Oak Hill's Response to Covid-19
(Last reviewed 14.02.22)
Key things we can all do to help manage COVID at Oak Hill from September 2021:
- Pupils and staff should not come into school if they have COVID symptoms
- Individuals with symptoms must immediately seek a PCR test
- Ensure we all maintain good hygiene 'Catch It - Bin It - Kill It'
- Maintain good cleaning regimes across the school
- Keep occupied spaces well ventilated
- Follow all public health guidance on testing, self-isolation and managing cases
- Take up offers of vaccinations
The current Government Guidance is called Actions for schools during the coronavirus outbreak and was initially published on 02/07/20. It was last updated on 27/09/21.
Our school's response to the updated Government guidance can be found in our most recent COVID Risk Assessment and COVID Contingency and Outbreak Management Plan (v03 - 22.11.21).
These documents give an overview of the school's daily practices and detail the procedures we will follow should there be a suspected or confirmed case of COVID in our school. They are shared with all of our school community. (Paper copies can be made available on request to the school office)
Our Head Teacher Mr Greaves ensures day to day plans are reviewed as and when situations arise or change. He also regularly reviews the arrangements with Mrs Leather, our Chair of Governors. If we need to change how we operate due to COVID, parents, pupils, staff and governors are informed as soon as possible.
Updates by COVID Regional Group Autum 2021
Gloucestershire County Council, the South West Directors of Public Health, UK Health Security Agency and Regional Schools Commissioner work together as a regional group who keep the COVID guidance for schools in our area under strict and regular review.
October 2021 Regional Group Review of South West Situation:
On 21 October 2021 a consensus statement was issued by the regional group to all schools based on the following factors:
- SW case rates having increased sharply against the national average
- Impact of increased transmission arising from false negative PCR results
- The majority of cases in school age groups and there is evidence of this translating into adults of parent age
- Over 60 rates rising steadily
- Hospital Admissions for COVID19 increased in the region
- The greater prevalence of infection being seen in school age children and their families
- All SW local authority areas are in areas of rapidly rising infection and therefore triggering thresholds that warrant additional action
- Enhanced mitigation measures are required to prevent transmission, prevent school closures and to maintain appropriate levels of education
Changes to Daily Practice at Oak Hill from 25 October 2021:
The regional group's consensus statement and recommendations were reviewed against our school's individual context. The whole school community was advised at the end of the half term break of changes we need to return safely to school on Monday 25 October.
The changes include:
- All adults to wear a mask in the school buildings (unless exempt)
- Children on the bus also wear masks again during their commute (unless exempt)
- Year 5/6 children to wear masks for travel to and from the Devon residential trip (25 - 29 October)
We will continue with all of our usual precautionary measures of continued good infection prevention control (ventilation, touchpoint cleaning), including in areas where staff gather.
October 2021 Recommendations for continued efforts on testing including lateral flow tests and PCR Tests:
The regional group also asked schools to emphasis the need for continuing use of testing and vigilance around symptoms to control the spread of the virus. The presumption remains that if an individual is displaying symptons remains they will immediately seek a PCR test to determine whether it is Covid or not. Other members of the household should also request PCR tests.
Key testing guidance includes:
- If unwell, stay at home
- Household siblings (secondary school age) of confirmed cases are advised to take daily lateral flow tests while awaiting their PCR test results and to continue to attend school (unless test is positive)
- This is also advised for primary school aged children but is at the discretion of the parent/guardian
- Given high prevalence it is appropriate to recommend daily lateral flow tests for all close contacts identified by NHS Test and Trace whilst individuals await their PCR results
- Promotion of twice weekly asymptomatic testing across school community (where appropriate)
- If PCR test is negative for COVID19 individuals should still wait until 24 hours post fever before returning to school
- Colds and other non-COVID19 symptoms are circulating but in the first instance cardinal symptoms should be treated as possible COVID19 and trigger isolation and testing
- This is the case even if others in the setting /group have tested negative for similar symptoms.
What happens if there is a suspected case of COVID in school?
If we have a suspected COVID case within school, we will isolate the individual and arrange for them to be collected immediately. We will ask you to arrange for a test to be carried out and to share the results with the school.
Information on how to get tested is available here:
and further information about testing is available from the NHS here:
What happens if there is a confirmed case at Oak Hill school?
If we have a confirmed case we will follow the actions set out in our published COVID management documents referred to above.
Track and trace
Schools are no longer expected to conduct contact tracing. We would ask that you engage with the Track and Trace service if they contact you or a member of your household to prevent any further spread locally.
From September 2021 schools are not required to operate bubbles of children and staff as part of pandemic management in schools. Guidelines state that in some circumstances (if local need requires) bubbles may be re-introduced to an individual school or groups of schools in a locality. If bubbles are required during the school day these bubbles do not mix with one another to reduce the risk of infection. At Oak Hill we have operated with three bubbles when required:
• Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 – led by Miss Tarling and Miss Gunter
• Year 3 and Year 4 – led by Miss Garrett
• Year 5 and Year 6 – led by Miss Attwood
Support staff work in our bubbles and do not move between bubbles during the school day.
The School Bus
The bus returned in September 2021 with the same timetable as before.
A member of staff will enter the bus and help the children with their seatbelts at the beginning and end of their journey.
Parents are advised that children’s hands should be sanitised before and after travelling on the bus.
School drop off
There will be a member of staff on the playground at Alderton and Dumbleton from 8:40am to supervise children. Children cannot arrive before this time as we are unable to staff the playground before 8:40am.
To support the staff at both sites, as well as your child’s education, please can you ensure your child arrives at school on time.
Both sites will return to their usual end of school day times from September 2021.
We ask that, where possible, just one adult drops off and collects their child from school. We need to avoid having too many parents and children outside of school at any one time whilst we continue to be vigilant about transmission of the virus. Please can parents collect their children and leave the school site promptly.
We will continue to reduce the number of visitors into school. If you need to pop into school please phone (01242 620 448) us or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) instead of coming in.
Children’s equipment and resources
Reading books, pencil cases, lunch boxes, drinks bottles and bags are all allowed in school. Children are not to bring in anything that is not requested by class teachers. From September 2021 chldren will be provided with home reading books again.
All children are to wear full school uniform and you should ensure they have full PE kit available on the days necessary. Class teachers will keep you advised if there are any changes to each class' PE timetable.
Government guidelines for classrooms are more flexible from September 2021 so our classrooms can return to a more familiar layout, with children working in groups rather than socially distanced, forward-only facing lines.
If you have any concerns or queries now or as the academic year continues please do contact our Head Teacher Mr Greaves by email at email@example.com or by calling the school office. As stated above, please avoid coming into school without having made prior arrangements.