RE: Changes to coronavirus (COVID-19) measures from September
We want to thank you for supporting the school’s fight against coronavirus last year and for working with us through what has been a challenging time for everyone. We are incredibly grateful for your participation and understanding.
In line with the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, many control measures ceased to be legal requirements on 19 July. However, this letter outlines our plans for your child’s return to school in September – by working together we can continue to keep everyone safe and reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Your safety is the main priority and we will closely monitor the circumstances and government recommendations regarding COVID. Below is an overview of some of the updates for you to be aware of.
We see the Autumn Term as a transition period and are mindful that certain measures, although not legally required, do support the safety of our families, children and staff.
A full Risk Assessment will be available to view on our School website. In addition, and to prepare for the event that cases rise in the local area, the school has created contingency plans to cover the possibility that it may become necessary to reintroduce certain key measures in school.
Start and End of the School Day
We will operate a ‘window’ of arrival and departure to ease volume on the playground. Staff will still operate the top and bottom of the ramp to assist with a one-way flow of ‘traffic’
School Gates into School will open just before 8.45am.
Pupils cannot access the school site before this time unless attending Wrap Around.
Entrance into the School building for pupils will remain at the 3 entry points from 8.45am - 8.55am.
Years 3-6: Key Stage 2 door
Years 1 & 2: Key Stage 1 door
Year R: Early Years door.
Children will need to be in school by 5 2 9. Register closes in class at 9am and School Gates will close at 9.00am. Any child arriving after 9am will need to report to the main office.
At the end of the School day the School Gates will open on to the top playground and waiting areas at 2.50pm.
KS2 (Years 3-6) children will be radioed to leave via the Key Stage 2 exit, when staff on duty see a waiting family member.
We would still urge parents that currently have their child walk off site for them to continue to do this. It will reduce the volume of people on site and our children have become very confident in doing this.
KS1 (Years 1 & 2) children will leave via their exit door at 3.00pm to their waiting parents.
We will get into a rhythm of coming on and off site again (which will not look too different to what it does now) but where possible reducing congestion on site and in the surrounding areas to the school is our aim.
Families & pupils taking it in turns to walk up or down the path into school has worked well. We have been able to monitor our children arriving and departing from school safely. We have also seen a reduced number of compliments this year from residents mainly due to our more staggered approach in and out of school.
Mixing and bubbles
Although there will be more flexibility in how we organise staff from September with ‘Bubbles’ not needed. We have always structured our playtimes, groupings, and school day to best support the needs of our children in school, so not a great deal will change with how we manage the flow of traffic around school.
We will continue to maintain our Key Stage groupings for lunch and playtimes. We will continue with having smaller numbers of pupils outside at one time and with movement around school each class will have allocated times for comfort breaks.
Pupils will be able to sit in class groups in the classroom and at lunchtime but the need to sit facing forwards is no longer needed. However, children will remain in the same groupings with seating plans maintained.
CO2 Monitors will also be placed in each classroom to ensure correct ventilation is in place.
Cleaning and sanitary procedures
We will put in place and maintain an appropriate cleaning schedule. This will include the regular cleaning, throughout the day, of areas and equipment, with a particular focus on frequently touched surfaces. Classroom resources, e.g. books and games will also be cleaned regularly.
Frequent and thorough hand washing will be encouraged. We will continue to ensure that your child cleans their hands regularly with soap and water and hand sanitiser will still be available. We will also continue to help those with complex needs to clean their hands properly.
Interactions with Staff and the use of Face Masks
We want everyone to feel safe and secure, so as a team we will continue to wear face masks, shields and/or maintain safe distance at the start and end of the school day. This is due to the volume of parents/families we come into contact with on a daily basis.
As with any ‘busier’ environments we respect that families may still want to wear face masks, which we completely support.
PE and Games
In Years 3-6 will ask that children come to school in their PE kits and not get changed in school. We have found this approach to be very successful over the past 18 months. Your child’s class teacher will confirm which day your child will need to come to school in their PE kit.
Testing and self-isolation
The school is no longer responsible for Test and Trace close contact tracing in the Autumn term. This will be taken over by the NHS Test and Trace service, who will inform your child if they have been in close contact with a positive case and advise them to take a confirmatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test. Your child will not need to self-isolate and can attend school as usual, unless the PCR test returns a positive result.
The school will continue to have a role in working with local health protection teams (HPTs) in the case of a local outbreak. If there is an outbreak in the school, the NHS will contact the school and a Director of Public Health could advise us to temporarily reintroduce control measures – we will inform you as soon as possible if this applies.
If your child receives a positive lateral flow device (LFD) test result, they should self-isolate in line with the stay-at-home guidance. They will also need to get a free PCR test to confirm if they have coronavirus; whilst awaiting the PCR result, the individual should continue to self-isolate. If the PCR test is taken within two days of the positive LFD test, and is negative, it overrides the LFD test result and your child can return to school, as long as they have not experienced coronavirus symptoms for 48 hours prior to their return.
You will be able to access wraparound provision for your child without any restrictions on the reasons for which they may attend. All our wraparound provisions will be risk assessed and follow the same procedures as regular lessons.
We will ensure remote education plans are in place in the event your child has to self-isolate. While attendance is mandatory, high-quality remote learning will be provided for pupils who are following clinical or government guidance to stay at home, e.g. where they are self-isolating. All pupils who are not physically unwell will be given access to remote education as soon as reasonably practicable via Google classroom.
If you have any questions regarding the information outlined in this letter, please contact the school via firstname.lastname@example.org