Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Full reopening of School and Nursery in September 2020 following the school closure March-July 2020
The government has produced detailed guidance to support schools in planning for the safe reopening to all pupils. You can read this guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools
We have used this guidance to prepare a full risk assessment and details of the protective measures that will be in place at Thames. This will be reviewed regularly by leaders and governors, in line with the latest government guidance and updated accordingly.
You can read our Full opening COVID-19 Risk Assessment here.
To ensure the safety of all our staff, children and families during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the following is a summary of the arrangements that will be in place.
Hygiene and protective measures
- No pupil or adult will be allowed on the school site if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
- Pupils and adults will be expected to wash their hands thoroughly and often.
- Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
- Continue with an enhanced cleaning regime which includes regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and resources throughout the day.
- Children will be allocated their own pencil case with resources that only they will use.
Reducing contacts between children and staff
- Pupils will operate in Year Group ‘Bubbles’ and children within these bubbles will be kept separate from children in other bubbles.
- Adults will be allocated to work with a specific year group bubble, with the exception of the PE, Music and Welfare staff who will work across the year groups but will be expected to maintain social distance from pupils at all times.
- There will be staggered start times, breaks, lunch times and finishing times to limit contact with children and adults from other year group bubbles.
- The bubble groups will be kept apart and therefore we will not be having assemblies or larger gatherings of children. They will have playtimes and lunchtimes separately also.
- Our oldest children will be encouraged to maintain a social distance but for younger children this is not expected. Classrooms for children from years 2-6 have been adapted to support social distancing so that pupils will sit side by side and will all face forwards.
- The start and end of the school day has been extended to help to reduce congestion and support social distancing between pupils and parents at busy times.
- Different entry and exit gates have been designated for each year group bubble: Nursery own gate, Reception and Y1 KS1 main gate, Y2 KS1 small gate, Y3,4 and 5 KS2 main gate and Y6 Thames Road back gate.
- Dropping off: ONE parent or carer with your child, should enter via the designated entrance between 8.40am – 8.55am.
- Collection: ONE Parent and carer should collect at the same gate used in the morning. Reception, Year 1 and 2 collect between 3.10 and 3.25pm. Year 3,4,5 and 6 collect between 3.20pm and 3.30pm.
- All staff and parents will be expected to wear a face covering when they are outside on the school site at drop off and collection times.
- Visitors to the site, including parents and carers, will be kept to an absolute minimum to prevent the spread of any possible infection. Where a face to face meeting is deemed necessary a large well ventilated meeting room upstairs in the Children’s Centre will be used to avoid bringing visitors into the main school building.
Early closure on Friday only
School will close early on Friday each week. This is to allow the cleaning contractors to conduct a thorough deep clean of the entire school site and for the equipment and resources in classrooms to be disinfected. The early closure arrangement will remain in place for the remainder of the school year 202-2021. Nursery remains open until 5pm.
Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 can be collected between 1.10 and 1.25pm. Children in Year 3,4,5 and 6 can be collected between 1.20-1.30pm.
Children who currently have a place booked at After School Club on Friday will be transferred to this provision at 1.30pm.
In March when the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school. Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.
School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from September 2020. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
- parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
- schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
- the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
School uniform, bags and water bottles
Pupils will be expected to attend in full winter school uniform in September. This includes white shirt, tie, school jumper or cardigan, grey trousers or skirt and strong black school shoes for all pupils. PE will continue as usual and pupils will be required to attend on their PE day in PE kit which includes white t-shirt, navy blue shorts, blue school tracksuit and trainers.
As the weather turns colder and because the risk assessment means the windows in school will be open, we have agreed that pupils can wear additional layers of clothing and their school tracksuit everyday if they wish in order to ensure they are warm enough.
Children should bring in their own named water bottle daily and a Thames school book bag.
Contingency planning in the event of closure or self-isolation
Where individuals or groups of pupils are required to self-isolate or the school is forced to close to pupils we now have a policy for Remote Learning that sets out how we intend to provide a remote education for all pupils. You can read our Remote Learning Policy here.
Contact with class teachers
As part of our risk assessment we will be limiting any visitors to the site and therefore parents and carers will not have the usual daily access to class teachers at the end of the day. However we recognise how important it is that you can discuss any concerns you may have and therefore members of the leadership team will be on the gates each morning and again at the end of the day and will be happy to take and pass messages on to class teachers.
Each class now has a closed Facebook page which is managed by the class teacher. We will use this to share news, photographs and videos with parents. Parents can message the class Facebook page to ask any questions they may have.
If parents/carers wish to talk to class teachers then either telephone the office or let the staff member on the gate know so we can arrange this for you. Class teachers will be happy to arrange a virtual meeting via Google Classroom or to have a telephone call either before or after school.
If parents or carers have any other concerns that you would like to discuss with me then please telephone the school office or contact me by email at email@example.com and I will be very happy to answer any questions you may have.
Mrs Julie Allison
Blackpool Council has issued a news release, “BLACKPOOL SCHOOLS GOOD TO GO IN SEPTEMBER” , detailing the steps taken to allow all pupils to return to or start school in September.
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information: