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Reality of social distancing

Discussion in 'Primary' started by JasonArganaut, May 18, 2020.


Are your school's primary children socially distancing in the playground?

  1. Yes

    6 vote(s)
  2. No

    19 vote(s)
  1. JasonArganaut

    JasonArganaut New commenter

    I'm intrigued to know how other primary schools are dealing with social distancing at playtime?
    Whilst it is possible within a classroom, the moment children are in the playground they simply cannot stay 2 metres apart.
    Furthermore, how are people dealing with arts and crafts? Our school has stipulated that each child has their own stationary pack which they may not share, but boxes of pastels, for example?
    install likes this.
  2. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    why are you letting children into the playground?

    They can't share any resources, including boxes of pastels
  3. install

    install Star commenter

    My children’s Primary School have indicated they will be doing staggered breaks in the playground remaining in the same small classroom groups that they are in with all day.

    They will still be 2m apart which will be easy to maintain with the smaller groups. I get the impression that play will be more independent and to get some fresh air.
  4. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    But primary age children do need time outside and in fact many are being actively encourage to use outside space as much as possible.
    Having said that without being able to share any equipment or physical contact 'play' activities will be heavily curtailed.

    And yes, no sharing of anything like pastels.
    Paintbrushes if thoroughly washed in disinfectant afterwards and individual paint pallets ditto, but you'll have to get 'creative' with art activities. Collage is a possibility , where they cut up pieces and make mosaic pictures. And lots of sketching and learning how to shade etc.
  5. install

    install Star commenter

    Agree and for Vitamin D too of course
  6. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Children can share equipment with those who are in their bubble. So the 15 children in the group can share with each other, but no one else.
    I wouldn't use pastels, because you can't clean them at the end of the session.
    For arts and crafts use things like scissors and glue spreaders, which can be cleaned afterwards.

    The recommendation for the little ones is to be outside as much as possible. The virus apparently spreads less easily outside. Many schools are planning to be outside all day apart from going in to the loo, as many nurseries and schools have been doing throughout.

    The guidance is that children in school do not need to socially distance and, in fact, cannot do so. Hence setting up bubbles to stop anything spreading through the entire school. The children are free to play with each other as they wish within their groups. (As they are in Danish schools.)
    Kartoshka, Lara mfl 05 and install like this.
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    yes, they should be going outside, but they shouldn't be in a playground playing together
  8. install

    install Star commenter

    Thank you for this. Sounds good to me.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I've had time over the last week or so to read all the guidance that has come out. Also time to read lots of articles about what schools that have already reopened are doing. And, probably most usefully, read what schools and nurseries that have stayed open throughout (especially what nurseries in hospitals with 100% children of front line NHS workers) have done.

    Taking all of this together, as many people teaching EYFS and Yr1 have done, means it is clearer what can and can't be done.

    There is absolutely no expectation of social distancing in schools...which is the crux of the NEU's argument for keeping schools closed.
    Kartoshka and install like this.
  10. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    Do you know how strictly it is expected the ‘bubble’ will be enforced. e.g. can staff change over the course of the day? Different staff supervise wraparound care? Bubbles merge for wraparound care? Bubbles merge for ‘distanced’ outdoor activity? How much of this is things schools can decide for themselves and how much is decided for them? I’m really thinking Y6 here not KS1.
    install likes this.
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    All is being decided at school level, though most are using the published government guidance.
    All the questions you ask are school specific, though it is highly unlikely any school will allow the bubbles to merge. However two bubbles outside at the same time with a barrier between them on the playground (row of cones or similar) could happen to enable staff to have breaks.
    install and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  12. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter


    Schools need to provide a full detailed risk assessment for staff, and if staff are not satisfied, they are not required in law to attend.

    Just the fact that there is someone here posting about making up their own mind about whether to observe social distancing or not highlights the need for everybody to insist on seeing those risk assessments, satisfying themselves they are rigorous, and drawn up by people QUALIFIED IN INFECTION CONTROL and adhered to religiously.

    If not, then leave the premises.

    No school has the right to play Russian roulette with the lives of children, their families and school staff by making up their own minds not to follow strict hygiene, social distancing and sterilisation.
    bonxie, Sally006, lovetoast and 2 others like this.
  13. install

    install Star commenter

    As others have rightly said - look at the guidelines.
  14. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    But that’s the point, isn’t it? If they are ‘guidelines’ schools can choose how to interpret them. Hence my question about how strictly it is expected they will be enforced.
  15. ACOYEAR8

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Worth remembering that it was slack thought processes that sparked infection after horse meetings earlier this year. Agree it's either " strict" or not at all really. It's a virus which has no ability to discriminate, so no sentience at all !
    Catgirl1964 and install like this.
  16. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    I can see schools interpreting these guidelines in vastly different ways. Which will be fine...as long as there is no one infectious returning to school. If there is then it’s a problem.
  17. install

    install Star commenter

  18. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Nothing in law or guidance says school risk assessments can only be done by someone with a qualification in infection control. The law does not entitle you to walk off the job if the risk assessor doesn't have such a qualification.
  19. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    risk assessments have to be done by people qualified to assess the risk, and yes, you absolutely can walk out if you are not satisfied that you are safe. And having a risk assessment on infetious disease done by manager who happens to be a English graduate, with no further qualifications, certainly would by definition be unsafe
  20. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    In what way is that a rebuttal of what I said when I challenged your original claim?

    Your claim that school risk assessments must be "drawn up by people QUALIFIED IN INFECTION CONTROL" is not true and, like so many of your previous posts about coronavirus, scaremongering and could lead disciplinary action if followed. You need to be "competent" to do a risk assessment in a workplace, you do not need to hold any formal professional qualification [look it up on HSE website].

    Your new assertion that risk assessments done by a manager who is "an English graduate with no further qualifications" are defined by law to be unsafe is also not true. Perhaps you could point to the law or official guidance that says this? I confidently predict you can't.
    Last edited: May 19, 2020

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