- Parents - useful information
- Coronavirus Updates
- X (ARCHIVED): June 1st 2020 Onwards - Information for Parents/Carers & Children
X (ARCHIVED): June 1st 2020 Onwards - Information for Parents/Carers & Children
NB: Your child is only able to attend one of the specific groups possible in school if you have been contacted by school to say this is the case. This information is for those parents and will be updated as further children are able to attend.
For those returning from June 1st onwards, we have provided three publications for parents and children, available at the bottom of this page. There are also FAQs below. Should any errors or inconsistencies be found, please contact the school and we will rectify these. (As guidance is being released all the time, it is possible that this may happen).
Please read this information carefully before contacting school to ask questions as most things will be covered in the FAQs or the documents.
* School is CLOSED on Wednesday Afternoon to ALL CHILDREN (for thorough cleaning and statutory preparation time for teachers)
1 Which year groups are returning to this school from June 1st?
In our school, following a thorough risk assessment:
= June 1st: Increased from 1 group of critical worker/vulnerable children to three
= June 8th: As above, plus Nursery AM
= June 15th: As above, plus Reception
= June 22nd onwards: As above, plus Years 1 and 6
2 Why aren't all the children coming back?
The DfE have based this on the need to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus. So have taken account of the need to reduce numbers returning as a gradual process and smaller groupings in classes can be maintained.
3 If one of my children is eligible to return can’t their sibling come back too?
Sadly, the answer to this is ‘no’. Siblings cannot attend unless they are in another of the selected year groups.
4 Does my child have to attend?
No. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels.
No one with symptoms should attend for any reason.
5 I am worried that my child is vulnerable or that a family member is, should I send them back to school?
Children and young people who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should continue to shield and should not be expected to attend.
Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. A minority of children will fall into this category, and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.
Children and young people who live in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and the child or young person is able to understand and follow those instructions.
Children and young people who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) as defined in the social distancing guidance and including those who are pregnant, can attend. DFE May 2020
6. How big will the classes be?
The DfE is recommending class group size should not exceed 15 pupils per small group and one teacher plus a TA where required. Where there are not enough teachers, Teaching Assistants will lead a group. Desks should be as far apart as the room allows.
Having completed audits and risk assessments, our classes can accommodate on average, 8 to 10 children safely in each room
7. Will you guarantee that social distancing takes place e.g. keeping children 2m apart?
We will of course do our best to support distancing, but parents must understand that in returning to school there is a very real likelihood that children will come into close contact. The nature of the school site and the age of our children is such that this is unavoidable and we cannot be expected to respond to complaints around this when it inevitably happens. We cannot alleviate every risk and parents must understand what we are able to do and use this to inform their decision making.
8. How can I prepare/explain social distancing to my child?
Be open and honest, using language they will understand. Explain that they are helping others by their actions. Use drawings if needed and use a positive tone. Try to make the children feel safe.
Please can you:
1. Share these changes with your child so that they are not expecting to come into the same classroom with the same teacher/staff..
2. Explain to your child that they may need to wave to their friends rather than cuddle them and that they must not be within touching distance of anyone else.
For younger children, there is an excellent resource, if you Google "social distancing and the Gruffalo".
There are some great stories and simple explanations to help:
Time to Come In, Bear: A Children's Story About Social Distancing
Written by Kim St. Lawrence Read by Ryan St. Lawrence Note from the author: No children's story should be written in a weekend, but I wanted to get this out ...
How to Explain Social Distancing to Kids
Check out more at-home resources for kids (and their grownups): https://www.kiwico.com/kids-at-home
For very young children who may not understand the concept of viruses and germs, you can google a video from Sesame Street's Grover as a great way to show them the “good” and “bad” of being far away and too close up to someone.
9 What hygiene measures will be in place to keep my child safe?
- ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser in classrooms and other learning environments
- clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal
- ensure that all adults and children:
- frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
- clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing
- are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
- use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
- ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
- consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition
- ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day
- where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units
- prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation
10. Will children be confined to the same classroom environment most of the day?
Government advice on the Scientific evidence shows that the outdoor environment is much more manageable in terms of virus transmission. With the Summer weather coming we will be moving towards more of an outdoor learning approach, where possible. However outside of this we will keep children where possible within one set classroom for the day.
11 How will lunch time work to ensure children are safe?
Meals will be served and eaten in classes or outside if this can be achieved safely. Lunches will return as the government has requested “schools are expected to reopen their kitchens and ensure that meals are able to be prepared and served safely”. Free School Meal children will continue to receive vouchers if they are not attending school.
12 How will you make school safe for my child?
We will make the site as safe as we can, taking every precaution possible, but we cannot every say that the site and school are risk-free of course. In addition to social distancing and hygiene measures mentioned above, we will:
- Give children a designated class/group for lessons and play, to minimise the opportunity for mixing, and stick to this wherever possible
- regularly clean the setting and resources
- not allow children to bring in their own resources such as pencil cases.
- confine resources to rooms to minimise sharing and when sharing is essential, clean resources before transference
- organise lunchtimes and playtimes differently
- carry out a corridor protocol- one-way system (where possible), and keep clear corridor spaces as far as is practical - to allow maximum width space for walking
- be vigilant in identifying children with symptoms, isolate them and ask parents to collect them
- employ a set of agreed non-negotiables on safety in school, as part of an addendum to the behaviour policy (available on the website).
- removal of unnecessary items from classrooms, where possible
- removal/covering (plastic) of soft furnishing, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean, wherever possible
13 Will my child be expected to share resources, such as pens and pencils?
Where possible, children will be given their own equipment, which they must not share with anyone else. This will be kept in a plastic “cup”, which only this child will use (these will be labelled). They must not bring any equipment in from home. Any resources that end up being shared will be thoroughly disinfected after use.
14. Will everyone arrive at school at the same time causing an increase in risk?
The school will organise a staggered drop off and collection time for pupils, which will be communicated to parents. The approach to the two school entry points we will use will have notices and will be marked out with a 2m queue and drop off zone from where the teacher will invite pupils in. You will be familiar with the queueing systems from visits to the supermarket.
Only one parent or carer should accompany the child to school to minimise risk. Parents will not be invited to enter classrooms but will drop off as described above, on the playground. Schools have no power under the law to enforce social distancing with parents other than to make that request. However, the school site is private property and so we would have to contact the police if particular issues arose. If you have siblings not attending school, please leave them with a trusted adult at home rather than bringing them on school site. If you have no alternative than to bring them then please not that all children must be by their parent’s/carer’s side and comply with 2 metre distancing before and after school. At all times, before and after school, please ensure that you and your child remain at least two metres away from others - even those in their new school groups -during out of school hours. Please ensure you are prompt and once your child has been handed over, that you leave school premises, continuing to socially distance. With a staggered system of entry and exits, we will have the next set of children/parents arriving soon after and we ask respectfully that you are off site before they arrive. All parents/carers will be given instructions as to where to take their child for drop off and pick up ahead of time.
15. Will the school have assembly/acts of worship?
Small groups will have an opportunity for reflection, but there will be no mass gatherings or daily acts of worship as a school.
16. My child is feeling anxious about coming back to school, how can I prepare him/her?
You will need to prepare your child by talking about what school was like and what it will be like now. It will be different.
Sharing social stories can be really helpful for young children and help to express the situation in a clear factual way, reducing emotional responses. There are some excellent resources on the left hand side at the top of this page under the "Resources to support anxiety..." tab.
17. Will children go straight back into normal lessons following the national curriculum?
The initial focus, for as long as we feel necessary, will be on supporting personal, social, health and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s wellbeing. They have all gone through an incredible period of change and experienced loss on a number of different levels. All have had changes in routine, loss of communication etc and some may have sadly even experienced the loss of a family member. This shouldn’t be ignored.
We will of course ensure that basic skills in English and Maths continue to be developed where possible
18. How will you support my child’s emotional wellbeing?
In addition to that mentioned above, staff will be available to provide or source support. Our SENCO will all work to ensure that children’s needs are met.
There will be plenty of opportunities for children to discuss their feelings, play, rebuild friendships and have controlled/organised ‘break out’ or ‘chill out’ for times when they may feel overwhelmed.
19. Will staff wear masks or PPE?
Government guidelines state, ‘The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including:
- children, young people and students whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way
- if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.’
However, some staff may well wear some form of fresh and clean PPE, and this has been provided for staff.
20. Will my child need to wear a school uniform?
No, we would ask you NOT to send your child back in uniform as we do not think it is necessary for children to return to school wearing school uniforms. Please send your child into school in comfortable sportswear: joggers, t-shirt and trainers. This means that they will not need to bring in a PE kit and can carry out all activities without having to change.
21. Will the breakfast club and after school club be open?
There are no plans for this at this stage
22. Will we allow visitors and volunteers into school?
No. No-one, other than agreed children, essential staff and agreed visitors (ie, maintenance) will be allowed on site without prior permission.
23. Will extra-curricular clubs run (football club, dance club etc)?
No. These bring too many children into contact and mix the school groupings.
24. Will the school office be open?
Yes, but sometimes there may be a reduced staff. This is a very busy time of year with new admissions and leavers, please bear with us in the office and try to be as organised as possible. We will not be accepting late arrivals to school via the main front office and do not want parents to come into the school reception unless this has previously been agreed. Parents must ring/email the school as opposed to presenting in person, unless in an emergency.
25. Will you continue to provide online home learning activities for children who do not return to school?
We will continue to set home learning activities, during term-time, so that all children have access to provision to support their learning. These will be what the children in school are working on anyway. With school reopening to a greater number parents will need to be mindful that teaching staff will not be as responsive to parent emails during the time children are within school and indeed will need to shut off out of hours.
We have established a small remote learning team to deal with queries and provide support to those that remain at home. When things settled down more, we can put other things in place.
26. Will children and young people be eligible for testing for the virus?
Government advice is:
When settings open to the wider cohort of children and young people, all those children and young people eligible to attend, and members of their households, will have access to testing if they display symptoms of coronavirus. This will enable them to get back into childcare or education, and their parents or carers to get back to work, if the test proves to be negative. To access testing parents will be able to use the 111 online coronavirus service.
27. Will staff be able to get tested if they have symptoms?
Access to testing is already available to all essential workers. This includes anyone involved in education, childcare or social work – including both public and voluntary sector workers, as well as foster carers. See the full list of essential workers. Education settings as employers can book tests through an online digital portal. There is also an option for employees to book tests directly on the portal.
28.What will happen if a child in the class shows symptoms?
We will follow the Government guidelines set out below.
If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in an education or childcare setting, they must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance.
If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, depending on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people.
If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else. PPE should 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). In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.
If a member of staff has helped someone who was unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves (and in which case, a test is available) or the child subsequently tests positive (see ‘What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting?’ below). They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell. Cleaning the affected area with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. See the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.
29. What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in school?
We will follow the Government guidance set out below.
When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.
30. Will the school take my child’s temperature every day?
31. What if another child ‘coughs or spits’ deliberately in someone else’s face?
School will take this very seriously and it will be classed as an assault. We will explain to the child the dangers and consequences of these actions. Parents will be telephoned and may have to come and collect their child (fixed term exclusion).
32. How can I speak to the class teacher if we are socially distancing?
You can contact your child’s class teacher on Dojo/Tapestry/SeeSaw as before. If you are unable to do this, you can email the office who will then pass the message on.
33. What should my child bring to school each day?
We do not want your child to bring anything into school with them other than a labelled lunch box and water bottle if they are having packed lunches. Please do not bring PE kit, rucksacks, book bags or pencil cases.
Please note that drinking fountains will not be In use and have been taped off.
34. Where can I find more information about returning to school?
Government information is provided here https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june