Updated COVID-19 FAQ

Posted on 27th August, 2021

Covid-19

Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Have there been any positive cases of Covid-19 at St Ursula’s? To date, twenty five students have tested positive for Covid-19 and three members of staff. (27/08/2021)

Covid-19 symptoms:

What are the key Covid-19 symptoms?

The key symptoms can be found here: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/symptoms/ 

If your child has any of these symptoms, they should stay at home and you should book them a PCR test.

My child has tested positive for COVID-19, what should do I do?

Your child must isolate at home so please do not send them to school. If they are well enough to work from home, remote work will be set. 

Please inform us of the positive test by contacting the school.

My child has a temperature, but they feel fine once they have taken medication, can they attend school?

No. If your child has a temperature or any other Covid-19 symptoms, we ask that they stay at home and get a test. Please do not try and ‘manage’ their symptoms and send them to school – even if they feel well. Remote work will be set for your child via Google Classrooms. Instructions regarding how to access the remote work will be emailed to you once we have received confirmation that your child is isolating whilst waiting for a PCR test.

My child does not feel well. I don’t think it’s Covid-19; it seems like it’s just a cold. Should I send them to school?

We ask that you only send your child to school if they are well. If they are unwell, they should stay at home even if you do not think they have Covid-19. They could have another virus such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Once they are better, they can return to school. Whilst they are at home, if their symptoms match any of the key Covid-19 symptoms, they should get tested for Covid-19 by booking a PCR test.

What happens if my child develops symptoms whilst they are at school?

If your child develops symptoms whilst at school, they will be sent to our Covid-19 First Aid room. Here we will take their temperature and assess their symptoms. If we believe they need to go home, parents/carers will be contacted and they must be collected immediately. Government guidance asks that they do not travel home on public transport. Parents/carers should then book a PCR test.

What happens if someone in my child’s class develops symptoms during the school day?

If someone in your child’s class develops symptoms during the school day, the individual will be sent to the First Aid room where they will be assessed. If we believe that the student may have Covid-19 symptoms, students will be removed from the classroom so that it can be cleaned. All students will also be asked to sanitise their hands.

My child was unwell and we thought it might be Covid-19 so we got them tested. The test was negative, but they are still not well. Should they come back to school?

No – if your child still does not feel well, they should stay at home until they feel better. They can then return to school.

My child was told to self-isolate because they have tested positive for COVID-19. They feel fine; can she return to school before the end of her self-isolation date?

No. Public Health England is clear that if an individual is instructed to self-isolate because they have tested positive, then they must do so for the full duration of the isolation period.

Self-isolating:

If my child is required to self-isolate because they have tested positive, does everyone in my household need to isolate?

The latest guidance regarding self-isolation rules can be found here.

If we have been in contact with a parent/child that has been asked to self-isolate because they are positive, are we also required to self-isolate?

The latest guidance regarding self-isolation rules can be found here.

Responding to confirmed cases:

What will happen if you have a confirmed case?

The child, who has tested positive, will isolate at home. If they are well enough, they will work remotely until their isolation period is over.

If you have a confirmed case of Covid-19, will you confirm details of the infected person/people?

As you might expect, we will not be releasing the name(s) of anyone who tests positive in respect to their privacy.

If there is a confirmed case in my child’s class, will they be sent home to self-isolate?

The latest guidance regarding self-isolation rules can be found here.

If there is a confirmed case at St Ursula’s, should I get my child tested as a precaution?

We encourage everyone in our community to continue with twice weekly lateral flow testing. However, please note, if your child has symptoms, they must book a PCR test rather than use a lateral flow test.

Covid-19 Protective Measures and logistics:

Will you be testing students on site when they return in September?

Yes. Schools have been asked to expand their lateral flow testing provision so that students can access two on site tests when they return to school. The first test should be on entry to school and the second test should be 3-5 days later. Greenwich Local Authority are facilitating the testing at St Ursula’s and we will have a test team on site for the first two weeks of term. 

Have you got increased cleaning?

Yes. As part of this, additional cleaning of frequently touched surfaces (e.g. door handles, light switches, bannisters) and toilets occur throughout the school day.

Do parents/carers and staff wear face coverings when on the school site?

All visitors to the school are asked to wear a face covering when moving about the site.

Should I be washing my daughter’s face mask every day?

If your daughter has a reusable face covering, it should be washed regularly.

The Government guidance to schools states:

Safe wearing of face coverings requires cleaning of hands before and after touching – including to remove or put them on – and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and the face covering should be replaced carefully.

Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing it and they must dispose of temporary face coverings in a ‘black bag’ waste bin (not recycling bin) or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom.

Will my child have to wear a face covering in the classroom?

No, your child does not need to wear a face covering in classrooms but they must wear a face covering in the corridors.

Can the school take the temperatures of people entering the building?

The guidance does not recommend this and it would be challenging for us to do this with the number of children we have. If a child is hot to the touch on their front and back, then they should remain at home. If we suspect that someone is unwell then we will check their temperature and follow our procedures.

Will my child be able to purchase food from the dining hall at break?

We are reviewing this with our catering team and will inform parents/carers if we are able to reinstate this.

I have read that all schools are following Government Guidance. Where can I read this Government Guidance?

The latest Government Guidance can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-covid-19-operational-guidance

What will happen if there is a local lockdown or another national lockdown?

The school will follow local advice from Greenwich local authority and national advice from the Department for Education and Public Health England.

Attendance:

I am worried about my child getting Covid-19. I want to keep them at home, can I do this?

We can understand your concerns and this is a very unusual time for all of us. You will be aware that the Government has announced that all students should return to school and continue their education. If your child does not attend school, they will have this recorded as an unauthorised absence.

If you choose not to send your child to school, we will be in touch to have a conversation and discuss your concerns. Almost every student is now back at school and, unless your child is self-isolating or is shielding, then they should be attending school.

Working remotely:

If my child needs to self-isolate, how will work be set for them?

If your child needs to self-isolate, work will be set via Google Classroom. You will be sent an email with links to some additional activities that your child can complete whilst working remotely and instructions for accessing the work set.

If my child is self-isolating because they have tested positive and is unwell, is the school expecting my child to complete their school work from home?

No. If your child is unwell, you need to contact the school office and inform us of this. We can then inform their teachers to not set work for them that day. As per normal, you will need to contact the school office each day to let us know that they are unwell.

My child is entitled to Free School Meals. If they have to self-isolate, how will their Free School Meals be reimbursed?

Each student is entitled to £2.40 for a Free School Meal. When your child returns to school, we will reimburse you for the number of days that they have been self-isolating via cheque. If you are in financial difficulty and need support whilst your child is isolating, please contact the school’s finance team.

Travel:

My child would like to cycle to school to avoid public transport, can they bring their bike to school?

Yes. We have bike racks where your child can lock their bike. These bike racks are at the main gate so your child will need to allow sufficient time to lock her bike away before making her way to her designated entrance.

We would advise your child to wear a cycle helmet to and from school as well as some reflective clothing over their school uniform..

Curriculum and extra-curricular:

How will you continue with collective worship?

In the 2020-21 academic year, collective worship continued to take place each day remotely. We are looking forward to being able to return to Our Ladye Star of the Sea for masses this academic year. 

How are teachers assessing how well students understood work delivered during lockdown?

Teachers are using a range of formative strategies to assess students in lessons. These may be quizzes, short paragraphs or other ‘low stakes’ activities which provide teachers with information. We will also have more formal assessment weeks throughout the year. We also have a lot of evidence of work produced by students when working remotely.

What happens if my child is still in school, but some of her teachers are not because they are isolating?

In this situation, cover work will be set for your child and their class.

Will there be any trips this year?

We hope that the lifting of restrictions will allow trips to resume.

My child used to attend lots of after school clubs, will these be available again?

We hope that the lifting of restrictions will allow clubs to resume.

Support:

Someone in our family has passed away from Covid-19 and my daughter is extremely upset. Who should I contact for support at school?

Initially, please contact your child’s form tutor. They will coordinate support for your child in school. We have two Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officers on site who will also be able to offer support.

My child has become extremely anxious about school as a result of COVID-19, what should I do?

The first point of contact is your child’s form tutor. They see your child every day for registration so will be best placed to ‘check in’ with her. If your child needs more support, they will be able to liaise with our Safeguarding and Wellbeing Officers.