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Hamstead Junior School

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Information on COVID-19

Questions and Answers on COVID 19


What are the symptoms?

The main symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • new continuous cough and/or
  • fever (temperature of 37.8°C or higher)
  • Loss of or change in, normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)


Children may also display gastrointestinal symptoms.


What is the mode of transmission?

COVID-19 is passed from person to person mainly by large respiratory droplets and direct contact (close unprotected contact, usually less than one metre). These droplets can be directly inhaled by the person, or can land on surfaces which another person may touch which can lead to infection if they then touch their nose, mouth or eyes.


What is the incubation period?

The incubation period (i.e. time between exposure to the virus and developing symptoms) is between 1 and 14 days (median 5 days).


When is a person infectious?

A person is thought to be infectious 48 hours before symptoms appear, and up to seven days after they start displaying symptoms.


Are children at risk of infection?

Children of all ages can catch the infection but children make up a very small proportion of COVID-19 cases with about 1% of confirmed cases in England aged under 19 years. Children also have a much lower risk of developing symptoms or severe disease.


Can children pass on the infection?

There is some uncertainty about how much asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic children can transmit the disease but the evidence so far from a number of studies suggests children are less likely to pass it on and do not appear to play a major role in transmission.  Most children with COVID-19 have caught the infection from adults and not the reverse. This is unlike ‘flu.


Why is PPE not recommended for teachers and children?

Transmission of Covid-19 is usually through droplets; the mainstay of control measures are minimising contact and thorough hand and respiratory hygiene. When these measures are maintained, and symptomatic persons are excluded, the risk is minimal.


Frequently asked questions


Should a child/staff member come to school if a member of their household is unwell?


No. If a member of the child’s household is unwell with COVID-19 symptoms then the child/staff member should isolate for 14 days starting from the day the household member(s) became ill. If the child subsequently develops symptoms than they should isolate for 7 days from the date they developed symptoms. See Stay-at-home-guidance. The household member(s) should be tested within 5 days of symptom onset. If all symptomatic household members test negative, the child/staff member can return to work.


If School is notified by a parent that their child is ill do I need to exclude the other children in their class?


No, classmates and staff can attend school as normal. The child who is ill should stay at home (Stay-at-home-guidance) and be advised to get tested. If the child has any siblings who attend the school they should also be self-isolating at home for 14 days. If the child tests positive for COVID-19, direct and proximity contacts should be excluded for 14 days. (Their bubble contacts.) The school will be contacted by contact tracers to support with contact identification and provision of advice.


Who is considered a contact in a school setting?


A person who wore appropriate PPE or maintained appropriate social distancing (over 2 meters) would not be classed as a contact.


A contact is defined as a person who has had contact (see below) at any time from 48 hours before onset of symptoms (or test if asymptomatic) to 7 days after onset of symptoms (or test):


  • a person who has had face-to-face contact (within one metre) with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), including:
    • being coughed on, or
    • having a face-to-face conversation, or
    • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
    • any contact within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact


  • a person who has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) for more than 15 minutes


  • a person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or in a large vehicle near someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)


  • people who spend significant time in the same household as a person who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • In effect within school a contact would be anybody, children and adults in the same bubble as the infected person.


Which contacts need to self-isolate?


Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive and they had attended the school in the 48 hours prior to developing symptoms, direct and close contacts will be identified and advised regarding self-isolation by a contact tracer.


Please note: 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.


Can the siblings of a child who has been excluded because they are a contact of a case attend school?


Yes, other household members of the contact do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.


A child/parent reports to us that they have had contact with someone with symptoms – what should we do?


There is no action required of the school. No-one with symptoms should be attending school and anyone who develops symptoms while at school should be isolated and sent home as soon as possible. Schools should regularly remind parents of the government guidance on staying at home and the importance of a household self-isolating if anyone in the household develops symptoms.


If a child has COVID-19 symptoms, gets tested and tests negative, can they return to school even if they still have symptoms?


If the child is NOT a known contact of a confirmed case the child can return to school if the result is negative, provided they feel well and they have not had a fever for 48 hours.


If the child is a contact of a confirmed case they must stay off school for the 14 day isolation period, even if they test negative. This is because they can develop the infection at any point upto day 14 (the incubation period for COVID-19), so if a child tests negative on day 3 they may still go on to develop the infection.



If a child who was a contact of a confirmed case tests negative, can they return to school?


No, the child should complete 14 days of isolation.


If School receives confirmed cases does the school need to close?


The school does not need to close on public health grounds. Schools will generally only need to close if they have staff shortages due to illness or being identified as contacts. It is expected that only the class of a confirmed case will need to be excluded. If there are a number of confirmed cases across different classes and year groups at the same time then the school may be advised to close by the Health Protection Team in consultation with other partners.





How can a parent arrange testing?

The parent can arrange for any child to be tested via NHS UK or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone if they do not have internet access.


Will the school be informed of any test results?

The school will be informed if a child or staff member tests positive as part of NHS Test and Trace. The school will not be informed of any negative results.


How can a staff member get tested?

All education and childcare workers are considered essential workers and can apply for a test if they are symptomatic via


Can they be tested if they do not have symptoms?

No. People should only be tested if they have symptoms.



We hope that this information is of use to our families.


Year 6 Parents


Please read the two letters below carefully. 


During these exceptional circumstances we have added some links below that may be of use to you and your children. They are a suggestion only.


The world has had to adapt very quickly to a new way of living. It is an uncertain time for everyone and as adults we have the maturity to cope, children may be confused and may take longer to adapt.  


We recommend that children continue with reading, this can be with books or other age appropriate materials (Reading Plus for Years 4, 5 and 6), times tables ( TT Rockstars, children can compete against each other!) to keep their basic maths knowledge. 


Please do not try to become your child's teacher. If they want to learn about topics and the world around them, then please encourage this, however school is not enforcing this.


School would much rather our incredible children enjoy time with their parents/carers. They will learn from you, more than you know. Play games, talk and dream. Talk about things we are grateful for and what you look forward to when life returns to normal.


If children are making models, cooking, cleaning, learning valuable life skills or finding new ways of entertainment then please feel free to email pictures of this to


We would love to see what you are all getting up to!  


The community, country and world need to get through this emergency safely. We want you to do that safely and happily above anything else. 


Best Wishes

All at HJS

A Family Quiz for you all to attempt at home, devised and compiled by the children and staff still in school. April 2020

Suggested work for children in all years to be completed in the event of self isolation or school closure

This page is intended to inform parents of up to date information regarding the Coronavirus. It includes details of routines and procedures we follow at school to prevent the spread of any virus, in order to protect the health of all members of the school community.Each update can be found as you scroll down the screen. A document providing suggested learning in the event of prolonged absence or closure is also available on this page. We hope that you find this page of great use at this uncertain time and hope that you and your families stay safe and well.


You can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus!

  • Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
  • Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.
  • If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.

    You can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus!


Hamstead Junior School has talked to the children in Assembly on Friday 6th March to explain how we can reduce the risk of spreading germs.


Children are being asked to:

Wash hands thoroughly every break time;

Not touch their eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;

Wash hands on entry to school, and we are ensuring that hands are washed before leaving school;

Bring water in freshly cleaned or preferably new bottles from home; (For this period we are turning off the water filter in school so that bottles cannot be refilled during the day)


Visitors to school will be asked to wash their hands thoroughly on entry and exit from the building.


School follows the latest guidance for all educational settings.

These websites are shown below:

1. Home ( )

2.COVID-19  Guidance for Educational settings ( )

3. Public Health ( )

4. BBC news website (


Letter sent to all parents Monday 16th March 2020



Dear Parents, Carers and families,
I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on our management of school life in response to the changing picture of Coronavirus. As you know, t
he Government has announced that the country has now moved from the Contain Phase to the Delay Phase. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is increasing and we all need to do what we can to prevent onward spread- particularly to the most vulnerable in our community.


Therefore, as far as is practically possible it is business as usual at Hamstead Junior School with some sensible steps to adjust and play our part in supporting the advice issued by the Government and the NHS.


It is important for everyone to carry on their normal day as advised at this stage but with extra care and time regarding hygiene.  It is important to allow the NHS to give the attention needed to those in greater need. There are lots of seasonal illness currently as well as the virus.


The advice is clear: any child with a new persistent cough or high temperature should stay at home and self-isolate for at least seven days. Please inform school by telephone if this is the action you are taking.


The absentees today (33 children) are absent for a variety of reasons, including a small number who parents are self isolating.  We are also dealing with some staff absence, none of which is currently related to symptoms of the virus.


I am pleased to say that our families are reacting to Government guidance  sensibly and in a measured manner and we as a school continue to follow advice from Public Health England. 


The Chief Medical Officer has noted that, in time, there may be a need to isolate whole households and close schools – but we are not there yet.  School is open. We are constantly being updated of any changes and we will therefore inform you of any changes as the situation develops.  


School continues to monitor the changing stance of the government, which may change daily, and it may be that there is a directive to close schools at some point.  Staff are currently liaising within teams on a plan of action if this occurs: mainly in terms of using online resources to set work. 
If a closure occurs, the school website will contain clear links to access educational work and information for all students.  There will be links for appropriate work that can be accessed through the website. It is hoped that this can be uploaded in the next few days for ay children who are currently absent from school.


In order to keep things running as best we can in school, it is also important that we keep ourselves healthy as staff and families too.


We have taken some steps to reduce unnecessary visits to school. Whilst we don’t wish to appear unwelcoming we also need to cancel or reschedule things that present as an unnecessary pressure to families to have to come into school. This will also manage the risk of large groups of people coming together unnecessarily in enclosed spaces.


As you can appreciate, this is an extremely difficult time for us all and we understand that people are concerned about the health and well-being of their children.  This, as always, is our number one priority and we are managing the situation with this consideration at the heart of everything we do as always.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding at a time of great uncertainty.
We have our text message system and website as a means of communicating with you should any changes occur. This is a testing, difficult situation for us all and so I thank you for being reasonable and helping us to continue as best we can to educate and care for the children.


Thank you for your continued support and understanding.


Mr T. Bowen and all staff and members of the Governing Board at HJS



Copy of letter to parents 17th March 2020 
Dear Parents/Carers, 
Following yesterday’s Government announcement, I am now writing to make you aware of the latest advice to parents. 
We are in times where changes are being made daily so can I please urge all parents to visit the school website for latest information. This can all be found under the ‘Parents ‘tab and by clicking on ‘Information for Parents on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)’. 
• School is currently open, although there maybe curriculum changes and there are times when your child may not be taught by their normal class teacher.

• Any child who has a high temperature or a new persistent cough must now stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days.

• If there is any household member displaying these symptoms then children must also self-isolate at home.

• Any child returning to the country will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.

• If your child is living in a household with an adult who has an underlying medical condition that places them at greater risk if infected then school would understand that this child does not attend school and self isolates with the rest of the family. 
When informing school of a child absence please specify if they are absent due to self-isolation or for another reason. 
Clearly the current pandemic will impact on the learning experiences of our children.  If children are absent from school, or in the event of school closure, the pages on display on the website direct parents to suggested activities that children may do at home. 
Thank you for your continued support in these very trying times. 

Update 17.03.2020 COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Advice on Social Distancing. Posted 18th March 2020.


You will be aware of the latest government advice regarding social distancing.


The implications for families would seem to be:

If your household contains somebody in the vulnerable groups described it would seem wise that a child from the household does not attend school as their exposure to any virus may put the vulnerable adult at risk.


If your child has a medical condition that places them in a vulnerable group, despite the impact of the virus on children seeming to be less serious, it would appear wise that the risk is reduced further by their non attendance at school, and for them to access the learning outlined on this website.

Stay at Home. Guidance for households.



This guidance is intended for:

  • people with symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus, and do not require hospital treatment, who must remain at home until they are well
  • those living in households with someone who shows symptoms that may be caused by coronavirus


The main messages are:

  • if you live alone and you have symptoms of coronavirus illness (COVID-19), however mild, stay at home for 7 days from when your symptoms started. See ending isolation section for more information
  • if you live with others and you are the first in the household to have symptoms of coronavirus, then you must stay at home for 7 days, but all other household members who remain well must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill
  • for anyone else in the household who starts displaying symptoms, they need to stay at home for 7 days from when the symptoms appeared, regardless of what day they are on in the original 14-day isolation period. See ending isolation section for more information
  • it is likely that people living within a household will infect each other or be infected already. Staying at home for 14 days will greatly reduce the overall amount of infection the household could pass on to others in the community
  • if you can, move any vulnerable individuals (such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions) out of your home, to stay with friends or family for the duration of the home isolation period
  • if you cannot move vulnerable people out of your home, stay away from them as much as possible
  • if you have coronavirus symptoms:
    • do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital
    • you do not need to contact 111 to tell them you’re staying at home
    • testing for coronavirus is not needed if you’re staying at home
  • plan ahead and ask others for help to ensure that you can successfully stay at home and consider what can be done for vulnerable people in the household
  • ask your employer, friends and family to help you to get the things you need to stay at home
  • wash your hands regularly for 20 seconds, each time using soap and water, or use hand sanitiser
  • if you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, or your condition gets worse, or your symptoms do not get better after 7 days, then use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999