Keeping Everyone Safe
Parents’ Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 and KSA’s response
What advice is the government giving schools?
How will testing work?
Primary and Secondary Staff and Secondary pupils are tested using Lateral Flow tests. From 18th March 2021 pupils and staff will be testing twice a week, always Monday and Thursday mornings. The procedure is safe and quick. We will train pupils to take the test themselves, including the swabbing process.
To view a full guide of how to test at home, please see these two documents: A How To Guide presentation with screenshots and links (Secondary Pupils - Home Testing - March 2021 King Solomon Academy.pdf) and a one page summary with the key information (Home Testing Guidance for Secondary Pupils and Families - March 2021 King Solomon Academy.pdf).
More information form the is available about the testing programme here. More information about consent is given here, and the form for consent to be given is here. Parents are encouraged to consent to testing but may remove consent at any time.
What is the school doing to keep everyone safe?
1. Minimising contact between people by:
- bubbling’ pupils and staff;
- altering the environment (classroom layout and contents, corridors, outdoor spaces)
- editing timetables (staggered arrival and dismissal, play and lunchtimes)
2. Following a rigorous handwashing schedule for everyone: washing hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and drying them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered;
3. Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by using face coverings and promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach;
4. Cleaning frequently touched surfaces often throughout the day (NB. Our cleaners normally only work in the evenings after pupils have gone home; we now have full-time cleaners on both sites working the whole day cleaning toilets, door handles etc)
5. Following up on all absences very rigorously to ensure symptomatic pupils remain at home and get tested asap so we can inform anyone else who needs to, to self-isolate as well.
Can my child bring in their own hand sanitiser?
Pupils from Year 5 – Year 13 are welcome to bring their own hand sanitiser and keep it in their own pocket or bag. Pupils who do not manage this sensibly will be given feedback and we will talk to parents if we think it is going to be more appropriate for a given pupil to only use school supplies instead.
Pupils on the Younger Years Site all have sinks in their classrooms and the medical guidance is that it is safer and more efficient to wash hands regularly rather than sanitise.
What is a ‘bubble’ and how do they work?
A ‘bubble’ is a group of pupils and staff.
Pupils from Nursery to Year 9 are in class bubbles: this means that pupils are ‘protected’ from other pupils and staff and will only interact with the other children in their class and the smallest possible number of staff.
Pupils in Year 10-Year 13 are in year group bubbles because of the nature of their curriculum. This means these pupils can still learn their different options subjects but are distancing as much as possible within their groups.
For very young children, social distancing is impossible and would not be recommended.
As pupils get older, and certainly in Year 5 - Year 9, whilst pupils are only interacting with pupils in their own classes, we are still expecting them to distance as much as possible/is sensible within their bubble.
In Year 10 up, where pupils may be interacting with more pupils because of their different subjects, it is even more important that they are distancing more strictly.
What does the beginning and end of the day look like?
|Arrival Window||Period 1 Starts|
YOUNGER YEARS SITE Detailed guidance on how to drop off and pick up your child on YYS is here How to drop off and pick up my child YYS Sept 2020.pdf UPDATED 8th September 2020
Are parents allowed on site?
Unfortunately, parents are not allowed on site in order to protect the whole school community.
What if my younger child is very distressed at drop off in the morning?
Staff will work together with parents to work out the best way to settle each and every pupil each morning. For new pupils in Nursery or in Reception, this might include re-considering the child’s arrival time, working out how best to communicate with parents throughout the morning/day and/or making other edits to the child’s timetable.
How will parents be able to contact teachers and leaders and how will staff contact parents?
Parents are able to contact teachers and leaders in all the usual ways:
- Through calling the office or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Through emailing the teacher or leader directly. You can find contact details here.
Staff are more likely to call parents and request video calls to replace conversations we used to have in one-to-one meetings.
There may still be times when we think it is important to meet face to face: we do this outside wherever possible.
In some circumstances, it might be so important that we meet in person that we will meet indoors, in a well-ventilated room where we can keep physical distance and wear appropriate face coverings.
What does playtime/break look like?
Pupils are with far fewer other pupils at their play/break times than they used to be with a designated area and designated play equipment for their bubble.
What are the arrangements for lunch and why?
We continue to look for every possible opportunity to ensure pupils’ health and safety during the Covid pandemic so for the time being we will continue to serve packed lunches in classrooms for all pupils from Nursery to Year 9. Whilst the cost of providing a packed lunch is somewhat higher than a hot centrally served option and creates significantly more work for the kitchen staff, the school is covering this difference in cost and capacity as we are confident the food is filling and nutritious and this is the safest possible way of organising lunch for pupils in class bubbles. We will review the provision again ahead of HT2.
You can see more information about catering including sample menus here.
Pupils in Year 10-13, who are in year group bubbles, will be able to eat in the hall, and observe appropriate distancing measures so as to continue to eat a hot meal each day.
Pupils will continue to have fruit as a snack at breaktime.
As always, no pupils are allowed to bring any food or drink onsite apart from a water bottle.
The feedback we got from pupils in the Summer term was overwhelmingly positive – they much preferred the packed lunches and all staff commented on how well pupils ate and how much pupils ate! Once term begins, parents should continue to address any specific queries or concerns about their children’s eating directly to their child’s class teacher/form tutor and/or Year Lead/Head of Year.
What do the classrooms look like now?
- From Year 2 and throughout secondary, desks are in rows with pupils facing the front.
- There are no soft toys or other resources which are difficult to keep clean.
- We have moved class libraries into classrooms to minimise sharing of reading books – pupils will be expected to sanitise before and after choosing their own books in all year groups.
- A reminder that all primary teachers made welcome videos for their classes in July which show you and your children their new classrooms and key spaces.
- Secondary classrooms don’t look particularly different: there are areas marked out for where teachers are going to spend most of their time in order to maintain distancing while teaching across different groups.
What are the expectations around face coverings?
Government guidance has changed significantly from last term where face coverings were discouraged for both staff and pupils in educational settings.
Year 7 - Year 13 must wear face coverings inside and outside of classrooms (e.g. transitions), and can wear them outside. This includes when using the toilet.
Face coverings must be plain: black, blue, white or grey.
We do not expect any primary pupils to be wearing face coverings at any time because of the nature of primary bubbling and the other control measures in place.
Staff delivering first aid must wear PPE.
Staff may wear face coverings at any time if they choose to. If a staff member is inside (but not in a classroom with pupils) and cannot guarantee 2m distancing they must wear a face covering, e.g. all staff are expected to wear a face covering in corridors. Staff on outdoor transitions or at outside break/play time or for those having lunch outside should have a face covering and gloves on your person in case you need to go into close proximity with a pupil in need (e.g. first aid, needing to physically intervene). If staff would prefer to be wearing face covering and gloves on any transitions/duties outside, they are welcome to. In enclosed spaces (e.g. offices and staffrooms) staff must wear a face covering if it is not possible to guarantee they can appropriately distance.
Because of distancing and other hazard control measures, and the negative impact on education of covering the face, we do not expect staff to wear face coverings in classrooms when working with pupils.
Parents dropping off and picking up their children are not in an enclosed space and are therefore not expected to wear a face covering – of course some parents may choose to wear one and are welcome to do so.
You can read government advice about face coverings here.
What are the arrangements for toilets?
Toilets are being thoroughly cleaned throughout the school day on a strict timetable. All pupils are expected to wash their hands thoroughly.
What happens if we have been abroad and are quarantining?
Please be mindful that for many countries the quarantine remains in place, meaning your family would need to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to school. Full details can be found here of which countries are affected: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/travel-advice-novel-coronavirus. If you are concerned your family may be in this situation, please contact the school urgently to discuss your circumstances.
Pupils who need to quarantine will have their absence authorised, so long as parents can provide evidence of flights from a country on the quarantine list. This means you would not be referred to the local authority for keeping your child(ren) at home for this period – you would be doing it in order to protect the rest of the community.
What would learning at home look like if children were sent home either because their bubble was closed for 14 days or because there was a local lockdown?
If your child is at home because they are quarantining or self-isolating without symptoms, we would be expecting them to be completing daily learning and be in regular contact with their class teacher/form tutor.
What should I do if my child and their siblings has to self isolate?
If your child is at home because they are self-isolating, with or without symptoms, we would be expecting them to be completing daily learning but also following the self-isolation guidance. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-tr...
Who should I talk to if I’ve still got questions or concerns about how safe my child is at school?
You should raise initial concerns with your child’s class teacher/form tutor or Year Lead/Head of Year who will be able to pass it on to the most appropriate person if necessary. You can find all leaders’ contact details here.
When might any of this change?
We are reviewing government guidance on a daily basis and updating our risk assessment, policies and procedures at least once a week. Some changes can be put in place immediately; other changes need more time to plan and prepare for successfully.
If you would like to read previous guidance or information from the school, please review previous newsletters or parent information letters found here.