Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you are all keeping yourselves and your families safe and well. I would like to thank you for all of your support and understanding over the last few months – it’s certainly been a challenging time for all of us.
It was recently announced by the Government that schools would reopen for all pupils from Monday 8th March 2021.
In consultation with the school’s Governors and Senior Team, I have been making plans to welcome the children back to school and I am writing to you to provide more details and answer some of the questions you might have about the return to school.
Frequently Asked Questions
When school reopens, do I have to send my child back to school?
- Yes. The Government has made it mandatory that all children should return to school when we reopen in March.
When school reopens, when will my child come to school?
- Just like in the Autumn Term, the school gates will open at 8:45 a.m. each day and will be open until 9:00 a.m. To support social distancing, I would recommend arriving just after 8:45, when the gate is already open, so that you don’t have to wait with others in a queue.
Will my children be mixing with lots of other people in school?
- The children will be kept in class groups (bubbles) for learning and will only be sharing a classroom with the other children in their group and the staff working with them. Year groups will not be coming into contact with each other (no assemblies etc). Playtimes will be at different times, in different places for each year group. Lunch will be served and eaten within their classroom.
Will school be serving lunches?
- Yes. We will be providing lunches for all children who are entitled to free school meals. For all other children, lunches can be ordered and paid for, in the usual way. Otherwise you may bring a packed lunch.
Does my child have to wear uniform to school?
- Yes, we are encouraging the children to wear their uniform to school to help them settle back into the school routine. We would encourage you to clean your child’s uniform as often as possible, and if you have more than one set of uniform, to change it every day (if possible).
- On P.E. days, the children can come to school in their P.E. kit. Your child’s classteacher can advise you of which two days each week they have P.E.
Will Breakfast Club be open?
- Yes it will. Places are limited and need to be booked via a phonecall to the school office. Breakfast Club costs £1 per day (£5 per week).
Can I go into the school office with an enquiry?
- No. In the first instance we are asking all parents and carers to telephone the school office with their enquiry and staff will do their best to assist you over the telephone. Senior staff will be positioned around the school site at the start and end of each session – they may also be able to help you. If an enquiry is of a serious nature, you may then be given an appointment at a mutually convenient time to discuss emergency matters in a safe, private way in school.
What are the drop off and pick up arrangements for each session?
- In order to reduce the number of people coming to school we are asking that only one family member comes to school to drop off and collect the children at any one time. Parents and carers will not be permitted to enter the school building, including cloakrooms, during this time.
- There will be a one way queueing system in place for dropping off and collecting the children. Parents and carers must enter the school playground via a queue at the car park end of the playground (by the Castle Hill Centre). After dropping off or collecting the children in the playground, parents and carers must exit and leave the playground via the gate by the Youth Club. The pathway entering the playground will be marked to indicate 2 metre gaps to support social distancing when dropping off and collecting the children. Parents and children must not stay on the playground once they have dropped off or collected their children.
- Senior staff will be available around the school site to assist all families and help you find your way.
- Government guidance recommends that parents and carers wear a face mask when on the school playground when dropping off and collecting their children. Thank you.
Can my child bring a drink and small snack to school?
- Yes. The children may bring a reusable bottle with a drink to school each time they attend. Reusable bottles must be thoroughly cleaned daily at home and will only be handled by your child. Please remember that we do not allow fizzy drinks to be brought to school. The children may also bring a small, healthy snack to school with them (snack bar, fruit etc) to eat during their playtime. School will not be providing snacks at this time.
What protective measures are in place to keep my child as safe as possible in school?
- The children are being taught in within their bubble (class) in their classroom. The children will be allocated a workstation within their classroom where they will sit with another child to complete their learning. All workstations will face towards the front of the classroom. Other children will not share this workstation. The workstations will be cleaned down at the end of each session.
- Each child will have their own resources to work with, which they keep in their own tray for their own use only.
- Handwashing facilities (hot water and soap) are available in every classroom and all cloakrooms and toilets.
- Hand sanitizer will be available in every classroom and at other key locations around the school.
- Cleaning materials, including antibacterial wipes, antibacterial spray and disposable cloths will be in every classroom and used regularly throughout the day. Every classroom will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day.
- All toilets will be cleaned thoroughly after every morning and afternoon session.
- Tissues will be available in every classroom.
- Bins will be emptied regularly.
- Staff are testing twice weekly and only come to work if they get a negative result.
Will staff be wearing PPE clothing in school?
- The Government’s latest guidance indicates that PPE isn’t necessary to be worn by staff at all times in primary schools. However at Castle Hill, PPE has been made available to all staff, should they need to wear it. This includes disposable aprons, gloves and face masks. Each staff member also has access to a protective see-through face shield should they choose to wear it too. It is complulsory for staff to wear a face covering when in a communal space inside the building (corridors etc) but not when they are inside their classrooms with the children or outside. Some staff choose to wear them at all times.
- First aid staff will always wear disposable PPE when providing first aid care or changing any child in school.
- Disposable PPE can also be worn by staff when cleaning learning areas throughout the day.
My child is showing symptoms. Should I send them to school?
- Where possible, please monitor your child’s temperature regularly at home. If your child displays any of the Covid-19 symptoms, they, and all household members, must stay at home for 10 days. The symptoms are:
- A temperature
- A new persistent cough
- A loss of smell
- A loss of taste
- Inform school if your child is not going to be attending.
- Other household member should isolate for at least 10 days too.
If your child displays any of the symptoms, you can arrange a Covid-19 test. If their result comes back negative, your child is welcome to return to school once they are better.
What happens if a child displays symptoms of Covid-19 in school?
- If a child begins displaying any of the key symptoms of Covid-19 whilst in school, they will accompanied by staff to a safe space and their parent called. They will be looked after by a member of staff, who will be wearing PPE, in a well ventilated room until their parent arrives to collect them. They will need to isolate at home with their family for 10 days. Other household members will need to isolate at home for 10 days too, as per the Government’s guidance. If you get your child tested and their result comes back negative, they can return to school once they are better.
What happens if a member of the school community tests positive for Covid-19?
- If a member of the school tests positive for Covid-19 (child or staff member), their bubble/class will close. Parents and carers will be contacted and they will have to come to school to collect their child. All members of the bubble will have to isolate for 10 days.
- The classroom will be deep cleaned and prepared for when the bubble reopens.
- The bubble will only reopen when sufficient staff are available to return to work. Families will be contacted to advise you when the bubble will be reopening.
- The children will be provided with home learning for the duration of their bubble closure. Online lessons will be provided via Microsoft Teams, provided staff are well enough to do so.
A member of our household has symptoms or has tested positive for Covid-19. Does my child have to isolate?
- Yes. In line with Government guidance, all members of the household have to isolate for 10 days. Other household members only need to get a test if they develop symptoms of their own.
We have worked extremely hard to put measures in place to keep the children, staff and all of their families as safe as possible during these unusual and challenging times. We are appreciative of your patience, understanding and co-operation in all that we are having to do at this time. We will endeavour to continue to keep you all up to date via the school’s website, Facebook page and texting service to ensure that you each have the latest information as soon as it becomes available.
Keep safe and well and we can’t wait to see everybody back in school on March 8th.