face coverings (unless exempt) and leave seats spare if possible to enable physically distance.
  • If your children are walking to school, please make sure they stick to the rule of 6 and don’t mix year groups.
  • We know how important it is for our children to have a bit of normality in their life, so if they’re playing out after school please encourage them to again stick to the rule of 6!

https://content.govdelivery.com/accounts/UKDONCO/bulletins/2a8ade8

Coronavirus Doncaster: Important Update

An important message from Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health in Doncaster:

As you may have already heard in the news, the South Yorkshire region, including Doncaster will be placed into the VERY HIGH Tier 3 of the Government’s new Coronavirus risk levels from Saturday.

This means that Doncaster has been placed in this highest category because our rate of infections are rising rapidly and doubling every week.

Our 7 day rate for 8-14 October was 262 per 100,000 people – a rise from the previous week, when the rate was 191 per 100,000 people. 

All age groups are affected by the infection rate rise so the virus is clearly in our communities, spreading and not halting.

Local COVID data

People in Doncaster must follow the new, stricter guidance:

No household mixing indoors so keep to your own household or bubble.

No mixing in private gardens outdoors.

You can still meet outdoors in some settings (parks, public gardens etc) but the ‘rule of 6’ still applies. Remember hands, face and space rules are still important outside and should be followed

Pubs and bars must close unless they operate as a restaurant within the guidelines.

There’s more information on the guidelines on the council’s website here.

This rise in infections will inevitably mean that more people are being admitted into hospital. At hospitals in our region which are run by the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust including Doncaster Royal Infirmary there are currently more than 150 people in hospital with several people needing intensive support including ventilators and more people are now testing positive and recovering at home.

Of course this is worrying news for Doncaster and like other parts of South Yorkshire, we all have to help bring the infection numbers down. Each of our 300,000 plus residents has responsibility to help and I would urge us all to make the right choice and help us to bring the rate down together.

Please follow the new guidance and help the NHS cope with the extra demands that being in this tier could bring.

I am monitoring the situation daily and will update you on how we are doing so please do your bit for Doncaster.

Thank you.

Dr Rupert Suckling

A statement from Mayor Ros Jones

Today’s announcement by the Government that South Yorkshire is to be escalated into the highest tier of the Coronavirus level to Very High or Tier 3 is one that will cause concern for people in Doncaster.

It is news that no one wanted to hear but there is an undeniable truth in that our infection rates are spiralling upwards; they are currently more than 260 per 100,000 people and continuing to rise.

I appreciate that being in this highest tier is not where we want to be as a borough and people have been working hard to keep our infection rates down and made a lot of sacrifices over the last few months. But we, like the rest of South Yorkshire, are in this category, for a reason – the infection rates are not going down or even levelling off. 

Very High Tier 3 will mean tighter restrictions for the borough and we must all collectively do our bit to get the infection rate down. I, along with other South Yorkshire leaders and the Sheffield City Region Mayor, have met with the Government to agree a package of financial support to boost the test and trace activity in our region and for local businesses to support them if they cannot trade.

Although, I accepted the need to go into restrictions collectively to stem the rise in infections, I argued successfully to ensure that local councils could individually come out of restrictions, if they met the necessary levels at the end of the four week period when the tier category will be reviewed.

I do want Doncaster to come out of this sooner rather than later so it is imperative we all work together to protect ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and the NHS. Equally I was keen to keep leisure centres and gyms open so that our residents are able to stay healthy. 

I would strongly urge everyone in the borough, whatever age, to follow the guidance to the letter to get us out of these stricter measures quicker – without your help, we cannot achieve this – so please Let’s Do it for Doncaster – together.

Thank you.

Ros Jones

Teacher Award winners

ClassWinners
Fantastic FrogsReuban B and Keanu
Brainy BadgersDelaina and Matilda  
Smart SquirrelsHarvey, Mia and Lindon
Busy BeesMila and Oliver
Wise OwlsMueez and Lennon
HT wristbandsOlivia

Well done everyone

Secondary School Admissions closing shortly

The closing date of 31st October for secondary school admissions for 2021-22 is fast approaching! Applications for secondary school places are NOT done on a first come, first serve basis, so you still have the opportunity to consider the best options for your child or children before completing your application. You can find the full 2021-22 secondary school booklet, and start your application by visiting: https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/secondaryadmissions
Whilst there is still time, please remember to make a note of the national 31st OCTOBER deadline in your diaries – if your application is after this, your child is more likely to miss out on their preferred school choice!