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Covid -19

A nosy walk through the school before reopening...

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The government are of the opinion that, whilst it is not possible to ensure a totally risk-free environment, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. They argue that for the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19). As a result, all schools are preparing to welcome all children back next week, including Borrowdale School.

 

While coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, this means making judgments at school level about how to balance delivering a broad and balanced curriculum with the measures needed to manage risk. This means revisiting the risk assessments and responding to identified risks in a way that suits the circumstances, are practical to be implemented and are maintained easily over time. We hope that you will find the information below about how we plan to operate useful, but as always, don't hesitate to ask any questions that you may still have after reading this page.

 

If you are unwell or have one or more coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms (or you have someone in you household who does), you cannot attend school.

  • COVID-19 symptoms: temperature of 37.8’C or above, new continuous cough, change to or loss of sense of taste/smell

 

What happens when my child is ill, but is not showing symptoms of COVID-19?

    • Children do get ill whilst they are at school; this is normal. Our usual advice is that if children are not fit to learn or participate in all school activities because they are unwell, they should not be in school. Normal procedures for absence through illness should be followed.

 

What happens when someone is showing one or more symptoms of COVID-19?

 

What happens if the test result comes back positive?

    • The individual needs to continue 10day isolation at home. They can return to school after 10 days if they have not had a high temperature for 48 hours. Others in the household need to continue with their 14 days ‘isolation at home’ period and should get tested if they develop symptoms
    • Close contacts from the class will need to go home and isolate for 14 days from the date they were last in contact with the individual who has tested positive. Their wider household do NOT need to isolate
    • Testing is not routinely offered to individuals who do not have symptoms, so contacts do not need to be tested unless they develop symptoms themselves or are informed otherwise via health protection services

 

What happens if the test result comes back negative?

    • Staff and parents will be informed of the result
    • The individual can return to school straight away as long as they have not had a high temperature for 48 hours or have not been told to isolate.

 

Upon arrival at school, we are planning to check your child’s temperature using an infrared no-touch thermometer.

 

Cleaning hands more often

Children will be asked to clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, when the visit the toilet and before and after eating.

 

Respiratory hygiene / face coverings

  • There will be tissues and bins available in every classroom to support the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  • Face coverings are not required in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education.

 

Enhanced Cleaning / Toilets

  • More frequent cleaning of rooms and areas used by children
  • Frequently touched surfaces will be cleaned more often
  • Toilets are cleaned regularly, different groups are allocated their own toilets and sinks

 

Grouping children / Bubbles

Consistent groups reduces the risk of transmission by limiting the number of pupils and staff in contact with each other to only those withing the group. However, in the Summer term we learned that maintaining distinct groups (or ‘bubbles’) that do not mix presented many educational and logistical challenges in our small school, including cleaning, use of shared spaces such as the playground, transport, etc.

 

Because our school is not much bigger than a large class, the logistics of keeping siblings and staff in separate areas at all times are simply not practical. But the approaches of separating groups and maintaining distance are not ‘all-or-nothing’ options, and will still bring benefits if implemented partially.

 

Therefore, we will keep children and staff in their class groups for the majority of time, but we will also allow mixing into wider groups, transport or after school clubs and staff are able to move between groups. Because we will keep the class groups at least partially separate and minimise close contacts between children of different classes, we will still reduce the network of possible direct transmission.

 

Travel to and from school on the minibus

It is our intention to get the school minibus running again as soon as we can. We hope that this can be achieved after a couple of weeks. Before we are able to we will need to consider:

  • The total demand for the bus (do we need one or two buses?)
  • A new rota of volunteers; drivers (driving assessments will be arranged in September), chaperones, cleaning
  • Additional cleaning for the vehicles
  • Use of hand sanitiser upon boarding
  • Organised queuing and boarding where possible
  • Distancing and seating within the vehicles

 

Attendance expectations

School attendance is mandatory again. This means that usual rules on school attendance apply and we expect all children to attend school unless

    • A statutory reason applies (sickness, granted leave of absence)
    • They are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves or are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus.
    • They are vulnerable and have been advised to shield due to a disease rise in the local area
    • Their parents are following clinical and/or public health advice
    • There is a local lockdown requiring pupils to remain at home
    • They have returned from one of the countries on the quarantine list

 

Catering/Lunches

We will continue to provide meals to all pupils who want it including those eligible for benefit related free school meals or universal free school meals. We will be offering lunches that are balanced and healthy, prepared at Keswick School. They will be pre-packed, cold lunches, so children can eat them in their classrooms, therefore minimising the mixing of groups. the initial menu for the Autumn term can be found on the school website on the 'Meals' page.

 

Some pupils may choose to bring in a packed lunch from home. Lunches brought in from home should also be healthy and nutritious. Sweets and sugary drinks are not allowed in school.

 

All pupils should have their own water bottle which they can re-fill at school. We encourage pupils to bring in a healthy snack for the morning break.

 

School uniform / School bag

The school relaxed the uniform policy in the summer term because there was a requirement of wearing a set of clean clothes every day. New guidance tells us uniforms do not need to be cleaned more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal. We will therefore revert to the usual uniform policy as we believe it sets an appropriate tone.

 

Pupils may bring in a bag for their belongings such as their lunch box, water bottle and reading books. Stationary will be provided to them by the school and should not be brought in. Toys should also stay at home.

 

Most pupils keep a bag in school with their PE kit or a change of clothes. We still encourage this, so pupils always have the right equipment. PE is an important subject and without an appropriate PE kit and trainers, pupils may be cold or trip over whilst running.

 

Clubs

Clubs have not been ruled out because of COVID-19, but we will initially only have running club for pupils in Years 4,5,6 who are interested. We are planning to do this on Thursdays.

 

Remote learning

Where a class or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or there is a local lockdown requiring pupils to stay at home, we will offer immediate remote education. Our curriculum for the Autumn term will be planned in a way that supports a switch to remote learning should the need arise.

  • We will continue to use Class Dojo as a class resource for communicating with parents and we will also use Dojo for homework.
  • Pupils at home will be given access to high quality resources online (and printed resources for pupils who do not have suitable online access)
  • Pupils at home will have meaningful and ambitious work in a number of subjects
  • Pupils’ work programme at home will be equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive at school
  • Feedback will be provided on the work pupils complete at home

 

Catch up support

At the start of the term, the teachers will assess the pupils to identify gaps and re-establish good progress in the essentials (phonics and reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and mathematics). If gaps are identified, pupils may receive some intervention support to help them. This could be in the form of alternative or additional work in school as well as tasks to do at home (e.g. reading time).

 

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