Miss Spence's Corona Q&A Corner!
At Bosbury we have understandably been receiving lots of questions lately about many aspects of school life which have been affected since all our pupils returned at the start of September following the COVID-19 lockdown and the summer holidays, but fortunately our very helpful Headteacher Miss Spence is here to answer all of your post-lockdown related queries! Got a question about life at Bosbury under the new routines and regulations? Chances are you'll find the answer below!
QUESTION: My child is poorly or I am worried that they may be showing COVID-19 symptoms. What should I do? Do I need to keep them off school?
THE ANSWER: The general easy rule to follow is that if you would have kept your child off school before the onset of the pandemic, you should still keep them off school as before remembering that they should not attend less than 48 hours from when their last symptoms were present.
If your child develops a new continuous dry cough, has a high temperature defined as being more than 37.8 degrees celsius using a thermometer (although the skin will usually feel hot just to touch), or suddenly develops a complete loss or change of smell or taste, you should keep them at home and arrange for a self-test to be done through either contacting 119 or accessing the government website at www.gov.uk/coronavirus. Your child and whole household must then self-isolate until you receive the results of the test. If the result is positive, self-isolation of the whole household must take place for at least two weeks.
If your child does not display any of the above symptoms but has an underlying health condition, you should speak to their specialist team about testing criteria if you haven't already seen or spoken to them, or if you have not received a letter in the post advising you when to be concerned.
If the above three symptoms are not present but your child displays other symptoms such as a runny nose, a sore throat without a fever or a mild cold, they can generally still attend school as normal. Do feel free to contact the school however if you are still unsure, and remember that here is no need to book a COVID-19 test if the above three symptoms are not present.
Finally, please bear in mind that we are approaching the time of year when many seasonal colds, flus, bugs and general nastiness start to do the rounds, with several of them sharing common symptoms with Covid; there is generally no cause for alarm if the above key three symptoms are not present!
QUESTION: What can my child do to keep their learning going if they are having to self-isolate or are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test?
THE ANSWER: There are many resources available for pupils who cannot attend school as a result of having to self-isolate or waiting for results of a Covid test. Children should carry on reading as normal, and all of our grammar hammer sheets and spelling sheets for the term are now available to download from the website, sorted by year groups. It is also very important to keep practising those times tables and our individual times table and 99 club sheets, also available to download from the website, are perfect for this!
QUESTION: When will after school clubs begin?
THE ANSWER: After school clubs have been put on hold for this term, but fingers crossed we will be able to bring them back for the Spring Term after Christmas. We know how much our pupils love their after school activities!
QUESTION: When will pupils go swimming with the school again?
THE ANSWER: We know how much our pupils love their swimming, but at present we are unable to facilitate lessons. Swimming may return in the new year, but this will be dependent on guidance from the local authority. If you are keen for your child to have lessons outside of school, Halo Leisure are reopening their pools at the end of September - you can find out how to book lessons on their website HERE.
QUESTION: When will hot lunches be served in school again?
THE ANSWER: Unfortunately we don't really know at present! As you know we have our separate 'bubbles' for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 children, and having hot lunches in the hall would mean that we would not be able to move children through the hall without breaking these bubbles. As a result we are sticking to packed lunches for the time-being, with Class 1 and 2 having their lovely daily picnics in the hall with lunches provided by AiP, and Class 3, 4 and 5 having their lunch in their classrooms or maybe outside in the Key Stage 2 play area should the weather be warm and dry enough!
QUESTION: When will school trips start again?
THE ANSWER: We have been advised by the local authority that trips may still go ahead, but we will be keeping visits local for the forseeable future. Keep an eye out for forthcoming class trips which will be communicated to parents in the usual manner.
QUESTION: When can volunteer readers come into school?
THE ANSWER: We love our parent volunteer readers at Bosbury and if you are able to help out with reading in any way we would welcome your support. Each volunteer reader will be assigned to a class and will be given an induction regarding social distancing and Covid measures. Please contact the school if you are interested at email@example.com.
QUESTION: Is there going to be a Harvest Festival this year?
THE ANSWER: COVID-19 guidelines mean that this year we are unfortunately unable to hold our traditional Harvest Festival at Bosbury Church which usually takes place just before half term. We are very sad about this, but we are still working on putting together a lovely video featuring children's singing and instrument playing to view online so that this occasion can still be celebrated. The Key Stage 1 Nativity and whole school Christingle service at the church are also looking highly doubtful at present, although again ways will be explored in which we can still make the most of this special time of year.
How are we going to deliver Parents Evenings this year?
THE ANSWER: Good question! The first Parents Evenings of the academic year in November will either take place in person at a two metre distance, or will take place on the phone. We haven’t decided which format the consultations will take yet as it will depend on how the infection rate progresses by the end of next month. Regardless, all Parents Evenings will be booked online this year, and you will get an alert to book your slot nearer the time via email.
QUESTION: When can individual music lessons start again?
THE ANSWER: Unfortunately the limited space we have to work with at Bosbury School cannot accommodate 1:1 music lessons at present. All available small spaces are used for other purposes such as individual and small group pupil intervention programmes held outside of the classroom and spaces for staff to socially distance when having their lunches. We are therefore unsure at present when we can start offering individual music lessons with our peripatetic teachers again but fingers crossed the situation may change in the new year.
QUESTION: Are Friends of Bosbury School (FOBS) still operating?
THE ANSWER: Yes of course! The 2020/21 AGM for FOBS, the lovely Bosbury School parent association who tirelessly fundraise to provide money to help us buy equipment and fund special events and trips for our pupils, will take place on Zoom on Tuesday 20th October at 2:00pm. You will need an invite link and passcode to access the meeting which can be obtained by emailing the school at firstname.lastname@example.org. FOBS always welcome keen new members who are willing to help out in any capacity.
Don't forget that the FOBS 100 Club is now up and running for this year, and with possibilities for fundraising being extremely limited at present due to the ongoing pandemic, this scheme is more important than ever in helping to raise money for our school. You can download your forms HERE, with tickets only costing £12 for the year with a chance of winning up to £20 a month. You've got to be in it to win it!
QUESTION: Are we still allowing children to touch and hug while they play?
THE ANSWER: Although the Government are advising that school staff maintain social distancing from pupils (two metres as a guide, although we realize how tricky this can be when carrying out certain tasks such as listening to children read and running interventions although staff always wear full PPE when performing first aid), there is an acknowledgment that children find it difficult to socially distance from each other when playing. Therefore, we allow children to play as normal at break times and lunchtimes within their Key Stage 1 and 2 bubbles. Children may mix within their bubbles - we as staff just need to keep our distance as far as practically possible!
QUESTION: Why am I not informed when my child is selected for an intervention programme?
THE ANSWER: Each day across the school we run many interventions to support children’s progress. Your child might be doing catch-up maths, Toe by Toe, Power of 2, Precision Teaching, Language for Thinking, Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language or 1:1 reading. We do not inform parents of changes to interventions as it is normal school practice, with the interventions and the children having them changing regularly. If your child is having an intervention it means that we feel they need a boost for that term; don’t worry as all children need a boost at some point in school. An intervention can take place with a teaching assistant or teacher on an individual basis, or in a small group.
QUESTION: When is half term, the Christmas holidays, the early closure days for staff training and parents' evenings, and when do pupils go back to school in January?