Covid-19

Information

The following information is our up-to-date guidance on Covid-19 relating to all year groups. This page will be updated regularly and contains Offa's Mead Academy specific information as well as guidance from Academies Enterprise Trust and the Department of Education.

Statutory Information

COVID-19 Catch-Up Funding - Strategy and Intention to Spend
safety video.mp4

Are the Breakfast Club and After-school Clubs available again?

All of our Breakfast and After-school Clubs, Early Birds and Tea Birds, are now open and running.

If you require spaces at Early Birds and Tea Birds please contact the school office to arrange weekly, fortnightly or monthly bookings. We are currently accepting all payments made through ParentPay. All other After-school Clubs will be commencing from the 15th March. Please view permission forms and available clubs on After-school Clubs.

Are the school day timings different?

Yes, the school day is slightly different to ensure all of our children are welcomed onsite as safe as possible in their phase bubbles. The biggest difference is that children enter and leave through different gates to preserve the integrity of their Phase Bubbles. The new timings are available on the Homepage. For further information about the timings, the Drop off and Collection booklet will help you become familiar with the new procedures on and off site.

Will my child be mixing with other year groups?

Offa's Mead Academy will now operate in Phase Bubbles. As a small school, we are able to limit the disruption to our children and parents and still remain safe by grouping our children in their Key Stage Phases. This will mean that whilst they will remain in their classrooms for the majority of their learning, they can have socially distanced interactions with their Key Stage. This useful booklet will help explain all that is changing.

Will the school be cleaned more regularly?

Yes. Offa's Mead Academy and AET are dedicated to excellent hygiene practice which remains the very best protection against the virus. We have secured additional cleaning hours which means common areas with high usage (such as toilets, hand rails and door handles) will be cleaned frequently throughout the day. We have installed hand sanitiser units around the school and each class have their own hygiene stations. Here is a useful guide to explain what we are doing to ensure health and hygiene is maintained. You can also find our addendum to the Health and Safety policy here.

Will the Academy still ensure that behaviour is good?

Absolutely. Offa's Mead Academy will continue to expect high standards of positive behaviour from all children. It is essential that our children adapt to changes in our behavioural expectations around social distancing and this will be a priority when we return in September. Here is a useful guide to our expectations.

How will my child catch up on any learning missed?

Offa's Mead Academy and Academies Enterprise Trust are committed to the education, social and emotional progress of all children. It has been a difficult time and we will ensure our curriculum fully reflects the needs of your children. AET have supported the Academy in developing a Recovery Curriculum which will be tailored to our specific needs and delivered in the first part of Autumn Term. We will ensure any gaps caused as a consequence of Covid-19 will be addressed.

We will also focus on health and well-being in the first 2 weeks back at school and manage any questions or concerns around returning to school, anxiety or simply understanding school routine again. This will be through our PSHE and SMSC curriculum.

Our curriculum remains broad, rich and balanced.

What happens if we have to go back into lockdown?

Offa's Mead Academy and Academies Enterprise Trust have worked hard to establish an excellent remote learning offer and we will continue to use the best element of this going forward. If we do have to ask children and staff to isolate, this will be done in accordance to Government guidance - but we are prepared. We have prepared 'Curriculum in a Box' which you can get an idea about here.

We now have enough devices to ensure that children can continue to learn offsite if necessary and our new blended approach to learning continues to be an exciting element which we are proud to develop further.

Department for Education Guidance

All schools must follow this process :

If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell, they must be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they should self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have Covid-19.

If they have tested positive whilst not experiencing symptoms, but develop symptoms during the isolation period, they restart the 10 day isolation period from the day they develop symptoms.

This only applies to those who begin their isolation after 30th July 2020.

Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 10 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, depending on the age and needs of the child, with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people.

If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom must be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.

PPE must be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs). More information on PPE use can be found in the safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance.

Offa's Mead Academy ensures that all staff understand the NHS Test and Trace process and how to contact their local Public Health England health protection team. We must ensure that staff members and parents/carers understand that they will need to be ready and willing to:

  • book a test if they or their child are displaying symptoms. Staff and pupils must not come into the school if they have symptoms, and must be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in school. All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children aged 11 and under will need to be helped by their parents/carers if using a home testing kit

  • provide details of anyone they or their child have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for Covid-19 or if asked by NHS Test and Trace

  • self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for Covid-19, or if anyone in their household develops symptoms of Covid-19

Anyone who displays symptoms of Covid-19 can and should get a test. Tests can be obtained for pupils from the school, booked online through the NHS testing and tracing website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet. Essential workers, which includes anyone involved in education or childcare, have priority access to testing.

Academies Enterprise Trust Guidance

Academies Enterprise Trust is looking forward to welcoming your child back to school and have taken every precaution to ensure the school environment is as safe as possible. However, we understand that some parents may still be worried about sending their children in. If you have any concerns please contact the academy to discuss this and see how we can support you.

How are you limiting the risk of infection for my child?

We have carried out risk assessments ahead of re-opening, and will continually review these. We have put in place a comprehensive programme of measures to limit the risk to staff and children.

Due to the age of the children who will be returning, social distancing will be a challenge. Therefore the government have suggested:

  • rearranging classrooms - Ensuring desks are spaced out as far as possible and are all facing forward wherever possible

  • limit mixing - Children will stay in their groups or ‘bubbles’ and be assigned specific staff members where possible

  • staggered timetables - Limiting number of children on lunch and breaks, changes to pick up and drop off times

  • minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school

  • cleaning hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered

  • ensuring good respiratory hygiene - promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach

  • cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as disinfectant

Is the school day starting and ending at the same time?

There may be some changes to the timings of the school day to ensure we can safely manage drop off and collection of children. We have clearly communicated these arrangements with parents before the academy returned. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the academy.

Information will be provided to you by the school on the specifics of how this will work for the beginning of the year. Please refer to the Academy homepage for more details.

What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in my child’s school?

Details will be provided to you by the school on the specifics of how this will work for your Academy.

Usually someone else collects my child from school as I have to go into work, can someone from another household collect my child?

Government guidance would only allow someone to pick up a child from another household if a 2m distance is kept between them or 1m with extra precautions.

Will there be additional cleaning during the school day?

There will be additional cleaning of the following throughout the day and after every class. We are working on the details of this with our staff and external cleaning providers at present. This include, but is not limited to, cleaning the following with disinfectant;

  • Door handles

  • Tables

  • Toilets

  • Communal areas

If you are concerned about the health of yourself or a family member, please call 111 or visit the NHS 111 Website

Who is monitoring the developments around coronavirus for AET and the Academies?

AET has been monitoring the situation since the beginning and continues to be guided by Public Health England and the Department of Education advice.

A working group of senior decision-makers has been formed and meets every day to consider the latest advice from the government.

What precautions is AET and all our academies taking to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

We continually monitor all the guidelines issued by Public Health England, the NHS and the Department of Education about prevention and spread of the coronavirus.

Robust Safe Return to School Plans have been put in place by each Academy with guidance and visits to check compliance from the trust.

If my child is self-isolating, will they still have classwork to do?

Yes, all children will continue to learn through a variety of methods whilst at home. Online learning, workbooks, videos and live video lessons will make up the majority of learning. Academies will be producing guides for parents on learning from home and the technology that children will be using.

My child will be on the internet a lot, how do I keep them safe online?

  • Pupils and parents must take appropriate action to ensure online activity is safe e.g. online learning to be accessed by the named pupil only; password and account security; appropriate use of the internet at all times.

  • The online learning must be accessed in an appropriate space at home where the child is supervised i.e. not a bedroom.

  • Pupils must be appropriately dressed throughout.

  • Where pupils are receiving one to one online tuition through ‘My Tutor’ for example, it is highly recommended that a family member or carer is visibly present throughout the tutorial session.

Please take a moment to look at these online safety sites that provide useful information for parents:;

Where do I get the latest information?

As changes occur frequently, the latest updates can be found on the following website here;


What is Coronavirus (COVID-19)?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that include the common cold and viruses, such as SARS and MERS. A novel coronavirus, identified as COVID-19, is a new strain not previously identified in humans and that is the type we are currently monitoring.

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

It is important to balance the need to take sensible precautions and plan for a possible increase in the outbreak, yet not to cause panic. At present there is no significant community spread of the disease. Nevertheless it is prudent to ensure our practices and plans are in place should the outbreak get worse.

How does this coronavirus spread?

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how it spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets or sneeze droplets. These droplets fall on people in the vicinity and can be directly inhaled or picked up on the hands and transferred when someone touches their face.

How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors; for example:

  • what surface the virus is on

  • whether it is exposed to sunlight

  • differences in temperature and humidity

  • exposure to cleaning products

Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 24 hours, and even more so by 48 hours.

How can I protect myself and my child from infection?

Standard recommendations to prevent infection spread include regular hand washing, covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing, and thoroughly cooking meat and eggs. Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, such as coughing and sneezing. For more on the latest advice, check the NHS or World Health Organisation websites.

Information regarding face masks and face coverings

What is the advice on travel to/from areas impacted by coronavirus?

Please check the Gov.uk website for the latest information.

If you are still concerned, the Department of Education is operating a special hotline for parents/carers, staff and young people, to answer questions about Covid-19 that relate to education, which you can contact as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Email: DfE.coronavirushelpline@education.gov.uk

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)