Letter for parents about COVID-19 symptoms
Public Health England have produced a letter for schools to distribute to parents which explains when a person requires a coronavirus test and what the symptoms of coronavirus are. The Department would be grateful if you could share and circulate this letter amongst parents at your school.
The intention of the letter is to help prevent children being taken out of school unnecessarily and answer some of the questions parents may have around testing.
Translation of guidance for parents and carers on early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term
The guidance is now available in the following languages:
Launch of the #backtoschoolsafely campaign
We have launched our #backtoschoolsafely campaign to reassure parents and students that schools and colleges are ready for their return in September.
This is part of the Government’s wider Stay Alert campaign. You will see newspaper and billboard advertising from today, with radio and digital adverts from Monday 24 August, which will run until early September, alongside wider engagement with the teaching profession and local communities.
The latest statistics from the Office for National Statistics show there is growing confidence among parents that their children will return to school in September, testament to the hard work of school staff.
Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school.
Shakespeare Infant School DRAFT Strategic plan for the full re-opening of school from September 2020. (03/09/2020)
Due to the easing of lockdown and the reduced infection rate of coronavirus the Government have decided to open schools for all children from September 2020. This plan has been written and agreed in line with the government document “Guidance for full opening – school” published August 28th 2020.
We have worked closely with staff, governors and the local authority based on all of the information available to school, the concerns of staff and the advice to members from trade unions.
This plan has been agreed by staff and governors.
The plan will be reviewed when needed.
Risks have been identified and the school responses agreed. The risk level has been assessed if all protocols are strictly adhered to.
Risk levels are associated with catching and spreading coronavirus.
RISK 1: All parents and carers and children arriving on site at the start and end of the day could result in catching and spreading coronavirus through close proximity.
Early bird club and breakfast club resume from September.
They will be offered from 8am each day. EBC will be in the music and drama room and sunshine room and breakfast club in the hall. Breakfast will be served at tables that are kept apart from each other.
- Staff should as much as possible keep a safe distance from the children.
- In both facilities the children will have table based activities - books to read, colouring, puzzles. There will be no shared toys on the floor. There will be no physical activities which could result in contact
- Early bird club children can also watch the screen in the Music and drama room, sitting apart from each other.
- If possible children will be encouraged to sit near to children in their own class bubble. They will be encouraged to keep at least a metre apart from children in different bubbles.
- Numbers will for the term be strictly limited to 15 in EBC and 15 in breakfast club.
- It will be made clear to parents/carers that they should only access these facilities if they absolutely have to.
- The provision for after school care has ceased at Crestwood and provision for this will be reviewed in the autumn term.
Parents and children arriving at school:
- Until further notice there will be a staggered start time and finish time for each year group as follows:
- Children in Year R will arrive at 8.45am and leave at 3.00pm.
- Year R children will come through the main car park, through the wooden gates by the kitchen to their classes. The carpark will be supervised by staff am and pm. No traffic movement will be allowed during these times. One of the main gates will be kept closed to prevent traffic coming in or out of the carpark.
- Children in Year 1 will arrive at 9.00am and leave at 3.15pm
- Children in Year 2 will arrive at 8.45am and leave at 3.00pm
- Year 1 and Year 2 children will come through the usual pedestrian gate to their classes.
- One adult per child and adults are not to enter the classrooms.
- Child minders can collect from each class keeping to the outside of the building.
- The social distancing markers and signage will remain outside to remind parents/carers of the importance of safe distancing.
- Staff can arrive from 7.30am.
- No traffic will be allowed on site in the car-park until after 9.30am.
- Mr Day will lock the usual entrance gate by 9.30am at the latest.
- Parent/carers and children will not be allowed to wait in groups outside either entrance.
- Older siblings (under the age of 16) will not be allowed to drop off or pick up younger siblings unless permission has been agreed with the headteacher.
Risk level: Low
RISK 2: Parents and carers could catch and spread coronavirus due to entering the school building to seek information, use facilities, dropping off late children, collecting children outside normal hours.
- Most Parents / carers won’t need to enter the school building unless they have a pre - arranged appointment or an urgent safeguarding concern.
- Parents/carers attending Year R stay and play sessions will be allowed to enter the class rooms. Year R parents will also be allowed to come into class to settle their child at the start of the day. Please see separate risk assessment for this.
- Staff in Year 1 and 2 will have to use professional judgement to allow parents in to settle their child at the start of the day if needed.
- Children who are late must be brought to the main front door so that admin staff can safely admit them.
- Parents/carers should be encouraged to refrain from using the toilets facilities if at all possible.
- Parent/teacher meetings in October will be held via Zoom
- Clear face shields are available for urgent parent/teacher consultation
- Hidden disabilities lanyards must be worn if there is an expectation for a face covering to be worn.
Risk level: Low
RISK 3: Children and staff could catch and spread coronavirus through close proximity with other children and staff.
- The overarching principle is to reduce number of contacts between children and staff.
- It is accepted that younger children will not be able to maintain social distancing and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group.
- All teachers and staff can operate across different classes and year groups in order to facilitate the delivery of the school timetable. This allows PPA to continue as normal. Staff who move around classes should try, where possible, to maintain 2 metres distance from children and other staff accepting that with young children this may not be possible but to try and do so where circumstances allow.
- The children will stay in their classroom and the only other areas they will access are the toilets, outside and possible the hall for PE.
- Children in Y1 and Y2 children will sit at the same place each day in their classroom. Each table can seat 2 children. The children in school during lockdown have coped well with this.
- Year R classes will operate as normally as possible as it would be very difficult to have them sat at tables for long periods of the day. The Year R area outside the classes needs to be clearly marked to stop children entering other classes.
- All children will have their own small zippy bags for basic resources such as pencils, crayons. Shared resources will not be out on tables. This has worked well during lockdown.
- Children and staff will access their classroom as far as possible externally.
- School will retain the markings in the corridor areas reminding everyone to keep a safe distance when walking around.
- If required, passing others along the corridor at close proximity is still deemed low risk.
- Staff will need to agree new class rules with the children early on focussing on safe bubbles, walking a safe distance from each other, no holding hands, non-contact play when outside, using tissues, and how to wash hands effectively.
- Children will be directed to wash their hands upon arrival in class, before eating and after using the toilet.
- HAND WASHING FOR 20 SECONDS WITH SOAP IS CRUCIAL AND NEEDS TO CONTINUE TO BE A KEY PART OF THE DAY.
- Regular use of hand sanitiser is recommended throughout the day.
- The purchasing of mobile hand washing stations/sanitising stations will be reviewed in the Autumn term.
- Resources need to be washed regularly eg guided reading books.
- The children will only socialise with children in their own class and will not mix with other classes.
- Lunches will be eaten in classrooms. HC3S will continue to offer packed lunches which will include some hot food options. The quality of this will be monitored and jacket potatoes will be an option.
- Playtimes will be staggered using the whole site with each class keeping to their allocated area. Classes must not be allowed to mix with other groups.
- Staff should where possible and safe to do so prop doors open and open windows in order to maximise ventilation.
- Children should be outdoors as much as is reasonably possible with due regard to other groups and their learning needs. This is something staff could agree together when year group go outside other than playtimes.
- Staff can use the fixed tables and chairs situated outside classrooms as break out areas but mixing with other classes must not happen.
- Play therapy for some children will continue.
- Listen 2 Me for Year 2 (Samba Drums) will resume in the Music and drama room, class by class. Amy Lane will have to wipe down the drums after each class has used them. This may reduce the lesson time slightly to enable this to happen.
- Singing may be undertaken if children observe social distancing where possible and are positioned back to back or side by side when singing. All background music should be kept to levels which do not encourage performers to raise their voices unduly.
- After school sports activities facilitated by other providers will not resume until the spring term due to children from multiple classes mixing together in physically active activities.
- Y2 sports coaches can resume via a rota with one class each week. Coaches will need to maintain 2M distance from the children.
- Until further notice there will be no large gatherings of adults/children e.g. assemblies, sports events. Assemblies will be in class. HT assemblies will be reviewed possibly via a class rota in the hall.
- PE will take place outside ideally or in the hall. If equipment is used then it MUST be cleaned before another class go and use it. This poses practical issues which must be discussed in year teams regarding how this can be done using available staff.
- Staff must not congregate in the staffroom. Where possible breaks to be taken outside or in own classroom or empty rooms such as the sunshine room, music and drama room, hall. Staff must keep a safe distance apart to prevent classes mixing. The staffroom will be set up to ensure safe distancing whilst accessing facilities and areas are to be cleaned after each use.
- The Hive can be used as extra office space/staffroom. If infection cases rise then working from home will be considered for Fran to ensure that if the office bubble had to isolate then she could continue working on essential admin.
Risk level Medium
Risk 4: Children and staff could catch and spread coronavirus from touching resources commonly found in classrooms.
- Teachers and support staff will only use the resources they require that day. Other resources should not be available.
- Staff will ensure that children will have their own basic resources in a named zippy wallet. These can be left on the table at the end of the day having been wiped down before (teaching) staff leave.
- Staff will need to carefully consider which toys to use and they will need to be cleaned/wiped as far as is reasonably possible at the end of each day by staff before leaving. The cleaning team will not be able to do this.
- If children are using any IT equipment eg IPad, keyboards then these must be wiped clean with the correct IT wipes/cleaner before being used by another child (in their group).
- If resources need to be shared across classes (though if at all possible this should be avoided) they must be thoroughly cleaned before sharing
- Soft furnishings and soft toys can be in class but must not be shared with other classes.
- Children will be able to bring books bags, PE bags, water bottled and coats/hats into school.
- Staff can take books etc home if needed.
- Water bottles should be clearly named and remain on the table where the child sits and not stored in crates during the day. They should be taken home at the end of the day for washing.
- When playing outside there will be no shared resources out. The play trail can be used on a weekly rota for each Y1 and Y2 class. YR can start to use it after half term. As part of the curriculum staff will need to continue to teach outdoor non-contact games for the children to play at playtimes.
- Library books need to be quarantined for 72 hours before re-loaning. A class weekly rota will be created to facilitate this.
Risk level: Low
Risk 5: Children and staff could catch and spread coronavirus from using the toilet facilities
- Children will need continual reminding about safe use of toilets i.e. flush and wash hands for 20 seconds.
- Children must not be in the toilet areas for any longer than required (class rule).
- If in any doubt re hand washing children should wash hands again upon returning to the classroom.
- At busy times toilets must be supervised to ensure safe use. If waiting with an adult to access the toilet areas at break times or before lunch safe distance protocols must be adhered to.
- Spills/ accidents must be cleared up immediately using agreed protocol. The children must be removed from the classroom until the area has been cleaned and sanitised. The hall and outside can be used for this. PPE must be worn when clearing up any messes. Steve has provided clear instructions.
Risk level Medium
Risk 6: Children and staff could catch and spread coronavirus by touching surfaces around the school
- Thorough cleaning remains essential in preventing the spread of coronavirus and thus keeping children and staff safe
- Teaching and support staff will leave the building by when ready each day. The cleaning team will continue to thoroughly clean the areas that have been used.
- Staff meetings will continue to be held remotely via Teams.
- PPA will be in school as usual but will be adhering to social distancing so class groups don’t mix. Can use the Hive, Owl, Library rooms with the therapeutic support taking place in the Sunshine room??
- Steve will ensure he and his team continue to thoroughly clean all areas and surfaces with a chlorine based product as per the government’s advice; this includes table tops, taps, chairs, handles, door handles, key boards etc.
- Staff will need to play their part with this during the day and use anti bac wipes, liquid and blue roll to clean surfaces e.g. after using the photocopier. These products MUST be stored well away from children at all times.
- The staffroom can only be accessed to check the notice board, check pigeon holes and collect a hot drink using sealed disposable cups provided by the school or staff bring their own. Staff need to observe social distancing requirements when accessing the staffroom. Regular communications will be sent via staff email to reduce need to check pigeon holes.
- The water heater handle and surfaces around the sink area must be wiped with a cloth and cleaner before the next person accesses the area.
- Staff can take breaks/ have lunch outside or in own classroom or using the available rooms.
Risk level: Low
Risk 7: Children and staff could catch and spread coronavirus if they do not have access to PPE
- We have been informed by the government that PPE is still not required by school staff in most circumstances.
- However if staff want to wear PPE they are welcome to. This could be their own or use disposable masks provided by school.
- Children are not to wear face masks because, according to government advice, this can be counterproductive and indeed unsafe.
- School will continue to purchase robust face masks for staff to use when administering first aid or clearing spills. They also have aprons and gloves.
- There are clear protocols for first aid and what to do if a child is presenting with symptoms.
- Children must only be sent to the office for first aid if they may need to go home or have bumped their head. If a child can’t be moved then send for support in the usual way. Children who are feeling sick or have been sick must not be moved, send for support. General first aid at playtimes must be administered by staff in the year team following agreed protocols regarding reporting and informing parents. (Note INSET day for first aid has been planned for Oct 23rd to refresh all staff). Suggest sick bowls are kept in classrooms.
- The cleaning team continue to have their own PPE in use.
- We also have these face masks available for staff who will be working with children’s whose behaviour may require it. It is clear that these face masks are not designed for safety due to inappropriate behaviour e.g. hitting. They can protect against spitting. However Clare Mills will agree this as part of the reviewed risk assessment and transition plan for specific children.
Risk level: Low This is according to the government.
Risk 8: Children and staff’s mental health could have been adversely affected by the impact of the coronavirus; this could include bereavement, effect of lockdown, financial worries
- School recognise that children’s well-being and education will have been affected by the crisis in different ways. The curriculum and the school day will be planned taking this into account and there will be a strong emphasis on the supporting children to rebuild friendships, respond to issues linked to the coronavirus crisis and support children with physical and mental their well-being
- All staff will be supportive of each other and recognise the different experiences staff will have had and the potential impact arising from this.
- Sarah Kesterson has been trained as our mental health first aider and can provide more bespoke support/direction for professional support if required.
- School have also purchased a mental well-being toolkit as a useful resource.
Risk level: Low
Risk 9: Some children may find returning to school very difficult and many will have missed weeks of learning opportunities causing the attainment gap to increase.
- The children will need time to settle in and staff should plan to reflect this- there will be a need to be more of a focus on SEMH, re-socialising and wellbeing initially.
- Some children who have been away from school since March will get tired quickly until their learning stamina picks up.
- The government have made it clear about the importance of a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum and making good use of the outdoors where possible. This will support their global development as well as recognising that many children will have gaps in their learning and may have forgotten some of that they have been previously taught.
- Gaps in the following areas will be prioritised : phonics, reading, developing vocabulary, writing and maths)
- It is recognised that the curriculum will have to be adapted in the autumn term at least to address the SEMH needs of the children as well as significant gaps in knowledge. The government have said that the aim is for schools to return to their normal curriculum by no later than the summer term 2021 giving in effect two terms for “catch up”
- Remote education opportunities need to continue to be developed to be integrated into the curriculum planning process so that in the event of a class or more having to lockdown children can immediately access their education remotely. Google classrooms has already been set up to support this.
- School is expected to have a strong contingency plan in place for remote education provision by the end of September.
- For individuals or groups of self-isolating pupils, remote education plans will be in place
- In the event of a local outbreak, the PHE health protection team or local authority may advise a school or number of schools to close temporarily to help control transmission. Schools will also need a contingency plan for this eventuality. This may involve a return to remaining open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers and providing remote education for all other pupils.
- There could be a temptation to have lots of volunteer helpers in school to support learning. This must be very carefully planned to ensure ALL safeguarding checks are completed as per our current safer recruitment practise and that FR is able to manage this process.
- All current volunteers will need to have their safer recruitment checks refreshed including DBS due to the time lapse since they will have bene in school.
Risk level Medium
Risk 10: Children may have had a negative experience or suffered abuse during the lockdown and school closure.
- Staff need to be extra vigilant with regard to the children returning who have not been in school. Some children may have had negative experiences and may have suffered possible abuse.
- All safeguarding protocols are in place and have been adhered to during lockdown. This of course will continue from September.
- CPOMS must continue to be used to report any issues and keep relevant staff up to date. “Mental health” will be added as an option to tick on CPOMS.
- Safeguarding updates will take place with all staff during INSET days in September
Risk level Medium
Risk 11: Visitors and contractors on site could result in the spread of coronavirus and / or visitors and contractors could be at risk of contracting the virus by attending school.
- All visitors and contractors will sign in and use the hand sanitiser on entry to the building .Names and company must be clearly written in capitals in case contact tracing is required.
- They will maintain safe distance at all times and limit the number of people required on site.
- Visitors and contractors will have to make agreed appointments before coming to school.
- Ideally contractors who need to work inside the building will visit outside of the school day.
- Mr Day will have only essential contact with them and keep a safe distance at all times.
- Supply teachers – where possible school will cover using current staff.
- Education visit and education visitors will not resume until at least the spring term due to multiple classes accessing these activities.
Risk level: Low