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COVID-19

Information for parents/carers, pupils, staff, governors and visitors

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The following operational changes have been made to our usual service and day-to-day running of the school in light of the measures that have been introduced in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in accordance with government guidance. It is possible that this guidance may change given the evolving nature of the pandemic. Further information will be posted to this page as and when we have it and our Letters to Parents can be found HERE.

The Government has created some resources to help reassure parents about the return to school this autumn. This includes:

Face Coverings at Risedale:

All pupils must bring a face covering to school every day and be prepared to wear as/when required. Last year the school had to reintroduce the wearing of face coverings at short notice, so we would like all pupils to be prepared if this ituation arises again.

Testing in school for new starters:

It is important that all new pupils and staff joining Risedale are practised and comfortable with the self-swabbing process. All new starters will be supported by initially being offered supervised in-school testing and then transitioning to home testing once they are confident with the process. Risedale will therefore maintain a small on-site ATS testing facility as requested by the Government.

Testing at Home:

  • LETTER: Home Testing Letter to Parents September 2021
  • All Risedale pupils will be supplied with their own LFD home test kits for regular twice weekly testing, 3-4 days apart, at home.
  • Tests are free of charge. Pupils will receive a batch of tests and everything you require for the testing will be supplied with the home test kit.
  • Help and support is available, including instructions in different languages on how to test and report the results and a video showing you how to take the test.
  • Make sure you have enough time to do the test before going to school. Preferably this would be in the morning before going into school. However, we understand that for some people this may be challenging. Therefore, tests can be taken the evening before school if needed.
  • Testing is now available for everyone and we would encourage all pupils/parents/carers and staff to test regularly.

You need to report each test result:

  • The result of each test needs to be reported using the NHS Test & Trace self-report website: Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result.  
  • You will also need to tell the school the result of each test by completing the following form: Home Test Result Form - PUPILS
  • Report all positive test results to school: As your child will be absent from school, you must report this in the normal way, contacting the school as soon as possible, making it very clear that this is because of a positive LFD test result.

For further information on the importance of testing and reporting please see the following Government blog Why reporting your test result is as important as taking a test.

Contact Tracing:

NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parents/carers to identify close contacts. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact.

Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:

  • they are fully vaccinated
  • they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

Instead, NHS Test and Trace will inform affected individuals, children or their parents or carers that they have been in close contact with a positive case and advise them to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.

Whilst waiting for the PCR test result, staff who do not need to isolate and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who have been identified as a close contact should continue to attend school as normal.

Do I need to give consent for Home Testing?

Pupils and parents do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme. By collecting and opening the test at home test kits the individual gives medical consent and is legally committed to reporting their results via the NHS Test and Trace reporting system. Please read the Privacy Notice on how personal information and test results are shared: Privacy Notice: COVID-19 Testing at Home of Pupils.

Pupil absence from school:

If your child is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms you should ensure they are tested for Coronavirus by contacting the NHS/Government website. If the test reveals that they are negative they can return to school. We ask all parents to report any absence from school by contacting the office before 9am on the first morning of the absence.

If a child becomes unwell at school: 

Should a pupil become unwell in school, they will be immediately sent to our trained First Aid Staff who will isolate them and check for their symptoms. It is more likely that children will be suffering general bugs as opposed to COVID-19. But if the symptoms may be related to coronavirus then the child will be sent home and parents must then follow the government guidance for testing and isolation.

School car park, pick-ups and drop-offs:

Parents must not drive into the school grounds to drop their children off, or wait in the car park for children to finish school without prior arrangement. The drive into Risedale School’s car park will be closed to all vehicles between 08:15 and 08:40 in the morning, and from 14:50 until 15:15 in the afternoon. This is to avoid overcrowding and ensure a safe start to the staggered day. We are recommending that as many students as possible walk or cycle to school. If your child is travelling to school by public transport, they must wear a mask.

Visiting the school and making appointments:

We always welcome parents to come and talk to us when there is a concern. However, to keep potential mixing to a minimum and in accordance with government guidelines, parents must not arrive at school without a pre-arranged appointment to meet an identified member of staff. We know how important it is for parents to see staff quickly and we will do our very best to see you as soon as possible. Appointments will be available from 09:00 until 14:30 and again between 15:15 and 16:00 and only when the member of staff is available. 

Helping us to do our best for your child: 

Whilst we will continually have to adapt to a fast-changing set of guidelines to keep everyone safe, it is essential that you work with us so that we can react and do the right thing. As we find our feet again on our return to full-time school, it may be that unforeseen issues occur either at home or at school. Please do what you are all great at and work with us to get things right. Your suggestions, as ever, are always welcome. As a parent if you think you need to speak with a teacher or member of staff about your child’s learning, please email teachers directly. For all other enquiries please ring the school directly 01748 833501 or email enquiries@risedale.org.uk 

Risedale has joined the COVID Symptom Study for School Communities :

Risedale has partnered with the COVID Symptom Study to help make sure our pupils are as safe as possible in the classroom, whilst doing our part in creating the world’s largest scientific dataset of COVID-19 in children.

We are asking parents to join the COVID Symptom Study now, by downloading the free app and taking less than 1minute a day to report how your child is/children are feeling each day. With parents reporting daily via the app, the app will provide a powerful tool for helping the school and parents understand COVID in the community and help keep our pupils safe. Importantly, the information you report will be invaluable to critical scientific research into COVID in children and for public health purposes - the Study will share any findings from their research with you.

The app is available to download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Simply create a profile for yourself and for your child/children. To join our school network in the app and receive personalised COVID insights about our school, go to Edit Profile for your child’s profile > School Network > enter Risedale’s Unique School Network Code: A21Q36L > select the Bubble that your child belongs to.

To avoid outsiders joining, please do not share this code with anyone who is not a parent of Risedale. For more information including full instructions on how to join and use the COVID Symptom Study app please head to: COVID Symptom Study for School Communities - Guide for Parents of Children