Glenmead Primary School

Respect Enjoy Achieve

0121 464 3173

Returning to School APRIL 2022

Information for parents and carers

 

These arrangements have been devised, following the directive from the Department for Educations at the start of the autumn term that a specific COVID risk assessment is no longer necessary. However, during the autumn term an outbreak Management Plan was devised. When drawing up plans for school, we also considered the opinions expressed through our parent survey carried out in the summer term 2021. Some of the control measures were popular and parents urged us to keep them when we returned in autumn 2021.  We have retained these this term and maintain a flexible approach so that controls can be 'stepped up' and 'stepped down' as the needs of the community and school change. 

 

 We wish to reassure you that the safety of our school community remains our priority. We will continue to review our arrangements as the year progresses and will notify you of any changes. 

 

Staff are no longer required to carry out twice weekly lateral flow device testing. However, staff have access to a limited supply of LFD tests if they develop symptoms and are required to confirm their health status by means of a test.  

 

What happens if someone tests positive?  

Any pupil or member of staff that tests positive will be required to self-isolate at home for a minimum of 7 days. Any pupils or fully vaccinated staff member who have been in close contact with a positive case are no longer required to self-isolate

If an unwell pupil is tested and is negative, they can return to school when feeling better and no isolation is necessary.  

 

Rules on isolation April 2022

Public health advice states that while you’re no longer legally required to self-isolate if you have COVID-19, you should try to stay at home and away from others to avoid passing on the virus.

 

Worried about your child returning to school?  

The vast majority of our families have demonstrated great faith in the school’s ability to keep everyone safe. As we have operated under COVID restrictions for a long time and are confident in how to ‘step up’ control measures, we do not foresee any great change to how school will operate in the coming weeks.  

 

What about Glenmead staff?  

The large majority of staff at Glenmead are now fully vaccinated and boosted. School staff have received training and they are all very familiar with our remaining control measures. They receive regular updates and reminders and leaders in school attend any Public Health webinars specific to our region. 

 

How are we maintaining a safe school environment?  

Many of you have expressed great faith in the staff at Glenmead and it is important that we inform you of the measures the school has put in place in order to minimise the spread of infection. The virus is still with us and keeping our remaining control measures in place will prevent any future outbreaks. Although case numbers have been relatively low during the spring term, school proceeds with a degree of caution. 

 

As per the advice from the government, the following actions for infection control are in place: 

  • Encouraging good hygiene by promoting the importance of handwashing for at least 20 seconds with water and soap in the following circumstances: 
  • Alcohol-based hand sanitiser dispensers that contain COVID-19 compliant sanitiser gel throughout the school 
  • Enhanced ventilation 
  • Ensuring pupils and staff understand that they must follow the catch it, bin it, kill it strategy 
  • Risk managing large gatherings of pupils and adults in school 
  • Ensuring frequently touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly than usual 
  • Advising staff and children to stay at home for 7 days if they test positive for COVID 19. 
  • Checking the health status of adults allowed onto the school campus 
  • Staggering the start of the school day and avoiding congestions at gates 
  • Additional cleaning of classrooms, toilets and common areas throughout the school day 
  • Deep cleaning every Friday afternoon when school closes earlier  

Teaching in bubbles is no longer required and this means that we can be a little more relaxed about pupils mixing. However, if there is an outbreak of cases in school, we may return to a situation where gatherings are limited and bubbles are reintroduced.  

 

As an important part of our school community, I would ask that you continue to encourage good infection control practices such as thorough handwashing at home. Try to keep your child informed about the things they can do to discourage the spread of infection. 

 

What if my child gets ill?  

If a child develops COVID-19 related symptoms during the school day, they will be placed in a room designated for the purpose of isolation with an adult to supervise them. We will contact you to collect your child and take them home. The school would then encourage you to seek a test.

 

If you think that you, a family member or your child has developed COVID, please contact the school on 0121 464 3173 or via direct Class Dojo message. This will assist us in planning to control a possible outbreak and take advice if necessary. 

 

What should pupils wear to school?  

Pupils should wear school uniform at school as normal. They may come dressed in their PE Kits on their PE day. A water bottle is essential school equipment.  

They can bring book bags, backpacks and pencil cases to carry their belongings to and from school. Toys and games are not permitted in school. 

 

What should we do at dropping off and picking up times?  

It is still important that we do not have large groups of adults congregating around the school gates and on the school campus. Our parent survey stated that parents preferred a calmer start to the school day so we have retained our staggered start and finish times. 

 A member of staff will always be on duty at your child’s gate 

 

Times and locations will be as follows: 

 

 

 

Pupils who are late will find their gate locked. They should come to the Main Gate on Glenmead Road and ring the Main School Office (0121 464 3173) to request entry. 

 

As year group bubbles are no longer required, pupil movement around the building will return to a more normal arrangement. However, we have retained our designated routes into and out of school for particular year groups so that bubbles can be reintroduced quickly if necessary. 

 

What about wrap-around care and after school clubs?  

 Beeches Kids’ Club will be open for our working families. Please contact David Hall to check arrival arrangements. They will be based in the main hall. 

 

To contact the Beeches Kids Club Proprietor e-mail: 
admin@beecheskidsclub.com or Telephone: 0121 405 0855 

 

Our normal drop-in breakfast club is not running this term. 

 

There will be extra-curricular clubs, mainly run by our own school staff. These can be booked through parent pay. There is no charge for the large majority of these. 

 

What happens at break times and lunchtimes?  

Year groups will be allowed out to play on a staggered rota so that playgrounds do not become over-crowded as this allows more play space.   

 AiP, our usual school meal provider will be supplying our meals prepared in the school kitchen. Our year groups will go into lunch together and can sit with friends in the same class. The number of pupils in the hall at any one time will be slightly reduced. The hall will be well ventilated, with doors and windows open. The school meal offer will be published on Class Dojo. Pupils choose from a selection of sandwiches on Fridays and these are eaten in their classrooms. 

All our infant classes will receive a school meal every day through Universal Free School Meals. If your child is in the juniors, and is entitled to Free School Meals, they will automatically receive a school meal every day. AiP are happy to provide meals to the families of junior children. Meals should be ordered and paid for in the usual way on Parent Pay.  

If you supply your child/ children with their own packed lunch every day, this should be brought to school in a sandwich box or bag. The use of disposable paper of plastic sandwich bags is no longer required. 

 

Is the school day different?  

To minimise the number of pupils and staff assembling for periods of time, we have retained some of our arrangements put in place last year. 

Parents have stated that they much prefer avoiding coming onto the school campus. Meetings with school staff can be arranged and a well ventilated meeting room arranged. Remote meetings using Zoom or TEAMS can also be arranged with relative ease. We are happy to arrange a meeting that meets a parent's preference and circumstance.

 

Drop Off 

Between 8.35am – 9am: Year groups arrive at their own gate within their time slot using distance markers to line up at their gate 

 

11.45am – 1.45pm: Staggered lunchtime.  

Most year groups will be accommodated in the main hall on rota. Seating is comfortably spaced to avoid over-crowding. Year groups will have their own zones on the playground when out at play.  

 

 

Pick up 

Between 3.20pm – 3.30pm: Year groups are dismissed at the end of the day within staggered timeslots. 1 adult should arrive per family to collect their child/ children at the designated pick-up gate Staff in school will hand your child over at the gate.  

 

I have more than one child – how does that work?  

Children in the same family can be dropped off in the morning together. This is usually at a older sibling’s earlier timeslot and gate. Staff will support children to find their correct route in to join their year group. 

 If you have an established sibling arrangement continue with that. For parents new to the school with siblings, staff will contact families to confirm arrangements for where your children can be dropped off and collected; times and gates. Messages come via Class Dojo message and/or email. 

 

Fridays 

School still finishes early on Fridays. Children will be dismissed at staggered time slots from 1pm onwards from their usual pick-up points. Lunch will be provided in school and our Friday celebration assembly will be delivered before pupils are dismissed.  

Although pupils are not in school on Friday afternoons, school have extended the school day and increased teaching time to compensate for that. This will help with catching up on lost learning and maximise the time the children have in school. 

On Friday afternoons staff will be directed to work with their year group colleague to plan and prepare the children’s lessons for the following week. While teachers are planning, preparing, and assessing the pupils' work, the cleaning team will carry out a deep clean of the school site ready for the next week. We are not only aware that we have to control COVID,  but are also conscious of the upsurge in respiratory infections and Noro Virus. Our cleaning methods have taken that into consideration. 

Working families can continue to expect support with childcare on Friday afternoons and their children can remain in school.  

 

Are there any school events?  

We have re-established live, face-to-face parent consultation meetings and events. During the spring term we have welcomed parents into school for assemblies, sport events, workshops and music concerts and these have been well attended. We will endeavor to proceed as normal for the rest of the school year, and have programmed events accordingly.    

 

What about travelling to and from school?  

Birmingham City Council are encouraging as many families as possible to avoid using cars when travelling to school, as parking causes more congestion outside school and makes social distancing difficult. Families are encouraged to walk, cycle and use scooters to travel to school where ever possible. 

If driving is unavoidable, please try to park at a distance and walk the last part of the journey, to avoid parking very close to the school. 

Encouraged by your positive feedback, school will be continuing the one-way system drop off zone on Glenmead Road. Vehicles will come on to Glenmead Road via Meadthorpe and go off via Dyas Road.  

 

If travelling on public transport, follow the latest safety advice.  

Travelling on the bus safely during COVID-19 

 

Support for pupils and families 

We do not underestimate how difficult the last year or so has been. Many families have suffered greatly during the coronavirus pandemic. We recognise the need to focus on pupils’ emotional wellbeing as well as their learning recovery and will be continuing to focus on that on their return to school this term. 

There is a good deal of support available to families through Birmingham City Council. Parents may wish to seek support for themselves from the Council and partner agencies. The support available can be reached through their website:  

 

From Birmingham with Love 

We have family support available in school. Contact Mrs. Harper or Mrs. Pidgeon via Class Dojo message or by telephoning 0121 4643173. 

 

We hope that these arrangements provide you with the information you need to support your child’s return to school. I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for supporting the school over recent months and the very positive feedback you have given to us about the support we have offered our school community.  

 

By working together, we have helped to make a very difficult situation a little bit more manageable. We extend enormous thanks for your support and patience.   

 

Other useful Policy Documents:

Health & Safety Policy June 2021 with addendum

Infection Control Policy

Model Safeguarding Child Protection Policy 2021

Outbreak Management Plan January 2022