Update from Welsh Government
The Education Minister, Kirsty Williams, has confirmed that all pupils will be able to return to school in September.
The Welsh Technical Advisory Group, which provides scientific and technical advice to Government during emergencies, this week recommended to the Minister that schools “plan to open in September with 100% of pupils physically present on school sites, subject to a continuing, steady decline in the presence of COVID-19 in the community.”
The Minister announced that:
- Schools will return to full capacity, with only limited social distancing within contact groups.
- At full operations, a contact group should consist of around 30 children. Some direct or indirect mixing between children in different contact groups will also be unavoidable, such as on transport, receiving specialist teaching or due to staffing constraints.
- Social distancing for adults should remain in line with regulations and guidance.
- Schools will be required to minimise the risk of transmission by taking other mitigating measures using the hierarchy of risk controls.
- Every school should continue to be “Covid Protected” – having carried out risk assessments and mitigated them with a combination of controls such as hand and surface hygiene, one-way systems and so forth.
- If early warning information shows a local incident or outbreak then nearby schools should implement appropriate restriction measures.
- Each school will be provided with a supply of home testing kits.
The Minister confirmed that the autumn term will start on 1 September and schools that can accommodate all pupils from the start of the term should do so.
*Subject to change following input from other bodies e.g. Unions & Local authority / Updated guidance from Local Authority and Welsh Government.
Drop off and collection times
|Drop off slot||08:35 – 08:45||08:45 – 08:55||08:45 – 08:55||08:30 – 08:40||08:40 – 08:50||08:35 – 08:45||08:45 – 08:55||08:30 – 08:40||08:40 – 08:50|
|Collection slot||14:50 – 14:55||15:00 – 15:05||15:00 – 15:05||14:45 – 14:50||14:55 – 15:00||14:50 – 14:55||15:00 – 15:05||14:45 – 14:50||14:55 – 15:00|
Social stories for pupils – Preparing to return
Frequently asked questions and answers
A – You will be sent information on what times you can drop off and collect pupils. There will be manageable time slots as close to the normal day as possible. It is important you help us all keep safe by sticking to the designated time slot and drop off point. Maps and information of drop off points will be available.
A – Collection and drop off points will be spread out across the school with access to different areas not usually accessible during these times. Maps and information will be available soon.
A – Pupils will have their packed lunch in their classrooms remaining in their small groups
A – Following our experiences working in hub schools we will be applying similar processes. There will be health questionnaire and survey to be filled in for all pupils on entry to the school. We need parents help to ensure that pupils with any symptoms or coming from households with symptoms do not enter the school premises.
A – Due to social distancing and staggered start times there will be no breakfast club during this time.
Q- What hygiene procedures will be in place?
A – We will
- follow the advice from Carmarthenshire County Council and Welsh Government
- ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Where a sink is not nearby, provide hand sanitiser in classrooms and other learning environments
- clean surfaces that children and young people are touching more regularly
ensure that all adults and children:
- frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly.
- clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing
- are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose
- use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
- ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently
- consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition
- ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day
- where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation (opening windows)
- prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation
Q – How will you make the school safe for my child?
A – In addition to social distancing and hygiene measures we will
- give children a designated classroom and group (which we are going to refer to as their bubble) for lessons and play, to minimise the opportunity for mixing.
- regularly cleaning the setting and resources will take place.
- not allow children to bring in their own resources such as pencil cases.
- use PPE such as gloves, aprons, masks, hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes as identified in our Risk assessments.
- confine resources to rooms to minimise sharing and when sharing is essential, clean resources before transference
- organise lunchtimes and playtimes differently
- carry out a corridor protocol- one way system and keep clear corridor spaces as far as is practical to allow maximum width space for walking
- be vigilant in identifying children with symptoms, isolate them and ask parents to collect them
- removal of unnecessary items from classrooms
- removal of soft furnishing, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean.
Q – Will the school have assembly/acts of worship?
A – Bubble groups will have an opportunity for reflection within their daily session, but there will be no mass gatherings or daily acts of worship as a school.
Q – Will children go straight back into normal lessons following the national curriculum?
A – Not straight away.
The initial focus, for as long as we feel necessary, will be on supporting personal, social, health and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s wellbeing. They have all gone through an incredible period of change and experienced loss on a number of different levels. All have had changes in routine, loss of communication etc and some may have sadly even experienced the loss of a family member. This shouldn’t be ignored.
Q – Will staff and children wear masks or PPE?
A – The Government guidelines state, ‘The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including:
- children, young people and students whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way
- if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.’
However at the moment school’s thinking is that this is an individual family and staff member decision.
Q – Will we allow visitors and volunteers into school?
A – No until the situation is deemed to be safe, we would prefer to minimise additional adults coming in and out of school. If you need to speak to a member of staff we request you call the school or email. Parents will not be allowed into the school building.
Q – What if I need to speak to a member of staff?
Please use the form below to ask us a question
We will aim to reply before pupils return to school