FOR ANY QUERIES OR CONCERNS please contact:
01344 423896, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Bracknell Forest Council Update - 16th June 2021
As you may be aware, COVID-19 infection rates have been steadily rising across the borough in
the last few weeks, in part due to the Delta variant (the variant of concern that was first
identified in India) which is significantly more transmissible than earlier variants. In response,
the Council will be running a COVID-19 surge testing operation from 16 June to 30 June. All
schools and colleges in the borough are being invited to participate in the surge testing
operation and your support in ensuring we get as many eligible people tested as possible is
really important. You can find out more information about the borough’s surge testing plans on
our website – Surge testing starts in Bracknell Forest | Bracknell Forest Council (bracknellforest.gov.uk)
One of the factors that was considered in our decision to begin surge testing, in consultation
with the Department for Health and Social Care and Public Health England, was the rise in
COVID-19 cases amongst school and college aged children in the borough - and in the lead up
to half term we saw a number of small outbreaks in some of our schools. The Public Health
response to these outbreaks, regardless of the presence of the new variant, remains exactly the
same as it has been throughout the pandemic. Our schools and colleges have worked tirelessly
to ensure that schools have robust COVID-19 security in place and their response to managing
cases and outbreaks within school and college settings, in partnership with the Council and
Public Health England, has been exceptional.
Faced with the increasing COVID-19 rates within the borough, we have reviewed again all
current guidance to ensure that we have done everything possible, in partnership with schools
and colleges, to reduce the risk of transmission within the borough’s educational settings.
Following this review, we took a number of recommendations to the East Berkshire Health
Protection Board meeting this week with a request that additional protective measures should
be implemented in our schools and colleges, over and above the guidance that is in place
nationally to support the government’s roadmap. The recommendations were endorsed by the
Board and so we are recommending to head teachers that the following additional measures
are introduced in all the borough’s schools and colleges with immediate effect.
• For any school experiencing an outbreak (i.e. with two or more linked cases) face coverings
should be reintroduced. This will be for staff in primary schools and for staff and students in
secondary schools and colleges.
• Movement between schools should be restricted as far as possible and no events that
involve bringing students from multiple schools together should go ahead. Unfortunately,
this includes all transition days (Reception, Year 6 and Year 11). Schools will, of course, put
alternative virtual arrangements in place.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE’S OFFICE
Bracknell Forest Council, Time Square, Market Street, Bracknell, Berkshire RG12 1JD
T: 01344 352000 www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk
• All meetings involving individuals who are not part of existing school bubbles (including
parent/teacher meetings and parents’ evenings) should only take place as virtual meetings.
• Indoor and outdoor events, such as school plays or sports days - and including day or
residential trips, can go ahead. These will be subject to risk assessments being completed
and must ensure that no additional people are introduced into existing bubble arrangements.
This will ensure compliance with the current roadmap guidance. Unfortunately, whilst these
events can go ahead, parents and carers will not be allowed on to school premises to
The Government is currently updating its guidance following the announcement this week that
stage 3 of the roadmap is being extended until 19 July. Some of this updated guidance may
differ from the recommendations above as it will apply to the whole country. Any changes to
Government guidance or policy will not change the recommendations and Board decisions
outlined above. These arrangements will remain in place until the end of term for all
educational settings across Bracknell Forest and Slough (where surge testing is also beginning
We will continue to work closely with school communities, Public Health England and the East
Berkshire Health Protection Board over the coming weeks and will follow our agreed local
outbreak plans and procedures to keep school pupils and staff as safe as possible. Meanwhile,
thank you for all you have been doing to help reduce the risk of transmission locally and in
educational settings. Please do continue to help us keep school and college communities
protected by following all the health and hygiene rules as well as self-isolating when required.
Timothy Wheadon Stuart Lines
Chief Executive Director of Public Health
Bracknell Forest Council Slough Borough Council | Royal Borough of
Windsor & Maidenhead | Bracknell Forest Council
Spring Opening Update
UPDATE 8th March - Spring Opening Update for Parents & Children (1).pdf
We cannot wait to see your children return on 8th March. There have been updates to guidance covering the period from 8th March and the changes will replicate school operation from the Autumn Term. Rest assured, we have made school as safe as possible for children to return and our teaching and learning will be as effective as it always has been. Most of the below you will be familiar with from Autumn 2020 but please do read to ensure you have all the information and please share with your child(ren). PLEASE PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO THE START/FINISH & DROP OFF/PICK UP SECTIONS. Please adhere to timings and one-way system for everyone’s safety, keep to social distancing on school site, wear a mask if you are able AND STAY 2m apart. Please avoid ‘gathering’ on or just outside school site. If parents do not adhere to this then not only are you endangering others but we may have to stagger times further which would cause further inconvenience. BE AWARE there is a one-way system operating on the school site – it is expected that everyone adheres to this to ensure the safety of everyone. Staff and signage will be on hand to help.
Any further changes will be communicated to you as and when they occur.
Uniform - Children will be expected to wear usual school uniform. If your child has outgrown their uniform during lockdown and are unable to get new uniform, do not panic – there is a grace period whilst we return. PE kit is to be worn to school on PE days (your class teacher will inform you of these). Children will stay in PE kit and do not need to bring uniform in to change into. It would be pertinent, however, to still have tracksuit bottom/top as PE sessions will be outside and weather is still changeable. PLEASE ENSURE ALL UNIFORM AND BELONGINGS ARE LABELLED WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME!!
Isolation - If your child has to isolate for 10 days then we will be providing work for them to access on line and/or paper work for them to complete. Please be aware that teachers/staff will still be teaching so may not be available during the day when your child is isolating. Obviously if they are unwell then the expectations will be different. If you are faced with IT challenges at home please come and talk to us as we do not want that to be a limiting factor that prevents your child accessing school work.
COVID-19 Symptoms and Track and Trace - If your child displays any of the key symptoms of COVID-19 (high temperature, new dry cough, loss of taste or smell) they must not come to school. You must book a Covid-19 test and wait for results. All family in household must isolate during this time, too – including any siblings. If they develop these symptoms whilst in school, your child will be kept in a separate room (but will be checked on). You are expected to collect ASAP and then engage with PHE testing, track & trace system. Please inform us of result of test ASAP: 1 – If test is negative, they feel well and no longer have Covid symptoms, they can stop self-isolating. However, they could still have another virus (e.g. cold or flu) in which case it is still best to avoid contact with others until they are better. Absences still need to be reported to school office as normal. 2 - If someone tests positive, they should follow the guidance for households with possible or confirmed Coronavirus (COVID-19) infection and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 10 days.
Rapid Lateral Flow Testing for Households - From Monday 1 March, households with primary school, secondary school and college age children, including childcare and support bubbles, can test themselves twice every week at home as schools return from Monday 8 March. Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary, secondary and college staff can also be tested. Twice-weekly testing will also be offered to adults working in the wider school community, including bus drivers and after school club leaders. The twice-weekly test kits can be accessed: • via employers if they offer testing to employees • at a local test site • by collecting a home test kit from a test site • by ordering a home test kit online We are not able to give any of these tests. Please note: - these tests are NOT for primary age pupils - participation in this scheme is optional - if LFT is positive for anyone in the household then the whole household must isolate immediately and book a PCR test. Your child can only return after a negative PCR test for person with a positive LFT or completing isolation period if PCR is positive - LFT does NOT override the need for isolating if you/your child/household have symptoms This guidance provides information on who can be tested and how you can get a test. The government have said they will be releasing further information for parents on this.
Attendance - The government have made it clear that ALL children are expected to return to school as they normally would from 8th March. Normal attendance procedures will now be followed and absence must be reported to school office on day of absence with reason for absence. Some children may be absent due to having to self-isolate (due to symptoms, family symptoms, waiting on a test result, confirmed positive test) – these absences must still be reported. Children who were previously shielding or living with family members who were previously shielding are able to return to school and are expected to do so. Any pupils who are under the care of a specialist health professional need to have discussed return with their health professional and school informed if there is any change to them being able to attend. Sandy Lane Primary School 01344 423896 @SandylaneBF www.sandylnebracknell.com email@example.com Having said all of the above, we are very aware that lots of parents & children may be anxious about returning to school for a variety of reasons. We know from the summer term and autumn terms that most of these are alleviated once children return and see the measures we have in place to help keep them safe BUT we are here to help if you or your child are concerned or are anxious so please do contact us and we will do all we can to help.
Remote Learning - If your child is having to isolate then the class teacher will provide online, remote learning. Please be aware staff will be back in classrooms so will not be available online as much as they are now. Remote learning is expected to be undertaken if your child is isolating due to Covid symptoms themselves or in household, due to their bubble being closed, or have been told to by NHS track and trace. This applies ONLY if they are well enough to complete work. Government expectation is ALL children return to school on 8th March. If a parent chooses to keep a child home due to anxieties or concerns around Covid, rather than having to isolate, then there is no expectation that school will give remote learning. We will work with you to support and alleviate concerns but you may not receive remote learning. Please do discuss this with us if it arises. It would be advisable to turn off your Edmodo notifications unless your child is isolating and accessing remote learning. Parent account: https://support.edmodo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205006604-Edit-YourEmail-Text-and-Push-Notifications-Parent- #:~:text=To%20be%20notified%20of%20activity,even%20turn%20them%20off%20entirely. Student account: https://support.edmodo.com/hc/en-us/articles/205290420-Edit-YourEmail-Text-and-Push-Notifications-Student- #:~:text=To%20be%20notified%20of%20activity,even%20turn%20them%20off%20entirely.
Risk Assessment - It is a legal requirement that our current Covid-19 risk assessment is updated to reflect the new guidance. This will be completed and signed off by governor by the time children returns. It is available on the Covid page of our website.
Face Coverings - Government guidance states that current evidence combined with measures put in place says face coverings will not be necessary in the classroom/school even where social distancing is not possible. Anyone who does wear one, including to school, must follow procedures for safe wearing & removal procedures and anyone one not adhering to this will then not be able to wear a mask. Any adults onsite (for drop-off or pick up) are expected to maintain social distancing. Adults on site must wear masks if able to do so AND maintain 2m social distancing. Pupils who wear masks to school will be expected to remove them (or parent remove for them) on arrival. 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.
Cleaning - There will be extra cleaning taking place throughout the day. Children’s tables and chairs will be cleaned regularly. The toilets will also be cleaned at regular intervals throughout the day.
Breakfast Club and After School Club - Playstation will be running from 8th March for those families that need wrap around care to enable them to continue to work. A flier has been sent via Parentmail. For the rest of the Spring Term there will be no other school run clubs running before or after school – should you require before/after school provision please book your child into Playstation.
Entry and Exit to School Building - Children and adults will be expected to use hand sanitiser/wash hands at the start and the end of the day as well as during the day.
Take Care & Stay Safe,
UPDATE 24th January - v4 21 Jan LOCKDOWN 3 SANDY LANE Risk Assessment.pdf
UPDATE 11th January - FGB ratified risk assessment LOCKDOWN 3 SANDY LANE Risk Assessment.pdf
UPDATE 8th January
UPDATE 4th January
I am sure by know you are all aware of the announcement made this evening by the Prime Minister concerning lockdown. Schools will close to all but Critical Worker children and Vulnerable children. All other children will move to online/remote learning.
We are already in this position and have established 'pods' for those category children starting tomorrow. Parents who have requested these places will have been contacted further to confirm a place. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEND TOMORROW UNLESS YOU HAVE RECEIVED CONFIRMATION.
Thank you to all who signed up today for these places. Should you need one of these places but were unable to do so today please contact school tomorrow on firstname.lastname@example.org to apply for a place - again, please do NOT turn up until place is confirmed. Similarly, if you booked a place but now find you don't need one please let us know.
Login details for our remote learning have been sent but should you need these again, have any queries or require a paper based pack, please contact the relevant Middle leader (eg MLT4@sandylanebracknell.com for Year 4, MLT5 for year 5 etc - these contact details will be resent tomorrow)
Please be aware that staff/teachers may well be teaching in school so may not be available online all the time.
Our main priority remains the well-being of your children and yourselves - please do contact us if we can help in anyway. I know this is far from an ideal situation but I also know that children have shown their resilience previously and have no doubt they will again - the priority now has to be everyone staying as safe as possible.
Once we have had time to read full updated guidance, we shall contact you again with any further updates.
THANK YOU for all the messages of support - they really do mean a lot (apologies if i haven't replied to them all yet!)
UPDATE 3rd January - SCHOOL CLOSURE - School will be closed to ALL pupils on Monday 4th January. We will reopen Tuesday 5th January ONLY to Critical worker and vulnerable children. Please read: SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE.pdf
UPDATE 3rd January
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
As of the time this email was sent, Sandy Lane will be open tomorrow (4th January) to all pupils.
Many of you have contacted us with concerns about your child attending given current infection rates and risk etc - which we fully understand. I have always said that family (and their health) is of the utmost importance and we will do all we can in supporting the decisions you make. Certainly for the immediate future we will not be issuing any fines around attendance.
I do want to iterate that we (you, me, staff, governors) want all children back in school but we are all more than aware that infection rates are higher than ever in our area and there are risks involved. Our systems and process aim to ensure we open in as safe a way as possible not just for the children but for their families, too, but there are still risks.
I'm sure you are more than aware that this is a pretty fluid situation at the moment and could change even before tomorrow or later this week at very short notice.
We also acknowledge current Union positions and advice to their members; and this, too, is a fluid situation and one we are keeping under review. This may mean that your child will nto be taught in school be their regular teacher/staff.
All of the above means (in addition to any current or future isolation of staff/bubbles) we may need to make some decisions and pass these on to you at very short notice. I realise the difficulties this can cause and apologise in advance and much as we shall do all we can to avoid last minute changes, this may prove inevitable. This may mean short notice closures of classes/bubbles and a switch to remote learning.
The above may also lead to on site teaching only being available to children of Key Workers and Vulnerable children (similar to Lockdown 1). In order for us to have an idea of numbers, we will send a form out tomorrow for parents of Key workers only to fill in to indicate they would need a space and confirm that no other adult would be at home. Please look for this parentmail tomorrow and fill in ASAP. Please do NOT fill in if you are not a key worker.
The below also sets out our expectations for return to school (in addition to systems in place last term):
- Masks/face coverings must be worn by adults whilst on site (inc drop off/pick up) unless medically exempt. Irrelevant of your feelings/opinions on mask wearing please adhere to this as it is a safety measure to help ALL our community and staff.
- Please book an appointment should you need to see a member of staff - these meetings may be held virtually
- If in school, you will be expected to wear a mask
- Maintain a 2m distance to others at all times. If this means you take a little longer - that's fine. Stay back and wait please. Again, irrelevant of personal opinions, this is in place for everyone's safety - it would be unfair of anyone to put my staff in a position where they would need to remind you of this.
- adhere to drop off/pick up timings. These have been staggered to allow less people on site at once.
- children MUST NOT attend (and adults must not visit site) if they have symptoms OR are waiting for a test result themselves OR if member of their family has symptoms/waiting for test result OR of they've been told to isolate. IF IN ANY DOUBT DO NOT SEND THEM IN - contact us first and we will advise!
I am sorry I cannot give complete clarity on all circumstances currently but will continue to provide information/update as and when they occur,
UPDATE 31st December
Firstly, I hope you have all had a good festive break in these tricky times and managed to spend some quality time with your children.
Following the announcement from the government, Sandy Lane will be open as normal on Monday 4th January. We are still awaiting any further guidance but it is likely that there will be no/limited changes to our current procedures and drop off and pick up will remain as it was prior to the festive break. I will email again before Monday to clarify this.
As witnessed before the break, things can change quickly so please keep a close eye on your ParentMail over the coming weeks and ensure the office have your most recent contact details. There may well be times we need to close classes/bubbles at short notice which could be for a number of reasons (positive cases, staff unable to be in school/isolating) - obviously we all hope to keep these to a minimum but if it does happen, please continue to work with us to help everyone's safety.
I must emphasise that your child/family MUST still isolate if they (or family member) have symptoms, have been told to isolate by track and trace, or are awaiting test results. DO NOT SEND YOUR CHILD INTO SCHOOL IF THEY OR A FAMILY MEMBER HAVE SYMPTOMS AND/OR ARE AWAITING TEST RESULT!
Our aim is to keep the children, staff and parents as safe as possible but, obviously, there are still risks involved. We fully appreciate the anxiety and concern the current situation brings with it. Please do contact us to discuss this and we will do all we can to support you and your children.
There is a lot of 'chat' on social media regarding whether it is 'compulsory' for children to attend school. Irrelevant of personal perspectives and despite the current situation, the government and LA have made it very clear that it is compulsory and, in most cases, the absence should be unauthorised if you choose to keep your children off school. However, as mentioned above, we fully understand current anxieties and much as we may be restricted in whether we can authorise an absence, there will be no fines at this time.
We will keep you updated on any changes as and when they occur.
Please remember to:
- Wear a mask when entering the school site unless you are exempt. Where possible, KS2 children should be dropped off at the gate or walk to and from school. Please continue to follow the ONE WAY system in place.
- Keep the school updated on any COVID issues and follow the guidelines carefully.
- 2M distancing MUST be adhered to by all (wait and step back if you need to!!)
As always please do contact us if you have any questions - please be aware our Office is likely to be busy Monday morning but you are able to leave messages or send email.
Enjoy NYE and rest of holiday BUT PLEASE take care and keep safe,
UPDATE 13th December
As I'm sure you are aware, the government has changed the self isolation period from 14 days to 10 days. This includes those currently isolating. This means that Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 can return to school on Tuesday 15th December.
We know many of you may be anxious about returning in current circumstances, which we fully understand, and we know you will be wanting to make a decision on attendance in the best interest of your family. In order to support, we will continue posting home learning for ALL year groups this week. Obviously, teachers will be in school teaching so they may not be on the system as regularly as during the isolation period.
For your information:
- any contacts of positive cases this week (which may mean bubbles closing) will have to isolate for 10 days which would include the Christmas period
- we are still closing on Thursday 17th December
- due to food orders being cancelled as year groups were isolating, there will be NO school dinners available all this week for Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 - they will need to bring in packed lunch every day; sadly, this also means they will not be able to have Christmas Lunch though, obviously, bubbles will still celebrate and eat lunch together. This also applies to any siblings who also stayed home last week.
Please be aware that this situation is quite fluid and can change quickly - we endeavour to give you as much notice of any changes and cause as little inconvenience as possible but it's not always achievable!
Please do contact us if you have any further questions.
Updated Risk Assessment - Risk Assessment for Schools NOVEMBER 2020.pdf
Update 15th September
Covid - face coverings
Thank you for adhering to our timings and one-way systems for drop off and collection - please continue to do this.
Given the current numbers of Covid cases and transmission rates across the country, we are now strongly recommending that parents wear masks, if you are able to, at all times whilst on school site. You should still stay socially distant from others but we recommend wearing of masks/face coverings for parents in addition to this as an extra precaution for everyone's continued safety whilst on school site.
Update 7th September
Covid symptoms and staying home
Many thanks to you all for your help with our safety measures and processes so far (keep social distancing!) - I would also like to inform you that the children have been brilliant in adapting and have settled back in to school swiftly!
I know there has been a lot of different guidance and there may be some confusion as to when your child should stay at home or not. I believe it helpful if we try and give some scenarios which you may come across to help you know what to do about attendance:
1 - If your child has/develops a high temperature, new continuous cough or loss/change in sense of taste or smell, your child, all siblings and household members MUST stay home. The child with symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days and all others for 14 days. They CANNOT return to school (even if symptoms stop) within the 10/14 days UNLESS they are tested and receive a negative test. If child has a negative test, they (and siblings) can then return to school if they feel well enough.
2 – if your child is sent home due to developing high temperature, new continuous cough or loss/change in sense of taste or smell, they must isolate for 10 days, siblings and adults for 14 days and can only return sooner than that if the child with symptoms has had a negative test result. If your child is sent home then siblings will be sent home at the same time.
Example 1 - my child had new cough couple of days ago so is kept home. After 2 days, the cough disappears, there are no other symptoms and child generally feels well. Can my child return to school? NO - they must still complete the 10 day isolation (adults and siblings 14 days) UNLESS they have received a negative test.
Example 2 - I think my child has a cold, feels unwell and has a high temperature, what should I do? High temperature is a Covid symptom so child must stay at home and isolate for 10 days; siblings and adults for 14 days. You should engage with testing system and, if negative, child can return to school (as long as feels well enough)
Example 3 - I think my child has a cold, should I keep them home? If they don't have any of the Covid symptoms then your child does not need a test or to self isolate. You may still keep them home as they are too unwell to be in school and don't want to possibly spread a cold. Siblings, if well, can attend school.
We realise there may be different scenarios that arise - we ask that if unsure you contact us and we can advise on what you need to do. We also realise that needing to look after isolating children and adults having to isolate themselves may also cause difficulties BUT we expect all to adhere to the guidance in order to ensure everyone's safety as much as possible. If any child (or adult!) is kept home or sent home due to Covid symptoms, they must begin self-isolation and should arrange to have a test - they cannot return until the isolation period is complete or they receive a negative test result.
We request that you inform us of any negative/positive test results.
Should you have any questions, please do contact us.
Update 1st September
Please find information on re-opening below: