Subject to change in line with Government Guidance, please refer to the school website and your emails for any amendments/additional information
When will my child return to school?
John Gulson Primary School will be looking to welcome all children to primary school in September. This is in accordance with Government guidance. Some parents may feel apprehensive about this, but school will ensure children are kept as safe as possible following public health guidance and ensuring a robust risk assessment is in place. While attendance for some groups of pupils was voluntary in the summer term – attendance from September is compulsory and non-attendance will result in school following the usual attendance policies and procedures. School will be happy to talk you through any concerns you may have but hopefully this booklet will give you a clear view of how things will work and how children will be kept safe.
I am worried that my child is vulnerable or that a family member is. What is the advice for this?
Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.
Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, school will offer them access to remote education.
How will groups be organised?
The Government guidance allows classes to be taught as ‘bubbles’ so classes can stay together as a group. In some year groups we may need to operate as a year group bubble, but this will be only if absolutely necessary. Children will not be moving between bubbles (classes) but teachers will be able to move between bubbles where necessary to enable the smooth running of the school.
What hygiene measures will be in place to prevent transmission?
- follow the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance
- ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. All classrooms have sinks and hand sanitisers or access to a sink. We will use a range of measures including hand sanitizer, soap and water and hand wipes. If your child is allergic / intolerant to any of these methods it is important you inform the school via email: firstname.lastname@example.org or through telephoning the school office 02476 227791 – these are the preferred contact measures to prevent too much traffic at the office and support on going social distancing.
- clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches more regularly than normal
- ensure that lidded bins for tissues are emptied each day
- where possible, ensure spaces are well ventilated.
- prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation.
We will ensure that all adults and children:
- frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
- clean their hands-on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing
- are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
- use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
- where possible help children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
- we will consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition.
Will children stay in the same classroom all day?
Yes. We will keep children within their identified classroom environment during the day although we will be making use of the outdoor space and our school field (while also adhering to safety advice) to ensure we can provide a broad and balanced curriculum
How will lunch time work?
All school meals will be collected and eaten in the children’s classrooms to ensure reduced moment across the school site. School meals will be in the form of packed lunches to begin with, we will inform you if/when this changes. This is to reduce the mixing of class bubbles in the lunch hall and ensure additional safety measures are in place.
Will my child be expected to share resources, such as pens and pencils?
Where possible, children will be given their own equipment, which they must not share with anyone else. Any resources that are shared (e.g. school laptops) will be disinfected after use.
Will everyone arrive at school at the same time causing an increase in risk?
The school will organise a staggered drop off and collection time for pupils. (More details to follow) Only one parent or carer should accompany the child to school to minimise risk. When dropping off and collecting pupils we ask parents/carers to carry out sensible social distancing. Y6 pupils, when they return to school, may still come to school unattended if they can adhere to any rules regarding distancing. Latecomers will need to phone the school office before entering the building. Your child will then be collected and taken to their class by a staff member.
Will the school have assemblies?
There will be no mass gatherings as a school for the time being. However, we will put in place ways to share celebrations and deliver assemblies through ‘bubble’ assemblies and celebrating of good work.
What equipment does my child need to bring to school?
Children will need to bring the following equipment to school each day:
- Water bottle
- Reading book in book bag – to be changed on Monday and Friday only
- PE kit – left in school and taken home regularly for cleaning
- Lunch – if needed
My child is feeling anxious about coming back to school, how can I prepare him/her?
Please prepare your child by talking about the slight changes in school – and the reasons for these. It will be a little different. Please reassure your child/children that their teachers and all the other grown-ups in the school will be there to talk about any worries and support them as they return. Hopefully, your child has also had chance to meet their new class teacher which should ease their transition. If you did not have this chance during our transition meetings there is a place on the website with new classes on where your child can find out information about their new class.
Will children go straight back into normal lessons following the National Curriculum?
No, not initially. The initial focus, for as long as we feel necessary, will be on supporting personal, social, health and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s wellbeing. The children have all been through an incredible period of change and may have experienced loss on several different levels. We also know that children like routine; therefore, new routines will quickly be established and when children are ready, we will continue teaching lessons as normal. We will of course ensure that skills in English and Maths continue to be developed. Our initial few weeks in school will focus on building relationships in class, meeting pupils social and emotional needs and assessing where gaps in learning may be so we can support all appropriately
How will you support my child’s emotional well-being?
School will work hard with all pupils to ensure their social and emotional well-being is supported on return to school. All children will have had different experience during the lock down period and we will treat all pupils as individuals and meet needs accordingly. If you want to discuss your child’s social and emotional needs on return, please ask to see Mrs Webberley Holmes (Acting Deputy Headteacher) or one of our Learning mentors Mr Shebel and Mr Mbarushimana who will be happy to help. You can also speak to your child’s class teacher and teaching assistant. We are here to help and ensure we make the return as successful as possible.
Will my child need to wear a school uniform?
Yes, now we are returning to school as a whole community it is important all children wear a school uniform. School uniform does not need additional cleaning to usual.
Will the breakfast club and after school clubs be open?
Initially, to prevent bubbles from mixing and to reduce risk we will unfortunately not be offering breakfast club or after school clubs. This will be reviewed as and when public health guidance changes.
Will we allow visitors and volunteers into school?
We will continue to reduce the number of visitors on site unless essential. Specialist teachers to support pupils with SEND will now be permitted to visit site to support pupils where needed.
Will the school office be open?
Yes, but parents and children should refrain from using the main school entrance unless essential to help meet social distancing requirements. Where possible we would ask that parents ring/email the school as opposed to presenting in person. Teachers will have boxes for you to put dinner money, forms, etc. in during drop off/pick up time.
Will children and young people be eligible for testing for the virus?
The government advice is:
When settings open to the wider cohort of children and young people, all those children and young people eligible to attend, and members of their households, will have access to testing if they display symptoms of coronavirus. This will enable them to get back into childcare or education, and their parents or carers to get back to work, if the test proves to be negative. To access testing parents will be able to use the 111 online coronavirus service if their child is 5 or over. Parents will be able to call 111 if their child is aged under 5.
Will teachers and other staff be able to get tested if they have symptoms?
Access to testing is available to all essential workers. This includes anyone involved in education, childcare or social work – including both public and voluntary sector workers, as well as foster carers. Any staff who develop symptoms will be asked to have a test.
What will happen if a child in the class shows symptoms?
We will follow the Government guidelines set out below.
If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in an education or childcare setting, they must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance. If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to a room where they can be isolated, depending on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else. PPE should be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs). In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital. If a member of staff has helped someone who was unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home (although this will be offered to any member of staff if the case arises) unless they develop symptoms themselves (and in which case, a test is available) or the child subsequently tests positive (see ‘What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting?’ below). They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell. Cleaning the affected area with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. See the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in school?
We will follow the Government guidance set out below. When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. Where the child, young person, or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation. Where the child, young person, or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. 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, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings 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, site, or year group. 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.