COVID Guidance for Parents (as of 06.11.20)
In welcoming all children back this term, we are continuing to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls outlined below to reduce the risk of transmission.
In line with health and safety laws, we have continued to assess risks and keep in place proportionate control measures. Essential prevention measures include:
Minimising 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
Pupils, staff and other adults should not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 10 days, and anyone developing those symptoms during the school day will be sent home. If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow ‘guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection,’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.
If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated, depending on the age and needs of the child, with appropriate adult supervision if required. The room will be well ventilated.
PPE will be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs).
Engagement with the NHS Test and Trace process
Staff and parents/carers should understand that they will need to be ready and willing to:
- book a test if they or their child are displaying symptoms. The main symptoms are a high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change to the sense of smell or taste. Staff and pupils must not come into the school if they have symptoms and must be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in school. All children can be tested if they have symptoms, including children under 5, but children aged 11 and under will need to be helped by their parents or carers if using a home testing kit
- provide details of anyone they or their child have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
- self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or if anyone in their household develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS testing and tracing for coronavirus website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet. Parents and staff must inform us immediately of the results of a test:
- If someone with symptoms tests negative for coronavirus (COVID-19), then they should stay at home until they are recovered as usual from their illness but can safely return thereafter. The only exception to return following a negative test result is where an individual is separately identified as a close contact of a confirmed case, when they will need to self-isolate for 14 days from the date of that contact.
- If someone with symptoms tests positive, they should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should continue to self-isolate until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should all self-isolate for the full 14 days.
- If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 amongst the school community, the school will work with the local health protection team and carry out a rapid risk assessment and decide on the actions to be taken.
- If there are two or more confirmed cases within 14 days in school or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected, we may have an outbreak, and so would work with their local health protection team who would advise if additional action is required. In some cases, health protection teams may recommend that a larger number of children and staff self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole site or year group.
Household members of those contacts who are sent home do not need to self-isolate themselves unless the child, young person or staff member who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms. If someone in a class or group that has been asked to self-isolate develops symptoms themselves within their 14-day isolation period they should follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. They should get a test, and:
- if someone who is self-isolating because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) starts to feel unwell and gets a test for coronavirus themselves, and the test delivers a negative result, they must remain in isolation for the remainder of the 14-day isolation period. This is because they could still develop coronavirus (COVID-19) within the remaining days.
- if the test result is positive, they should inform their setting immediately, and should isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms (which could mean the self-isolation ends before or after the original 14-day isolation period). Their household should self-isolate for at least 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms, following guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection
Washing hands thoroughly & more often than usual
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is an easy virus to kill when it is on the skin. This can be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser. Pupils will continue to clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks and before and after eating. Regular and thorough hand cleaning is going to be needed for the foreseeable future.
‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ approach
The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach continues to be very important, so we will ensure that there are enough tissues and bins available in each class for children and staff to follow this routine.
Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools. This evidence will be kept under review. They are not required in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education.
Enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces
We continue to use the same cleaning schedule which was put in place to ensure cleaning is enhanced and includes:
- more frequent cleaning of rooms / shared areas that are used by different groups
- frequently touched surfaces being cleaned more often than normal
Minimising contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible
Minimising contacts and mixing between people reduces transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Contacts continue to be reduced by:
- grouping children together in bubbles the size of a full class, year group or phase
- avoiding contact between groups
- arranging classrooms with forward facing desks where possible
- staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible
- avoiding large gatherings e.g. assemblies
- staggered start and finish times
- staggered break times and lunchtimes
- All parents or adults collecting or bringing children into school must observe the 1-2 metre distancing rule and must wear a mask whilst on school premises. Any children that have that have to be brought onto the premises at these times must stay with their parent at all times (anyone over the age of 11 must wear a mask whilst on school premises). Anyone refusing to follow either of these requests will be asked to leave and may be refused entry to the premises in the future.
What children can bring to school
Equipment and resources – staff and children will have their own items that will not shared e.g. pens, rulers, etc. Classroom based resources, such as books and games can be used and shared within the bubble; these will be cleaned regularly.
It is recommended that pupils limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day to essential items.
Pupils may only bring:
- A book bag
- Water bottle (this must be taken home every night to be cleaned, sanitised and filled with water)
- Fruit snack only for breaktime
- Key Stage Two only – packed lunch in disposable wrappings/containers which can be thrown away once the children have eaten the food (Lunchboxes are not allowed)
Pupils can take books and other shared resources home, although unnecessary sharing will be avoided.
School day including drop off and pick up
|Drop Off||Pick Up|
|Years 5&6||8.30 am||3.15 pm|
|Years 3&4||8.35 am||3.10 pm|
|Years 1&2||8.40 am||3.00 pm|
|Reception||8.45 am||2.50 pm|
You may drop off all your children at the same time, but it must be the EARLIEST time (e.g. if you have a child in Year 5 and Year 2, you must drop off both children at 8.30am).
This does NOT apply to families with children in Reception. They must be dropped off at Sandcastles Class at 9.00am.
Pick up times for families with more than one child; these will remain unchanged.
Please note; if you have more than one child to collect, you will need to leave the playground once you have collected a child; follow the one way system out of the playground and return to the pedestrian gate for the next pick time. Thank you.
- We will continue to use the one way system for drop off and pick up times – all routes will be clearly marked with signs to show where you need to go
- Entrance- gate onto the playground
- Exit- double gate from playground into the car park (a pedestrian area will be cordoned off for your safety)
- Parents MUST adhere to these times to ensure we can follow social distancing guidelines. Parents and their children must follow safe social distancing whilst waiting and wear their face masks.
- If a child is distressed at these times, we will not be able to offer any increased support
- At drop off times, children will come straight into school and wash their hands on arrival at the classroom.
- At collection times children will be brought onto the playground adhering to social distancing. Parents will wait in marked areas and their child will come to them; then exit though the double gates from the playground into the car park. If you have to bring other children at drop off and pick up times they must stay with you at all times (children over 11 must wear a face mask).
In line with government guidance, temperature checks do not need to be done. We ask that parents are vigilant and check their child’s temperature before they leave for school.
Home to School transport
The buses will be running as usual and will continue to use the same precautions:
Children will be directed to seats according to their bubbles and the children will need to hand sanitise when getting on the coach.
We have been advised by KCC that all children must wear their seat belts even if a parent has to do this for them. If a parent has to get on our coach to do up the seat belt they must use the hand sanitiser and wear a face covering.
Face coverings are not required for primary age children.
Wearing of personal protective equipment (PPE)
PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases, including:
- where an individual child or young person becomes ill with coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms while at school, and only then if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained
- where a child or young person already has routine intimate care needs that involves the use of PPE.
We have updated our risk assessments (building on the learning to date and the practices we have already developed), and considered any additional risks and control measures.
School attendance will continue to be mandatory. This means the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
- parents’ duty to ensure that their child attends regularly at school
- schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
- the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
As we have done throughout this time we will follow the guidelines in our safeguarding policy.
Designated Safeguarding Leads will be alert to new safeguarding and welfare concerns.
Our kitchens continue to be fully open and normal legal requirements apply about provision of food to all pupils who want it. All Reception and Key Stage One will have a free school lunch. For Key Stage Two pupils wishing to have lunch the price is £2.30 unless they are entitled to benefits-related free school meals. There will be a two week menu.
Just a reminder; these should be brought in disposable wrappings (e.g. paper sandwich bags) and carried in children’s book bags (i.e. they should NOT bring in packed lunch boxes). The wrappings will be thrown away at the end of lunch.
We continue our usual uniform policy. If you wish to purchase any new uniform, this can be ordered via Schoolmoney and it will be available for collection from the academy office.
For the time being the children will not change for PE so PE kits should not be brought in. The children will be allowed to wear trainers to school until further notice to enable them to be comfortable when doing physical activity.
As we mentioned in September, we have had to make some modifications to the curriculum at the start of the year to create time to cover the most important missed content. In Term 1 we reviewed the learning objectives from the previous year and will be moving on to the new year objectives from November. The aim is to return to our normal curriculum by summer term 2021. We will continue to do as much outdoor learning as possible and outdoor PE will be prioritised too.
We will continue to follow our school’s behaviour policy and are still following additional rules which reflect the strict measures taken to adhere to the restricted movement within school, the hygiene rules and social distancing; this is to ensure the safety and well-being of all. Any pupil that breaks these rules deliberately will be deemed a ‘risk to themselves and others’ and may be excluded; in this case we will ask parents to collect their child immediately.
If parents wish to communicate with the school this needs to be via telephone or email. Please do not visit the school office.
Wrap Around Care
- Breakfast and Afterschool Club will continue to run as normal.
- There will be no after school activity clubs or outside agency clubs until further notice.
We will continue to follow Government guidance, and update and amend this plan on receipt of ongoing advice from central Government.