St Mary's front sign

Weekly Update 25.09.20

COVID Update for Parents/Carers

Test and trace letter for parents and guardians


To keep everyone safe the following processes are place in school:

Bubbles

The aim of bubbles is to reduce the contacts made between groups.The school and the residential provision operates in 3 separate bubbles (Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3 and Key stage 4 & 5) tobothreduce the risk of infection andthe impact on learning should any member of the school community test positive for COVID-19.

Breaks are timetabled to allow exclusive use of playgrounds within each bubble.Staff may work in more than one bubble. Staff are expected to maintain social distance of 1m+ to each other and pupils where possible or safe to do so. It is the aim to reduce the mixing of staff in class groups to a minimum where possible whilst ensuring staff: pupil ratio remains adequate. Pupils willremain in their allocated room and teaching staff will movefrom class to class. Pupils will have access to specialist rooms enabling them to continue with their qualifications, and broad and balanced curriculum. Areas are cleaned in between use by different class groups.

Observing social distance (staff and pupils)

Adults are expected tomaintain a distance of 1m+ at all times from each other and pupils where this is possible or safe to do so. The guidance recognises that in special school settings this may not be possible, however it remains an aspiration in order to keep everyone as safe as possible.Markings on the floor in communal areas such as the reception area and the hall will indicate where to stand.

It is understood that adults will need at times to be closer than 1m+ in order to support pupils. Bubbles will operate in isolation to other bubbleswithin the school to minimise the number of contacts adults and children make during the course of a day.

Use of corridors will be minimised where possible by the use of outside access to classrooms and reducing the need for many pupils to move around the school between lessons.

Staff are encouraged to remind their colleagues of the social distancing responsibilities without fear of recrimination. Assemblies will not take place in the hall. Assemblies will take place remotely on Fridays to enable celebration of achievementsto continue take place.

Classroom tables should be arranged to avoid pupils facing each other and so that pupils have as much personal space as possible –pupils should notusuallyshare a table. In all classrooms furniture not essential to learning should be removed to allow for maximum space.

Pupils aresupported to understand the concept of space between themselves and others. They should be sensitively reminded that we are keeping ourselves safe by not getting too close to each other. Posters are on display in all areas.

Keeping classroom areas clean

Class teams are responsible for maintaining the on-going hygiene of the classroom area during the day. All rooms will be equipped with cleaning resources;these arekept out of the reach of pupils.Care istaken to ensure that all regularly touched surfaces are wiped regularly e.g.handles and switches. Computer keyboards and mice willbe wiped down with a cloth or wipe; this equipment could be damaged if sprayed directly with disinfectant. Pupils willnot use headphones unless they have been allocated for the sole use of an individual pupil, or microphones due to the contact with faces. Additional cleaning will be carried out by our cleaners.As much as possible, pupils will use their own set of writing and drawing resources. Cleaning resources willbe kept out of reach of pupils at all times.

Handwashing and respiratory hygiene routines for children (and staff)

Children must wash their hands under running water and with soap on arrival at their classroom, this should be done at the classroom sink where possible. Staff will need to supervise pupils to ensure they wash their hands thoroughly;they should draw pupils’ attention to the posters by the sinks aroundthe school.

Pupils must wash their hands at the following points during the day:

  • Before eating
  • On returning to the classroom after playtimes
  • After using the toilet
  • After blowing their nose (into a tissue, waste efficiently put into the bin)
  • After touching a face mask
  • Before going home

Pupils will be taught the rules of hygiene with regular and frequent reference to handwashing and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.

Keeping the school clean

There is an on-going cleaning programme in operation. The focus for cleaning is onthe areas and surfaces that most frequently come into contact with hands. To reduce the amount of hand contact on doors, as many doors as possible will be held open, where this is safe to do so. Class teams prepare areas ready for pupils’ use during the school day.

A child or adult shows symptoms during the school day

If a child arrives at school with symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) and they are accompanied by a parent or carer, they will be directed to go home.

Any member of staff receiving a child who is unwell must ask the parent to wait with their child away from other people. The member of staffmustimmediately seek a member of the senior leadership team.

If a child arrives at school by taxi with symptoms of coronavirus arrangements will be made for the child to go home. If possible this will be by taxi, if not the parent/carer will be asked to arrange collection of their child. The child will wait in the designated area until they are collected. They will not go to their classroom.The first aid risk assessment for managing and supporting pupils with coronavirus symptoms provides details on the cleaning of areas used and the collection and disposal of waste including PPE. The first aiders are responsible for monitoring and supervising people (staff and pupils) who are displaying symptoms. PPE is available for staff carrying out this role.

If a child develops symptoms during the course of the school day, they will be isolated in the designated area until medical assistance can be gained or until they leave the school site to self-isolate.

The senior leadership team must be informed immediately of any child displaying symptoms.Parent and carers have been informed that they must be prepared to collect their child if required. Where more than one person is displaying symptoms at anyone time the Acting Principal will specify an additional space to be used.

Procedure when a member of staff or pupil has a positive test result

Where the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or bubble within their education setting will be sent homeand advised to self-isolate for 14 days.This decision will be taken in conjunction with thespecific advice provided by Public Health England and/ or the DFEThe other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the childor 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, we will communicate with the DfE and / or Public Health England, whoselocal health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases,a larger numberof other children, may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of thewhole setting will not generally be necessary.

Track and trace

If any member of the school community is contacted via the ‘track and trace’ system in place, they must follow the advice given which is (at the moment) to isolate for 14 days. The school will need evidence that this has been requested for our records and monitoring purposes.

Test and trace letter for parents and guardians

Home/school communication

Class teachers will continue to email weekly to communicate with parents. Updates will be shared via email and on the school website. Whereindividual pupils are needing to self-isolate, the school will be in touch regularly to support them to access their work. In some cases,a welfare visit will take place once a week to deliver learning resources, and/or FSM (where applicable)

Contingency planning

If there is a local outbreak and we are asked to close temporarily for most pupils,or if individuals or groups of pupils need to self-isolate, but the rest of the school is still open, the DfE will expect us to provide remote education for these pupils. Teachers will ensure that pupils are setwork each day in a number of different subjects, aiming to reflect the regular timetable, and monitor pupils' engagement with their work. For pupils who do not have online access, printed resources such as workbooks and textbooks will be provided.