Ullmhaithe don saol sa 21ú haois!
Scoil Náisiúnta Ag Foghlaim Le Chéile An Tulach Mhór
Learn Together to Live Together
We guarantee “equality of access and esteem to students irrespective of their social, cultural or religious background.”
A Unique Education!
Where Students explore their full range of abilities and are provided with equal opportunities regardless of their identity.
COVID-19 Logistics Plan
- The school has a responsibility to make effort to ensure the safety, health and well-being of all members of our school community; children, parents and staff. This plan has been formulated to better ensure that the school can exercise that duty of care.
- It is in keeping with public health advice and guidelines issued by the Department of Education and Skills, it is preferable for all children to return to school for all five days of the school week and for a full school day. This plan has been formulated to achieve that aim.
- It is not possible to eliminate the risk of infection. However, with the co-operation of all members of our school community, it is possible to minimise the risk of the virus being introduced to school and the consequent risk of its spread.
- As well as co-operation, the flexibility and goodwill of all will be required to ensure the plan can be implemented.
SCHOOL WILL RE-OPEN FOR ALL CHILDREN ON THURSDAY, AUGUST 27th
A hard copy Return to School form will be posted out for every child. Parents/Guardians must fill out the form, scan or photograph it and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org or alternatively a hard copy can be posted to the school or dropped by hand into the school post box no later than August 26th @ 3.00 p.m.
School Commencement Times
9.20 a.m.-2.00 p.m for Junior* and Senior Infants
9.20 p.m.-3.00 p.m for 1st – 6th Classes
*Except for the first seven days
Children should go directly to their classrooms and sit in their designated seat immediately
Children who should not attend school
If your child is in one of the following categories, they should not attend school –
- Children who have been diagnosed with Covid-19
- Children who have been in close contact with a person who has been diagnosed with Covid-19
- Children who have a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
- Children who have been in contact with a person who has a suspected case of Covid-19 and the outcome of the test is pending
- Children with underlying health conditions who have been directed by a medical professional not to attend school
- Children who have returned home after travelling abroad and must quarantine for a period of 14 days
- Children who are generally unwell
- All children return to school and classes operate within a bubble system – no class has any contact with other classes. Groups within a class are known as pods.
- The two classes of The Arc are considered a pod.
- Junior Infants to Second Class : It is recognised that younger children are unlikely to maintain physical distancing indoors so there is no requirement for children from Junior Infants to Second Class to maintain a physical distance within their Class Bubble.
- Third Class to Sixth Class : We are fortunate that we are able to achieve a 1m distance for the children from Third Class to Sixth Class. Children from three tables (a maximum of 6) will be considered a Pod for the purpose of support teaching.
The aim of the system within the school is that class groupings mix only with their own class from arrival at school in the morning until the children go home at the end of the school day.
Arrival and Departure
Arrival Time: Apart from School Buses no earlier than 9.10 a.m.
Two staff members will greet children every morning at the usual pedestrian entrance to the school beside The Arc. Children will be directed on to the yard where they will line up on the designated “ yellow feet” at the relevant teacher’s room number. There will be supervision on the yard. Children are asked to remain in this space until their teacher collects the line. The children will follow the teacher through a particular door. The children will apply hand sanitiser before entering their room and sit in their designated seat. Their bags can be hung on the back of their chairs. Senior Infant-6th Class parents will not be permitted on the yard at all in the mornings.
Collection Time: Junior Infants will be collected at 12.30 p.m. for the first seven school days. From September 7th it will be 2.00 p.m. Parents are to wait in the yard on the yellow feet maintaining physical distancing.
Senior Infants will be collected at 2.00 p.m. Parents are to wait in the yard on the yellow feet maintaining physical distancing.
1st-6th Classes will leave the building through different exits which will be explained to them on their return. Pedestrians and cyclists are to leave the grounds in a timely fashion. We encourage as many children as possible to walk and cycle to school. Those travelling by car are to go directly to the car. Parents are to park in a parking space and remain in their cars. Pick up and go! Those travelling on buses must adhere to the bus rules. Parents who travel on foot to collect their children, please wait outside the school gates.The car park will be supervised as always.
After School Supervision for Infants
The after school supervision facility will operate from August 31st for Senior Infants and from September 7th for Junior Infants. This year children have to commit for the five afternoons and there is no drop-in facility on occasional days.
The DES guidelines state that the risk of transmission from contact with outside surfaces or play areas is low.
- There will be two twenty minute break times, the first at 11.00 a.m and the second at 1.00 p.m. Junior Infants – 2nd Classes will each have a quadrant to play in as a class on what we call the Junior Yard and will enter and exit through a designated door.
- 3rd – 6th Classes will each have a section to play on in what we call the Senior Yard ( the area near the back basketball court) The classes will enter and exit through a designated door.
Parents/Guardians may communicate with your class teacher via Aladdin if you have a message to deliver or by phoning the office on (057) 9361190
The office is not open for face to face communication except to facilitate below:
Collection of Children during the School Day
If you or a representative have to collect your child or children during the course of the school day, the following arrangements will apply:
- When you arrive at the school, you should phone the office to alert the office that you have arrived.
- Your child will be waiting in the reception area.
- You will be asked to sign the child out.
- Again, no adult should enter the school building, unless invited to do so.
- It is requested that all children will bring their own pens, pencils, colours, rubbers, etc., to school in their own pencil case to avoid the sharing of equipment.
- It is further requested that all items have the child’s name on them for ease of identification.
- We will keep pencil cases in school so please have a supply of pencils and colours at home.
By necessity, some classroom equipment needs to be shared including equipment used for structured activities and play in Infant classrooms. Cleaning of such shared equipment with wipes or other cleaning products will take place at regular intervals to minimise the risk of the spread of infection.
We will not be introducing our iPads for shared use for a few weeks until we have robust systems in place and can be assured of compliance and safe use of equipment.
In keeping with our Special Education policy, learning support will be provided by a blended approach of in-class support and withdrawal.
- Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher in a classroom, both teachers must be mindful of maintaining social distance from one another and the children.
- Where children from 3rd to 6th Class receive support in one of the SET rooms, social distancing of 1 metre will be maintained between each child in the group.
- The tables and chairs in SET rooms will be wiped clean in between different groups attending.
- Where a support teacher is working alongside a class teacher in a classroom, both teachers must be mindful of maintaining social distance from one another and the children.
All school staff will wear masks and or visors when a physical distance of 2m cannot be met.
Also, staff who are attending to particular care needs or who are administering first aid will wear appropriate PPE including gloves and face masks.
Staff Absence and Substitution
In the event that a staff member is unable to attend school, every effort will be made to secure a substitute. In the event of a class teacher being absent and all efforts to secure a substitute are exhausted a SEN teacher will be redeployed to cover a class. Circular 0045/2020
The possibility of facilitating extra-curricular activities will be explored later in the term. However, we are going to concentrate on everyone returning to school safely and reassess our progress in mid to late October and further consideration will be given to further activities then.
The school hall may not be used for Assemblies, Physical Education or for any other gatherings of pupils. For the present, it will be divided for used for storage of P.E. equipment and if necessary as a teaching/staff meeting space.
Corridors and Stairwells
Briefly passing someone in a hall is very unlikely to contribute significantly to the spread of infection if people do not have physical contact and avoid informal group discussions.
We will observe our usual practice of keeping to the left when on the stairs and in the corridors.
Doors and Windows
Where practical, all internal doors will be left open to minimise hand contact with common surfaces.
To ensure that classrooms are well ventilated, windows will be kept open as often as possible, and will be opened while children are taking breaks in the playground.
Parents/Guardians must make sure that children bring their lunches to school to avoid adults having to come to the school during the day. Forgotten lunches can be dropped into a designated box in the main reception area with your child’s name and class on it
Please remind your children not to share their food or drinks with other children.
Children will eat their lunches at their desks, as per our usual practice.
Books, Copies, Pencils, etc.
Children should use their own books, pens, pencils, etc. and as far as possible should not share with other pupils.
Children should not be sent to the Secretary’s Office or to the Reception area to deliver messages.
As far as possible, staff members should not enter the Office area and should speak with the Secretary at the Reception area.
Any staff member who uses the photocopier should clean it down after use with the wipes provided.
A timetable will be drawn up for the use of common ICTs. Devices should be cleaned after use and before they are returned to the charging trolley.
A copy of the Covid-19 Response Plan will be provided to each substitute teacher/SNA. Substitutes will be required to complete a Return to the Workplace form before they enter a classroom and will be asked to confirm that they have engaged in the online Induction training.
Physical Education and P.E. Equipment
Physical Education lessons will take place outside when the weather allows and use of equipment will be confined to individual class groupings.
Staff members and pupils may take additional breaks outside during the school day.
Parent/ Teacher Meetings
Parent/Teacher Meetings may take place via phone. We will assess the situation closer to the time.
All staff members should maintain a physical distance of 2 metres when they are not engaged in teaching e.g. when they are using the staff room and arriving to work. If 2m cannot be maintained in staff groups, face coverings should be worn.
Staff meetings will be held in small groups or in large spaces to facilitate physical distancing.
Staff members should bring their own cups, bottles, cutlery, etc. to school and avoid sharing utensils in the staffroom as far as possible. Fridges, microwaves, burcos and kettles will be used.
Teaching and Learning
As a staff, we are very aware that the children have been away from school since March 12th. We appreciate the time and effort that went into Home Learning, and we recognise the challenges that Home Learning presented for all families.
Each child may be in a different place in relation to his/her learning, and we wish to assure you that staff will take that into consideration when planning for Teaching and Learning during the 2020/2021 school year.
The Department of Education and Skills has published Curriculum guidelines for us, and we ask you to trust our experience and professional expertise as we work with all the children during the return to school.
Wellbeing of the School Community
We will work on the recommended five principles to support the wellbeing of all our pupils and staff.
These are promoting:
- A sense of safety
- A sense of calm
- A sense of belonging and connectedness to school
- A sense of self-efficacy and school-community efficacy
- A sense of hope
Our usual practice is to provide support to pupils based on what is known as the Continuum of Support. This is a tiered system that provides Whole School and Classroom Support for all pupils, additional School Support for some pupils, and School Support plus extra targeted intervention for a few pupils with complex needs.
The Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Staff members are required to wear PPE when:
- A distance of 2m cannot be maintained.
- Assisting with intimate care needs
- Where a suspected case of COVID-19 is identified while the school is in operation
- Where staff are particularly vulnerable to infection but are not on the list of those categorised as people in very high-risk groups or may be living with those who are in the very high-risk category.
- When staff members have to move between classrooms to support children with learning needs.
Appropriate PPE will be available for dealing with suspected COVID-19 cases, intimate care needs and for first aid. Where staff provide healthcare to children with medical needs in the school environment, they will apply standard precautions as per usual.
Children under 13 years of age are not required to wear masks or face coverings.
There is no need for the children to wear disposable gloves. They are considered inappropriate under the guidelines.
Staff members do not need to wear disposable gloves unless they are looking after a pupil’s intimate care needs or administering First Aid.
There will be an emphasis on hand hygiene rather than on the wearing of disposable gloves.
Hygiene and Cleaning
Sanitiser dispensers have been installed throughout the school e.g. at each entrance, outside classrooms.
Warm water and soap is available in all classrooms, in all toilets and in all staffrooms.
Hand hygiene will be promoted and encouraged, and parents/guardians are asked to support the school in reinforcing this message.
In accordance with the DES guidelines, the school will be thoroughly cleaned at least once per day. We have additional cleaning staff on site during the day. Particular attention will be focused on frequently touched surfaces – door handles, handrails, chairs/arm rests, communal eating areas, sink and toilet facilities.
All staff will have access to cleaning products and will be required to maintain cleanliness of their own work area. Under no circumstances should these cleaning materials be removed from the building. Staff should thoroughly clean and disinfect their work area before and after use each day.
Waste will be collected regularly from offices and other areas within the school.
Staff must use and clean their own equipment and utensils (cup, cutlery, plate etc.)
Illness and Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19
We love to see all of our children at school every day. However, under the current circumstances, parents/guardians must keep children at home if they display any Covid-19 Symptoms. https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/symptoms.html
Staff must not attend school if they display any symptoms.
What to do if a child suddenly feels unwell or develops symptoms of Covid-19 at school.
If a child develops any of the following symptoms, cough, fever, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, the following procedures will be implemented:
1. Alert the Covid-19 Response Team immediately. The child’s parent or guardian is to be contacted immediately.
2. The child will be accompanied to the designated Isolation Room via the one-way isolation route by a member of the Covid Response Team. Please ensure that a 2 metre distance is maintained.
Main Isolation Room – Cathy’s old office
Back Up Isolation Room – Communications Room (between Cathy’s Office and the Hall)
3. A mask will be provided for the child and the staff member will remain at least 2 metres away from the symptomatic child whilst also wearing a mask/face shield.
4. The staff member should be aware that it is essential to avoid touching their own nose, mouth, eyes while caring for a symptomatic child and to perform hand hygiene.
5. An assessment will be made as to whether the child who is presenting with symptoms can immediately be brought home by their parent or guardian, who will call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home.
6. The parent or guardian will collect the child from the door leading to the yard from the isolation room.
7. If the child presenting with symptoms cannot be brought home immediately, the school will facilitate their remaining in isolation and will assist them in calling their doctor.
8. The child should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice should be given to the child presenting with symptoms to cough or sneeze into the disposable tissue provided and place the used tissue into the waste bag provided.
9. When the child is well enough to go home, they must be transported by a family member and should be advised to inform their doctor by phone of their symptoms. Public transport of any kind should not be used.
10. If they are too unwell to go home or advice is required, contact 999 or 112 and inform them that the sick person is a Covid-19 suspect.
11. Arrangements will be made for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.
COVID-19 Related Absence Management
COVID-19 related absences will be managed in line with agreed procedures with the Department of Education.
Employee Assistance and Wellbeing Programme
Support for school staff wellbeing will be provided by Department Support Services including the PDST and CSL, as well as by the HSE’s Health Promotion Team.
An Occupational Health Strategy is in place as a supportive resource for staff in schools. The aim of the Occupational Health Strategy is to promote the health and wellbeing of employees in the workplace, with a strong focus on prevention. The Occupational Health Strategy comprises the Employee Assistance Service and the Occupational Health Service. The Employee Assistance Service (EAS) is provided by Spectrum Life under the logo of ‘Wellbeing Together: Folláinne Le Chéile’.
A free-phone confidential helpline 1800 411 057 is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and staff members are encouraged to make use of the service when the need arises.
Code of Behaviour
Deliberate breaking of the school rules in relation to Covid 19 will be considered a gross misdemeanour as per our code of behaviour.
The Code of Behaviour has been updated to reflect a response to Covid 19. Please see the Policy area of our school website.
Chairperson, Board of Management.