We hope you are all ok during these unprecedented times. We are so looking forward to getting back to some normality. We have been busy putting Covid 19 precautions in place by implementing a few changes to our sites but we want to stress that we are determined to keep things as normal as possible for our children.
One thing is absolutely clear, expecting young children to socially distance is virtually impossible. You will see below that we will take many measures to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus but we need to stress - we cannot expect children 5 years and under to socially distance. The government recognises this, so their guidance suggests a hierarchy of controls that we can introduce to reduce the risk of transmission of infection. Being Ofsted registered we will be implementing the following measures to reduce the risk:
Minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend Willow's Forest School, so to protect others.
We will be checking the temperature of children, accompanying adults and staff upon arrival and anyone displaying a temperature above 37.8 will be taken home by their family.
Cleaning hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly. Regular routines of hand washing will be put in place and more stations will be provided. Hand sanitiser will be provided at the entrance of each site and we request you use as you arrive and when you leave. Please bring your own hand sanitiser for the duration of the class.
Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach. Lidded, pedal bins have been installed to ensure minimal contact when disposing of tissues etc.
We will clean toilets after use and we ask that you all visit the toilet before you visit us, to minimise sharing facilities.
We will be making boxes of equipment that will be used, washed and then left for 72 hours before the next group use the same equipment. Parents are very welcome to bring their own equipment if they so wish.
Our Governing Body, The Forest School Association (FSA) believes that, due to the nature of Forest School sessions and facilitating the play needs of children and young people, the most appropriate precaution that can be taken is to create and maintain learner ‘bubbles’. This means that equipment, resources and the environment can be shared within each ‘bubble’ without significant risk.
Each class will have no more than 15 children in a bubble. We ask that parents respect the social distancing rules between other parents, staff and other peoples children. Children under 5 years are not expected to social distance.
Children will remain in the same bubbles for the 13 week term and no swapping of classes will be authorised.
There is strong evidence that being outdoors reduces stress, keeps immunity strong, builds resilience and a sense of community and keeps us physically healthy.
We currently know that the most obvious symptoms of COVID-19 are a high temperature and a new persistent cough, but as time goes on we are being made aware that other symptoms are being linked to the virus. If you are in any doubt if your child or yourself may be unwell, please stay at home, to protect others. We will transfer your missed session when safe to do so. Sending a sick child to us could potentially close all of our classes down.
If your child needs to receive first aid , if a parent would prefer to take charge of their own child then we can instruct the parent, or staff will wear a face shield and gloves and deliver the relevant care.
TRACK AND TRACE
Anyone booking into our sessions must agree for their contact details to be held for 21 days and if requested, we will pass these onto the track and trace service.
We ask that one adult accompanies their child / children. Two staff will run each class.
Please bring the absolute essentials and please do not place your belongings on other peoples belongings, as Covid 19 can linger. A small rucksack kept on your person with a drink and essentials would be great. Another option is to hang your bag from a tree to minimise infection.
We hope that you feel reassured with the measures that we have put in place. We will update you via email as we go through this journey together. Do feel free to get in touch via email
WHAT IS THE PROCESS IF SOMEONE IN OUR BUBBLE IS FEELING UNWELL.....
From Gov.uk: “What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting? When a child, young person or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they should be sent home and advised to self isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise schools and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, young people may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group.
Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary. Parents, carers and settings do not need to take children’s temperatures every morning. Routine testing of an individual’s temperature is not a reliable method for identifying coronavirus.
Educational and childcare settings should reiterate to parents the need to follow the standard national advice on the kind of symptoms to look out for that might be due to coronavirus, and where to get further advice. If anyone in the household develops a fever or a new continuous cough they are advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance (which states that the ill person should remain in isolation for 7 days and the rest of the household in isolation for 14 days).
When settings open to the wider cohort of children and young people, all those children and young people eligible to attend, and members of their households, will have access to testing if they display symptoms of coronavirus. This will enable them to get back into childcare or education, and their parents or carers to get back to work, if the test proves to be negative. To access testing parents will be able to use the 111 online coronavirus service if their child is 5 or over. Parents will be able to call 111 if their child is aged under 5.
ENDING ON A POSITIVE NOTE
There is strong evidence that being outdoors reduces stress, keeps immunity strong, builds resilience and a sense of community and keeps us physically healthy. We cannot wait to see you soon.