Welcome back update

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All staff have been in school yesterday and today working hard to get ready for children returning tomorrow. It will be lovely to see you all.

As stated in yesterday’s email we are returning to a 9.00-3.30pm day. Please drop off your children from 8.55 from Ashmead Road and collect from inside the school playground at 3.30pm.

We are excited to share with the children the new markings in the playground:

Here is the email that was sent yesterday with details of this term’s risk assessment re Covid-19:

I’m writing to update you with how we will be managing the risks of Covid-19 from this term. The government’s advice for schools was updated over the holidays and we have revised our risk assessment in the light of this. This guidance is designed to help schools minimise transmission of the virus while allowing a closer return to normality for children at school. We will, of course, monitor this risk assessment carefully as the term progresses.

I am also attaching a leaflet about the return to school from the NHS for your information. 

From September, what will be the same as at the end of the summer term?

  • We will continue to emphasise good hygiene through frequent and thorough cleaning of hands and the promotion of the catch-it kill-it bin-it approach.
  • We will continue high quality cleaning of the school with a particular emphasis on cleaning frequently touched surfaces.
  • We will carry on maximising ventilation through opening windows where possible in the Ashmead Road building and our Nursery classroom and through the use of the mechanical ventilation system in the Lewisham Way building. Schools should be issued with carbon dioxide monitors this term and we will use these to assess the impact of our existing ventilation. 
  • Staff will continue to take LFD tests twice a week until the end of September, when this will be reviewed by the government. 
  • Anyone with Covid-19 symptoms (a high temperature, a continuous cough or the loss of their sense of taste or smell) needs to self-isolate immediately and organise a PCR test. If anyone has a positive LFD test they would need to self-isolate and organise a PCR test. If a child were to develop symptoms of Covid-19 at school we would arrange for the child to be in a safe and ventilated space and would ask their parents to collect them as soon as possible.
  • Children or staff who get a positive LFD or PCR Covid-19 test result will need to self-isolate as before. 
  • The beginning of the school day is still a ‘soft start’ from 8.55am with parents dropping off children at one of the two available entrances on Ashmead Road. The School Street will be in operation and we ask parents to only use the pavement from now on to help give consistent messages to children about road safety.  

What will be different?

  • Children do not need to self-isolate if they have been a close contact of someone with a positive Covid-19 result (but we would expect parents to organise a PCR test for such children). 
  • The school will not now send updates to the whole school community if there has been a positive Covid-19 test result; schools have been advised that identifying and communicating with close contacts is now the responsibility of NHS Test and Trace. 
  • Staff who are double vaccinated do not need to self-isolate if they have been a close contact of someone with a positive Covid-19 result (but a PCR test needs to be organised).
  • Bubbles are no more! Children will mix across year groups in the playground and in the lunch hall.
  • All children will be collected at 3.30pm from the playground (via the Ashmead Road entrance). So the school day returns to the pre-Covid ‘norm’ of being from 9.00am-3.30pm with drop-off available from 8.55am.

What if there was a significant increase in Covid-19 in the school community?

Schools have been asked to prepare a contingency plan for this situation. 

On an ongoing basis our risk assessment will be reviewed to check that it is fit for purpose. We would consider extra measures if the number of positive cases substantially increases. These thresholds are suggested by government guidance (whichever is reached first):

  • 5 children or staff who are likely to have mixed closely test positive within a 10-day period.
  • 10% of children or staff who are likely to have mixed closely test positive within a 10-day period.

If either of the two thresholds were reached we would also seek advice from local authority and from Public Health England and follow advice they give. If a child or member of staff were to be admitted to hospital we would also seek advice from PHE or from the Department for Education.

These are the measures we would consider in these circumstances:

  • Continue or increase the frequency of LFD testing for staff
  • Limit contact with parents, e.g., postponing/rearranging open days, performances, etc.
  • Reintroduce face coverings for communal areas
  • Consider ways of further improving ventilation
  • Consider whether more activities could take place outdoors
  • Increase the frequency of surfaces being cleaned.
  • Re-introducing ‘bubbles’ (for as short a period as possible)
  • As a last resort and for the shortest amount of time possible – restrict attendance to vulnerable children and critical workers’ children. Remote learning would be provided in this scenario.

Do feel free to email with any queries of course.

Best wishes,

Sean

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