Frequently Asked Questions

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Last updated: 6:34pm | 17.06.2020


How can I contact my teacher?

Great Question! You are more than welcome to contact the teacher through the Seesaw. You can also email our Home Learning email address HomeLearning@abercarnprimary.org we will try and respond as quickly as possible.

Would the children be put in 'bubbles' with other children or would they be expected to socially distance from everyone? 

Children will be encouraged and reminded to socially distance at all times even when in their “Bubble”. Children will be in a bubble with other children and their Teacher and Teaching Assistant. They will not have contact with other “Bubbles” but can wave etc to other children from a distance. Bubbles will have playtime, lunch, outside activities at different times. Bubbles will be no more than 8. WG Guidance states that bubbles with less than 8 can potentially “mix” although we will be encouraging and reinforcing social distancing.

How will 1/3 of a class be split?

We are splitting the class based on friendship groups and well-being. For the older children we are also trying to split the class so Year 6 children are together to support transition. We are also splitting classes to try and accommodate siblings.

Can you guarantee that he will be kept safe at all times? 

No one can 100% guarantee safety at all times as there is risk in everything we do. I can put procedures and routines in place that reduces the risk and that is what I have done.

What would happen if my child was to injure himself while at school?

First aid would be administered. Allocated first aiders may need to wear PPE if in close proximity and for certain situations. We would comfort and reassure as much as we could as we usually do although PPE may be worn by staff.

How many will be in a class? 

Class sizes will vary depending on the size of the classroom and children attending – although some rooms can accommodate 12+ pupils our class bubble size will be a maximum of 8 and up to 10 for our Hub. Group size will vary up to 8 because we are trying to accommodate siblings on same days as well as friendship groups.

How will social distancing will be implemented? 

Desks, chairs and work areas will be spaced 2m apart. There will be floor markings throughout the school. Children and staff will work in Bubbles - working in bubbles allows a lot more flexibility with social distancing. Social distancing will be encouraged and reinforced both inside and outside the school. We have a range of games up our sleeves for playtimes.  

As a full-time working parent, it will be extremely hard for the drop off and pick up of my child, will grandparents be able to help or no as they are from another household?

This depends on a range of factors and what restrictions are in place from the Welsh Government at the time for your circumstances. As long as the restrictions allow, usual drop off and collection is fine – although please make sure that whoever collects respects new procedures in place.

Can we visit the school before sending our children?

No - we are deep cleaning and preparing the site. We will be providing photos and videos to demonstrate what we have in place. We cannot have numerous adults and various times on site effectively as we all need to socially distance.

Will Rising 3’s from April be starting on 29th June?

Not on 29th June 2020. We will welcome the children who should’ve started with us as soon as we can but it will not be on 29th June 2020.

Will moving up a year be delayed or take place a little later?

No. There are no plans from Welsh Government to do this. Children will move up to their new class in September as planned.

How would the school ensure social distancing at break times?

Children and staff will be in “Bubbles”. Break times will be at different times for each bubble and they will have their own area. A range of social distancing games will be provided for each bubble.

Will home-schooling still go ahead when school do open?

Home Learning does need to continue and we need to ensure we continue with the excellent practice shown in the last 12 weeks. The week will be organised so that on a Friday all teachers will be fully online. Of course they will be online throughout the week although it will be limited as teachers cannot be in two places at once. The homelearning@abercarnprimary.org email will continue to help with any queries.

What additional measures will the school have in place to ensure social distancing?

There are a range of methods including but not limited to: One-way system in place outside school for drop off and collections. Allocated drop off and collection times. Using class bubbles. Markings on floor and signage throughout the school both inside and out. Staggered break and lunch times. Supervised toilet use with cubicles/sinks allocated to each bubble and a one in one out policy.

Will my children have the option of attending school together?

We are doing our best to ensure siblings attend school on the same day and children are with friends.

Will adequate washing facilities for children be provided which will include soap dispensers not bars of soap?

There are adequate and allocated washing facilities for every class bubble. Every class will have soap dispensers and sanitising products.

Will there be a set day that the children will be given? Will my child be attending the whole month at school or different days/weeks to allow for others to go at different times?"

Yes – children will be given a set day every week and set drop off and collection times for each year group. This will either be a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday.  

When will I know the day and time my child will be attending?

We will provide your allocated day together will allocated drop off and collection times as soon as we possibly can. We need to have all the information from Welsh Government and Local Authority. We also need to know whether parents intend to send their child as this will impact on bubble sizes and make up – we are still waiting for a number of parents to confirm whether their child will be attending or not.

Will teachers be tested for the virus on returning to school and if so, how often will tests be taken? 

We will follow Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidance. If they are available and criteria is met then teachers will be tested. This is not a school decision – we follow the guidance and criteria from Welsh Government.

Will my child be in his usual classroom with his usual teacher? 

Yes – children will be in their bubble with their usual teacher and teaching assistant. There may be circumstances beyond our control that arise and an alternative teacher / adult may need to attend.

Will pressure be put on pupils who do not want to attend?

No. It is your decision whether your child attends. Welsh Government has made clear that there is no pressure to attend and no fines will be issued.

Will you encourage masks?

No. Current Public Health Wales guidance does not advise the wearing of masks. Therefore, no masks will be worn. If the advice changes, this may need to change too. Mask will be worn in line with WG Guidance for specific close contact tasks e.g. First Aid, Intimate Care.

Can they choose who is in their "bubble"?

No. However, teachers know your child well and will do their best to ensure they are with children they know / friends. We are trying to accommodate many factors e.g. Siblings, class sizes and friends etc

Will there be play time for the children? 

Yes of course. There will be playtimes for each class bubble throughout the day at different times, in different areas.

Will children be in the same class or the same year group?

Yes. Children will be with other children from their current class. We will not be mixing classes.

What will be done to prepare Year 6 for comp?

We are working closely with the Secondary School and will provide possible transition tasks for Year 6 as well as information regarding their new routine etc. We will provide as much information as we can from the Secondary School. We do not know yet whether visits can be undertaken although virtual contact is being arranged. We have a dedicated page for transition on our website for all year groups including anything posted from the Secondary School.

My child has Additional Learning Needs and doesn’t understand social distancing. Is it wise to let him back to school? 

If your child has an Additional Learning Need we may need to complete a Risk Assessment and provide PPE for their adult support. This is for the safety of both the child and the adult. Further details regarding this is being obtained from the Local Authority. We will be in touch and will talk you through everything. WG Guidance states that following a risk assessment it may be more appropriate for some learners to continue learning remotely

How will you be able to manage behaviour under social distancing?

We will manage behaviour as we usually do. We do not have any physical contact with children.

Will there be toys for the children to play with as they can't share items?

Yes of course. Toys and games will be cleaned after use and at the end of each day.

How often and how long will his sessions be? 

Every child will be offered at least 1 day per week for the majority of the day. Times do vary as we need to stagger the drop off and collection times to reduce congestion and help with social distancing.

Will my child be in school with friends?

Yes. We are doing our best to ensure every child will be with friends and know other children within their bubble.

Is there anything I need to do to prepare my child?

Yes. It will be important for you to talk with your child about what to expect, working in a bubble and always reinforce good hygiene and behaviour. The “Abercarn Primary Bubbles” sheet will be useful for you to discuss. It is important to prepare your child for the differences that they may encounter. Our school website has some “Social Stories” and resources that may be useful.

Will snacks and dinners still be available?

We will be asking children to bring in their own snacks and packed lunch. Please remember NO NUTS. All pupils will be expected to bring a packed lunch to school for their own personal consumption and all waste should be taken back home to limit cross contamination. Those entitled to free school meals will be provided with a range of items in order to prepare a daily packed lunch.

How would children safely use the toilets? Would you have a 1 person at a time policy and how would that be monitored? 

Toilet use will be supervised at all times. Children will sanitise before using the toilet and wash hands after each use. Toilets have been separated with a cubicle and sink allocated to each class bubble. Toilets will be cleaned after each use.

Would children be tested daily for high temperatures?

No. Current advice is that it is not necessary to temperature screen. Parents can check for the signs of a high temperature. Temperature screening will not identify all cases of COVID-19 and the means of checking temperatures may put children and staff at a greater risk of transmission. Staff will be vigilant for changes to children’s temperature and non-touch forehead thermometers are in each classroom and can be used to confirm a high temperature or sign of fever. If necessary, we will do this in a friendly and no intrusive manner and make it as fun as possible.

What if my child is ill in school?

You must be prepared to collect your child from school. If your child is unwell, he/she will go with an adult to our Isolation room and exit through a dedicated door when you arrive. You must make arrangements for there to be a speedy collection from school if required. Please note that the adult with your child may need to wear PPE in line with WG Guidance.

How will the classroom be re-organised?

Rooms will be re-organised so children can work / play 2m apart as much as possible. Furniture will be rearranged. There will be a zoned area for teachers.

Will pupils stay in one room? 

Yes. There will be very limited movement around the school. This will support track and trace principles.

How will drop off/pick-ups be managed?

You will be provided with a drop off and collection time slot. You will need to drop off and collect at these times. Adults will be outside to help support and guide you. There will be an allocated area to wait if required.

Will videos or photos be provided of the measures in place?

Yes. We will provide lots of photos and videos so you can see everything in place.

Will school consider non uniform to ensure good hygiene is being followed from home?

We will encourage a clean uniform to be worn on their contact day. However, for these “Check in, Catch Up and Prepare” days before the summer holidays, we understand children may have outgrown current uniform and therefore other clothes can be worn only if uniform does not fit. Whatever children wear to school, it is essential children wear clean clothes and they are washed as soon as they go home.

Will school lunches be provided or will children need packed lunch?

We will be asking all children to be provided with a packed lunch. Those eligible for free school meals will still receive deliveries and will be provided with items to provide a packed lunch daily. Cereal breakfast bars will also be provided for ALL children.

How much school work will be undertaken in class? 

These contact days are meant to be “Check in, Catch Up and Prepare”. Teachers will be focussed on ensuring children’s well-being is good and provide a range of tasks to support this. Teachers will also check up on home learning and will provide some learning throughout the day. The Welsh Government has made clear that these days are not meant to have an educational focus.

Have you considered a one-way system through the corridors of the school to minimise contact?

As movement around school and corridors will be extremely limited, we will have a “Stop, Stand Back and Wait” policy in place inside school. This will enable children to use the toilet when they need to go as otherwise some children may need to walk all the way around school in order to go etc. A one-way system will be in place for drop off and collections.

What will you do if a staff member or child test positive for Coronavirus during term time? 

Parents will be kept informed and in line with Public Health Wales guidance if a child or staff member tests positive the whole class bubble would need to isolate following WG / PHW Guidance. We would fully support test track and protect.

What plans are there to ensure our children have not fallen behind, will this be assessed?

The days before the summer holidays are meant to have a “Check in, Catch Up and Prepare” focus to help with good well-being. We will be undertaking assessments when we return in September. Please also note that if you have been engaging with us for the last 12 weeks, teachers are constantly assessing and reviewing the progress children are making.

My child is in Nursery and I have another child that was due to start in April. Is there any news on when they will be starting?

We have planned for our current Nursery to attend. We are still waiting for confirmation on when April children will be admitted into school – this will probably be September.

Will children still have the same teachers?

Yes. Children will have their same teacher. Although if the teacher becomes unwell etc an alternative may need to be in place.

How do you plan on being helping children with high anxiety issues like my daughter during this time?

We are focussed on helping all children deal with these changes. We will focus on well-being during the contact days. All Teaching Assistants are trained in Child Mental Health. Our Thrive TA will also be in school to help with anxiety wherever possible. It is also important for you to play your part and prepare your child as much as possible. Social stories and resources will be made available

Will children/teachers have PPE? 

PPE is available in every room for close contact situations e.g. first aid, changing a child etc. It will not be worn for general situations. Adults may need to wear PPE including face masks and visors for certain situations – this cannot be avoided and is in line with WG Guidance. Children will not be required to wear PPE e.g. facemasks – Public Health Wales does not advise facemasks are worn.

Will you be providing hand sanitizer/wipes for children to use? 

Yes. We have lots of sanitiser for use throughout the school and in all classrooms and outside toilet facilities. We also have sanitiser outside to be used by anyone entering the site.

Have the school considered how the track and trace will work? 

Yes. We will be working within bubbles in order to support track and trace (Test, Trace Protect). If a child becomes ill, we will easily be able to track their contacts by using the bubble system.

Is there a plan of exactly what has been put in place and can we see it?

Yes. There is a plan with procedures and routines. I will publish the plan and our reasons along with the risk assessment as soon as possible. The plan is being worked on by all staff, Governors and taking account of Welsh Government Guidance / LA advice.

When will we know what days each class will be allowed to go in? 

We will provide this information as soon as possible. Guidance from Welsh Government needs to be received and parents need to decide whether their child will be attending as this affects grouping children into bubbles.

How will the school year work from September onwards? 

We will be working on this over the coming weeks. We need to evaluate how this approach works and also wait for further guidance from Welsh Government. Children will be moving up to their new class / year – we know that! Children will not be repeating the year or have extra time with their current teacher – they will go up to their new teacher. Lots of videos will be posted on our transition page on our website to help children and parents familiarise themselves with their new teacher etc.

Will there be breakfast club?

No there will be no breakfast club. Caerphilly Catering will arrange a delivery of boxed Cereal Bars to school that can be given to pupils to consume over the morning break in each bubble.

What happens if there is an outbreak in a school?

If there are multiple cases of COVID-19 in school then experts from across the NHS and local government will work together to prevent ongoing transmission within school. This will involve identifying those exposed, any child or staff member who is at increased risk and provide tailored infection control advice. Advice based on the assessment of each individual situation will be provided to support the school in preventing further spread. The process will be handled sensitively and in confidence. Further information and questions and answers about Test, Trace, Protect can be found on the Welsh Government website.

Last modified: Wednesday, 17 June 2020, 8:14 PM