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.
Pupils that are eligible for Free School Meals and Universal Infant Free School Meals have the option of claiming vouchers which will be distributed by the school office.
How will remote learning be provided?
Remote education will be given via the school’s learning platform. 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. Alternatively, you can contact your child’s teacher via the school’s learning platform.
Are nurseries still open?
This term, we have planned for a remote learning approach for nursery pupils. A small group of pupils have been attending White Horse Federation Nurseries as their parents are critical workers.
All schools have sent out letters to all other parents of children at White Horse Federation Nurseries to give them the opportunity to send their child to nursery.
Any coverage is dependent on staff availability and the safety of staff and children.
Any applications made on the back of this letter are considered by each school according to staff availability and the school’s ability to strictly adhere to health and safety guidance to prevent the transmission of the virus.
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.
Will SATs exams be taking place this year?
Both key stage 1 and key stage 2 tests and teacher exams have been cancelled for this school year, this includes key stage 2 tests in reading in Mathematics.
The school will however continue with certain internal assessments to inform teaching and to help us give information to parents regarding the attainment of their children.
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 above nursery and reception age, and parents wear a mask when entering and leaving the school. These 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 will also be instructed how to correctly remove and dispose of masks.
Will wrap around care and after-school clubs still be provided?
Under current circumstances, the school is not able to operate wraparound provision while still maintaining adequate staff-pupil ratios and strict adherence to health and safety guidance to prevent the transmission of the virus.
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 10 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.
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 building 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.