Coronavirus - Autumn Term
Frequently Asked Questions
Government Information for Parents and Carers
These FAQs are based on the government guidance "What Parents and Carers Need to Know About Early Years Providers, Schools, and Colleges in the Autumn Term." Please click here if you wish to see the full guidance.
RETURNING TO SCHOOL
Why are children returning to school?
Coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased since the school closed to most pupils in March, the NHS Test and Trace system is up and running and we understand more about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments in schools. As a result, the government feels it is safe enough for children to return to school.
The scientific evidence shows that coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a much lower risk to children than adults of becoming severely ill, and there is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. Of course, there will still be risks while coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, and that is why schools and colleges will be asked to put in place a range of protective measures.
Which children are returning to school in September?
It is the government’s plan that all children and young people, in all year groups, will return to school and college full time from the beginning of the autumn term.
Does this include Nursery?
Yes, Nursery children will return as normal in September.
Will Nursery and Reception phase in as planned?
Yes. Parents of Nursery and Reception children will receive further information about this soon.
Do I have to send my child back to school?
Yes. From September, you will have a legal duty as a parent/carer to send your child(ren) to school as normal.
This includes children who have been shielding, or who live with someone who has been shielding. This is because current shielding advice pauses on 1st August. Click here to see the current guidance on shielding. This may of course be subject to change.
Non-attendance is only acceptable if:
a child is self-isolating due to coronavirus symptoms, a positive test result, or close contact with someone who has been confirmed to have coronavirus
clinical or public health advice changes
From September, non-attendance will be treated in the usual way, including appropriate penalties.
Attendance for Nursery children remains optional as always, but we strongly encourage all Nursery children to return as normal.
How should my child travel to school?
Wherever possible, avoid public transport and travel on foot, by car, or by bike.
If you travel by public transport, please ensure both you and your child wear a face covering.
ARRANGEMENTS IN SCHOOL
Will the school open all day, every day?
Will there be any after school child care?
Yes. Please contact Madara directly to enquire about this.
What are the arrangements for drop-off and pick-up?
Drop off will be between 8.45-8.55am and pick up will be at 3.10pm for KS1 and 3.15pm for KS2. We kindly ask that parents leave their children at the school gate when they drop off in the mornings. There will be a lining up system in place along the alleyway next to the Fairfield to allow for social distancing.
At pick up time we are asking parents to wait in the playground for their children (maintaining a distance from others). We will continue to operate the entry and exit gate system which we set up last term and we will be asking parents and carers to vacate the premises quickly with their children.
There will not be the opportunity to talk to teachers at pick up time so please contact the school office via email if you have any queries for your class teacher.
What size will the classes be?
Children will return to full class sizes of up to 30.
They will be in lunch and break time bubbles where 2 classes will be in the playground and the lunch hall at the same time
Lunches and break times will be staggered, to prevent year groups crossing over.
Will children interact with other classes?
No. We will have “year group bubbles”, meaning that year groups will not cross over.
At break times, only two classes will be outside at any one time, and will be kept separate.
Lunches will be staggered, to prevent year groups crossing over.
Do I need to provide a drink and snack?
Yes. All children should have a labelled water bottle, and a piece of fruit for a snack if required, as water fountains will still be out of use and school fruit is not being delivered.
What steps are being taken to prevent potential spread of Covid-19 in school?
A comprehensive Risk Assessment was undertaken before the return of children on June 2nd. This has been updated for September 2020. This Risk Assessment is reviewed regularly and will be updated in light of any further guidance from the Government. Additionally, a daily risk review will be carried out at the start of each day.
Our steps include:
Year groups will be taught in class bubbles and will not interact with other class bubbles.
Support staff will be allocated to certain bubbles.
Social distancing of at least 2m between children and staff wherever possible.
Key Stages will be isolated in separate wings of the building
Toilets and handwashing facilities will be allocated to each Key Stage.
Individual named water bottles
Where possible, activities will be undertaken outside or in well ventilated classrooms.
No sharing of equipment
One way system around the school and at drop-off and pick-up.
Will lessons and school work be like normal?
What about PE?
PE will continue as normal, and children will need their PE kit twice a week.
However, due to the continued restrictions on swimming pools, and the ongoing repairs at the Kingfisher Centre, there will be no swimming lessons until further notice.
Will extra-curricular activities be like normal?
Clubs will not start straight away and we hope to resume clubs after October half term. More information will be provided once we have started back. Fun Plus are running a summer club. (Please contact Madara directly for more information about after school provision in September.)
Will children have to wear school uniform?
Will children have lunch in school?
All Reception and Key Stage 1 children will be expected to have free school meals.
KS2 children will either have hot school meals in the hall in their class groups or they will eat their packed lunches in their own classrooms (or outside, weather permitting.)
Lunches will be staggered, to prevent lunchtime groups crossing over.
Will the School Office be open?
The office will be staffed, but we are maintaining an “adult free site” wherever possible.
Parents should phone or email the office. If absolutely necessary, parents may speak with the office via the intercom at the front door.
What happens if someone develops Covid-19 symptoms at school?
If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature they are sent home/their parents or carer are contacted to collect them. They will be told to get a test and will be advised to follow the Staying at Home advice: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-people-with-confirmed-or-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
If a pupil is awaiting collection, they are moved to the front meeting room where they can be isolated in a comfortable environment and with appropriate adult supervision if required.
Where possible, a window is opened for ventilation.
If the pupil needs direct personal care until they can return home, a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained.
If contact with the pupil is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn ( full mask that covers the eyes).
If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they use a separate bathroom where possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
The school will call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.
Cleaning with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left reduces the risk of passing the infection on to other people.
Will contact tracing be in place at school?
The government is developing a new national test and trace programme. This will bring together an app, expanded web and phone-based contact tracing, and swab testing for those with potential coronavirus symptoms. This programme will play an important role in helping to minimise the spread of coronavirus in the future. It will also include more traditional methods of contact tracing if a child, young person or parent tests positive.
We therefore ask that you let the school know at the earliest opportunity if your child or a member of their household becomes ill or shows any symptoms of coronavirus. This includes children in school and children learning from home.
The government is recruiting 18,000 contact tracers to support contact tracing and will recruit more if needed. They will play an important part in tracing the contacts of those with coronavirus, including children.
What happens if there is an outbreak?
If we experience an outbreak, either because we have 2 or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among pupils or staff in their setting within 14 days, or we see an increase in pupil or staff absence rates due to suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), we will need to contact our local health protection team. This team will advise if additional action is required, though the closure of the whole school or college will generally not be necessary.
Where an outbreak in a school is confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched to test others who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school, if necessary.
If the local area sees a spike in infection rates that is resulting in localised community spread, decisions will be made on what measures to implement to help contain the spread. The government will be involved in decisions and will support individual schools and colleges to follow the health advice.
In all cases, where groups of pupils need to self-isolate or where a larger restriction of attendance at school or college is needed, the school or college will seek to ensure children and young people’s education can continue remotely.
Will the bi-weekly food parcels be continuing?
No - the return of school lunches makes this unnecessary.
Can children be tested for the virus?
Yes. For more information on the Government’s NHS Track and Trace Scheme visit: