The covid 19 pandemic and the need to social distance has meant that we have had to make some changes to school systems. Below are frequently asked questions at this challenging time. Please click on a question to show the answer. You can click it again to hide.
Q1. Is it safe for my child to come back to school?
Yes. We wouldn’t go ahead with our plans to invite students back if we didn’t feel we could keep them safe. Our overriding priority is the well-being of our students and staff and all our preparations for re-opening the school adhere to government and LEA guidelines. We have written a comprehensive risk assessment and shared this with all teachers and staff working on the school site. We will keep this under constant review.
Q2. What are the plans for each year group?
Each year group has been designated a zone, or ‘bubble’. Students will remain in their designated areas (‘bubbles’) and the staff move to teach in each zone. This means that each year group is always in just a small number of rooms and only with their own year group. This system ensures that children have appropriate subject teachers for the academic year. When bubbles are no longer required, students will remain with all their teachers but their lessons will once again be held in only subject specialist classrooms. There is hand sanitiser at each entrance/exit and in all rooms. We have enhanced cleaning systems in place, so high frequency touched areas, such as door handles and toilets, are cleaned throughout the day many times. We posted a video on our school Facebook page on 12 August where we talk students through the first days back including which door they need to use, what they need to bring and how they can keep safe. https://www.facebook.com/qkskendal/videos/731018981045526/
Q3. What does my child need to bring to school?
As outlined in our August video, your child needs to bring all of their own equipment (pen, pencil, rubber, ruler, sharpener, coloured pencils, highlighters, safety scissors, and calculator) as we will not be allowed to lend equipment. Students must also bring a full water bottle each day. The water fountains in school have been turned off and cannot be used currently.
We have provided every student with their own mini whiteboard and board pen so that they can keep this with them for use in lessons. It would be helpful if students could buy a few additional whiteboard pens to keep them going through the year. Every child must have a bag in which to carry their pencil case, mini whiteboard and reading book every day. Students will also need to make sure they have their timetable and standards card with them every day. Students do not currently have access to lockers.
Q4. What about school uniform?
It is expected that all students will be in full school uniform at all times. Hair, make up and jewellery expectations remain the same. On days when your child has PE, they should come in wearing their full QKS PE kit, including socks, with additional plain black tracksuit bottoms or plain black leggings (for warmth) over/ under shorts or skirts. As always, we ask for your cooperation and support with uniform.
Q5. How will students be taught?
All students will follow the normal curriculum with 5, 60 minute, lessons each day. They will be taught by specialist staff and in specialist rooms where possible. Throughout the term, we hope to be able to find solutions to offer more specialist rooms to students. Teachers will move around the site to the different year group zones/bubbles. We will switch back to every class in specialist rooms as soon as the guidance changes. Where possible, classrooms have been set up so tables and chairs are forward facing, windows and doors are open for good ventilation and students hand sanitise their hands on entry and exit to the room. You may find it useful to read this information from the DfE: DfE guidance for parents and carers.
Q6. What about PE?
Students will still have PE lessons. Students must come to school in their PE kit on the days they have PE. We cannot open the changing rooms as they would be needed for multiple year group bubbles. We have adapted the curriculum so that students will be outside (depending on the weather). Most groups have started with athletics this term as this is non-contact sport and was missed during the summer term. Students can wear plain black tracksuit bottoms or plain black leggings under skorts or shorts. They can also wear the QKS PE Hoodie and/or an outside coat to school to keep warm. Your child must remember to bring all their equipment and their standards card on PE days.
Q7. What about break and lunchtime?
Break and lunch will be taken at the usual times and students will remain in their bubbles during this time. In order to make these times as safe as possible, we recommend that your child brings a packed lunch. This is to reduce the number of students going through the dining halls and to keep queues to a minimum. All food will be eaten outside or in wet break rooms. For this reason, there is a reduced range of food available. If you need to add money to your child’s account, please do so via ParentMail so students do not have to queue to add cash to their account at one of our machines.
Q8. What about extra –curricular clubs?
We will start clubs back up after the first few weeks and try and launch as many as we can this term. They will be modified in line with the risk assessments for each individual area. Groups are likely to be limited to single year groups and smaller numbers to begin with.
Q9. What if there is an issue with a student’s behaviour?
We always expect our students to behave exceptionally well during their time in school. Not only do they need to follow the normal school rules, they will also need to adhere to additional measures to ensure we keep everyone safe. Any student who does not follow these expectations will be removed and placed in the school’s Internal Exclusion Room (IER) for the rest of the day and their parents will be informed. Class teacher detentions will be run at breaktime in a central classroom for each Year Group bubble. You will be notified in advance of any afterschool detentions.
Q10. What about Travel to and from school?
When travelling to and from school it is important that students remain in their family or year group bubbles as much as possible. If your child travels by public transport, then they must wear a face covering whilst on the bus/train. Students should wait for their bus or train sensibly, ensuring social distancing from other students outside of their bubbles. When travelling, they should be sat facing forward where possible. Students must wash their hands properly for 20 seconds before leaving home and on return. We encourage students to walk, cycle or get a lift to school wherever possible.
Q11. Will my child have to wear a face mask on school site?
Staff and students, apart from those with medical exemptions, will be required to wear face masks when on corridors and in indoor communal areas such as the toilets or dining room. In classrooms, they will not be worn and should be removed to support communication. The approach we have taken of keeping the students in bubbles, and in limited areas of the school, means that they will be out of classrooms very little and so will not have to wear the face masks for too long during the day.
Q12. What about out of hours care?
Our breakfast club will be open as usual from 7.45am each morning. However, we will not be serving any food at the current time. In addition, students will need to sit with others from their year group bubble and not mingle with children from other year groups. Similarly, the LRC will be open after school until 4.30pm each evening but again students will need to remain in their bubbles.
Q13. What if my child becomes ill or has to self-isolate?
If your child becomes ill at school they will be removed into a separate, well ventilated room and supervised until a parent/carer comes to collect them. We rely heavily on parental judgement when considering illness symptoms in relations to covid-19.
Please make sure that you keep your child at home if they or anyone in your household shows any Covid symptoms (temperature over 37.8oC, new persistent cough, and change in smell or taste). When notifying us, please be specific in stating if it is Covid related.
You will need to book for a Covid test and must inform the school of the results. A return to school plan will then be discussed.
The work covered in lessons will be posted online via SMHW and students will be able to access this if they are self-isolating. Please note that staff will post classwork for every lesson and this will appear on SMHW in pink. Their SMHW will look fuller than usual but students who were in lesson do not need to look at the classwork materials. Just like in lockdown, students can only do what they can do when they feel well enough to complete work. Their teachers will help support and build bridges in learning when they return to school.
Q14. How can we prevent the spread when my child returns from school?
Regular hand washing is the best way to prevent infection. Students should wash their hands with soap and water, or sanitiser, before they leave home, regularly throughout the school day and as soon as they return home.
Q15. What if another child in school has a positive test for Covid-19?
In the event of a student or member of staff testing positive, Public Health England will advise us on the next steps including communication with parents and families through the track and trace system. We will keep parents informed and ask you to follow any guidance given.
Q16. What are the rules on attendance?
Following the announcement of schools reopening in September, the government have published guidance regarding student attendance. The government wants all students to return to school and is advising that no one needs to shield at the moment. This will minimise, as far as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, well-being and wider development.
The key messages from the guidance are:
- School attendance is mandatory from September.
- The usual school expectations for attendance will be applied from the first day of the autumn term.
- Schools will continue supporting students on their return to school.
Please refer to the attendance addendum that is with our policy on the school website for further information.
Q17. Can I walk on to the school site to drop something off or collect my child?
Parents will not be able to enter the school site unless they have a pre-arranged appointment with a member of staff. Where this is the case, they should report to reception. If you wish to collect your child, please wait for them in the pre-planned meeting point off school site, maintaining social distancing measures.