COVID-19 Information and Updates

On this page please find important information to detailing our plans and the support we have put in place to ensure a safe return both students and staff. If you can’t find the answer below please email us school@bishopschester.co.uk

COVID 19 Update

October 6th 2020

On Monday 5th October we were informed in the evening that a student in Year 13 had tested positive for Covid-19.  At this stage, we immediately engaged with guidance from Public Health England and traced a small number of close/direct contacts.

All students and staff who are deemed to have been a close/direct contact were contacted and will self-isolate for 14 days from the last point they had contact with the positive case.

Given our measures in place and the fact that Year 13 were completing internal assessments – only 9 members of our community have been advised to self-isolate.  These students will now be engaging with Remote Learning and will be supported by their teachers and pastoral staff.

We appreciate that Bishops’ has done well to negotiate this far into term without a confirmed case and wish to assure the Sixth Form that we are doing all we can to follow the guidance and ensure we mitigate the risk as far as we reasonably can.

This is the first positive case at Bishops’.  It is an isolated case, with a small number of students being traced as close/direct contacts.  I am grateful to staff, 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 the return to school is a rather daunting time for both parents and students, therefore we have collated some frequently asked questions below to ensure that you are as informed as possible. The Department of Education are also supporting #backtoschoolsafely which is a campaign to help ease both parents and children back into school. For more information please take a look at gov.uk/backtoschool.

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.

Can my child access hand sanitiser/ hand washing facilities?

There will be year group designated hand sanitiser stations upon arrival to school and when exiting at the end of the 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?

When it comes to break and lunch times, each year group will have their own designated area on the school field which will be closely monitored by the staff on duty. They will ensure that no mixing between year groups (bubbles) takes place.

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

We have arranged for additional covered space for rainy days which is dedicated to each year group.

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.

Students will be asked to enter and exit the classroom using external doors where possible. Where this is not possible, there is a one-way system in place for students to follow.

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

All windows and doors, where possible, will be kept open. Air conditioning units will not be in use. Classrooms which have external doorways will be used where possible.

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 but will move to a new classroom for each lesson to ensure there is a clear end of one lesson and the beginning of the next. Upon entering each classroom students will be asked to sanitise their hands and given a disinfectant wipe to clean down their area.

Students in Year 10, 11 and Sixth form will have the majority 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 and thorough clean of the classroom will be completed before and after if a year bubble is required to enter another building. 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, therefore should we go into a local lock down we will increase our measures meaning that all students and teachers will be expected to wear a mask at all times. 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 report any COVID symptoms to their teacher they will be immediately placed into our designated COVID-19 room located in reception. A parent/carer will be notified immediately and will be expected to pick their child up as soon as possible. A COVID test is required. The child may return to school if they receive a negative result.

What happens if somebody in the school community tests positive for COVID-19?

If anybody within the school community tests positive for COVID-19 we will notify the local authority who will advise us further should a school closure need to take place. If we are put into this position then teaching will resume via online learning.

I am nervous to send my child into school, is it a legal requirement that my child attends?

It is a legal requirement that all students attend school. We understand that we have some students who are classed as Clinically Extremely  Vulnerable or live with someone who is. We ask that those individuals contact the school so a risk assessment can be completed.

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

We are happy to confirm that all school bus routes will be running following their published bus route. In particular, students who travel on public buses will be able to travel on dedicated school journeys on the routed 2, 5, 15, 51, 53 and 61.  These  buses will follow their normal routes but will be identified with an ‘S’ prefix in front of the number. There will be no difference in fare for using these services and students are encouraged, where possible, to use these services to free up space on the ‘normal’ non dedicated school services. It is important to note that these are additional to the normal services. Students can still use other buses services as normal, these dedicated services are simply to provide extra capacity. 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 on 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.

Travel information as well as our school bus timetable can be found here.

I have become aware that my child is extremely nervous of interaction with anybody outside of our household, is there any additional support that you can offer her?

We understand that their will be some anxieties about returning to school. We suggest in the first instance the your child’s Pastoral support officer is contacted by emailing school@bishopschester.co.uk

What lunch option 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. Initially when we reopen there will be no canteen provision and students should bring their own healthy break, lunch, and refreshments. We will be launching an online ordering system for school lunches and more information about this will be shared in the coming weeks. Those who are entitled to Free School Meals will still receive lunch when school reopens, and a separate communication will be shared giving instructions how to place orders.

Can my child have a locker?

To ensure year group bubbles do not cross. There will be no school lockers available to hire. If restrictions ease and students can move around the school site, we will again offer the option to hire lockers with Year 7 getting first refusal. We ask that all students who currently are in procession of a locker key return the key, labelled with their name, to their form tutor no later than September 18th. Any keys not returned will incur a £7.50 charge to the individuals school gateway account. We are aware of students who have hired a key for a 2-year period. Again, please can these keys be returned to your child’s form tutor labelled and the remaining year’s hire of £11 will be refunded. Refund’s cannot be processed without the return of the key and you will be charge £7.50 if the key is not returned.

This year’s lockers have been emptied and the items labelled. Any items which have not been collected will be delivered to your child’s form room ready for collection on their first day back in school.

Risk Assessment

Bishops' Risk Assessment

Well being and 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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