COVID-19 Information and Updates

On this page please find important information to detailing what we have put in place to ensure the safety of both students and staff. We have a detailed FAQ’s section on this page. If you have any further questions which please email us school@bishopschester.co.uk

Self Isolation Remote Learning page

This page is password protected. You will receive the password by email if your child is self isolating. Satchel One (Show my Homework) will continue, students should continue to follow their usual log-in routine when accessing work from home.

Latest Information

COVID 19 Update

Press Release 17/11/20 

Dear parent/carer,  

This afternoon, we were informed that a student in Year 8 and Year 11 had tested positive for Covid-19.  At this stage, we immediately engaged with guidance from Public Health England to trace a small number of contacts from year 8 today and year 11 contacts from Friday, Monday and today. 

Although asymptomatic, these positive cases were identified through a randomised national testing programme.  The timing of such an event is always difficult but this period for year 11 includes two inset days and will allow focused study for the scheduled practice exams. Our particular thoughts and prayers go to some of our year 8 families whose child had only just returned to school only to again be contact traced. 

All students and staff who are deemed to have been a contact have been notified this afternoon.     

We appreciate that Bishops’ has done well to negotiate this far into term with few confirmed cases and wish to assure the whole school that we are doing all we can to follow the guidance and ensure we mitigate the risk as far as we reasonably can.        

Information has been provided to parents to guide remote learning and we are all grateful to parents and students for their ongoing understanding, vigilance and patience with the measures to balance the safety of those in our school community with the importance of learning. 

Please click here to find our up to date policies and procedures.

FAQ's

We understand that Covid is affecting all schools in different ways, therefore we have collated some frequently asked questions below to ensure that you are as informed as possible.  

How large is each ‘bubble’? 

Each year group is classed as its own ‘bubble’. All students from each year group will only have lessons, break and lunch times with students in this bubble as well as designated toilet facilities.  A year group bubble enables as normal an experience as possible with sets, all curriculum subjects, catch-up groups and bubble only activities. 

If my child is required to self-isolate, does this affect their attendance record? 

Absence for Covid related reasons is collated separately. Attendance in state-funded schools was 89% on 5 November but decreased to 86% on 12 November. The drop in attendance rates nationally is mainly due to the increased number of pupils self-isolating due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus.  Parents are asked to notify attendance@bishopschester.co.uk if a child  

develops symptoms themselves or where somebody in their household develops symptoms 

takes a research/sample test or is contacted by NHS track and trace 

The government estimates 8% plus of pupils in state-funded schools are not attending school for COVID-19 related reasons on any particular day. On Thursday 12 November, approximately 29% of state-funded schools reported that they had one or more pupils self-isolating who had been asked to do so due to potential contact with a case of coronavirus inside the school.   

It is a legal requirement that all students attend school. We understand that we have some students who are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable and in receipt of a notification letter. We ask that those individuals contact the school so a risk assessment can be completed. 

Can my child access hand sanitiser/ hand washing facilities? 

There are designated hand sanitiser stations upon arrival and when exiting at the end of each day. Every classroom has been fitted with a hand sanitiser dispenser and each student will have access to hand washing facilities in their designated building. All soap in our dispensers is anti-bacterial. 

Where will my child spend break or lunch times? 

Each year group have their own designated outdoor and indoor space, physically distanced and at staggered times. 

What happens if it is raining outside, are the children limited to the classroom they have all their lessons in? 

We have arranged indoor locations for each year group, which are cleaned and only used by one bubble. 

What are the social distancing measures in place? 

Following Government guidance students in year bubbles will be able to interact with each other less than 1 metre apart as long as they remain in their ‘year bubble’. Classrooms have been arranged so that desks are facing forward and are 2 metres away from teaching staff.  There is a one-way system in place for students to enter and exit classrooms. 

Will doors and windows be kept open in order to ventilate the rooms? 

Background ventilation with windows and doors ajar is maintained throughout lesson time.  Between lessons external doors are fully open to purge the space.  The central heating is switched on but temperatures will be lower during winter and students and staff are advised to wear base layers to remain comfortable. 

Will my child be staying in the same room for all lessons? If not, how are you ensuring they are entering a clean environment? 

Students in Year 7, 8 and 9 will have all their lessons in their designated buildings. Upon entering each classroom students will be asked to sanitise their hands. 

Students in Year 10, 11 and Sixth form will have most of their lessons in their designated block. However, some examination classes require specialised equipment and students may have to access another building to use it. This has been factored into the cleaning schedule. Students entering another bubbles’ building will use external door where possible and this has been considered in the school timetable. 

Hand sanitiser stations are installed in every classroom. 

Does my child need to wear a mask? 

We are following guidance from the Government and Public Health England. At this moment in time we ask that students and staff only wear masks in communal areas such as corridors, toilets and designated indoor spaces. It is not necessary to wear a mask when outdoors. Face coverings and masks should not be worn by students in the classroom. 

What happens if a child/staff member reports symptoms? 

If a child reports a symptom to their teacher, they will be immediately placed into our designated COVID-19 room. A parent/carer will be notified immediately to arrange collection as soon as possible. A COVID test is required. The child may return to school if they receive a negative result. 

What happens following a positive test notification for COVID-19? 

If anybody within the school community tests positive for COVID-19 they are asked to report the result to testresult@bishopschester.co.uk   We apply the guidance for contacts in classrooms and on transport in order to advise parents through an email and telephone call. If we are put into this position, then teaching will resume via online learning. 

My child normally gets the bus to and from school, what changes and measures are in place? 

All school bus routes are continuing. In particular, students who travel on public buses have the option of dedicated school journeys with the S61 and S5, please visit our Travel Information page for more details. School buses are seated in year group bubbles with students encouraged to use the same route to facilitate track and trace. We stress again that all students travelling on a bus must adhere to wearing a face mask and sanitising their hands before and after travel. 

Bus Timetable updates for stagecoach buses can be found here https://www.stagecoachbus.com/ and students can download the Stagecoach app which gives up to date travel information as well as the ability to purchase contact less tickets instantly and securely on their phone. 

 Where is the work for individuals and small groups who are self-isolating? 

There are three areas to explore for these students. While teachers will be continuing to teach their timetables in school, the three areas of independent work are updated regularly.   SatchelOne/Show My Homework will continue to link to lesson resources and homework tasks, a second area of Remote Learning contains work matched to Bishops’ Learning Programmes and the third area are national resources such as www.thenational.academy where videos and lessons are available daily.  

What lunch options are available to my child? 

Year groups will have staggered break and lunches to ensure everyone can safely enjoy the outdoor and indoor recreational spaces safely. We currently have a limited canteen provision available at lunch time for students in Sixth form as well as years 7 and 11, students in these years entitled to Free School Meals will be able to purchase their food from the canteen.  

What will work look like if an examination year group is self-isolating? 

Students in examination years will continue with their daily timetable.  Work will be set on Satchel One/Show My Homework in between Microsoft Teams lessons.  The student’s timetabled teacher will be available for questions / help during the window within the normal 1-hour period of learning time.  Students are familiar with and can use the ‘message function’ on Satchel during their timetabled lesson session and when the teacher feels it would be beneficial for the whole classes to have updated information a whole class message will be sent, or instructions clarified.   

Students should ideally work within the timetabled period to complete Remote Learning; however, the school appreciates that this will not always be possible and so students should aim to submit work by the next working day during this period of remote learning. 

Wellbeing & Online Safety Links

We recognise that  parents and students might have concerns regarding this.  It is important to discuss this with your child and report it to a member of the safeguarding team if you have any concerns. The below links are useful resources to help guide parents and carers with online safety.

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