Suspected Influenza at School

Dear Parents + Carers,

RE: Suspected Influenza at School

This letter is to inform you that we have received reports of a number of children absent from the school last week with a flu-like illness and following advice from Public Health England, we consider it likely that a flu (influenza) virus is circulating within the school. This is to be expected at this time of year and is in-line with what we are seeing in the local community.

It is important that your child stays at home if they have flu-like symptoms. Your child should not attend school and not mix with others outside the home if they have symptoms. Those who do not have symptoms of flu can undertake their usual activities outside of the home as normal.

General infection control practices and good hand hygiene can help to reduce transmission of all viruses, including flu. This includes:

  • Covering the nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, using a tissue when possible.

  • Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.

  • Washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce the spread of flu virus from hands to face or to other people.

  • Cleaning hard surfaces (e.g. door handles) using a normal cleaning product.

Most children will have a relatively mild illness, and will recover at home without needing treatment. However, if your child has a complex medical history (including risk groups below) it is important that your GP promptly assesses your child if they develop any of the following symptoms: sudden fever (38C or greater) and flu-like symptoms (cough, sore throat, runny nose, limb/joint pain or headache). They will then advise whether your child should receive antiviral treatment. Children in these medical risk groups who have not had a flu vaccine this winter may also be assessed by their GP in case they would benefit from a course of preventative antiviral medication.

I have attached a fact sheet for your information. If you would like further advice on flu please either contact NHS 111 or visit nhs.uk/conditions/flu.

Yours faithfully,

Mark Roessler


Risk groups for complications of influenza:

  • Chronic (long-term) lung/airway diseases (including severe asthma requiring steroids)

  • Chronic heart disease

  • Chronic kidney disease

  • Chronic liver disease

  • Chronic neurological disease, or learning disability

  • Diabetes

  • Weakened immune system due to disease (such as HIV/AIDS) or treatment (such as cancer treatment)

  • No spleen or dysfunction of the spleen

  • Pregnancy

  • Morbid obesity (BMI ≥ 40)

What is influenza?

  • Influenza or 'flu' is a viral infection that mainly affects the nose, throat and the lungs.

  • There are two main types of flu that cause infection; influenza A and influenza B.

    • Influenza A is usually a more severe infection than influenza B.

    • Influenza B tends to occur most often in children but it can affect any age.

Who catches influenza?

  • Anyone can catch flu; the highest rates of infection are usually in school age children. Most influenza infections occur during the winter months.

  • The amount and severity of illness occurring each year varies, depending on the particular strain that is circulating.

How do you catch influenza?

  • Influenza is mostly caught by breathing in air containing the virus when an infected person coughs/sneezes or by touching a surface where the virus has landed and then touching your mouth or nose.

How infectious is influenza?

  • Influenza is infectious and can spread rapidly from person to person. Some strains of virus are more infectious than others, or cause more severe illness.

What is influenza like?

  • Influenza is worse than an ordinary cold. It usually starts suddenly with a high fever over 38.0°C which can last for 3-4 days. A dry cough, headaches and chills are common as are general muscle aches and pains. A stuffy nose, sneezing and a sore throat can also be present. The fever tends to decrease after the second day when a stuffy nose and a sore throat become more noticeable. Some children may also feel sick (nausea), or have diarrhoea. Tiredness can sometimes last 2-3 weeks.

How serious is influenza?

  • Most people recover completely from influenza in a matter of days or a week. For others, for example older people, pregnant women, those with other illnesses (such as chest or heart disease, or diabetes) and newborn babies, influenza can be a serious illness.

  • Serious illness from influenza can be caused by the virus itself causing a severe lung infection, through a secondary bacterial infection of the airways or lungs, or by worsening of any underlying long-term medical condition such as heart disease.

How is influenza treated?

  • Most people with the flu need no special treatment. Influenza is caused by a virus so antibiotics do not help unless there is a complication. Occasionally a special 'antiviral' medicine is prescribed for people in the ‘at risk’ groups or whose illness is getting worse.

  • Someone who is ill with flu should keep warm, rest and drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration. · Paracetamol can be given to reduce fever and aches. Aspirin must NOT be given to children under 16 years of age as it has been associated with the development of a severe neurological disorder called Reye's syndrome.

  • It is best to stay at home while feeling ill with influenza as this reduces the chance of spreading the infection to others.

Can you prevent influenza?

  • Vaccination can protect against flu. Each year a new vaccine has to be produced to protect against the flu viruses expected to be in circulation that winter and to boost the immune response.

  • The vaccine is very safe. Side effects are usually mild, such as a sore arm.

  • The vaccine is given in the autumn before the flu season begins. It is not recommended for everyone, but it is advisable for those likely to spread infection or be more seriously affected by influenza. This includes:

    • All 2-4 year olds and children in school years 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

    • People of any age with chronic heart, lung, neurological, metabolic disorders (including severe asthma and diabetes), kidney problems or a lowered immune system due to treatment or disease

    • Pregnant women

    • Everyone aged 65 years and over

    • People under the age of 65 years who are not in one of the groups mentioned above are not offered the vaccine as part of the national programme.

  • This list is not exhaustive and if anyone is unsure if they should have the vaccine, then they should discuss with their GP.

How can you reduce the risk of influenza transmission in schools?

  • Advise that children and staff that are ill stay away from school – they should remain off until they are symptom free.

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water and dry thoroughly.

  • Avoid touching surfaces (such as door handles) and then the face.

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and dispose of used/dirty tissues in a bin – “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it”.

How soon should a child be back at school after influenza?

  • Influenza is most infectious when symptoms start until about 3-5 days later.

Year 11 Parents Evening – Wednesday 11th December 2018

The Gatwick School would formally like to invite you to your son/daughter’s Year 11 Parents Evening on the Wednesday 12th December 2018. This evening will be a great opportunity for you to speak to your child’s subject teachers.

As we all know Year 11 is the most important year and many of our students have returned with a more focused attitude towards learning, which I hope has been reflected in their mock results. However, their journey does not stop here and we must look towards their next goal whether this be college applications or apprenticeships or the January Mocks. We want to guide and support your children through this most important year and therefore your backing is an integral part of this journey.

On the evening of the 12th of December there will be a short presentation to parents which will highlight different ways to support your child at home with their revision for exam success. This will be half way through the evening at approximately 6:10pm which allows time for you to speak to teachers before and after, clarifying and making clear the bespoke revision tools your child has at their disposal.

Your appointments will start from 5.00pm and the evening will come to a close at 7:30pm, including the short presentation at 6:10pm.

The evening will be an invaluable insight to your child’s progress on where they are now in their journey but the steps they need to take before the summer exams, which is why it is of the utmost importance that we have all parents/carers attending this evening.

Thank you for your continued support.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Newman, KS4 Progress Leader

Important Information - End and Start of Term Arrangements

Dear Parents/Carers

Important Information - End and Start of Term Arrangements

Our last day of term is Wednesday 19th December, and we will finish the school term with Primary and Secondary celebration assemblies, with departure times as follows:

·       Secondary to finish at 12.00 noon

·       Reception and Year 1 to finish at 1pm

·       Year 2, 3 and 4 to finish at 1.15pm

There will be no after school clubs or wraparound running on this day. 

We hope you have an enjoyable and restful Christmas and New Year break, we will look forward to receiving your children back to school on Monday 7th January 2019. 

I would like to take this opportunity to let you know, that school will also finish early at the end of the Spring Term (Friday 5th April 2019), and the end of the Summer Term (Tuesday 23rd July 2019).  Further details and confirmation of timings will be sent closer to the time.

Thank you for your continued support for The Gatwick School.

Kind Regards

Mark Roessler, Head of School

Departure of Mr Zac Mitchinson – Reception Teacher Peacocks

Dear Parents and Carers,

Re: Departure of Mr Zac Mitchinson – Reception Teacher Peacocks

At the end of this school Term, Mr Mitchinson will be leaving The Gatwick School. He has chosen to leave teaching for a period of time. I am sure the children will miss Mr Mitchinson and his positive, fun attitude to learning that he has included in his teaching.

From January 2019, Peacocks class will be taught by Miss Charlotte Goswell. She is an enthusiastic professional, has huge passion for Early Years and is a trusted member of staff. Miss Goswell has worked with The Gatwick School for over 4 years as a Teaching Assistant and is on the final stages of her Early Years Degree. Miss Goswell will complete this qualification over the Spring and Summer term and she will take up a Trainee Teacher position in September 2019. Throughout this transition, Miss Goswell will have an experienced in-school mentor to support her career development.

Miss Goswell will commence some Peacock’s transition lessons this week so that the children are fully familiar and comfortable with her when the new term commences in January. Mr Mitchinson will remain in the classroom working with the children alongside Miss Goswell to ensure a seamless transfer of responsibility.

We would like offer an opportunity to get to know Miss Goswell and have organised a ‘meet and greet’ session with Miss Goswell before the end of term from 220-250pm on Wednesday 5th December 2018. I would be grateful if you could email smitchinson@thegatwickschool.org.uk if you would like to attend this session as we will be providing some light refreshments.

Please do not hesitate to contact Miss Nagji or I if you would like to discuss further

Yours sincerely,

Mark Roessler                                         Nirali Nagji

Head of School                                       Deputy Headteacher

Spanish Residential Trip for Years 7 to 10

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We are very excited to announce that we are organising a four night, five day residential trip to Seville, Spain, in July 2019.

During our stay in Seville, the students will get the chance to experience Spanish language and culture, away from beach resorts. Students will go on a day trip to Cordoba, visit the city, the local cathedral and its world-famous Mesquita, which houses artefacts and relics. The trip is a Spanish immersion experience, where students will be encouraged to speak in Spanish only, to the best of their abilities.  By combining many National Curriculum-linked modules of GCSE Spanish with thrilling outdoor and indoor activities, this trip is sure to provide your child with a wealth of new language and cultural experiences outside of the classroom, while at the same time providing at least an hour a day of organised Spanish lessons at 3 different levels of proficiency.

Residential courses organised by the school are, of course, an optional but rewarding part of the National Curriculum.  Pupils benefit hugely from the experience, both educationally and socially and we feel certain that this Rayburn Tours trip, which we have chosen this year, will prove to be both enjoyable and very worthwhile.

We would like to offer this opportunity to children from the secondary phase. Year 7-10 are invited to go, but there are only 40 places available, to be confirmed upon receipt of the deposits. The trip will take place from 30th June to 4th July 2019. We have worked hard to ensure the best deal possible.  The cost of the trip will be approximately £480 and includes return plane tickets from Gatwick Airport, half-board accommodation and a full programme of activities. To confirm our booking, an initial non-refundable deposit of £160 will be required by Monday 3rd December 2018. Please complete the attached form and return it to the School as soon as possible, confirming that your deposit has been paid via Parentpay. Please note that poor conduct in school leading up to the trip may result in your child’s place being withdrawn and your deposit being lost.

Payment Plan

  • Deposit - £160 – by Mon 3rd December 2018

  • Payment 1 – £107-  Thu  3rd January 2019

  • Payment 2 - £107 – Mon 4rd February 2019

  • Payment 3 - £106 – Mon 4rd March 2019

There is always the option of paying the total as a lump sum.

We have detailed the trip information below and we will hold an information evening to give you more details closer to the trip and advise on spending/lunch money. In the meantime, if you wish to find out more about the ethos of Rayburn Tours, their programmes and safety information, please visit https://www.rayburntours.com/

Yours Sincerely,

Mr B Pickett

(Head of MFL)

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Instrumental Tuition

Dear Parent/Carer

 At The Gatwick School, all students in Years Reception to Year 8 receive weekly classroom music lessons, and for those looking to extend their academic and practical music skills, it can be taken as an optional subject in Years 9, 10 and 11.  Alongside our music curriculum lessons, we also offer students the opportunity to develop instrumental/ vocal skills in one-to-one or paired lessons. These lessons are taught by highly skilled instrumental specialists from the Sussex Music School. The instruments available to learn are:

Piano/Keys, Singing, Guitar, and Drums (Drums for Year 4 upwards)

Instrumental lessons take place during the teaching day, although the lesson times are rotated on a weekly basis so that students do not miss the same curriculum subject every week. Students can take lessons individually (£64/ month) or in pairs (£32/ month). If your child receives free school meals the school will fund these lessons. 

If you would like your child to have access to these classes, please log into the Sussex Music School Website and register with them directly,  http://www.sussexmusicschool.com/music-tuition-at-the-gatwick-school/. The deadline for registration is 1st December and places will be issued on a first-come-first-served basis. Lessons will begin in January.

Feel free to email me on kwood@thegatwickschool.org.uk should you have any further questions about the instrumental tuition programme.

Yours Sincerely

Ms Katie Wood

Music Teacher

Christmas Trees 2018

Dear Parents,

This term we have a beautiful 5ft Nordmann Fir Christmas Tree in the front of B Block reception area. This has been supplied by Sussex Garden Craft who are selling Christmas Trees which can be delivered to you at school in December. Sussex Garden Craft will donate a portion of their profit from selling Christmas Trees back to the Friends of Gatwick School which will benefit the children’s school life.

To order your Christmas Tree please use the form attached and return it to school with the money in a named envelope by Friday 23rd November 2018.

All trees will be delivered to the school netted so that they will fit in the car. They will be available for you to pick up from school, from Tuesday 4th December.

Yours Sincerely,

Nirali Nagji, Deputy Head

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The Gatwick School Primary Phase Open Day - Thursday 15th November 2018

Dear Parents/Carers,

On Thursday 15th November we will be holding our annual Primary Phase Open Evening for prospective Reception students and for any other children applying for a place at The Gatwick School.

The evening will run from 5.00pm to 7.00pm. This is an important event for us and we have taken the decision that our Primary Phase students (Reception, Year 1, 2, 3 + 4) will depart from school earlier, 2.10pm for Reception, 2.20pm for Year 1 and 2 and 2.30pm for Year 3 and 4. There will be no ‘Wrap Around’ for Primary Phase children on Thursday 15th November. Secondary Phase students (Year 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) will depart from school earlier at 3.50pm.

The earlier departure of students will enable staff to prepare all classrooms and learning areas across the school, in order to showcase the excellent teaching and learning that takes place in our school.

On Friday 16th November, both Secondary and Primary Phase students will commence the day as normal.

I apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank you for in advance for your support.

Yours Sincerely,

Mark Roessler, Head of School

The Gatwick School Secondary Open Evening - Tuesday 2nd October 2018

On Tuesday the 2nd October we will be holding our annual Open Evening for prospective new Year 7 students and any other children applying for a place at The Gatwick School. The evening will run from 5.00pm to 8.00pm.

This is always an important annual event for us and as such we have taken the decision that Secondary Phase students (Year 7, 8, 9, 10, 11) will depart from school at 1.50pm immediately after lunch.  This will enable staff to prepare all the Secondary classrooms and learning areas in both Block A and Block B, in order to show case the excellent teaching and learning that takes place in our school.

Our Primary Phase students (Reception, Year 1, 2 + 3) will depart from school earlier, 2.10pm for Reception, 2.20pm for Year 1+2 and 2.30pm for Year 3+4. There will be no ‘Wrap Around’ for Primary Phase children on Tuesday.

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Year 11 Spanish

Dear Parent/Guardian,

We are writing in regards to your child’s upcoming GCSE/EBacc exams in Spanish.

The MFL department has created a range of extra opportunities for students to work on their language and exams skills.

These include:

  • Google classroom (with access to Power Point presentations, exercises, videos and homework)

  • Duolingo (interactive platform for speaking, writing, listening and reading practice) All students are expected to download it onto their devices and spend 5 minutes a day practicing their skills – all students should finish it by April.

  • Kerboodle – a platform with access to AQA GCSE course books and papers.

  • Lunchtime Homework/Revision Club Monday/Wednesday/Friday 1:30-1:50

  • Three dedicated after school clubs 4:30-5:30,

    • Tuesdays: BU9 Mr Pickett GCSE Writing/Speaking Spanish Revision club

    • Thursdays: BU12 Mr Rodriguez GCSE Reading/Listening Spanish Revision club

    • Fridays: BU8 Mr Alarcon GCSE Writing/Speaking GCSE Spanish Revision club

All students are encouraged to use these opportunities.

We also strongly suggest that the following publications are bought as a means of preparation/revision before each progress check:

  • GCSE AQA Spanish Complete Revision and Practice CGP ISBN 978-1-78294-548-2

  • GCSE AQA Spanish Higher Oxford University Press ISBN 978-0-19-836585-3

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Kind regards,

Mr B Pickett, Head of MFL

bpickett@thegatwickschool.org.uk

Crawley Careers Fair for Year 10 Pupils

CareerFairSep18.png

On Tuesday 25th September there will be a Crawley Careers Fair held at K2 Crawley Leisure Centre.

Year 10 students will be given permission to attend this event. An afternoon time slot has been booked for them between 1.45-3.45pm. We will therefore let them depart from school at 1.00pm on the day, in order to give them enough time to make their own way there.

Pupils can only attend with your permission, and on the understanding that they are attending the event. School staff will be at the event to monitor attendance. Our clear expectation is that any Year 10 pupils who do not want to attend, will remain in school and continue with the rest of the school day as normal.

There will be a large number of employers and further education providers in attendance at the event along with the National Careers Service and West Sussex Careers Advisors, there will also be several current Apprentices on hand to discuss their experiences. We feel this would be an excellent opportunity for our pupils to learn about the range of options open to them while continuing their journey to success. There is no charge for this event.

Year 10s have an arrival time slot of 1:45. If for any reason they cannot attend, absences will have to be communicated to the school as normal.

We look forward to sharing this exciting opportunity with your child.

Kind regards,

Sonya Hyde, Assistant Headteacher

Crawley Careers Fair for Year 9 Pupils

CareerFairSep18.png

On Tuesday 25th September the event mentioned here is taking place in Crawley at K2 Crawley Leisure Centre.

Year 9 students will be given permission to attend this event. An afternoon time slot has been booked for them between 12.45-2.45pm. We will therefore let them depart from school at 12.00pm on the day, in order to give them enough time to make their own way there. Pupils can only attend with your permission, and on the understanding that they are attending the event. School staff will be at the event to monitor attendance. Our clear expectation is that any Year 9 pupils who do not want to attend, will remain in school and continue with the rest of the school day as normal.

There will be a large number of employers and further education providers in attendance at the event along with the National Careers Service and West Sussex Careers Advisors, there will also be several current Apprentices on hand to discuss their experiences. We feel this would be an excellent opportunity for our pupils to learn about the range of options open to them while continuing their journey to success. There is no charge for this event. Year 9s have an arrival time slot of 12:45.

If for any reason they cannot attend, absences will have to be communicated to the school as normal. We look forward to sharing this exciting opportunity with your child.

Kind regards,

Sonya Hyde, Assistant Headteacher

Crawley Careers Fair for Year 8 Pupils

CareerFairSep18.png

On Tuesday 25th September the event mentioned here is taking place in Crawley at K2 Crawley Leisure Centre.

Students have been granted booked time slots to attend the event. We will therefore be collapsing the school day to ensure attendance at this unique and invaluable opportunity. Year 8 Students do not attend school.

School staff will be at the event to monitor the attendance.  Our expectation is that all students will attend. The fair has been agreed by local schools, businesses and colleges to provide the highest quality of careers provision for your child.

There will be a large number of employers and further education providers in attendance along with the National Careers Service and West Sussex Careers Advisors, there will also be several current Apprentices in attendance. 

We feel this would be an excellent window for our pupils to learn about the range of options open to them while continuing their journeys of success.

Year 8s have an arrival time slot of 11:00. If for any reason they cannot attend, absences will have to be communicated to the school as normal.

We look forward to sharing this exciting opportunity with your child.

 

Kind regards,

Sonya Hyde, Assistant Headteacher

Crawley Careers Fair for Year 7 Pupils

CareerFairSep18.png

On Tuesday 25th September the event mentioned here is taking place in Crawley at K2 Crawley Leisure Centre.

Students have been granted booked time slots to attend the event. We will therefore be collapsing the school day to ensure attendance at this unique and invaluable opportunity. Year 7 Students do not attend school.

School staff will be at the event to monitor the attendance.  Our expectation is that all students will attend. The fair has been agreed by local schools, businesses and colleges to provide the highest quality of careers provision for your child.

There will be a large number of employers and further education providers in attendance along with the National Careers Service and West Sussex Careers Advisors, there will also be several current Apprentices in attendance. 

We feel this would be an excellent window for our pupils to learn about the range of options open to them while continuing their journeys of success.

Year 7s have an arrival time slot of 10:00. If for any reason they cannot attend, absences will have to be communicated to the school as normal.

We look forward to sharing this exciting opportunity with your child.

 

Kind regards,

Sonya Hyde, Assistant Headteacher

Year 11 Drama

To all Year 11 Parents,

Today your child will be bringing home one of the two letters below. If you do not receive this letter or need further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on rtownsend@thegatwickschool.org.uk


Letter 1

Dear parent/carer,

Your child has successfully submitted their completed first draft coursework. I aim to mark the coursework with feedback the same day and give it back for editing the next day. The following dates are available for your student to ask questions and have me present for the editing process. It should not take long as there will only be a certain amount of adjustments that I can offer.

  • 10/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 11/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 14/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 17/09/18 – 16:30- 17:30

  • 18/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 21/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

All will be held in the A block computer area, just outside the drama studio.

Many thanks,

Rosie Townsend


Letter 2

Dear Parent/Carer,

I am writing to you in order to update you on Drama coursework.

So far I have not received your child’s completed coursework and they have not attended the after school catch up classes that I have offered them. We cannot dedicate any more school time to the completion of this coursework due to time restraints within the timetable this year and so coursework must be completed in these catch up sessions.

I will be offering the following sessions for coursework catch up which must be attended until coursework is completed:

  • 10/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 11/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 14/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 17/09/18 – 16:30- 17:30

  • 18/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

  • 21/09/18 – 16:30-17:30

All will be held in the A block computer area, just outside the drama studio.

Please let me know via email (address below) which session/s your child will be attending so I can plan for them in order to get the most out of the session.

rtownsend@thegatwickschool.org.uk

Many thanks,

Rosie Townsend