This page has been created to hopefully be your 'go to' place for any questions you may have around how we are working during the Coronavirus pandemic. It has many Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs!) and answers below as well as a short video from the NHS on when you should stay at home.
Please check in here regularly as any updates will be added to this page - you will be notified via Parent Hub when there is something new and I will make it clear which part it is!
Many thanks, as always, for your support, patience and care! We will work through this period together!
With love and best wishes,
Mrs Sally Swain
MBHT is CLOSED except for children of Key Workers
Following Government guidelines, MBHT is temporarily closed to everyone except those children of Key Workers. Our Blended and Remote Learning Policy will take effect immediately but there's likely to be some teething issues so bear with us as we learn a new way of working together! Please have a read through of the plan to re-familiarise yourself with how we will be working this half term.
**This information is currently being updated in line with January 2021 closure**
Will school be checking children's temperature?
No. PHE is clear that routinely taking the temperature of children is not recommended as this is an unreliable method for identifying coronavirus.
What will happen if a child begins to show coronavirus symptoms while in school?
The child will be calmly taken into the school hall. Their parents will be contacted and asked to take them home, and engage with NHS Test and Trace. Their household should then self-isolate, following the government's "Stay at Home" guidance. If a child's test returns positive, we will contact PHE and follow their advice. This may mean that the child's bubble and staff members will be required to self-isolate and not attend school. This will also apply if a staff member tests positive. All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children will need to be helped by their parents if they are using a home testing kit. See the question below about getting a test.
What if a member of a child's family becomes symptomatic?
The child must not attend school, and parents must contact school and engage with NHS Test and Trace. The household should then self-isolate, following the government's "Stay at Home" guidance. If the test returns positive, we will contact PHE and follow their advice. This may mean that the child's bubble and staff members will be required to self-isolate and not attend school. All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children will need to be helped by their parents if they are using a home testing kit. See the question below about getting a test.
Where can I get a coronavirus test?
Please call 119 to discuss your individual case and to be advised on where to go for your test.
You can book a test online. Please click on this address and follow the required steps:
There are three different types of test centres:
Some test centres will administer the test for you, and some will ask you to swab and pass the test(s) back. Then it gets sent to the lab. Almost all test centres are open from 8AM – 8PM. The test result will say whether someone has coronavirus at the point of testing - but not whether they have had the virus in the past (this is known as an antibody test, which is not yet widely available).
You can also use Google to locate a test centre. Open Google Search and enter ‘Covid-19 test centre near me’. You will see a list of test centres nearest to you on a map.
If at any stage anyone cannot cope with their symptoms or their condition significantly worsens, call the NHS 111 service – or in a medical emergency, call 999. You can also call the coronavirus helpline on 119.
What if I can't get to a test centre? Can I get a home testing kit?
You can go online and order a testing kit for yourself and up to three members of your household at this link or by calling 119. These kits will be posted to the address you supply, and you'll need to return the tests via a Royal Mail priority postbox. You can find your nearest priority box at this link (please tick the priority box). See the question below about how to use a home testing kit.
Can school provide a home testing kit?
School has a limited number of tests to supply to people who cannot get a test by the means above. The government is clear that these are only to be used under exceptional circumstances, and only where the person has developed symptoms while in school. Individuals should not visit school to pick up a testing kit, nor attend/visit school if they have developed symptoms outside of school premises. School cannot test children on site, nor give children a testing kit to take home.
How do I use a home testing kit?
A parent/carer will need to take charge of the test, and administer it to children under the age of 11. These test kits are suitable for any individual, including children of primary age.
Importantly, you must take the test, register the test and return the test via a Royal Mail priority postbox all on the same day.
What if a test comes back positive?
For individuals who are symptomatic and/or test positive for coronavirus please follow the latest NHS guidance, which can be found at 'When to self-isolate and what to do'. Households must then self-isolate for 14 days. For guidance on responding to coronavirus in children, please read the guidance at 'Coronavirus in children'. The current clinical advice is that the child may come back to school after the isolation period if they are well enough, as they are no longer contagious.
What if a test comes back negative?
Children can end their isolation if they have a negative coronavirus result and there are no symptoms. Children can come back to school when they are well enough to do so. However, if further symptoms develop, they will need to isolate again and take another test.
What if a test comes back inconclusive?
Another test should be ordered and taken. If the child has no symptoms, they can come back to school. If they are symptomatic, they should continue to isolate for 10 days, and until they are better.
Should everyone in the household be tested?
If they become symptomatic, then yes. Only people who become symptomatic need to be tested.
How are classes ('bubbles') organised?
We are adhering to the government’s guidelines which state that schools should put in measures to minimise the number of contacts that a child has during the school day. This has been termed the 'bubble' approach. Children working in the same class are known as a bubble. Unfortunately, as things stand, this does mean that our two classes will not be able to play or learn together as we have to keep them separate. This will be kept under review and we will relax this as soon as we are allowed to.
***UPDATED / REMINDER GUIDANCE***
What is the start of the school day like?
For social-distancing purposes, each bubble has been given a starting time and a specific way into their own school entrance. These begin from 8.45AM. The entrance and timing helps to reduce groups of children from the other bubble crossing paths. Please try your best to stick to the time slots. We want to avoid having 'queues' as much as we can.
Infants are arriving between 8:55am and 9:05am and are waiting at the bottom of the path to the playground, trying not to 'queue' and to keep socially distanced from others. Please try not to arrive before 8:55am; Mrs Swain will be there when it is time to start coming in! We need to avoid a long queue as far as possible please so don't rush to get to school for 8.55! We must stagger this slowly.
Juniors are arriving between 8:45am and 8:55am and are walking along the main school path and down the side of the hall to their outside door. Parents are then asked to leave through the car park to keep the one-way system running smoothly! Please do not enter through the car park. If parents are 'dropping' off, please do so at the main entrance gate rather than half way along the path and then turning round.
To reduce the number of people on site, we are asking for just ONE adult to bring their child to school. Adults also need to ensure that they socially distance themselves from other adults and children. 2 metre intervals are marked out all around our school grounds and paths. We ask that ALL adults wear a face mask or face covering when within our school grounds please. The government has made it clear that parents and families should not gather together in and around our school site. We ask you to please not allow children to climb on our tyre park, benches or trim trail before school. The use of these is shared between our two bubbles at different parts of the week, with a quarantine day in between and would mean we would be unable to use them in the school day.
What is the end of the school day like?Our home time is the same for both classes; between 3:25 and 3:35pm. Mrs Swain is outside each day and 'radios' up to the classrooms when a parent arrives. Each class is ready in their classroom with one member of staff, whilst the class teachers come outside in case you wish to speak very briefly with them. The timing and slow exit helps to reduce groups of children from the other bubble crossing paths. Please try your best to stick to the finishing time and leave the school grounds straight away. The children will be 'called for' steadily, so please don't think you've not been seen; we need to ensure a slow and steady stream of children exit the classrooms and then exit the playground.
We ask that ALL adults wear a face mask or face covering when within our school grounds please. To reduce the number of people on site, we are asking for just ONE adult to collect their child from school. We are trying to avoid the 'queue' situation by there being a steady stream of children leaving during this time. However, we are aware that there will be some waiting for children, so we ask adults to use the markers to keep themselves separate from other adults and children. Some children walk home from school on their own, and this is fine. The government has made it clear that parents and families should not gather together in and around our school gates. We ask you to please not allow children to climb on our tyre park, benches or trim trail after school. The use of these is shared between our two bubbles at different parts of the week, with a quarantine day in between and would mean we would be unable to use them in the school day.
What if I have children in different bubbles with the same start times?
We can make this work! Please don't worry; we are a small school and we know which families have more than one child and of course have some flexibility for those who need it! Please try to arrive at the end of the Juniors' time and the beginning of Infants' time.
**END OF UPDATED GUIDANCE**
What equipment/clothing do children need?
We ask that everyone wears their school uniform, as usual! The guidance says that uniforms do not need to be cleaned more often than normal, nor in any special way. Children in the Juniors need to bring their own stationery equipment but these must not be shared, and kept to a minimum as much as possible. Reading books and Home-School diaries can be taken to and from school but we have a quarantine system in place for this. As usual, ALL children may bring a healthy snack each day; Infant children also get a piece of fruit as a snack for one of their breaks.
Next week, every child in school will be given a pocket to keep their reading book and home-school diary in together. We recognise the need for 'something' to help carry things, without the need for big bags! This will then fit in their trays in school so will take up no more room. We hope this helps a little!
On PE days, Wednesday and Friday, children need to come to school already wearing their PE kits please. They also need to wear their usual school shoes. PE trainers (for indoor and outdoor) need to be brought in separately in a small bag - a carrier bag is fine for this - and then left on pegs in school. They will then stay at school for the half term. Those children who need their 'footwear' at home are, of course, able to take them home with them.
We are asking for separate shoes, as our grounds get very dirty and we need to try to keep school as clean as we can. Thank you for your support with this.
Can parents/carers come into school?
Unfortunately not, and we sincerely regret that, as we're all about our community. We are trying our utmost to ensure that the areas inside school remain sanitised as thoroughly as possible, and having other people in school risks compromising that. If you need to contact school staff, you can do so by phone (01629 582862) or email using our office or class contact details.
Please don't worry about getting your email to the 'right' address; it will be directed to the right person! Mrs Swain has access to all the addresses.
Mrs Swain - firstname.lastname@example.org
office - email@example.com
Infants - firstname.lastname@example.org
Y3/4 - email@example.com
Y5/6 - firstname.lastname@example.org
What if my child needs medicine during the day?
We are asking parents to give their child any medicine before they come to school, and to stagger the dosage times so that they are able to do this. Please call us if you have any further questions regarding medicine. We can, of course, give children inhalers for asthma as needed.
Is the school kitchen open?
Yes of course! All children receive meals as usual. Children in Willow Class still get their Universal Free School Meal, and children who are eligible for Free School Meals get those as usual. Children can bring packed lunches instead, if this is preferred.
Lunch time is organised into two halves. The Juniors go outside first whilst the Infants eat and then they swap over after a thorough clean of the chairs and tables in between.
How do I pay for school dinners?
Dinner money should be paid through Parent Pay please, in advance of the week, as usual. The cost of school meals is now £2.20 each day, which works out at £11.00 per week.
What if I need to drop something else off at school?
Please ensure your child has everything they need when you send them in. Due to the virus' ability to persist on surfaces, there is an increased risk of the virus being passed on if belongings are dropped off and passed along to children during the school day. If anyone forgets their water bottle, please don't worry as we have some cleaned and sterilised cups available.
How do I get more information?
Phone or email us! We don't have all the answers, and are likely to need to make some changes as the weeks go by BUT we are doing our very best for everyone. We have a strong team here at MBHT and have our children at the heart of all we do. With all these measures in place, we want to reassure you that your child will still be loved and cared for as always!
We will keep you informed about any changes through our website and Parent Hub app.