Returning to school: A guide to social bubbles
It’s back to school this month for pupils and teachers alike and if you’re a parent, you might be completely baffled as to how a ‘bubble’ will protect your children. This guide will tell you all about bubbles and how they work!
What is a Support Bubble?
Cast your mind back to June when we were first introduced to the term ‘bubble’. In a bid to tackle loneliness as a result of lockdown, Boris Johnston announced that adults who lived alone or single parents with children under 18 were allowed to meet with one other household to form an exclusive ‘support bubble’. This meant two households could spend time together inside each other's homes without staying 2 metres apart.
Support bubbles can still be formed today but the rules are strict and if any member of the support bubble develops symptoms, all members of the bubble will need to isolate.
Evidence found that the risk of contracting COVID-19 in school is very small and the majority of children and teenagers who catch COVID-19 only experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all.
Some schools will be introducing bubbles at the start of their school year as an effective way of keeping certain groups separate and keeping any possible infections in small groups without affecting the whole school.
What is a Protective Bubble?
The Department for Education has advised schools on how to reduce contact which includes grouping children together in ‘protective bubbles’. Each group will have to keep together in the playground and while eating, this will mean staggering lunch and break times in the classroom/outside so that bubbles don’t mix.
In secondary schools, bubbles made up of key stage 4 and 5 pupils are likely to be the size of a year group to incorporate the full range of curriculum. Older pupils are encouraged to keep their distance from other pupils and staff as much as possible.
What will a typical school day look like?
- There may be staggered start and finish times for each year group/bubble to help reduce the contact when coming in and leaving school.
- Parents will be asked to drop their children off at the school gate and have been advised not to come into school or gather in groups outside.
- Children will be asked to wash their hands upon entering school, after using the toilet, before and after lunch, playtime, and at home time.
- School assemblies should be avoided and movement around the school should be kept to a minimum. It’s up to schools whether they wish to keep children in their classrooms for the majority of the day.
- Lunch and break times may be staggered with set 25 minute eating times to allow cleaning to happen between breaks.
- Some schools will host lunch in classrooms and each class will be served one at a time. Children will collect their lunch from the hatch before returning to the class to eat.
- Face masks and coverings do not need to be worn in school, the rule only applies to secondary schools in an area under local lockdown.
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We understand how important family is and that’s why we have our Kids Go Free benefit. After you have purchased a private healthcare policy for yourself and your first child then the rest go free! Click the link to get your online quote today.
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