COVID-19 Virus Information

Safety of our community is the most important thing for us at Barking Abbey school. To keep everyone safe we have used a year group bubble plan. Every year group spends their time in one part of the school only and never goes to the other parts. Their lunch and play areas are separate, their entry and exit points are separate and they have separate toilets and first aid facilities. We have also changed our timetable to reduce the number of classroom changes and to reduce the amount of mixing within each year group. These images should give you an idea of what the school looks like and how pupils are separated into year group areas. The maps show you the areas for pupils and also their play and lunch collection areas. If you would like to know more please contact the school.

You will be aware that the situation with respect to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) is constantly changing. We've been tracking information from Public Health on how to manage this in school and will continue to monitor this and share any new advice as it becomes available.

If you/your child have had direct contact with anyone confirmed to have contracted the virus you must notify the school immediately.

Please see below for answers to frequently asked questions. If you have a specific enquiry that's not answered below please do not hesitate to contact our School Business Manager Claire Keefe.

Email: KeefeC@barkingabbeyschool.co.uk or via the School office.

Frequently asked questions

Information about the virus


Coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.

The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, it is unlikely that they have been infected.

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:

  • Cough
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fever


Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more affected than other age groups – very few cases have been reported in children.

How is COVID-19 spread?

From what we know about other coronaviruses, the spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

Droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes (termed respiratory secretions) containing the virus are most likely to be the most important means of transmission.

There are 2 routes by which people could become infected:

  • secretions can be directly transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or could be inhaled into the lungs
  • it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface or object that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching a door knob or shaking hands then touching own face).

There is currently not sufficient evidence to show that people who do not have symptoms are infectious to others.

How can I help to protect myself and family from COVID-19?

There are general principles anyone can follow to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:

washing your hands often - with soap and water, or use alcohol sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport


Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin.


People who feel unwell should stay at home and should not attend work or any education or childcare setting


Pupils, students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:

  • Before leaving home
  • On arrival at school
  • After using the toilet
  • After breaks and sporting activities
  • Before food preparation
  • Before eating any food, including snacks
  • Before leaving school
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
     

If you are worried about your symptoms or those of a child, please call NHS 111. Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment, see further information on the NHS UK website.

My child has a weak immune system due to a pre-existing condition what should I do?

If you are concerned, you should seek specific advice regarding your child, via a medical professional and keep the school updated on any advice received so that we are best able to support them.

General advice so far is that the best way for anyone to protect themselves is to practice good hygiene as below, through:

  • Washing your hands often - with soap and water, (for at least 20 seconds or while singing happy birthday twice).This is particularly important after taking public transport
  • Covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin


people who feel unwell should stay at home and should not attend work or any education or childcare setting pupils, students, staff and visitors should wash their hands:

  • Before leaving home
  • On arrival at school
  • After using the toilet
  • After breaks and sporting activities
  • Before food preparation
  • Before eating any food, including snacks
  • Before leaving school
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
     

If you are worried about your symptoms or those of a child, please call NHS 111.

If parents do not send their children to school, what is the school policy?

School continues to operate as usual. Therefore, the usual school policy on reporting your child absent from school applies.

If there is a valid reason for parents/carers not to send their children to school, the final decision will rest with the school in as to whether the leave will be classified as authorised or unauthorised. The schools will speak to parents/carers in the first instance to find out the reasons for absence.

We are planning to travel abroad, is that OK?

Families planning to travel for the Easter break should carefully consider travel plans.

The situation is changeable, and so the list of countries that have restrictions should be checked regularly along with the procedures in place from Public Health England on return.

We advise that you follow FCO travel advice and if you do choose to travel please check the following sources before departure: 

Review GOV.UK for the latest UK guidance, including travel advice 

Check your travel destination on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for the latest travel information. If you have a scheduled flight, check with your airline for any changes to travel.

We do not want to use a sanitiser containing alcohol, are there any alternatives?

For a hand sanitiser to be effective it must contain at least 60% alcohol. However, washing hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds (or while singing happy birthday twice) has been shown to be just as effective.

Hands should be washed regularly in particular before eating, after visiting the bathroom and when entering/exiting premises or transportation.

School trips into London - Is it safe for children to travel on public transport?

At the moment there are no restrictions on movement in London for the general public. Therefore, there is no reason for children not to travel on school trips including using public transport. Barking Abbey School has no plans to cancel or re-schedule school trips/sporting fixtures at this time.

Where can my child get support if they are feeling concerned about the situation?

We will be providing ongoing advice and support to students during tutor time and assemblies and we would encourage students to raise any concerns with their tutor who they see every morning.

Further Information


Further guidance for educational settings has been published at the following links and will continue to be updated with any further changes: https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus/education-and-childcare

Information for the public

Advice on the Coronavirus for places of education poster

Read c2c Rail’s Code of Conduct for students travelling to school by train during the pandemic: https://www.c2c-online.co.uk/media-centre/latest-news/c2c-urges-returning-school-pupils-to-follow-travel-code-of-conduct/