The government has published guidance to support schools in planning for full attendance from the week commencing 8 March. You can read their summary for parents here. The guidance states that schools need to minimise the points of contact that could allow infections to spread, and details a range of ways in which schools can achieve this, allowing a high degree of flexibility for schools to adapt these measures to their own context.
To minimise contacts that students have with different groups, we have taken the following measures:
Avoid students gathering in groups outside their Year groups at the start of the day. They should not be on the school site until 8:35am. On arrival they will need to move straight to the room for their Period 1 lesson. Morning registration will take place at the 8.45 a.m., before the start of Period 1 (8.50 a.m.)
Use one-way systems to ensure areas do not become overcrowded when students move to each lesson and breaks. They are actively supervised by all staff being outside of their classrooms on lesson changeovers.
Restrict students to a Year group ‘Zone’ at break and lunchtimes. Every student will be provided with a colour coded lanyard to identify their Year group, to ensure these ‘Zones’ can be appropriately supervised. Lunchtime timings will be staggered to ensure students can access the catering facilities more easily. Canteen food outlets will only be available at lunchtime and will be a limited ‘grab and go’ menu of hot food to ensure students can be quickly served.
Stagger dismissal times at the end of the day. Years 7, 8 and 9 will dismissed at 3.05 p.m. (2.00 p.m. on Wednesdays) and Years 10 and 11 at 3.10 p.m. (2.05 p.m. on Wednesdays) to make leaving the site easier.
In addition, we will implement robust hygiene measures to minimise the risk of any spread of infection, including:
All lessons ending with a 5 minute ‘clean down and tidy up’ routine, supported by all necessary hygiene products.
A rolling cleaning programme in place across the school during the day.
A full clean down at the end of each day and use of an electrostatic sanitisation program for further protection. You can see a video explaining how we are using this program by clicking here
Changes made to the layout and ventilation of teaching rooms to ensure they comply with the guidance.
Students will need to bring and use their own equipment, and not share this with others or be able to borrow them from teachers. Our expectations on this are unchanged, all students are expected to have a pencil case with them containing pens (blue or black), pencils, ruler (15cm or 30cm), rubber, sharpener, compass and protractor. Highlighters are optional but useful to have. Calculators are also optional but advisable for KS3. They are essential for KS4 and can be purchased from the Maths department if necessary.
Hand sanitisers will be available in every room and these will be routinely used by staff and students. Students may also find it useful to carry their own hand sanitiser. Alcohol-free hand sanitiser is also available, please let us know if your child requires this.
We must all continue to follow the current national guidelines to keep everyone in our community safe. It is essential that if your child is displaying any symptoms of Covid-19 they do not attend school and get a test without delay. NHS information on this can be found here https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ .
The main symptoms are:
a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
Similarly, if your child has been instructed to self-isolate, they must stay away from school for the period of time instructed by NHS Test and Trace. Remote education work will be set for your child to complete, so please inform us as soon as possible if your child is unable to attend for these reasons. You must inform us immediately if your child tests positive for Covid-19, during weekends only this should be via firstname.lastname@example.org as this is monitored regularly on Saturdays and Sundays.
Information on in-school rapid Covid-19 testing can be found here.
Revised DfE guidance now requires the use of face coverings be extended to all indoor environments, including classrooms, for a limited period until Easter. Therefore, students will, for this period at least, need to wear face coverings at all times on the school site unless eating or drinking.
You should contact your child’s Head of Year if you believe your child qualifies for exemption from wearing a face covering. Exemption might apply to those who cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering because of a physical or mental illness or impairment, or disability, or if speaking to or providing assistance to someone who relies on lip reading, clear sound or facial expression to communicate.
All students need to bring a face covering with them, and a plastic bag to hygienically store them when not in use. Hand sanitiser continues to be provided in all classrooms and around the school site. However, given the need to sanitise hands when putting on and removing face coverings, it will be beneficial for all students to carry their own hand sanitiser.
Face coverings must be used appropriately, covering the nose and mouth. They can be plain or patterned but must not display any offensive images or designs. Scarves and bandanas will not be appropriate as they do not fit securely around the side of the face and are harder to store hygienically when not in use. A small number of disposable masks are available to give to students without face coverings, but we hope and expect that all students will bring their own. Parents will be charged for the cost of providing disposable masks if students regularly fail to bring their own. It would be useful for students to carry a second ‘spare’ face covering so that if one becomes damp, is lost or damaged, a replacement is immediately to hand for them.
All of these measures are supported by a Risk Assessment, which has been approved by School Governors and is available here . This will be reviewed regularly to ensure it is working for staff and students, and of course may need to change in response to any revisions to government guidance. These measures are all temporary, and need to be in place whilst the government guidance remains in force. We do not have any date for how long this will be, but will keep parents updated as soon as we are aware of any changes.
Travel to and from school
Students should head straight home at the end of the day. They should not be congregating in public spaces, especially parks, and they should ensure that they socially distance on the way to and from school. We strongly recommend students wear their face coverings when travelling to and from school, and must do so if using any form of public transport.
We expect all students to be in full school uniform. Please be reassured we will be flexible whilst any short-term issues with supply of uniform are resolved, please contact your child’s tutor if this is the case. Details on uniform can be found on the school website here. Please note government guidance states “Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, or in any different way to normal due to coronavirus”.
The only exception is for PE where different arrangements are required to facilitate safe use of changing rooms. On days where students have PE Periods 1 & 2 they will be permitted to come into school in their PE kit. They must be in full Crofton PE kit, this will be monitored by the PE team. Students will then change into their normal uniform when the lesson is complete. If students have PE Period 5 they will be allowed to leave school in their PE kit.
We will of course keep these safety measures under constant review to ensure they are effective, and may also need to respond to any changes in government guidance. Should we need to make any significant adjustments, we will inform parents and students as soon as possible.
We are confident these measures will allow students to get back into school routines quickly and safely, catch up on any work missed, and enjoy being with their friends.