COVID-19

This page provides details of how the school will run differently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, including our risk assessment document and answers to frequently asked questions

Risk assessment

Below is a link to the school’s ‘Full Opening in September’ risk assessment. It has been written using guidance provided by the Department for Education and Essex Local Authority and adapted for the school’s individual circumstances.

The risk assessment is a fluid and responsive document which is constantly under review and will be amended in line with current guidance and local circumstances.

Class bubbles

The school is currently still open to support the children of critical workers and those that are vulnerable. We are keeping the children in class bubbles made up from two classes to minimise the number of daily contacts with others that each child has. 

Drop-off and pick-up

The drop off time for all children coming into school is from 8:45 – 8:55 am. The pick up time for all children is between 2:45-2:55 pm. Please make sure that, if you are bringing in your child, pick up and drop off times are adhered to.

The school gates will close at 9 am and we expect all children (except those in After School Care) to be off the school premises by 3pm to go straight home in line with the Lockdown rules.

It is very important to minimise the number of people on the school site to help to maintain social distancing. Where possible, there should only be one adult accompanying children into and out of school. 

Entry is via the double car park gates and there is a one-way system around the school. Senior staff are on duty at drop off and pick up times to help guide parents through the system. Please go through the gate on to the junior playground and follow the path through the junior playground, travelling around school in an anti-clockwise direction. In places where the footpath narrows, yellow lines have been marked 2m apart and red arrows indicate the direction of travel. Exit from the school is through the single gate. Please do not stay to chat on the playground or allow your children to play on the front or back fields before or after school; leave the school site as quickly as possible.

No adults other than staff and expected visitors will be allowed into school; please leave your child at the correct entrance door for their bubble (listed below) and collect them from there at the end of the session. An adult will greet your child in the morning and welcome them into the classroom.

The children have been organised into 4 bubbles. If you are unsure of your child’s bubble or require a place, please contact Mrs Meacock, the Headteacher via the usual contact details.

The children in each bubble will move between the two classrooms of their teachers who are leading their bubbles; the adults will be present at the beginning and end of each day to help direct you to the room being used that day – it will always be the same two rooms the children will be moving between

Entrance doors for Bubbles:

Breakfast club and after-school club

In order to help us in maintaining the integrity of the bubbles as much as we can, please only use the breakfast and after school clubs if this is absolutely necessary.

There will be no after school sports or craft clubs until at least the end of the spring term.

Questions for the Office staff

Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns. If urgent, parents should ring the bell at the entrance gate and then wait for a member of the office staff to respond.

What you need you to provide from home

Please do not let your child bring any toys or non-essential items with them from home, unless requested by the class teacher..

Equipment will currently provided in pots or zip up bags by each bubble and will remain in school for the duration of this lockdown.

Children do not need PE Kit in school at this time.

Lunches

Hot school lunches cannot currently be provided. Children can bring in a packed lunch from home or they can order a school ‘Pack Up’.

They should also bring in a water bottle and morning snack.

Hand washing

Each child (and adult) is asked to wash their hands thoroughly immediately on arrival into school, after every outdoor session, before eating, after using the toilet, and after sneezing or coughing. Tissues are supplied in all classrooms, as well as soap, hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes. All handwashing will be supervised by an adult.

Illness

If a child shows any symptoms of Covid-19 during the day, such as a new persistent dry cough, a high temperature or a loss of the sense of taste or smell, then the child will be removed from their bubble and a request made to parents to come and collect them, along with any siblings. 

Parents should book a test for the child as soon as possible. If that test returns with a negative result, the child may return to school, if otherwise well. The parents of all children in that pod will be advised that a child has been sent home with symptoms and may take their own child out of school should they choose to.

If the test is positive, the whole pod (including the adults) will be asked to self-isolate for 10 days. 

If anyone in the household develops COVID19 symptoms, all children from that household should remain at home in self-isolation until a negative test result is obtained by the person showing symptoms. A positive test result will mean that the child(ren) should self-isolate with the household for 10 days.

Remote learning is in place for all classes which can be accessed via each child’s Google Classroom account.

Further links to support your child’s learning:

BBC Bitesize – all sorts of interesting and exciting things to learn about! CBBC are also showing daily Bitesize lessons on their television channel.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize

Horrible Histories – really fun way to find out so much about History, in a very accurate and informative way!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/cbbc/shows/horrible-histories

Go to CBBC ‘Newsround’ and find out more about Celebrity Supply Teachers, such as Geography – with David Attenborough!

https://www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/53048939

Mental Health and Well-being

If you do have concerns regarding your child’s emotional or mental health there are a range of options we can share with you to help you support your child. All discussions and referrals are completely confidential. Contact your child’s class teacher or Mrs Russell for more advice.

Millfields is part of the Mid-Tendring Academic Partnership (MTEP) and we can refer to them for help for children and families for a range of services, including counselling, play therapy and family support. For more information on MTEP follow the link: https://midtendringeducation.com/

The Emotional Well-being and Mental health Service (EWMHS) is another vital service for supporting young peoples mental well- being. Any body can contact them directly for support, including children: https://www.nelft.nhs.uk/services-ewmhs/

Childline is a fantastic support network for children and families.

https://www.childline.org.uk

or Telephone: 0800 1111

Children currently in school

The staff are aware that some children may be feeling anxious or even frightened about being at school and that it will all seem strange to them, especially with so few peers with them. We are doing our absolute best to help your children settle into their routines as gently as possible, using Thrive and SEMH support strategies.

Children not in school

The staff are aware that children can find it difficult not being in school. We have arranged daily contact for each class with their class teacher and friends and have sent out time tables for each class. Please note that each class is limited to one daily session (possibly to on occasions) as we have to be fair to all children and make sure everyone gets fair and equal access to teacher time, especially as some families have more than one child and only one laptop!

The Multi-School Council run by Kierran Pearce have put together daily Zoom sessions which children of all ages can watch! These are to help keep the mind active and positive. More than one child can use these through out the day. There are 4 each day – just click and use!!

The first are for Tuesday 12th January and will be emailed daily to all parents and staff.

Frequently asked questions

Below is a list of the most frequently asked questions and their answers, in accordance with government guidance. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any other questions.

Who should access a test for Covid-19?

The symptoms for testing are

  • High temperature – this means you, or your child, feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • New, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • Loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Contacts of someone with symptoms should only access testing if they themselves become symptomatic.

If a contact who has been asked to self-isolate goes on to display symptoms and accesses a test but it is negative, they still cannot return to school/work until they have completed their 14 days isolation period (because they may still go on to become positive during the 14 days).

If parents keep a child at home because they have symptoms, should siblings with no symptoms be kept off too?

The whole household should isolate while a test is being sought. This includes siblings from this and other schools.

Is there any advice for children who have a cold but also have a cough and/or a temperature? Should these children stay at home?

Any child with a high temperature (as above), a new continuous cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste, regardless of additional symptoms pointing to another cause (including a cold), should be self-isolated and tested.

These children should isolate until a test is returned as negative.

What about children with allergies or asthma?

If a child is showing symptoms as above, they should isolate until a test is returned as negative, even if there is a chance it is related to allergies or asthma.

What is a ‘temperature’ for a child?

You should look for signs of a temperature i.e. flushed, hot to the touch on chest and back.

If a bubble has a positive case and is sent home, do the siblings outside the bubble have to self-isolate?

Siblings of the positive individual – yes. Siblings of the other children in the bubble – no – unless their own sibling then goes on to display symptoms themselves.

Will my child be provided with remote learning if they are off school with Covid-19 symptoms and awaiting a test?

If the child is unwell, they are deemed off sick and would not be provided with remote learning.If they are self-isolating either due to contact with a confirmed case, travel quarantine or symptoms awaiting a test or the results of a test but well enough to do schoolwork, then remote learning will be provided. (Please contact the class teacher if this applies to your child).

Can my child return to school after a negative test, even if they still have a cough?

So long as your child feels well enough, they may return if they have a cough. However, if they still have a temperature, they should wait until 48 hours after the fever has subsided before returning.

How will the school manage the ‘Rule of Six’?

Although in general it is now illegal for groups of more than 6 people (including children) to be together, indoors or outdoors, schools are exempt from this rule.