Following the government’s directive, we reopened to all pupils in September 2020. A plan was been written and implemented so that the children and members of staff at St Lawrence’s could be safe when at school. These arrangements were drawn up following a robust risk assessment process and were approved by the school’s Senior Leadership Team and Governors. An original plan and risk assessment received the approval of the Local Authority for re-opening in June – the September plan and the accompanying risk assessment build on established practices and routines that worked successfully in the summer term. This updated plan builds further on the September plan and is based on a re-assessment of risks and practices that were in place in the first half of the autumn term.
The Department for Education’s ‘Guidance for full opening: schools’ has been referred to in the production of this plan as have DfE updates which have been received.
We continue to recognise that some parents will have concerns about their children being at school during a pandemic and also understand that the year so far will have been challenging for many families. We will continue to support families and do our best to make the school a safe environment.
Maintaining a Safe Environment
The following preventative measures will be put in place from 2nd November 2020, in order to minimise the spread of infection at our school:
• Creating and maintaining five distinct bubbles; keep the children from the different bubbles apart (except for siblings):
2) Fox and Hedgehog classes (YR/1)
3) Badger and Owl Classes (Y1/2)
4) Maple, Oak and Willow classes (Y3/4)
5) Birch, Cedar and Pine classes (Y5/6)
Other than for lunch, assembly, P.E. (including swimming), outdoor activities and break-times pupils will be expected to stay in their classrooms.
• Displaying coronavirus infection control measures information posters around the school;
• Encouraging good hygiene by promoting the importance of handwashing for at least 20 seconds with water and soap in the following circumstances:
- Before leaving home
- On arrival at school
- After using the toilet
- Before and after outdoor breaks
- Before food preparation
- Before and after eating any food, including snacks
- Before and after having a drink
• Making alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60 percent alcohol available throughout the setting;
• Being outdoors as much as possible where the virus has less stamina;
• Encouraging staff and children to cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then put the tissue in a bin OR cough/sneeze into their elbow. Pedal bins will be in all classrooms;
• Ensuring frequently touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly than usual (by all members of staff);
• Making sure parents/carers calling NHS 119 if someone becomes unwell with COVID-19 symptoms;
• Isolating any unwell people in a separate room/zone and providing a separate toilet, where possible;
• Insisting that staff, parents and any visiting professionals have a test for COVID-19 if they develop clear signs of coronavirus and that members of their households isolate until the test result comes through (after which, isolation will continue or end depending on the outcome of the test);
• Insisting that staff, pupils, parents and any visiting professionals isolate for 14 days after returning from travel abroad (unless from a country/countries covered by travel corridor exemption);
• Not allowing unnecessary items from home to be brought into the building.
• Requesting that pupils come to school in P.E. kits on the days that their class has P.E. and will not need to change afterwards. Tracksuit bottoms and a coat will be needed on colder days. On ‘forest school’ days pupils should wear appropriate clothing all day and not wear school uniform.
• Ensuring sun hats (when appropriate – probably summer term only) and water bottles are brought in and taken home daily;
• Providing all equipment, resources etc. with children given individual items of stationery that only they will use (when appropriate and necessary);
• Managing reading books for pupils so that they are not handled by multiple pupils.
• Carefully managing the use of lockers (to avoid congestion). Some teachers may ask pupils to have bags by their desks and coats on the back of chairs;
• Giving each class/bubble a set of playground equipment to use;
• Carefully managing the use of outdoor climbing frames and other equipment;
• Using PPE when intimate care and first aid is given (PPE has been provided by the Local Authority);
• Asking staff members from different bubbles to use different rooms for lunch, PPA, photocopying etc.
• Assigning volunteers to one bubble only;
• Asking those members of staff who visit more than one bubble to wear PPE and keep 2m distance away from others;
• Creating one way systems of walking along corridors;
• Limiting the number of classes in the hall for assembly/lunch to those from one bubble only.
• Removing all toys, games, pieces of furniture etc. that cannot be wiped, from use (unless deemed essential/important within a single class/bubble);
• Limiting the number of children that enter communal toilets at any time and preventing those from different bubbles going at the same time;
• Having staggered break times and/or using designated playground zones;
• Asking parents/carers and others dropping off and collecting children, to wear masks when coming onto the school site;
• Asking parents/carers to put 24-hour sun-cream on pupils before coming to school (when appropriate – probably summer term only).
Parents/carers will be asked to encourage good infection control practices, such as thorough handwashing at home and keeping children informed about what they can do to reduce the spread of infection. It is essential that social distancing (in line with current Government guidance) and preventative measures (wearing masks in shops etc.) are continued at home by pupils and their family members, to avoid the virus being brought into the school and spread amongst pupils and staff. We ask that parents/carers are mindful of the school bubbles and where possible not allow children from the different bubbles to mix (or take measures to prevent close contact, especially when indoors).
As per the current NHS and government advice, children must be kept at home, if they develop coronavirus symptoms, parents should arrange for a coronavirus test immediately. Symptoms include a high temperature, a new & continuous cough and loss/change in of sense of smell/taste. If someone in a child’s household has symptoms, the child (and everyone in the household) must self-isolate until a test has been carried out and result obtained. More information regarding symptoms and actions can be found on the NHS website:
If parents/carers think a child may have been exposed to, or has, coronavirus, they must contact the school at the earliest opportunity. It is essential that we know if a child or parent has tested positive for COVID-19.
If a case of COVID-19 is identified in school, we will take advice from Public Health. It is likely that a class/bubble will be closed for a period of time. Whole school closure can hopefully be avoided, but it is possible that this may be necessary, to prevent the spread of the virus. In these scenarios, education and communication would take place using EExAT/Seesaw learning platforms as was successfully practised in the lockdown period.
Pupils who need to self-isolate whilst a family member awaits a test result will be set work/activities via Seesaw/EExAT. They will receive a special register code which will mean that their attendance figure is not impacted upon.
Any members of staff who work/volunteer in more than one setting have been asked to be particularly vigilant and careful, so as to not risk bringing the virus into the school environment.
Arrangements for the Start and End of the School Day
The beginning and end of the day are the busiest times for children and adults congregating together in one place and maintaining safe distances within normal arrangements needs to be carefully controlled. We have implemented the following measures for when all pupils return:
• A clearly marked, one-way system of entry and exit onto the school site. Parents will not be allowed to enter the building (without appointment). Entry and exit will be through specified gates/doors (parents/pupils to be informed which to use);
• Those dropping off and collecting pupils must wear masks/face coverings;
• Limit of only one adult with their child/children onto the site;
• Staggered drop off (from 8:30am) and pick up times (from 2:50pm) for pupils. These times have already been arranged;
• A finish of 1:15pm on Friday (pick-ups commencing 12:45pm) for all pupils* to allow for the school site to be thoroughly cleaned and teachers to have PPA (avoids a cover teacher taking the class);
• Parents/carers who are dropping off or collecting pupils must stay 2m apart and must wear masks or other face coverings.
*Not including Nursery children or pupils whose parents have no choice other than to be at work.
Breakfast Club Arrangements
Breakfast Club will run from 7:45am each morning. On arrival (via door by Carpe Diem mural), children will be asked to wash their hands. The children will then enter the school hall and sit at a table allocated only to children from their own class. Staff will then serve breakfast to them. There will be activities for pupils to do, but only at their specified tables. Class teachers or T.A.s will collect their pupils from the hall for the start of classroom sessions.
Booking for Breakfast Club must be in advance – by 3:00 p.m. on the day before.
Children can bring in a packed lunch or order a cooked meal from the school kitchen. Nursery, Y1/2 pupils will have lunch in their class bases. Reception pupils will eat in the hall together at 11:30am, Y3/4 pupils will eat together in the school hall at 12:00 midday and Y5/6 pupils will eat in the hall at 12:30pm. A staggered outdoor break will also occur, with the children in the same zones and groups as they were in for the staggered morning break. Free School Meals will be provided for all Reception, Y1 and Y2 pupils and those eligible pupils in KS2. Cleaning of the hall tables will take place between the sittings.
To minimise the number of children and staff mixing together, children will remain in their own classrooms with the same members of staff all week. There will be plenty of opportunities for outdoor learning too, but this will be away from other classes. Pupils within their class groups/bubbles will be kept 1m+ apart when possible, but given that children naturally play and learn through physical interaction (especially in younger years) it will not be realistic to implement social distancing – except from pupils in different bubbles.
Children will, on the whole, be taught by their usual teachers and teaching assistants, unless one of them is unable to be at work. Our regular supply teachers will be used if teachers are absent and they will take particular care to keep 2m+ apart from pupils where possible. They will also be asked to wear face masks or other forms of PPE as might other members of staff who move between bubbles. Music and French (KS2) will be taught by specialist teachers who will make arrangements so that they can keep a 2m+ distance at all times.
Full school uniform should be worn by all pupils (not Nursery children) except on P.E. days, firest school days and birthdays!
Professionals visiting school will be asked to keep 2m+ distance from children they are supporting with cleaning of the rooms will take place. Professionals will be asked to wear face masks.
Volunteers are now being utilised, but only in designated bubbles.
Clubs, Visits and Swimming
At the time of writing this plan, no arrangements for after-school clubs or school visits have been made. We will look to reintroduce these activities when we are able to do so, safely. Swimming sessions have resumed for Y1 to Y6 pupils (except for the younger Y1s in Fox Class, who will attend later in the school year). Please note that showering facilities are not available at the swimming pool. A maximum number of 15 pupils will swim in a session. Cleaning of changing rooms takes place before, after and in between sessions for pupils.
Informing Parents of COVID-19 Cases in School
We will use ParentMail to inform parents/carers immediately of any positive cases of COVID-19 in school. If a case is reported in the school day, we will need parents/carers to collect all children from the affected bubble immediately, so that the 14 day isolating period can begin. In this scenario, family members (except for those in the household with the positive case) would be able to carry on with usual activities and still attend school (unless displaying symptoms of coronavirus). We will keep names of members of staff and pupils confidential and we ask that parents do not put information on social media sites without first checking with the school that this would be helpful. Class teachers will be told when a pupil is being tested for coronavirus, but parents/carers will not be informed.
Support for Pupils and Families
We do not underestimate how difficult this year has been so far and the significant impact the coronavirus pandemic may have had on families. The school recognises the need to focus on children’s emotional wellbeing. Staff will continue to prioritise the good mental health of children.
Our Pastoral Support Team will continue to be on hand to help families. Parents/carers should contact us if they need any help, support or guidance.
Parents may wish to seek support for themselves from the following support agencies:
• Samaritans – call free 24 hours a day on 116 123
• National Domestic Abuse Helpline – call for free and confidential advice, 24 hours a day on 0808 2000 247
• Shelter provide free confidential information, support and legal advice on all housing and homelessness issues if you call 0330 0536 083 (please note, this is not a free phone number and your call will be charged). A free webchat is available at https://england.shelter.org.uk/get_help/webchat
Parents/carers should use one of the following emails to get in touch with the school:
Alan Brannen (Headteacher) 23/10/20
We have now received a total of £11,250 as ‘Catch Up Premium from the government. This money is to be used to enable those pupils who have fallen furthest behind socially, emotionally and academically to make accelerated progress in catching up with their peers. We intend to spend the additional funding this term and over the course of the next academic year. (updated 28/04/21)