Our 20/21 Covid-19 Plan
1. Opening the School to all Pupils
The government has announced that educational settings can open to all pupils in September, provided that additional safety measures are put in place to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission. In line with the government’s direction, and following a robust risk assessment process, we are welcoming back all pupils from Monday 7th September 2020. The government has relaxed its shielding guidelines from 1st August. If your child is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, and has previously been advised to shield, you can now allow them to return to school. We will resume our usual opening days and times: Monday to Friday from 9.00am until 3.00pm. Please contact the school office as soon as possible if you have any queries regarding your child’s attendance.
The school has conducted a thorough risk assessment to mitigate the risks of opening fully during the coronavirus pandemic. Our risk assessment covers various aspects of the school premises, cleaning, staff availability, infection control and social distancing protocols, mental health and wellbeing, access to learning, and fire safety. The risk assessment is a live document and will be updated as required.
3. Protecting Clinically Vulnerable Individuals
If your child is considered clinically vulnerable, clinically extremely vulnerable, was previously ‘shielding’, or lives with somebody who was shielding, they are now able to return to school. If your child is considered clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable, you may wish to contact your child’s GP to discuss whether additional safety measures need to be put in place to ensure it is safe for them to attend school. If, after speaking with their GP, you decide that your child will need additional safety measures in place to attend school safely, eg. wearing a face covering, please contact the Headteacher via firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss these arrangements.
The government has advised that schools should resume taking their usual attendance registers. Attendance at school is again mandatory, and penalties for unauthorised absence are again in place as they were before Covid19. However, we will discuss attendance with parents/carers and continue to support families and young people to attend to the best of their ability. We do not intend to penalise families where every effort is being made to work together. Attendance for pupils coming into school will be recorded as normal. We understand that you may be concerned about your child returning to school at this time, but please be assured that the school will do its utmost to keep your child safe. Please feel free to contact the school to discuss attendance and the safety measures in place. If, at any time, your child cannot attend school due to the necessity to self-isolate, whether this is because they are ill themselves or have been in close contact with someone who is, please let the school know as soon as possible on 01288 341998. If your child does not attend when they are expected to and the school has not been notified, you will be contacted to find out why, in line with the school’s normal safeguarding procedures. We are contacting parents to confirm that the emergency contact details we have on record are correct and to ask for any additional emergency contact numbers where they are available.
5. Social Distancing
We understand that many pupils may be unable to fully understand social distancing principles, e.g. because of their age or needs. Staff will work with all pupils to ensure their safety and positively reinforce good social distancing behaviour wherever possible. To maximise the effectiveness of social distancing with all staff and pupils attending school, we have decided to have children in class group bubbles. Children will work in their classes as much as possible and will be in the same groups when they are having playtime or having lunch. Class sizes will be back to the usual sizes which are very small in comparison with the majority of other schools. Members of staff will minimise their close contact with pupils and other staff where possible and staff will be able to move between bubbles in order to deliver the full curriculum.
Frequently-used equipment, e.g. pens, will be provided so that each child has their own, and should not be brought in from home. Sharing frequently-used equipment will not be allowed. Classroom resources, e.g. books, can be shared within bubbles, but should be cleaned frequently, e.g. at the end of each day. Communal resources, e.g. sports equipment, can be shared between bubbles if they can be thoroughly cleaned between uses.
We acknowledge that we will face some limitations to the practicality of these arrangements in certain circumstances and will work with all pupils to remind them of the importance of staying within their bubbles. If you are concerned about any of the arrangements listed above, please contact the school as soon as possible.
6. Start and Finish Times
Pupils’ start and finish times will not need to be staggered in order for us to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Over the summer we have had a new car park built to the right of the school, with a turning circle for taxis and cars to drop off and pick up. Pupils will arrive at their usual time and be greeted by a member of staff who will ensure that they go to their classroom.
7. Infection Control
Combined with social distancing, strict infection control measures are an important aspect of keeping all staff and pupils safe and healthy in school. This means that we will be enforcing new rules to ensure that good hand and respiratory hygiene is consistently maintained. We expect pupils to follow these rules; however, we understand that some pupils may be unable to fully understand infection control principles. Staff will work with all pupils to ensure their safety and positively reinforce good infection control behaviour where necessary. Here are some of the key measures that pupils will need to follow:
Pupils will be instructed to wash their hands at various points throughout the day, including upon entering school, when they change rooms, before and after eating, before and after breaktimes, after using the toilet, and after coughing or sneezing.
Pupils will wash their hands for at least 20 seconds using soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitiser – younger pupils and pupils with complex needs will be supervised when doing this.
The school will enforce the ‘catch it, kill it, bin it’ approach to containing coughs and sneezes.
We are also carrying out additional cleaning. Classrooms and learning areas will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day, and frequently touched surfaces will be wiped and disinfected regularly throughout the day. Communal areas will be avoided until further notice. Staff will also be required to follow stringent infection control measures.
9. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Public Health England (PHE) does not currently recommend the use of face coverings in schools. We would appreciate it if you could provide a face covering for pupils to wear when they are travelling in staff vehicles and when they are visiting places that are public off-site.
Staff can wear their own face coverings if they would like to, following the appropriate guidance related to the wearing of face coverings. PPE will be used by staff where:
An individual pupil becomes ill with coronavirus symptoms while at school and a two-metre distance cannot be maintained from them.
A pupil presents an increased risk of transmitting Coronavirus due to spitting or regular need for close physical proximity.
If any pupil arrives at school wearing a mask, they will be asked to remove and store or dispose of it safely unless the wearing of a mask has been agreed by the headteacher.
Bringing Items into School To minimise the risk of potentially transmitting infections between pupils’ households and the school, we ask that pupils do not bring non-essential items from home into school with them. Pupils are able to take items from school, such as books, home with them to aid their education. Books and other equipment that has been taken home will be taken out of circulation with the wider school community for at least 3 days before being shared with others. The following equipment can be brought to school:
Essential medication and medical equipment
Coats and other essential outdoor wear
Glasses and glasses cases
Stationery and books
If your child needs to bring an item to school that is not listed above, please contact us as soon as possible to discuss alternative arrangements.
Procedure - if a Pupil Becomes Unwell during the School Day It is extremely important that we all remain vigilant with regard to preventing, identifying and minimising the spread of coronavirus. We ask, therefore, that you do not send your child to school if they have any of the following symptoms:
· A high temperature – this means they feel hot to touch on their chest or back
· A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
· A loss of, or change in, their normal sense of smell or taste – this means they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal It is also important that you do not send your child to school if somebody in your household has tested positive for, or has symptoms of, coronavirus. ·
Please notify the school office via telephone as soon as possible if your child, or somebody in your household, is showing symptoms of coronavirus and your child cannot come into school. You will be advised to get your child tested for coronavirus and to notify the school of the result. See below for information on accessing a test.
If your child becomes unwell at school and shows symptoms of coronavirus, the school will take the following immediate actions:
We will notify you and ask that you pick your child up from school as soon as possible.
While pupils are awaiting collection, they will remain in the first aid room and be able to access a toilet.
Your child will be supervised while waiting for collection.
You will be encouraged to have your child tested for coronavirus.
You will be encouraged to engage with the NHS Test and Trace programme.
Areas your child has occupied will be disinfected as soon as possible.
If an individual in your child’s class tests positive for coronavirus, the school will send the individual’s close contacts home to self-isolate for 14 days. Close contacts include:
Direct close contacts – anyone in face-to-face contact with the individual for any length of time, within 1 metre – this includes face-to-face conversation, unprotected (skin-to-skin) physical contact, or being coughed/sneezed on.
Proximity contacts – anyone in extended close contact with the individual, within 1 to 2 metres for over 15 minutes for example travelling in a small vehicle, e.g. a car, with the individual.
10. Access to Testing
All pupils, and members of their households, will be able to access a test if they are displaying symptoms of coronavirus. If your child is displaying symptoms, we would strongly advise that you access a test. There is information about how you can access a test on the NHS website: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/.
If your child is sent home from school with symptoms and subsequently takes a test, you must inform the school of the results as soon as possible. If the test is negative, your child can return to school when they feel better. If the test is positive, your household will need to continue the self-isolation period. We encourage you to inform the school immediately of test results so that we can take the necessary steps to control the spread of infection.
11. The Curriculum
Our focus is to support all pupils’ health and wellbeing and to help them transition back into school life successfully. To provide all pupils the opportunity to excel and engage with learning, the school will ensure the following:
Increased outdoor learning, where possible
Additional support for pupils who are at risk of falling behind.
Provision and contingency plans for remote education.
Lessons will work in a similar way to normal as far as possible; however, more focus will be placed on wellbeing, core subjects and ensuring pupils have a secure understanding of the content covered through remote learning during the lockdown period. PE lessons will continue to ensure pupils get the exercise they need; however, activities within these lessons will be strictly non-contact and pupils will remain in small, consistent groups with other pupils from their bubble throughout the term. Parents who are continuing to help educate their children at home will be continually supported by the school. Further information about learning from home is available below.
12. Remote Learning
Although all pupils can now return to school, we must make sure we are prepared to deliver education in any eventuality, including local lockdowns. We also need to have provision in place for pupils to learn remotely if they are sent home to self-isolate. For these reasons, we have created a contingency plan for remote education, should it be required. We understand that each family’s circumstances and ability to access to learning material for their children differs, which is why we are committed to doing all we can to help pupils who are learning at home. The school will continue to provide pupils with access to learning materials remotely via the online portal. These remote learning arrangements are in place to ensure that all pupils have access to high-quality education while they are at home. These arrangements will help all pupils to learn alongside their peers and prevent them struggling with lesson content when they return to school. We advise all parents to make every effort to ensure that their child has access to and completes the learning materials provided. We understand that this in itself poses its own unique challenges and, therefore, encourage you to contact your child’s teacher via email, or the headteacher, if you are experiencing any problems.
13. Behaviour Expectations
To ensure the school remains a safe place, we have made the decision to ensure that all pupils understand that we take the additional rules with regards to social distancing and infection control very seriously. Pupils are expected to follow these rules. Pupils who purposefully behave contrarily to these measures and intentionally put others at risk will be disciplined in line with our Behaviour Policy, informing parents as necessary. We understand, however, that these measures may be difficult to follow for some pupils, particularly if they are very young or experience difficulties with comprehension. The school will, therefore, consider each situation individually and work with pupils to educate them on the importance of social distancing and infection control measures and reward positive behaviour.
We will need to know if your child has experienced any changes regarding their welfare, health and wellbeing that we need to be aware of as they return to school. We need to know this information so we can put the appropriate support in place for them. If you need to report any changes, please contact the Headteacher.
15. SEND Support
We will strive to deliver the provision set out in the Education Health and Care Plan; however, there may be cases where we need to adapt the provision. If we need to do this, we will speak to you directly. If you have any questions about the support your child is receiving, please get in touch with the class Teacher or Keyworker.
One of our key priorities as we fully open the school is ensuring that pupils are given the wellbeing support that they need. In the first instance, pupils will speak with class teachers and class-based support staff to discuss how they are feeling. Pupils may also need to speak to pastoral staff face-to-face in school. These staff members will be on hand to support pupils themselves or to direct them to external support that may be required.
Partaking in additional hand washing
Minimising close contact, where possible.
Minimising contact with those outside of their bubble, where possible.
Not lingering in corridors, and other communal places.
Not spitting, biting, or displaying other behaviours that put others at risk.
Putting soiled tissues in a bin.
Keeping to their classroom seating plan.
If you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing or wish to discuss the support available in school or externally, please contact the Headteacher.
17. Visitors on Site
Visitors will only be allowed into any school buildings where it is absolutely necessary, e.g. for essential building works or to provide essential support to a pupil – this also applies to parents. Parents that need to come into school will need to make an appointment first. Meetings will only be held with parents where absolutely necessary and at a safe distance.
18. School Trips
The government has advised that school trips abroad and other overnight trips do not go ahead until further notice. Non-overnight domestic trips can take place. The school will use local outdoor education and off-site facilities provided that adequate safety measures can be followed. While off-site pupils may wear face coverings so that they can enter public spaces safely and we ask you to provide a face covering and a bag for it to be stored in while the pupil is at school.
19. What can you do to help?
The support and understanding of our families is vital when ensuring the school is a safe and happy environment. Helping your child understand the importance of infection control, good hygiene and social distancing is just one way you can help us minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission.
Government advice for parents can be found here:
and here :
and some useful information from Devon County Council on school absence: