COVID Guidance for Parents (as of 08.03.21)
Following the Government announcement that all schools will reopen to all pupils on Monday 8th March we have set out the procedures that we will be following to keep children, staff and parents safe whilst on school premises. As you will see the measures are very similar to what was in place during the autumn terms but as some changes have been made, please read the guidance below.
In line with health and safety laws, we have assessed risks and put 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. They must self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). If the test is negative and the person no longer has symptoms they may return to school. If the test is positive other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 10 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 behind a closed door, depending on the age and needs of the child, with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window will be opened for ventilation.
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 are displaying symptoms. 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, including children under 5, but children aged 11 and under will need to be helped by their parents/carers if using a home testing kit.
- provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test & Trace.
- self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or someone who tests positive for 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 tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. If they still have symptoms they should continue to self-isolate.
- if someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’
- 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.
Rapid Testing for households and bubbles of school pupils and staff
Please find the latest government advice here:
Washing hands thoroughly & more often than usual
Pupils and staff will 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.
All adults and children over primary age must wear a face covering whilst on the school site. Staff are not required to wear a face mask when teaching in class as this will hinder effective communication.
Enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces
A cleaning schedule has been put in place that ensures 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 will be reduced by:
- grouping children together in bubbles
- 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 2 metre distancing rule. Any children that have that have to be brought onto the premises at these times must stay with their parent at all times. Anyone refusing to follow either of these requests this 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 be shared e.g. pens, rulers, etc. Classroom based resources, such as books and games can be used and shared within the bubble; these should 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)
School day timings including drop off and pick up times
|Drop Off||Pick Up|
- Only one adult should come on to the school premises to pick up children from each family. All adults entering the premises must wear a face covering unless they have proof of exemption.
- We will be using a 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 – please enter at allocated times for your child’s year group. Please then exit the playground via the one-way system and re-join the queue if you need to pick up children from other year groups.
- 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.
- Parents must not cross the tape on the playground.
- If a child is distressed at these times, we will not be able to offer any increased close contact 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.
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. There are some additional precautions that children and parents need to be aware of:
Children will be directed to colour coded 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.
School attendance will be mandatory again from March 8th. This means from that point, 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.
Where pupils are not able to attend school, as they are following clinical or public health advice related to coronavirus (COVID-19), the absence will not be penalised. Parents must provide the school with a copy of the shielding letter sent to clinically extremely vulnerable children, to confirm that they are advised not to attend school or other educational settings whilst shielding guidance is in place.
It is likely that some pupils, parents and households may be reluctant or anxious about attending school. This may include pupils who:
- have themselves been shielding previously but have been advised they no longer need to shield.
- live in a household where someone is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable (including young carers).
- are concerned about the possible increased risks from coronavirus (COVID- 19) such as those who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
If parents have such concerns, they should contact the school to discuss them and the school will provide reassurance on the measures in place to reduce any risks.
Parents are reminded that pupils of compulsory school age must be in school unless a statutory reason applies.
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 will be fully open from March 8th and normal legal requirements will 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.
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.
School uniform should be worn as normal.
Children should wear PE kit on the days that they have PE/sports instead of their uniform. Teachers will inform parents via email when their allocated PE days are.
We will continue to follow our school’s behaviour policy but have written additional rules which reflect the strict measures to be 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 or enter any of the school buildings.
Wrap Around Care
- Breakfast and Afterschool Club will resume from Monday 8th Please get in touch with the school office if you would like to apply for a place your child.
- There will be no other after school clubs or outside agency clubs until further notice.
Head of School
Hamstreet Primary Academy