FAQs Re-opening School September 2020


Q. What date does Ysgol Bro Dinefwr re-open for the autumn term?

Q. Is my child required to attend school during the autumn term?

The Welsh Government has said that all pupils in Wales will need to return to school by Monday 14th September.

We would expect parents to discuss any concerns they have about their child returning to school with the school. This will help us to plan for and understand any barriers to learners returning to school and identify any further support needed. Please contact Mr S Thomas our Assistant Headteacher Stuart.Thomas@brodinefwr.org.uk in the first instance.

However, if your child did not return to school, it is the Welsh Government’s view that it would not be appropriate for a local authority or school to issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) or commence proceedings for non-attendance. The Welsh Government will monitor the situation over the first half term before reviewing its position.

Q. Should my child return to school if they have previously been shielding?

The Chief Medical Officer for Wales has confirmed that people in Wales who were shielding no longer need to do so after 16th August. Therefore all pupils, including those who were previously shielding, will return to school in September. We realise how important it is that we support pupils who have been shielding in their transition back to school, as their level of anxiety may be greater than other pupils.

Q: How can I be sure that my child will be safe when they return to school?

Carmarthenshire County Council has provided all schools with a risk assessment checklist. The Local Authority (CCC) as the employers and schools, must protect people from harm. This includes taking all necessary steps to protect staff, learners, and others from COVID-19 within schools and settings.

We have reviewed and updated the systems and procedures that were in place during the limited re-opening during July in preparation for full re-opening.

Essential measures include:

  • a requirement that people who are unwell with symptoms of COVID-19 stay at home.
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene including ventilation.
  • continue increased cleaning arrangements
  • active engagement with Test, Trace, Protect strategy.
  • formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise social and physical distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable.

Contact between learners, learners, and staff, and between staff will be reduced through:

  • grouping learners together.
  • avoiding contact between separate groups as much as possible.
  • arranging classrooms with forward facing desks, wherever possible or appropriate.
  • staff maintaining distance from learners and other staff as much as possible.

There are hand washing and/or hand sanitising stations at the entry points to all buildings and outside every classroom. Correct hand washing will be prompted by staff and promoted using posters, etc. Pupils and staff will be required to wash/sanitise their hands thoroughly on arrival at school and regularly throughout the day, including on entry and exiting classrooms, before and after using toilet facilities, before and after eating in the canteen, etc.

Q: How will social distancing be maintained?

We need to minimise contact between all individuals wherever possible. The emphasis will be on forming groups of learners and ensuring separation of those groups, and for older learners it will be on social and physical distancing.

The contact groups will need to be the size of a year group to enable the school to deliver the full range of curriculum subjects and for students to receive specialist teaching.

To reduce the number of contacts during the day, the timetable has been adjusted to remove the morning registration period (registration will take place during lesson 1). The time gained by doing this allows us to introduce movement time between lessons so that groups may be released from lessons on a staggered basis and therefore minimise the number of pupils who are in a corridor at any one time.

Where staff need to move between classes and year groups, they will try and keep their distance from learners and other staff as much as they can, ideally 2 metres from other adults.

Q: Will my child need to wear a face covering?

All secondary school pupils (and staff) will be required to wear face coverings on school transport and in communal areas, where schools risk assessments demonstrate social distancing is not possible. Communal areas include, for example, corridors and school canteens. It does not include classrooms.

This use of face coverings does not apply to those pupils who are exempt for medical reasons.

We ask parents to provide face coverings for their children for the first day of school where possible. The council will provide a reusable face covering for those pupils who do not have suitable provision.

We are encouraging the use of reusable face coverings where possible, rather than single use face coverings, as not only is this better for the environment but it costs less too.

It is important to remember that face coverings are not to be used as a substitute for social distancing and handwashing.

The use of face coverings in schools will be continually reviewed.

Please see Welsh Government guidance on how to make a 3 layer face mask.

Q: Will school meals be provided?

Service will be provided to the new year 7 intake during the week commencing September 7 so that they can familiarise themselves with the school cafeteria environment. Parents will be notified by their school if the service can cater for additional year groups over the course of the week. From Monday, September 14, all pupils will be catered for.

Pupils will need to bring in their own food until service resumes. All families who receive free school meals will continue to receive direct payments/ food packs to cover the cost of providing packed lunches until Friday, September 11.

Lunchtimes will be staggered where possible and the layout of the dining areas will be revised to allow for social distancing. New signage and hand sanitiser stations will be in place together with adequate supervision arrangements to manage social distancing and safe pupil conduct.

Q: Is school transport being provided for the 2020/21 school year?

Transport will be provided to pupils who have been through the application process and deemed eligible.

Transport queries should be directed to LearnerTravel@carmarthenshire.gov.uk or telephone 01267 228 362.

Year 7 Questions

Q: My child is starting year 7 – Why am I not receiving emails?

Unfortunately, we are not able to add any contact details for the new year 7 pupils to our SIMS system until 1st of September when they are officially on roll with us. In the meantime, any updates will be posted on the school website plus Twitter/Facebook.

Q: My child is starting year 7 - How will I pay for school meals?

Your child will need to bring a packed lunch on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th September. In order to pay for school meals, you will need to register with ParentPay. The Carmarthenshire School Catering Service produce the ParentPay activation letters for the new year 7 intake, and they have arranged for these to be delivered to the school on/before Friday 4th September at the very latest. Unfortunately, they are unable to produce the letters until the year 7 pupils are on roll and their data transfers from SIMS over to ParentPay.

Q: What will happen on the first day?

Staff will meet year 7 when they arrive on Thursday 3rd September. After hand washing/sanitising, they will escort them to the hall where they will meet Ms Davies the Progress Leader for Year 7 along with their Form Tutors. They will then spend time with their Form Tutors who will start familiarising them with the school systems and routines. They will receive their timetables and lessons will start after break.