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Coronavirus

We are pleased to be welcoming back all pupils in September 2020.  

The arrangements the school are putting in place for this return takes into account the Government’ guidance for the full re-opening of schools. This Guidance can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools.  Many of you will have read the guidance or heard about what we should be doing to keep our community safe and reduce risks.

Outlined below are the key pieces of information we feel will explain how the new government guidelines will impact on the children’s return to school and the new procedures that will be place for the safety of the children and staff. Our priority is, and always will be, the Health, Safety and Wellbeing of the entire community and although we cannot guarantee that we can keep everyone safe from catching Covid-19, we can and will take a wide range of steps to minimise the risks and meet the priority. 

Bubbles

A bubble is a group of individuals that will be placed together for their day to day time in school. Organising children and staff into bubbles (or consistent groups) is a central part of the government’s reopening guidance. Establishing small bubbles will help in managing the school should any positive COVID-19 case occur. They will make it quicker and easier in the event of a positive case of Coronavirus to identify those that may need to self-isolate and to keep those numbers as small as possible.  In continuing to ensure the segregation of each discrete bubble we aim to prevent a whole setting having to isolate and close and to reduce any potential spread of the virus.  This essential provision will exist in September and for the majority of the new academic year.  Any decision to vary this provision will be made based on the best interests of the health and safety of the whole school community.

Each class will form a ‘bubble’ with teaching staff remaining consistent. Each bubble will be expected to avoid or minimise contact with any child in another bubble. On some specific occasions it will be necessary for two bubbles to join but these occasions will be as few as possible e.g. two classes from the same year group may join together for a football club, once a week.

Attendance

All children are expected to return to school at the start of term in September 2020. All children, except Early Years, will return to school on Thursday 3rd September. Nursery and Reception children have a staggered transition into school and start dates for these children has been communicated separately.

School attendance will be mandatory, which means that the usual rules of school attendance will apply:

  • Parents have a legal duty to ensure their child regularly attends school
  • Schools have a legal responsibility to record attendance and follow up absences
  • Schools have a legal responsibility to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices with Essex County Council’s codes of conduct.

Returning to school is very important from both an academic and social point of view.

However, children must not attend school if they have Coronavirus or are showing symptoms of Coronavirus (however mild). They must also not attend school if a member of their household has Coronavirus or is showing symptoms of Coronavirus.

There is an expectation that parents/carers will engage in the test and trace programme, please visit NHS test and trace: how it works - GOV.UK for more information.

The school will respond to a confirmed case by closing the relevant ‘bubble’ (or group) for a 14-day isolation period and deep clean the classroom and facilities. Siblings of isolated pupils would also have to isolate for 14 days but not their corresponding ‘bubble’.

Drop Off and Collection

To prevent congestion and maintain an element of social distancing, a staggered start and end approach for each class will operate.  The staggered entry and exit to school will help to reduce the number of adults and children on site at any one time.  We will need all families to support us with adhering to these times, as early and late arrivals will cause an increased health risk.

If a family has more than one child they should bring all their children at the same time as the youngest child.  Child minders will operate in the same way as sibling groups but the school office must have a list of these requirements at the start of term.

Please find below the arrangements for dropping off and collecting your children:

  • Everyone will enter the site from the pathway by ‘Bertie Bin’ to drop their child(ren) at the allocated entry point (either the nursery gate, second red gate or the main school office door) and then exit the site via the pathway by the Parish Council notice board.  
  • At the end of the day parents/carers will have an allocated place in the playground to receive their child(ren) and then go around the back of the school hall, out of the catering gates and leave the site via the same exit as the morning.  The staff carpark will be closed from 2.55-3.35pm to ensure all persons can exit safely. We ask that only one adult per family drops off and picks up their child to reduce the number of persons on site at any one time.  Again, please adhere tightly to the allocated timings to support us with our safety procedures.

Arriving at school

  • Please bring your child to school at the designated time (See table below). 
  • Each class will enter by a designated gate. If you have more than one child you should bring all your children at the same time as the youngest. Child minders will operate in the same way as sibling groups but the school office must have a list of these requirements at the start of term. 
Class
Start time
Home time
Entry Point
Apple
9.00
3.00
Nursery gate
Oak
8.30
3.00
Red gate
Willow
8.40
3.10
Red gate
Maple
8.45
3.15
Red gate
Elm
8.45
3.15
Main school office door
Beech
8.50
3.20
Red gate
Pine
8.50
3.20
Red gate
Hazel
8.55 3.25
Red gate
Chestnut
9.00 3.30
Red gate
 
  • Children should go straight to class.
  • Parents must not enter the classroom.

End of day pick up

  • Pick up will be staggered to minimise the number of adults and children on the playground. Please arrive at the time stated for your child (see table above). 
  • Parents/carers will have an allocated place in the playground to receive their child(ren). Social distancing must be observed by adults.
  • Teachers will dismiss each child/sibling group to their parent in turn who will then lead them around the back of the school hall, out of the catering gates to leave the school site via the same exit as the morning.  The staff carpark will be closed from 2.55-3.35pm to ensure all persons can exit safely.
  • We ask that only one adult per family drops off and picks up their child to reduce the number of persons on site at any one time.  Again, please adhere tightly to the allocated timings to support us with our safety procedures.
  • Siblings of each younger year group will be dismissed at the same time as their younger sibling.
  • Please leave the school site immediately.

If you use a childminder, please inform the school office of the days your child goes to a childminder and their name and contact details. Childminder groups will be treated as sibling groups.

Year 6

Year 6 children will be allowed to walk home independently but we do encourage social distancing on the route home.  Written parent/carer permission will be required for this.  All other children will be required to be picked up by an adult 16 yrs and over.  We will review this in the spring term.  Any children attending wrap around care or clubs will need to be collected by an adult.  If someone different/unknown is collecting your child please ensure this is communicated to the school in advance.

Speaking with Staff

Class teachers will not able to speak with parents at drop off or collection time. If you need to speak to a member of staff there are a number of ways in which you can communicate safely. These include
  • via a request using the admin email,
  • by phone or
  • if necessary via a face to face socially distanced meeting.  Meetings in person must be arranged in advance and will take place in the school bungalow.

Uniform

All children will be required to wear well presented school uniform. There is no requirement to wear a new set of uniform each day or wash this daily but personal hygiene will be necessary to minimise the risk of spreading the virus.

Uniform can be ordered directly from the school trends website. School ties (including prefect ties) are available from the school office.

Physical activity plays a vital role in both healthy development and well-being.  Children will be encouraged to have plenty of outdoor exercise daily and will need a full kit to change into.  Details of our requirements are on the school website. (NB: Please ensure earrings are removed for allocated PE lessons).  PE kits will be sent home for washing on a regular basis

Bags and equipment

Children should bring a named water bottle with fresh water to school every day as drinking taps/fountains are not allowed to be used, in line with our detailed risk assessment. 

Each child is also expected to bring a named, transparent pencil case to keep the stationary they will be provided with when arrive on their first day. Each child will keep this on their desk in school for their personal use. This will reduce the risk of spreading the virus.  All books and paper will be provided by the school.

Children will need a small bag for their reading book and/or packed lunch. Large bags are discouraged. 

Social Distancing and Hygiene

Maintaining hygiene is of the utmost importance. We ask that you help support good hygiene by ensuring no jewellery is worn except small stud earring, long hair is tied back and fingernails are kept short. All children will need to regularly wash or sanitise their hands throughout the school day, including on entry to school, after using the toilets, after breaktimes and before eating.

Social distancing is not a requirement for the children within a class bubble, although this will be encouraged with the older children as part of good practice to minimise contact. However,

  • Throughout the school day, ‘bubbles’ will be kept separated from others. This includes break and lunchtime, breakfast and after school clubs, and during any interventions and/or activities the children may be involved in.
  • Children in Years 1 to 6 will be seated at a desk with another child and all the desks will be facing the front of the classroom. They will need to stay at their desks as much as possible. Face to face contact will be kept to an absolute minimum.
  • Children will be expected to keep their distance from the adults in school (and all adults will be socially distancing from each other as well).
  • Children may on occasion need to share equipment and work together on tasks. The use of shared resources will be kept to a minimum within the bubble and will be thoroughly cleaned before being used in other bubbles.
  • At playtime and lunchtime they will be directed to play in a certain ‘zone’ with the rest of their class, and not mix with other classes.
  • The school won’t meet together as a group – assemblies will be held in each class. 
  • Sometimes school adults may be required to move across bubbles (e.g. sports coaches) however this will be kept to a minimum to reduce the risk to both children and staff.

Government advice is that face masks or PPE are not necessary in schools as it interferes with teaching and learning. There may, however, be occasions when a member of staff wears a mask or a visor.

Should your child use a mask travelling to and from school they will be asked to keep the mask in their school bag for the duration of the school day.

Behaviour

We know the children are looking forward to returning to school, however our expectations of behaviour will remain high and even more important than ever to keep our entire community safe and able to focus on their learning. These expectations will be shared with the children when they come back to school.

Cleaning

Our cleaning protocols and regularity of cleaning have increased significantly and will continue to do so in all areas of the school, toilet facilities, hall, door handles, classrooms etc. cleaning materials will be available in each room.

Catering

Hot school dinners will be available daily from September.  Children entiltield to Free School Meals (FSM) or Universal Infant FSM can have a hot meal (that includes Reception, Y1 and Y2) if required.  Any KS2 child can order a hot meal and this will be paid for on SIMS Pay in the usual way.  There will be a two-week rolling menu which will include a vegetarian option daily.  The catering team will be following very robust hygiene procedures and wearing PPE when handling food and serving meals. Menus will be emailed out in due course.

Class bubbles will have allocated timings and seating areas at lunchtimes. Parents will need to provide a packed lunch in a named box/bag if they do not wish their child to have a school meal. They will be also be seated with their class bubble.  Water bottles can be refilled by the allocated midday for the class bubble at lunchtimes.  Once the children have finished their lunch they will have an outdoor session in the allocated zone for their bubble.

Helping to keep our school community safe

If your child has symptoms of Covid 19 you must keep them at home and not send them to school. The government advice is clear - 

Symptoms
The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)

For most people, coronavirus (COVID-19) will be a mild illness. However, if you have any of the symptoms above you must stay at home and arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange.
For more information click here.

If your child displays any symptoms of covid-19 at school you will be required collect them and take them, along with any siblings, home.

Visitors

Visitors, including volunteers, will only be allowed on site when absolutely necessary and by prior appointment. This will be kept to essential persons only in the autumn term to minimise the risk to the school community.

Clubs and Wrap Around Care

We are able to offer both a breakfast and after school Acorns provision.  To minimise the risk of children attending from different bubbles the following measures have been put in place.

  • Social distancing between adults and children when inside.
  • Focus on outdoor play where possible.
  • Numbers for both breakfast and after school limited to 12 places each session.
  • Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis and priority given, after school, to those needing the full session. 

There will be no clubs for the nursery and reception children in the Autumn term. Children in KS1 will be given club opportunities at lunch times whilst children in KS2 will be able to access lunch time clubs and one sports club a week through Premier Sport.  Details of the clubs on offer will follow

Clubs and Acorns provision will commence the week beginning Monday 7th September.

Home Learning

If any of the areas in the school are required to close pupils will be provided with home learning on our new DB Learning Platform.  Further details about this will be communicated in the Autumn Term.

Emergency Closure Procedures

In the event of school closure or the requirement for a 'bubble' to self-isolate, we will notify parents and carers as soon as possible via Parentmail. If you are not registered for Parentmail please enquire at the school office. 

Further Information

Further guidance and information is available via the links below should you wish to read more about the government plans to reopen in September:

 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-1

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