FAQs: Returning to School in March 2021
Information on how to Order Rapid Testing Kits
For parents and carers of children of compulsory school age, this means that the legal duty on you as a parent to send your child to school regularly will apply.
A small number of children may still be unable to attend school in line with Public Health advice because they have been confirmed as clinically extremely vulnerable and are advised to stay at home. In these cases, please send a copy of the shielding letter to the school.
Some pupils who remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school.
If you have concerns about your child returning to school because you consider they may have other risk factors, please contact us to talk about how we can support you.
4. What if I am anxious about sending my child back to school?
We know that some parents and children may be anxious about coming back to school. Please contact the school to discuss your concerns so that we can try to provide reassurance on the measures we have in place to reduce any risks.
7. Will the schools still have ‘bubbles’?
We will ensure that adults and children:
10. What happens if my child’s hands become dry or irritable?
Our first preference is to use liquid soap for all handwashing rather than hand gel. Hand gel may be used occasionally when timings are very tight. Our hand soap is mild and suitable for sensitive skin. Children may wish to use hand cream at home or overnight to help counteract the increase in handwashing. Children should not bring their own products into school as this is not practical for staff when managing 30 children in a classroom.
11. What is the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ Approach?
Children are expected to maintain good respiratory hygiene. This includes catching coughs and sneezes in tissues. It also means that children must take care to avoid accidently ‘spitting’ at others whilst talking.
Please be aware that some children who struggle with the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach may be asked to wash their hands more frequently.
This will operate as it did back in September. Parents may drop off children at any time between 8.40am and 9.00am. Please do not come before 8.40am or later than 9.00am. If you arrive and start queuing before 8.40am, it creates a build-up of people and does not give families a chance to operate social distancing. Some parents and carers feel anxious in large gatherings.
- The main entrance in Greenwood Grove may be used by parents of children in any year group. When coming into school, everyone should walk up the main pathway. This is one-way only. To leave the site, please walk down the side of the Year 1 classrooms and out of the smaller gate, walk across the car park and out of the vehicle gate. We will ensure that the route is safe and no traffic comes in and out of the vehicle gate.
- The side entrance in Poplar Lane should only be used by Foundation parents.
- The back gate onto the field may be used by parents of children in any year group. However, please be aware that this gate will not always be manned by a member of staff and parents use the gate at their own risk. If using this entrance, please walk down the left-hand site of the path and when leaving, please keep to the left and walk on the grass alongside the path, observing social distancing as you pass through the gate. If you do not wish to walk on the grass, please use the main school entrance.
This system allows for better social distancing and creates less crowding. It will only work if parents and carers follow the rules. Please remember:
- Do not start queuing at the gate before 8.40am.
- Observe social distancing. Do not use coming into school as an opportunity to chat and catch up with other parents.
- Only one adult should come onto the site and then leave immediately.
- If you can say goodbye to your child at the gate and encourage them to walk in on their own, please do so. However, please don’t leave children waiting unsupervised outside the school gates.
The same system will be used as per the morning drop-off. You may pick up your child any time between 3.05pm and 3.20pm. Please do not come before 3.05pm or later than 3.20pm. If you arrive and start queueing before 3.05pm, it creates a build-up of people and does not give families a chance to operate social distancing.
Parents picking up older children may arrange to meet their child off-site, just outside the gates or give them permission to walk home on their own. Please email Enquiries so we are aware of these arrangements and can pass them on to the class teachers.
However, all other parents will need to come onto the site to collect their child as this allows us to keep sight of the children and check they have been picked up.
Children are not required to wear face masks in primary schools. If children wear a face mask and handle it incorrectly, they can increase the risk of transmission to others. If you feel that your child needs to wear a mask, please contact the school to discuss this in advance.
Staff are advised to wear face coverings where social distancing between adults is not possible. This includes drop-off and pick up times.
14. Do parents have to wear masks or face coverings?
Although risks are reduced in the outdoors, we ask parents and carers to wear face coverings when coming onto the school site because of the number of adults around during drop-off and pick up times.
Some adults are unable to wear face masks and the reasons for this may not be visible to others. In such cases, we ask parents and carers to make us aware (if you haven’t already done so) in order for us to support you.
We ask all adults to treat each other with respect and kindness and not to make judgments about others when you are not fully aware of their personal circumstances.
18. What will classrooms look like?
The changes we made in September will still apply. Children in Years 1 to 6 will continue to sit side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or grouped around a table.
27. Will there be any trips or visits?
The government advises against all educational visits at this time.
28. How can I speak to the class teacher if we are social distancing?
Because of the need to get children into school in the morning and in order to supervise their handwashing, it will be only be possible to pass on brief messages at drop-off and pick-up times. If you would like to speak to a teacher, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone the school. We will arrange for the teacher to call you back.
29. What are the new rules about self-isolation?
Pupils, staff, parents and other visitors must not come into school if:
- they have one or more Covid-19 symptoms.
- a member of their household, including someone in their support or child care bubble, has Covid-19 symptoms.
- they are required to quarantine having recently visited other countries outside the Common Travel Area.
- they have had a positive test.
In these cases, the person must immediately stop attending school and stay at home for at least 10 days from the day after the start of their symptoms or from their test date if they do not have symptoms.
32. What is the process in the event of an outbreak?
If the school experiences an outbreak, either because we have two or more confirmed cases of Coronavirus among pupils or staff within 14 days, or we see an increase in pupil or staff absence rates due to suspected or confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19), we will need to contact our local Health Protection Team. This team will advise if additional action is required such as closing bubbles.