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Garden Suburb Infant School

COVID-19 School Opening

On this page you will find the Draft Risk Assessment which has been completed prior to opening the school to more children. We welcome your feedback.

We have also responded to the questions that were asked by parents of children in Reception and Year One, who were considering sending their child back to school. Please click on each question in the "Frequently Asked Questions" below. We will add to this if more questions arise.

can i change my mind about whether my child can attend school? 

Yes, but please be aware that we may not be able to accommodate them immediately if you decide later that you want them to attend school. If you decide to withdraw them after they have started, that is fine. We would appreciate knowing the reasons for doing this as we may be able to reassure you.

 will this affect my childs attendance level?

The circumstances are exceptional. Your child's percentage will show as lower for this period because we have to mark this as a 'c' in the register for exceptional circumstances. This shows us how many children are in the building for security purposes. However, you will not be judged in any way whether your decision is to return your child to school or to keep them at home; we will support your decision. No fines will be issued for non-attendance and our home learning programme will continue, although staff will have less time to respond to your work on Tapestry. We will still be expecting any child not attending the school building to be engaging with the learning from home

 

what if i need to come by public transport? 

We would advise parents to reduce unnecessary travel on buses or public transport where possible, and to walk or cycle where they can. If you need to travel by public transport, we would support you by being flexible about start and finish times, so you do not need to travel during peak times. 

can i resume volunteering in school? 

We were so happy to receive this question! We miss our parent volunteers as much as the children! However, we need to limit the number of adults in school so cannot accept your offer to help at this time.

will you try and group the children with their closest friends? 

Yes. We will absolutely try to do this. The teachers will organise the groups, but please be aware that it may not always be possible to group children will all of their friends.

why don't you want them coming in uniform? 

We would like the children to wear sports type clothing, that will suit physical activities which will take place each day. We do not want additional PE bags in school and do not want the children to have to change clothing at school. We would prefer it if children could wear a clean set of clothes each day. We are also conscious of the fact that your child might have outgrown their summer uniform from last year, and it seems a shame to spend money on a new uniform at this point in the year.

 I am a key worker (including teachers, mealtime supervisors, teaching assistants). Can my child attend for 5 full days?

If you are a key worker and you need your child to attend for 5 full days, they will need to attend the school Hub, which takes children from all three year groups. I am sorry, this means that they cannot attend one of their class groups, as we are working hard to ensure we don’t risk cross-contamination between groups. The school Hub has become quite a happy little band! Parents who are key workers will need to decide whether they want their child to attend the Hub for up to 5 days a week, or join a class group and attend with the three day/ two day a week rota on the set days.

Would the weeks that reception are in for just two days be at the beginning or end of the week? 

We understand that you may be returning to work and would need to know the working pattern that you would be able to achieve.

The Reception children will always attend at the start of the week, alternating Mon – Weds / Mon – Tues.

The Year One children will always attend at the end of the week, alternating Thurs – Fri / Weds – Fri.

What precautions will be put in place for kids who have a number of allergies / asthma? 

We would expect parents to follow NHS guidance in relation to their child’s condition and, if necessary, consult their GP. Using this advice, please assess whether your child should be in school. We will continue to operate all our usual procedures for these children, as well as all the hygiene and organisational measures we are putting in place for the rest of the school. Please ensure all your child’s medication is still in date, since we have been out of school for a long period of time. All of the children’s inhalers and epi-pens are kept in their classrooms

How would you ensure the safety of children when they eat? 

The children will not be using the dining room, which is a large, shared space. Instead, the children will have a packed lunch delivered to their classroom and they will eat this in their classroom or, if the weather is fine, they will have a space outside to eat. Each group will have an assigned mealtime supervisor who will wipe surfaces before and after eating, and will also ensure your child washes their hands before and after eating. Break times will be staggered so each group will have a separate play space. Your child will be able to bring a packed lunch from home if you wish, and this will be kept in the classroom. As always, we have a rule that children are not allowed to share food.

What will the process be if a child has a minor accident at school and requires first aid, given social distancing? 

We have obtained PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for staff to wear if they need to support a child with first aid or close, personal care. The majority of our teaching assistants have a Paediatric First Aid qualification and, where possible, first aid will be administered in the classroom. If the child needs to attend the medical room, they will be seen by the first aider assigned to their group or by Mrs Freeman or Mrs Alam. PPE will be available in every classroom and in the medical room and staff have been trained in how to put this on and remove it.

If parents/carers are at work can an allocated person be the emergency pick up person instead? 

We still need to adhere to government restrictions regarding contact with others from outside our households, so families will need to ensure that whoever picks up their child is from within their household group.

How can children understand social distance and keep 2 m away from each other? 

This is an interesting one! Children are notoriously bad at social distancing! The Department for Education recognise that, unlike older children and adults, children in the early years cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. We will therefore work through the hierarchy of measures set out in their protective measures guidance:

  • ensure parents are advised to keep children with any symptoms at home
  • ensure staff who are symptomatic do not attend work
  • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
  • regular cleaning of settings
  • minimising contact and mixing
  • Keeping group sizes to a maximum of 10 (we are expected to ensure there are no more than 16 children in a group in early years settings).
  • While it is not expected that children and staff within a group will keep 2 metres apart, we have considered how we can reduce contact between groups of children and staff as far as possible, for example by ensuring children and staff mix in a small consistent group and that small group stays away from other groups.

I understand that children will be sitting at their own desks and will have their own equipment etc, but will they be able to play with each other during breaks. I am aware that it's important to follow social distancing guidelines but also given their age I also think they need to play and be with their friends... 

We think this is important too, but we will need to enforce social distancing rules. The children will play outside in their groups and we will be ensuring we have a good stock of games and activities that they can do alongside their classmates. The children attending the Hub have certainly enjoyed playing alongside the other children in their group, although frequent reminders have been needed!

If a child comes to school with a cough or cold (which I know could maybe just be the common cold symptom and not covid19) - would they be told to go back home? 

Yes. If we had any concerns about a child displaying symptoms of Covid19, we have a room available so children can be isolated safely until a parent arrives to take them home. The government have said that children can now be tested if they are displaying symptoms, so we will ensure the parents know how to access this and will not permit the child to attend school until they have a clear test.

I am concerned about the emotional well-being of the staff and pupils. 

Thank you for expressing this. Yes, we are concerned too and this will be our priority as the children start returning to school. We will ensure our planning for school and home learning include activities to promote emotional well-being, and we will also signpost some activities for the parents to carry out before the children come back. We are doing the same for staff too!