How are schools addressing pupil coronavirus concerns?
PUBLISHED: 17:37 02 March 2020 | UPDATED: 18:21 02 March 2020
From addressing the issue in special assemblies to appealing for gossip not to be posted on social media, schools have been trying to manage the impact of the news of coronavirus on their pupils.
Every parent knows to be careful what you say around children as they hear everything. Lately, much of what they are overhearing is about coronavirus.
And with some schools taking the precaution of sending home pupils who took part in half-term ski trips to affected areas in Italy, and other following Public Health England and increasing cleaning, the virus outbreak has been felt in Norfolk classrooms.
Justin Blocksidge, head of school at Beeston Primary, near Dereham, said: "We meet at school every day so issues like this we tend to address in assembly time. We spoke about coronavirus both in assembly and also in classes.
"Last week we did an assembly particularly about things like sneezing, using tissues, regular hand washing, so it is fairly high on the school agenda as you can well imagine.
"The other side of it is reassuring. Although it is an important issue that is big in the news, it is getting over to the children how relatively small it is."
MORE: Schools tell pupils to stay at home for two-week isolation amid coronavirus fears
All schools have been sent posters from Public Health England that explain the issue in simple terms and offer pupils advice.
It states: "If you become unwell at a place of education, tell a member of staff and let them know if you have travelled to any other countries in the last 14 days."
Julie Sandford, executive headteacher at the Colman Infant and Junior School Federation, said: "We continue to work with children to educate them about appropriate personal hygiene and the importance of hand washing"
MORE: Pupil told to self-isolate after falling ill following ski trip amid coronavirus fears
Ormiston Victory Academy in Costessey said its Italian trip had not been to any areas of concern and no children had shown any symptoms but in a letter to parents it said levels of cleaning had been increased.
It added: "Teachers are discussing the importance of washing their hands regularly using soap and water available in the school toilets with their classes."
As a precautionary measure, Thorpe St Andrew High School asked students and teachers that went on its Italy ski trip to self-isolate.
Acting principal Pete Lambert said: "It is important that everyone follows the guidance on general hygiene. We will continue to remind students of this."
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