COVID-19 Information for parents and carers
The government have stated that from September, schools will be able to open up to all children in all year groups because:
- The prevalence of the COVID-19 virus has decreased
- The NHS Test and Trace system is up and running
- The measures that need to be in place to create safer environments within schools are clear
Returning to school is vital for children's education and for their wellbeing; we will do everything we can to keep our children, staff and community safe. The guidance from the Government provides measures, which when implemented will will enable us to keep everyone as safe as possible.
As a school we must follow Public Health advice to minimise coronavirus (COVID-19) risks.
Essential measures include:
- a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
- robust hand and respiratory hygiene
- enhanced cleaning arrangements
- active engagement with the NHS Track and Trace program
- formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise the potential for contamination as far as is reasonably practicable
The government has clearly stated their wish for all children to return to school in September. The guidance states:
In March when the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, the Government made it clear that no parent/carer would be penalised or sanctioned for their child's non-attendance at school. Now the circumstances have changed it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children's education, wellbeing and wider development.
Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the Autumn term. This means that from that point, the usual rules on attendance will apply, including:
- parents' duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
- schools' responsibility to record attendance and follow up absence
- the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities' code of conduct
We understand that you and your child may feel anxious about your child's return to school and we will support you in any way that we can to provide you with the confidence and reassurance you need to ensure that they attend. Please contact the school office if this is an area that you fell you would like further support with. The systems and procedures that we have in place are detailed below and these will hopefully provide you with some reassurance that measures are in place to keep your child safe.
Measures put in place by the school
In addition to the essential measures mentioned above, prescribed by the PHE and as set out by Government guidance - the school have put the following in place:
- Each class of children will become a 'bubble'; not mixing with any other 'bubbles'. Children within the bubble do not have to socially distance but will be encouraged to do so where they can
- Adults will maintain a 2 metre distance from children and other adults as much as possible. If an adult has to be less than a 2 metre distance from a pupil/s they will wear PPE.
- Classrooms will be well ventilated and external doors used for entry and exit to the school building. The use of outdoor areas is encouraged where possible.
- Children will use hand sanitiser/hand wash on a regular basis including on entry to school, leaving and returning to their classroom and before/after eating.
- Assembly will not take place in the hall; each bubble will have collective acts of worship in their classrooms.
- Lunches will be eaten in the hall and social distancing between bubbles will be maintained. However, should there be wet weather, older pupils (year 4, 5 and 6) will eat in their classrooms
- Hot meals will be provided for pupils in the format of a meal in a 'pot'. This is regularly reviewed with the catering company to ensure high quality, varied and nutritional meals for the children.
- PE will be outdoors where possible and any equipment used will be cleaned after use, prior to another bubble using them.
- In class, pupils will be seated in rows facing forwards. Each child will have their own stationery kit but some resources may be shared. Where this occurs, they will remain within the class bubble. Items such as laptops and chrome books will be cleaned carefully after use.
- Children should only bring essential items to school - including: coat, water bottle, book bag and lunchbox.
- Medication such as asthma pumps will be kept securely within the class bubble.
- Visitors within school will be limited to essential visits by pre-appointment/booked in advance.
- A short video is available on the school website showing children and parents the expected route into school at the start of the day and a map detailing the routine for pick up at the end of the school day. Parents are encourage to arrive and depart promptly and to avoid gathering together outside of the school.
In line with government advice, we would encourage our staff and families to walk or cycle to school, where possible, and to avoid public transport.
In line with Government guidance and Local Authority expectations we have completed a thorough Covid-19 Risk Assessment in preparation for the children to return to school. This has been continually updated to reflect changes in guidance where appropriate.
The documents below have been ratified by the Governing Body and Ignis Academy Trustees: