As we prepare to open the school and welcome back all pupils next week (Thursday 3rd September 2020), we want to share with you information about the arrangements and routines that we are putting in place so that we can operate as safely as possible and minimise the risk and spread of COVID-19 infection. These arrangements and your support and attention to these arrangements is very important, particularly given that Manchester currently has a high number of infection rates (compared to national average) and is still under increased local restrictions regarding close contact between individuals and families. When we return to school next week, the risks will be higher than they have been, given the increased contact between families at and around the school site. It is therefore VERY IMPORTANT that everyone follows the rules and the arrangements and routines we are putting in place.
Risk Assessment : At this time:
- Although cases nationally have decreased and the national alert level is ‘3’ (virus is in general circulation), COVID-19 is still very much a concern, there is no vaccine and people, particularly those who are vulnerable, are still at risk of infection.
- The City of Manchester is currently one of a number of areas which are placed under increased restrictions. Essentially, people (including children) from different households are not allowed to mix in homes, private gardens and public venues (pubs, restaurants, cafes, shops, places of worship, community centres, leisure centres or visitors attractions). Only those living alone are permitted to mix with one other household (to form a social bubble). All families should be following these rules – if not, the risk to everyone in school and in the community will be increased.
- All pupils will return to school next week and it is accepted by Chief Medical Officers that the return to school across the country may (given significant increased contact with other families, particularly parents mixing as they take children to school) increase the rate of infection across England. Government consider this risk to be less the future social, health and academic risk of children not returning to school in September.
- The risk of children (particularly primary-aged children) contracting and becoming ill from COVID-19 is low.
- The risk of adults contracting COVID-19 as they mix with each other is still relatively high (as seen in some areas as ‘lockdown’ measures were relaxed as few weeks ago). Risks are reduced with good social-distancing, face masks, good hygiene, awareness of symptoms, self-isolation and quarantine, and track and trace, etc. It is therefore very important that all adults engaging with school (staff and parents) follow the advice and rules schools are putting in place. It is also VERY IMPORTANT that families follow the current rules which are in place for Manchester – no mixing between families (families cannot form ‘bubbles’ with each other – a bubble is for people who live alone to have social contact with another household). This will be particularly important as we return to school – the more people who have contact with each other, the greater the risk to families and the community.
- School cannot guarantee (as much as we would like to) that staff, pupils or parents will be free from coronavirus infection or that school will be a 100%-safe place for pupils, staff or parents. No school can guarantee that anyone on school premises will not contract the virus. All we can do is to follow the guidance and try to minimise and control the risks as best we can. We must work together.
- Scientific advice suggests that having groups of children working as ‘bubbles’ in school whose contact with other groups is limited will limit the spread of the virus and help schools control any outbreaks. This must also be supported by a range of other measures including awareness of symptoms of adults and children and people staying at home if necessary (self-isolation for up to 14 days), regular hand-washing, social-distancing where possible, good hygiene practices, “catch it, bin it, kill it”, extra cleaning, and track and trace.
It has been recognised that social distancing between children, particularly younger children, will not be fully achievable in schools. Our experience of children’s social behaviour supports this view. Children naturally want to be close to one another and gravitate to each other without thinking, particularly during their free play. Older children will understand and follow social-distancing more easily than younger children, although again they find it very difficult not to have close contact with each other, particularly when playing outdoor games. However, we do feel that social-distancing is still important and we will continue to promote this as best we can by:
- asking staff to maintain their social distance from each other;
- asking staff to maintain their social distance from children whenever possible;
- taking additional steps, e.g. PPE, when social-distancing is not possible (e.g. administration of first aid);
- avoiding comforting children in close proximity, e.g. hugging or holding their hands;
- reminding children to maintain a distance from each other during activities where this is possible;
- asking parents to discuss social distancing with their children (if not already done so);
- operating spacing, one-way and queueing systems for arriving and leaving school premises;
- operating spacing in other contexts, including in the classrooms and timings between group activities.
Symptoms, Self-Isolation and Testing
The guidance for managing symptoms of COVID-19 are as follows:
If a pupil has anyone within their household that has coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, they should not attend school. They should self-isolate immediately and the adult in the household should arrange to have a test.
Any pupil who develops COVID-19 symptoms during the school day should be sent home as soon as possible and
should arrange to have a test. We expect all parents to collect a child from school as soon as possible and certainly within 45 minutes. While waiting, a child will be isolated from other children in school until they are collected.
- Any adult who has COVID-19 symptoms must not come to the school premises, including to bring their child to school.
Any pupil who has tested positive for COVID 19 should not attend school/ setting for 7 days from the onset of symptoms. If the test is positive but the pupil has not had symptoms, they should self-isolate for 7 days from the date of the test.
- Where an adult in a household has COVID-19 symptoms, they should arrange to have a test and all members of the household should self-isolate. Children should remain at home for the defined period or until the test result has been returned as negative.
- More information about symptoms and self-isolation can be found here – NHS website.
Summary of Arrangements and Routines
- All pupils will be returning to school in September on a full-time basis, that is all day Monday – Friday.
- Each class will operate as a single ‘bubble’ or group as much as possible.
- Children will have staggered start and finish times (see below).
- Each class will have a designated place in the playground to wait for their teacher in the morning (we are hoping that given allocated arrival times that entry to the school building will be quick) and to wait for parents at the end of each day. Parents are asked to leave their children as soon as possible so that we can reduce the number of adults on the premises as quickly as possible. At the end of the school day, parents must queue in the one-way system and children will move to parents from their waiting zones.
- Only ONE parent will be allowed to drop off / collect a child from the school playground. Where two parents drive/walk to school with a child, one should wait in the car or away from the school premises (please do not wait in the school car park or on Bazley Road as this will cause congestion) while the other parent accompanies a child into school.
- Children’s movement around the school will be limited and arranged so that they do not come into close with children from other classes/bubbles.
- Children (given the latest advice from the Government for pupils in different age groups) should not wear masks for school.
- Parents may wear face masks when bringing children to and collecting children from school.
- School staff will not wear face masks in normal circumstances. They may wear face masks if they need to be in closer contact with a child.
- We would like as many children as possible to let their children walk from the school car park to the playground on their own (this reduces the number of adults in the school playground at any one time and therefore reduces the risk of infection).
- Parents MUST NOT park their cars on Bazley Road and parents must not congregate or stop and talk near the school gates or on Bazley Road as this will cause congestion and block the path of those walking to school at different times. It is very important to maintain social-distancing and as much as it will be tempting to stop and chat and catch up with other parents, we ask that this is be done away from school premises and safely, following all of the local rules that are currently in place.
- Parents should keep any conversations they need to have with staff as brief as possible so to avoid congestion in the playground. If detailed conversations are necessary, we ask that parents make a telephone appointment, write a message in the communication book (or on paper) or contact Carole Nelson at the school office via telephone (0161 998 4825) or email (email@example.com) who will then pass the message to the teacher.
- Children will be provided with their own equipment (pens, pencils, etc) in school. These will be kept in a named ZIP-wallet.
- The use of shared resources will be minimised. Any resources which are shared will be cleaned after use or quarantined for a period of time so that risk of contamination decreases over time and before they are used by another group.
- Hand-washing and good hygiene will remain very important. Children will be expected to wash their hands at regular intervals during the school day. Hand-sanitizer stations will be available in the playground and at the main entrance and in classrooms.
- Extra cleaning will take place during the school day. This will include extra cleaning of shared areas and facilitates such as the tables in the school hall, the ICT Suite and toilets.
- Most children will eat lunch in their classrooms. Manchester Fayre will be serving sandwiches with occasional extras rather than hot lunches for time-being. This will be reviewed every two weeks (see lunch arrangements below). Parents need to let school know if their child will be having a school lunch (see Lunch arrangements below)
- All children should wear school uniform which should be washed regularly, at least twice per week.
- All children should bring a PE kit to school.
- Pupils should bring a ‘filled’ water bottle to school every day and take it home for washing every day. Water bottles will be replenished by staff (using a jug) at least once during the school day. Pupils will not be allowed to use water fountains given the risk of contamination.
Staggered Arrival and Leaving Times
Given that the aim is for each separate ‘bubble’ (including their parents) to avoid contact with another group, it will be necessary to put measures in place to avoid overcrowding in the school playground and potentially long queues in the street when children arrive at and leave school premises. We have decided to allow parents to access the school playground (to avoid congestion at the school gate) but in a controlled and socially-distanced way, including following a one-way system which worked well in the summer term. There will therefore be staggered arrival and leaving times for each class as follows:
||Drop-Off / Pick-Up
||Playground / EYFS Gate
||Playground / EYFS Gate
||3.00pm (Zone A)
||Playground / Playground
||3.10pm (Zone A)
||Playground / Playground
||8.50am (Main Entrance)
||3.05pm (Zone A)
||Main Entrance / Playground
||8.45am (Main Entrance)
||3.00pm (Zone B)
||Main Entrance / Playground
||8.55am (Main Entrance)
||3.10pm (Zone B)
||Main Entrance / Playground
||2.55pm (Zone B)
||Playground / Playground
The times have been arranged as above to:
- maintain teaching time during the school day (no loss to lesson time);
- avoid congestion at different entrances to the school;
- make use of the main entrance for some classes (those with cloakrooms nearest the hall);
- reduce the number of parents entering the playground;
- avoid congestion or classes meeting in corridors (when hanging their coats);
- stagger collection from school in different playground zones at the end of the day;
- entrances and playground zones are not being used by more than one class at the same time;
- enable some classes to arrive at the same time but using different entrances;
- minimise the difference in arrival/leaving times by no more than 10 minutes.
We appreciate that the above timings will not be convenient for everyone but we have tried to minimise inconvenience by arranging drop-off/collection times within ten minutes of our usual timetable by using different playground zones and entrances. If these arrangements cause too much congestion or are difficult to manage, we may need to review them and change them to extend the times at which pupils arrive and leave school. If everyone arrives at the right time and follows the routines, we are hoping that the above arrangements will be efficient and work well.
Arrival/Drop-Off at School
- Please arrive at school and collect your child at the allocated time.
- Siblings can arrive together at the earlier drop-off time for their family. This may mean that a child enters school earlier than the rest of their class. Alternatively, parents and siblings may wait on the field (soft-surface) away from other parents or leave the premises and return at the later time.
- Only one parent should accompany a child on school premises.
- Parents should not attend the school office during drop-off time (given its use by pupils). Parents may attend the school office at the end of the day but must queue outside the main entrance. Only one person at a time is allowed to present in the reception (office) area.
- Please do not park on Bazley Road for any reason – this will cause congestion.
- Please maintain social-distancing when walking to and from school
- Please maintain social-distancing when passing one another in the street
- Please do not gather or stop to talk to other parents on school premises or on the approach to school.
- Please do not obstruct pavements or pathways when waiting for children
- If your child is using the main entrance, please do not loiter or say “goodbye” at the school gate – come into the car park, say a quick goodbye and then leave via the pedestrian gate using the one-way system.
- Please encourage children to enter the school premises on their own (staff will be present at various positions from the school car park to the playground). Older pupils should be able to enter the school premises on their own in the mornings. If leaving pupils at the school gate, please enter the car park and then leave via the pedestrian gate – this will ease congestion at the vehicle gate.
- If parents are meeting (usually older) children at a point not in the playground, this must be away from school premises and the school gates to avoid congestion at the gates and on pavements.
- Parents who wish to collect all siblings together may do so at the earlier time by arrangement, wait on the field or leave the premises and return when other siblings finish school.
- Children who bring their bicycles to school should bring them to the playground. They should dismount before they reach Bazley Road for their own and others’ safety. They must not ride their bicycle into the school car park.
Parents and children will enter via the main vehicle gates (only one gate will be open). These will be supervised by a member of staff who will greet children briefly and offer some direction and reassurance, if needed. On entry via the vehicle gates, everyone should veer left to the side gates and then proceed to the school playground, observing social-distancing (and waiting to queue if necessary). Children must remain with their parents – children must not run on ahead. When entering the playground, there will a barrier system in place to filter groups to allocated waiting points for each small group. These will be signposted and coloured ground markers will indicate standing points to maintain social distancing parents and children. Children from the same bubble will be called in smaller groups of 3-4 to enter school, hang their coats and wash their hands. Parents will then follow a route via the Key Stage 1 playground to exit the premises via the After-School Club corridor, then turning left to exit the school ground via the pedestrian gate. Barriers or markers will be in place to mark out the one-way route. Parents must not park on Bazley Road – we need to manage how people arrive at school and keep everyone safe. Parents dropping off at the main entrance must stand back from the main entrance and then proceed to the pedestrian gate via the one way system. Please do not block the route to the main entrance or wait for any length of time – we need to achieve this process with some efficiency and speed. Thank you.
Collection / Leaving School
When collecting children at the end of the day, parents will be asked to arrive at school at the designated times. Parents should queue in the playground one-way system and keep moving forward, maintaining social-distancing of 2m. Children will be waiting in the playground for collection and will move to parents from their waiting points as parents approach the front of the queue. Parents should not enter the waiting zones – the children will move to parents from this point. Parents may wear masks on school premises to reduce the risks of infection even further.
Before-School and After-School Club
Our before-school and after-school clubs will operate their usual times, that is from 7.45am until 8.30am each morning (children attending morning club will be taken to their classrooms at 8.40am) and from 3.00pm to 6.00pm each afternoon. For the first week, places for before-school club and after-school club need to booked in advance. We are expecting some demand as we know parents will be returning to work but also know that some parents are still working at home and may be able to collect children at the end of the school day and not use the morning or after-school club as much as they might under normal working circumstances.
If you would like your child to attend Morning Club for the first time this year, please let us know by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our morning and after-school clubs will operate from the school hall, the Computer Suite and the After-School club room. We will be aiming to reduce contact between children from different classes. This will not be entirely possible given that we will potentially have children from eight classes attending the group and it is not possible to operate eight separate groups. We will aim to maintain childcare bubbles which may include pupils from two or three year groups. We will determine these groups once we know who is attending. When collecting children from after-school club, parents should use the main entrance and wait outside.
If you would like your child to attend After-School Club, please contact our After-School Manager on 07806 425181 or via email email@example.com
Manchester Fayre (caterer) will only be providing sandwiches (with some occasional extras) as a school meal for the foreseeable future. Given that we cannot have all children eating in the hall at the same time, children will eat their lunch in their classrooms. We are hoping that our reception class will be able to eat in the school hall (socially distanced); if not, they will eat in their classroom. The school lunch will include the sandwich choice (ham, cheese, egg mayo or tuna mayo), a piece of fruit, a biscuit/cake and an occasional additional items such as samosas, pasta and bread-sticks. Chilled water and milk will also be available.
Transition ‘All About Me’ Forms
In July, we offered children who had not been attending school (Years 1-5) the chance to come to school and meet their new teacher, albeit in the playground and for a short time. We also provided a ‘transition form’ for the children to complete for their new teacher. If your child did not get a chance to complete this form, they are available via the links below. Completed forms can be scanned and emailed back to school (to firstname.lastname@example.org) or simply brought to school on Thursday of next week.
Lessons and Teaching Staff
Each class will be taught by their class teacher for the majority of the week (another teacher or a teaching assistant may take the class to provide planning cover for teachers). Classrooms will be arranged so that pupils share tables (usually in twos) but will all face the front of the classroom, facing the teacher. The teacher will aim to maintain a 2m distance from the children, working and teaching from the front of the classroom and minimising close contact with individual or small groups of children. Staff will need to support children with SEND ‘at a distance’; staff will not be expected to work in close proximity to any child if this can be avoided. This will obviously change the way in which we teach and support children but we will do this as sensitively as possible. We know that will be a challenge for staff and children. It will not be possible for pupils within the same class to maintain social-distancing from each other – we simply do not have the space to achieve this. Staff including teaching assistants and other staff, can work across more than one class/bubble, although we will limit this. However, it will be important for them to maintain 2m distance from pupils given that are working with different groups of children.
We will not be offering our usual range of extra-curricular activities for the first half-term period in September. We will offer two year group (to be decided) an after-school sports activity. Group size will be limited to 15 pupils. If it rains, the group will use the school hall, although the activity may be changed. Choir will not take place at this time; we will review this for the next half-term period (November).
Children will be provided with their own equipment, including their own pens and pencils. These will be stored in named ZIP-wallets. The use of shared resources will be minimised. Where this is necessary, shared resources will be cleaned or quarantined after use for a period of up to 72 hours before being used by another class.
Physical Education Lessons
Where this is not possible due to the weather, PE lessons will only take place outdoors. Where PE lessons have to take place in the school hall, the group size will be no more than 15 children (half a class).
- Children should not bring any personal items, e.g. toys or books, from home
- Children may bring a small school bag to school
- Mobile phones (Year 6) will be sealed in a named plastic zip bag before being stored
- Children should bring a lunch box as usual
- Water bottles should be brought into school and will be returned home for washing every day
Clothing for School (Uniform)
- Children should wear school uniform and this should be washed regularly (at least twice each week)
- Children should bring a PE kit to school. This should be taken home every Friday and washed over the weekend.
At the moment, advice suggests that running a parents’ evening may be challenging or against local advice. We will review these arrangements in the light of guidance from the Local Authority.
Staff Training Days
In July, we informed parents that we would be having an additional staff training day on Wednesday 2nd September to prepare for school opening. To maintain the number of days pupils will attend school (190), we removed a training day previously scheduled for November. Shortly after we announced this, the Local Authority granted all schools two additional training days to prepare for reopening. We will therefore take advantage of this permission and put into the school calendar two additional training days during the school year. One is likely to be in November (a Friday) and the other in January (possibly Monday 4th January 2021). Given that much time will be used on Tuesday/Wednesday of the first week in September to prepare classrooms after our installation of our heating system and in preparing for COVID-safe work, it is unlikely that we will have an opportunity to undertake any staff development on these days. The additional days granted by the Local Authority are therefore welcome and will be much needed by staff.
School life will be a little different in that:
- children will need to be mindful that school is going to be a little different and the reasons for this;
- children will need to follow some additional school rules and routines to keep everyone safe;
- children who purposefully ignore the rules may face sanctions or be sent home;
- children will only mix with children in their own class. This means that children will not be able to play with older or younger children at playtimes or sit with them at lunchtime;
- we will ‘punctuate’ lessons by more playtimes and hand-washing;
- there will be staggered playtimes for each group (enabling enough space to play comfortably);
- there will be limited extra-curricular activities for the time-being (no choir);
- there will be no assemblies (some assembly activities will take place in classrooms);
- class visits to educational venues (e.g. Chester Zoo) may take place if the risk assessment for our arrangements and the venue are robust enough for us to do so
Routines and Rules for Parents
In addition to some additional rules and routines for children, there are also some things that we need parents to do to support the school and keep everyone safe. If you would like your child to return to school, we are asking you to following these routines and rules. If you cannot support us in this, please keep your child at home to reduce the risks of infection to children in school and to staff.
- keep to and respect the current lockdown rules, including social distancing between friends and neighbours;
- continue to commit to the national lockdown rules that are in place for your own family, household, workplace, shopping or social context, – if we are aware of any breach, we may ask you to keep your child away from school in the interests of everyone else’s safety;
- keep your distance from other families when walking to and from school;
- keep your child away from school if anyone in your household (or anyone you have been in close contact with) shows any symptoms of COVID-19;
- get a test if anyone in your household shows symptoms of COVID-19;
- join the national testing, tracing and tracking system (an APP to be available from beginning of June)
- continue to maintain good cleaning and hygiene (hand-washing) routines when at home;
- DO NOT park on Bazley Road for any reason – use Kenworthy Lane and walk the short distance to school
- do not gather in the school playground or car park or stop at the school gates or on Bazley Road to talk to other parents – this will block the safe pathway for other families coming to and leaving school (and may make others feel anxious);
- only one parent should bring/collect their child from school;
- make sure that your child has their packed lunch (if not having a school lunch) at the beginning of the school day to avoid having to revisit the school;
- follow our routines when on school premises (and in the surrounding streets), including queueing, following the one-way system and maintaining social distance from other families;
- minimise the items brought into school by children;
- ensure that clothes worn for school are clean (daily washing if possible);
- ensure your child washes their hands thoroughly before leaving the house;
- do not visit the school office – please make a telephone call if you need further information.