FAQs about Covid 19

On this page, we have tried to collate answers to the most commonly asked questions, from the recent survey, regarding the children returning to school from the 1st June 2020. We also received a number of questions regarding any future returns of children, what we intend to do further down the line, what happens if there is another full lockdown and how we will react to any local cases.

Schools have to try to adhere to the guidance set by the government and more specifically the Department for Education and therefore, the answers to the questions below are linked to government guidance, where possible. The decisions we make now and, in the future, will continue to be made in the best interests of our children and staff. This will be based on the risk assessments we undertake and with close consideration of the recommendations from National and local guidance.

We will endeavour to update this page as and when we receive new questions and/or changes to guidance from the Government.

For the latest guidance, visit:

https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

How will you put in place social distancing & yet be able to nurture the children?

Government guidance states:

 

We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account.

 

It is still important to reduce contact between people as much as possible, so children, young people and staff where possible, should only mix in a small, consistent group and that small group should stay away from other people and groups. If you can keep older children within those small groups 2 metres away from each other, you should do so.

We agree that it is not possible or appropriate to try and socially distance our younger pupils in Tots, Pre-School Nursery, Reception and Year 1. Enforcing this measure would have a damaging and possibly, long lasting impact on their emotional well-being and their developing social skills. If parents choose to send their child back to school or Nursery they are accepting that the children will mix and play with the pupils from their ‘Bubble’ throughout the day.

 

With our older pupils in Year 6, we will be expecting them to adhere to a 2-metre social distance during all structured times of the day. However, we do not believe that creating small sections of the playground for individual children to ‘play’ in during break time is appropriate. We will therefore encourage the children to stay apart on the playground and physical contact will not be permitted, but the children are less likely to maintain a 2-metre distance from one another during this outside play. Therefore, if parents accept their child’s place at school they are accepting that the children will be mixing and playing with the pupils from their ‘Bubble’ whilst outside.

 

The emotional well-being of pupils and their enjoyment of school remains the priority for the staff and this situation will not change their passion and determination to ensure this.

 

How will you ensure hygiene and cleanliness at all times?

Everyone will be expected to wash their hands or use alcohol gel when arriving on site and throughout the day.

 

All children will be taught how to follow school instructions on hygiene, such as handwashing and sanitising, as well as adhering to expectations about sneezing, coughing, tissues and disposal (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’) and avoiding touching their mouth, nose and eyes with their hands. They will be asked to follow rules about sharing any equipment or other items including drinks bottles. This will all be done through our curriculum at the start of any new ‘Bubble’.

 

Access to toilets will be supervised in order to stop the cross-over of children from different ‘Bubbles’ and where ever possible each ‘Bubble’ will have its own toilets. Children will be encouraged to wipe down the toilet handles and taps when using the bathroom areas. For younger pupils this will be supported by the member of staff. There will also be additional cleaning throughout the day of key contact areas such as toilets, door handles, bins etc. Staff and children will be expected to wipe tables and equipment down regularly, but particularly during transition points of the day.

 

Classroom windows will be kept open at all times to ensure rooms remain well ventilated.

Children’s packed lunches will be made following strict hygiene procedures and will be individually packaged and taken to the children.

For years N, R, 1 and 6 we will be ensuring the school has a full deep clean including all toys and resources on a Wednesday and again after school on a Friday and over the weekend if required.

 

TOTs will be deep cleaned on a Friday afternoon after the children have left.

 

How will you prevent the spread of infection within the school setting? What will set up look like? Will there be markers on floor/playground?

All children from years R, 1 and 6 will have their own desks, for when they are working. However, children in Reception will have plenty of time during the day when they are not at their desks as they need to access play.

 

Children will be provided with their own school pencil case which will contain all essential equipment for the day/week’s learning. These will not be shared and will remain in school. Children in TOTS, Pre- School will have shared baskets of essential resources for their ‘Bubble’. Children will not be permitted to bring anything onsite, other than a drinks bottle, sun hat and/or coat and an inhaler or EpiPen. Therefore, children are not allowed to bring school bags, personal stationery etc. Staff will be instructed to send these items home with parents should they be brought to school.

 

Movement of ‘Bubbles’ around the site will be limited and where possible will be done by exiting the building and re- entering. However, corridors will be marked to show a 2-metre gap. This will ensure ‘Bubbles’ keep a social distance should they need to move around the site for example if the weather is bad.

 

Each ‘Bubble’ will have its own outdoor zones these will be marked so adults and children are clear on the area they are able to use. Please do not worry, the zones will be large enough for the children to run around and play.

 

There will be a one-way staggered system around the site for parents to drop off and collect their children. Queuing systems will be used, where necessary, to support the maintenance of a 2-metre gap during drop of and collection times.

 

Water bottles will be filled by the staff who will have a jug. Water coolers are not to be used due to cross contamination.

 

Schools cannot prevent the spread of the disease, but they can put protective measures in place to reduce the risks. Please remember that although we will do everything in our power to prevent any child or staff member contracting Coronavirus, by accepting your child’s place in our provision, you are acknowledging that this is not something that we can guarantee.

 

Any idea of class sizes?

Children will be distributed into ‘Bubbles’ of a maximum of 15 children (8 at any one time in Pre-School Nursery). However, this number is dependent on the square footage of each classroom.

 

If you split the classes how will this be done? Will the children be with their own teacher?

 

We cannot guarantee that the children will be with their own teacher. This is because the classes may not split evenly when we know which children are going to be coming to school. Each ‘Bubble’ for Years R, 1 and 6 will have allocated staff including a teacher and teaching assistant, lunchtime supervisor and cleaner. The teacher or teaching assistant will be a familiar member of staff where ever possible. Staff will not be allowed to cross over from one ‘Bubble’ to another.

 

This ‘Bubble’ will become your child’s new class whilst at school. Once your child is allocated a ‘Bubble’, there can be no movement. There is no flexibility to join a different ‘Bubble’ due to friendship issues or preferences. When creating the ‘Bubbles’ staff will try to consider friendship groups, but we will not take requests. In Year 6 we will also be trying to group pupils based on their High School allocations in order to support transition. Combinations of children will depend on the children that choose to return. Please note, as always, we also have to consider how we combine children based on other factors such as any special educational or medical needs.

How do you plan social distancing measures for staff and children moving around the setting?

Movement of ‘Bubbles’ will be extremely minimal. However, there will be one-way systems in operation within the school buildings. ‘Bubbles’ will also, where possible, use outside routes to access necessary areas of the school.

 

High frequency contact points such as phones, photocopiers etc will be cleaned by the member of staff after every use.

 

Further detailed information regarding the one-way system and specific drop-off and collection points will be shared with those parents who confirm their child’s place.

 

Will hot lunches be available? Will F.S.M still be provided if in school or at home?

There will be no hot dinners provided, but all children in Reception and Year 1 will be provided with a packed lunch under the Universal Free School Meal offer, if as parents you book this online. Alternatively, parents can supply their own packed lunch but we request that the lunch box is brought in a plastic bag in case the lunch box opens unexpectedly.

 

Pupils in Year 6 who are eligible for Free School Meals will also be provided with a packed lunch, if as parents you book this online. Those pupils in Year 6 who are not eligible for Free School Meals and all pre-school children will have the option of ordering a packed lunch or bringing their own packed lunch. Again, if parents/carers choose to bring their own packed lunch this will need to be a lunch box within a plastic bag.

 

Pupils eligible for Benefit related Free School Meal can continue to access the voucher scheme; however, this will mean they are not able to access a free packed lunch when onsite. The Government have stated that families must access one system or the other.

 

How will drop-off/collection be managed/organised safely for all parents/staff/children?

Effective from 1st June, the school will be operating a one-way system for collection and drop-off, which must be adhered to by all parents/carers. This may not be the most direct route for you to drop off your child and therefore drop off may take longer than normal. This will allow us to significantly minimise the cross-over of parents. Parents will be provided with information for their routes, and directed to specific gates to ensure that one-way systems are adhered to.

 

The start time for school will be staggered across year-bands to further limit the number of adults and children onsite at any-one time. There will be no waiting outside of classrooms and children will enter the building immediately when they arrive. Only one adult will be permitted on site to drop-off/collect children. There will be no access to the school carpark for parents/carers. There must be no meeting of parents on the playground and you must not stop to chat with each other. Where this happens, people will be asked to move on.

Will there be a settling in period for tots or we will just have to leave as soon as we have dropped off?

Sadly, parents will not be allowed in the buildings to drop off children. This includes all Nursery parents which, we know may be particularly challenging for younger children and especially those who were due to join us at Easter or in the coming weeks.

What measures will you put in place for the children requiring emotional support with changes within school?

As a school we feel that the well-being of pupils is paramount and for many pupils, having had a long period of absence followed by returning to a school that is extremely different to the norm, may be overwhelming and emotionally challenging. Therefore, we believe that placing pupils within their normal year-band areas and with familiar staff is incredibly important. Initially running a part-time timetable, whilst social distancing measures are still strict, enables us to do this for pupils. We feel coming back to school to familiar faces and areas will make the transition back to school as easy as possible.

 

Teachers will ensure that there is a high focus on mental well-being and PSHE during the first few weeks of any ‘Bubble’ attending school. Staff will, of course, still carry out their role with their normal levels of care and nurture. Children will still be comforted when required.

Will there be a fine or will absence affect my child’s attendance record if I choose not to send them back?

Attending school is purely optional at this time and the Government have confirmed that families will not be fined or penalised if they choose to keep their child at home. However, it is important that it is understood that children cannot just turn up to school. If your child arrives at school and we are not expecting them, we will be unable to accept your child and they will be sent home.

 

Likewise, once you have accepted your child’s place they will be expected to attend.

 

Will there still be home learning support for those not returning? Any plans for Zoom lessons for those not returning?

For all year bands, YouTube lessons (writing, maths and spelling) will continue, as well as home learning grids. Year band email addresses will still be active in order to offer support, but Years R, 1 and 6 email addresses may be less frequently checked due to staff and children being in school. As most staff will be teaching in school in some capacity throughout the week, (Emergency Child Care Provision or years R,1 and 6) there is no plan, at this time, to offer any extra to what is already being provided.

Will the emergency/vulnerable childcare provision still run alongside school?

The Government intends that pupils from TOTS, Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 attend school from the 1st June and school will be accepting new pupils on a weekly basis as long as this remains safe to do so.

 

Due to increased levels of pupils attending site, we have changed our approach to our Emergency Childcare Provision to support the safety of all children and staff on site. Although Key Worker children may be in one of the eligible year groups returning, they will not be able to join one of their year-band ‘Bubbles’, as the year-band provision will only be two days a week. The Government has stated that Key Worker provision has to be a priority and that eligible children should be onsite whether the parents require the care or not. This change means that Key Worker children are no longer required to be kept at home where possible and therefore should be encouraged to be in school. In order to ensure that we have safe levels of staffing for each ’Bubble’ to deliver quality provision, we are requesting that all Key

Worker children attending site, from Reception to Year 6 now attend ‘school’ full time. By this we mean Monday- Friday 8:40am-3:10pm.

Can the children bring in their own face mask/hand gel?

Based on government advice, we are not encouraging children to wear masks but children may wear face coverings if you wish them to. They must understand how to use these correctly. We are unable to support children with wearing and fitting face coverings for transmission reasons. If a child leaves a face covering on a surface it will be thrown away. Realistically, only children in year 6 would have the maturity to wear a face covering if they choose to do so. Specific procedures must be followed when using a face mask and children must be able to do this independently and correctly in order for the face covering to not pose a greater risk of spreading infection. (See Appendix A: how to put on/remove a face mask). Hopefully this will help parents to make an informed choice as to whether they will choose for their child to wear a mask.

Will staff and children have to wear PPE?

The Government guidelines state that PPE is not required within schools other than within very specific situations and that handwashing is the best form of control for the infection.

 

The only time adults will definitely wear full PPE, including a mask and face shield, is whilst supervising a child waiting to be collected if they are displaying symptoms associated with coronavirus and a 2-metre gap cannot be maintained.

 

The only other time that full PPE may be worn is if a member of the senior leadership team/or advanced first aider need to support a child within a ‘Bubble’ and therefore need to be closer than a 2-metre distance away. This is due to the fact that the member of staff may have had to interact with other ‘Bubbles’ during the day/week.

 

Staff will continue to wear plastic gloves and aprons for all food prep and intimate care.

 

All other staff will be provided with access to PPE should they choose to use it; however, this is not a recommendation by the Government or the school.

 

We are not encouraging children to wear masks but children may wear face coverings if you wish them to. They must understand how to use these correctly. We are unable to support children with wearing and fitting face coverings for transmission reasons. Please see above.

In the event of an accident/injury how will this be dealt with whilst adhering to social measures?

Staff dealing with intimate care and first aid will be provided with normal PPE including: gloves and aprons. They will be provided with the option of face coverings should they want to use them.

 

Should a child become unwell, and the staff member is unable to keep a 2-metre distance from the child, the staff member will be required to wear a face mask. Should a member of the senior leadership team/or advanced first aider need to support a child within a ‘Bubble’ they will be required to wear full PPE including a face mask. This is due to the fact that the member of staff may have had to interact with other ‘Bubbles’ during the day/week.

 

Accident forms will be completed by staff and these will be sent home with the relevant child. Parents do not need to sign and return these in order to limit items being taken to and from school. If a bump or accident is more serious or requires explaining, a member of staff will call the parent before the end of the day to explain the situation.

What are the plans for other year groups returning? How will distances be ensured with a full school?

The reason we have decide to make the ‘Bubbles’ provision part-time for years R, 1 and 6 is so that this model can be more sustainable when the rest of the year bands return. This will help to keep numbers down at any one time and will ensure we can still sustain social distancing measures.

We are awaiting further Government guidance relating to the return of other year bands. The school will not find this out any earlier than families as we hear our updates during the Daily briefings along with parents.

Will the children returning to school follow the National Curriculum and how will you ensure my child still enjoys school?

As always, teachers and staff will be delivering a creative curriculum and planning for the needs of the children. For the older children, this will be delivered in smaller groups and with larger distances between desks. There will be a focus on basic skills in accordance with the National Curriculum, but also an increased focus on mental well-being. For younger children, staff will continue to meet the expectations of the EYFS and they will still have access to toys and equipment.  However, the quantity will be slightly less to ensure thorough cleaning can be managed. Children will still have access to resources such as playdough as this is being made individually for the pupils that attend. The staff pride themselves on doing their very best for the children and this new adventure will be no different.

 

Will we have regular updates i.e. learning, infection, testing?

Yes. There will still be regular updates when there is information to share.

Are school staff all tested for Covid- 19?

There are no current government plans for all school staff to be tested. Government guidance states that staff and pupils showing symptoms can access a test.

Will holiday club/726 still be available?

There will be NO Breakfast or After-School care for children attending school, other than those attending the Key Worker Emergency Provision as outlined by the Government. Sadly, there is no way to run this provision for other pupils in line with Government guidelines. ‘Bubbles’ cannot mix and therefore children cannot go from a school ‘Bubble’ to an after-school ‘Bubble.’

 

Will holiday club be available in the summer holidays?

This will depend on whether the Government guidelines on social distancing are relaxed. If we are able to open the provision up to more pupils for the summer holidays, we will. If we become aware that we can run a holiday club over the summer we will communicate this to parents as soon as possible.

How will we help SEN children settle back in and how will 1:1 support work with social distancing measures?

Pupils will be comforted where required and 1:1 support will be offered to those pupils who require this level of support. Where possible this will adhere to social distancing guidelines, but in cases where it is not possible staff are welcome to wear PPE, if they wish. This is not a school or government recommendation. The well-being of pupils will always remain our priority.

Will staff be on rota to limit cross infection or will all staff be in?

Staff are allocated to specific ‘Bubbles’ and will work onsite on the days when their ‘Bubble’ is onsite. There will be other days where staff may be onsite to work, but they will carry out duties away from any pupils that are onsite and will be expected to maintain a 2-metre social distance at all times.

Will children be sent home if they are showing signs of a cold? In the event of a staff member or pupil showing symptoms/tests positive for covid-19 what would the plan be to protect other staff/children?

If your child becomes unwell and displays any symptom of Coronavirus they will be removed from their ‘Bubble’ to a safe location. We will call parents/carers to collect them immediately and they will have to have a Coronavirus test. If this has a positive result they must then isolate for 7 days. If children do not have a test carried out we will have to assume that the child has Coronavirus.

 

If a Coronavirus test has a positive result, or a child is not tested but has symptoms, all children and staff associated with their ‘Bubble’ will also be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Due to social distancing measures between ‘Bubbles’ there will be no need for other children onsite to isolate.

 

If the test is found to be negative, the staff member of child can return to school the following Monday/Thursday depending on their timetabled days.

 

If we have several cases across the school we may look to close certain year groups, buildings or the whole site. This would be done in liaison with Public Health England and the Local Authority.

 

Unfortunately, we are not medical professionals and are therefore not able to determine whether a child has a cold or Coronavirus. To ensure the safety of all staff and pupils, a child will be sent home if they display any symptoms.

Staff have been told they are not to come to site, before speaking to a member of the leadership team, if they feel unwell before their shift.

Will year 6 have any sort of leaver celebrations?

We feel strongly that our year 6 pupils deserve a celebration to mark the end of their time at Franche. We are going to do everything in our power to make this happen; however, what format this will be able to take and when it will take place is unclear at the moment. Any form of group gathering is dependent on the Government and the relaxing of social distancing rules.

Hoodies and leavers books are still being coordinated from onsite.

Please be reassured that we will do everything in our power to celebrate with these children in some way.

 

Have there been any cases with keyworker children/teachers/staff since this all began?

As of 5th June, there have been no confirmed cases in the school among children or staff.

When will children find out new teachers for next year if they don’t return until September?

Any transition arrangements and allocation of classes is dependent on the guidance we receive from the Government and what structure schools are being asked to adopt. However, we hope to let all children know who their new class teacher is, in mid-July as normal. We will ensure transition is considered for all pupils and that we do everything we can to make this as straight forward and easy for the children.

Now that the Government have announced Free School Meals for children during the 6 week holidays, how will I receive this?

 

Benefit Related Free School Meals

Benefit Related Free School Meals are for parents that have certain benefits awarded to them based on their income - see application link below. Eligible families could have children in Reception to Year 13. When the Government refers to Free School Meals, this is the group they are referring to. If your child is currently eligible for Benefit Related Free School Meals you will continue to receive the vouchers from Edenred as you have been doing since the scheme was announced. If your child is currently eligible for Benefit Related Free Schools and you have chosen the packed lunch option but would prefer to swap to vouchers, please contact Kate on office@francheprimary.worcs.sch.uk

 

Please note that packed lunches may not be available during the school summer holidays.

 

If you think you maybe eligible for Benefit Related Free School Meals but haven't claimed to date, please apply here http://www.worcestershire.gov.uk/freeschoolmeals If your claim is awarded by WCC,  Kate will be in touch as soon as the school receives the award confirmation. Claims or vouchers can not be back dated.

 

Universal Free School Meals

Universal Free School Meals are automatically given to all children in Years Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, regardless of family income and these will cease when the children start in Year 3. If your child is currently in Reception, Year 1 or Year 2 they are therefore automatically entitled to Universal Free School Meals. This is different to Benefit Related Free School Meals (see above). At the moment the Government are still only providing Universal Free School Meals to children that are onsite attending the school provision during term time. If your child is in Years R, 1 or 2 and attending site, please book your child’s universal free school on ParentMail. Please note you can only book these for the days your child is actually onsite. There is currently no provision for these children to receive vouchers or meals during the summer holiday or when they are not attending school. If you have any queries regarding Benefit or Universal Free School Meals please contact the school office on the email address above.

 

We hope that this document provides some answers to the questions that you have already shared with us. As the situation changes we will adapt this document and notify you that we have done so.

 

If you have a question you would like answered, please send this to office@francheprimary.worcs.sch.uk

 

 

Appendix A

 

How to put on a face mask

  1. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask.

  2. Remove a mask from the box and make sure there are no obvious tears or holes in either side of the mask.

  3. Determine which side of the mask is the top. The side of the mask that has a stiff bendable edge is the top and is meant to mould to the shape of your nose.

  4. Determine which side of the mask is the front. The coloured side of the mask is usually the front and should face away from you, while the white side touches your face.

  5. Follow the instructions below for the type of mask you are using.

    • Face Mask with Ear loops: Hold the mask by the ear loops. Place a loop around each ear.

    • Face Mask with Ties: Bring the mask to your nose level and place the ties over the crown of your head and secure with a bow.

    • Face Mask with Bands: Hold the mask in your hand with the nosepiece or top of the mask at fingertips, allowing the headbands to hang freely below hands.  Bring the mask to your nose level and pull the top strap over your head so that it rests over the crown of your head.  Pull the bottom strap over your head so that it rests at the nape of your neck.

  6. Mould or pinch the stiff edge to the shape of your nose.

  7. If using a face mask with ties: Then take the bottom ties, one in each hand, and secure with a bow at the nape of your neck.

  8. Pull the bottom of the mask over your mouth and chin.

  9. Replace the mask when it becomes moist and double bag it to dispose of it.

     

    How to remove a face mask

  1. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer before touching the mask. Avoid touching the front of the mask. The front of the mask is contaminated. Only touch the ear loops/ties/band. Follow the instructions below for the type of mask you are using.

  2. Face Mask with Ear loops: Hold both of the ear loops and gently lift and remove the mask.

  3. Face Mask with Ties: Untie the bottom bow first then untie the top bow and pull the mask away from you as the ties are loosened.

  4. Face Mask with Bands: Lift the bottom strap over your head first then pull the top strap over your head.

  5. Double bag the mask and dispose of it in the bin. Clean your hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer.

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Address

© Franche Community Primary School 1989 - 2019. All rights reserved. 

Tel: 01562 751788

Email: office@francheprimary.worcs.sch.uk

Franche Primary School,

Chestnut Grove,

Kidderminster, DY11 5QB