Part 3 - Safety Procedures and Protocols
The Coronavirus Symptoms
The most important guidance that remains in place is that if your child has any symptoms of the coronavirus they must stay at home for 10 days and your family should isolate for 14 days.
The main symptoms of coronavirus are:
- A high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
- A new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
- A loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Someone starting to show coronavirus symptoms in school
If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow the stay at home guidance from the government. This guidance explains that they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange a test via the online portal, to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Boarders will be isolated in our sick bay and if possible sent home. The school has been provided with some home testing kits, but these are to be used in exceptional circumstances where a child or staff member is not able to organise a test.
If a pupil or staff member starts to show symptoms in school, we will always err on the side of caution. If it were a pupil, we understand that this could be a worrying experience for them. We would do our best not to panic the child and communicate in a caring and calm tone and move them to the medical area away from other pupils. Parents would then be contacted and if necessary, pupils will be moved to another class until their classroom has been deep cleaned. PPE equipment (mask, gloves, goggles and apron) would be worn by the member of staff attending to the pupil at this time.
Any members of staff who have helped someone with symptoms and any pupils who have been in close contact with them do not need to go home to self-isolate unless they develop symptoms themselves (in which case, they should arrange a test) or if the symptomatic person subsequently tests positive (see below) or they have been requested to do so by NHS Test and Trace.
However, any areas in which the pupil has been will immediately be cleaned thoroughly and all pupils will wash their hands immediately.
What happens if Hatherop has a confirmed case of the coronavirus?
If a pupil at Hatherop has been tested and has a confirmed case of the coronavirus, the school will take swift action by contacting the local health protection team. This team will also contact us if they become aware that one of our community has the coronavirus through the NHS Test and Trace.
The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate. The health protection team will work with schools in this situation to guide them through the actions they need to take and will provide definitive advice on who must be sent home. We will contact all parents as soon as possible.
Household members of those contacts who are sent home do not need to self-isolate themselves unless the child, young person or staff member who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms. If someone in a class or group that has been asked to self-isolate develops symptoms themselves within their 14-day isolation period they should follow ‘stay at home' guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection. They should get a test, and:
- If the test delivers a negative result, they must remain in isolation for the remainder of the 14-day isolation period. This is because they could still develop the coronavirus (COVID-19) within the remaining days.
- If the test result is positive, they should inform the school immediately, and should isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms (which could mean the self-isolation ends before or after the original 14-day isolation period). Their household should self-isolate for at least 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms, following ‘stay at home' guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.
Hygiene and cleaning
The new levels of hygiene and hand washing will continue to be a focus of the school. We will continually educate pupils on good practice and have child friendly resources to remind them.
The cleaning of hands will be a regular feature of the day and sanitiser will also be used as well.
We will also continue to educate pupils in good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
Frequently touched surfaces, communal areas and core equipment will be regularly cleaned to ensure the school is as clean as possible throughout the day. Some areas of the school will not be used to allow us to focus our attention on keeping the highest hygiene standards possible. Shared equipment will be minimised whenever possible. We politely ask that these measures are reinforced at home as well.
Bubbles and social distancing
The guidelines on bubbles and social distancing have changed in the latest guidance. There is much more flexibility and as we are a small school it will allow us to operate in Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep bubbles. This makes things logistically much easier for us, however, although we have this flexibility we will try to keep the different year groups and phases (Middle School & Upper School) as separate as possible.
Within primary schools it is acceptable for the children within the bubbles not to socially distance. However, this does not mean that everything will be back to normal and keeping apart wherever possible will still be promoted when appropriate.
Staff are still required to socially distance from each other wherever possible and unfortunately parents will not be allowed in school apart from by appointment.
Morning Drop off
Due to the recommended guidance, parents are encouraged not to come into school and so we will be following similar arrangements for drop off and collection we used during the Summer Term. For the first three days of term (8th, 9th and 10th September) we ask that you stick to the times listed below to avoid congestion and to allow all families to settle into the routines. For families with more than one child, please use the earlier time to drop off all your children.
We do understand during the first 3 days of term, parents may want to accompany their child into school and to their form room, if this is the case, we ask that parents wear a mask. All bags and equipment on the first day of term are to go to the form room and will be taken to the various parts of the school later in the day with form teachers.
However, from Monday 14th September we politely ask that the children are encouraged to come into school independently.
Collection in the Nursery will be follow the same routine as we implemented during the Summer Term. Please wait in the playground in the Nursery, and a member of staff will bring your child to you. Parents are asked to park in the top car park as they would for drop off. Collection times are:
- 12.30pm – Morning collection for children staying for the morning only
- 3.30pm - Collection for children staying for the day
- 4.30pm/5.30pm – Late Collection for those children staying for creche/late creche
Collection for Pre-Prep will follow the same arrangement as we implemented during the Summer Term. Please park in the carpark and wait for your child by the PAC and the teachers will bring your children out to you. If your child is staying for activities (3.40pm – 4.30pm) they will remain in the Pre-Prep.
The same arrangements will be implemented for collection at 4.30pm and 5.30pm.
As we are restricting parents from entering the school building, please ensure your child knows what time they are being collected and you keep to your agreed collection time. If your circumstances change during the day and you need to collect your child at a different time, please ring the school (01285) 750206 so we can get a message to your child/ren.
As mentioned above we have timetabled a form time/prep/pastoral session from 3.45pm to 4.30pm to allow parents to collect their child early if they would like to without missing any curriculum time.
Other collection times remain the same with 4.30pm, 5.30pm and 6.10pm collections available. We politely ask that parents stick to these times and not arrive to collect at other times.
We plan to implement a similar system of collection for Prep children as we did last term that being:
- A member of staff will be on duty at the front door.
- When you arrive please either park in the front car park or in the bottom car park and walk up; your child/ren will then come out to meet you.
It is expected that at peak times the car parks are going to be busy and so please do take care parking or driving through the school. It would be appreciated if you do not hang around at school as parking spaces will be limited. PLEASE DO NOT PARK ON THE DRIVE.
Communication with School
We completely understand that parents will want to keep in touch with their child’s teachers and the school. Meetings with staff at school will be encouraged to take place via MS Teams or Zoom. Email remains the most efficient way to communicate with the school and staff will endeavour to respond to emails within 24 hours.
Sadly due to the guidance regarding large groups meeting we have taken the decision to cancel the new children’s tea party scheduled for Tuesday 8th September.
Pupils will be separated into Prep and Pre-Prep break times and teachers will carefully dismiss pupils to ensure that one bubble does not mix with another. Although there is greater freedom now for the children, sharing of equipment will be carefully monitored and cleaned where appropriate
Hands will be washed/sanitised before and after break.
Lunch will go back to the usual sittings. A normal lunch menu will be on offer. As per guidance the dining hall will be cleaned between sittings to ensure good hygiene practices.
Face Coverings and Masks
The government have provided further guidance regarded pupils and adults in school wearing masks. Schools are able to make their own decisions, based on their own environment, age of the children and circumstances. I have decided that children will not wear masks at Hatherop during the school day and this includes children in Prep 7&8. The reasons are:
1. Asking children to keep the masks on them and to keep them hygienically safe is very difficult. Masks are a ‘hot bed’ of germs and any masks left around the school will increase the risk of transfer of Covid-19.
2. Given teaching is about personal relations and interactions it is felt that wearing a mask can have an negative impact on communication and on learning and teaching.
Parents (if they have to come into the school building) and visitors will be asked to wear a mask.