FAQs for September 2021 Opening
Information Regarding School Operation
Yes – attendance at school has been statutory again since 8th March 2021. Our Attendance Policy outlines the school’s expectations around attendance. All CEV children and young people should attend their education setting unless they are one of the very small number of children and young people under paediatric or other specialist care who have been advised by their GP or clinician not to attend.
What will the arrangements for the start and end of the day be?
The school will open/close at its usual start/end times as outlined on the school website. We encourage that only one adult accompanies their child to school in order to reduce unnecessary interaction in the school playground. Playgrounds will continue to have entry and exit points that are clearly marked but parents/carers can enter the school grounds. Letters will be sent out before September detailing more details about where to drop off and where to collect your child from – classes will be spaced out across our grounds. If you would like your Year 5 or Year 6 pupils to walk home alone, please provide the school with a letter granting this permission.
What can the children bring into school with them?
Whilst we will encourage pupils to only bring in what they need for their day of learning, children will now be permitted to bring their own belongings into school. Children should bring a PE kit for their PE lessons, a book bag and reading book and pens and pencils as appropriate. As always, our children will be provided with their school pen, pencil and ruler and these will be left at school. The school accepts no liability for any personal belongings that are lost, stolen or damaged.
How do I know the school is going to be clean?
We have increased our number of cleaners and they will continue to clean the school each morning and evening. At break and lunch time cleaners will now clean high-traffic areas such as toilets, handrails throughout the day. Each classroom will have additional cleaning materials such as wipes should the adult feel a mid-session clean is necessary. All staff have been trained on hygiene awareness. Should there be a confirmed case of Covid from a class, the class will have a full deep clean.
All windows and doors will be opened at 7am each day to ensure increased ventilation within the school environment. We will ensure that there is adequate ventilation whilst maintaining a comfortable temperature in the rooms.
How will you ensure increased safety?
Staff give regular reminders on when and how to wash hands. Staff currently supervise and insist on handwashing at key points of the day and this will continue. In every classroom there is a sink and soap dispensers throughout the school. If your child is sensitive to the soap, you may wish them to bring their own soap, moisturiser or hand sanitiser – please contact the school prior to September. Staff will remind children not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Children will be expected to wash/sanitise their hands on entry to the school and prior to leaving.
Children will be reminded to cover their mouth and nose with a bent elbow, or use a tissue, when coughing or sneezing. If children sneeze or cough, they must wash their hands and use wipes to clean any equipment before handling again. There are posters around the school to remind pupils of expectations also.
What arrangements will be in place if a child or adult is unwell/showing symptoms of fever/cough?
All staff are aware of Check and Trace and we urge all parents to also be aware of the NHS Test and Trace Service. The DfE have confirmed that schools will no longer be contacting and tracing close contacts of Covid-19 so it is even more important to ensure that parents are aware of the NHS Track and Trace system.
If a child is unwell or needs First Aid, the Medical Room is not in use for non-Covid related sickness to reduce transmission. Instead staff will call the School Office, or if outside, an adult will go to the School Office to alert a First Aider. First Aiders will have available full PPE for when they are administering first aid. If the child or adult has suspected symptoms of the virus they will be isolated in the Medical Room until they go home. The pupil/adult will need to have a PCR test and self-isolate. If the test is positive, Public Health England will be notified and the school will follow their guidance on next steps. Bubbles will not be sent home. The school will no longer be notifying those who have had close contact with the pupil/adult although will inform the families when a case of Covid has been declared – the school strongly advises all parents to remain vigilant for symptoms. A deep, thorough clean of the environments they have visited will be conducted.
What if my child is in a bubble and I would them to have a PCR test -if they are asymptomatic?
Book a home test via https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test, going through the various questions until you come to the question about why you are asking for a test. At this point you should select the options shown HERE.
Will whole classes have to self-isolate if a pupil or adult has a confirmed case of Covid?
No. Please see the section above.
What happens if there is an outbreak of Covid in the school (ie several cases)?
The school has an 'Outbreak Management Plan’ in order to manage the risk whilst ensuring the overall running of the school can continue. Please be assured that we will do all we can to keep the school open for as many pupils as we possibly can and that we will continue to follow DfE and Public Health Guidance. In the event of confirmed cases of Covid, bubbles may be temporarily re-established and increased restrictions be applied until the outbreak has abated. The school will communicate these changes to you clearly and regularly.
What happens if the class teacher is confirmed as having Covid-19?
As is always the case in any workplace including schools, there are occasions when staff have to be absent. When a member of staff is absent, we do not routinely inform you of the absence nor the reason and this will continue to be the case. Staffing contingency plans are in place should members of staff have to self-isolate. Should we have extraordinarily high levels of absence in the school, we will work as hard as we can to ensure that this does not impact on our ability to keep all classes open but, on occasions, please understand that the continuity of cover may be difficult. You will be kept informed of any amendments to the running of the day for your children although not always as to the reasons why as these are often confidential.
Can you refuse to admit my child to school if they have symptoms?
In most cases, parents and carers will agree that a pupil with symptoms should not attend our school, given the potential risk to others. If you insist that your child should attend, we can take the decision to refuse your child if, in our reasonable judgement, it is necessary to protect other pupils and staff from possible infection with COVID-19. Our decision would be carefully considered in light of all the circumstances and current public health advice.
If my child does have to self-isolate, will they be able to access their learning on line?
As soon as the school is made aware of a pupil having to self-isolate, the Blended Learning policy will be initiated and the class teacher will contact the pupil as soon as possible. The remote learning will start as soon as is practicably possible.
Can parents volunteer to support in class?
Yes – and we would love you to. Letters will come out in the new term describing how you can apply to do this. Please be aware, however, that restrictions on volunteers and visitors to the school will vary depending on levels of transmission in and around the school.
How will parents be able to ask staff questions?
Parents are encouraged to phone and email any important information to the class teacher/school rather than visit in order to keep human traffic in and around the school to a minimum. However, quick updates can be given to members of staff in the school playground. When visiting the School Office for an appointment, parents and visitors are to use the sanitiser when entering the building. Face to face meetings with staff can resume where necessary. Please be aware that some staff may prefer to wear a face mask and whilst this is not recommended by the DfE, it is a choice by staff.
How will children social distance?
This is no longer necessary although we will continue to encourage children to be aware of their own, and other’s, personal space.
Do adults coming on to the school grounds have to wear a face mask?
No – this is not expected from September. However, there may be occasions when the school has to temporarily reintroduce the wearing of face masks by adults in communal areas or in classrooms. Whilst outside, it is personal choice as to whether adults wear a face mask – the school will respect that personal choice however, if there is a significant outbreak of cases in the school, we would strongly urge families to wear a mask in order to support us in keeping the setting open for as many pupils as possible.
Are before and after school clubs possible?
School clubs will resume over the Autumn term but may be cancelled in times of significant staff shortage. We will endeavour to keep any disruption to its minimum. The breakfast and after-school club will continue for those who have enrolled. Further information regarding after school clubs will be sent out from the school/after school club.
Will children be able to go on Educational Visits?
We will undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits and ensure that any public health advice, such as hygiene and ventilation requirements, is included as part of that risk assessment. Only when the risk assessment is conducted will the school be in a position to decide if the ‘trip’ can go ahead but we hope to resume these over the coming terms.
What will the school do if children do not follow social distancing or otherwise breach hygiene or safety protocols?
Expectations of behaviour and rules will be clearly explained to children, along with reminders and highlighting models of good hygiene and attitude. Our Behaviour Expectations will also be shared with families. Children who, despite help and reminders, cannot follow safety guidance will have a risk assessment conducted and parents contacted.
How will classrooms be set up?
Classrooms will be returned to how they were pre-Covid but with the expectation that surfaces are as clear as possible in order to support enhanced cleaning. The school will no longer have a one way system either although pupils/adults will be encouraged to limit unnecessary ‘mingling’ in confined spaces – ie if they see a class coming, go an alternative route.
Please be aware that, in line with the Outbreak Management Plan, amendments to the day to day running of the school will occur if there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 or if there are multiple cases of Covid-19. These may well result in short-term amendments to the answers above. These will be communicated to families as quickly as possible. Thank you in advance for your support in this.