These questions and answers are in no particular order. I'll add more as I am asked them or if useful information springs to mind.
Which children can go to school?
All children will return to school full time from the Autumn term 2020. There will be changes, including staggered start times and the use of bubbles to reduce the risk of transmission.
What are the times of the school day?
These will vary slightly for each year group so that we can reduce the numbers of people arriving on site at any one time. We will be asking you to adhere to these times quite strictly so as to ensure that this is effective in reducing the numbers of children and parents arriving at any one time.
These plans will be in place until further notice but the ultimate aim is to eventually return to our normal start and finish times.
Year 1 and 2
Year 3 and 4
Year 5 and 6
We respectfully ask parents not to congregate at the school entrances, to adhere to social distancing rules on the approach to, and on the school site and to encourage your children to do so too.
How will drop off work?
Wherever possible just one parent should come to school with their child. Year 5 and 6 children should walk on their own of they feel confident to do so. Staff will be on hand to help direct children and parents and help them feel more comfortable on the first few mornings back. Children in year 5 and 6 will (hopefully) be confident to come onto the school site themselves. Parents should leave them at the outer pedestrian gate or pull all the way around the drop off and remain in their car whilst their child gets out. Children in year 5 and 6 will walk along the car park path and into school via their own classroom doors.
For all children in years 1 to 4 parents may walk them onto the site up to the internal perimeter gate in front of the school office. Staff will be on hand to help out here and on the route into school. Parents will not be allowed past the internal perimeter gate. Again, using the drop off is fine for any year group but parents, please do not get out of your car.
For reception children, parents may walk them onto the site up to the internal perimeter gate in front of the school office. Reception staff will be here to help children along the path. Parents may go beyond this point if a child becomes upset but this is a temporary measure and staff will encourage children to leave you a the gate. We do not recommend that you use the drop off for new reception pupils please.
I'm worried that my young child might cry or be upset when I leave them. Can the staff hold their hand and comfort them?
Although it will go against every instinct we have as educators and parents ourselves we will need to avoid taking a child's hand or giving them a cuddle to comfort them. We will use discretion here and do our best to manage these situations sensitively and with compassion. This is key to protecting children, parents and staff and to reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
We will of course spend time encouraging children verbally. We will ensure that staff are available at drop of points to help. Should your child become very upset we suggest that you take them home for the time being, call the school when they have settled down and perhaps try to bring them back later in the day.
Can I order a school lunch for my child?
Yes, the kitchen will be open and all the staff have been trained in strategies to reduce the risk of infection. Meals will be offered in deli-bags, which will be delivered to classrooms or to the playground for picnics if the weather is good. Some hot choices, such as a sausage sandwich will be available.
FSM will be available as usual.
Does my child need to wear their uniform?
Yes: Normal uniform is required. Please refer to the uniform leaflet in the appropriate section of the website.
Children should come in PE kit on a PE day. These days have been published to parents in the letter dated 21/08/20. PE kits are not required in the first week of school so it is fine for pupils to wear their normal uniform each day.
What does my child need to bring?
The less they bring the better. We are aiming to reduce the risk of transferring any infection from school to home and vice-versa. The will need a water bottle, especially as it's still warm. This will need to be bought to school FULL everyday and taken home to be washed daily. They will not need to bring pencils and stationary - in fact these will NOT BE ALLOWED (the temptation to share is quite high). Lunchboxes are fine, hopefully coats wont be needed to begin with. If bags, lunchboxes and coats are bought to school, they will need to be stored under the pupils own desk. We wont be using cloakrooms to reduce the risk of children being in close contact with one another.
It's really hot - can I send my child's sun cream?
Yes, you can but they must be able to apply it themselves. The best thing to do, if at all possible is to apply a long lasting cream before school. Caps and hats are encouraged. Same rules apply - they need to be kept under child's desk. Although we will spend lots of time outdoors we will be aware of the sun and the risk or overdoing it. We will use shade and be sensible with how long we spend outside.
Why do you need a Training Day on the 1st September?
The guidance on reopening from the Government has been released very recently and requires us to make wide reaching changes to every aspect of school life. To ensure this is safe for children, parents and staff we need to make sure that ALL STAFF are very clear about these arrangements. We will do this on September 1st, as well as finalising the physical changes to the school that are required. We will also cover the health and safety and Safeguarding training that we are required to complete each year. This training day has been set by the local authority.
Something significant happened during lockdown. How do we tell you about it?
If something has changed for your child and we need to know then please complete the questionnaire via the link below and send it back to us. The questionnaire responses will be monitored throughout the holiday. If you would rather send a personal message please send this to email@example.com and the ladies in the office will forward your message to either Mrs Smith, Mrs Groves or the class teacher. This may not be received until after the start of the school term.
The change might be something lovely, like a new baby or something upsetting for the child. It might be a change in a medical condition, medication or an older girl starting her periods and being anxious about coming back to school. If you think we need to know then tell us.
Please find the questionnaire via this link: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=-hEVTLm6ekOhnanlPyn9sOUDFBLaHZtNurJujBao3ytURUU0UVkyMThCQk41SFNNNFc0RUNKTTFQRC4u
What are the Symptoms of Covid-19 and what should I do if I'm worried?
The guidance on the definitive symptoms of Covid-19 are widely available on both Gov.uk and NHS websites.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
If parents/ carers/ Schools believe that the above symptoms are displayed by a child or adult, testing is advised.
It is important to try to distinguish the difference from a bit of a sniffle or cold and the above symptoms.
If you are in any doubt, follow the guidance online https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/ or if you are unable to access testing on line call 119.
What to do if you have symptoms
If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:
- Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible. https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19/
- Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result – only leave your home to have a test.
Anyone you live with, and anyone in your support bubble, must also stay at home until you get your result.
The school does now have a small number of testing kits.
When should schools provide a testing kit to parents/ carers?
The government advice is:
Home test kits should only be offered in the exceptional circumstance that you believe an individual may have barriers to accessing testing elsewhere.
Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test. These symptoms are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. The government is making it as easy as possible to get a test through a wide range of routes that are locally accessible, fast and convenient. These testing routes should be used as the normal channels for accessing testing. If a child or staff member in your education setting becomes symptomatic, you should advise them to access testing through the normal routes.
However, in exceptional circumstances when you do not think a child or staff member would be able to access testing by these routes, you should consider using one of the provided home test kits to improve the chances that the individual will get tested.
Kits are suitable for people of all ages over the age of one. Kits should not be given directly to children, only to adults over the age of 18 or a child’s parent or carer. Parents and carers will be required to administer the test to those under 11.
If school can assist vulnerable parents/carers in this situation, we are happy to do so.
If you think your child or a member of your household may have Covid-19, please let us know using the school's Covid-19 email.