Latest Covid-19 Information

Covid-19 Update March 2021

01.03.21 - Reopening of Academy on the 8th March

Arrangements for all children returning to Brookside Academy

Dear Parents and Carers,

We are looking forward to welcoming you all back to school on Monday 8th March 2021. Even though this is a huge step forward in terms of getting children back to where they should be the advice is still very much to stay safe by following clear health and hygiene guidelines. You will find a copy of our most up to date Risk Assessment at the end of this letter.

We recognise that we have not seen many of you since the start of the year and this naturally could bring further anxieties for you. Please be re-assured that we remain committed to supporting all of your concerns as they arise.

The following information will detail the key features of the way we will be working across all Academy settings and provisions.

This guide is divided into two sections:

  1. Safety principles & attendance
  1. The Academy day

For our school provision to operate safely, effectively and happily from this point, it will be necessary to rely upon the strength of our community once again. By all of us following these guidelines we can promote the safety of others as well as ourselves and ensure that we are as safe as we can be.

We are once again confident that by working together we can overcome the challenges of what is hopefully the beginning of the end of the major disruptions to children’s education.

Section 1: Safety principles & attendance

1.1     Safety principles for our Academy community

Remain “virus aware” at all times

  • Regularly wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds and use the hand sanitiser provided around the Academy.
  • Assume you could be contaminating anything you
  • Follow the “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” approach at all
  • Enhanced cleaning measures to continue

Follow the instructions

  • Dedicated entrances and exits will continue, with one way systems and slightly staggered starts and ends to the day.
  • Face coverings continue to be strongly recommended whilst on site for all adults
  • Only one adult on site per drop off, older children may be dropped at school gate and walk home with written permission
  • Social distancing HAS to be maintained at drop off and pick up times
  • Please continue to work with us as these measures are designed to keep everyone as safe as possible

Keeping within the ‘group’

    • Contact will be limited to phase, class or year groups where possible. Safe distancing outside of these groups will be followed.
    • Transitions, lunchtimes and play times will be staggered and outside areas around the Academy zoned with dedicated staff to

    1.2     Attendance

    School Attendance will be mandatory for all pupils from 8th March. The usual rules on school attendance apply, including:

    • parents’ duty to secure their child’s regular attendance at school (where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age)
    • the ability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct

      1.3   Managing cases in nurseries, schools and colleges

    Nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges will take swift action when they become aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). They will contact their local health protection team if they:

    • have 2 or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among pupils or staff within 14 days
    • see an overall rise in child or staff absence rates where coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected

    The local health protection team will advise what action is required. Closure will not usually be necessary, but some groups may need to self-isolate.

    Actions you should take

    Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if:

    Book a test if you or your child develop symptoms. Inform your nursery, childminder, school or college of the results.

    If the test is positive, follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.

    Other household members (including any siblings) should self-isolate from the day your child’s symptoms started (or the day they took a test if they did not have symptoms), and the next 10 full days.

    If your child or someone in your household has tested positive while not experiencing symptoms but develops symptoms during the isolation period, they should restart the 10-day isolation period from the day they developed symptoms.

    If your child displays symptoms, or has a positive test, while at school or college, they should not use public transport and, wherever possible, be collected by a member of their family or household. In exceptional circumstances, if you cannot arrange to have your child collected and they cannot walk, cycle or scoot home, alternative arrangements may need to be organised by the nursery, childminder, school or college.

    Your child does not need a test if they:

    • have a runny nose, are sneezing or feeling unwell, but do not have a temperature, cough or loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste
    • are advised to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), for example, another pupil in their class, but are not showing symptoms themselves

    2.1   ‘Groups’

    Section 2: The Academy Day

    Keeping children in ‘groups’ helps to manage the number of individuals that children meet and have contact with. This reduces the potential spread of infection and limits the impact of any infection.

    During class, setting or provision time and at social times, we will aim to keep children in distinct `groups`. Contact will be limited to phase, class or year groups where possible.

    Where necessary, we have put in place one-way systems around the Academy to move children in directions that avoid queues and crowding in corridors. Minimal passing contact at a distance will also reduce risk considerably.

    The age and stage of the child dictates their ability to distance, with younger and vulnerable children being supported in this where appropriate. Older children will be directed to manage this with increased independence.

    2.2     School timings

    In order to keep our community safe and distanced, drop off and pick-ups will be slightly staggered and have planned entrances and exits some of which are new and/or improved (see attached map). We have endeavoured not to disadvantage families with more than one class to visit. Please understand that these arrangements are necessary to safeguard the whole Academy community.

    The timings for the start and end of the Academy day will initially be as follows:

    Nursery - As booked

    Early Years

    Start: 8:50am

    End: 3:00pm

    Entrance and exit through external classroom door

    Year 1 to Year 3

    Start: 9am

    End: 3:10pm

    Entrance and exit through external classroom doors

    Year 4

    Start: 8:50am

    End: 3.00pm

    Doors and register will close at 9.05am

    Entrance and exit via rear Academy door, adjacent to Orcas class.

    Year 5

    Start: 8:55am

    End: 3.05pm

    Entrance and exit via rear Academy door, adjacent to Orcas class

     Year 6

    Start: 8:55 to 9am

    End: 3.10pm

    Entrance and exit via main pupil entrance

    Specialist provision - as transport dictates

    Specialist provision not on transport

    Start: 8:55 to 9:10

    End: 3:05 to 3:15

    Breakfast Club: 7:30 to 9 (As booked)

    After School Club: Until 6pm (As booked)

    Please note drop offs and pick-ups will be monitored carefully and reviewed at regular points in line with government review points.

    As before, teachers will be available for discussions via e-mail to the Academy office or by phone, please contact them if you have any worries or concerns about these arrangements.

    2.3     Late Arrivals

    If children arrive after the doors have closed, they should be dropped at reception where you can sign them in, one family at a time in this space. Please sanitise your hands on entry to reception.

    • Eating Arrangements

    2.4     Snacks

    Key Stage 1 free fruit will resume. Academy policy regarding children bringing in healthy snacks will apply.

    Lunches will be staggered. Consistent staff will provide served hot lunches. There is no need for lunch boxes to be disposable, please ensure lunch boxes are cleaned daily.

    2.5     Uniform

    School based children will wear their normal school uniform and the normal rules regarding appearance will apply. On hot days please continue to apply sun cream before coming to school. Younger children within nursery will continue to follow own procedures on sun cream supported by nursery staff.

    2.6     Indoor areas

    Classrooms/nursery provision areas will be organised safely following government guidelines, this will vary according to the age of the children.

    Class equipment will not be shared beyond groupings, with children using their own where appropriate.

    There will be regular cleaning of surfaces and shared use fixings, staff will monitor closely any shared spaces to support distancing.

    2.7     Transition Times

    A one-way flow of children will be given to everyone at the start of term, where appropriate, to avoid as much congestion as possible.

    2.8         Assemblies and whole school/Academy events

    We will continue to avoid whole school Academy events, such as concerts, and some of the activities normally undertaken on theme days. We will work to find alternatives where we can.

    2.9         Sport, Clubs and extra-curriculum activities

    Sport sessions, clubs and activities will take place where they are `group` specific. Time will be given to enable appropriate cleaning to take place, clubs will take place after school and not at lunchtime.

    Please note after school sports club will NOT re-start until after the Easter holidays

    Outdoor space for all sport sessions will be used wherever possible.

    Sport timetable attached for in school sessions.

    2.10     Cleaning measures

    Enhanced cleaning measures throughout the school day by Academy staff and cleaning contractors will continue.

    2.11     Visitors/On Site Activity

    We are continuing to limit the number of visitors that we have on site during the day. All visitors should be by appointment only. We will aim for parent meetings to take place before or after school wherever possible.

    Latest guidance states that all external teaching or specialist staff will be able to resume duties within the Academy subject to following clear risk assessment procedures.

    All guidance given is in response to latest government advice and is subject to change.
    Head Teacher
    In order to keep you all fully informed we have decided to publish both our internal Risk Assessment and a letter to Somerset Primary Headteachers from the Director of Children's Services. These can be viewed below: