Covid-19 Procedures

HYGIENE and SAFETY

1. What hygiene measures will be in place to keep my child safe?

We will follow the “COVID-19: Cleaning of non-healthcare settings” guidance.

-all pupils and staff wash their hands with soap and water (or use hand sanitizer) whenever entering or leaving a classroom,

-pupils have been taught about respiratory hygiene and are regularly reminded not to cough or sneeze into hands but to use the crook of the elbow or to use tissues to “Catch it – Bin it – Kill it” and to dispose of tissues immediately in lidded waste bins which will be emptied frequently during the day,

-an enhanced cleaning regime is in operation with desks and tables cleaned after every lesson in communal spaces. Inside individual classrooms, tables, chairs and other surfaces or touch-points are cleaned frequently during the day,

-for younger pupils and those who have trouble cleaning their hands independently, help is available.  We will encourage young children to learn and practise good hand and respiratory hygiene through games, songs and repetition.

 

Additional safety measures include:

-keeping classroom doors and windows open to ensure good ventilation,

-no mixing of children between pods wherever possible,

-designated toilet areas will be available for each pod and children will only be able to access the toilet one at a time,

-each pod has separate parts of the yard and field which are their designated play spaces. These spaces have separate, dedicated routes into and out of each pod classroom,

-regular cleaning of resources such as whiteboards,

– removal of unnecessary items from classrooms, as well as certain soft furnishings or resources that are hard to clean,

-pupils from Y2 to Y6 have their own designated day when the Computing suite is available for their sole use. It is then thoroughly cleaned and disinfected afterwards,

– PE equipment has been designated to each pod and is thoroughly cleaned and sanitised before use.

 

2. Will staff and children wear masks or PPE?

The Government guidelines currently state, “The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work… PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases:

  • children, young people and students, whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs, should continue to receive their care in the same way.
  • if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus and needs direct personal care until they can return home, a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 1 metre plus cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.

Additionally, if any child or adult feels unwell, staff supporting that person will wear PPE to reduce potential exposure to COVID-19.”

Children can wear face coverings if they choose. Where children or staff arrive at school with a face covering, this must be removed upon entering the school building and disposed of or placed in a sealed plastic bag.

Staff may choose to wear PPE during certain activities with children e.g. working 1:1 delivering intervention / additional support for any length of time. Staff have been provided with masks, clear plastic visors and plastic screens to act as a divider between themselves and the child for everyone’s protection.

 

3. Will my child be expected to share resources, such as pens and pencils?

Each child has been given their own pencil case with pencils, pens, scissors, glue-sticks, a ruler, a rubber which are all for their own personal use.  Other resources (e.g. maths and science equipment) are restricted for use within a pod and after use are quarantined for at least 72 hours.  Where possible, in these lessons, children are provided with their own equipment so that sharing is kept to a complete minimum.  Children are discouraged from bringing any personal equipment from home other than a named water bottle.

 

4. What will happen if a child in the class shows symptoms?

Please see the Response to Infection Flowchart

 

5. What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in school?

1.Parent or staff member informs Headteacher of a positive result.

2.School contacts Public Health England who return the call as soon as possible. This may not be an immediate response, depending upon how busy their team is at that present time.

3.Public Health England work with the school to identify who has had ‘Close Contact’ with the infected individual. There are four main criteria that Public Health England use; but a Close Contact has to have been within one metre or two metres of the infected person for certain periods of time.

4.Once Public Health are satisfied that all Close Contacts have been identified, the school takes responsibility for contacting all families concerned and arranges for Close Contacts to be picked up from school as soon as possible.

5.School then contacts the rest of the parents in the class to inform them of the positive case, and may possibly say that their child had not been identified as a Close Contact by Public Health England.

6.Follow up letters are then emailed to all concerned.

 

6. Will visitors and volunteers be allowed into school?

Yes, by appointment only. The visit must be approved by the School Office / Headteacher.  All visitors will be required to sign the Track and Trace form held at the school office. This details the protective measures that are in place at our school and asks the visitor to sign a self-declaration form.

 

SOCIAL DISTANCING

1. How can social distancing be guaranteed?

We will encourage social distancing whenever possible, but in a classroom with 30 pupils it may not always be an option. None-the-less, children will be reminded and educated regularly about social distancing, even though this may prove difficult, especially with the younger children.

Measures in place are as follows:

  • all seating arrangements in classrooms from Y2 to Y6 are forward-facing
  • desks are as widely-spaced as the room allows
  • KS2 children will be taught in rows
  • especially with older children, staff will maintain a 2-metre gap, where practicable,
  • no large gatherings of children e.g. assemblies, Masses
  • only one pupil at a time allowed in a toilet unless multiple cubicles can be separated and blocked off to allow for social distancing (e.g. Y3/4 girls)

 

2. How can I speak to the class teacher if we are socially distancing?

Please contact the school office to arrange for the class teacher to contact you by phone or email at a convenient time.

Parents are politely reminded not to communicate with class teachers at fire doors. Whilst we appreciate this can be incredibly difficult, particularly for parents with younger children, it is necessary to ensure the safety of parents and staff.

 

DAILY ROUTINES

1. Will my child need to wear a school uniform?

Yes.  The only difference to the normal routine will be that on the day your child does P.E. pupils are advised to come to school in their P.E. kit – trainers, black, grey or navy jogging bottoms, a t-shirt with their school sweatshirt or cardigan.  We plan to hold all P.E. lessons outdoors, so as the weather turns cooler, please make sure your child is suitably equipped with warm clothing.

At this time, we understand that some parents have had difficulty sourcing uniform, such as school jumpers from suppliers. In these circumstances, allowances will be made.

 

2. How will lunch time work to ensure children are safe?

Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children, and those eligible for free school meals, will receive a lunch in school. Parents may still pay for school lunches via the JOINOS system as usual.

There will be a limited menu available from Catering Services in the initial few weeks. There will only be one choice for a hot meal, however children can choose a sandwich if they would prefer not to eat the hot option that day.  Dietary requirements will be catered for. If pupils do not wish to have a school dinner, they can bring in a packed lunch from home. Where possible, this should be in disposable packaging, please.

Pupils in Y1, Y2, Y5 and Y6 eat lunch at their desks in class after they’ve washed their hands and the tables have been cleaned.  Pupils in Reception, Y3 and Y4, eat lunch in their separate pods in the hall which is disinfected with an industrial hall cleaner between sittings.  After lunch, children play on the field or the yard in the area designated for their pod. A rota system is currently being trialled with different pods accessing the dining hall on different days. A robust cleaning system remains in place between pods.

The menu and lunch routines will be reviewed half termly and any changes will be communicated to parents on the Iona Star.

 

3. Will everyone arrive at school at the same time causing an increase in risk?

Starting times and finishing times have been staggered to discourage parents arriving at the same time for dropping-off and collecting children. A well-signposted one-way system around the school ensures swift movement of parents and pupils.

At the present time, only one parent/carer per family should accompany the pupils.

Siblings can be dropped off and collected at the same time. Please arrive at the earliest start time and the latest finish time.

Children must be dropped off and collected from their classroom fire doors. Children will not be lining up on the playground before their start time and staff will be in classrooms to greet children at the fire doors

Parents and carers must remember to socially distance themselves as they move around the premises. Markings are placed on the ground as a guide.

Staggered start and finish times will apply for each pod

-Year 5 and Year 6 pod will start school at 8:55am and finish school at 3:30pm

-Year 3 and Year 4 pod will start school at 8:50am and finish school at 3:20pm

-Year 1 and Year 2 pod will start school at 8:45am and finish school at 3:15pm

-Nursery and Reception pod will start school at 9.00am and finish school at 3:25pm

 

4. What should my child bring to school each day?

Children are encouraged to come to school with as few personal items as possible. However, children must bring their own, named water bottle to school with them each day. This needs to go home every night to be cleaned and refilled.

They’ll need a packed lunch (in a disposable wrapper, if possible) unless they’re having school dinners. Hand sanitizer is optional as there are sanitizing stations in every classroom and at several points around the school.  Personal bottles of hand sanitizer mustn’t be shared with other children.  Pupils are welcome to wear a face covering during pick up and drop off. Please note, pupils will be expected to remove their own face covering and place it in a plastic bag upon entering the classroom. We would prefer not to have any child’s property left in school overnight so please remind your child to bring everything home with them each evening.

 

5. How will my child’s emotional wellbeing be supported?

Staff are very aware that every child’s experience and understanding of lockdown and the pandemic will be very different.  Teachers will create space in their weekly schedules to allow children the time to discuss issues relating to the current events. There will be plenty of opportunities for children to explore their feelings, play, rebuild friendships and have ‘break out’ spaces for times when they may feel overwhelmed.  Although we will work towards implementing our traditional class timetables, a major focus, for as long as we feel necessary, will be on supporting personal, social, health and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s wellbeing. The children, their families and our staff have all gone through an incredible period of change and experienced loss on a number of different levels. All have had changes in routine, loss of communication etc and some may have sadly even experienced the loss of a family member. This will not be ignored.  If parents are concerned about their child’s emotional wellbeing, we would encourage them to contact their class teacher via the school office.

A School Counsellor from Next Steps Counselling Service visits school on a weekly basis.

 

CLUBS, TRIPS and SPECIAL EVENTS

1. Will the breakfast club and after school club be open?

Yes. To book places, please apply via the School Gateway App or contact the office for further details.

Breakfast Club is open from 7:30am – 9:00am. Places are limited to 30, cost £3 per child and Breakfast Club is held in the Hall.

After School Club is open from 3:30pm – 5:45pm. Places are limited to 22, cost £6 per child and After School Club is held in the Activity Centre.

  • Children will receive breakfast or a hot evening meal as usual. Any additions to hygiene measures have been risk assessed with the staff.
  • Where possible, the children will be grouped in their allocated pods for activities.
  • The usual routines for handwashing and respiratory hygiene will apply.

Unfortunately, due to the current circumstances, we are unable to accept children who have not been pre-booked on the system. The online booking system closes at 7am for Breakfast Club and 3pm for After School Club.

 

2.Will there be any swimming lessons or trips this year?

No swimming lessons are booked at present. These may resume in May 2021, depending upon guidance at the time.

School trips with overnight stays, for example, High Borrans and Holy Island for Years 5 and 6 have been postponed until Summer 2021 at the earliest.

Educational day trips to nearby locations are permitted and your child’s class teacher will contact you well in advance of any such excursions.  Additional risk assessments will be put into place.

 

3. Will extra-curricular clubs run (football club, dance club etc)?

Not at present, but we hope to re-start our usual range of after-school clubs as soon as it is safe to do so. If these do begin again in the near future, it is likely that they will only be accessible to certain Pods, on a rota basis, and not open to anyone in the school.

 

4. Will the school have assembly, concerts, sports days, etc?

Weekly assemblies and half-termly masses are being streamed into each classroom. At present, there are no plans for concerts or sports days due to restrictions within current government guidelines.

 

5. Is the school office open?

Yes.  Contact is via phone 0191-262-3098 or email scpschool@stcolumbasprimary.co.uk  Contact can also be made via private message (PM) on the school Facebook account.

 

HOME LEARNING / REMOTE LEARNING POLICY

There a number of different reason why pupils may need to self-isolate, some of these include:

 

Individual pupils isolating due to: showing symptoms, waiting for a test outcome or family circumstances.

Groups of children asked to isolate due to a positive case identified in school.

Whole class, including class teacher, asked to isolate due to a positive test case identified in school.

 

In these instances, home learning will be provided. These activities will begin the day AFTER parents have informed school that their child will be isolating. For children at home awaiting a test outcome, home learning will begin AFTER confirmation of a positive test result for themselves or a family member.

Home learning activities will be emailed directly to parents, from class teachers, by 9am from our dedicated year group home learning email accounts. The email will include attachments and links to all of the resources that your child needs. Pupils isolating at home should complete the work and return via email within a suitable time period. This work will then be saved  on SeeSaw under ‘Home Learning’ in the pupil’s individual file. Simple feedback and support will be given to parents via email or telephone call, as appropriate.

 

For further information, please see our Remote Learning Policy and attached scenarios documentation.

Remote Learning Policy

Remote Learning Scenarios – EYFS and Y1

Remote Learning Scenarios – Y2 to Y6

 

We hope this has helped to answer any questions / queries parents may have.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this time.

If there are any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school office.