A safe return to school

We were delighted to deliver exceptional remote learning and enrichment programmes during the challenging times we have experienced this year. As we return to school, we are committed to providing an outstanding educational provision whilst minimising the risk of transmitting the Covid-19 virus within our school community. 

The safety and well-being of our community is our priority and we have outlined below the steps we are taking in order to re-open our settings safely.

What to do if your child is unwell

Information for Parents and Carers
1 | Personal hygiene is a priority

This should include regular hand-washing (including at home before departure for school and on arrival home at the end of the day), regular use of hand sanitiser and avoiding touching one's face. Hand sanitiser is provided at entry points to buildings and in every classroom.

Everyone must also ensure good respiratory hygiene by following the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' approach, and we ask that parents review the information below from the HSC.

2 | Year groups bubbles will be introduced

In order to minimise the mixing of pupils, year groups will be operating in 'bubbles'. 

3 | Timetables will be adapted and one-way systems introduced

Each year group 'bubble' will be based in one particular area or building and a majority of their lessons will take place in designated rooms. One-way systems through buildings and separate access points and staircases will be used for different year groups where there is a benefit in doing so.

4 | Sports/PE kit will be worn on days when pupils have a Games or PE lesson

To minimise the need for pupils to change in confined spaces, pupils will wear the appropriate kit to school for the day's activities. For after-school clubs, pupils will change in designated changing areas for their year group bubble.

5 | A revised catering offering will be in place

School lunches will be provided as normal, but with a simplified range of choice and pupils will eat lunch in their year group bubbles in the Dining Hall. Two year groups at a time will be permitted to queue separately and tables will be cleaned thoroughly between year groups. 

6 | Equipment will not be shared between pupils, unless appropriate cleaning has taken place

All pupils must ensure they are well prepared with stationery, their own small bottle of sanitiser and a packet of tissues. teachers will be unable to hand out or share stationery. Other equipment, such as the apparatus in Science labs, will be cleaned between use by different year groups.

7 | We will ensure increased ventilation throughout the school

Internal doors and windows will be kept open where possible to ensure good ventilation and to reduce unnecessary touching of surfaces.

8 | Extra-curricular activities will take place in year group bubbles

A reduced programme of extra-curricular activities will operate in year group bubbles from September and will be reviewed as the term progresses.

9 | School transport will operate as normal

School minibus drivers will wear face coverings and all pupils will be expected to use hand sanitiser when getting on and off buses. Pupils in Year 7 and above will also need to wear face coverings. Good ventilation will be ensured and vehicles will be cleaned on a daily basis. 

10 | Music lessons and ensembles will be adapted

Individual music lessons will take place as normal. Choirs, orchestras and ensembles will be adapted to involve no more than 15 pupils and social distancing will operate where practical when singing and playing instruments. 

11 | Classroom layouts have been adjusted to support social distancing

Classrooms have been cleared of unnecessary items and surfaces cleared to allow for enhanced cleaning. Classrooms have been set up with forward facing desks and utilising space between desks as much as it possible. Each classroom will be set up with a marked 'staff safe zone'.

12 | Chapels and assemblies will be delivered online or to year group bubbles

We will not be permitted to use the Cathedral for school chapels and assemblies from the start of term. Some year group assemblies may be held in our large spaces, while others may be delivered through Teams and Firefly.

13 | After-school care will continue to be available up to Year 9

Breakfast and after-school care will be operating as usual in the Junior School. 

Supervision of pupils in Years 7-9 will be available in the School Library until 5.30pm as usual, with areas allocated to each year group bubble. 

14 | A programme of enhanced cleaning will will operate throughout the school day and at the end of each day

Frequently touched surfaces will be regularly cleaned and rooms will be 'fogged' where there is a requirement to do so. Desks and other surfaces will be wiped down between lessons where the rooms are to be used by different year groups (such as science labs). 

15 | We will encourage pupils to socially distance from each other and their teachers

While it will not be possible to run a school with social distancing in place for all pupils. However, staff will socially distance from each other and from the pupils and pupils should also socially distance from their teachers and, where possible, from each other.

16 | We will operate staggered arrivals and departures at the Junior School

A timetable of arrival and departure times will be provided to parents from Nursery to Year 6. Parents are asked to strictly adhere to social distancing rules when waiting outside school and parents should not cross the hashed line.

With multiple entry points to the Senior School, there is less need to stagger the start and end of the school day. 

17 | Outdoor spaces will be allocated to each year group bubble

Outdoor spaces and playgrounds will be allocated to specific year groups. Where two year groups are sharing a playground, the area will be divided into two section and pupils will be required to keep to their year group area.

18 | We will continue to prioritise our pupils well-being

Our pupils' happiness and well-being in school remains our top priority. Our staff will explain the new systems and adaptations to the pupils so that they can focus on enjoying their time back at school. 

19 | We will continue to review our Return to School risk assessment
Hereford Cathedral School from the air