I hope that you have had a lovely summer holiday and enjoyed some time with your family. The weather hasn't been brilliant but it was dry enough to be able to get out and about.
We are returning to school on Thursday 2nd September (tomorrow) but unfortunately cases of Covid are still high. Government advice is that we no longer need to maintain bubbles, masks, staggered timings nor many other arrangements we previously had in place. However, schools are expected to have a contingency plan in case there is an outbreak, which is sensible. Nevertheless, I would rather try to avoid this happening by keeping some arrangements in place but without compromising the children's education:
- Children will not be in bubbles but they will be mainly in their year groups, with their own year group toilets.
- At lunchtime they will sit with children in their own year group, this will also be the case in breakfast club. These will be located back in the hall/dining room at each school.
- Playtimes and lunchtimes - the children will mix with other year groups but as they are outside the risk of transmission is very low.
- All children will continue to have their own pencil case.
- Water bottle lids have all been replaced.
- Children will now be able to use the library again but will gel their hands before and after using it.
- Children will continue to come into school wearing their PE kit on their PE day.
- Small bags are allowed.
- Whole school assemblies will resume. Children will sit in their year groups but with gaps between year groups. Both school halls benefit from excellent ventilation.
- Classroom ventilation, hand washing and cleaning regimes will continue as they did previously.
I will continue to review procedures and make amendments as necessary.
Attendance - all children are now expected to attend school. Penalty notices for poor attendance and taking holidays during school time will, once again, be issued.
As from Thursday, beginning and end of day arrangements will be as follows:
South View Infant School
Timings will be as they were pre covid:
Morning drop off: Doors open - 8.45 a.m. - 8.55 a.m.
Afternoon collection Doors 3.15 p.m.
All classes to use their external doors as before.
Morning session 8.45 a.m. - 11.45a.m
Afternoon session 12.30 p.m. - 3.30p.m.
South View Junior School
Timings will be as they were pre covid:
Morning drop off: Doors open - 8.40 a.m. - 8.50 a.m.
Afternoon collection - 3.20 p.m.
- year 3 to use external classroom doors
- year 4 to use main door by staffroom
- year 5 use classroom external doors
- year 6 use playground door
- Resourced provision children to use external classroom doors
Breakfast club at both schools will start at 8.00 a.m. Booking required. Children attending should enter through reception areas at each school.
- Parents will be asked to wear masks whilst in school and I ask that you still give space to people in the reception area.
- If you wish to speak to your child's class teacher in person, then please make an appointment so that a room can be organised which allows for good social distancing and ventilation. Telephone calls are still preferred.
After school activities will begin again soon. More details to follow.
Please ensure you give space to other people on site to help keep us all safe.
Clarification around Self-isolation, close contacts and positive cases from 16th August 2021
CHILDREN AS CLOSE CONTACTS
Children who are close contacts under the age of 18 years and 6 months will no longer be required to self-isolate. They (as close contacts) will be advised by the NHS Test and Trace Service that they are a close contact of a positive case, and encouraged to get a PCR test, but can still come to school unless they are unwell. If a test has been taken, they can be at school until they receive a positive result, at which point they must self-isolate.
CHILDREN WHO TEST POSITIVE
If any child tests positive using a LFD or PCR test, they still have to isolate and the school MUST be informed as soon as possible.
CHILDREN WHO SHOW SYMPTOMS
If a child shows symptoms at school, however mild, then parents will be contacted and the child will still be sent home. A PCR test must then be taken, and they must isolate until the result is known. Schools can refuse entry to a child who is showing symptoms even if a parent insists on the child attending.
Those over 18 years of age who are double vaccinated do not have to self-isolate if they are a close contact of a positive case. Again, they will be advised to get a PCR test. If they are not double-vaccinated, then they do need to self-isolate if they are considered a close contact by NHS Test and Trace. For anyone who tests positive over the age of 18, they have to isolate, irrespective of vaccination status.
LFD vs PCR Tests
Anyone (child or adult) with a positive LFD or PCR test must self-isolate. With a positive LFD test, a PCR test must then be taken. While awaiting the result, the individual should self-isolate. If the PCR is taken within 2 days of the positive LFD and comes back negative, it overrides the LFD test. If the PCR is taken after 2 days of the positive LFD, the self-isolation period must continue.
Schools are no longer expected to be involved in contact tracing. NHS Test and Trace will manage this. However, if there are multiple positive cases in the school or the local area, the school will work with PHE to make decisions about possible closure. We will have an Outbreak Management Plan in place as required.
Isolation means that the person who has tested positive distances themselves from the rest of the household. They should stay in a room on their own and not move around different rooms. Meals should be taken to the person to eat in the room they are isolating in. If using a shared bathroom/toilet, then these should be cleaned after the person who has tested positive has used them. If your living arrangements do not allow for this to happen, and the person who is positive is mixing with other family members, then please contact school for advice.
As always, if you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact either school.
With best wishes
Mrs Sheila Pape