Millfield Primary School

Return of pupils to school - September 2021

When pupils return to school following their summer break in the majority of cases they will be returning with far fewer restrictions than when they left for the summer holiday

Set out below is a reminder of the latest guidance from the Department of Education:

Pupils only need to isolate if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or if they test positive.

When do children need to isolate?

Children need to self-isolate if they have any of these 3 symptoms of COVID-19, even if they are mild:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss or change to their sense of smell or taste.

If your child has any of the above, they should self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test (a test that is sent to the lab) on GOV.UK as soon as possible.

Children should also self-isolate if:

If they develop symptoms or get a positive LFD test, they should book a PCR test. If a pupil is asked to get a PCR test if they are identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace, they may continue to attend education until they get the result of their PCR back.

If a child lives with someone who has tested positive, they should continue to go to school.

 

So, what if my child has been in contact with a confirmed case?

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons.

Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so. They do not need to isolate while awaiting the PCR test.

Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal.

If none of the above applies, people should self-isolate as per the instructions from NHS Test and Trace.

 

But what if there’s a case in my child’s class? Are bubbles still in operation?

No. If there has been a case in your child’s class, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed your child has been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. Your child does not need to isolate while awaiting the PCR test.

We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

What about attendance?

Children have already faced disruption to their education as a result of the pandemic. Experts agree that it is important for young people go back to schools and colleges for a range of reasons and it remains crucial that they have as normal an experience as possible.

School attendance is mandatory for all pupils and the usual rules on school attendance apply.

You can read more about the importance of keeping schools open in the DfE recent post here: Back to School: Experts underline the importance of minimising disruption in schools - The Education Hub (blog.gov.uk).

Arrangements from 2nd September 2021 at our school

At Millfield Primary School we will be returning to more normal procedures from 2nd September when pupils return to school. For example returning to pupils in key stages having their breaks together, having key stage assemblies and children eating lunches together again in the hall.

We are also however going to keep some of the procedures that we have put in place over the past 18 months as we feel these have been beneficial – for example asking parents to line up with their children to come into school (as this has led to a much more organised start to the day for pupils).

We will continue to ask our Year 6 pupils to come into school through the red doors by the hall – they will also be dismissed through these doors at the end of the school day.

We are also going to keep our staggered start and end times as these have led to less congestion around the school site and local area – fewer complaints about parking / traffic from our neighbours and less children arriving late to school.

From the start of term we will keep the arrangement of pupils coming into school in their PE kit on their PE days – this arrangement has proved popular with pupils, parents and staff – and allows pupils to spend more time taking part in activity as no time is lost due to changing into and back from PE kit. (PE days for each year group have yet to be organised – these will be sent to parents as soon as possible).

We will also be maintaining;

a strict hygiene regime of handwashing and the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach,

having appropriate rigorous cleaning procedures

and maintaining good ventilation in our school buildings.

January 2021 - Addendum to Safeguarding Policy

Please click here to find an addendum to our Safeguarding Policy in response to the COVID-19 outbreak

Return of all pupils to school - Monday 8th March 2021

The government has announced that all pupils should attend school as of the 8th March 2021.

The operational guidance for the return of pupils on the 8th March released by the Department for Education on the 22nd February and is available by clicking here.

This guidance explains the actions school leaders should take to minimise the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in their school. This includes public health advice, endorsed by Public Health England (PHE).

This newly released guidance is very similar to the guidance for the autumn term 2020 – this means that that the controls and procedures that were in place for the autumn term 2020 will continue as of 8th March 2021 – this includes staggered start and finish times, year group bubbles to be kept separate, rigorous hand washing and hygiene procedures, the need to maintain good ventilation, classroom arrangements – children in rows etc, social distancing and the need to continue to minimise contacts.

Details of these measures are set out below.

Measures within school

Wearing of Face Coverings on School Site

As of Tuesday 3rd November can all adults visiting the school site to wear a face covering.

With the further restrictions announced by the government on 31st October the school is now asking all parents / carers visiting the school site to wear a face covering from Tuesday 3rd November onwards when pupils return to school.

Whilst there has been no change to the government guidance regarding face coverings in primary schools or wearing face coverings when outside, it is clear from these new restrictions, and from the letter the school received from Staffordshire County Council on Thursday evening, that more has to be done to restrict the current spread of Covid-19.

This wearing of face coverings will not be enforced by school staff; however, if you are able to wear a face mask / visor / covering, please do so.

This will help hopefully minimise the transmission between the adults in and around the school site.

There will be some parents / carers who are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons – we would ask all parents / carers to be aware of this and not question anyone who is not wearing a face covering on the school site. It is important that we are all aware of each other’s different circumstances and are supportive of each other at this difficult time.

The school appreciates that legally parents / carers are not required to wear a face covering outside, but hopefully if we do, then the school has a better chance of staying fully open in order to ensure pupils continue to receive the best possible education.

The emphasis in the guidance is to ensure we maintain ‘bubbles’ to limit spread of infection and allow for isolated closures if there is an outbreak of the infection. 

The size of these ‘bubbles’ can be decided by the school in line with their unique school structure.  At our school we have decided that year group ‘bubbles’ will work most effectively and allow us to adhere to guidance. 

Within school will be introducing measures to adapt classrooms to meet the guidance such as seating pupils side by side and facing forwards rather than face to face and or side on.

We will also be avoiding large gatherings such as assemblies as well as not using the school hall for lunch time meals.

Pupils will eat lunches in their classrooms rather than in the hall (apart from our EYFS children) and their time on the playground will need to be adapted and monitored.

We will also be ensuring everyone at the school cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, and before and after eating - this will be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser.

We will also be continuing to have a cleaner in school in the middle of the school day during to clean door handles, toilets, etc.

Measures for arriving at and leaving school

In order to follow the government guidance it is crucial that we try to minimise congestion on our school site in order to maintain social distancing – particularly between adults. This will be particularly challenging given the nature of our school site.

In order to achieve this we will be introducing staggered start and finish times for pupils from September 2020.

EYFS, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 pupils will start school at the usual time of 8.50am with the gate open to the playground at 8.40am. They will finish school at 3.00pm.

EYFS, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 pupils should be dropped off at the gate to the playground and make their way into their classrooms. Staff will be around on the playground to direct them on the first few days of term.

Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 pupils will start school at 9.05am.

These pupils should aim to arrive at school no earlier than 8.55am.

Year 4 pupils will finish school at 3.10pm.

Year 5 and Year 6 pupils will finish school at 3.15pm.

Year 4 and Year 5 pupils should be dropped off at the gate to the playground and make their way into their classrooms.

Year 6 pupils should enter the school building by the red doors to the hall and then make their way to their classrooms.

At the end of school Year 4 and Year 5 pupils will be dismissed onto the playground to waiting parents. Year 6 pupils will be dismissed through the red doors by the hall and make their way down the side of the school building on the fenced path to the school gates.

Registers for all classes will close at 9.15am.

Any pupil who arrives after this time will be marked as late.

Arrangements for siblings

Where parents / carers have brother or sisters in different year groups with different start times - these pupils can enter the school and their classroom when their younger pupils start school.

At the end of the school day parents / carers will need to wait for older siblings on the playground until they are dismissed at 3.15pm. In order so as not to disrupt learning older pupils will not be able to be collected early except in exceptional circumstance.

We will also have to – in line with government guidance request that parents / carers do not gather at the school entrance and do not come into the school building unless an appointment has been made or unless it is urgent.

We would ask parents that they ‘drop and go’ leaving the school site as quickly as possible once their child has been dropped off.

 If you have any questions, queries or points to raise about any of these arrangements please do not hesitate to email: headteacher@millfield.sch.uk

Check if you or your child has coronavirus symptoms.

Click the image above to visit the NHS page detailing symptoms of coronavirus and the actions to take if you have any of these symptoms.

Recovery Curriculum - September 2020

Find out about the approaches that we will be taking to support pupils to ‘recover’ from the period of lost teaching and learning as a result of the Covid-19 crisis by clicking the image above.