Birch Hill Primary School is actively monitoring the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and will be updating this page of the website regularly to share information about the School’s preparations and responses.
Please report all COVID19 test results (positive or negative) to the following email address:
Should you have any further questions after reading this information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
We are following the Local Authority (LA), Department for Education (DfE) and Department of Health and Public Health England guidelines on responding to the virus.
How are we trying to keep the school safe? Please click here for the latest Risk Assessment
What is the Current Situation?
Birch Hill Primary School is fully open.
Staff, governors, parents and visitors all have responsibility for maintaining personal hygiene and of telling us if they are showing symptoms, and/or if they have been to any country named by Public Health England or Government on the quaratine list.
Uniform - Children will be expected to wear usual school uniform. If your child has outgrown their uniform during lockdown and are unable to get new uniform, do not panic – there is a grace period whilst we return. PE kit is to be worn to school on PE days (your class teacher will inform you of these). Children will stay in PE kit and do not need to bring uniform in to change into. It would be pertinent, however, to still have tracksuit bottom/top as PE sessions will be outside and weather is still changeable.
Attendance - The government have made it clear that ALL children are expected to return to school as they normally would from 8th March. Normal attendance procedures will now be followed and absence must be reported to school office on day of absence with reason for absence.
Some children may be absent due to having to self-isolate (due to symptoms, family symptoms, waiting on a test result, confirmed positive test) – these absences must still be reported. Children who were previously shielding or living with family members who were previously shielding are able to return to school and are expected to do so.
Any pupils who are under the care of a specialist health professional need to have discussed return with their health professional and school informed if there is any change to them being able to attend.
Having said all of the above, we are very aware that lots of parents & children may be anxious about returning to school for a variety of reasons. We know from the summer term and autumn terms that most of these are alleviated once children return and see the measures we have in place to help keep them safe BUT we are here to help if you or your child are concerned or are anxious so please do contact us and we will do all we can to help.
Face Coverings - Government guidance states that current evidence combined with measures put in place says face coverings will not be necessary in the classroom/school even where social distancing is not possible. Anyone who does wear one, including to school, must follow procedures for safe wearing & removal procedures and anyone one not adhering to this will then not be able to wear a mask.
Any adults onsite (for drop-off or pick up) are expected to maintain social distancing. Adults on site must wear masks if able to do so AND maintain 2m social distancing.
Pupils who wear masks to school will be expected to remove them (or parent remove for them) on arrival.
Safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use.
Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and the face covering should be replaced carefully. Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing it and they must dispose of temporary face coverings in a ‘black bag’ waste bin (not recycling bin) or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom.
We are following Government and Public Health England instructions especially our emphasis that everybody has a responsibility to wash their hands regularly.
We are working with our cleaners to ensure that additional preventative cleaning is taking place at the school.
We will provide additional cleaning of high-profile contact points with the introduction of an additional preventative cleaning product. We will do our best to maintain stocks of hand sanitisers, antibacterial soap, antibacterial wipes, cleaning chemicals, etc.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often - do this for at least 20 seconds
- Always wash your hands when you get home or into work
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
For further advice visit the NHS website
What should I do if my child or anyone in my family shows symptoms of COVID-19?
The symptoms of coronavirus are:
- a new continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back 37.8+
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
If your child or anyone in your family has any of these symptoms, your child must NOT come to school and will need to be tested.
Please contact the school to tell us.
Check the updated guidance (NHS Covid-19 website)
Isolation - If your child has to isolate for 10 days then we will be providing work for them to access online and/or paper work for them to complete. Please be aware that teachers/staff will still be teaching so may not be available during the day when your child is isolating. Obviously, if they are unwell then the expectations will be different. If you are faced with IT challenges at home please come and talk to us as we do not want that to be a limiting factor that prevents your child accessing school work.
Rapid Lateral Flow Testing for Households - From Monday 1 March, households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, can test themselves twice every week at home as schools return from Monday 8 March.
Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested.
Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders. The twice-weekly test kits can be accessed:
- via employers, if they offer testing to employees
- at a local test site
- by collecting a home test kit from a test site
- by ordering a home test kit online We are not able to give any of these tests.
- Please note: - these tests are NOT for primary age pupils - participation in this scheme is optional - if LFT is positive for anyone in the household then the whole household must isolate immediately and book a PCR test.
- Your child can only return after a negative PCR test for person with a positive LFT or completing isolation period if PCR is positive - LFT does NOT override the need for isolating if you/your child/household have symptoms. This guidance provides information on who can be tested and how you can get a test. The government have said they will be releasing further information for parents on this.
How will learning continue in the event of a closure?
As before, teachers will set relevant work that follows the curriculum as. This will be available via a password protected page on our website. Teachers will also be available to offer online support.
How can I support my child emotionally during this time
Setting routines, including working online, will help so that there is a sense of normality. Healthy eating, exercise, and fresh air all support our well-being and mental health.
Limiting the use of Social Media and any excessive use of technology or gaming may help keep your child from worrying about “false information”.
There is a range of well-being resources available.
Bracknell Forest Mental Health & Well-being services
Where can I find additional information?
We will post all our messages here on this COVID-19 Update webpage for ease of access.
Further details can also be found on the Government website.
If the School were to be told to close how would we communicate with parents?
Please be assured this will always be the last resort and we will always follow advice from the Local Authority and Public Health England. In this event, we would use Teachers2Parents Mails/texts messages and direct you to this webpage so that you could access all the necessary information. Social media would only be used to report the closure, not for relaying further information. The school reception telephone message would also tell you if we were closed. We would keep in contact with you throughout the closure.