Alderman White School: School Re-Opening September 2020
Information for Students and Parents
1. Our Vision
2. Protective Measures
3. What are the expectations of students?
4. What are the expectations of parents / carers?
5. Who cannot attend school?
6. What if my child or a household member is vulnerable?
7. Can visitors come onto the school site?
8. Does my child need to wear school uniform?
9. What equipment does my child need?
10. How should my child travel to school?
11. What hygiene measures will be in place?
12. How will the number of people my child comes into contact with be limited?
13. Will social distancing be in place?
14. How will students and staff move safely around school?
15. Will food be available at school?
16. What are the arrangements for accessing student toilets?
17. What enhanced cleaning arrangements are in place?
18. Will my child follow the usual curriculum?
19. Will assemblies take place?
20. Will enrichment take place?
21. How will the additional catch up money be spent to support my child?
22. How will my child be supported in school?
23. Has the behaviour policy changed?
24. What will happen if my child does not attend school?
25. Will PPE be worn in school?
26. What will happen if someone in the school community contracts COVID-19?
27. How will my child be supported if school has to close again in the future?
Schools have been asked to re-open full time to all students in September. Schools are also required provide remote education for any students who are unable to attend school and in the event of students being required to self-isolate or a school closure or local lockdown.
Most young people aged 11-16 have a very low risk of becoming seriously unwell even if they were to catch COVID-19, and being in school carries many important educational, development and wellbeing benefits. However, we know that COVID-19 is a very serious illness. We have a number of students, staff and family members within our community who have a higher risk of becoming seriously unwell if they catch COVID-19.
Our aim is to provide the best possible education that we can to all students in line with our values and policies, whilst also preventing COVID-19 transmission within our school community by working together to rigorously apply our protective measures.
The protective measures that we will have in place are:
1) minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
2) clean hands thoroughly more often than usual.
3) ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
4) introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach.
5) minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.
6) where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Response to any infection:
7) engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
8) manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community.
9) contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.
Everyone in our school community has an important role to play in minimising the transmission risk.
We have very high expectations of our students and make sure that they understand that their choices and behaviour effect everyone else in our school community. This is even more the case now.
- Tell an adult as soon as possible if you feel unwell and describe your symptoms
- Come to school in the correct uniform and with your equipment (see Section 7 and 8)
- Bring a clean face mask / covering to school each day in a bag to wear for indoor practical activities and moving around the school site (Unless you are unable to wear a face mask / covering)
- Bring a warm, waterproof coat every day – you will be expected to line up outside
- Walk or cycle to school if possible
- Stay at least 2 metres away from all adults in school and from other students when you are able to, especially those in other year groups (unless you live in the same house)
- Follow our “no physical contact” policy
- Line up on the number for your classroom at the start of each lesson (apart from the New Block, W14 and W31 where you line up outside the external door)
- Follow the one way signs for indoor corridors
- Follow the seating plan in every lesson
- Wash or sanitise your hands frequently including at the start and end of every lesson, before and after eating, when you have been to the toilet and as soon as you get home
- Wash your hands as soon as you arrive at school if you have travelled by public transport or car
- Use a tissue for coughs / sneezes, put it in a lidded bin, and clean your hands
- Do not touch the screens in use in classrooms
- Do not deliberately cough or sneeze on another person or threaten to do so – this will be treated as “physical endangerment” and will carry a serious sanction
- Follow our usual expectations about behaviour including immediately following the instructions of all adults
- Do your best and don’t worry about making a mistake – we are all learning these new ways of working
- Don’t be a bystander – make sure you tell someone if you see someone not following the rules.
- Make sure you are aware of and following the rules on what you can and cannot do when you are not at school
Don’t worry – you can do this!
Everyone in our school community and any visitors to the school site must be ready and willing to:
- book a test if a household member is displaying symptoms.
- provide details of anyone they or their child have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
- self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or if anyone in their household develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
Please ensure that you support us in implementing all of our protective measures:
- Please read this guidance carefully and discuss it with your child
- Do not send your child to school if they or anyone in the householdhas COVID-19 symptoms or they are required to self-isolate or quarantine
- Ensure that we have at least twoup to date contact details so that we can contact you if your child becomes unwell at school
- Ensure that your child has the correct uniform and equipment every day (including a clean face covering in a bag) and contact your child’s Progress Leader if you require support with this
- Avoid gathering at the school gate, and encourage your child to walk or cycle to school
- Ensure that your household are aware of and following the current government guidance to prevent COVID-19 transmission in our community:
Government Guidance: Coronavirus outbreak FAQs: what you can and can’t do
5.1 Students MUST NOT attend school if:
- They have tested positive for COVID-19 and symptoms started in the last 10 days or are ongoing
- They have any of the suspected symptoms or more than one of the possible symptoms of COVID-19
- Someone in the household has any of the suspected COVID-19 symptoms (and has not received a negative test result)
- They have had close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, within 48 hours of them developing symptoms or testing positive, within the last 14 days
- They have been asked to self-isolate by the Test and Trace service
- They have returned from abroad within the last 14 days and are required to quarantine
- There is any other reason to suspect they may have COVID-19 and they have not yet received a negative test result
5.2 Symptoms of COVID-19
Suspected symptoms identified in government and NHS guidance are:
- high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (38°C or above, if you are using a thermometer)
- 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
Possible symptoms include:
- (unusual) tiredness
- (unusual) aches and pains
- sore throat
- sickness (in children)
- an (unexplained) rash on skin, or discolouration of fingers or toes
Please do not send your child to school if they have any of the suspected symptoms or more than one of the possible symptoms.
If your child has any suspected symptom the whole household must self-isolate in line with government guidance, and they should have a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. Your child must not return to school until they feel better and have either had a negative test result or 10 days has passed since they developed the symptoms, and they have no remaining symptoms other than a lingering cough / loss of sense of smell or taste.
If your child has more than one possible symptom they must not attend school until they feel better.
If your child has been absent for any reason related to COVID-19, please contact school to agree a date for their return in advance.
Students, staff and family members are encouraged to access a COVID-19 test as quickly as possible if they have symptoms, and to make school aware of the test result. This will be treated in confidence but positive test results will be shared without identifying the person who has had the result.
We know that a consequence of our protective measures may be higher than normal levels of staff and student absence. However, in order to keep COVID-19 out of our school community, it is really important that everyone follows the guidance above. In the past we have encouraged everyone to attend school if they are well enough to do so. That has now changed. Hopefully a consequence of our protective measures may be lower levels of flu and other viruses within our community. We will not follow our usual attendance processes where absences have occurred for the reasons given above.
Where staff and students are well enough to work from home, staff will teach lessons remotely from home, and students will be able to access learning remotely via google classrooms. Live lessons will be provided if a class or year group have to self-isolate or there is a temporary school closure.
5.3 Absence Scenarios
If your child has any of the 3 suspected symptoms, you must follow government guidance:
- Your child must not return to school until they feel better and have either had a negative test result or 10 days has passed since they developed the symptoms
- the whole household must self-isolate for 14 days (if they don’t have symptoms) or 10 days (if they do have symptoms) or until your child receives a negative test result
- your child and anyone else in the household with symptoms should have a COVID-19 test as soon as possible (people with no symptoms should not have a test)
- follow this guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance
If your child has more than one of the possible symptoms they must not attend school until they feel better. This is a school rule and there is no requirement to follow the government Stay At Home guidance. Other household members do not need to stay at home. Please monitor their health carefully and try to arrange a test if you are concerned that they may have COVID-19.
If someone else in the household has any of the 3 suspected symptoms, the people with symptoms should self-isolate for 10 days and everyone else in the household must self-isolate for 14 days or until the person receives a negative test result, in line with government guidance. If anyone else in the household develops symptoms they must self-isolate for 10 days or until they receive a negative test result. Your child must not return to school until anyone with symptoms has received a negative test result, or your child has self-isolated for 14 days.
If your child has been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 within 48 hours of the person developing symptoms or testing positive, they must self-isolate for 14 days. If they develop COVID symptoms during the 14 days they should start 10 days of self-isolation and have a COVID-19 test. (This is government guidance and applies to everyone).
If you are advised by a qualified medical professional (eg. doctor, nurse) that it is not necessary to follow the government guidance, we will require confirmation of this before your child returns to school. If 111 advise this please ask for the name and medical qualifications of the person giving this advice.
We will not follow our usual attendance processes for any absences related to COVID-19 including all of the scenarios described above.
If your child, or anyone else in the household has had a COVID-19 test, please make us aware of the test date and result. This will be treated as confidential information. Positive test results will be shared with staff and parents without identifying the person concerned.
If your child has been absent with any suspected or more than one possible symptom listed above, please contact school to agree a date for their return in advance.
If in any doubt, please keep your child at home and phone and speak to our Attendance Officer, Mrs Philpot.
We know that a consequence of our protective measures may be higher than normal levels of staff and student absence. In the past we have encouraged everyone to attend school if they are well enough to do so. That has now changed in order to protect the health of our community.
Where staff and students are well enough to work from home, staff will teach lessons remotely from home, and students will be able to access learning remotely via Google Classrooms. Live lessons will be provided if a class or year group have to self-isolate or there is a temporary school closure.
Most students and staff should now be able to return to school, even if they or a household member are clinically vulnerable or were previously shielding. We will carry out individual risk assessments where necessary, in conjunction with the student and parent.
Government guidance states that now that more is known about coronavirus (COVID-19), far fewer children and young people will be advised to shield when community transmission rates are high.
- a small number of students will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
- if rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent
- some students no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment).
Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we will enable them to access to remote education and monitor their engagement with this, and their absence will be authorised.
Until further notice only essential visitors may attend site. Where possible, this will be arranged outside the school day. Parents may only attend the school site if it is essential and by prior arrangement. In most instances, meetings will be held on zoom or MS teams.
If your child needs to be collected from school, please come to the gate and use the intercom. Where possible your child will come to meet you at the gate. Please respect social distancing at all times, and avoid gathering at the school gate or coming onto the site without an appointment.
Students must conform to our usual uniform requirements with 2 temporary variations:
- School blazers and ties are optional
- Plain black V neck jumpers or cardigans may be worn as an alternative to a V neck jumper or cardigan with the school logo
All other uniform requirements remain the same including PE uniform. Financial support with uniform is available to families who meet the means tested criteria. For children in Year 7, any issues with providing full PE kit at the start of term for financial reasons will be dealt with individually – please contact Ms Friend, Progress Leader, if you need to discuss this.
We will review this variation on a half termly basis and give as much notice as possible when we return to our normal uniform policy.
Parents may choose to wash school uniform more frequently at a 60 degree temperature, although this is no longer included in government guidance as infection levels have reduced.As an additional protective measure, anyone returning home from school could shower, change and wash their clothing as soon as they get home.
Frequent use equipment such as pens and rulers cannot be shared under any circumstances.
Students must have the following equipment with them in school every day (all items as far as possible should be clearly labelled or marked):
1) A pencil case or tin containing:
- At least 2 black/blue pens (more is fine)
- 2 green pens
- Pencil and sharpener
- Ruler (preferably 30 cm)
- Glue stick
- Coloured pens or pencils
- School compliant scientific calculator (can be purchased from school for £8.50 if not already owned) – details of how to order remotely will be provided at the start of next term.
Students must not bring scissors to school.
If you require support with providing equipment please contact your child’s Progress Leader.
2) A suitable school bag large enough to contain the equipment above as well as schoolbooks / folders / additional equipment when these are required to be taken home.
3) The following equipment will be provided by school and your child must take it with them to every lesson:
- Reading book - these will be borrowed from the school library and quarantined when returned. Further details will be provided at the start of term.
- a small whiteboard, pen, and cleaning cloth
- School diary.
4) A face covering – cloth is preferred unless your child is clinically vulnerable, in which case a single use water resistant surgical mask may be more appropriate. (Unless your child is unable to wear a face covering / mask).
We would also encourage students to bring a reusable drink bottle containing water or a squash or juice-based drink. Bottles can be refilled at the water fountains at school.
Students may not bring food to share or creative homework projects; these may be photographed or videoed and the evidence uploaded to google classroom instead.
Students should attend school in full PE kit on days where they have PE. If this creates a barrier to attending school or taking part in PE for your child, please contact their tutor or Progress Leader and we will try to put in place an alternative arrangement.
Resources that are shared between classes, such as sports, art and science equipment will be cleaned carefully between classes, or rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for a period of 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different classes. Outdoor equipment will be cleaned more frequently.
Please encourage your child to walk or cycle to and from school if possible.
Please try and avoid the use of public transport if at all possible. If your child needs to use public transport they must follow government guidance including wearing a face covering and social distancing as much as possible. If your child has no other way of getting to school and you would like to request a variation to their start or finish time please contact their Progress Leader. Any students using public transport or car to get to school must wash their hands as soon as they arrive at school.
Please avoid car sharing with people who are not part of your household. If you need to drop off or collect your chid(ren) by car please avoid using the school visitorcar park unless you have been given permission to do so. Please DO NOT use the main school car park at the start or end of the school day. Please arrange a place to pick up / drop them off your child(ren) that is safe and avoids congestion or inconvenience to local residents and other road users, preferably a little way from school.
11.1 Hand hygiene
We have an alcohol hand sanitiser dispenser or hand washing facilities in every classroom. All students and staff will clean their hands thoroughly:
- at the start and end of every lesson
- after using the toilet facilities
- after using a tissue for a sneeze / cough
Alcohol based hand sanitiser is a flammable substance. Students may not use school hand sanitiser unless they are supervised by a member of staff. Please contact your child’s tutor or Progress Leader if your child has an allergy to hand sanitiser and alternative arrangement will be made, or if you wish them to bring their own alcohol hand sanitiser to school.
Students will be reminded to avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth as much as possible, and to clean their hands before and after doing so.
11.2 Respiratory hygiene
Students must use a tissue to catch sneezes or coughs(or their elbow where a tissue is not available) and dispose of it in a lidded bin, then clean their hands. Tissues and lidded bins for tissues are provided in every classroom and area of school. Students are permitted to bring and use their own tissues. Tissues must be disposed of in the lidded bins provided.
All rooms have door stops and we will keep doors and windows open where possible to maximise natural ventilation.
We will follow the Health and Safety Executive guidance on the use of air conditioning units. The current guidance states that these are safe to use where natural ventilation is not sufficient.
11.4 What is the school policy on face masks / coverings?
Following a recent change in WHO and government advice, we would like all students and staff to bring a clean face covering or mask to school every day with a sealable bag in which to store it when they are not using it. Face coverings may be a single colour or have a simple pattern but may not have large logos, markings or slogans that may be inappropriate in school or cause a distraction. Face coverings must be worn correctly covering the nose and mouth. We will provide support with providing a mask or face covering if necessary.
Staff and students will be expected to wear a face covering:
- during indoor practical activities where they are moving around a classroom or speaking activities at less than a 2m distance, such as in Science, Technology or Languages – this may be for a small part of a lesson
- as they are moving around indoor areas of the school such as corridors and the cafeteria. They are not required to wear a face covering once seated in the Dining Hall.
Students and staff may wear face coverings at other times if they choose to do so. If a face covering is affecting teaching and learning we will discuss and agree solutions. Students or staff who are unable to wear a face covering for a medical reason or due to a disabilitywill not be expected to do so. We are mindful that the use of face coverings in school may be difficult for some of our students and staff, including those with hearing impairments, and will work with them to identify the best strategies to address this.
Anyone wearing a face covering at school must ensure they wash or sanitise their hands before putting on or removing their face covering, touch it by the straps only, and store it in a sealable bag when they are not wearing it or dispose of it in a lidded bin. Reusable cloth face coverings must be washed before being brought back to school. Face coverings are an addition to our other protective measures and do not remove the need for social distancing where it is possible.
We will keep our policy with regard to face coverings under review with reference to government and WHO guidance and data on COVID-19 transmission in our local community.
The government guidance recognises that whilst minimising contacts and mixing between people reduces transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), the use of small groups presents educational and logistical challenges, particularly in secondary schools.The approaches of separating groups and maintaining distance are not ‘all-or-nothing’ options, and will still bring benefits even if implemented partially. Teachers and other staff may operate across different classes and year groups in order to facilitate the delivery of the school timetable.
In line with the government guidance:
- At key stage 4 (Year 10-11), we will operate year group “bubbles” so we can deliver the full range of curriculum subjects and students can receive specialist teaching.
- At key stage 3 (Year 7-9) we will operate tutor group “bubbles” for as much of the curriculum as possible, half year group bubbles in areas where it is not possible or desirable to deliver the curriculum this way, and year group bubbles at break / lunchtime where we will encourage students to spend as much time outside as is possible.
We will limit interaction, sharing of rooms and social spaces between groups as much as possible. This will include:
- Having a separate break time for Year 7-8 and Year 9-11 students and separate areas for each year group at break and lunchtime
- Movement around the school site will be kept to a minimum, by teaching most subjects in double lessons and keeping groups in the same rooms where it makes sense to do so to reduce the number of different rooms students are in and staff that they work with per day. Year 7 and 8 will have a break in the middle of most double lessons.
Click here to see our school day, or see the picture below
The government guidance recognises that it will not be possible for schools to maintain social distancing where space does not allow this, and states that maintaining as much distance as possible, even some of the time, will help.
Staff and students will be expected to maintain a 2metre distance from others wherever this is possible.Where this is not possible, they will be expected to maintain as much distance as possible, avoid close face to face contact and minimise time spent within 1 metre of anyone. The school has a longstanding “no physical contact” policy for students and this will be strictly enforced.
Classrooms will be adapted to support social distancing and minimising the number of contacts. This will include:
- Arranging tables so that all students are seated side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or side on
- Seating students at separate tables where possible
- Having consistent shared seating plans to minimise the number of students that sit near each other in Year 7-9
Adults in school are expected to maintain a 2 metre distance from each other. Students will be expected to maintain a 2 metre distance fromadults in school, although adults may use their professional judgement to go within 2 metres of students for short periods if other protective measures are in place.
Screens are in use around teacher desks, and in Technology and Computer Rooms where the room layout means students face each other.
Staff will use a range of protective measures to work safely with students with SEND needs.
Passing briefly in the corridor or outside is identified as carrying a low transmission risk. We have put the following measures in place to avoid busy corridors, entrances and exits:
- The layout of our school means that most classrooms can be accessed via an external door.
- All internal corridors and outdoor pathways that are less than 3 metres wide will be one way only for all students and staff and will be marked out with signs indicating the direction of movement. Wider corridors will be marked out to keep to the left.
- Break time and lunch time will be staggered (and time allowed for cleaning surfaces in the dining hall between groups).
- For classrooms not in the New Block, there is an identified place where students will line up. Groups will then be escorted to their classroom one at a time to prevent crowding on the stairs or in corridors. For lessons in the New Block, students should line up outside the external classroom door.
- Students and staff will be expected to wear face coverings as they move around indoor communal areas.
A catering service will be available in school at both break and lunchtime although the range of options will be more limited at first to ensure that the service can be provided safely.
Students will queue outside and will be brought into the cafeteria in small groups. Face coverings should be worn in indoor queues and at service points, and a “pointing menu”will be provided to aid communication. Seating in the Dining Hall is arranged so students all face the same direction and students.
We are reviewing our current payment system. Due to the range of products now available we have decided to evaluate a number of options rather than rush into an expensive “quick fix” for our current biometric system. This means that in the first instance, payment will still be via touch pad. Students will be supervised in using hand sanitiser before and after use. We will aim to move to a “touch free” system after October half term.
As usual, students may bring a packed lunch to eat in the dining hall.
Students must avoid gathering in or near toilet blocks.
During break and lunchtime, students should use the following toilet blocks:
Year 7 / 9: Near the Hall / Base
Year 8 / 10: Near the gym / Art room
Year 11: New Block (students will need to be mindful that Y7/8 lessons will be in progress)
Students must wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap after using the toilet facilities and dry them thoroughly using a paper towel. The hand driers are currently disabled to avoid increasing any transmission risk.
Students should try and maintain as much distance as possible while using the toilet facilities, especially from students in other year groups, and avoid queuing where possible. Students will be allowed to access the toilets during suitable parts of a lesson if they have been unable to do so during break or lunchtime.
Toilet blocks will be cleaned frequently during the school day.
Cleaning and disinfecting of frequent touch surfaces will takes place as follows:
- Thorough cleaning of all surfaces in all areas of school at the start or end of every day, following our usual cleaning rota
- Additional cleaning of all non-classroom areas by a cleaning team on site during the school day, including regular cleaning of all toilets
- Cleaning of the Dining Hall by our lunchtime supervisors
- Cleaning of frequent touch surfaces and shared resources in classrooms and teaching areas by students and staff
Students will be required to wipe surfaces they have touched at the start and end of every lesson and any shared resources before and after use under the direction of the teacher, using a disinfectant wipe or paper towel to wipe an area sprayed with disinfectant by an adult.
We are aiming to provide our usual broad and balanced curriculum as far as possible.
Year 11 students will have the opportunity to continue with 9 qualifications or to focus on 8, with the agreement of parents and teachers. We will get in touch with parents and students who have requested this before the start of term. The Year 11 schemes of learning have been adjusted to take account of changes made to the assessments next summer, and we will provide additional intervention for Year 11 students to help them to catch up on any content they have missed. Students starting Year 10 will continue to study for 9 qualifications.
We are aiming to offer as many of our usual practical activities as we can. Face coverings should be brought to school and worn during indoor practical activities that involve moving around the classroom.
We will ensure that we are following the most recent guidance to ensure that students are able to safely access the widest possible range of PE activities. Outdoor sports will be prioritised where possible, and large indoor spaces used where it is not, maximising distancing between students where possible, and paying scrupulous attention to cleaning and hygiene.
Assemblies will be conducted remotely as part of tutor time in line with government guidance to avoid large gatherings such as assemblies or collective worship with more than one group.
Due to government guidance we will not be able to plan or run any overnight or overseas educational visits at this stage. We can resume non-residential UK educational visits, providing that appropriate measures are in place. However, in the first instance we will be focussing on re-opening and running our on-site provision and we will not plan any new trips. The only exception to this is completing the postponed Duke of Edinburgh Award practice and actual expeditions which will now take place without an overnight stay. Further details will be provided to the parents of students undertaking these activities.
Further guidance has recently been published with regard to singing and playing wind or brass instruments and this is now allowed subject to protective measures being in place. These will include:
- Social distancing of 2 metres, wherever possible (or 1 metre with robust risk mitigation where 2 metres is not viable)
- Back-to-back or side-to-side positioning (rather than face-to-face)
- Activities which can create aerosol are discouraged, such as shouting or singing loudly
- Singing or playing wind or brass instruments outdoors, wherever possible
- Limiting the number of children attending (by having multiple smaller groups)
- Take steps to improve ventilation as far as possible and whenever possible, either through the use of mechanical systems and/or opening windows and doors
- No sharing of instruments or equipment
- Thorough cleaning of all shared equipment e.g. music stands
- All of our usual protective measures including no mixing of year groups and good hand and respiratory hygiene
We will aim to restart as many of our on-site enrichment activities as we can as soon as possible after the start of term, with additional protective measures in place.
The government has promised additional funding to schools to support children and young people to overcome the impact of school closure on their learning and progress. The funding we will receive is the equivalent of £80 per student, paid in termly installments.
Following positive feedback from parents we intend to use this funding to ensure that all students have access to an IT device that can be used to support learning at home and school. This will help us to address gaps in learning, support students to prepare for external exams, minimise the impact of any school absence or future school closure, and build on the progress we have made in using IT more creatively and effectively during the school closure. This will not mean that IT will replace other teaching methods or students writing. We are supporting this by investing in our IT network on site from our school budget. Further information will be sent to parents with regard to this early in the Autumn term.
We recognise the variety of emotions that students may experience in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, such as anxiety, stress or low mood. This may particularly be the case for vulnerable children, including those with a social worker and young carers. It is important to contextualise these feelings as normal responses to an abnormal situation. Some students may need support to re-adjust to school; others may have enjoyed being at home and be reluctant to return; a few may be showing signs of more severe anxiety or depression. Others will be keen and ready to return to school.
We will consider the provision of pastoral and extra-curricular activities to all students designed to:
- support the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement
- address and equip students to respond to issues linked to coronavirus (COVID-19)
- support students with approaches to improving their physical and mental wellbeing
We will provide more focused pastoral support where issues are identified that individual students may need help with, drawing on external support where necessary and possible. We will consider the support needs of particular groups we are already aware need additional help (for example, children in need), and any groups we identify as newly vulnerable on their return to school.
We will update our behaviour policy to include the new expectations to minimise the COVID-19 transmission risks and share this with staff, students and parents.
We will continue to work with students who may struggle to re-engage in school and are at risk of being absent and/or persistently disruptive, including providing support for overcoming barriers to attendance and behaviour and to help them reintegrate back into school life.
We acknowledge that some students may return to school having been exposed to a range of adversity and trauma including bereavement, anxiety and in some cases increased welfare and safeguarding risks. This may lead to an increase in social, emotional and mental health concerns and some children, particularly vulnerable groups such as children with a social worker and young carers, will need additional support including access to external services where this is available. The behaviour of students with SEND needs may be affected as a result of the disruption of their provision during school closure.
We will set out clearly the consequences for poor behaviour and deliberately breaking the rules and how we will enforce our expectations including any sanctions, including rules in relation to restrictions on movement within school and new hygiene rules.
Our disciplinary powers, including exclusion, remain in place. Any disciplinary exclusion of a student, will be consistent with the relevant legislation. Where a child with a social worker is at risk of exclusion, their social worker will be informed and involved in relevant conversations. Permanent exclusion will only be used as a last resort.
We will work with families to secure regular school attendance from the start of term as this will be essential to help students catch up on missed education, make progress and promote their wellbeing and wider development.
We realise that some students or parents may feel anxious about a return to school; we will happily discuss any concerns and the measures we have put in place to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
We will be particularly mindful to support families where students have been shielding previously but have been advised that this is no longer necessary, those living in households where someone is clinically vulnerable, or those concerned about the comparatively increased risk from coronavirus (COVID-19), including those from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds, or who have certain conditions such as obesity and diabetes.
We will identify students who are reluctant or anxious about returning or who are at risk of disengagement and develop plans for re-engaging them. We will in particular support disadvantaged and vulnerable children and young people, especially those who were persistently absent prior to the pandemic or who have not engaged with school regularly during the pandemic.
Our policy for non-COVID-19 absences has not changed. Leave of absence for students during term time can only be authorised in exceptional circumstances. Holidays in term time will not be authorised and in most cases will be referred to the Enforcement Team who will issue a Fixed Penalty Notice.
Gloves, surgical masks, face visors and aprons will be made available to all staff on request although our advice to staff is that they are only required where it is necessary to go within 2 metres of a student or colleague for more than a few minutes. Staff have had training on how to put on and take off PPE safely and this will be refreshed at the start of term.
Students may see cleaning and catering staff routinely wearing PPE. Some staff have previously been shielding or are clinically vulnerable, or are in higher risk groups, and may opt to wear some PPE items regularly. Staff may opt to wear items of PPE if there is an increase in case numbers within our local community.
We are mindful that some of our students with SEND needs may find this challenging and will ensure that any use of PPE by staff does not affect teaching and learning including for SEND learners or staff, including those with a hearing impairment.
Staff, parents/carers and students are required to:
- book a test if they are displaying symptoms
- provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
- self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
We will encourage anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) to have a test, and we will ensure that staff, parents and students know how to book a test.
We will ask parents and staff to inform us immediately of the results of a test and to follow the Public Health England advice in relation to a negative or positive test result.
- if someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.
- if someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’ and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.
If we become aware that someone linked to our school community has tested positive for COVID-19, we will be advised and supported by our local health protection team. Based on the advice from the health protection team, we will send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious.
We will keep a record of students and staff in each group, and any close contact that takes places between children and staff in different groups. This will be done by maintaining an accurate attendance register for each lesson, and an accurate seating plan which will be stored centrally for at least 14 days.
A template letter will be provided to school, on the advice of the health protection team, to send to parents and staff if needed. We will not share the names or details of people with coronavirus (COVID-19) unless essential to protect others. Clear guidance will be issued to everyone on the action they are required to take.
In some cases, health protection teams may recommend that a larger number of other students self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure. If an outbreak in school were to be confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school if necessary, in line with routine public health outbreak control practice.
Remote education plans will be in place for individuals or groups of self-isolating students. These will meet the same expectations as those for any students who cannot yet attend school at all due to coronavirus (COVID-19).
In the event of a local outbreak, the PHE health protection team or local authority may advise school or number of schools to close temporarily to help control transmission. We will develop a contingency plan for this eventuality. This may involve a return to remaining open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, and providing remote education for all other students.
Where a class, group or small number of students need to self-isolate, or there is a local lockdown requiring students to remain at home, we will offer immediate remote education. We will be able to build on the experience we have had this year to immediately move to a high quality remote learning model.
Students will follow their usual timetable, with work set daily for the lessons on that day. Wherever possible, the lesson will include a live element delivered remotely by the teacher, who will also be available to support throughout the usual lesson time.
As part of our contingency plan, we will train all students to use Google Classroom and MS Teams, and reinforce this by using Google Classroom to set homework and support learning and students who are absent throughout the year. This will provide the added benefit of enabling students to review and revisit lesson materials to reinforce their learning. We will continue to support students and families to access suitable devices to support remote learning, and continue to develop our IT capacity on site to further support learning.