In order to ensure the safety of our school and local community during the COVID-19 pandemic we have implemented many changes to the school. This page provides you with some information to help you to understand the systems and processes in place and how you can support us to keep everyone safe.
The Government has identified a system of controls for schools to follow as follows:
1) minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school
2) clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
3) ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
4) introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach
5) minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible
6) where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
Numbers 1 to 4 must be in place in all schools, all the time.
Number 5 must be properly considered and schools must put in place measures that suit their particular circumstances.
Number 6 applies in specific circumstances.
Response to any infection
7) engage with the NHS Test and Trace process
8) manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
9) contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice
These steps (7-9) will be followed in every case where they are relevant.
The following details the schools’ response to the government’s systems of control. These specifics of the details below are likely to adapt as guidance continues to change and be provided.
A one-way system is in place around the site, see diagram for more details. It is important that all parents and carers support the school with this system. It would also be appreciated if only one adult can drop off in order to reduce the number of individuals on site.
Entry to the classroom
Children will enter school via their classroom door - see attached site plan. There will be an ‘open door’ approach during drop off meaning that the children should walk directly into their classroom when they arrive (i.e. they do not wait on the playground and do not line up).
The School Day
In order to ensure that the numbers of indiviuals on the school site are kept minimal so that social distancing can be adhered to, we have altered the way the school day runs.
School gates open at 08:45 and will remain open until 09:05.
Parents are requested to arrive within this twenty-minute period.
The classroom doors are open from 08:45 allowing children to enter the school as soon as they arrive. The parent / carer dropping off should then leave the site immediately following the one-way system.
To ensure that the number of individuals on site remains manageable at the end of the day we have staggered collection times.
If your child is in the reception class, year one or year two then they should be collected between 15:00 and 15:10.
If your child is in years three, four, five or six they should be collected between 15:10 and 15:20.
Due to the school site organisation the above means that at any one time there should only be a maximum of two classes exiting the building as classrooms have doors exiting on to either the ks1 or ks2 playgrounds.
Importance of punctuality
Punctuality will be hugely important to ensure that the staggered start and end to the day works effectively. Parental support is very much requested here.
Travelling to and from school
To avoid congestions around the school building we have staggered the start and end of the day. We request, whenever possible that parents walk their children into school.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to store bikes, scooters, skateboards etc. on site during the day so kindly request that these are taken off site by the accompanying adult if used.
With the systems in place, we aim to have a smooth, fluid and efficient drop off and collection to minimise congestion and any risk of transmission.
Parents on site
Parents will be allowed onto the school grounds, but we rely on parents to social distance. Please keep any siblings with you and prevent them from running around and/or using the school’s play equipment at the end of the day. It would be appreciated if only one parent attends at drop off and pick up to keep numbers down.
Attendance is mandatory. For parents and carers of children of compulsory school age, this means that the legal duty on parents to send children to school regularly will apply.
All staff will return to school and the school will make use of some peripatetic and supply teachers who work between schools, providing they adhere to our social distancing and hygiene procedures. This means that our external providers, sports and forest school will be able to recommence their teaching.
Staggered break times will be used to reduce the number of children using the playgrounds at any one time. The playground will be divided up with each bubble having a clearly defined area they can use.
It is planned that the afternoon break will be the daily mile. This will provide a focussed time to enhance health and well-being and also enable the school to stagger this period of the day.
Use of equipment during break times
Break time equipment has been organised so that each bubble has its own set of balls, bats, hoops etc. This will reduce the risk of any transmission taking place via equipment shared between children.
The playgrounds will be divided up to ensure that children from different bubbles are not able to mix.
After a phased return of school lunches, the school is now in a position to offer a full cooked menu. All classes except for year five and six have their lunch in the school hall. The lunchtimes are staggered so that only two year groups are in the hall at the same time allowing social distancing. In-between year groups the tables and chairs are disinfected.
No-one with symptoms of COVID-19 should attend school for any reason.
A designated room has been set up as an isolation room where any child with COVID-19 symptoms will be isolated until they are collected.
It remains the responsibility of parents to ensure that their child is well enough to attend each day. Guidance will be followed if COVID-19 symptoms are suspected, this may include temperature checks. Parents will be asked to come to school if there are any concerns over a child’s health.
Where symptoms of COVID-19 are suspected, parents should arrange for a test for their child as soon as possible. No member of the school community should return to school until the period of self-isolation has been completed, symptoms have disappeared and medical advice sought. Where someone who has attended school has tested positive, the guidance states:
"Schools must take swift action when they become aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Schools should contact the local health protection team. This team will also contact schools directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) attended the school - as identified by NHS Test and Trace. The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate."
The school policy for all other illnesses and conditions will continue to apply, including the 48-hour rule for sickness/diarrhoea. If anyone develops any illnesses whilst at school, parents will be contacted and school will expect children to be collected and taken from the premises with the minimum delay.
Bubble (class) self-isolation, partial school closure or full school closure
As a school we will continue to follow government advice at a national and local level. While we anticipate that schools are unlikely to close again as they did in the last academic year there is the possibility of local closures or classes requiring to self-isolate if there are cases or the infection rate spikes sufficiently.
Locally we will be governed by the advice provided by the government. In the event of a spike in infection rates resulting in localised community spread, the government will decide the necessary actions.
In the event of the school having confirmed COVID-19 cases among pupils or staff, or observing an increased in the number of children or staff absent due to suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus, the school will work with the local health protection team to identify the best course of action. This will likely be the ‘bubble’ self-isolating.
If an outbreak in a school or college is confirmed there is the possibility of a mobile testing unit being dispatched to the school. This unit would test everyone who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school or college, if necessary. For all of the above scenarios it is vital that parents support the action the school takes.
Provision of education in event of a full or part closure
The school has planned for several eventualities to ensure it can still provide an education in the event of a lock down or partial closure. This provision will make use of weekly learning grids, the online platform Seesaw and may include live sessions led by the teacher (assuming the teacher is well).
We do fully appreciate the challenge of home learning, especially if this is initiated at short notice, but we would appreciate parental assistance in ensuring that children can access these learning activities and resources should some form of lockdown / closure occur.
Living with a shielded, clinically vulnerable person or extremely clinically vulnerable person
Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on the first of August. This means that shielding pupils can return to school with their peers in September.
A child, young person or a member of staff living with someone who is clinically vulnerable or who is extremely clinically vulnerable can also return to school.
Children will need to bring their own water bottle into school. This will need to be named and filled prior to their arrival.
Children can bring a healthy snack into school should they wish.
Children in Year 4, 5 and 6 are able to purchase items from the school kitchen. From September these items will need to be paid for via the ParentPay system.
Children will be expected to wear their school uniform when they return to school. Uniforms should be washed frequently during the week.
On the days that children are to participate in physical education children are to wear their PE kits.
When they have forest school a school top should be worn with an appropriate coat, trousers and footwear.
Stationary and equipment
Equipment can be shared within bubbles but will not be passed between bubbles. Children will be provided with their own equipment. This equipment will be kept in named pencil cases provided by school. Staff will use their own computer/device and stationery. Where any school laptops/iPads are shared, these will be cleaned before use and after use.
In classrooms, such as Reception, where school equipment forms a large part of the learning experiences, the teachers have made some reductions to what is available to use as a measure to control the spread of any virus and to facilitate cleaning. Frequently used equipment and resources will be washed.
Reading books that go home and come back will be left for a period of 24 hours before they are allocated to other pupils.
Bringing Items into School
Only essential items should be brought into school. Children should not bring any unnecessary equipment or belongings in to school. This includes personal stationary, pencil cases, books, toys, unnecessary bags etc.
The school will teach the children in distinct groups ‘bubbles’ in order to support social distancing to minimise the spread of any infection and break transmission.
The children will not mix with other bubbles (year groups) and adults mixing with these bubbles will be kept to a minimum.
The home-school agreement has been amended to include COVID-19 specific elements. In order to ensure the safety of all pupils and staff, parents will be required to agree to this agreement and support its implementation. A copy of this agreement has been included for your information.
In order to keep all staff and children safe within the school behaviour expectations will be clearly explained to the children and consistently applied. Should a child continue to not adhere to request such as social distancing, hygiene etc. then the schools’ behaviour system will be applied.
Over the summer the staff have rearranged their teaching environments in response to the latest advice. This means that many of the teaching areas will be slightly different to what the children may have been used to in the past. We are sure that the children will adapt to these new environments quickly and it will soon become the norm.
In all teaching areas staff will promote good ventilation by keeping doors and windows open.
Throughout the school building internal doors will be kept open to reduce the number of contact points.
External doors will be closed when children and staff leave the room.
One of the best ways to reduce the spread of the disease is through good personal hygiene, notably hand washing. Due to the nature of the virus, a simple detergent (soap) and the action of washing hands is the best way to wash the virus off the skin and down the drain.
It is a requirement that all members of the school wash their hands in warm/soapy water for at least 20 seconds:
- Upon arrival at school
- After using the toilet
- Before/after break times and lunchtimes
- Before leaving school
As frequent hand washing can cause irritation to the skin, especially if you suffer from skin conditions, alcohol gel is also available in the school to be used between these hand washing times.
To increase washing capacity, the school has installed additional sink units within classrooms where no sink was present and also purchased hand sanitiser dispensers which have been distributed throughout the building.
Tissues are available in all classrooms in case of need. Coughing and sneezing should be done into the sleeve (into the ‘elbow pit’) or into a tissue. If a tissue is used, this should be disposed of immediately and hands should be washed - ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’. Lidded bins are available in all classrooms for the safe disposal of these tissues.
We will remind pupils to try and avoid touching their face if possible.
Teachers will plan to use the outdoor environment where it can enhance or benefit the learning taking place. It is recognised that being outside lessens the spread of the virus due to the amount of free-flowing air and greater distances possible. We request therefore that children have coats in school or sun cream applied / hats dependent on the weather forecast.
Children will have minimal movement around the school; when this is needed, it will be done in small groups/individually or whole class movement will be supervised by staff and use the outside routes whenever possible.
It is also noted that it is very difficult to ensure that all children social distance - as we have said previously, we believe that it is virtually impossible with young children.
Children will be encouraged as far as possible not to be close to others’ faces and to have good hygiene practice.
Use of Toilets
Toilets have been allocated to bubble groups thus restricting the number of children using any one toilet. Children are only to go into the toilets one at a time and are only able to use selected sink units. Everyone will be expected to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds after using the toilet.
If intimate care is needed - e.g. soiling, this will be done wearing PPE and following our usual intimate care policy.
Activities during the school day will be planned to minimise risk and therefore the need for first aid; however, accidents happen and staff have a duty of care for the children (as well as there being a duty of care for the staff by the school). Staff will use PPE to ensure that they are protected from harm, but all casualties will receive first aid as required. Where there is a minor injury, staff will work with children in a caring and supportive way, comforting and giving medical treatment whilst also protecting themselves. Where possible, the member of staff who is working within the bubble will be giving the first aid - first aid kits and PPE are available in all classrooms.
Our usual procedures will apply regarding when and how to contact parents in these circumstances.
While we greatly value the support that parent helpers give us in school, regrettably, we will not be allowing any additional adults into school in the immediate future.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
It is acknowledged that changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are the most effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Although DfE guidance states the use of PPE in schools is not necessary with social distancing and personal hygiene most important, we believe that for some instances, its availability and use provides increased reassurance.
- Suitable PPE (disposable gloves and facemasks) will be used when dealing with first aid
- PPE (disposable gloves, mask and disposable apron) will be used where any intimate care is required, for example: children soiling themselves and requiring support in being cleaned, where parents are not immediately available to support this
- PPE (disposable gloves, mask and disposable apron) will be used to clean any bodily fluids (urine, faeces, vomit, blood, etc.)
- PPE (disposable gloves, masks) will be worn in the event of having to isolate a child and they need direct personal care before they can return home
- Face coverings, whilst not recommended in primary schools, may be worn by staff and a small number of children, where their use has been medically advised. For children, this will mean school staff, health professionals and family writing an agreed temporary care plan
Before & After School Care
Hettys will be once again providing their before and after school provision. They will have their own procedures and systems in place that are aligned with the schools’ processes.
Contacting school / Office/admin enquiries
The office will be staffed at all times from September. Due to the small space in the front lobby and by the office, parents and visitors will only be allowed into school in exceptional circumstances. In these exceptional cases, we will operate a one-in-one-out system with only one parent/visitor on the premises at any time.
The general rule is that parents will not be able to enter the school building. Should a parent need to contact their teacher or the school then they should use the school phone number (on the header at the top of the page) or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Outside agencies (for example learning support, speech/language) and contractors
Where any outside agencies need to work with school staff or children, this will happen remotely where possible. If an outside agency needs to come into school, measures will be in place to protect the safety of the children and the building.
Peripatetic music and language teachers will return to school to support our broad and balanced curriculum offer.
Where possible external contractors will be encouraged to visit the school site before and after school hours or in the school holidays. All contractors will be inducted onto the site and be made fully aware of the measures that they must adhere to. It is recognised that contractors will need access to the site due to the maintenance of essential services (fire alarms, gas supply, heating systems, etc.), where these can’t be postponed to the school holidays, and also in emergency call out situations. Wherever possible, contractors will attend outside of regular school hours.
The latest guidance for schools can be found on the Gov.uk website. It can be accessed via the UK Government website
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