St Oswald'sC of E AcademyChurch, School, Community


Welcome toSt Oswald'sC of E AcademyChurch, School, Community

Parent updates and links

Symptoms of Covid 19


A new list of symptoms has been circulated to schools, which we have been asked to consider as possible signs of Covid-19.  Current advice is that children should not be in school if they are showing any of these symptoms:

They can be displaying just one of the following symptoms - cough, temperature, vomiting, diarrhoea, sleeping more than usual, loss of sense of smell or taste, complaining of not feeling themselves in anyway, agitated, cold, headache - anything that is not feeling themselves could be a sign of COVID-19.

For fever, NHS advice is to look for a high temperature – ‘this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back, you do not need to measure your temperature’


If your child is ill, you should not send them into school.  If your child becomes unwell in school, we will isolate your child and contact you to collect them as usual.  If your child develops Covid 19 symptoms in school, they will be isolated and should be tested for the virus.  Any siblings will also be sent home.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Please see below some of the questions that we have anticipated you may have about our reopening. We have already had one or two questions from parents which we have endeavoured to answer.  We thought it would be useful to share these with you.


1. Which year groups are returning to school?


The Government has asked primary schools to welcome back children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 alongside priority groups. The Government's ambition is to bring all primary school year groups for the last month of the Summer half term if conditions nationally make it feasible. This will be kept under review. 


2. Why aren't all the children coming back?


The DfE have based this on the need to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus. So have taken account of the need to reduce numbers returning as a gradual process and smaller groupings in classes can be maintained. 


3. If one of my children is eligible to return can’t their sibling come back too?


Sadly, the answer to this is ‘no’.  Siblings cannot attend unless they are in another of the selected year groups or you are a key worker. This would raise the number of pupils attending the school too quickly.


4. Does my child have to attend? 


No one with symptoms should attend for any reason. All children in the selected groups are encouraged to attend unless self-isolating or shielding. Parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time and schools will not be held to account for attendance levels.


5. I am worried that my child is vulnerable or that a family member is. Should I send them back to school?


Children and young people who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should continue to shield and should not be expected to attend.


Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. A minority of children will fall into this category, and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.


Children and young people who live in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and the child or young person is able to understand and follow those instructions. As we will not be able to socially distance children within their class group, it would be advisable for these children to remain at home.


Children and young people who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) as defined in the social distancing guidance and including those who are pregnant, can attend. DFE May 2020


6.  How big will the classes be? 


The DfE is recommending class group size should not exceed 15 pupils per small group and one teacher plus a TA where required. Where there are not enough teachers, Teaching Assistants will lead a group. Desks should be as far apart as the room allows.


Having completed risk assessments and a parent survey, classes will have no more than 10 children when we return. 


7. Will you guarantee that social distancing takes place e.g. keeping children 2m apart?


We will of course do our best to support distancing, especially with any adults in the school. DfE guidance states 'We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account.' We will be ensuring that each class 'bubble' does not come into contact with other class bubbles. Children will only be able to socialise with children in their class, even at playtime.  The nature of the school site and the age of our children is such that this is unavoidable and we cannot be expected to respond to complaints around this when it inevitably happens. We cannot alleviate every risk and parents must understand what we are able to do and use this to inform their decision making.


8. Why can't my children (siblings) play with each other at break time?


To enable us to maintain distance from others for each class bubble, it is important that children only play with children in their bubble. This helps us to limit the number of people each bubble comes into contact with, which will aid in preventing transmission.


9. What hygiene measures will be in place to prevent transmission?


We will:

  • use the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance to inform our school specific risk assessments.

  • ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Hand sanitiser will be available in areas without access to soap and water.

  • clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as toys, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, more regularly than normal

  • ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day

  • where possible, ensure spaces are well ventilated.

  • prop doors open, where safe to do so (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding), to limit use of door handles and aid ventilation


We will ensure that all adults and children:

  • frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly. 

  • clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing

  • are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose

  • use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)

  • ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently

We will consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition.


10. Will children be confined to the same classroom environment most of the day?


Government advice on the Scientific evidence shows that the outdoor environment is much more manageable in terms of virus transmission. With the Summer weather coming  we will be moving towards more of an outdoor learning approach, where possible.  However, outside of this, we will keep children within their own classroom during the day.


11. What measures will school be employing to help prevent transmission?


In addition to what has already been mentioned

We will: 

  • give children a designated classroom and group (which we are refering to as their bubble) for lessons and play, to minimise the opportunity for mixing.

  • regularly clean the setting.

  • not allow children to bring in their own resources such as pencil cases.

  • use PPE such as gloves, aprons, masks, hand sanitiser and anti-bac wipes as identified in our Risk assessments, when it is necessary to do so. 

  • confine resources to rooms to minimise sharing and when sharing is essential (eg laptops and ipads), clean resources before transference.

  • organise lunchtimes and playtimes differently, keeping children in their bubbles.

  • be vigilant in identifying children with symptoms, isolate them and ask parents to collect them

  • removal and/or restricting access to unnecessary items in classrooms.

  • removal and/or restricting access to some soft furnishings, soft toys and toys that are hard to clean.

  • not share PE equipment. All bubbles will have their own equipment in a box. Where it is not possible to have class resources, equipment will be cleaned between each class use.


12. Will my child be expected to share resources, such as pens and pencils?


Where possible, children will be given their own equipment, which they must not share with anyone else. They must not bring any equipment in from home.  Laptops and Ipads that are shared will be cleaned with an anti-bacterial wipe after use.  We cannot say that some resources will not be handled by more than one child, especially in Nursery and Reception.  We have spent nearly half a year teaching our youngest children that sharing is good!  Children will be encouraged to maintain good hand hygiene.


13. Will everyone arrive at school at the same time causing an increase in risk?


The school will organise a staggered drop off and collection time for pupils. (More details to follow) The approach to drop off areas will be marked out and there will be a drop off zone from where the teacher will invite pupils in.


Only one parent or carer should accompany the child to school to minimise risk. Y6 pupils may still come to school unattended as long as they can adhere to any rules regarding distancing. Parents will not be invited to enter the building but will drop off as described above.  Schools have no power under the law to enforce social distancing with parents other than to make that request. 


14. Will the school have assembly/acts of worship?


Class bubbles will have an opportunity for reflection within their daily session, but there will be no mass gatherings or daily acts of worship as a school for the time being.


15. My child is feeling anxious about coming back to school, how can I prepare him/her?


You will need to prepare your child by talking about what school was like and what it will be like now.  It will be different.  We will help you to prepare for this by putting pictures on our website to show what you and your child can expect, when things are ready.  

Sharing social stories can be really helpful for young children and help to express the situation in a clear factual way.


It will be important to encourage your child to talk about their experiences in ‘lockdown’ and that this period is now ending.


Social Stories



16. Will children go straight back into normal lessons following the National Curriculum?


No, not initially.


The initial focus, for as long as we feel necessary, will be on supporting personal, social, health and emotional aspects of learning to support children’s wellbeing.  They have all gone through an incredible period of change and may have experienced loss on a number of different levels.  This shouldn’t be ignored.  However, we also know that children like routine; therefore, new routines will quickly be established and when children are ready, we will continue teaching lessons as normal.

We plan to make use of our outdoor learning environment as much as possible.

We will of course ensure that skills in English and Maths continue to be developed.  We are currently working hard to ensure that children, who are remaining at home, get access to similar content on our website.


17. How will you support my child’s emotional well-being? 


In addition to that mentioned above,  all staff will be available to provide support. Our SENCO and PSHE lead will work to ensure that children’s needs are met.


There will be plenty of opportunities for children to discuss their feelings,  play and rebuild friendships.


18. Will staff and children wear masks or PPE?


The Government guidelines state, ‘The majority of staff in education settings will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work, even if they are not always able to maintain a distance of 2 metres from others. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases including:

  • children, young people and students whose care routinely already involves the use of PPE due to their intimate care needs should continue to receive their care in the same way

  • if a child, young person or other learner becomes unwell with symptoms of coronavirus while in their setting and needs direct personal care until they can return home. A fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained. If contact with the child or young person is necessary, then disposable gloves, a disposable apron and a fluid-resistant surgical face mask should be worn by the supervising adult. If a risk assessment determines that there is a risk of splashing to the eyes, for example from coughing, spitting, or vomiting, then eye protection should also be worn.’



19. Will the school office be open?


Yes, but parents and children will not be allowed into the office. Where possible I would ask that parents ring/email the school as opposed to presenting in person. 


20. Will you continue to provide online home learning activities for children who do not return to school?


We will continue to set home learning activities during term-time, so that all children have access to provision to support their learning. These activities will, in the main, be what the children in school are accessing.   With school reopening to a greater number, parents will need to be mindful that teaching staff will not be as responsive to parent messages and portfolio uploads.   


It may be that we establish a small remote learning team to deal with queries and provide support to those that remain at home who can be on call throughout the day as required.   When we have a better idea as to the number of pupils and staff in school versus at home, we can put things in place.  


21. Will children and young people be eligible for testing for the virus?


The government advice is: 


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.


22. Will teachers and other staff be able to get tested if they have symptoms?


Access to testing is available to all essential workers. This includes anyone involved in education, childcare or social work – including both public and voluntary sector workers, as well as foster carers. 


23. What will happen if a child in the class shows symptoms?


We will follow the Government guidelines set out below. 


If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature in an education or childcare setting, they must be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance.

If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, depending on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people.

If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom should be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.  PPE should be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs).  In an emergency, call 999 if they are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk. Do not visit the GP, pharmacy, urgent care centre or a hospital.


If a member of staff has helped someone who was unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they do not need to go home (although this will be offered to any member of staff if the case arises) unless they develop symptoms themselves (and in which case, a test is available) or the child subsequently tests positive (see ‘What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting?’ below). They should wash their hands thoroughly for 20 seconds after any contact with someone who is unwell. Cleaning the affected area with normal household disinfectant after someone with symptoms has left will reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people. See the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.


24. What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in school? 


We will follow the Government guidance set out below. 


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 negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.


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.


25. How can I speak to the class teacher if we are not allowed into school? 


You can contact your child’s class teacher by using messages on class dojo. If you are unable to do this, you can phone or email the office who will then pass the message on. 


26. Why are different schools doing different things to reopen?


Individual school circumstances are different - numbers in year groups, staff available to work, etc. We are working with the Diocese of Sheffield Academies Trust to ensure that we are following the government guidance on reopening school.


Doncaster Food Bank Crisis appeal


As you know, the St Oswald's community regularly arrange collections for this worthy cause and would like to make you aware of the current appeal they are making for crisis funding, in the light of reduced food donations.  If you wish to support this appeal, please follow the link here or on the image below to their Crowd Funding page.  All donations will benefit those in the local area.



Wishing you a peaceful and safe Easter from us all


School Update (last edited 09.04.20)


Please observe the 2 metre distancing rule during school drop-off and pick up.  All children must be dropped at reception - please do this one family at a time and leave 2 m between any other parents and children.


School will be closing for all but children of key workers on Friday 3rd April for the Easter break.  During this time we will not be setting work, but will place links for activities on the web site for those wishing for inspiration to keep children busy.



For children who will be staying at home, we will be setting work via the Pupil tab, on the Home Learning page.  This work is intended to keep your child's skills in Maths and English fresh in their minds for when we eventually return, and should be completed in line with your child's ability and circumstances at home.  They may not complete all the tasks on the project lists, and we do not expect them to be sitting at a table from 9 am to 3.30 pm.  We appreciate that parents are not all teachers, so have tried to give as much guidance as we can to help.  Some teachers also have children at home, and all have families whom they are worried about, and we all fully appreciate how tricky things currently are, but we are trying to stay connected with the children in our classes as best we can to help them through this upsetting and strange time.


As a rough guide, we would encourage a child to complete at least one each of the maths and literacy tasks daily, plus one other activity for every day they would be at school (not weekends or holidays!).  These do not exclusively have to be from the Home Learning Projects - they are written to support parents and not to cause extra stresses.  There are huge numbers of online resources you can use to supplement or use as an alternative what is set by school, and we will keep you up to date with useful links.


Ideas for afternoons:

Play board games or complete jigsaws 

Have a karaoke session with lyrics and songs from You Tube

Have a dance-off with Wii Just Dance on You Tube!

Make an obstacle course in the back garden

Try out new recipes to make your own desserts

Build things from upcycled items

Do some gardening and plant carrot tops or seeds - use pop bottles as mini greenhouses

Set up a scavenger hunt

Write letters and draw pictures for relatives or neighbours who can't leave the house

Learn how to juggle

Learn a new language together online


Thank you for your patience, we will try our best to keep you updated as clearly and regularly as we can.




Resources to support emotional well-being


Brain Pop Video -This is a great clip for kids, explaining the virus and how to stay healthy.  It is a child friendly animation explaining what Coronavirus is followed by a quiz which you could do with your class/children at home.


Supporting Students Experiencing Childhood Trauma: Tips for Parents and Educators


Anxiety and world news – This is a great website for parents/carers containing the latest psychological news and research.


Safeguarding Implications for Online Learning – 8 Different Podcasts to listen to regarding Anxiety  

Smiling Mind  Smiling Mind is a great mindfulness app/website for the whole family (Age 7+) as a way to help calm and focus their brains and bodies.


Cosmic Kids Yoga and mindfulness for kids ages 3+. This is a great resource and many kids have experience using it in class.