St. Oswald's V.A School
'Learning and growing hand in hand together, following the footsteps of Jesus'
Please note that the answers are based on current guidance as of 12th June 2020. Changes may occur as further guidance and directives are received from Welsh Government or the Local Authority.
Will pupils be able to interact with each other?
Yes, pupils will interact with each-other within their ‘pods’. The ‘pods’ will consist of pupils from within their own class. All classes will have 2 learning support assistant with teacher online. Classes will consist of small groups of children, exact numbers will be finalised following a visit from the Local Authority – consisting of School Organisation Team accompanied by a representative from catering, buildings and maintenance and the facilities management support team. We are calling their teaching groups ‘pods’ to avoid confusion with ‘bubble’ groups.
What actions are being taken to promote social interaction?
Each child will be given their own learning space, with their individual resources. At the forefront of everything we do is each child’s well-being – ensuring they feel happy and safe. Whilst we all adhere to social distancing guidelines, we will be promoting social interaction through introducing new routines which will allow the children to move safely within their pod. Areas will be carefully set up both inside and outside the classroom to allow opportunities for activities such as painting, small world, construction etc. Social distancing is easier to observe and maintain outside, therefore we will be using the outdoors as much as possible. This will be demonstrated in our virtual tour of the school.
Social distancing - How will this effect pupil’s well-being and what about the psychological impact?
Children will be sensitively supported by staff to understand the importance of social distancing. The new routines and layout of resources will provide a visual representation in assisting children to understand this. Again, this will become clearer through our virtual tour.
Can we decide at a later date for our child to come back during the 4 week's re-opening?
I would hope that during the 4 weeks we are back at school that we will see as many pupils return to school as possible. I understand it is difficult to decide whether to send your child to school without all the facts, plans and guidance. We will endeavour to make sure that any family who wish their child/ren to return at any point during the 4 weeks has an opportunity to do so.
How do you intend to deal with upset/traumatised children who don’t understand the seriousness of social distancing and want to be able to hug/sit with/play with friends?
The well-being and mental health of pupils is at the heart of this next phase of reopening. Throughout break times and lunchtime, pupils will remain within their pod groups. Please be assured that if your child falls, they will be comforted by their teacher or a member of staff, but if they need to perform first aid or intimate care, they will wear aprons, gloves and a mask. We will not leave any child hurt or upset. Current guidance states no PPE is required when undertaking routine educational activities within the classroom setting.
Will Year 6 pupils be provided with opportunities for transition to their secondary school of choice?
Children attending Greenhill will be given the opportunity to attend there for a session in addition to their allocated time at St. Oswald’s. Year 6 pupils would visit their secondary school straight from home and return to home – they would not come to St. Oswald’s first on that day.
Will children return to school with their siblings and friends?
The well-being of the children is fundamental, and therefore, we will ensure that each child will return to school in a ‘pod’ with friends from their class. Each child will have the opportunity to return once a week, on the same day each week.
What happens if my child becomes unwell, displaying symptoms?
If your child displays any symptoms eg. a continuous cough/high temperature, we will ensure there is a safe room for your child to rest and wait until you are able to collect them. The room being reassigned is the office. The reason for this is that it is close to the school entrance and access makes collection easier.
Will children be required to wear PPE?
WG guidance is that there will be no requirement for children to wear PPE.
If a child has a parent or family member who has a shielding letter, should they attend school?
The WG guidance clearly states that children who have a family member who has received a shielding letter from the Chief Medical Officer, must not attend school.
What does the return plan look-like?
Once the school has received full Welsh Government (WG) guidance and a visit from the local authority, this information will be clearly shared.
What will pick-up and drop off look like?
To follow, once the school has received full Welsh Government (WG) guidance and a visit from the Local Authority. It is likely that there will be staggered start and end times to the day.
What cleaning measures will be in place?
All cleaning measures will follow strict guidelines. This will be directed by WG/LA and school staff will adhere to this. In addition to the regular cleaning of the school, there will be one day assigned for thorough cleaning, provided by trained cleaners.
Will toys be removed from classrooms?
Provision will be made for resources within each pod group to be kept to a minimum. These resources will be enhanced in order to cater for individual preferences and set challenges. As previously stated, each child will have individual resources which will reduce the risk of cross-contamination. These will be appropriately sterilised in accordance with guidance after use.
Children will not be permitted to bring toys to school from home.
What will play-time look-like?
To follow, once the school has received full Welsh Government (WG)/LA guidance.
Will lunch be provided for pupils?
To follow, once the school has received full Welsh Government (WG)/LA guidance.
A hot meal will be offered and we would encourage you to allow your child to have school dinners in order to lessen items brought to school.
Can I send my child with a packed lunch?
To follow, once the school has received full Local Authority (LA) guidance. A hot meal will be offered and we would encourage you to allow your child to have school dinners in order to lessen items brought to school.
Will there be milk & snack time?
To follow, once the school has received full Local Authority (LA) guidance.
Resources to support working families
Will there be a breakfast club?
We are awaiting further guidance from the LA, however, this will be limited to key worker families only and will be assessed on a case by case application.
Will children attend full days or half?
The recommendation from WG and LA is that children attend school for full days rather than half days due to the higher risk of cross-contamination. Therefore, we will be allocating children to full days.
Staff and learning activities
Will staff continue to provide learning activities on-line?
Yes, the on-line learning activities will continue in the same format for the remainder of the summer term, however, feedback from staff will not occur daily as staff will be facilitating activities in school. Our school (as part of a cluster approach) has set a day a week without teaching ‘pods’ to provide feedback (and for additional cleaning).
What will the ‘check-in, catch-up and prepare’ sessions look like?
The main reason for the re-opening of schools is to provide all pupils with the opportunity to ‘check-in and catch up’ once a week.
Further details will follow once we have received full Welsh Government (WG) / Local Authority (LA) guidance.
Will all the teachers be tested before the opening of the school?
To follow, once the school has received full Local Authority (LA) and CIW guidance.
Will there be Temperature checks as pupil enters school?
No. Public Health Wales has advised this is not appropriate.
Social distancing and 1:1 support - how will this work?
A member of staff will be dedicated to assist children with additional learning support whilst still adhering social distancing guidelines.
FAQ answers, please note:
The answers to the questions above are based on the most recent guidance from WG and LA.
Finally, I would like to re-assure all those families requesting that their child/ren return to school that the safety and well-being of ALL pupils and staff is paramount. Every decision made, every plan and procedure put into place will always have the safety and well-being of every child and member of staff at its heart. This will be the ‘new normal’ for some time and we must ensure that it is fit for purpose and minimises risk to all.
THE STAFF AND GOVERNORS OF THE SCHOOL ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO ENSURE A HAPPY AND SAFE RETURN FOR ALL. WE LOOK FORWARD TO WELCOMING ALL PUPILS BACK TO THE SCHOOL.