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 pods

The school is keeping the children as far as possible in class ‘pods’ to minimise the number of daily contacts with others that each child has. 

Drop-off and pick-up

In order to minimise the number of people on the school site to help to maintain social distancing, there are staggered drop off and pick up times for the pods. Because break and lunch times are shortened slightly, teaching time will remain the same as pre-lockdown for all pupils.

If you have more than one child in the school, drop off time will be at 8.50am and pick up will be at 2.50pm. This is to avoid you having to make more than one journey to school or to have to wait around the school premises any longer than necessary. Twins without a further sibling in school may arrive at the class time for non-siblings if preferred.

Otherwise, below are the times for children without siblings in school:

Please try to arrive as close to those times as possible, because it is 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 class (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.

Entrance doors for classes

Breakfast club and after-school club

Because of the need for social distancing and lack of space, as well as to maintain the integrity of the pods as much as possible, breakfast and after school clubs are split into two groups, infants and juniors. 

In order to help us in maintaining the integrity of the pods 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 autumn 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

All shared equipment needs to be regularly and thoroughly cleaned, and we wish to avoid this as much as possible, particularly for the older children. Therefore, the children in Years 3 to 6 have been contacted by their class teachers regarding pencil cases or other equipment they will need to bring to school on the first day. If you have any queries about this, please contact the class teacher directly.

In the infant classes, each child has an individual zip wallet filled with stationery. The arrangements in reception are slightly different as those children do not have their own tables.

All children need their PE kit, their book bags, a lunch box (if your child is bringing their own lunch), a snack, a water bottle, sun cream and a sun hat (if the weather requires it). 

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

Lunches

School lunches are eaten at tables in the hall in staggered sittings, with tables thoroughly cleaned between sittings. Children do not queue; instead the midday assistants deliver their dinner to their table.

Home sandwiches are be eaten outside (weather permitting) or in the classroom.

The tuck shop is not be able to operate safely at break times and we therefore ask all parents to supply their child with a snack every day. (Free fruit will be available.) The snack arrangements for Reception are different and Mrs Thompson has let those parents know the details.

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 pods 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 14 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 14 days.

Remote learning will be provided for any children who cannot attend school due to self-isolation with Covid19 symptoms or because their pod has been sent home for isolation. 

Because the government has said that school will be compulsory for all children on roll from September, we will be unable to provide remote learning for any who do not return, unless this is due to the child’s medical issues and it has been confirmed by a consultant that the child should not return to school. Any parents who are concerned about this should seek a consultation with their child’s doctor as soon as possible. 

Well-being

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. We are doing our absolute best to help your children settle into their routines as gently as possible, with lots of Thrive and other social and emotional activities to boost their confidence and happiness. Please let us know if you would like any help or reassurance and we will do our best to assist. 

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.