In drafting this plan for the whole school return, the main principle has been to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between students and staff in school wherever possible, thereby minimising potential for contamination or transmission so far as is reasonably practicable. We cannot eliminate risk; what we can do is reduce and minimise it and ensure the highest standards of cleanliness and hygiene. Our plans are intended to ensure the health and safety of our children and staff whilst minimising disruption to teaching and learning, underpinned by sensible practice and common sense.
- grouped children together
- avoided contact between different year groups as much as possible
- arranged classrooms with forward facing desks
- maintained distance between staff and students as much as possible
There is also an absolute and basic expectation underlying all our plans that:
- people who are ill stay at home
- there is robust hand and respiratory hygiene practised by all members of the school community
- there are enhanced cleaning arrangements including cleaning frequently touched surfaces
The leadership team of BIC has met over the summer to develop protocols to ensure the health and safety of all students and teachers upon their return to school, according to guidelines of the Spanish and regional authorities, and best practices worldwide, including countries such as Denmark, Switzerland and China, where schools have already reopened. We continue to prepare for the reopening process, with a special focus on health and safety measures. Our class and classroom sizes as well as staffing levels greatly facilitate the return of our students into school. Please keep in mind that these protocols are being continually updated according to the information that the authorities are releasing.
All the plans and protocols will be clearly and repeatedly explained and communicated to staff, families and children. This will be through email, the web site and videos where and when appropriate.
Before the start of the autumn term there will be extensive training, explanation of duties, rotas and expectations for all staff.
On the first day back to school, we will go through all the procedures, protocols, expectations with all students. A clear organisational and welcome plan will be initially prioritised over lessons, to ensure all students are clear and aware of the protocols. Health and hygiene education will be emphasised and prioritised.
General health and safety guidelines – parents ‘role
It is vital that all parents and carers read, understand, and comply with all the following instructions. The school recommends that in addition all staff, students and families keep up to date with all information and news on COVID-19 from the Spanish authorities and the WHO.
Students who have symptoms or have been in contact with people affected by COVID-19, will not be able to attend school. (Symptoms include, but are not limited to, dry cough, fever, body ache, sore throat, shortness of breath, general tiredness and other symptoms of a cold, vomiting, diarrhoea, loss of taste and smell.)
Parents/carers will need to sign a consent form for their children’s school attendance to ensure that they meet the requirements that guarantee their well-being. In compliance with the school’s health and safety protocols, we ask you to please sign the Declaration of Responsibility, which we will send you in the last week of August and which you must sign and submit to before the first day of your child’s school year, and ensure their compliance. You will also be asked to ensure all the school’s records on your child’s health are up-to-date. Please ensure all details on school records are up- to- date, including your contact details.
If your child has possible COVID-19 symptoms, please contact a doctor. The doctor should assess and determine the actions to be taken, including possible isolation measures.
We have a specially assigned isolation room for any person who presents symptoms of COVID-19. In the event that a student at school begins to feel unwell and shows any symptoms of COVID-19 or has a temperature of 37.5 ºC (100 F) or higher, they will be transferred to the isolation room. As soon as they enter, they will wear a surgical mask if they are not already wearing one. Their temperature will be taken with an infrared non-contact thermometer. They will be asked to clean their hands with soap and water, or they will be offered hand sanitizer. In the case of students, parents will be called to arrange their immediate pick up. In the case of teachers, they must return home (avoiding public transport) and contact their doctor. The school will then inform HR asap, in order to contact the Health and Safety company (Arxiduc).
(If symptoms appear serious, the school will call the emergency services. If a case of COVID-19 is suspected, the corresponding Public Health Centre of the school area will be informed, and the health instructions given will be followed to facilitate the tracking and communication of contacts.)
Your child can return to school when the doctor indicates she/he is free from infection (which will take at least 72 hours after showing NO symptoms of the coronavirus).
If your child’s illness is not caused by COVID-19, you can return to school after 72 hours have passed without fever, and without the use of fever control medications (for example, acetaminophen or paracetamol, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc.). This is the most effective way to prevent infections and allows the person to recover, and the immune system to regain strength.
A child may want to go to school despite being sick. PLEASE DO NOT send your children to school if they have shown any symptoms of the coronavirus.
If it is confirmed that a person who has been to the school has COVID-19, the school should be informed so that everyone with whom this person has had contact can be notified. Additionally, if a family member is confirmed as having COVID-19, that person should be isolated as far as possible and avoid any physical contact with other members of the family, according to the instructions of the Spanish authorities.
In addition to the above, families should support the school by regularly reminding your children of the importance of:
- Frequent hand washing with soap and water.
- Sneezing and coughing into their forearm if there are no tissues available.
- Washing hands or using alcohol gel after using disposable tissues.
This will be constantly reiterated in school.
Please ensure that prior to leaving home your child uses the toilet and washes their hands. As a mask will be required for anyone over the age of 6 when moving around the building, please provide your child with a plain face mask and a spare. There will be spare supplies also kept in school.
In your child’s school bag, please include a spare face mask, a package of disposable tissues and a small bottle of hand sanitizing gel that can be used in specific cases or as a back-up personal hygiene measure. We also ask you to disinfect the backpack and wash the school uniform every day at the end of the day.
General Day to Day
All our day-to-day operational planning has been done to reduce movement around the school. Most of the teaching of Year groups will take place in the same room, or in a small number of rooms. Teachers will generally move to students except for a few specialised lessons.
Year groups will spend most of their time in their own allocated classroom, have almost all their lessons in this room, and it is intended that the planned curriculum is taught. Movement between classrooms will be minimised and, where it occurs, will be supervised by members of staff. Wherever possible, some lessons will be taught outside.
These groups are known as bubbles or “stable coexistence groups”. Staff and children in these bubbles will not mix with other children or teachers and so whilst in these bubbles, masks do not need to be worn and social distancing does not need to be practised. All primary students will have as their base room one classroom where they will receive their teaching. Specialist teachers (e.g. languages, music) will come to this room and will wear masks or maintain a 2-metre distance.
The following are the primary teaching bubbles:
|Early Years (Nursery and Reception)||Miss Jaimy Van Iersel, Miss Helen Carmichael, Ms Ensenat, Miss Virginia Rabadán, Ms Thomas|
|Year 1 and Year 2||Mrs Thorpe, Miss Charlotte Briggs, Miss Stott, Mrs Carter|
|Year 3 and 4||Miss Conway, Mr Edwards, Miss Martinez, Miss Jacqui Robinson|
|Year 5 and 6||Ms Eccleshall, Ms Abott|
The classroom arrangement of forward-facing desks/tables will follow social distance and safety regulations, with groups of a maximum of 25 students. However, in most classrooms the maximum will be around 15-20, and usually less in some cases. The older students will use the same table and chair every day. The tables and chairs will be labelled with the names of the students.
We will also keep students within these bubbles for lessons, breaks and lunch, and when outside they will have their own zoned play areas, clearly delineated.
Practical lessons will be replaced with theory ones as much as possible for the first half term of the autumn term except for PE. On the days students have PE, they will come to school in full BIC PE kit or black shorts and white T-shirt.
There will be clear and rigid guidelines on the disinfecting and cleaning of any keyboards or chrome books used at lesson changeover.
Arrival and departure procedure
Students may only stay on school grounds during school hours and will not be able to enter the school before the assigned time.
There will be a staggered arrival to school from 8.30 onwards. Finish times will also be staggered again to reduce pressure on exits from the school and facilitate student separation. Staff will supervise all entry to and exit from the building.
There are three main entrances to the school site, and for ease of understanding we are calling them:
- Nursery– the entrance next to the nursery playground
- Main – the entrance that leads to the school reception
- Playground – the entrance leading into the large playground
Students must arrive at school from 8.40am onwards, using the following gates:
- Nursery, Reception - Nursery
- Year 1 and Year 2 – Playground
- Years 3 and 4 – Playground
- Years 5 and 6 – Main, wait in Lemon Tree terrace
Students will enter school grounds at their assigned Year group entrance, observing social-distancing. Students should enter the school grounds without their parents. They should walk to their controlled zone area that will be clearly marked. All teaching staff will be on supervisory duty from 8.40 onwards.
Parents have a vital role to assist in the smooth and safe start to the school day. Lateness to school will cause unnecessary problems. They should arrive at school at the appropriate time according to the assigned time/entrance. It is essential that parents respect and promote social distancing. Parents should leave their children at the assigned entrance and not enter the school grounds. For students in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 a member of staff from their bubble will collect them at the entrance and lead them to class. Parents should also follow these guidelines when picking up their children at the end of the day.
Staff will enter the school respecting social distancing. In addition, they will maintain the necessary hand hygiene upon entering each building, setting an example for students. When working in the same room, the required social distance guidelines will be followed, and hands should be washed or sanitised before entering and after leaving.
At 8.50 students in Year 3, Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 will line up, in their Year group, in their assigned zone. They will be escorted into the building by a member of staff and go directly to their base classroom. Different groups will use different entrances to the building. These will be clearly signed. They will not be able to enter or leave the building other than through their assigned entrance.
At the end of the school day, a slightly staggered dismissal will ensure students can leave the building safely.
- Years Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 – 3.40pm
- Years 3 to Year 6 – 3.45pm
Students should walk quietly and sensibly to leave the school grounds, through their assigned exit point. They will be escorted by their teacher.
Hygiene procedures in the classroom
Students should wash their hands or cleanse them with disinfectant gel (there will be dispensers in several points around school) regularly, but especially before they enter the classroom, after break, after PE, after using the toilet, or any other time they enter the room.
Students should bring only the materials that are required for their classes. They need to bring their own stationery - pens, pencils, erasers, coloured pencils etc, as sharing of equipment will be discouraged.
The classrooms will be supplied with hand sanitizers, paper towels, litter bins with lid and foot pedal and spare masks for teachers and students.
Doors and windows shall remain open to avoid contact with handles and to enhance ventilation. In any case, the classrooms will be ventilated several times every day, at the beginning of the day, at the end and between lessons.
Textiles will be removed from classrooms (rugs, cushions, etc.) and any games or materials that are difficult to keep clean will be temporarily removed.
Air conditioning units will be in the fan mode.
Break will not be staggered, but students will be supervised to leave the buildings via a one-way system and to go to the toilets. (If this takes longer once trialled break may be extended.) Students will be allowed to bring in a small healthy snack at break and water.
All social areas are organised in zones so that students from different Year group bubbles are kept separate from one another. Students will have their break time in their own zoned area. They will not be permitted to play outside of this area. As they are in their own bubble, social distancing does not need to be observed; however, sensible care and good behaviour must be maintained at all times, including no touching or contact. Football or any ball play is not permitted during this time.
Students will eat lunch in the dining room, their own classroom, or outside, depending on the bubble they are in. It is strongly recommended that students bring their own lunch to school. However, parents will be able to buy a lunch as normal. Parents can buy this on a weekly or monthly basis (not daily). Unfortunately, due to restrictions, we will be unable to heat packed lunches from home in the microwave, so all lunches from home will need to be eaten cold.
Because of the nature of the school site, the number of entrances to the buildings and the outside area, a staggered lunch is not required. Students will at all times remain in their bubble groups and will only use their assigned entrance to the building.
- Nursery and Reception: Children will eat their lunch in the Nursery classroom and will then be escorted to play outside.
- Y1 and Y2: Children will eat their lunch in their classrooms and will then be escorted to play outside in the designated zone.
- Year 3 – 6: Children will eat their lunch in the Dining Room and will then be escorted to play outside in their designated zones.
At the end of the lunch break teachers will collect their children from the designated zone and walk them in.
Movement around the school
All movement of students around and within the buildings will be limited and will be supervised/coordinated by teachers. Students must always adhere to the one and a half metres social-distancing regulation. Students must keep to the right when moving up and down the stairs and through the corridors. Banisters must only be used if necessary, and students should remain five steps apart on the stairs. There will be clear signage to indicate one-way systems.
Students and staff must wear masks when moving around the building.
Cold water fountains around the campus for drinking should not be used, students should bring their own water bottle with them to school.
Use of Toilets
Toilets should be used one student at a time unless they can maintain two-meter distance and use separate sinks and toilet cubicles. The bathrooms are fitted with hand soap, paper towel dispensers and wastebaskets with lid and pedal, which will be cleaned frequently. Toilet lids should be closed before flushing. Students should wash their hands after using the toilet, for a minimum of 20 seconds and dry their hands using only paper towels for at least 20 seconds. Hot-air dryers should not be used.
The school, in accordance with the protocols established to ensure the health and safety of the students in this academic year, is planning a range of Extracurricular Activities, that provide students with the opportunity to enrich their training from an academic and cultural, artistic and sporting perspective. The activities are currently under review and are likely to begin after October half term.
The school has a number of trained first aides, but this service will only be available to those students who need attention due to accidents, injuries or serious illness, and those who may need to go home due to illness or injury. Students will not be allowed to seek medical support for unjustified and unnecessary reasons.
- Implementing all the above has required careful consideration of the implications for staff and we will continue to do so in initiating these arrangements, which will also be reviewed regularly. It is recognised that the organisation of the school can only be successful if it works for staff as well as students. Staff are key to the success of the new arrangements.
- This plan will be monitored, evaluated, and reviewed from September 2020.
- Communication to staff and parents will occur via weekly newsletter, alerts on the website and email.
- Assemblies will not take place in the autumn term.
- A COVID deep clean will be done over the summer of all areas that are going to be used by the school.
Digital contingency plan
In the event of moving to plan B or C the school is extremely well placed and equipped to make a seamless transition to remote learning, having successfully carried this out since 16 March 2020. The school uses the platform Canvas, and both staff and students are extremely well versed and experienced in its use. The assessment of student progress and the delivery of the curriculum will therefore not require any significant modification.