08 Mar ESSEX HEADTEACHERS BACKS ZERO DAYS PROGRAMME TO HELP CHILDREN GET BACK TO SCHOOL SAFELY
Local secondary schools in Essex, including St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School, are backing a unique educational programme called ZERO Days: Back to School.
ZERO Days: Back to School was launched last September by education charity the 1851 Trust as pupils returned to school for the first time in six months. The programme was developed by hygiene, education and behavioural change experts, utilising the expertise of Sir Dave Brailsford and the wider INEOS sporting family with ten years of health and hygiene experience within elite sport.
The programme features a range of free resources for schools that aim to help reduce the transmission of viruses and bacteria, by adopting three key behaviours: prepare, protect and control. The curriculum-based resources for secondary schools include assemblies, videos, and posters for all areas of schools, to help reduce the spread of viruses and bacteria and prevent school closures by creating a positive behaviour change in schools.
With vaccinations now being rolled out across the country, the 1851 Trust has also created a new biology module focused on vaccines to help educate students on how vaccines and immunology works.
Since being established the programme has reached over 1 million children across 600 schools and has been a crucial part of schools plans in re-opening.
St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School is based in Harlow, one of the top 3 most deprived areas of Essex, with unemployment levels at 8.8% – over 2% higher than the national average. As well as free curriculum-based resources INEOS Hygienics donated hand sanitiser to keep students and staff safe at school, Chair of the Education Select Committee and local MP Robert Halfon joined headteacher Elaine Heaphy and the 1851 Trust to discuss and address the challenges faced by the school and how ZERO Days supported them.
Elaine Heaphy, Headteacher at St Mark’s West Essex Catholic School says, “The ZERO Days programme has provided a fantastic launch point for our own safety processes, and has reduced anxiety amongst parents. They are confident that the school is taking the health and safety of their students very seriously.”
“We have used the excellent ZERO Days video in every assembly for all our pupils. The use of sporting heroes such as Lewis Hamilton, has really motivated students to take notice and pay attention to what they are being asked to do with new hygiene rules. Reassuring our students that school is safe.”
The ZERO Days: Back to School resources have been tried and tested on multiple focus groups. It is accessible through the 1851 Trust’s STEM Crew platform http://www.stemcrew.org/zerodays, which is already used to teach STEM subjects by over 4,000 teachers at 35% of UK Secondary Schools.
The programme has already been used by schools and teachers across the UK, with many citing the success that platform has had in making their schools Covid safe.