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At South Pennine Academies, we want every student to have the best possible chance to achieve in school.

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Orchard Primary Academy

Frequently Asked questions

We have put together a set of questions and answers that you may have.

If you cannot find the answer to any questions you may have please contact the school office who will be able to help you further.

Phone number: 01924 469578  Email: office@orchardprimaryacademy.org 


Will staff be asked to wear face masks and other forms of PPE when teaching my child?

No. Based on government guidance staff will not be asked or made to wear PPE when teaching your child. Staff will be given the choice to wear a face covering should they wish and will only be asked to wear a face mask if they are supervising a child who is showing symptoms of Coronavirus or when they are carrying out intimate care procedures e.g. changing nappies. Our cleaning staff will also have access to PPE as they will be moving from room to room when cleaning and emptying bins.


How will the school ensure that children do not mix in large groups in school?

We understand that children, especially our younger children, would find it hard to stick to the 2-meter social distancing measures. With that, we have developed a plan that has placed children and staff into ‘pods’ whereby staff and children only learn within that pod. Along with staggered start/end times, staggered playtimes and limited supervised movement around the building, we are confident we can avoid cross-contamination.


Will parents be allowed into the playground?

Yes. However, we will be insisting on only one parent bringing and collecting their child from school. This is to ensure we have the least amount of people in the playground at any one time. We also ask that you keep a 2-meter gap between you and other parents when in the playground. Senior leaders will ensure social distancing is being adhered to in the playground.


How will I drop my child off and collect them from school?

We will be staggering the start and end of the school day to ensure there is only one group of children in a playground at any one time. We will be creating a one-way system to ensure parents enter through a gate and leave through another.


Will parents and visitors be allowed into the school building?

Parents and visitors in school will be kept to an absolute minimum to avoid cross-contamination. Only in extremely circumstances will visitors be permitted into the school building. Parents will be asked to respect this measure put in place and only use the playgrounds in the time given or contact the school via telephone or email.


Will my child have access to the toilet and water when they need it?

Yes. Children will be supervised to the outside of the toilet and we will run a 1-in-1-out system. We will be asking parents to provide children with their own full water bottle each day to avoid school water bottles and these will need to be sterilised daily.


Do the children have to wear uniform?

We would like children to wear uniform should they return to school. However, we understand that children grow, and some parts of their uniform may not fit them when they return. We also understand that you may not be able to purchase uniform at this time due to logistical or financial reasons. If this is the case, then we ask that you make the best effort possible to send your child in appropriate and smart clothing where possible.


Will I receive a fine if I choose not to send my child back to school?

No. As this is a very difficult and uncertain time for us all, we would not issue fines or carry out our usual attendance procedures. We just ask that you keep us informed of your ongoing decisions.


Can my child wear a face covering/mask to school?

Guidance suggested that masks are not appropriate for children of primary school age as there are issues around breathing if they do not know how to use them correctly and can increase cross-contamination. Based on this guidance, we suggested that children do not wear face masks.


Will my child be with their friends?

We have tried to split the classes as fairly and keep friendship groups together where possible. Your child will only be in a ‘pod’ with their year group. Unfortunately, we cannot make changes to any of the ‘pods’ we have created as we would risk cross contamination.


Will my child be doing schoolwork in school?

We understand that children have been away from school for many weeks now and we do not expect that they will be able to come straight back and pick up from where they left. We have therefore adapted the timetable slightly to include regular breaks and opportunities for them to work on their personal social and emotional development as well as academic learning.


What will happen at break and dinner time?

Children will remain with their pod and will have staggered break and lunch times to ensure they do not mix with children and staff outside of their pod.


My child is in one of the year groups due to return to school can their brother and sister also attend?

No. The Government has made the decision to only send back certain year groups. This is so that numbers in school can remain low and we can have smaller class sizes. If we were to try and accommodate siblings too this would increase the class sizes which would then be bigger than the government guidance.


What happens if one of the children in the ‘pod’ show signs of Coronavirus?

Based on government guidance, if a child within a ‘pod’ shows symptoms of Coronavirus, they will be taken out of the classroom and taken to a designated isolation room. Staff will stay with and support the child until parents/carers can collect. The child would have to go into self-isolation for 7 days and anyone in their house should self-isolate for 14 days. Any child who displays symptoms will have access to a test and where the child tests positive for Coronavirus, the rest of the ‘pod’ will be sent home to self-isolate for 14 days. If the child tests negative, the everyone in the ‘pod’ can return to school. 


Will there be a breakfast club and after school club?

No. The government guidance states that class sizes should not exceed 15 and that children should not mix in different ‘pods’. We therefore cannot provide before or after school clubs.


Will my child come to school as normal?

No. Due to the smaller class sizes we have had to create, Nursery children will be based in the main school building and Reception children will be based in the nursery building. When arriving at school at your staggered time, staff will be able to direct you to where you need to go.