COVID-19 Return to School FAQs - Sept 2020

PEEL PARK PRIMARY SCHOOL AND NURSERY 

COVID-19 and School Re-opening.

Info for Parents/Carers: Frequently Asked Questions 

Issue 1: 04.09.2020

 

Is it compulsory to send my child back to school, given the fact that this area of Bradford is still under 'restrictions'?

The BD3 area of Bradford is no longer under 'lockdown' (as some people are still calling it), just extra restrictions and the Government's position is that all children return back to school.  If you decide to keep your child off school because you are worried they may catch coronavirus and/or transmit it back to your home, we have to mark them as absent and follow it up with our normal absence procedures. 

However, if your child or anyone they live with and/or come into regular close contact with shows symptoms of or tests positive for coronavirus then they MUST stay off school and isolate (along with the rest of your household) for 14 days and you must notify us so we can talk to you about it.  The Government have introduced a new absence code for our registers for this eventuality so you will not be penalised for this.

As a school, we CANNOT and are not allowed to ask to see proof of a negative or positive COVID-19 test. We have been instructed to rely on parental/carer honesty.

What are the start and finish times for my child(ren)?

A pack was sent out to all families just prior to the summer holidays with these timings on but here is a reminder:

Year

Arrival at School

Entry Door

Going Home Time

Exit Door

Nursery

Morning = 08.30am

Nursery Door

11.30am

Nursery Door

 

Afternoon = 12.15pm

 Nursery Door

3.15pm

 Nursery Door

 

 

 

 

 

Reception

09.30am or 12.30am

External Classroom Doors

11.30am or 2.30pm

External Classroom Doors

 

 

 

 

 

Year 1

09.15am

External Classroom Doors

3.30pm

External Classroom Doors

 

 

 

 

 

Year 2

09.00am

Y2 (south) Glass Stairwell

3.15pm

Y2 (south) Glass Stairwell

 

 

 

 

 

Year 3

08.15am

Y2 (south) Glass Stairwell

2.15pm

Y2 (south) Glass Stairwell

 

 

 

 

 

Year 4

08.30am

North Glass Stairwell (next to Home from Home)

2.45pm

North Glass Stairwell (next to Home from Home)

 

 

 

 

 

Year 5

08.15am

Dining Hall Doors

2.15pm

Dining Hall Doors

 

 

 

 

 

Year 6

08.45am

Dining Hall doors

3.00pm

Dining Hall doors

 

The staggered start and finish times do not work for me as I have several children at your school all in different year groups.  What do I do?

Drop all your children off at the earlier time allocated.

E.g.  Child A.  In Year 1.  Start time 9.15am.  Finish time 3.30pm.

        Child B.  In Year 3.  Start time 8.15am.  Finish time 2.15pm.

        Child C.  In Year 6.  Start time 8.45am.  Finish 3pm.


In this example of the family above, all children would be brought to school and handed over to us at 08.15am (the earliest start time for all three children). We then ask/advise that you collect ALL your children at the earlier finish time, which, in the example above, would be 2.15pm.  However, in exceptional circumstances we can be more flexible with finish times, e.g. working parents/carers, as we are no longer running our after school Home from Home provision.  Please speak to your child's class teacher(s) ASAP and let them know your preferred pick-up time.  They will make a note of this and we will try our best to make provision for it.

Whatever time you have to drop off and pick up PLEASE, PLEASE make sure you are punctual/on time!  If you are late collecting your child at their allocated/chosen time, then you may have to wait until 15.30 (the latest time) to collect them. Moreover, if you are late dropping them off, you/they may have to wait outside (in the rain?) until the end of an admission window. 

 

Why is the before school (morning) 'Home from Home' session running but not the after school one?

Two main reasons:

1. The after school Home from Home childcare provision is very poorly attended.

2. I have instructed all staff to be out of the school building by 4pm so that a deep clean can take place throughout the whole school each night between 4pm and 6pm.

We hope to reinstate the after school 'Home from Home' provision later in the year, if there is a need for it.

What if my child has a cough or cold?

The NHS advises that if a child has mild cold-like symptoms they should continue to go to school.  Sore throats and blocked or runny noses are not symptoms of coronavirus.

However, if your child also has a new continuous cough or a fever, or a loss of - or change in - their sense of smell or taste, they may have coronavirus. Your child should stay at home, isolate for at least 10 days and be tested.  Other members of your household should also self-isolate for 14 days from the point when your son or daughter first shows symptoms.

What happens if there's a coronavirus outbreak at school?

A school is said to have a coronavirus outbreak if there are two or more confirmed cases within 14 days, or if there is a rise in the number of children off with suspected Covid-19.  If this happens, the school must work with local health protection teams.

If an outbreak in our school is confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be sent. Testing will start with the infected pupil's class, followed by their year group, then the whole school if necessary.  I will be in constant contact with parents via our website, app, Facebook and text service if this was to happen.

In some cases, a larger number of pupils - for instance, a year group - may have to self-isolate at home as a precaution.

Closing a school will ''not generally be necessary'', the government says.  If pupils can't come in, schools are expected to have a home-working plan ready to go.  We have this in place and ready to roll out.

Can my child bring in their backpack/school bag and things from home, such as their pencil case?

We have to reduce the number and amount of items being brought into school as the coronavirus can stay on surfaces for up to 72 hours.  We will provide every child with all the equipment they need in the form of their own, new pencil case and contents for their sole use. 

If you child has a packed lunch then this must be brought to school in a plastic, supermarket type carrier bag.  Children will be directed to take home any uneaten parts of their packed lunch in the plastic bag and not deposit it in the bins in school.  Please reuse the plastic bags as much as possible.  If you do not have any plastic bags then please get in touch with school as we have literally hundreds in storage that have not been opened or touched for months.  If you have bought your child/children a new lunchbox then please keep hold of this for when we relax the rules.

Parents/carers will no longer be able to drop their child's packed lunch off at school if they have not sent it in with their child in the morning as we do not and cannot have our office staff going into classes to hand over packed lunches etc.  If your child is on packed lunches then please make sure you send the packed lunch in with them every day.

Can my child wear a facemask when in school?

No.  This has been forbidden by the Government.  Medical research points to the fact that primary age children are more likely to misuse a facemask by touching the front of it and repositioning it lots.  This can then 'viral load' their fingers with pathogens (viruses and bacteria) which, if they then touch any mucus membrane on their body, e.g. their eyes, they could infect themselves.

What safety measures have you put in place to minimise risk in school?

All the usual:

1. Washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 secs. 

2. Use hand gel (min 70% alcohol).  Lots of dispensers located around school.

3. Children will be in either class or year group bubbles and the adults are to socially distance from other adults.

5. Stay at home and isolate if you have symptoms of Covid-19.

School Specific Measures, as directed by central Government:

  1. Children in bubbles.  Yrs 6, 2, 1, R and N (AM and PM) will be whole cohort bubbles.  Y5, 4 and 3 will be in class bubbles.
  2. Staggered start and finish times to try and avoid/mitigate risk of contact.
  3. Alter what we teach (curriculum).  Our Music curriculum is ‘singing heavy’ so suspended until Oct.
  4. Communal areas out of bounds, e.g. Staffroom, Dining Hall.
  5. Forward facing desks.
  6. One way system around school.
  7. No large assemblies or faith worship.  Done in class/bubbles.

Plus extra, specific to our school:

  1. Personal sanitisation pack , inc hand gel, gloves etc provided for every member of staff.
  2. New, portable sinks purchased and positioned on all school entrances.
  3. Smaller bubbles in Y5, 4 and 3 – to reduce the need for whole year groups to go home if someone in a bubble tests positive.
  4. PPA (staff planning, preparation and assessment time) – staff can work from home.
  5. No food to be consumed by staff from the school kitchen.
  6. A menu system for ordering grab bags for the children each day or week.
  7. Suspension of the Pupil Uniform and Staff Dress Code.
  8. A deep clean every night from 4pm onwards.  ALL staff out of the building by this time, except site staff.
  9. No books to be taken home by teachers to work on or mark at home.  Altered feedback policy most of it verbal.
  10. Members of the Senior Leadership Team are to work from home one day per week.
  11. No kettles to make hot drinks for staff as this encourages congregating.
  12. Visors for every member of staff.
  13. Most documents will be sent electronically, to both staff and parents/carers.
  14. A new track and trace system in operation for all visitors to school and for teachers who move around school and visit different classes, e.g. the Headteacher (this will be kept to a minimum).

Can I come into the school building to see what safety measures you have put in place?

Unfortunately not.  The whole idea is to reduce the number of people and bodies coming into school so as to minimise risk.  As you can see from above, we have gone over and above the national guidelines to ensure risk is kept to a minimum.  However, if you have any concerns or ideas then please let me know: head@peelpark.bradford.sch.uk

Why can't my child wear their school uniform?

They can but it must be washed each night or a clean item every day.  This is not easy if your child only has one or two items of school uniform, so for the time being I have suspended the school uniform policy to make this easier for you.  I will review this at October half-term.

Just a bit of advice on this point.  At the moment school uniform is readily available and cheap at most bigger supermarkets and clothing stores.  Buy it now whilst it is there for use later in the year as the cost of it usually goes back up by the end of September.  It may be advisable to buy a bigger size but you know your child(ren) better than anyone

Can I come into school to talk with my child's class teacher if I have an issue or concern?

Yes and no!  We usually have an 'open door policy' which means that you can usually chat with the class teacher at the beginning or end of the school day etc.  This will now be by appointment only via the front reception desk or, better still, by email direct to your child's class teacher and copying in the office so they know to expect you: office@peelpark.bradford.sch.uk

If you do not know your child's class teacher's email address please look on our website: https://peelpark.eschools.co.uk/website/meet_our_staff/162790  or call us on 01274 639377.

Will you still be sending letters home?

We are trying our best not to do this.  From now on most letters will be sent to parent/carers email addresses that we hold on file.  Again, this reduces risk of any possible transmission of the virus from school to home and thus reduces risk.  Please make sure we have your most current and used email address on our files.  If you do not have an email address then please call us and speak to us about this.  This move should also save the school over £10,000 per year!

Will school trips and educational visits still go ahead?

No.  But this will be reviewed every month.

Can I still use cash/money to pay for things in school such as school dinners?

No.  This must now all be done online via Parentpay.  If this is going to be an issue for you please contact Mrs Rushton in our office to discuss: 01274 639377.

Are all teachers and staff back in school?

Most, but some have been directed to still stay at home due to their medical conditions, backed up by communication from their medical specialists. 

Has the school carried out a whole school and site Risk Assessment?

Yes.  This has been submitted to the Governors, shared with the main teaching and staff unions and with all staff.  It will also be available for all parents to look at on our website from 1pm on Monday 7th September, 2020.  If you have any questions, worries, ideas or concerns then please let me know.

Have there been any staff changes over the summer?

Mr Power (Y5 teacher) has moved to a school in Keighley.  We are very sad to see him go but wish him all the very best in his new school - they are very lucky to have him!  Mrs Robinson, our receptionist, has changed careers; we also wish her all the very best in her new role.  Mr Longmire (our Forest Schools Worker) leaves us in a few weeks to focus on his own joinery business - good luck with this Jonathan!  Mrs Begum in Y5 has gone on maternity leave so we have a new teacher in Y5 called Miss Brown.  Welcome Miss Brown!

Finally...

Please bear with us with all the above.  You may think some of it is 'nonsense' or 'ridiculous' but it is necessary to reduce and mitigate against high risks.

A reminder that walking, cycling or 'scootering' to and from school is encouraged. Parents should not gather in groups at school gates, or come into the building without an appointment.

I thank you for your co-operation and support in all the above and throughout the pandemic.

A reminder that we start back on Wednesday 9th September.

Mr Lloyd Mason-Edwards

Headteacher