COVID-19

    SCHOOL COVID-19 RISK ASSESSMENTS:

    Mitigating the risk of coronavirus has been our key priority since March and our plans and procedures have been documented in our risk assessments.

    We continue to follow Government guidance on the safe opening of schools. Our system of controls and measures are fully documented in our risk assessments; please see the latest document below.

    Both staff and students received a covid-safe induction at the start of this academic year to ensure our covid risk assessment was understood and implemented by all.  Staff continue to meet twice a week, so they are clear on their ongoing responsibilities and are aware of any changes to routines.


    CHANGES TO THE SCHOOL DAY FROM SEPTEMBER 2020:

    Please see the document below entitled: ‘The USH Plan for September 2020’. In readiness for our safe opening in September, we introduced the following measures:

    • Phased start for students to ensure they received a covid-safe induction
    • Staggered start and end of school times for each year group
    • Staggered break and lunch times for each year group
    • Dedicated lunchtime zones for each year group
    • Dedicated toilets for each year group

     

    SAFETY MEASURES TO REDUCE THE RISK OF THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS (GENERAL):

    • Students will be expected to fully comply with all safety procedures and support the school community, without unnecessary challenge
    • Student will bring in their own writing equipment, as this cannot be shared between students and staff
    • To maintain normality and formality to the school day, students will wear their full uniform, unless they have PE, when they will wear their kit (allowing for plain tracksuit/jogging trousers in cold weather) and a blazer
    • All students in year 7 and 8, and students who study music as a GCSE option in years 9, 10 and 11, must have a set of over-the-ear headphones for use with electric keyboards and computers during music lessons – please see our separate communication
    • Students will bring in their own water bottle
    • Students must ensure they have funds on their cashless catering account, if they wish to use the canteen. To ensure the safety of our staff, we cannot accept coins to top up accounts within school; we want parents to work with us to minimise the exchange of money between home and school
    • Students must be careful and considerate in their behaviour; social distancing with staff and minimising close interaction with peers, even within year group bubbles
    • Students must ensure they travel to and from school safely, exhibiting covid-safe and respectful behaviours in and out of school.


    SAFETY MEASURES TO REDUCE THE RISK OF THE SPREAD OF CORONAVIRUS (FACE COVERINGS):

    • To provide additional confidence to support a full return to school, we expect that students and staff will wear a face-covering when in communal areas, when moving about the school and where it is not feasible to maintain social distance
    • This decision has been made as a result of guidance from the Department for Education and in conjunction with other secondary schools in Southampton, as a collective commitment to keeping our city safe
    • Students and staff who are unable to wear a face covering for medical reasons, will be exempt from this expectation.
    • It is your responsibility to provide a face covering for your child in the interest of the health and safety of all students and staff.


    What constitutes a face covering?

    A face covering should:

    • cover your nose and mouth, while allowing you to breathe comfortably
    • fit comfortably, but securely against the side of the face
    • be secured to the head with ties, or ear loops
    • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
    • unless disposable, it should be washable and ideally, have a spare one, so you can change it regularly
    • be kept in a small (sandwich-style) plastic bag when not in use, to avoid contamination
    • be plain, or with a simple pattern without inappropriate designs, or slogans


    ADDITIONAL INFORMATION FOR PARENTS TO HELP US REDUCE RISK:

    • Please do not send your child into school if they are unwell, or have any signs of coronavirus. Please tell us quickly if this is the case
    • Where possible, please communicate with us by phone and email to minimise face-to-face meetings - please be aware we will continue to hold some parent meetings using IT, such as Zoom
    • Meetings with staff need to be organised in advance, so that safety measures can be considered – no unexpected drop-ins, please
    • We cannot accommodate the volume of parents calling into school daily with forgotten lunch boxes, PE kits and instruments – please support your child to get organised the night before
    • Please make sure we have up-to-date contact details for you, so that we can call you if your child becomes unwell
    • Students will be asked to sanitise their hands on arrival to school, during social times and when leaving classes/school
    • Should a distance-learning package need to be re-instated because of a class, year group, school, or local outbreak, the school will communicate accordingly and children will be expected to continue learning from home

     

    PASTORAL SUPPORT:

    We are aware that the lockdown has been a difficult time for many families. USH has a whole school approach to the promotion of good mental health and this work will continue in September. As normal, please get in touch with your child’s Tutor, or Head of Year, if there are things you feel we need to know.


    SITE CHANGES:

    There have been many changes to the school site since March as we have adapted our school to make it covid-secure; they include:

    • Hand sanitiser stations across the school
    • Increased medical provision, separating general first-aid and those students displaying coronavirus symptoms
    • Introduction of new one-way systems  (see the site map)
    • Covid safety signage across the site (see photo gallery below)
    • Installation of screening at visitor points and to separate students within bubbles, eg first-aid


    Social distancing between staff and students (and students outside of their year group bubbles) is key and there are reminders of this even before you enter school (see photo gallery below).

    Our orange Covid spots show the safe distance to stand to ensure students and staff are safe if they have to queue.  These are placed all around the school; they are seen in Reception, in the Canteen and many other indoor and outdoor places!


    ENHANCED CLEANING:

    We have increased our cleaning capacity with an additional cleaner on site throughout the school day. Cleaning checklists are rigorously followed to ensure high-risk contact points (door handles, taps, toilets, etc.) are being thoroughly cleaned.


    USEFUL LINKS FOR PARENTS:

    Latest Government guidance for parents: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term

    COVID-19 symptoms: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/


    Get a test to check for coronavirus:

    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-and-tracing/get-a-test-to-check-if-you-have-coronavirus/

    *** The test needs to be done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.


    NHS 111

    Get advice from NHS 111 if you are worried about your child, or not sure what to do. NHS Link: https://digital.nhs.uk/coronavirus/nhs-111-online-coronavirus-services


    The Department for Education coronavirus (COVID-19) helpline:

    This remains available to answer questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) relating to education and children’s social care. Please listen carefully to the available options and select the most appropriate to your nursery, school, or college’s current situation.


    Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline by calling:

    Phone: 0800 046 8687

    Opening hours: Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm


     


COVID 19 Single Case Letter 19th October 2020 USH Return to school coronavirus risk assessment (updated 5.10.2020) Return to School COVID-19 Risk Assessment (dated 7.9.20) Test and Trace - A Letter from Public Health England General Covid Update from Mr Woods 28.09.2020 PHE Letter to Parents Sept 2020 Useful information COVID-19 symptoms grid Site Map September 2020 USH Plan for September 2020 Headteacher Letter July 2020 Headteacher Letter August 2020