FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What will happen if someone becomes unwell in school with COVID-19 symptoms?
- If anyone becomes unwell in school with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of the sense of taste and/or smell, they will be sent home/their parents or carer are contacted to collect them and they are advised to follow the staying at home guidance and arrange a test to identify whether they have COVID-19.
- Whilst we are waiting for your child to be collected, they will be supported by a member of staff in a designated space. Due to the age of our children, it is likely that your child will need supporting if they are feeling unwell and so the member of staff supporting your child will wear PPE equipment and they will stay with them in a well ventilated space.
What do I need to do if someone in my family displays symptoms?
Schools must 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 must not come into the school if they have symptoms and must 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
Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test.
Should I let the school know when I get the results of a COVID -19 test?
Yes – parents should inform the school immediately, via email or telephone call, of the results of a test (positive or negative) and follow 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 is the staying at home guidance?
Please find the document via the link below:
The guidance indicates that it is intended for:
- people who have received a positive test result of COVID-19
- people with symptoms of COVID-19 who are waiting for a test result, or who have not been tested and do not require hospital treatment
- people living in households with someone who shows symptoms of or who has received a positive test result for COVID-19
The main messages are as follows:
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started. You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19 – go to testing to arrange. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.
If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19, self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, restart your 10day isolation from the day you developed symptoms.
After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. See the ending isolation section below for more information.
If you live with others, all other household members need to stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original 14-day isolation period. The ending isolation section below has more information.
If you have symptoms, try and stay as far away from other members of your household as possible. It is especially important to stay away from anyone who is clinically vulnerable or clinically extremely vulnerable with whom you share a household.
Reduce the spread of infection in your home by washing your hands regularly for 20 seconds using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser, and cover coughs and sneezes.
Consider alerting people who you do not live with and have had close contact within the last 48 hours to let them know you have symptoms of COVID-19.
Following a positive test result, you will receive a request by text, email or phone to log into the NHS Test and Trace service website and provide information about recent close contacts.
If you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, then use the NHS 111 online COVID-19 service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.
If you develop COVID-19 symptoms again at any point after ending your first period of isolation (self or household), follow the guidance on self-isolation again. The section below has further information.
Translation of guidance for parents and carers on early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn termWe have translated our guidance for parents and carers with children in nursery, school, or college in the autumn term.
The guidance is now available in the following languages:
- Chinese – traditional
- Chinese – simplified
Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helplineThe Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline is available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm
Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm
RETURN OF ALL CHILDREN IN ALL YEAR GROUPS IN SEPTEMBER 2020
Following the government advice and guidance, which we received a few weeks ago, we are very pleased to share with you our plan for the return of all of our pupils to Maple from September. The guidance which we have received has helped us to carry out a thorough risk assessment and provision will be in place ready to welcome the children to school for the beginning of term. Our utmost priority is, and always will be, the safety of our children, staff and you as their families and we want to reassure you that we are putting in as many protective measures as we are able to in order for us to make the school the safest place that we possibly can.
PROTECTIVE MEASURES AT MAPLE
As an Infant School, it is recognized within the most recent guidance that the youngest children cannot socially distance from staff or from each other and therefore the emphasis for our environment will be to keep our classes as separate as we are able to. Alongside this, we will also be putting additional measures in place to support our school community to enable all children to return to school in the way outlined and to follow the government guidance:
DROP OFF AND COLLECTION TIMES
To support social distancing measures and to reduce the number of people on our site at any one time, we will be staggering the timings of when you will need to drop off and collect your child from school from Thursday 3rd September.
These will be as follows:
- Reception children will need to arrive at school at 8.30am and they will be collected at 3.00pm
- Year 1 children will need to arrive at school at 8.45am and they will be collected at 3.15pm
- Year 2 children will need to arrive at school at 9am and they will be collected at 3.30pm
We are sure that you will understand that we ask families to not congregate together near school and to adhere to social distancing recommendations at all times. We also ask families to move away from the school gate as soon as possible as we will be co-ordinating large groups of pupils to come into school at different times and would therefore like to avoid any congested areas.
DROP OFF AND COLLECTION ARRANGEMENTS
All drop off and collections for children attending reception, year 1 and year 2 will take place via our entrance on St. James’ Road. Nursery children will access the Nursery via the gate at the front of the school.
We will be continuing the system which has worked incredibly effectively over the last few months and the children have got used to very quickly. We will clearly identify an ‘entrance’ and ‘exit’ pathway at the St James’ Road entrance to enable you to safely drop off and collect your child. Distancing measures will be in place to support you in following the recommended social distancing measures. Staff, including members of the senior leadership team, will be waiting at the main gate to welcome your child into school.
We know that this will be a different experience for your child and they may find coming into school unsettling after time away. You will be asked to say goodbye to your child at the school gate – please make sure that your child is aware of this. Should your child really find this difficult, then we will ask you to return to school slightly later to support your child. Unfortunately, at this time we are unable to allow parents to remain with their children at the gate.
All other gates will be locked and the school site will be secure.
At collection, we ask parents to wait again at the same gate, where we will dismiss each child individually as their parent comes to the front of the line. We know that this system may take a while to get used to and we thank you in advance for your patience.
We expect all children to now be attending school and our attendance and absence policy will come into effect from the start of term. Please remember the expectations for informing the school office as soon as possible if your child will not be in school on a particular day.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR CHILD IS UNWELL?
As all children will be back at school it is even more important that families make the school aware of any medical conditions which your child or a member of your household may have. Please email the school office if you would like to inform the school of any medical needs or if you would like to discuss anything with a member of the senior leadership team. The NHS link provided below may help you to identify any conditions which may apply to your child or a member of your household. Link: NHS list of high risk and moderate risk conditions
It is essential that children and staff MUST NOT enter Maple Infants’ School if they or any member of their household are displaying any symptoms of COVID-19. Please telephone or email the school office to inform them that your child will be absent from school if your child cannot attend school due to this reason. If you need further advice regarding testing, then a member of the school office team will be able to support you with this.
Similarly, we will be ensuring that anyone visiting the school, only does so via pre-arrangement and they will only be allowed to enter the school site it they too can confirm that themselves or any member of their households are not displaying any symptoms of COVID-19.
We have a clear procedure in place if anyone becomes unwell in school with a new, continuous cough, a high temperature or a loss of the sense of taste and/or smell. If your child becomes unwell whilst in school, then we will contact you immediately to come and collect them and you will be advised to follow the staying at home guidance and arrange a test to identify whether they have COVID-19. Whilst we are waiting for your child to be collected, they will be supported by a member of staff in a designated space. Due to the age of our children, it is likely that your child will need supporting if they are feeling unwell and so the member of staff supporting your child will wear PPE equipment and they will stay with them in a well ventilated space.
Wherever possible the children will be kept in the same class group at all times each day and they will not mix with children from other groups. For the children within our Nursery, the morning and afternoon Nursery group will remain separate and the classroom will be cleaned thoroughly between each session.
The children will use the same classroom or area of a setting throughout the day and each room will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day. The usual layout of our classrooms may look slightly different when the children return in September as furniture may have been moved to make more space to adhere to our safety expectations. The desks will be arranged so wherever possible pupils sit side by side and are looking in the same direction (i.e. not facing each other). The teacher remains at the front of the class and maintains 2 metres social distancing where possible.
Staff will be allocated to each class, but at times staff will need to move between classes and year groups. Where this is the case, they will try wherever possible to keep their distance from pupils and other staff as much as they can, ideally 2 metres from others.
Classroom window(s) will be opened in the morning and will be kept open enough to maintain good general ventilation wherever possible. Please be aware of this and ensure that your child is dressed appropriately – parents may wish for their child to wear layers of clothing under their school uniform as the weather changes.
The staff within each class will manage the use of resources and will make sure that any resources used are cleaned appropriately. Wherever possible, the children will have access to their own frequently used resources e.g. pencil, scissors etc.
PLAYTIME AND LUNCH ARRANGEMENTS
Play times and lunchtimes will be staggered so that children can remain in their class groups. Our school catering team (ISS) will be able to provide a school packed lunch for children or children may bring their own into school from home. ANY FAMILY REQUIRING A SCHOOL PACKED LUNCH MUST PRE ORDER ONE VIA THE ISS WEBSITE, https://www.feedinghungryminds.co.uk/, AT LEAST 24 HOURS BEFORE IT IS REQUIRED. May we please remind families that these must not contain nuts, fizzy drinks or sweets.
Children MUST bring their own named water bottle into school.
Each class group will have access to an area of the playground at specific times throughout the day. The children will also have access to school fruit in class, which will be washed before being offered to the children.
Wherever possible, the children will have access to resources which can be cleaned after use, e.g. plastic hoops, but they will not be allowed to use the large fixed playground equipment in the main playground (climbing frame, tunnels and play houses).
Each classroom has its own allocated toilet and handwashing facilities and staff will ensure that the children use the toilet one at a time. Where classes share a toilet block, specific cubicles will be allocated for each classroom to avoid classes crossing over.
If any children need help with toileting, then staff will wear the usual PPE equipment which we would anyway to support them.
SHARING OF RESOURCES BETWEEN HOME AND SCHOOL
The children will be able to take books and other shared resources home, although unnecessary sharing is avoided, especially where this does not contribute to pupil education and development. We therefore need to be mindful of the contact of any items between home and school.
Please note, we are unable to facilitate scooters or bikes in school.
At Maple Infants’ School we are carefully considering our curriculum for the autumn term as we recognise that the situation over the last few months may have affected the children’s emotional wellbeing and mental health. Our way of life has changed considerably throughout the pandemic and the children may have experienced many losses, from a loss of freedom to move around and meet people as we have been used to, to a loss of structure and opportunity.
With this in mind, the curriculum will be carefully planned to gently introduce the children back into school life, whilst considering their emotional well-being as well as their academic needs. We are acutely aware that the children will learn to the best of their ability when they feel happy, safe and secure.
The curriculum focus for our children within the early years will be the prime areas of learning, including communication and language, personal, social and emotional development and physical development. For those children in Reception, this will also include early phonics, reading, maths knowledge and skills. For children in Year 1 and 2, our staff will be assessing any gaps that the children may have in their learning particularly within phonics, reading, vocabulary development, writing and maths. We will be ensuring that our curriculum is still broad and covers all areas.
PE lessons will take place in class groups, outside where the weather permits and it is practical to do so. There will be no indoor PE sessions for the first half of the autumn term.
The staff will make sure that contact sports do not take place and the children will be encouraged to be active within their own space.
Equipment used for sports and PE will be cleaned frequently and meticulously and always between classes, or they will be rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for a period of 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different groups.
We expect the children to return to school wearing their school uniform. As has already been identified, we will be ensuring that our classrooms remain well ventilated and so families may wish to provide additional layers of clothing under their uniform as the weather changes. Should we experience a spell of particularly cold weather, then we will let you know of any appropriate adaptations which could be made.
Communication between home and school remains very important to us and we will be striving to continue to work in partnership with you. We will be requesting that families do not visit our school office and that any communication deemed necessary should be done via email or telephone call to the school office.
Our cleaning team will ensure that there continues to be an enhanced and increased cleaning of frequently touched surfaces using standard cleaning products. Staff within each class will also have access to its own general cleaning resources and staff will routinely wipe down frequently used spaces e.g. table tops, door handles, taps etc.
There will be limited movement of the children around school and the children will remain within their classrooms wherever possible. Where a room needs to be used by another group, it will be thoroughly cleaned between uses. The Nursery will be thoroughly cleaned between morning and afternoon sessions and the resources will be managed by staff to ensure that these are not shared unless they have been thoroughly cleaned.
We know that good hand and respiratory hygiene are particularly important at this time and so the children will be reminded and supported by staff to wash their hands regularly throughout the day and at specific times e.g. on entry to school, before lunch etc. The staff will also continue to encourage good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach for coughs and sneezes.
We hope that the information which we have provided for families today helps you to understand and feel confident with the protective measures which we are putting in place to support the safety of our children and staff as the school reopens in September for all pupils.
The nurturing environment of our school is something which we are all incredibly proud to be a part of and which we strive to achieve every day. Although we recognise that the measures which need to be in place to keep everyone safe will have to be strictly adhered to, our ethos and care for our children will always remain.
We look forward to welcoming all of our children back to school in September.
Latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice:
Please see the links below for key sources of information, should you have any queries.
You can also telephone Public Health England South London HPT on 0344 326 2052 or
the Department for Education Coronavirus Helpline on 0800 046 8687 (Mon-Fri 8-6pm).
Looking for some support as a family during this unprecedented time? The document below has details of local and national agencies who can offer you support and advice on a number of matters which may arise during this period.