The government has issued guidance for the phased return of pupils to primary schools from the beginning of June. We have used this guidance to inform our planning to reintroduce children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
At Moulton, the safety of children, parents and staff is our highest priority, and senior leaders and governors have drawn up a detailed plan and risk assessment to ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of children and staff is carefully managed through this next phase.
Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings
The government acknowledges that social distancing in primary schools is not practicable due to the age/understanding of the children and to the limitations with the school environment. Instead, schools are to implement a number of additional measures to reduce the risk of Coronavirus spreading. These are:
- Reduced size classes - smaller classes of no more than 15 children
- Minimising contact with other children and adults
- Enhanced personal hygiene and cleaning practices
We are calling our reduced sized classes Pods. There will be 21 Pods for Key Worker children, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children.
- Due to numbers, children may be in Pods mixed with children from other classes in the year group.
- Pods will stay together once established; there can be no movement of children between Pods. Unfortunately, we cannot make any special arrangements regarding friendships/social groups.
- Each Pod will have an allocated adult. Children and adults in a Pod will not mix with children and adults in other Pods.
- Most children will not be with their teacher but will be with another school adult.
- Each Pod will learn together, have break times together, eat lunch together and exercise together.
- Trained First Aiders will be onsite each day but not designated to each pod. A First Aider will wear Personal Protective Equipment when dealing with first aid incidents.
- We will attempt to set up Pods that promote maximum happiness and welfare, but once a Pod is fixed it cannot be changed.
Learning in Pods
Reception and Year 1 - the government does not expect younger children to follow social distancing. Their direction for keeping children safe is through limiting numbers to 15, not mixing Pods or staff, good hygiene and regular hand washing. In Reception, children will not be kept apart from each other in their own Pod and may play and interact in small groups in the classroom. The guidance states that resources and furniture that are harder to sanitise are removed (soft furnishings, cuddly toys, creative resources, sand trays, playdough, water etc.) This does mean that the provision for Reception children will be quite different from their usual class environment.
Year 1 and younger key worker children - children will sit at separate tables, not share resources and work individually as much as possible. Social distancing will be encouraged but this will be very difficult to achieve with children of this age.
Year 6 and older key worker children - as they are older, we expect that these children will be able to broadly adhere to social distancing measures. They will remain in their pod classes, seated at individual workstations, for most of the day. They will work in isolation and not share resources with other children. They will have playtimes outside, weather permitting but will not be permitted to mix with other pods.
Our focus for Year 6 will be to support them as they end their time at Moulton Primary and prepare for their move to secondary school.
All pupils and adults must follow the health protocols below:
- Maintain social distancing – See Learning in Pods (above). Routes around school will be planned to reduce contact and break times will be staggered. Children will use specified toilets, but we do not have the capacity to give each Pod its own toilet.
- Hand hygiene - children will be required to wash their hands regularly, including on entry to school, before and after toilet/lunch/break, before going home. Children will be reminded not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth.
- Respiratory hygiene - when coughing or sneezing, children will be trained to use tissues and dispose of immediately. If there are no tissues, they should cough or sneeze into an elbow.
- Face Masks – “Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools or other education settings is not recommended. Face coverings (or any form of medical mask where instructed to be used for specific clinical reasons) should not be worn in any circumstance by those who may not be able to handle them as directed (for example, young children, or those with special educational needs or disabilities) as it may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.” (Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education settings, DFE, May 2020)
- Moulton Primary staff have permission to wear face masks to protect themselves and others if they wish.
- Ventilation – classroom windows will be opened to allow for ventilation where possible.
- Cleaning – regular cleaning will be taking place within the school environment. Our cleaning company will be in daily to clean all areas and deep clean once a week.
See key Health and Safety files on this page for further information.
Parents are required to support the health and safety of the whole school community by adhering to the following:
- Ensuring that children are well before bringing them to school each day, including checking their temperature
- Not sending in any children displaying Covid-19 symptoms
- Informing school of any suspected Covid-19 infection as soon as possible
- Being prepared to collect children from school immediately if we suspect that they may have Covid-19 symptoms and agreeing to have children and family members tested
- Ensuring that only one adult per family will drop-off and collect each day
- Ensuring that children do not mix with other children from different Pods before or after school
- Not socialising with other adults outside school
- Not coming into the school but communicating by email or by phone
Preparing children to return to school
- Please share the health protocols above with children. Help them to understand that these are very important and following them will make sure that everyone in school is safe
- Explain that school will feel very different and they may not have their usual teacher/adults. However, reassure them that everyone in school will help them understand what to do and settle in to the new routines.
Entry into school Premises
- Parents/carers to use the entry/exit route for each POD class as indicated in correspondence prior to school opening.
- Parents/carers to maintain social distancing and avoid any gatherings around or on school premises.
- Parents to follow all markings and signs set out by school to ensure safe entry/exit onto the premises.
- Parent/carers of Year 6 may wish to drop children off away from the school (public gardens, top of Church Hill etc..) to reduce the numbers of adults coming onto the school site.
- Only one parent/carer should bring a child or children to school
- Parents must expect/encourage a swift handover of child to adult at the door specified
- Home School communication books will not be used and school adults will not be available for discussions on entry into school.
- Parents are requested not to visit the school office and all queries are to be by phone or email only.
Movement around school
- On entry into school all adults and children must “walk on the left” and adhere to the one-way system which is in place throughout school.
- Children will be taught about the importance of self-distancing when moving around school
- Break and lunch times are staggered to ensure reduced movement in corridors.
Children will eat lunch in their Pod classes. They will wash their hands before and after lunch. Children may bring a packed lunch to school, or a school packed lunch can be ordered in the usual way.
We expect children to wear school uniform if possible although we understand that this may need to be relaxed as we reach the end of the school year. In line with government advice, our priority is for children to wear clean clothes daily. We are happy for children to wear trainers at this time. Children will not be required to bring PE kits into school. Any activities will be able to be carried out in their uniforms/daily clothes.