Covid-19 Return to School

Since the government enforced the closure of all schools on 20th March 2020, Hallfield School has continued to look after in excess of 100 key worker children daily and we successfully reopened the school on 1st June to Foundation, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. We looked after 15 ‘bubbles’ across the school with 200 children attending. This has been a huge undertaking and one that took meticulous planning during our weekly Covid-19 meetings.

We reopened the school on Monday 7th September to all children; we continue to focus on the latest government guidance to ensure that our provision remains Covid-secure. Please see the latest advice and updates below.

Read our Covid-19 Risk Assessment here.

Public Health England23rd September
Public Health England have produced a letter for schools to distribute to parents which explains when a person requires a Coronavirus test and what the symptoms of Coronavirus are. The intention of the letter is to help prevent children being taken out of school unnecessarily and answer some of the questions parents may have around testing. Read the letter here.

Updated Advice – 22nd September
If we are informed that there has been a confirmed COVID-19 case or a case we must treat as confirmed, then we identify the children and adults who have been in contact with the confirmed case and they must self-isolate for 14 days. The official advice is that siblings of the children who have to isolate MAY continue to attend school as long as they are well and displaying no signs of Coronavirus.

We have been asked by many parents, if they get a COVID test for their child who has been asked to isolate from school, and the test result comes back as negative, may their child return to school? We have double-checked the advice to schools from the DfE and Public Health England. Unfortunately, they MAY NOT return to school. The advice states that a-symptomatic testing could be negative on the day of testing but the person tested may be incubating the infection for up to 14 days before symptoms show. Therefore, despite being very inconvenient and disruptive, schools should insist that children should self-isolate for 14 days.

If the advice changes, we will be in touch with parents as we are aware of the impact on families of the rules.

If any parent needs help or support accessing on-line learning for their child, please email your child’s Form Teacher.

In order to enable us to carry out the prevention controls, we have made some necessary adjustments to our normal operating procedures for current pupils:

Car Park – morning drop-off
The car park is now re-configured with drive-through drop-off zones for parents to drop their children off and then exit the car park. Parents should remain in their cars (where possible) and children have a dedicated walkway to enable them to safely leave their car and enter school.
Prep children should walk into school independently with parents remaining in their cars. Pre-Prep children will also make their own way into school after being dropped off, but parents may take their children to the drop-off zones. Designated parking bays will be available for parents of Foundation and Reception children only to pull into if their child needs assistance getting out of the car.

When children enter the ‘ring of steel’ they will join their Year Group in a designated area of the playground and will remain within their Year Group bubble, which will operate during the school day.

Face masks
All parents are politely reminded that face masks are to be worn in the car park and when gathering to collect children, as well as socially distancing where possible. Many of our children live in extended families with vulnerable elderly relatives and everybody has a responsibility to ensure our community is protected from Coronavirus as far as possible.

The Government has not made any requirement for primary age children to wear a face mask. However for children that are deemed vulnerable, or live with someone who is deemed vulnerable, they will be allowed to wear a face mask to and from school and outside of lessons i.e, break and play times.

The wearing and safekeeping of the face mask remains your child’s responsibility and staff cannot enforce this or be held responsible. Children must know how to use their face mask unaided. Reusable masks should be washed daily and disposable masks replaced daily.

There is no requirement for children to have their temperature checked on arrival at school. This will only happen if a child becomes unwell during the day.

Lunch Times
ALL children will have a hot meal served to them in either the Bistro, Pre-Prep Hall or in their setting for the Nursery and Foundation children.  Timings have been adjusted to allow for adequate sanitising of the Bistro and Pre-Prep Hall between sittings.

Pre-Prep Lunch Times:
Foundation – 11:45 am to 12:30 pm
Reception – 12:30 pm to 1:00 pm
Years 1 & 2 – 12:00pm to 1:00 pm

Prep Lunch Times:
Years 3 & 4 – 12:40 pm
Years 5, 6 & 7 – 1:10 pm

Car Park – After school pick-up
The front of school car park in the afternoon is designated as a car park without drop-off zones. Parents should remain in their cars until their child is brought out to the front of the school at the arranged time. Parents can then collect their child from the front of school and escort them back to their cars. Parents should then exit the school car park immediately without gathering in groups with other parents in order to prevent adult-to-adult transmission of the virus. If collecting more than one child, parents should use the after-care facility to enable a single pick-up time to minimise the amount of time that they have to wait in the car park.

After Care and activities
Children will remain in their Year Groups – as far as is practicably possible. All activities/clubs will be on a Year Group rotation i.e. Monday Year 3 football, Tuesday Year 4 football. External providers can be included in the after school clubs rota, but for specific Year Groups at a time.

Pre-Prep After Care Timetable
Parents can collect Pre-Prep children at the following times only: 3:30 pm, 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm or 5:00 pm. We must be informed in advance which time you intend to collect your child/children so that we know which children need bringing to the front of the school for collection.

Flexible pick-up times will be allowed from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm for Pre-Prep children booked into After Care – these parents may walk down the canal path to the Pre-Prep Hall entrance.

The timetable for children not collected at 3:30 pm:
3:30 pm to 4:00 pm – outside play
4:00 pm to 4:30 pm – activities / clubs
4:35 pm – hot teas served in the Pre-Prep Hall (bookable at an extra charge)

Parents should wait on the car park and children will be escorted to the car park by After Care staff

Prep After Care Timetable
Prep children will finish at 3:45 pm and will remain in their Year Groups.
3:45 pm to 4:30 pm – activities / clubs
4:30 pm to 5:00 pm – supervised Year Group homework (in Form Rooms)
5:15 pm – hot tea served in the Pre-Prep Hall
Parents will need to pre-book a confirmed pick-up time of either 4:00 pm, 4:30 pm or 5:00 pm

Flexible pick-up times will apply from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Parents should wait on the car park and children will be escorted to the car park by After Care staff.

Children who are unwell during the school day or present with Covid-19 symptoms
The School Nurse will temperature-check any child that appears unwell.
If deemed necessary, they will be looked after in the isolation room and parents will be notified.

The School Nurse is authorised to undertake a COVID-19 test in exceptional circumstances.

We hope these measures reassure you that our priority is to operate as normal as possible and to keep our children, parents and staff safe and well.

Our aim is that all pupils are happy and we are continuing to provide the very best pastoral support. If you have any low-level concerns about your child, then do liaise with your child’s class teachers.

Organisations and charities focused upon children’s wellbeing and mental health have been proactive in anticipating the Autumn Term return and we would encourage you to spend a moment looking at the following resources and seeing if any meet a need that you recognise in your own child.

The ‘toolkit’ available to download through this link has links to a wide variety of materials which are well worth exploring: https://mentallyhealthyschools.org.uk/resources/coronavirus-returning-to-school-toolkit-8/

One particular resource in the toolkit is an 8-minute video by a clinical psychologist is well worth a watch: https://nipinthebud.org/information-films/tips-for-returning-to-school/

We are also very aware that the last months may have seen an increase in time online for the children as they looked to overcome the boundaries of social bubbles, the issue of being away from school or even filling the time left by cancelled holidays! If any concerns or issues have arisen for you through your child’s time online, the following links are excellent and have material for children as young as the Early Years.

https://www.thinkuknow.co.uk/parents/ (Look for the black box with 15 minute home ‘lessons’ available, linked to CV-19.)