Coronavirus Advice & Information
Frequently Asked Questions
What will the day look like?
It is likely that we will stagger drop off and collection times to avoid congestion on the school site. Pupils will be organised into small groups (PODS) of 15 or less and will be organised to spend all day with the same pupils to avoid unnecessary contact.
Will children be with their friends?
Not necessarily. Teachers will organise groups to consider friendships, however this will not be guaranteed and there will be little flexibility once we are up and running.
Will children be in full time?
We are constantly reviewing the provision for the children and to start off with, the children returned on a part-time basis. Plans will be revisited and revised on a regular basis.
Do the children need to wear school uniform?
The children need to ensure they change their clothes each day and all clothes worn to school need to be washed each day. To be able to manage this, we have allocated that children wear school uniform on Monday and Wednesdays but come in their home clothes on Tuesday and Thursday. On Fridays, we only have Key Worker children in school so this is also a non-uniform day.
Will Key worker children be learning from 1st June?
Key worker children will be educated on site using the Home learning resources available to all families. They will continue to be educated by a range of adults from St Joseph’s.
Will lunch be provided?
At the moment, we are unable to offer any hot food for the children. Aspens will offer the free packed lunch provided to Rec and KS1 pupils which must be pre-ordered on the Aspens website. or parents may wish to provide a packed lunch from home. Pupils will eat lunch in their allocated room with their group/ POD. We are also asking for snacks and drinks to be sent in with each child.
What will you do if children are scared of PPE while administering first aid?
We already use basic PPE whilst administering first aid, such as gloves and sometimes aprons, so this will be no different. Face visors will be used at the discretion of staff, when they are in any very close contact with children. This could involve, first aid or help with toileting or eating. We feel that parents/carers have a big part to play in preparing their children for seeing adults wearing masks. PPE is evident in the community and will very quickly become part of our school routine for pupils. Staff will be given the option to wear a face visor at any time they are in school, so it may be that children see staff in these frequently.
My child is quite clingy at the moment and is always very tactile anyway, so how will this work with social distancing?
We have to prioritise health and safety. If we feel that pupils cannot settle into school without touching others and compromise social distancing to the extent that it becomes a risk, then we will talk to you directly about this. We will of course care for and comfort pupils, however this must be without placing others at risk. As with the use of PPE, we feel that parents/carers play a big part in preparing their children for what will be an appropriate way to interact at school.
How will drop off and pick up work?
We have set up the school site to ensure there is a focus on observing social distancing, avoiding congestion and keeping a flow of pupils and parents on the site. There is a one-way system in operation for drop off Chats at the door with teachers/TAs will not be possible in the same way, so parents/ carers will be encouraged to keep messages clear and concise and preferably through e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is part time attendance on fixed days allowed after 1st June?
We will need to have a clear indication of numbers, however we are supporting pupils remaining at home where possible, so yes, we will support a clear pre agreed part time arrangement for our Key Worker children.
Will Pre-school, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 learn while at school?
Yes. There will be a structure to the day and the learning. Initially settling the children and setting out our expectations for routines and procedures will be the priority. Their experience will naturally be very different, given that we will be promoting social distancing and limiting contact with other pupils. Some pupils may be taught by adults that are not from their year group, as this is the only way we have staff capacity to set up small PODS. All teachers and TAs will work under the guidance of the class teacher for the Year group they are working with. All teachers and TAs are more than able to support the learning of children from any year group. Children with EHCP plans will continue to receive support from their known adults whenever possible.
Will Forest School and PE lessons continue?
If there is a Forest School Leader with a pod of children, Forest School may be timetabled for these groups. The Staff will inform you if this is the case and children will need to wear appropriate clothing (long trousers and long sleeved tops). There will be lots of opportunity for outdoor learning and this will include regular exercise but PE lessons will not be continuing at the moment.
Can I change my mind at a later date after I see what the model will look like?
The simple answer is yes, but we would rather plan for the largest possible number of pupils to avoid having to rearrange groups/ PODS in the future. I would strongly suggest that parents/carers opt in, if they are unsure at this stage. Those who are absolutely sure that they do not want their child to attend before September, should opt out to help our planning process. If you have not chosen for your child to attend school at this moment, please be aware that should you change your mind at a later date this will need to be arranged with the school with at least a week’s notice. We have limited capacity of physical space and staff and as numbers have to be capped we would need to revise our risk assessment for any changes to numbers and therefore may not be able to accommodate more children.
How do the PODs work?
The Government have suggested that children are set up in groups of no more than 15 children and these children are taught by the same adults each week which avoids any crossover of staff and children between pods. We aim to have at least two adults with each pod. As the classroom size is quite prohibitive, we are only able to have groups of children of up to 9 if they are working at desks, therefore the pod group may be divided into two smaller groups to enable the children to keep some distance between them. There is very little flexibility with this arrangement at the moment.
When will the other year groups be returning to school?
Following the Government announcement, schools may not be able to accommodate more children. As the staff can only work with up to 15 children in a week and because of the limitations on room availability we are currently only able to cater for the children we have in. We know the children across the school are missing their friends and the routine of school but until there is further guidance from the Government we will not be able to accommodate any more classes. The online learning is still available on the school website for all the children and we love to hear how you have been getting on through the e-mails and facebook notifications we have received.
Will childcare be available during the summer?
The Government have talked of a summer catch-up programme but as yet, no details have been shared. At the moment, St Joseph's will not be open during the summer holidays. We have some ICT work and building work scheduled for the summer break, and we are also mindful that the teachers, support staff, office and site staff need to have a period of rest before the Autumn Term.
What will happen in September?
At the moment, we have not received any guidance for how we should look to operate in September and are currently planning for several scenarios. As soon as we receive further guidance we will keep our families informed through our website, Marvellous Me and Facebook page. This will include the provision for classes as well as any wrap around care.
Coping with stress
You can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus!
- Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
- Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.
- If you have a temperature of over 37.8; or have a new or continuous cough, please stay at home for 7 calendar days.
- If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
Self Isolation Absence Form ONLY- 7 Days Self Isolation & 14 Family Isolation
Should you decide to self isolate for 7 calendar days or the whole household for 14 calendar days; following the latest Government Guidance, please complete the absence form below stating your Child's name, class and provide the reason "7 days self isolation or 14 days Family Isolation". It is very important you use only this form for this purpose so we can record your Child's absence correctly.
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline - this helpline has been set up to answer questions about the virus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline.
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.email@example.com
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)