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WILLOWCROFT COMMUNITY SCHOOL

Tomorrow’s success starts today
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WILLOWCROFT COMMUNITY SCHOOL

Tomorrow’s success starts today

Corona Virus information

Covid-19 Quick guide for parents

 

Dear Parents

We are looking forward to the full-time return of all the children in September as usual.  The school day and the way we work will be different but we hope that, by limiting the numbers of staff and children coming into contact with each other during the day, we can remain fully open throughout pandemic.  We are doing everything we can to ensure that the children's education is not interrupted, ensuring they have school as usual.  We do not have the same flexibility to move staff around or to use agency staff if teachers and TAs are ill so we need to keep our staff as healthy as possible so that we have enough adults to teach the children and care for them safely

.

You can help us to reduce the likelihood of Covid-19 outbreaks in school and avoid disruption to learning by

Below you will find some FAQs.  The one most commonly asked at the moment is 'Can I drop all my children off at the same time?'  Unfortunately, the answer at the moment is no.  Some staff only start work at 9am and so the teacher cannot be in class looking after early arrivals and collect the rest of the class from the playground at the same time.  We realise that this is inconvenient for parents and carers.  These staggered drop offs are inconveneint for us too!  if we can find a better system then we will change it but, to begin with, we ask for your patience as we establish new routines.  

 

All children from Reception to Year 6 return on Thursday 3rd September 2020

New starter?

Welcome to Willowcroft!  You will find more information on Frogs and Dragonflies class pages or our 'new starters' page.  

 

FAQs (updated on 16/09/2020)

I have children in different year groups.  Can I wait with my child on the school site until their class goes in?

Yes, you are welcome to wait in the sports cage area on the main playground.  We ask that you socially distance and keep your child with you so that they do not mix with children in other bubbles.  Please do not be offended if we remind you of these rules.

 

My child has a hospital appointment, where do I collect them from?

Please come to reception and ring the doorbell.  A member of staff will bring your child to you.

 

My child has cold.  Will you send them home?

School staff are unable to tell for sure if a child has Covid-19.  However, we are not sending children home if they have obvious colds with runny noses and sore throats.  As you will have read, many children with Covid-19 are asymptomatic but, Public Health England have told schools that if children display symptoms of a high temperature, a new continuous cough or loss of taste and smell they should isolate for 10 days.  Their siblings should also not attend school and will need to isolate for 14 days.  Even if your child feels better after a few days, they will need to complete their isolation period unless they have had a negative test.  We recognise that this is inconvenient, especially as it seems there are no tests readily available but we must follow PHE guidelines.  

School staff are not qualified to decide if a child has Covid-19 or not so, if you are unsure please seek medical advice from your GP or 111 or 119.  

 

My child was tested and is negative, do I need to let you know?

Yes please.  It is much appreciated if you let us know the results of tests as soon as you have them.  In addition, if you have received advice from the GP or 111/119 service and have been told that your child does not have symptoms of Covis-19, please phone or email us to let us know before they return to school so that we can let relevant school staff know and log the advice accordingly. Please let the school office know rather than messaging the teacher on Class Dojo.

 

My child was tested and is positive, do I need to let you know?

Yes please.  if your child tests positive then please contact the school office immediately on 01235 813304 so that we can take appropriate action.  If this happens, the school contacts Public Health England and follows the directions of the track and trace team.  

 

I need a test for my child but none are available, what shall I do?

We appreciate that this is deeply frustrating and we are experiencing the same difficulties with staff who cannot get a test and are having to isolate, potentially unnecessarily, for 14 days.  Recent news suggests this situation is likely to continue.

 

Does my child have to attend nursery or school?

Attendance at nursery

We strongly encourage you to send your child to nursery as usual. Attending childcare helps provide a routine as young children develop their social skills.

You can check if your child is eligible for any of the free childcare entitlements on the Childcare Choices website. These are worth on average £2,500 a year to parents of 2 year olds and up to £5,000 a year to parents of 3 and 4 year olds.

 

Attendance at school

The Government expects all children to return to school full-time,as usual.  Evidence shows that children are less likely to become seriously ill if they contract Covid-19.  It seems that adults are more likely to pass the virus to other adults and there is no evidence at the moment that children in school are taking the virus home and causing outbreaks in the community.  That said, we know that some families of children and staff, live with people who are more vulnerable so we will be keeping to our bubbles and making our environments contained and safe.

 

Self-isolation and shielding

A small number of children and young people may be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they:

  • are self-isolating

  • have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves

  • are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)

If your child is unable to attend school for these reasons, ask us for support with home education.  Keep in touch and keep us updated.

 

Shielding advice for all adults and children was paused from 1 August. This means that children and young people can return to school or college if they:

  • are on the shielded patient list

  • have family members who are shielding

 

See the guidance on shielding and protecting people defined on medical grounds as extremely vulnerable for the current advice.

Children and young people under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school or college.

If children are not able to attend school because they are following clinical and/or public health advice, you will not be penalised.

 

Can I take my child on holiday?

As usual, you should plan your holidays within school and college holidays. PLease do not take your children out of school during term time; this may incur a fine.

Keep in mind that you and your children may need to self-isolate when you return from a trip overseas. 

 

How is the school managing risk?  Can I see the risk assessment?

We have our own health and safety risk assessment for the autumn term which is available on this page.

As part of this, there are certain approaches that we have implement that are essential to reduce health risks.

 

  • manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school, in line with current public health guidance - this means your child may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days by the school (based on advice from their local health protection teams) if they have been in close, face to face contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus

  • ensure that everyone cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive, when they return from breaks, and before and after eating - this should be done for 20 seconds with soap and running water or hand sanitiser

  • promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, to ensure good respiratory hygiene

  • enhance cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often

 

School will minimise contact and encourage maintaining distance as far as possible. This will involve asking children and young people to:

  • stay within specified separate groups (or bubbles)

  • maintain distance between individuals

We know that younger children may not be able to maintain social distancing. It is likely that for younger children the emphasis will be on separating groups, and for older children, it will be on distancing.

 

 

Does my child have to wear face coverings?  Will school staff wear face coverings?

We do not expect children or staff to wear face coverings in class.  We are following Government advice and, if this changes, we will change our policy.  There will be times when staff will need to wear face coverings, such as when they are mixing with adults and children they do not usually mix with or when they are changing nappies or cleaning up bodily fluids.  Children and adults need to be able to see each others' faces in class for communication reasons.  

 

Arrival and drop off times

We have adjusted the school timings to promote social distancing. Please see the table below.

*8.30 - 8.50am-3.15pm (1pm Friday)

Location

8.40am-2.55pm (12.55pm Friday)

Location

8.50am-3.05pm (1.05pm Friday)

Location

Yr 5 Falcon

class

F1 Frogs

hall

Y2 Owls

hall

Yr 5 Red Kites

class

F1 Dragonflies

hall

Y2 Robins

hall

Yr 6 Ravens

class

Y1 Squirrels

Playground

Y3 Rabbits

playground

Yr 6 Eagles

class

Y1 Hedgehogs

Playground

Y3 Foxes

playground

 

 

Puffins

usual

Y4 Badgers

playground

 

 

 

 

Y4 Otters

playground

8.30am-11.30am

12.00pm-3.00pm

Location

8.40am-11.40am

12.10pm-3.10pm

Location

 

 

Caterpillars

usual

Tadpoles

usual

 

 

 

*Year 5 and 6 will have a soft start, so they can arrive between 8.30 – 8.50am and go straight into class. This is to help parents who have children in more than one year group.

Please help us keep the school open as usual by-

  • Only one parent per child to drop off and collect. 

  • using our one-way system – enter from the entrance gate and leave via the exit. Staff will be on the playground every day to assist.

  • Following social distancing rules  on the school site. This is mainly for adults but please ensure your children stand with you and do not mix with other adults and children.

  • Wearing a mask/face shield on the school grounds ,if you are able to, or keeping a 2m distance and especially if you need to speak to a member of staff.

 

What happens at Lunchtime?

  • All children will eat lunch in class. Bubbles will not mix.

  • Children will have a designated area to play in on the playground or field and will be supervised by adults from their bubble.

  • Children who require a school lunch, including those eligible for free school meals, can order grab bags.  These can be ordered from ‘School Grid’ as usual. This menu will be sent out via ParentPay.

  • Packed lunches can be brought in but must be in an easily washable, named container.

  • All children will need named water bottles.

 

What does my child need to bring to school?

  • Every child from Year 2 upwards will need a pencil case which they leave in school.

  • Bags must not be brought into school (if your child requires spare clothes please put them in a named carrier bag and given them to your child's teacher.

  • PE will only be taught outside and children will be required to wear their PE kit to school on the days when it is taught. There will be no changing of clothes for the lesson as we are now unable to mix classes into girls and boys when changing. As the weather gets colder children will need jogging bottoms and a school sweatshirt

  • Children can bring book bags to school and take them home each day as usual. We will have a book quarantine system in school.

  • Normal school uniform should be worn.

  •  

Behaviour policy

  • Behaviour expectations will remain the same as before lockdown, however some procedures will be changed due to the limitations of bubble mixing. The behaviour policy will be updated and shared on the website from September.

  • Staff will need to maintain distance from adults so will only be able to encourage children to separate from parents if they are anxious. Staff will not be able to remove children from their carers.

  • Children will be taught about social distancing, hygiene and how to keep themselves safe during the pandemic.

 

What should I do if my child is ill?

  • Please do not send your child to school if they have any symptoms of Covid-19.  The symptoms are a new, continuous cough and/or a high temperature, and/or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell.  A full list of the symptoms is available on the 111 website.

  • If your child develops any of these symptoms whilst at school, we will call you and ask you to collect your child immediately. Government advice states that your child must isolate for 7 days and arrange to have a test. The rest of the household must self-isolate for a further 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

 

Why is school closing early on a Friday?

Teachers are required to have 10% of their week as non-contact time for planning, preparation and assessment.  Usually, we have a mixture of outside providers and higher level teaching assistants to release the class teachers.  In order to keep the children, staff and wider school community safer we will not be inviting outside providers into school or asking staff to work across a number of different classes.  For this reason, school will be closed to school-age children at 1pm on Friday.   This is because of the pandemic and is not a long term arrangement.  This arrangement will be reviewed by the Governors after the first term. 

Please note that this does not include Tadpoles and Caterpillars, who will continue to attend from Monday to Friday.  This is only for children from Reception to Year 6.

 

Additional Frequently Asked Questions

What is a “bubble”?

In school, a bubble will be a group of children of a similar age group up to a maximum of 30 children. This is because the size of our classrooms will not accommodate larger groups and allow for social distancing. As much as possible, the bubble will not have contact with other bubbles in school and the adults will stay the same each week.

 

Will my child be in their normal classroom with their normal teacher?

Yes. Your child will be in their own class with their class teacher.

 

Can you still provide Breakfast/After School care?

Yes, we will provide breakfast and after school care as normal. Please email the office if you would like to book your child in, or alternatively, Caron Gray for after school care provision.

 

If a child or adult becomes ill in a bubble what will you do?

If a child shows any symptoms of the coronavirus at home, you must keep the child off and request a test. Please notify the school immediately. If the test is positive, then all members of that bubble will  need to self-isolate for 14 days depending on medical advice received by school. If the test is negative, then attendance can carry on as normal. If an adult shows symptoms, the same procedures apply.

 

Can you guarantee that children will be able to follow social distancing in their bubble?

It is not possible to guarantee this. We will try our best but the guidance from the government states that this is unlikely to be possible, especially with younger children. The bubbles will be contained and the children within a bubble will not mix with any other bubbles.

 

How will you keep the areas clean during the day and at the end of each day?

There will be two or three adults in each bubble-depending on the ages and needs of the children- and they will regularly wipe down frequently used surfaces as well as washing equipment after it has been used by a child. Children will have some of their own equipment, such as pens but items that have to be shared eg maths equipment- will be washed in hot soapy water. Books will be divided up into daily boxes and will be rotated every 7 days. Where we are able to use outdoor toys, such as the bikes, they will be wiped down with anti bac after each child. Toilets will be cleaned more frequently during the day. There will be a weekly deep clean between groups.

 

Will my child’s classroom look different?

We have avoided taping off areas and putting big crosses everywhere. Instead, we will spread tables out, open doors and windows, teach outside where we can and generally make sure that coming to school is as normal as possible. They will notice that outside areas have been divided up by temporary barriers to remind the children to stay within their bubbles.

 

What if my child is distressed or hurts themselves- will staff be able to care for them?

Of course. We will still administer first aid and care for young children as they need to be-and deserve to be- cared for. No-one will be asking a distressed child to stand two metres away!

 

What will happen at lunchtimes?

If your child would like a hot school dinner you continue to order from School Grid. Children eligible for free school meals can order their lunch as usual. No children will eat in the hall. Instead meals will be brought to the children and children and adults will eat in the classroom in their bubble. Each bubble will have a designated outside space so they will be able to play outside throughout the day.

 

How much outdoor time will there be?

We are lucky to have a large amount of open space and whenever possible we will use this for our bubbles. Staff will be teaching the children outside as much as possible.

 

Will staff be wearing PPE?

Current government guidelines state that this is not necessary in the main however if a child becomes ill with symptoms of the Coronavirus, it is recommended that PPE is used. We will also use PPE for nappy changing or any other intimate care.

 

What if I need to contact the school – will the office be open?

Please do not come into the school building. We have our office staff available so if you need to contact us please phone or email the school as usual.

 

Does my child need to wear their school uniform?

Yes. School uniform is required unless your child has PE. On days where PE is taking place, we ask that your child wears their kit into school as we will not have an area for your child to get changed.

 

Does my child need anything extra for school?

Please ensure they have a sunhat and that you apply sun cream every day before school. They will also need a pencil case which will be left in school and a named water bottle.

 

Who do I speak to if I have concerns or questions which are not on this list?

You can phone the school as usual or you can email office.3912@willowcroft.oxon.sch.uk

Covid-19 risk assessment

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