Covid 19

Our school has been open to children of Key Workers and those who are vulnerable throughout lockdown and will continue to do so.  The Government would like schools to open to more children.  Please read the Government's Guidance to Parents and Carers HERE

School is preparing to open more widely to children from Monday 8th June 2020.

 School will initially only be open for Nursery, Reception and Year 1 children.  It will not be open for Year 2 children unless their parent is a Key Worker (proof will be requested) or they are classed as Vulnerable.

You must give the school at least two days' notice before you bring your child to school – do not just turn up expecting a place. 

 

The school will close after lunchtime each Friday so that the school can be deep cleaned and staff can plan and prepare work for the following week.

Unfortunately Kids' Club (our before and after care service) will not be available to look after children before or after school. 

Please read our letter to parents about the school opening more widely:

Partial School Return COVID 19 EYFS

Covid 19 School Risk Assessment Cottesbrooke

Infectious Diseases COVID19 Office Staff Risk Assessment

Addendum to H&S Policy May 2020

Frequently Asked Questions:

What will the children be learning?

  • Children will be assessed by their group leader and taken from that point.  We will be doing reading, writing and maths but I have also asked the staff to plan a unit of work to run up to the summer holiday.  The whole curriculum will run as much as possible but there will be big focus on personal and social education and wellbeing (including staying healthy) after so many weeks in isolation.

How big are the groups?

  • The government’s guidance is that children should be taught in groups of no more than 15 children.  Initially we are going to cap our groups or ‘bubbles’ at 10 children.

Where will they be taught?

  • We have reserved two rooms for each class (Nursery, Reception and Year 1) so that we can split the classes in half.  The children will either be in their own usual classroom or another room in the building which will remain as their classroom until the end of term.

I have children in different classes.  Do I have to queue twice to drop them off and collect them?

  • You will have to queue twice to collect children from different year groups although we will offer some flexibility with dropping off.  Where siblings are in the same year group but not in the same class, we may put siblings together in the same class so that any possible infection is not spread to different groups/bubbles.  Where siblings are in different year groups we will allow the oldest child to go into class unaccompanied (not with their teacher).  Therefore we would ask that you join your youngest child’s queue at the time stated.  If you have a child in Nursery you should drop them off first and then walk round to Cottesbrook Road with your older children.

Will they be doing PE? Do they need a PE kit?

  • The children will be taking part in physical activity in their small groups.  This will be held outside (weather permitting).  The children will not need a PE kit and we do not want you to send one in.

Who will be teaching them?

  • Where possible, the child’s teacher and/or teaching assistant.  Some staff are shielding and will not be returning to school for the time being.  Initially we are planning for two adults per room (a bubble) with an adult in the shared area to escort children to the toilets (obeying social distancing) and passing on messages.  There will be one lunchtime supervisor per group.  Staff will be in their own ‘bubble’ with the children and will not be able to mix with other children or adults.

What do they need to wear?

  • We would prefer the children to wear school uniform, however, where possible we would request that your child wears fresh clean clothes each day to minimise the risk of transmitting the virus if it is on clothing.  This may mean that children cannot wear uniform every day and this is acceptable.  We would also recommend that you change your child’s clothes when they arrive home from school.  We will allow named sun hats.

When can Year 2 return?

  • The government would like a phased reopening of schools.  The only primary year groups that are opening across England are Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.  When the Government decides to open even more widely we will contact you.

What will happen in September?

  • The Government has not yet given direction regarding schools opening arrangements for September.  We will update this section as information becomes available.

Do the children need to bring anything with them?

  • No.  We do not want any items brought from home including bags or food as this increases the risk of the virus being brought in to school.  The only exception to this is that the children may bring in sun cream which they will have to apply themselves under the supervision of an adult, but the bottle will need to remain at school and not transported backwards and forwards each day.  It would be far preferable if parents could apply day long sun cream at the beginning of the day so that children do not even need to bring this.

What about lunchtime?

  • Children will be taken to the dining room by their lunchtime supervisor a group/bubble at a time and encouraged to obey social distancing guidelines.  The children will queue to get their lunch and sit at the dining tables at allocated spaces.  The children will eat, leave together and the seats, tables and any touch points will be wiped down.  The next group will then be brought down.  The children will play in their group on the playground or in their classroom.

I have been getting supermarket vouchers, will they continue?

  • Some families who are entitled to certain benefits are able to claim for Free School Meals (FSM) and were issued with £15 per week per child supermarket vouchers in order to help feed their children during lockdown. These vouchers were provided by the Government and administered by the school.   All children who attend school will have a school dinner.  The menu is on the website and children will not be able to bring in outside food.  Vouchers will not be issued to any children who are attending school.  At the time of writing the Government has not said whether or not the vouchers will continue for Free School Meal children who are not attending school.

What hygiene practices are you following?

  • We will ask staff and children to walk through a solution of disinfectant as they arrive at school, they will then need to sanitise and wash their hands when they get in to school.  There will be a supply of tissues available and periodically through the day the adults and children will wash their hands – particularly before eating and coming in from outside.  As per the government guidance, windows will be kept open to allow the circulation of air and we will encourage everyone not to touch their face.

Will the children be safe?

  • The children will be looked after and cared for as well as they always were at Cottesbrooke.  The ratios of children to adults will be smaller; however we cannot ever guarantee that your child will not contract any illness if they attend school.  We will be putting all the Governments advice on lowering the risk of contracting the virus in place, such as regular handwashing, catch it, kill it, bin it, cleaning more frequently, etc. as much as is practically possible.

Will you make sure that children wash their hands?

  • Yes.  The children and staff will wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitiser if hand washing is not available.  The school is having out door sinks installed in both playgrounds to aid us in this.  Children will be accompanied to the bathrooms if they need the toilet and reminded how to wash their hands afterwards.

Will the children and staff be social distancing?

  • Staff will be instructed to social distance and children will be encouraged to social distance but the Government’s guidance on social distancing for primary schools is that young children cannot be expected to social distance from adults or each other.  In Nursery and Reception children will have activities spread more widely apart but part of the importance of early years education is socialising and speaking to others and this cannot be done at a distance of two metres and staff will not demand that they do so.  In Year 1 and 2, children will be taught at tables which will be spread out with only one child per table.  Children will not swap seats.  The children will have their own resources and will not share.  They will be reminded about social distancing at playtime but they may end up playing with each other more closely than 2 metres.  The fact that these children are in small groups or bubbles who will only come into contact with each other and their assigned staff member(s) is a way of social distancing.

Can my child wear a mask in school? What about PPE?

  • No.  The guidance states that children and staff should not wear masks or face coverings at school.  The school does have a supply of PPE; masks, visors, aprons, gloves, sleeves but these are specifically for staff dealing with children who have suspected COVID 19 and for cleaning down the room later.  Some staff may wear some PPE following an individual risk assessment.

My child/ someone in my household has an underlying health condition and is shielding.  Should I send my child to school?

  • You should follow any medical advice that you have been given regarding shielding.  Any child who has been assessed as extremely clinically vulnerable or who lives with someone who has been assessed as extremely clinically vulnerable should not come to school.  Sending a child to school could increase the risk of acquiring the virus and we would strongly urge all parents to carry out their own risk assessments before deciding on whether or not to send their child to school.  We would also ask that parents keep us informed of any health issues in their household or with their child.

Will there still be assemblies?

  • Unfortunately there will be no weekly or end of year assemblies that parents can attend.  We are planning to hold our weekly Celebration Assemblies virtually in classrooms.

What if someone at school gets Coronavirus?

  • If anyone becomes unwell with the symptoms of coronavirus at school, they will be sent home and advised to follow Public Health England’s ‘COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection’.  They will be told to book a COVID-19 test and will not be able to return until the outcome has been verified as negative or until at least 7 days after they began showing symptoms if the outcome is positive.  If the outcome of the test is positive, the group or ‘bubble’ that the child or staff member has been working in will be sent home and told to isolate for 14 days from when the infected person began to show symptoms.  Any siblings that attend the school will also need to isolate.

Will you still be providing home learning?

  • Yes.  The teachers who are shielding will continue to set home learning via our website.  However, children in school will not be able to bring many items home, such as school reading books or sheets as this could be a possible route of transmission which we are trying to avoid.

Do I have to send my child to school?

  • The Government have asked schools to encourage parents to send their children to school but have stated that parents will not be fined if they decide not to send their children to school.

Parents are standing and chatting at the school gate, can you do something?

  • Parents are discouraged from meeting and blocking thoroughfares around the school.  Although the guidance says that people can meet at a distance of 2 metres, we would ask that parents do this away from the school to alleviate some stresses and anxieties that this behaviour can cause.

The school hours/lack of wraparound care will interfere with my job.  What am I supposed to do about childcare?

  • The guidance states that within school, children should not mix with other adults and children outside their group/bubble as far as possible, therefore running Kids’ Club is impossible.  Schools primary function to educate children and the Government has made it clear that this is the reason for schools to reopen at this time.  Parents will need to find alternative childcare at this time.