Frequently Asked Questions

(in accordance with Guidance for full opening: schools)

It is the Government's plan that all pupils, in all year groups, will return to school full time from the beginning of the Autumn Term. We are sure you will have many questions regarding your child returning to school in September 2020 and, in line with Government Guidance, have anticipated some questions we thought might be useful to share and answer for you.

What are you doing to minimise Coronavirus (COVID-19) risks?

We are complying with health and safety law, which requires us to assess risks and put in place control measures. We have thoroughly reviewed our health and safety risk assessments and draw up plans that address the risks identified using the system of controls. These are an adapted form of the system of protective measures that we had in place during partial opening in the summer term. Essential measures include:

  • a requirement that children and staff 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 the potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable

In our risk assessment we have reduced contacts as much as possible by:  

  • 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

What procedures do you have in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) in school?

We will adopt the following essential actions to reduce the risk in school: 

  • 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.
  • ensure that pupils, staff and other adults do not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or have tested positive in at least the last 10 days and ensuring anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home.

If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, which sets out that they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19).

If they test positive whilst not experiencing symptoms but develop symptoms during the isolation period, they should restart the 10-day isolation period from the day they develop symptoms.

Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

What will happen to my child if they start displaying symptoms in school?

You will be notified immediately and will be asked to come and collect your child.They will be taken to our dedicated isolation room (top corridor) and remain under adult supervision until your arrival.  The adult waiting with your child will be wearing full PPE.

If your child needs to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, we have a dedicated isolated bathroom located on the same corridor.

The isolation room and the isolation bathroom will then be cleaned and disinfected before being used by anyone else and any other areas where your child has been after they have left will then be cleaned to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

Does my child need to wear a face covering in school?

No, children in primary school do not need to wear a face covering.  

How big will the classes be?

Classes will return to their usual cohort of a maximum of 30 children. 

How do class 'bubbles' minimise contact between children and help to maintain social distancing? 

We now have a very different structure to the school day with strict staggered timings for drop off, pick up, break times and lunch times.  This way we can reduce the number of contacts between children and staff. This is achieved through keeping classes separate (in ‘bubbles’) and through maintaining the distance between these bubbles and individuals. 

We are extremely lucky to have such a large school building where class 'bubbles' can be kept separate on different corridors in the four 'wings' of the school 

Having consistent class 'bubbles' in school reduces the risk of transmission by limiting the number of pupils and staff in contact with each other to only those within the class 'bubble'. This provides an additional protective measure especially for our youngest children who cannot socially distance from staff or each other, while our older children do understand and have the ability to socially distance. 

Maintaining distinct groups or ‘bubbles’ that do not mix also makes it quicker and easier in the event of a positive case to identify those who may need to self-isolate and keep that number as small as possible.

What will this look like in the classroom? 

Ideally, adults in the classroom should maintain 2 metre distance from each other, and from children. However this is not always possible, particularly when working with younger children, but adults will do this when circumstances allow. In particular, adults will avoid close face to face contact and minimise time spent within 1 metre of anyone. Similarly, it will not be possible when working with some pupils who have complex needs or who need close contact care. These pupils’ educational and care support will be provided as normal.  In situations such as these, depending on the complexity of the child and/or the nature of the activity (1:1 reading for example), adults will wear PPE in the form of a visor.

For our older children, they will be supported to maintain distance and not touch staff and their peers where possible. This will not be possible for our youngest children and some children with complex needs. However by maintaining social distancing where we can and were space allows, even doing this some of the time, will help.

When staff or children cannot maintain distancing, particularly with our younger children, the risk is reduced by keeping them in the smaller, class-sized bubbles.

We have also made adaptations to the classrooms for our older children to support distancing by removing and rearranging furniture to make more space and seating children side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or side on.

Will the whole school (children and staff) come together for Celebration Assembly or Collective Worship?

No.  Class 'bubbles' will be kept apart meaning that there will be no large gatherings in school  with more than one bubble.

Class 'bubbles' are also kept apart during their time in the school building with restricted movement on the site and on corridors.  As mentioned previously, the children also have staggered play times and lunch times.

What hygiene measures will be in place to keep my child safe? (Click here for associated Government Guidance)

We will follow the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.

  • Ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available.
  • Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser in classrooms and other learning environments.
  • Clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal.
  • Ensure that all adults and children:
  • Frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly. 
  • Clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing.
  • Encourage pupils not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose.
  • Use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’).
  • Ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently.
  • Consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition.
  • Ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day.
  • Where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows) or ventilation units.
  • Prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation.
  • Reduce the school day throughout the week to ensure that extra cleaning can take place.

How will you make school safe for my child?

In addition to social distancing and hygiene measures mentioned above, we will:

  • remove all unnecessary items from classrooms.
  • give children a designated classroom and group (which we will refer to as their ‘bubble’) for learning and play to prevent groups of children mixing during the school day.
  • regularly clean the setting and resources.
  • use PPE such as gloves, aprons, masks, hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes as identified in our risk assessments (for example, when providing first aid).
  • confine resources to rooms to restrict sharing. If sharing is essential, we will clean resources before transferring.
  • confine eating of lunch to the classroom (only Early Year and Year 1 will use the dining room)
  • stagger outdoor play time to prevent ‘bubbles’ from mixing.
  • stagger start and end times of the school day to ensure minimum contact with other parents and carers.
  • allow only family member on site at drop off and pick up.
  • keep the main school reception door locked at all times to prevent unauthorised access to the school building. Access will only be permitted in cases of emergency or when deemed necessary by a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
  • be vigilant in identifying children with symptoms, isolate them and ask parents to collect them.

Why do we have to have staggered drop off and pick up times?

In line with government guidance staggered drop off and pick up times have been implemented to:

  • reduce the number of people on school grounds at any one time. 
  • keep class bubbles apart as they arrive and leave school.

Staggered start and finish times have not reduced the amount of overall teaching.

You will of course be familiar with the queueing systems from visits to the supermarket and we ask that you conform to this on school grounds so that the teacher can invite pupils in one by one.  Social distance markers have been placed in areas of concern or ‘pinch-points’ as a visual reminder for parents to respect social distancing parameters.  Only one family member should accompany the child to school to minimise risk. Parents will not be permitted to enter the classroom or school building. Schools have no power under the law to enforce social distancing with parents other than to make that request. If you need to speak to your child’s teacher please contact them via their class e-mail.

My child is feeling anxious about coming back to school, how can I prepare them?

You will need to prepare your child by talking about what school was like and what it will be like now.  It will be different.  We will of course support them in school on their return and will be inviting them to undertake activities to help them to understand and talk about their experiences and feelings in a child-friendly and supportive way. 

How will you support my child’s emotional wellbeing?

As well as you child’s Class Teacher, Mrs Connor will be on hand to provide emotional support to all children in school.  There will be plenty of opportunities for children to discuss their feelings, play and re-build friendships.

 

Will my child need to wear a school uniform?

Yes.  Your child will be expected to return to school wearing full school uniform. Click here for further information.

Will the breakfast club and after school club be open?

Yes but on a limited basis. Visit our 'September 2020 Opening' page for further details on how to apply and what these will look like from September 2020:

https://www.christchurchcofeacademy.co.uk/home/latest-update-covid-19/september-2020-opening

Extra-curricular clubs will start on a very limited basis and will gradually increase as the academic year progresses.  Clubs will be dedicated to class 'bubbles' only.  

Will we allow visitors into school?

Visitors to school will be limited and only in cases where it is deemed essential by the Executive Head Teacher or Head of School. 

Where visitors are allowed on site then we will explain and issue guidance on physical distancing and hygiene prior to their arrival. A record will be kept of all visitors to Christ Church CE Academy.

Meetings with outside agencies will continue via Zoom, TEAMs or conference calls. 

What about specialist staff who support teaching and learning?

Specialist PE staff from 'Pennine Sports Partnership' and specialist language teachers from 'Lingotots' will continue to deliver lessons to our children as part of the primary curriculum.  They will follow our school's guidance and procedures during their time in school.

Can I come into the school reception?

Parents and carers will not be permitted to enter the school premises.  Contact with the school must be made by telephone (01484 226595) or e-mail office@christchurchcofeacademy.co.uk.

Your entry onto and exit from school premises needs to be swift.  If your child requires medication please give it to them with a note to hand to their Class Teacher. We ask you to also call the school office to inform us of the required medication.   

Will you continue to provide online home learning activities for children who are isolating or in quarantine? 

Yes.  Please notify the school office who will inform your child's class teacher.  

How will you respond to any infection in school? 

 

Here at Christ Church we understand the NHS Test and Trace process and know how to contact our local Public Health England protection team. We will ensure that staff members and parents/carers understand that they will need to be ready and willing to:

  • book a test if they or their child are displaying symptoms. Staff and pupils will not be permitted to come into the school if they have symptoms and will be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in school. All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children aged 11 and under will need to be helped by their parents/carers if using a home testing kit
  • provide details of anyone they or their child have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
  • self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), or if anyone in their household develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS testing and tracing for coronavirus website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet.

We will ask parents and staff to inform us immediately of the results of a test and will be asked to adhere to the following guidance:

 

  • If someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus (COVID-19), they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.
  • If someone tests positive, they should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.

What will happen if you have a confirmed case of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in school?

We will take swift action and will contact our local health protection team.

This team will also contact us directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) attends our school – as identified by NHS Test and Trace.

The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.

The health protection team will work with us in this situation will guide us through the actions we need to take, providing vide definitive advice as to who must be sent home.

  

Will there be any swimming lessons or trips once school opens in September?

No. There are no plans to take the children out of the school grounds until further notice. We will continue to follow guidance issued by the government and monitor the situation accordingly.  

How can I speak to the class teacher if we are socially distancing?

You can contact your child’s class teacher by using their school e-mail. If you are unable to do this, you can e-mail or call the office who will then pass the message on.   

 

Where can I find more information about returning to school?

Click here to keep up to date with the latest Government information related to the wider opening of schools, along with associated guidance detailed above:

Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19

COVID-19 Cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance

COVID-19 Guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

Coronavirus (COVID-19) implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings

Safe working in education, childcare and children's social care settings including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE)

Staying alert and safe (social distancing)