Reopening of School – COVID Information

I am really looking forward to welcoming everyone back to school on Wednesday 2nd September. We will be open full time from 8.45am to 3pm.  

I am aware that many children have been away from the school site for many months and I recognise that some pupils and parents may be anxious about returning to school, whilst others will be excited to return. In this email I have outlined all the measures school have put in place to reduce the risk to all the pupils and adults in school.  

The Department for Education are explicit in their message that it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, well-being and wider development. Therefore, The Department for Education have asked schools to prepare for all pupils to return full time from the start of the Autumn Term, including those in school-based nurseries. Schools must comply with health and safety law, which requires us to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. We have carried out detailed risk assessments, which we will continue to monitor as the new term gets underway.  

The information in this section has been taken from the Department for Education guidance and we are following their Prevention and Response to Infection guidance.  

Prevention  

Essential measures include:  

• A requirement that people who are ill stay at home  

• Ensuring that pupils, staff and other adults do not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last ten days 

• Ensuring anyone developing symptoms during the school day is sent home 

• Ensuring that pupils clean their hands regularly, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, when they change rooms and before and after eating 

• Promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach 

• Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools. This evidence will be kept under review  

• Enhanced cleaning arrangements including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach  

• Active engagement with NHS Test and Trace 

• Consideration of how to minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible  

This will include:  

• grouping children together  

• avoiding contact between groups  

• arranging classrooms with forward facing desks  

• staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible 

Response to Any Infection  

Essential measures include:  

• Engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.  

• Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community.  

• Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.  

The Threlkeld CE Primary School Approach  

Our key principles draw on guidance from the Department for Education and are further enhanced with our own additional measures. Our COVID-19 protocols are designed to create a ‘protective bubble’, which separates our school from external factors and limits the social interaction between groups of children and staff. We are confident that the procedures outlined in this document offer the best possible levels of protection for our pupils, staff, and their families.  

Our key principles for opening in September are:  

• As per the latest DfE guidelines, we expect all pupils to attend school.  

• We will teach a broad and balanced curriculum.  

• We will reduce the risk of spreading the virus as far as possible.  

• We will implement social distancing as far as possible.  

• We will have in place a contingency plan for home learning.  

Arriving and Leaving School  

Please ensure that you are not dropping your child at school any earlier than 8.40am. On arrival at school, staff will be waiting at the main entrance to welcome your child. Class One and Two pupils will enter school via the main entrance, Class Three pupils will enter through the back door of school. Pupils will go straight into their classrooms and thoroughly wash their hands.  

At the end of the school day when you arrive to collect your child can I ask you wait directly opposite school. A member of school staff will cross your child over to you.  

We will not be allowing any adults access to the school building for the foreseeable future. If you need to speak to myself or a member of staff can I ask that you ring or email to arrange a suitable time to do so.  

If you plan on driving to school to drop off or collect your child can I ask you consider parking outside the village hall or at the top car park, doing this will give everyone more space outside the school gates. Can I also ask, that if possible, you come and collect your child alone. Again, this will mean there is more space on the road outside school.  

For families who use the school bus and taxis please find attached to this email guidance from Cumbria County Council.  

Face Coverings  

On arrival into school, if your child is wearing a face covering, it must be removed before entering the classrooms in line with DfE guidance. Reusable masks need to be placed in a plastic bag and put into the child’s school bag. Parents need to provide the plastic bag. Protocols around hand washing will be followed once face coverings have been removed.  

Bubble and Class Organisation  

During the school day the pupils will be taught in their class groups. Keeping the class groups separate during the school day will reduce the risk to pupils and staff. Examples of the changes we have made are as follows: 

  • Class Two and Three will not combine for any afternoon indoor sessions 
  • Whole school assemblies will not take place for the foreseeable future  
  • Pupils will enter the school hall at lunch time at separate times  
  • Pupils will sit in their class groups when eating in the hall  
  • The staffing timetable has been organised to reduce, as much as possible, the need for teachers and support staff to work across class groups 
  • All pupils will enjoy playtime together after eating their lunch. Class groups will have designated areas of the playground to play in. 

Lesson Time  

We will continue to offer our pupils a broad and balanced curriculum. To reduce the risk to our pupils we have made the following changes:  

  • Pupils will have their own allocated set of equipment (pencils, pens, rulers etc..) 
  • Specialist equipment, such as Science/P.E. resources, will be thoroughly cleaned after each use 
  • When working in their class groups, pupils will be discouraged from having any physical contact with each other 
  • The pupils will be sitting in pairs on forward facing desks 
  • Staff will limit the amount of time they spend in close proximity with the pupils, as stated in the latest government guidance. 

Uniform and Items from Home  

We have decided to continue with our relaxed uniform rules we introduced over the Summer Term. Pupils need to attend school in their school jumper or cardigan with a white or blue polo shirt underneath. Pupils can wear any trousers they feel comfortable in. It is important the pupils are attending school in clothes that are suitable for indoor and outdoor activities.  

Pupils will need to have their PE kit in school. We currently have no imminent plans to start swimming lessons again.  

To reduce the risk to the pupils and staff in school can I ask that you adhere to the following rules:  

  • If your child is having packed lunch, they should bring their lunch in a plastic reusable box (no fabric boxes) 
  • Your child is not wearing any jewellery. Watches will be permitted 
  • Hair should be tied up with no additional accessories worn  
  • Pupils are only bringing essential items to school (reading book, lunch box, water bottle and coat). These items should all fit inside a bag 
  • Any slips for the school office (return slips/money) should be put inside an envelope and clearly labelled with your child’s name 

Behaviour Expectations  

We will work with the pupils to help them understand the new routines and procedures that will need to be followed in school. These new rules have been introduced to ensure the safety of everybody and will need to be adhered to strictly. If any pupil consistently does not follow the rules, I will contact their parents and discuss alternative provision.  

First Aid  

General first aid will be unaffected in school but staff administering first aid may wear some personal protective equipment, depending on the treatment necessary.  

Confirmed Cases of COVID-19  

In the event of a confirmed case of COVID-19 in school, we have been advised we should contact the local health protection team. The health protection team will work with us in this situation to guide us through the actions we need to take. Based on the advice from the health protection team, we must 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. Close contact means:  

• face-to-face contact of any duration (less than 1 metre away)   

• were coughed or sneezed on  

• had physical contact (skin to skin)  

• Spent more than 1 minute within 1 metre  

• spent more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of the case 

• travelled in a car or other small vehicle (even on a short journey) 

Symptoms  

If a person becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell then they must be sent home, arrange a test and self-isolate for 10 days. If a person becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell then other members of their household should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.  

Contact Details  

Please can you ensure that school has up to date contact details. It is essential that you are contactable throughout the day.  

Final Reminder  

• Parents must not send their child to school if their child or any other household members are displaying Covid-19 symptoms.  

• Parents must keep school informed if anyone in their household displays symptoms and must inform school of Covid-19 test results. 

Contact Us

Mr Nick Turley,
Threlkeld CE Primary School,
Blease Road,
Threlkeld,
Keswick,
CA12 4RX

Tel/Fax: 017687 79680

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