Keeping pupils safe at Emmanuel School
Part 1 - some general comments
The last few months have shown us that the understanding of Covid-19 and how to keep safe is permanently evolving. We will keep monitoring documentation and guidelines, and change our practices as required. A summary of the main safety measures are outlined below and the full Covid-19 risk assessment is available on this page along with some notes and an extract from a letter from Gavin Williamson, the Secretary of State for Education.
We do encourage the school community to pray regularly for the safety of our staff, pupils and all our families over the coming weeks. We will follow guidelines and do all that we can to minimise the risks to our pupils. However, we (like any organisation) cannot guarantee that no child or staff member at Emmanuel will get Covid-19. But we trust a God who loves and cares for us and in these exceptional times, we need to ask for his protection for us as individuals and for our school.
Part 2 - a summary of the main safety measures
Remember that full details can be found in the attachments. We have tried to highlight key points and have to condense these into 10 key areas, please read through carefully:
1 - Keep everyone else safe and do not come into school if you have:
got any of the symptoms of corona virus
been in contact with someone who has got corona virus
been asked to self-isolate (eg through track and trace or quarantine rules)
We will need to enforce this strictly even if a pupil / staff member recovers quickly or shows no symptoms etc.
2. - If any child / staff member starts to show symptoms in school, they will be isolated immediately and sent home. They will need to do a test. If there are any positive tests, we will contact the Local Health Protection Team and follow their advice.
Many of you will have read the 4 tiered government response to any Covid-19 cases in a school or rises of Covid-19 cases in the local area. Like all schools, we will inform the local health authority if we have any cases and we have to work with them and they will inform us what level of action is required. The decision will be made by the Director of Public Health. We have plans in place and will respond to any situation as required but we trust and pray that this will not be necessary.
3 - Where possible, (and we do understand that this will not be possible for everyone) we encourage pupils to avoid public transport. The attachment has details of procedures where people do have to use public transport. We are stopping, temporarily, activities that require use of public transport.
4 - We will make sure that everyone in school washes their hands (or uses hand sanitiser) regularly and thoroughly throughout the day.
5- We will minimise sharing resources and the use of equipment as much as possible. Some homework will continue to use Google Classrooms. It is vitally important that secondary children have their own books and equipment with them each day. Lower down the school, pupils will have their own trays with the resources that they will need.
6. -We are going to have 3 bubbles in the school and do all that we can to ensure that we keep these bubbles as separate as possible during the day. The three bubbles will be:
Nursery to Year 2
Year 3 to Year 6
Year 7 to Year 11
7 - There will be staggered start and finish times. This is a government recommendation and the aim is to spread the arrival time so that there is less mingling of pupils and parents at the start and end of the day. We do recognise that we are an unusual school and some families have children in more than one phase of the school and so we will be flexible to ensure that we can maintain social distance and to avoid unnecessary hanging around and mingling. The general arrangements are as follows:
Nursery to Year 2 - arrive from 8:15 and by 8:30, with all pupils entering the school through the ramp at the end of the Foundation Unit. They will finish at 3:10pm.
Year 3 to Year 6 - arrive from 8:30 and by 8:45, with pupils entering through the ACCA doors at the far end of the main school ramp. They will finish at 3:20pm.
Year 7 to 11 - arrive from 8:15 and by 8:30, with pupils entering through the ACCA doors at the far end of the school ramp. They will finish at 3:30pm.
Our aim is to get all the senior pupils into school before the juniors arrive. However, we will have junior teachers in their classrooms from 8:15 and if they have had to come early due to siblings in other sections and parents cannot supervise them, they will be able to come into their classrooms before 8:30.
8 - There is a realisation that social distancing is not fully possible within bubbles. However, wherever possible, we will keep to the principles of social distancing. The guidelines also recommend that staff members socially distance from each other and from the pupils. This will not always be possible with younger children etc but we will follow the guidelines as much as we can. We will also make sure that desks are facing in the same direction and pupils are not having face to face contact.
9 - We are going to cut down visitors into school as much as we can in the short-term. If you want to speak to a staff member, please try and do so outside or book an appointment. We will also hold meetings on-line where possible.
10 - We are simplifying and stream-lining the timetable to try and minimise the movement of staff and pupils around school and cut down the number of rooms that are being used. (Please note that when a pupil has PE, they are to come to school in their PE kit and a regulation tracksuit so that we can avoid pupils changing in school.) This will help the cleaning team be able to keep on top of thorough cleaning each day as well.
11 - Staff and pupils must wear face masks in all communal areas unless they are exempt (from October 2020 onwards).