COVID-19 - FAQs
To support families during these unprecedented times, we have created a list of questions and answers that you may find useful. As always, if you have any further queries, please contact the school office via telephone or email.
Tel: 01642 485560
What will they be learning?
The learning offered in school will very much be based around the themes and topics going home on the Learning Jigsaws and the suggested Oak Academy links. Children in school will not be covering new learning or ‘moving on’ without their peers at home.
Will my child miss out on the curriculum if not at school?
We will continue to send home the Learning Jigsaws and the Oak Academy links. Depending on their year group, children at home may also have access to Abacus, Oxford Reading Buddy and Purple Mash. Staff in school will continue to communicate with parents (and children!) using Twitter, Parentmail, phone calls home, Evidence Me (Nursery and Reception) and Purple Mash (Y3 and Y4). Children remaining at home will not be ‘left behind’ by their peers in school.
Will coming back to school help to prepare my child for their next year?
Unfortunately, current conditions and the strict use of social bubbles means that no transition activities will be able to take place for now. However, as a school, we are very aware of how important a good transition between all year groups is, and we will be planning to implement this as soon as restrictions are lifted.
Will the children be transitioning to their new class this year?
At present, we have no plans for any of the children to take part in any transition activities this academic year. We are hoping that Y6 will experience some form of transition, but that very much depends on our partner secondary schools.
If my child returns to school after June 1st, but then I decide that it is no longer safe for them, can I remove them without being penalised?
How will their attendance be affected if I don’t send my child in?
There will be no penalties placed on parents who choose not to return their child to school.
How will school keep children 2 meters apart?
We are sure you understand that effective social distancing is virtually impossible with primary aged children. However, our guidance and risk assessment for re-opening is based upon good hygiene, the ‘bubbles’ of up to fifteen children and three staff, and social distancing where at all possible.
Will children get told off if they forget to social distance?
No. We will support children to be courteous and considerate of other people and their personal space.
What things are you doing to make sure risk of infection is reduced?
Our guidance and risk assessment for re-opening is based upon good hygiene, the bubbles and social distancing where at all possible. Areas used by the children will be cleaned regularly throughout the day, each bubble will have their own set of equipment which will not be used by any other bubble and all equipment used by the children will be washed after use or at the end of the day.
Will school stay open if there are cases of Covid 19?
Should this situation arise at Westgarth, then we will follow the current advice from the Department of Education.
If the R rate continues to rise will the school close?
In this situation, school will follow Government advice.
Will school be providing PPE for my child?
No. Current Government advice states that it is not required by primary aged children.
Will staff be wearing PPE?
Staff will not normally wear any form of PPE in school. Exceptions will be if there is a medical incident in school involving a suspected case of COVID-19 or large amounts of bodily fluids.
If a member of staff or another child within my child’s bubble falls ill with COVID-19, does that mean that my child will have to self-isolate for two weeks?
Under current Government advice, yes, that is correct.
Will my child have to play by themselves due to social distancing?
Within their bubbles, children will be able to play with other children, although they will be encouraged to respect personal space.
How many children will be in a bubble?
A maximum of fifteen children.
Can I choose or swap my child’s bubble?
No. The bubble approach relies on there being no cross-contamination between bubbles.
Will my child be with their friends and teachers?
The children’s bubbles will be based around their usual peers and class teachers. However, this will depend on which children choose to return to school, and which staff are available at any time.
Will they be able to see/play with friends from other classes?
Unfortunately not. The bubble approach will only work if children remain in their bubbles at all times.
How are children going to be delivered to their classrooms?
With the exception of Year Six, who will be met on the playground by their teachers, children in each bubble will be dropped off at their own, dedicated entrance by their parent. Full details can be found in the Guide for Parents which was sent out on Parentmail.
What will happen if my child is reluctant to enter the school building on a morning?
Should this occur, we suggest that you return to the back of the line and try again in a few minutes. If the situation does not improve, then it would be best to return home and phone school. We will discuss alternative solutions with you.
Do they have to wear school uniform?
Yes, although they can wear trainers if they prefer.
Does their uniform need to be washed every night?
When your child attends school on a morning, their uniform needs to be clean and it must not contain traces of any bodily fluid. In order to protect your household from any germs picked up in school, you may decide to wash their uniform every night as soon as they return home. In addition, since your child will be exercising and doing PE in their uniform, it may need a wash every night for general hygiene purposes – especially for the Y6s!
What can my child bring to school? What will they be bringing home?
Government advice states that children should bring the minimum into school from home, and the minimum should then return home again at the end of the day.
These are the only items your child can bring to school with them: a packed lunch; a full water bottle; an asthma inhaler; a school-registered iPad; a fruit/vegetable snack.
They are not allowed to bring in: bags; books; iPad chargers; items from home; hand wash etc; stationery; PE kits; letters; any PPE equipment.
We will not be sending home: books; pictures, models or art work; paper-based homework; paper-based letters to parents.
For more details, please refer to the Guide for Parents which was sent home via Parentmail.
Can they come to school on their bikes or scooter?
Yes! However, due to difficulties in social distancing around the scooter and bike parks, they will not be in use until further notice. If at all possible, please take your bikes and scooters home with you after you have dropped your children. If this proves impossible, then you can store them inside the school grounds, leaning against the perimeter fences surrounding the KS1 or Y3/4 playgrounds. Please make sure that they are left at least two metres away from any other bike or scooter, and that you observe social distancing when dropping them off, or collecting them.
Can my child play on the playground or with the playground equipment before or after school?
No. The wooden equipment is not be used until further notice and allowing your child to run around on the playground will compromise the safety of the bubbles and is not in line with effective social distancing.
Will they be able to use the toilet when they want?
Usual toileting policies will apply. Nursery, Reception and Year One will be able to visit the toilet whenever they need to, whilst Y6 will be encouraged to wait for a break in their sessions.
Will they play outside? Where?
Absolutely, yes, as much as possible! All bubbles have been allocated their own spaces which means that children will be able to safely remain with their bubble at all times.
If my child falls over will staff be able to comfort and carry out first aid?
Children who are hurt or distressed will be managed and soothed in exactly the same manner they would be during more normal times.
Will my child still be helped with toileting needs?
Whilst we will be encouraging all children to be independent in their self-care, children who genuinely need help with toileting will be supported in the usual ways. Due to scientific concerns regarding the transmission of COVID-19 through bodily fluids, any child who has a toilet accident in school will be made as comfortable as possible and their parents called to collect them.
What are the arrangements for lunch?
No hot school meals will be provided. Children eligible for a benefits related or infant free school meal will be provided with a packed meal by school, unless you opt out. Benefits related free school meal vouchers will cease for children attending school. If you would like to purchase a school packed meal, then this can be done in the usual manner through Parentmail. The children will eat their lunches in their bubbles under the supervision of their bubble staff.
Will they do PE?
Yes. The children will do PE in their uniform within their bubbles.
What emotional support is available during lockdown?
School have complied a list of support agencies and resources which is available on the COVID-19 tab of our website. There is an entire section which covers Emotional Well-being.