As you will be aware, the Government have recently announced their plans to get all children back in to schools in September 2020. If you have not seen this please click here to be taken to the BBC website for further information https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-53253722
Our planning is guided by the Department for Education’s advice on effective infection protection and control which states the following:
“We are asking schools to prepare for all pupils to return full-time from the start of the autumn term, including those in school-based nurseries. Schools should not put in place rotas.
Schools must comply with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. Schools should thoroughly review their health and safety risk assessments and draw up plans for the autumn term that address the risks identified using the system of controls set out below. These are an adapted form of the system of protective measures that will be familiar from the summer term.
Essential measures include:
How contacts are reduced will depend on the school’s circumstances and will (as much as possible) include:
In the current situation with our school closed to all children except children of key workers, Year 6, Year 1 and Reception, we wanted to reassure you of our plans for your children who are due to return or start with us in September 2020. As you know, our staff have been working to provide you with home learning activities during these unprecedented times and we will continue to provide weekly home learning activities that you can access for your child via our Pegasus website (home learning tab, year group) over the summer holidays.
All our procedures are based on Summit Learning Trust Risk Assessment documents that have been produced following DfE ‘Guidance for full opening: schools’ (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#introduction).
It is a legal requirement to review and update the previous risk assessments.
The following plan outlines relevant detail from the government’s guidance with further detail about how Pegasus Primary School will adopt measures and ensure compliance to the statutory elements within. The aim of this plan is to minimise the risks, whilst acknowledging that we can’t be 100% safe.
All elements of the system of controls are essential. All schools must cover them all, but the way different schools implement some of the requirements will differ based on their individual circumstances. The system of controls provides a set of principles to help them do this and, if schools follow this advice, they will effectively minimise risks.
Within the government guidance, the systems of control that schools should adopt are clearly listed. This document will outline those systems of control and how Pegasus Primary School has made them appropriate to our specific context and circumstance.
“System of controls”
This is the set of actions schools must take. They are grouped into ‘prevention’ and ‘response to any infection’ and are outlined in more detail in the sections below.
1) minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school
2) clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
3) ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
4) introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach
5) minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible
6) where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
Numbers 1 to 4 must be in place in all schools, all the time.
Number 5 must be properly considered and schools must put in place measures that suit their particular circumstances.
Number 6 applies in specific circumstances.
Response to any infection*:
7) engage with the NHS Test and Trace process
8) manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
9) contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice
Numbers 7 to 9 must be followed in every case where they are relevant.”
*Numbers 7-9 above may require school to share pupil/parent contact information with public health officials. This sharing of information is permissible under current law and is in line with data protection guidance covering schools.
We have been busily putting plans into place to ensure a safe, sequenced and phased return to school for our children. Please see the table below for the dates and times for your child to return. You will note that we have taken a staggered approach to ensure a safe as possible entrance and exit for your child. Please ensure that you keep to these times so we can maintain our health and safety procedures.
Only 1 adult can drop off and pick up (to help with social distancing around the school grounds). Please do not arrive earlier than your given time to avoid pedestrian congestion and please do not be late as you will have to wait with your child until all the children have entered the school to avoid cross contamination of our pods. The drop off and pick up points are the same as they have been during the summer term (the barriers are signposted at the pedestrian entrance of the car park). Your child will be met at the school gates and provided with hand gel before they enter the playground where their class teacher will escort them to the classroom using their designated entrance. Parents are not permitted in the playground due to social distancing and to enable us to minimise risk.
If you have children in more than one class pod, you will be able to drop your children off at the earliest time that they should be in school and pick up at the latest time.
E.g. If you have a child in Year 1, Year 4 and Year 6, You can drop all the children off at 8:30am and pick up at 3:10pm. If you have a child in Reception and Year 2 you would drop your children off at 8:40am and pick up at 3:00pm.
Please note, this is only once your child’s year group has returned to school. You cannot drop off your Year 4 child before 14th September or your Year 3 child before the 9th September even if their brothers/sisters are returning before. If this does not make sense, then please contact the office who will be happy to explain further.
Playtimes and lunchtimes:
Timings of lunchtimes will be staggered, as will break times:
Years 1 – Year 3 (10:15 – 10.30)
Years 4 – Year 6 (10.45-11.00)
Lunch will be eaten in class
KS2 – 12.15 – 1.00
Lunchtime supervisors will continue to support the supervision of lunch times but they will be allocated to class pods that cannot mix. A packed lunch bag will be provided if your child is entitled to free school meals or you will need to provide a packed lunch for your child every day. Your child will eat their lunch in their class pod. The pod will be cleaned both before and after use.
A rota has been drawn up to ensure that only members of staff within appropriate pods supervise their pods at break times. The playground will be split in to zones and allocated to pods to avoid any cross-contamination.
On some occasions, support staff will be required to help supervise the children whilst they eat and then support in cleaning the room before children go out for their playtime.
Before and After School Club
Wraparound care can restart. Children attending before and/or after school club will ideally need to be kept in separate phase pods. However, this might not be possible due to limited staff numbers. Children attending must follow our hygiene rules such as regular hand washing for 20 seconds using warm water and soap/using the hand sanitiser when asked and following ‘Catch it, Kill it, Bin it’ if they cough or sneeze.
The current approved behaviour policy/coronavirus amendment will still apply. We operate a zero tolerance for children who behave unsafely. For example, fighting and spitting will result in children being sent home as these children are putting themselves and others at risk.
Any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
Thank you so much for your support and co-operation with this. We are trying our best to keep our children and families as safe as possible. You really are appreciated.
Stay safe and have a lovely summer. We hope the sun shines! Please watch our #youvebeenmissed video on our website https://www.pegasusprimary.org.uk/2020/07/16/youvebeenmissed/
See you in September. If you have any questions or worries, please call us.
Miss Wardle and #TeamPegasus