Just a quick post about Coronavirus as I’m aware some parents and carers might be feeling generally concerned or may just have watched the documentary on BBC1 earlier this week.

I wanted to reassure everyone that Public Health England and the Department for Education are providing Headteachers with advice and updates on an ongoing  basis and Northumberland County Council are also including briefings in their correspondence to schools. I am reading them all carefully and will inform       everybody of any specific advice for schools if it becomes necessary.

As Headteacher of Newsham Primary School I am obviously keeping up to date with the current situation and monitoring the reasons for any pupil or staff absences very closely.

Today in assembly for pupils in Y1 through to Y6, we provided a practical demonstration to the children of how to wash and dry your hands thoroughly. Interestingly, we talked about using the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice as an indication of how long everyone should spend washing their hands and this is exactly what has just been suggested on the BBC documentary. We also talked about the disposal of paper towels and tissues and if the children have to cough or sneeze unexpectedly, to do so into the crook of their arm/elbow, which will keep any germs away from their hands, minimising the risk of transfer. We will arrange a similar session for our children in Nursery and Reception that is appropriate for their age group.

The hygiene measures we adopt at Newsham are sensible irrespective of this outbreak and are an effective way of talking all viral illnesses. That said, they become even more important when there is talk of a pandemic and I wanted you to be aware of the actions we are taking.

I do not want any parents and carers to panic or become alarmed. This is not necessary.

Indeed, I hope this post reassures everyone that as usual, Newsham is taking the very greatest care of everyone connected to life at our school and I will provide you with any updates that are relevant to schools as they occur.

Please help us by reinforcing the hygiene messages we have been reminding the children about. Other than that, it is school as normal.