KIDS in all school year groups are set to return to the classroom full time from the beginning of the autumn term.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant many children have become accustomed to learning at home.
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The new normal: children will have to use their own pens and pencils during lessons[/caption]
At present children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 are attending schools across the country as well as the children of key workers.
Parents were asked to send their kids back to school on June 1.
The government highlighted that penalties would not be incurred for parents who refused to send their children back, but they have now said that they expect all children to return in September.
A new report from the government states: “The prevalence of coronavirus has decreased our NHS Test and Trace system is up and running, and we are clear about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments within schools.”
But what should parents teach their children this summer as they prepare to send them back to school?
Here are 10 of the key guidelines that the government has set out to help your children safely return to school.
1. Wash your hands
During the pandemic the government made clear from the start that keeping your hands clean was one of the best ways to stop the spread of the virus.
Parents have been asked to make sure their children understand the importance of hand washing before they return to school.
When children arrive at school they will have to wash their hands immediately.
If they are wearing a disposable face covering they will be asked to take this off and put it in the bin. If they are wearing a reusable mask they will be asked to put it away.
They will then be asked to wash their hands again before returning to the classroom.
The government guidelines state that schools should make sure pupils are washing their hands more often.
It states that schools should make sure there are enough hand sanitiser stations available and also highlighted that younger children may require more supervision due to the risk of them ingesting the cleaning products.
2. Don’t share your pens
Many schools have shared supplies but parents have been told to make sure their kids have their own pens and pencils when returning to school in September.
The implementation of extra cleaning measures means that there just won’t be enough time to clean every single pen and pencil kids use on a daily basis.
Sharing pens and other school supplies will be a no no for students [/caption]
The government states: “For individual and very frequently used equipment, such as pencils and pens, it is recommended that staff and pupils have their own items that are not shared.”
It does however state that many resources will have to be shared in classes such as art, science and sport.
It states that any items that are shared should be cleaned frequently and between uses of different bubbles of children.
They can also be used on a rotational basis, once they have been used they can be left 48 hours and 72 hours for plastics.
3. Take a school bag
Children will be allowed to take their school bags in order to transport essential items.
The government states: “It is still recommended that pupils limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day.”
Kids can take their school bags in but only for essential items [/caption]
They added that pupils can use a bag to bring in items such as “lunch boxes, hats, coats, books, stationery and mobile phones.”
4. Avoid sharing textbooks
While many schools use a set of books as part of the curriculum, it has been advised that students and teachers limit the amount of books they pass between each other.
The government says pupils and teachers are allowed to take shared resources home but has advised against this unless it is necessary.
“Especially where this does not contribute to a pupil’s learning or development”, it adds.
Kids should avoid sharing books and have been advised to not take them home[/caption]
5. Take the school bus
For many children taking the school bus is a great start to their day as they are able to socialise with their friends before lessons start.
The government has advised that children should take dedicated school transport where possible.
The government states: “Pupils on dedicated school services do not mix with the general public on those journeys and tend to be consistent.”
Pupils will be asked to use hand sanitiser when getting on and off the bus.
While kids won’t have to wear a mask in school if they are over the age of 11 they should wear one when using the bus[/caption]
Organised queuing and boarding will also need to be implemented and the government has said that children over the age of 11 will be required to wear a face mask while using the bus – but will not have to wear them when they get to school.
Where possible the government states that pupils using school transport should try and do so with the bubbles they have been placed into during the school day.
6. Create walking buses
The government has advised that children avoid taking public transport in which other members of the public will use.
They have encouraged parents to ask their children to either cycle or walk to school where possible.
They have stated that walking buses are a good way for children to walk to school with their friends.
Groups of children can be lead by a parent or guardian so they don’t have to take public transport[/caption]
The government states: “We expect that public transport capacity will continue to be constrained in the autumn term.
“Its use by pupils, particularly in peak times, should be kept to an absolute minimum.”
In order to keep usage to a minimum it states: “Schools may want to consider using ‘walking buses’ (a supervised group of children being walked to, or from, school), or working with their local authority to promote safe cycling routes.”
7. No sleep overs
One of the most exciting parts of the school year for many children is residential trips and parents have been told that over night stays will not be possible when children return to school in September.
The government has however stated that day trips will be able to take place to venues that are reopening such as galleries and museums.
They also said that schools should try and keep pupils in their assigned groups when they are going on such visits.
Over night trips will not be allowed under the new rules [/caption]
“As normal, schools should undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits to ensure they can be done safely.
“As part of this risk assessment, schools will need to consider what control measures need to be used and ensure they are aware of wider advice on visiting indoor and outdoor venues.”
8. Wear your uniform
Many children would have enjoyed the freedom of being able to wear their own clothing during lockdown, but the government has stated that all children must wear their uniform.
Despite this it did admit that some schools may have “relaxed” their uniform policies during this time”.
The government did acknowledge however that many parents may be struggling financially and said this should be taken into account.
Children should continue to wear their uniforms[/caption]
“Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.
“Schools should consider how pupil non-compliance is managed, taking a mindful and considerate approach in relation to parents who may be experiencing financial pressures.”
9. Go to school clubs
Breakfast clubs can be a helping hand to many parents who need to drop their kids off at school early.
The government said that before and after school clubs can resume.
This is to help pupils reconnect with their peers who they may not have seen since before the lockdown started.
Again the government states that where possible schools should try and limit these clubs to children who are in the same consistent groups together.
Where this is not possible they should keep to small groups.
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10. PE outdoors
During the lockdown we have heard time and time again that the best way to socialise is to meet outdoors.
The government has therefore recommended that physical education in schools can continue but that where possible schools should make the most of outdoor facilities.
Contact sports should be avoided and and equipment used should be cleaned thoroughly.
“Outdoor sports should be prioritised where possible, and large indoor spaces used where it is not, maximising distancing between pupils and paying scrupulous attention to cleaning and hygiene.
“This is particularly important in a sports setting because of the way in which people breathe during exercise.”
External facilities can also be used in line with government guidance.
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