Covid-19 and exceptional circumstances addendum
Old Warren house is a confined building with limited space and, as such, presents unique challenges to both staff and pupils in the safe management of contact during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Ultimately, the goals of Old Warren House – to provide a secure environment which meets both the academic and emotional needs of our students remains unchanged; however, in order to do this, in a way which minimises risk to all present in the building, additional considerations and systems will be put in place in order to manage pupil behaviour safely and effectively.
In addition to this, it is acknowledged that, as we are uncertain at present as to whether or not the situation will be recurrent, it is necessary to make provision in the behaviour policy for offsite and online education as we begin to adapt the way in which we work.
We are very aware that our pupils may be in a heightened state of anxiety and/or stress at this time and, as a result, may find it challenging to manage their emotions in school. As always, our first priority is the health and wellbeing of our pupils. Therefore, we are keen to be clear and consistent in our expectations within the school setting, and in any online contact that may happen in the future.
Pupils will be made aware of the procedures for social distancing and hygiene measures as soon as they attend their first contact session in the building. It is expected that they follow both staff instruction and general guidance on social distancing at school. As with any other premises, it will be expected that pupils maintain a distance of 2m between themselves and others in the building and not engage in any behaviour which could potentially put other pupils or staff at risk. Where we believe that a pupil is presenting as unwell or with Covid-19 symptoms, Old Warren House reserves the right to either refuse entry to the building or to ask the Pupil to leave after making contact with parents/carers. It is expected, in line with government guidance, that the pupil will then isolate and not return to school for seven days and until symptoms are completely gone.
Under no circumstances should a pupil attend Old Warren House for 14 days if they, or a member of their household are unwell or have symptoms or test positive for coronavirus.
Whist we are always aware that unintentional lapses will occur as this situation is entirely different to anything we have experienced, repeated and deliberate failure to comply with the guidance or deliberate/ malicious behaviour intended specifically to increase risk of infection to others such as (but not limited to) spitting, licking items, deliberately coughing on others, repeated physical contact or proximity or handling items, furniture and fixtures will not be tolerated.
Should this kind of behaviour occur, the school will contact the pupil’s parent/carer immediately and the pupil will be asked to leave the premises immediately. As per our standard behaviour policy, refusal to leave will result in the police being called.
Entry and exit of school premises
Pupils are requested to use hand sanitiser both upon entry to the school and on exit. In addition to this, antibacterial wipes will also be available. Pupils are welcome to bring their own sanitiser and wipes if they so wish. Pupils are welcome to bring their own sanitiser and wipes if they so wish.
On arrival pupils will be asked to put their phone into a named, clear plastic case which will be kept in the office.
Pupils are asked to ensure that they are arriving individually and avoid meeting in large groups at the beginning and end of the day.
Because of the structural challenges present within the building, pupils may be asked to use a different door to access their classroom directly and minimise contact, it is expected that instructions will be followed in order to ensure the safe running of the school.
Social distancing in school
As per the government’s general guidance, it is expected that both pupils and staff adhere to the 2m distancing rule wherever possible in school. Once again, we are aware that occasional lapses will occur due to the size of the building, however, these should not be frequent or deliberate.
Hygiene within school
During the school day, it is expected that pupils wash their hands regularly as per government guidance. It is also requested that they wash their hands after using the toilets.
Whist we are aware that coughing and sneezing are an unavoidable occurrence and are not always due to Covid-19, we do ask that tissues are always used and that pupils wash their hands afterwards.
Where we deem a pupil unwell or presenting with potential Covid-19 symptoms, we will request that a parent collect the pupil immediately. It is also expected that the pupil will not return to Old Warren house and will isolate for the 7 days laid out in the government’s guidance.
Masks are not required to be worn at present and it is entirely at the discretion of the individual pupil or staff member whether or not they choose to wear one. Non-surgical grade asks will be available on request. It is expected that these will be discarded appropriately before leaving the building and when removed, as per official guidance. This will be reviewed as and when variations in official guidance becomes available and/ or circumstances dictate.
The routine wearing of latex gloves is not encouraged at Old Warren House. The benefit of doing so is unclear and present guidance suggests that gloves do not contribute to the reduction of transmission.
Pupils will be provided with a pencil case with essential classroom equipment to be kept in their drawers, which they will be asked to wipe with an antibacterial wipe at the end of their session.
It may be necessary to continue to provide remote education as we adapt the way we work in order to keep our pupils safe and maintain social distancing. It is expected that pupils follow the general expectations of behaviour as if they were in the building. It must be remembered that any face to face online learning still remains a ‘school’ setting. Pupils are asked to remember that this is not social contact and that the relationship between staff and pupils is a professional one. Language, clothing, attendance and expectations remain the same as they would be on site.
It must also be pointed out that, in-keeping with Old Warren House policy on digital conduct and GDPR regulations, images, screenshots or sharing of any online contact/teaching on social media will not be tolerated and will result in the immediate withdrawal of that provision pending a review by the head of centre.
Remote learning update
During the current lockdown all pupils at old warren house are being offered a blended learning and support package of face to face learning, google classroom and outside provisions. This will enable us to continue to offer pupils their bespoke learning programme.
This offer will continue to support the learning outcomes of pupils with EHCP’s. Our package will also ensure that learning need of all other pupils are also met. Our counselling service is still available to all pupils. This is provided by Mrs Taylor who can be contacted at First Base – 01502 512963. Pupils will have the opportunity to engage with a member of staff during our twice daily zoom welfare video call. During this time they can raise their needs, e.g. questions about their learning, safeguarding, mental health or welfare needs.
As we move towards a wider opening, it is not going to be practicable for pupils to leave the building in groups and therefore, outside breaks will be limited and staggered in order to protect all pupils and staff.
It is expected that all pupils maintain social distancing during break-times.
We are keen to return to a new normality as quickly as is safely possible and it is imperative that all individuals in the building cooperate in order to achieve this. We are aware that, as we move towards the wider opening of schools, that social time, in particular, will present a challenge.
In order to manage this safely, we will continue to supervise any social time closely and provide activities for students during this time. At no time will physical contact between pupils be permitted.
Changes to how we approach behaviour
Fundamentally, Old Warren house remains a restorative school. However, it will be necessary to adjust the provision of this in order to facilitate it safely.
Any restorative meetings with or without parents/carers present will be held with social distancing procedures in place.
Parents/carers will be asked to follow the same hygiene procedures as staff and students on entry to the building and are politely asked not to attend if any of the household are symptomatic.
The behaviour stages poster in school will be updated to reflect the changes necessary to the behaviour policy and will be clearly displayed in all rooms and referred to as necessary in order to ensure consistency of approach. On returning to the building, all pupils will have the changes explained clearly to them in order to avoid confusion.