At Watchfield, we are aware that there is a significant amount of information in the public domain around Covid-19 which may cause parents and carers to feel anxious about allowing their child to return to school this September. Hopefully, the information contained within this overall section of the website, alongside the direct communication that has already been issued prior to pupils' return for this academic year, will go some way towards reassuring you of the measures that have been put in place to continue keep the school community as safe as possible as we move forward into the Autumn Term.
In addition, please see below for some answers to frequently asked questions from parents:
Can you guarantee my child’s safety from the virus at school?
Unfortunately, just as in other circumstances or situations, we cannot guarantee that individuals will not come into contact with the virus whilst at school. Whilst we will work within all guidance from the Government, Public Health England, Oxfordshire County Council and unions to reduce risk, exposure to the virus is possible. Please look at this page on our website which summaries the new measures that are in place for everyone’s safety https://www.watchfieldprimary.co.uk/what-changes-have-been-made-to-keep-children-famil/
Can you guarantee social distancing in School?
Despite the best efforts of staff, social distancing of children simply cannot be entirely observed in school; the government previously acknowledged this is impossible for schools to implement 100% of the time. In addition, the government have stated that social distancing is no longer required - within or outside of school.
However, children continue to predominantly work within their classes and year groups on a day to day basis and at the moment, pupils will not meet as a whole school e.g. whole school assemblies will remain on-line.
Whilst staff continue to be able to work across year groups, as they have done throughout the pandemic, we continue to keep this to a minimum wherever possible. In classrooms, pupils are now once again able to sit in closer proximity e.g. carpet time in EYFS/KS1 and at table groups. However, the arrangement of table groupings, particularly within KS2, continues to be mindful of facilitating space around pupils, at the teacher's discretion.
What will happen if my child or someone in my child’s group becomes unwell?
Guidance is that all children showing symptoms should be sent home immediately to isolate and book a PCR test. Symptoms continue to be: showing a high temperature of 37.8 degrees or above, or presenting with a new or persistent cough, or a loss of taste/smell. If symptoms are noted at school, and a child is subsequently sent home, the decision of the school is final and non-negotiable. If a child tests negative from their PCR test, they can return to school. If a child tests positive, they will need to continue to isolate.
If your child is unwell e.g. has a sickness bug but does not appear to have COVID-19 specific symptoms, they should still remain at home for 48 hours after the last bout of sickness, until they are fully recovered to stop the spread of other illnesses - as in line with previous policy/practice.