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COVID-19 information for Chevening Parents

‘Together we learn, believe and achieve’

COVID-19 symptoms

The purpose of this page is to provide Chevening parents with reminders and updates about school-related activities and systems, with regard to the COVID-19 situation.

Most of this information has been sent directly to parents via email; this page provides a way to remain up-to-date with any changes that the school may need to make.

The school's updated Risk Assessment document for September 2020 is located below. This document is subject to regular review and change, dependent on school, county and national circumstances. 

Please note that, at present, FACE COVERINGS are not required for children or staff in Primary Schools.

01.09.2020 Email to parents/carers: 

COVID-19 illness and symptoms:
If your child displays symptoms they cannot attend school and must have a COVID-19 test. Here is a link to the NHS website with the current symptoms for COVID-19  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ If your child displays symptoms, please follow the link on the website to arrange a test.
Your child can only attend school if their test result is negative. 
If you are uncertain what to do, contact NHS 111 for advice.
If your child's test result is positive for COVID-19, they cannot attend school for at least 10 days (from the first day of symptoms/becoming ill). You will receive contact from NHS Test and Trace to alert other close contacts.
If other members of your household display symptoms, your child cannot attend school for at least 14 days (from the day the first person displayed symptoms/becoming ill).  Please follow the Government's Stay At Home Guidance:   
https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance


Local Lockdowns: The Department of Health and Social Care have produced specific Guidance for schools (and other sectors) in the event of a local Lockdown. The main assumption is that Primary Schools will continue to function as usual, until the fourth Tier is reached, which will then see on site provision for vulnerable and Key Worker children, whilst remote learning is available for all other children. 
 
Face Coverings:  ​The most recently updated DFE Guidance for Schools maintains the approach that face coverings are not required by children in Primary Schools. There is now new flexibility for adults in communal areas (not when teaching) to use face coverings, when social distancing is not possible. Parents/carers are welcome to wear face coverings for drop-off and collection on the school playground.
 
Social times in school: Traditionally, play-times and lunchtimes provide opportunities for siblings and friends of different ages to play together. Currently, Government Guidance means this is not safe and not possible. To reduce potential transmission of COVID-19, our facilities and arrangements are:
- one-way system of entry/exit to the field
- each Bubble has a designated area
- staff will supervise the areas in use 
- staggered start/end times to play/lunch times, so that children do not mix beyond their Key Stage Bubble.
 
End of day collection from school:
The afternoon pick-up is always a busy time; sadly, we need to remind both staff and parents that lingering for chats is not safe and not possible. Urgent information can be exchanged, but not longer, drawn-out discussions. Should parents/staff need time to talk/meet, separate arrangements and appointments will need to be made, via the School Office
Please can we remind parents/carers that they should not linger in groups either, which is not the usual Chevening way of ending the school day!

Please inform the School Office if you are unexpectedly delayed, or your regular collection arrangement changes; staff are instructed to safeguard the children at all times and they will not release a child to a different adult, without instruction from the child's parent/carer. Phone messages about changes in pick up arrangements must go to the School Office, so that they can be passed to the relevant staff in good time.
 
If there are unexpected delays for pick up, staff will wait with a child outside for 5 minutes, then return to the classroom. 
The car park gates will close when most parents/carers have arrived and collected their child/ren.
On late arrival at school, parents/carers will need to go to the School Office, so that their child can be brought to the School Office Porch to meet their parent/carer. Please could parents/carers NOT go directly to their child's class, as we need to keep you, your child and staff safely apart. 

As the new academic year approaches, staff and families who have travelled outside of the UK will need to check the Government's requirements for self-isolation on return.
Any staff member or child returning from a country that requires a period of self-isolation, can only return to school when the quarantine period has been completed.
Please use this link to stay up-to-date with the Government's Guidance on requirements for self-isolation:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk

21.07.2020: Email to parents (start/end of day arrangements):

  • Start of day drop off system: We have so many families with siblings that a staggered start to the day is too tricky for our families and for school to safely manage. Parents can drop-off their children between 8.35 and 8.55am*.
    Please do not arrive early on the playground, as the Nursery drop-off time is 8.30am.
  • We will operate a pedestrian one-way system for the start and end of school day;  parents & children can walk up the drive-way and round to the play-ground together, at safe distance from one-another. 
  • At the blue barriers, we will ask parents to say 'good-bye' to children in Y1-6 and ask the children to follow the arrows and barriers to their external class doors - teachers will be inside to meet them.
  • Class R families will follow the same route (up the drive way and round the playground to walk past the School Office Porch gate) to wait for Miss Levy in the Outside Learning Area by the grass. *Miss Levy will only welcome her children at 8.55am ​(so that older siblings can be dropped off first).
  • ALL families need to exit the playground past the School Office Porch gate and the gate back to Chevening Road.
  • Please can we ask our families to respect the Guidance and systems to keep everyone safe by NOT stopping to chat on the playground, at the gate or on Chevening Road. 
  • This means that NO cars will be allowed to access the driveway as families are arriving. We will use cones to block off the entrance and ask Mr Garrett to guard the driveway from any drivers trying to turn around.

 

  • Urgent messages for class staff are best left with the School Office, or emailed/phoned in.
    If there are changes to your child's pick-up arrangements for the end of day, please email the school before 2.30pm, so we have time to get messages to class.
     
  • End of day arrangements: dismissing almost 200 children safely is our priority, but we still need to keep the groups of children apart; so, classes will be dismissed from different areas/zones on the playground, so staff can safely handover each child.
  • Please do not arrive on the playground early, as the Nursery collection time is 3pm; all parents/carers should follow the same pedestrian route as the morning: walk up the drive-way and round to the play-ground, at safe distance from one-another. 

 

  • Class staff will dismiss the children in Classes 1-6 from separate locations in the main playground at 3.15pm:
  • Class 1 - fenced football area
  • Class 2 - fenced football area
  • Class 3 - top playground (near entry to Reflective Garden)
  • Class 4 - main playground near the hedge
  • Class 5 - centre of playground    
  • Class 6 - right-hand corner of playground# (close to the Shelter)
  • Class R families will collect their children from the same place as their morning drop-off - by the grass in the Reception Play Area. (Apologies, but you will need to collect older children first, then continue to the Reception Area to collect your Reception Class child.)
  • Before they are dismissed, ALL children will need to say 'Goodbye' to their staff (Sadly, the Chevening handshake is still not advisable!) Please could parents alert the staff and be ready to receive your child, once they have said goodbye to their teacher.  
    ALL families need to exit the playground past the School Office Porch gate and the gate back to Chevening Road.
  • Please can we ask our families to respect the Guidance and systems to keep everyone safe by NOT stopping to chat on the playground, at the gate or on Chevening Road. 

Further details about safe drop-off and pick-ups will be shared at the start of term; because of the change of venue, other after-school activities/clubs will not be immediately possible.

  • Class 6 children may be allowed to walk directly home at 3.15pm, but parents MUST write to Miss Minnis/Mrs Edwards to request permission and indicate which days this is intended. 


We are working new systems for Early Morning Club and Activ8, so they can continue to run. Neither club will run between 02.09 and 04.09.2020.
We expect both clubs to run in the Hall, with two separate groups: one for Class R-2 and one for Class 3-6.

The timings should be the same:

EMC: Mon-Fri 8-8.45am;  Activ8 Mon- Thurs 3.15-5.30pm.

School site drop off/pick up plans

17.07.2020:Initial Plans for September : Email to Parents/Carers 

Dear Parents,
As you know, we are busy planning for September and we are really looking forward to something slightly more 'normal' and familiar in terms of school life! We fully endorse the Government's comments about the primary importance of education for children both now and in their futures - the extended disruption to school is not something to take lightly; we have all been impacted by COVID in many different ways. Welcoming back almost 200 children, staff and families is a complex task, with time needed to ensure we balance the risks of COVID-19 by minimising potential infection and spread through the use of sensible approaches, working in partnership and adherence to the Government's system of controls. Sadly, without further progress in the creation of a vaccine, it is impossible to completely eliminate the risk of localised or widespread infection. As we look to the new academic year and make our preparations, we need to keep the prospect of local lockdowns in view, with suitable contingency plans to minimise further loss of learning and opportunity.

 

The COVID-19 crisis and the varying stages of response and recovery remind me of the infamous speech by US Secretary of State, Donald Rumsfeld in 2002, " There are known knowns. There are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we now know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we do not know we don't know." At the time, I found this amusingly fascinating, but now find myself saying similar things quite frequently. This is going to be quite a long email, but it is important to share our thinking now, so you have time to prepare and respond.

 

Whilst working on our plans for September, we can offer immediate clarity in some areas, but need information from parents/families in order to refine thinking and planning in other areas, which means there will be a steady stream of information and answers as we make our local plans, respond to the information you provide and keep a watchful eye on both local and national Public Health advice and instruction. 

What we know:  
School Information: 
All children will be expected to return to school; children will be in their class groups, with their teachers in their classrooms; 
School uniform should be worn, including PE kit.  PE will be outside, even in wet weather; our Hall is too small and poorly ventilated for energetic children to safely exercise in whilst adhering to Covid-secure practices.
Outdoor learning and physical activity are emphasised; please ensure your child brings named wellies, coats, etc so we can make the most use of our wonderful site - even in wet weather; 
The children will need their own (named) pencil case and pens/pencils, rule, pencil sharpener, rubbers, glue sticks for their own use;
The classrooms will be organised in a similar way to the current Bubble arrangements, with tables facing the front of class; this ensures all the children face in the same direction and sit side by side; resources can be more readily used than at present, which is a relief, but must be regularly cleaned/left aside to quarantine for 72 hours.
Social Distancing: The strictest social distancing is simply not possible with Primary children, nor expected; to mitigate this, contact between children in different classes will be minimised; where possible and appropriate, staff will keep distanced from each other, although adults may move between groups if required.
Following Government Guidance, the organisation of school and class will be different to pre-COVID times: large/whole school gatherings are not allowed e.g. Hall-based lunchtimes, Acts of Worship, Church Services, Parents' Evenings/Workshops, etc. 
Lunchtimes and playtimes will be at different times, so that the children are kept safely separate.​
We need to ask parents and families to support this by respecting safe social distance when dropping off/collecting children, minimising contact by not gathering in large groups to come to school, wait for children, or go home. 
Visitors to school will be minimised and contact details kept for a period of time, in case Public Health England need to contact them. We need to minimise casual popping in to school - please use phone and email to pass messages, wherever possible. In urgent cases, please use the phone. Individual staff will need to move between groups of children and classes, but we aim to keep the movements as limited as we can.
Hygiene Matters: All children will need to be independently following good hygiene as a matter of course; they will thoroughly wash hands more regularly and use good hygiene practices when sneezing and coughing - please practice these at home! (There are some great resources you can share with your children, including https://nosycrow.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Coronavirus-A-Book-for-Children.pdf) Please make sure your child has a small packet of tissues with them.
If your child is unwell, they cannot attend school.
Prompt and clear explanations about absence and illness must be provided, so that any possible transmission can be mitigated; COVID-19 tests must be sought and used promptly to reduce potential spread of infection. The Government expects staff and parents to fully engage in the NHS Test and Trace, so that individual infection does not spread.  We have a separate room ready for anyone who displays possible symptoms at school, so they can leave their group and await immediate collection to go home. There is no requirement for other children/staff from the same group to go home straight away. Self-isolation at home is needed for at least 10 days# for the child/adult with symptoms (unless a COVID-19 test proves negative) and members of their household may need to quarantine for 14 days if there is a positive result to the COVID-19 test. (#amended following 30.07.2020 Government advice https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/ 

Initial phase of re-opening in September: Many of our families have more than one child! Siblings in different classes, Key Stages and Nursery makes start and end of school day complicated; we will try to work a system that is sensible and safe for all, including families accessing the Nursery. Further details will follow.
The first days in September will be spent re-establishing class routines and systems, strengthening friendships and re-adjusting to class-based learning; we have some exciting English and RE projects to help rebuild unity and ask for parents to support this; PSHE will be used to address topics specific to returning to school and equipping the children with the language and skills to be able to talk about how they are feeling.
Learning and assessments will gradually build up over the first few weeks; we need the children to settle, find their confidence in the new approaches and then focus on rebuilding class-based learning behaviours; our curriculum will be as broad as possible, but our immediate focus will be on applying key skills of Spoken Language, Reading, Writing and Maths, without which wider learning can not flourish. 
Certain areas of the curriculum (singing, wind-instruments, larger group performances, contact sports, etc) will be restricted, as per the Government Guidance, to keep everyone safe.
We will not be able to consider the usual wealth of out-of-school experiences that Chevening usually enjoys; with restricted opportunities to mix for extended periods, residentials, trips, events and activities in other venues will not be immediately possible. 
Contingency plans for those unable to return to school through ill-health, isolation requirements, etc. will rely on home learning. We will continue to link home learning to planned class curriculum, following the daily class timetable, with safe provision of contact and feedback via Microsoft Teams (a new resource being installed over the summer) following staff training and information-sharing with parents.

 

It would help us to know:
How your child has fared during Lockdown and Home-learning; during June/July, our returning children adjusted well to new rhythms and organisation, but this was very dependent on each family's unique experience.
Please complete the short survey, so you can provide some helpful pointers/information for class staff to welcome and support your child. (Survey details were sent by email.)
If you are planning on using public transport to bring your child to/from school - there are specific arrangements to make re face coverings, etc ​when the children arrive at school.
As soon as your child displays any potential COVID-19 symptoms, so that we can complete the actions in school, whilst families undertake COVID tests.  

 

What we don't yet know:
A final system for starting/ending the school day; once this has been worked through, we will send further information. 
If it will be possible to offer full/partial Early Morning Club and Activ8; there are additional risks and requirements to these, as they usually cater for mixed groups of children, which is not recommended in the Government Guidance.
How much catch-up is needed for your child, a group, each class in various subjects;
If after-school activity clubs will be possible; in order to keep the children safe, we need to limit contacts and maintain consistent 'bubbles'.
If instrumental Music lessons will be possible; we can provide safe, separate space, but the teachers may not be able to commit to organising 'live' lessons straight away.
We think packed lunches will be the best option for all children (this worked well when we had the four Bubbles open during Term 6); this enables each class to eat separately, without having to share the Hall space. We are asking our Lunch provider if this will be possible.

We want our arrangements to provide a safe school experience for everyone, so that we can all confidently look forward to the Autumn Term. Whilst we have had time to digest the Government's Guidance (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#introduction), we have just received Kent's local Guidance and need to absorb the details. Both are needed to complete our Risk Assessments, which will be shared with our staff and families when finalised.  We know that everyone is exhausted at the end of every school year - and for parents especially, the onus of responsibility this year has been huge. We want to try and provide as much clarity and confidence for the new academic year as possible, so that we can approach the summer holidays with less pressure, knowledge about initial plans for September and not facing the daily onslaught of home learning!  
With best wishes,   Miss Minnis

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