Minimising Risk

Government guidance sates that schools can now lift restrictions on bubbles. However we as a school feel it would be best practice for the first term to keep in place some of the restrictions we put into place last year.

The government recognises that “it is not possible to ensure a totally risk free environment” but that it is possible to put measures in place to reduce the risk significantly.

Essential measures:

  • A requirement that people who are ill stay at home
  • Robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • Enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • Formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible – this includes
  • Grouping children together ‘bubbles’
  • School members of staff taking the Lateral Flow test x2 a week (optional).

At St Cuthbert’s we are blessed with amazing staff and wonderful space.

All year groups will form their own class group ‘bubble’; children will stay in their class groups and have their own play area at play time and lunchtime and their own play equipment.

From Year 1 – Year 6 pupils will have their own stationary packs and their own art packs; thus reducing the risk of sharing equipment.

We have in place hand sanitising stations in or outside every classroom, room, office and entrance.

We have put in additional hand towel dispensers across the school so that all classes can wash their hands in class or in the corridor directly outside their classrooms. Children are monitored as they wash their hands.

We will no longer be using water bottles. All children will be given their own plastic cup and classes will have jugs of water that will be refilled throughout the day. Cups are washed at the end of each day.

We have separate guidance for playtimes and lunchtimes, drop offs and pick-ups that demonstrate how we are minimising risk.

For the foreseeable future we will be holding no large group or whole school events – this includes class assemblies, Mass, Inspire workshops, hymn practices, Plays, Gift night or music assemblies. However we will start having Mass with a few classes socially distanced in their bubbles.

We have also made a decision not to have any after school clubs currently. This is because of concerns around mixing class groups together at the end of the day and social distancing during pick up. However, certain Year groups may be asked to stay behind for extra booster sessions with their year groups members of staff.

With this in mind though, we have booked additional support for our PE teaching and are putting in place an exercise programme to support our children returning to school. Please see the Healthy School – Healthy Child – Healthy Mind overview.

We have continued additional cleaning times – Mrs Jarvis returns at 10.30 and cleans all toilets and surfaces. All classrooms have additional cleaning packs that can be used throughout the day by staff as well. We have also employed an additional cleaner for the end of the day. 

We have taken the decision not to close school to pupils at any additional point in the week to allow for extra cleaning or for teachers to have their PPA (preparation, planning and assessment time). However, because Mr Whitmore has changed his hours, I am closing the school at 5:00pm to staff. Therefore you will not be able to contact the office after this time.

As I have said, and continue to say, communication is really important and I don’t want you to ever feel ignored or dismissed. If you do have any issues we can arrange a meeting in school with myself or a member of the senior team and your child’s class teacher will happily call you to discuss issues at any time they are available.