Coronavirus (COVID -19) Information
From 19th April 2022
We aim to minimise both transmission within our school community and disruption to learning and enrichment activities from any infectious diseases or illness.
From 1st April the government guidance for schools was withdrawn. The current government guidance in all non-health and social care settings is:
Our Coronavirus Protective Measures
- Good hygiene
- Face coverings
- Stay away from others if infectious
- Additional School Measures
- Outbreak management
We encourage anyone who is eligible to be vaccinated against coronavirus. This protects individuals from serious illness but also reduces transmission within our school community. Vaccination for school aged children are now available from community vaccination centres – no further vaccinations are planned at school. You can find out whether you have had the full course of vaccines that you are eligible for here:
- Anyone aged 5 of over is eligible for 2 vaccinations
- Anyone aged 16 or over is also eligible for a booster
- Anyone aged 75 or over is eligible for a spring booster (4th dose)
- Some people with a weakened immune system or who are clinically vulnerable are eligible for additional vaccinations
When the school is in operation, we will ensure it is as well ventilated as possible and that a comfortable teaching environment is maintained.
All classrooms and shared spaces have a CO2 monitor. This should be activated whenever the area is in use to monitor CO2 levels and temperature with ventilation and heating adjusted to maintain a CO2 level below 800ppm and a temperature between 19°C and 23°C. Where the CO2 level exceeds 1000 or temperature is below 19°C or above 23°C, action should be taken to address this by the teacher, by adjusting the ventilation, heating or air conditioning. Any issues that cannot be resolved by the teacher should be reported immediately to the Site Team.
All rooms are expected to have a minimum of 2 sources of ventilation at any time. Windows should be opened before doors, which should only be used when additional ventilation is required.
Regular air “purging” should be used with all doors and windows being opened for a short period.
During cooler weather, staff should allow students to keep coats on if the classroom temperature falls below 18°C.
We will ensure adequate ventilation when holding events where visitors or parents are on site, for example, school plays.
IT rooms and some classrooms have air conditioning units. These do not provide ventilation or clean the air. Some ventilation must be maintained while they are in use.
3. Good hygiene
a) Ensure everyone is advised to clean their hands thoroughly:
Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed in all classrooms and are also available in reception and in the Hall. Students and staff are encouraged to wash their hands or to use hand sanitiser regularly including:
- after coughing, sneezing and blowing their nose
- before eating or handling food
- after coming into contact with surfaces touched by many others, such as handrails, and shared areas such as kitchens and toilets
- when returning home
Alcohol based hand sanitiser is a flammable substance. Access to hand sanitiser units is supervised by staff and care is taken in Technology and Science rooms.
b) Ensure good respiratory hygiene for everyone by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach:
Students and adults 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 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.
All areas of the school are cleaned and surfaces disinfected daily. Frequent touch points around school are cleaned additionally during the school day.
Disinfectant spray and disposable paper towel are available in all classrooms and can be used at the direction of the teacher.
4. Face coverings
Current Public Health guidance states:
“Wearing a face covering or face mask can reduce the number of particles containing viruses that are released from the mouth and nose of someone who is infected with COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. Face coverings can also protect the person wearing the face covering from becoming infected by some viruses.
When to wear a face covering
- when you are coming into close contact with someone at higher risk of becoming seriously unwell from COVID-19 or other respiratory infections
- when COVID-19 rates are high and you will be in close contact with other people, such as in crowded and enclosed spaces
- when there are a lot of respiratory viruses circulating, such as in winter, and you will be in close contact with other people in crowded and enclosed spaces
- If you have symptoms or have a positive COVID-19 test result and you need to leave your home, wearing a well-fitting face covering or a face mask can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory infections. See further advice in the guidance for people with symptoms of a respiratory infection or a positive test result.
Those attending education or childcare settings will not normally be expected to wear a face covering.”
Students, staff and visitors are allowed to wear a face covering at any times they choose to. School will continue to provide surgical face coverings on request.
We encourage compliance with the Public Health guidance including in our school setting.
No student will be denied education on the grounds of whether they are, or are not, wearing a face covering.
5. Stay away from others if infectious
Symptoms of COVID-19, flu and common respiratory infections include:
- continuous cough
- high temperature, fever or chills
- loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell
- shortness of breath
- unexplained tiredness, lack of energy
- muscle aches or pains that are not due to exercise
- not wanting to eat or not feeling hungry
- headache that is unusual or longer lasting than usual
- sore throat, stuffy or runny nose
- diarrhoea, feeling sick or being sick
Anyone with a high temperature or who feels too unwell to attend school should not attend site.
We encourage adults who are well enough to attend site but have more than one of these symptoms to complete a lateral flow test before attending site if possible. If they are not able to do so they should disclose their symptoms before attending site so a decision can be made about whether or not it is appropriate for them to attend site.
In order to minimise disruption and transmission within our school community, students who have symptoms that indicate that they are likely to have coronavirus (or any other highly infectious illness) should stay at home until they are feeling better.
School will continue to notify staff, parents and students of confirmed coronavirus cases.
The Public Health guidance states that anyone with a household case of coronavirus or who has spent the night in the same house as anyone who has coronavirus should:
- avoid contact with anyone you know who is at higher risk of becoming severely unwell if they are infected with COVID-19
- limit close contact with other people outside your household, especially in crowded, enclosed or poorly ventilated spaces
- wear a well-fitting face covering made with multiple layers or a surgical face mask if you do need to have close contact with other people, or you are in a crowded place
- wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use hand sanitiser
As it is impossible to limit close contacts on our school site, we ask that
- we are notified of any confirmed or likely household coronavirus cases
- people with household cases where a mask as much as possible indoors (unless exempt) and regularly clean their hands
The Headteacher may refuse to admit a student or adult onto the school site if, in their reasonable judgement, this is necessary to protect other students and staff from an infectious illness.
6. Additional School Measures
6a) Arrangements within Classrooms
Teachers may keep the screens around their desks in their classroom if they choose to do so. If they would prefer these to be removed, the materials will be reused by our Technology department.
Some assemblies will continue to be conducted remotely with students in tutor rooms, while others will take place in year groups in the school hall. Students and staff who wish to do so may wear a face covering and the Hall will be kept well ventilated.
6c) Movement around school
The layout of our school means that most classrooms can be accessed via an external door and most movement around the school site is outside. We have 3 internal corridor areas. Students and staff are asked to keep to the left, and advised to wear a mask or to use a different route if the corridor is busy.
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.
6d) Break and Lunchtime Arrangements
Students with a packed lunch may enter the Hall directly from the courtyard.
Students queuing for the cafeteria should walk around the front of school and join the external queue from the English block towards the Hall doors near the canteen.
The queue will be supervised by staff, and students will be invited inside to sanitise their hands and join a short indoor queue.
During breaks and lunchtimes, students should use the following toilet blocks:
Toilets near the Hall / Base
Toilets near the gym / Art room
At other times, students who have permission to use the toilet should use the nearest one to their classroom.
7. Outbreak Management Plan
If we are concerned about an outbreak of coronavirus (or another infectious illness) within a group of students who mix together we will:
- Notify staff, students and parents of the outbreak and provide reminders about our protective measures
- Consider whether it is necessary to temporarily enhance our protective measures, for the cohort affected, for example by:
- Requiring students to sanitise their hands entering and leaving classrooms
- Disinfecting surfaces between lessons
- Suspending face to face assemblies
- Reviewing planned events such as residentials, trips, live performances
- Seek advise from the local Public Health team if required
8) Visitor Policy
We ask that visitors follow our Protective Measures Plan.
9) Remote education
We will continue to provide remote learning where:
- it is not possible for school to open safely, or opening would contradict guidance from local or central government
- when individual pupils, for a limited duration, are unable to physically attend their school but are able to continue learning, for example pupils with an infectious illness
Students will have access to remote education as soon as reasonably practicable, in proportion to the length of absence and disruption to their learning.
Where a whole class is learning remotely, lessons will have a live element on MS Teams wherever possible, and work will be set on google classroom.
Where an individual student is learning remotely, work will be provided on google classroom. Students in Year 10 and 11 will be invited to “listen in” to the lesson on MS Teams whenever possible. This may also be provided for students in Year7-9 at the discretion of the teacher.
All students in Year 7-9 and many students in Year 10-11 have a chromebook or laptop they can use at home. A device can be provided if required on request.