Covid-19 Information for Parents

COVID update for parents

To keep everyone safe we have introduced the following processes in school:

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The aim of bubbles is to reduce the contacts made between groups. The school operates in six separate bubbles (Year 7, Year 8, Year 9 KS4, AS1 + 2 and AS3 + 4 facility) to both reduce the risk of infection and the impact on learning should any member of the school community test positive for COVID-19. Some class groups within Key Stage bubbles will come together for lunchtimes, but will sit separately to avoid contact. We do not consider this to be mixing bubbles due to the space available.

Breaks are timetabled to allow exclusive use of playgrounds within each bubble. Staff may work in more than one bubble. Staff are expected to maintain social distance of 1m+ to each other and pupils where possible or safe to do so. It is the aim to reduce the mixing of staff in class groups to a minimum where possible whilst ensuring staff: pupil ratio remains adequate. Pupils will remain in their allocated room and teaching staff will move from class to class. KS4 pupils will have access to specialist rooms enabling them to continue with their qualifications.

Observing social distance (staff and pupils)

Adults should attempt to maintain a distance of 1m+ at all times from each other and pupils where this is possible or safe to do so. The guidance recognises that in special school settings this may not be possible, however it remains an aspiration in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.

Markings on the floor in communal areas such as the reception area and the hall will indicate where to stand. Staff washrooms will operate a one in one out system with a sign to indicate if the rooms are in use.

It is understood that adults will need at times to be closer than 1m+ in order to support pupils.

Bubbles will operate in isolation to other groups within the school to minimise the number of contacts adults and children make during the course of a day.

Use of corridors will be minimised where possible by the use of outside access to classrooms and reducing the need for many pupils to move around the school between lessons.

Staff breaks will be taken in the designated area for each bubble. Staff breaks will be staggered.

Staff are encouraged to remind their colleagues of the social distancing responsibilities without fear of recrimination. Assemblies will not take place in the hall. Class assemblies will take place on Fridays at an agreed time to enable celebration of achievement to take place.

Classroom tables should be arranged to avoid pupils facing each other and so that pupils have as much personal space as possible – pupils should not usually share a table. In all classrooms furniture not essential to learning should be removed to allow for maximum space.

Pupils are supported to understand the concept of space between themselves and others. They should be sensitively reminded that we are keeping ourselves safe by not getting too close to each other.

Keeping classroom areas clean

Class teams are responsible for maintaining the on-going hygiene of the classroom area during the day. All rooms will be equipped with cleaning resources, these are kept out of the reach of pupils. Care is taken to ensure that all regularly touched surfaces are wiped regularly e.g. handles and switches. Computer keyboards and mice will be wiped down with a cloth or wipe; this equipment could be damaged if sprayed directly with disinfectant. Pupils will not use headphones unless they have been allocated for the sole use of an individual pupil, or microphones due to the contact with faces. Additional cleaning will be carried out by both the site team and our contacted cleaners. As much as possible, pupils will use their own set of writing and drawing resources. All pupils will have their own zip wallet, this will also contain resources specific to their learning where we have sufficient quantities. Cleaning resources will be kept out of reach of pupils at all times.

Handwashing and respiratory hygiene routines for children (and staff)

Children must wash their hands under running water and with soap on arrival at their classroom, this should be done at the classroom sink where possible. Staff will need to supervise pupils to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly, they should draw pupils’ attention to the posters in washrooms and around the school.

Pupils must wash their hands at the following points during the day:

· Before breakfast/ Before lunch

· On returning to the classroom after playtimes

· After using the toilet

· After blowing their nose (into a tissue, waste efficiently put into the bin)

· After touching a face mask

· Before going home

Hand sanitisers are available in all classrooms, these are not to replace handwashing with soap and water, which remains the preferred method. These should be used for a ‘quick clean’ if the classroom sink is in use and followed up with a hand wash using soap as soon as practicable.

Hand sanitisers are available in other areas of the building. Pupils will be taught the rules of hygiene with regular and frequent reference to handwashing and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach. Teachers must communicate all adaptations required to enable all pupils in a class to use the classroom basin to wash their hands effectively.

Keeping the school clean

There is an on-going cleaning programme in operation. The focus for cleaning will appropriately be on the areas and surfaces that most frequently come into contact with hands. To reduce the amount of hand contact on doors, as many doors as possible will be held open, where this is safe to do so. Class teams prepare areas ready for pupils’ use during the school day. Toilets will be cleaned by the site team.

Responding to suspected or confirmed cases:

A child or adult shows symptoms during the school day

he school will seek advice from Public Health England regarding appropriate action to take.

If a child arrives at school with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are accompanied by a parent or carer, they will be directed to go home.

Any member of staff receiving a child who is unwell must ask the parent to wait with their child away from other people. The member of staff must immediately seek a member of the senior leadership team.

If a child arrives at school by taxi with symptoms of coronavirus arrangements will be made for the child to go home. If possible this will be by taxi, if not the parent/carer will be asked to arrange collection of their child. The child will wait in the designated area until they are collected. They will not go to their classroom.

A child arriving at school with symptoms who needs to use the toilet they will be taken from the designated area to the disabled toilet near reception. This toilet will be disinfected after use.

The first aid risk assessment for managing and supporting pupils with coronavirus symptoms provides details on the cleaning of areas used and the collection and disposal of waste including PPE.

The first aiders are responsible for monitoring and supervising people (staff and pupils) who are displaying symptoms. PPE is available for staff carrying out this role.

If a child develops symptoms during the course of the school day, they will be isolated in the designated area until medical assistance can be gained or until they leave the school site to self-isolate.

The senior leadership team must be informed immediately of any child displaying symptoms.

Parent and carers have been informed that they must be prepared to collect their child if required.

Where more than one person is displaying symptoms at any one time the HoS will specify an additional space to be used.

Procedure when a member of staff or pupil has a positive test result

Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or bubble within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. This decision will be taken in conjunction with any specific advice provided by health protection agencies. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.

As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, we will communicate with the DfE and / or Public Health England, whose local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, year group or bubble / Key Stage. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.

Track and trace

If any member of the school community is contacted via the ‘track and trace’ system in place, they must follow the advice given which is (at the moment) to isolate for 14 days. The school will need evidence that this has been requested for our records and monitoring purposes.

Supporting our families throughout the pandemic:

Home/school communication

Class teachers will continue to email weekly to communicate with parents. Updates will be shared via email and on the school website. Where individual pupils are needing to self-isolate, the school will be in touch each day to support them to access their work. In some cases a welfare visit will take place once a week to deliver learning resources prepared by the class teacher.

Contingency planning

If there is a local outbreak and we are asked to close temporarily for most pupils, or if individuals or groups of pupils need to self-isolate, but the rest of the school is still open, the DfE will expect us to provide remote education for these pupils. Teachers will ensure that pupils are set work each day in a number of different subjects, aiming to reflect the regular timetable, and monitor pupils' engagement with their work. For most children, this will be set using Satchel (SMHW). For pupils who do not have online access, printed resources such as workbooks and textbooks will be provided. For some pupils in the facility and in year 7, Class Dojo will be used. Work set should be of an equivalent length to the core teaching pupils would receive in school, including daily contact with class staff.