Remote learning in the event of an individual or class self-isolating
In the event of a school closure, the school is committed to providing continuity of education to its children and will do so through a process of remote (online) learning. Extensive remote learning would apply particularly in a situation in which the school is closed for an extended period of time, but a high proportion of children and teachers are healthy, and able to work as normal from home. Our Remote Learning Policy does not normally apply in the event of short-term school closures (e.g. as a result of inclement weather) or a short-term student absence.
Remote learning may also be appropriate in situations when children, in agreement with the school, have a period of absence but are able to work at home, at least to some extent. This may apply in cases such as longer-term illness, assuming children are able to complete school work at home. Another relevant instance would be if, following an infectious disease outbreak, children are self-isolating at home but are not suffering with relevant symptoms.
There is no obligation for the school to provide continuity of education to children who are absent from school, with or without parental permission, in contravention to school or government guidance. This may apply, for example, if parents choose to take children on holiday during term time. Similarly, this would apply if a child is absent from school, without prior agreement with the school, for example keeping a child off ‘as a precaution’, against official guidance, in the event of an outbreak of infectious disease.
Our Remote Learning Policy will continue to be under review and may be revised as necessary in light of further experience of remote learning and the circumstances around its necessity. For example, the extent to which different methods of instruction are employed is likely to be determined by the length of any school closure and the ability of both children and teachers to participate in remote learning.
We are working hard to ensure that St Thomas is as safe as possible for children and staff. We will continue to work with our local authority, school staff, unions and our specialist health and safety advisors to support our school.
St Thomas C of E Primary school will:
- Work within the parameters of Government guidance to plan methodically for a full reopening
- Follow the scientific, health and educational advice available to determine our approach to a full re-opening and respond accordingly to any changes in guidance
- Find solutions that best meet the needs of their individual circumstances
- Engage fully with staff, unions, and Governors to ensure that all are consulted about the risk assessments and have contributed to the planning.
- Follow the Government guidance and use risk assessments to determine which staff can work in school, recognising that from August 1 the Government “expects that most staff will attend school”.
- Work alongside Compliance Education Ltd (our specialist Health and Safety advisors) to ensure that risk assessments and school re-opening plans are re-visited and updated to allow for all children to return to school safely
- Use the risk assessments to plan what measures need to be put in place to ensure safety of pupils, staff, and families in each individual school, including for staff who are shielding.
- Make plans to ensure all children receive a full-time education through a broad and balanced curriculum and that learning time is not reduced
Whole school Return
The government have set out that all children from all year groups should return to full time school from the beginning of the autumn term. As stated by the government, returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing. It has also been stated that staff in schools pose no greater risk than other occupations and prevalence of the disease has now decreased. We are therefore looking forward to fully opening the school on Thursday 3rd September to all year groups. We will also be following guidelines in the reopening of NRG and our school clubs.
We will be putting in the following safety measures based on DfE guidance and advice from Health and Safety experts
- Each year will form a ‘team’. Children will be kept in their ‘team’ throughout the day;
- Each ‘team’ to remain within their classroom except to go to an allocated toilet, lunchtime zone and use their designated outside areas;
- Strict hand washing provision will be put into place. Children to wash their hands on arrival, before and after eating lunch and wherever appropriate;
- Each team will be provided a sanitising kit with disposable cloths, disinfectant cleaning spray and disposable gloves, classrooms will also be provided with tissues;
- The number of children going to the toilet at any one time should be monitored and managed;
- Toilet areas, including toilets and sinks, will be cleaned and bins emptied at regular intervals throughout the day;
- Children will be an allocated a toilet to use;
- Touch zones such as door handles will be cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day;
- Classroom windows will remain open to increase ventilation;
- In order to reduce the risk of infection and transmission, children from each ‘team’ to have minimal contact with children from another ‘team’;
- Social distancing markings will be placed at various points both inside and outside of the school building (e.g. pathways and at entry points from playground) for guidance;
- Classroom environments are being adapted e.g. removal of hard-to-clean items;
- Children from Year 2 to Year 6 will be seated in forward facing rows;
- Children will be allocated their own workspace in class. Children should remain in this workspace throughout the day;
- Staff and children must wash or sanitise their hands before using any shared resources;
- Separate opening times, break times and collection times to be implemented;
- Children to have their own named pencil cases with a stationery set that stays in school;
- No parents or non-essential visitors allowed in school.