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COVID

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COVID-19 Updates

From September 2020, schools have been advised that due to the reduced risk of COVID -19 transmission, they can fully reopen to all pupils.

The DfE  guidance below outlines the measures that schools are expected to take to ensure that all members of the school community, including parents, remain safe at all times:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term

The measures set out in this guidance provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staff, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. In welcoming all children back this autumn, schools will be asked to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls outlined below to reduce the risk of transmission. If schools follow the guidance set out here, they can be confident they are managing risk effectively.

Essential measures include:

  • a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
  • formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable

How contacts are reduced will depend on the school’s circumstances and will (as much as possible) include:

  • grouping children together
  • avoiding contact between groups
  • arranging classrooms with forward facing desks
  • staff maintaining distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible

(DfE August 2020)

There are many decisions to be made and as new information is decided, it will be published here. Please keep referring back to this page for up to date information.

FAQs

Q. Does my child have to return to school?

A. Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply. If you are concerned about any aspect of your child's return to school, please contact Mr Markham.

In addition, if you have been advised by a medical professional that your child needs to continue to shield in the Autumn Term, please contact the school office as soon as possible so that a personalised home learning programme can be discussed. 

Q. What are bubbles?

Since lockdown, the children have been grouped in communities no larger than 15 children. In September, in order for all children to access school, these 'bubbles' will increase to the size of the class. The children will remain in these bubbles all day, including at playtimes and lunchtimes. Should there be a confirmed case of COVID-19, then only the bubble of that child or teacher will be affected. In this way, it is hoped that the closure of the school would be avoided.

Q. Will children only be allowed to go to the toilet in their designated time slots?

A. No. Classes do have specific time slots where the teachers will encourage the children to go. However, if a child needs the toilet they will be able to go outside these time slots, with an adult taking them to their allocated toilet, where possible. We have had to allocate slots as Lower School only have one boys toilet block (shared by Year 3 and Year 4) and Upper School only have one girls toilet block (shared by Year 5 and Year 6). The designated time slots are to help avoid year group bubbles using the toilets at the same time. 

Q. Do all children need to wear face masks?

A. No. However, we would like all childern to have one at home ready to wear it to school if the guidance changes. 

Q. Why are children allowed to bring lunchboxes and water bottles, but not a bag?

A. The majority of our cloakrooms are shared amongst different classes and even year groups, so we want to cut down any potential opportunities where class bubbles can have contact with each other. All lunchboxes have their own class section in our lunch crates and all water bottles will be safely stored in class. If you are worried about your child being able to carry their lunchbox and water bottle, using a plastic bag that they can neatly fold in their tray, or even better, using their Herne Junior School PE bag (which can also be neatly folded into their tray) is absolutely fine. On Fridays, a bag (plastic or PE bag) is encouraged as we are asking for their home-link books to come in to school at the end of the week.

Q. Are Year 6 children allowed to pick up a sibling?

A. Yes. They will have to come out of their Year 6 external door and join the one-way system to collect their brother or sister. If you would like your Year 6 child to do this, you must email us to let us know this arrangement (remember to state if you would like them to leave at 3.30 or 3.40pm).

Email:  admin@hernejunior.com

Although this appears to break a bubble, it is clear that, once the children return home, they effectively compromise the bubble arrangement anyway.  In all of our efforts, we are aiming to minimise the risk of transmission, but we cannot eradicate all risk, no matter how much we try.

Q. Will the children stay in their class bubbles for the entire year because my child has friends in other classes?

A.  In all likelihood, this will not be the case.  Public Health England keep in touch with the Local Authority and headteachers and we are updated with local East Hants data from time-to-time.  If we have information that the R number is down to levels below 0.5, that will be a sign that we can relax some of our more stringent measures, just like we have witnessed on a national level lately.

Q. Do the children need to wear school uniform?

A. From Monday 7th September, all children will be expected to wear full school uniform, including school shoes.

Q. When will Music lessons start?

A. Hampshire Music Service have already drawn up plans to start peripatetic lessons in September. The department has produced comprehensive risk assessments and these include grouping the children by their year group rather than their ability. In this way, bubbles are not mixed.

Q. Can my child be collected by another parent?

A. The latest Government Guidance for parents  (link at the top of this page) now gives us a clearer understanding of what is permitted:

If your child needs to share a car to school with someone outside of their support bubble or household, they should:

  • share with the same people each time
  • open the windows for ventilation
  • if they are over the age of 11, wear a face covering