As announced by the government on Monday 4th January, all UK schools, special schools, alternative provision, and colleges are switching to remote learning and will only be open for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers.
Can my child attend school?
The school is closed to all but vulnerable children and children of critical workers. All other learning will be carried out remotely.
How do I register my child as a child of a critical worker?
If you have not already filled in the critical worker form initially distributed, please contact the school through the live chat box at the bottom left of the school website, and you will be sent a form to fill in. We will then use the information provided to determine if your child is able to attend school.
Detailed information about who counts as a critical worker can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision?utm_source=4%20January%202021%20C19&utm_medium=Daily%20Email%20C19&utm_campaign=DfE%20C19#critical-workers
My child receives Free School Meals, will there be any provision now that schools are teaching remotely?
Plans for the continued provision of free school meals are currently being considered. We will provide more information following government guidance.
How will remote learning be provided?
Virtual lessons will be given via Microsoft Teams. Information about how to access will be sent to pupils directly. Further information will be provided on the school website in due course. If you have any further questions about home learning, please use the quick chat button at the bottom left of the school website.
Are nurseries still open?
All White Horse Federation nurseries will close for this period.
What does this lockdown mean for end of year exams?
The Department for Education has stated that they do not think it is possible for exams to go ahead fairly this summer, and that alternative arrangements are being considered by Ofqual. However, we will still continue to prepare every pupil as best we can through remote learning.
The following questions apply if you are a critical worker and your child is able to attend school:
Will my child be expected to wear a mask?
We strongly recommend that all pupils and parents wear a mask when entering and leaving the school. The expectations are also being made of staff, and we have provided two washable masks and a number of disposable masks for each member of staff. Staff and pupils have also been instructed how to correctly remove and dispose of masks.
Will wrap around care and after-school clubs still be provided?
Under current circumstances, no.
What is expected of pupils and staff in the school?
At our school, we will adhere to the 5 Principles of Public Hygiene and Safety. These are:
- Stay at home if ill or a contact — (more information can be found in questions below)
- Wash your hands! Catch your coughs! — We will strongly encourage all pupils and staff to wash and sanitize their hands regularly and to catch any cough in a tissue that is then disposed of. The best way to keep everyone safe to develop personal hygiene habits.
- Clean! Clean! Clean! — Cleaning regimens are being increased, and after each school day all used equipment will be cleaned and sanitized thoroughly.
- Reduce Mixing and Maximise Social Distancing — We will continue to use a bubble system where pupils are kept in separate groups. Between lessons we will also ensure that children are kept socially distanced from members of different bubbles. We also take a zero tolerance approach to anti-social behaviour and the invasion of personal space by any pupils.
- Engage with Test and Trace — All pupils and their families are asked to engage with the NHS Test and Trace process. As a school we are also well prepared to engage with the process.
What measures have been put in place in the school?
A full list of measures, and risk assessment can be found in the COVID-19 School Operation Plan in the school information - Policies and Procedures section on the school website.
Included among these measures are:
- The installation of hand-sanitisation stations throughout the school.
- The continued implementation of a bubble system where pupils are kept in contained groups.
- The installation of a one-way system between classrooms and different areas of the school.
- Increased cleaning regimes at the school and the disinfection of all equipment and surfaces used after each school day.
- The enforcement of social distancing for staff and pupils in all communal spaces in the school.
The full set of measures have been explained and demonstrated to staff, and will be made very clear to each pupil upon their return.
Are cleaning personnel provided with PPE?
Yes, all cleaning staff wear disposable gloves and aprons as a minimum and face protection is also worn when necessary.
What will be done if we suspect an adult or child is showing symptoms?
If a member of staff or pupil has symptoms, they must self-isolate and arrange to be tested. If they test positive, contacts, for example, those in the same bubble at school, should then also self isolate for 14 days and arrange for a test.
If you are a contact, you will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace. We ask that all our school families and staff engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.
What will be done if there is an outbreak at the school?
While we believe that the measures being put in place will significantly reduce the chance of an outbreak occurring, if this does happen, we will contact the regional Public Health England team and will follow their advice regarding the next steps to take.
What will be done if there is a local outbreak in the region?
The White Horse Federation is working with the Local Authority and Regional School Commissioners to make sure that we are an important part of Local Outbreak Management Plans should they need to be implemented.
Are children less likely to catch COVID-19?
Children seem to be less likely to be infected and are usually less seriously affected. However, children can still often be infected and any child who experiences COVID-19 symptoms must self-isolate with their household and should be tested.
Will parents and family members be permitted into the school?
No. While parents are permitted to drop their children off at school, we ask that you remain socially distanced when doing so, and do not enter the school site itself in order to maintain social distancing.
Should I change the way my child is transported to school?
We encourage all families to come to school in one-household groups and, if at all possible, so walk or cycle to school. For those for whom alternative means of transport has to be arranged, such as a taxi service, you will be contacted directly by the school and we have been working with the Local Authority to ensure that this is done as safely as possible.