Returning to School - FAQs

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July 15th 2020

We're very excited to be welcoming students back to school this September. To do so safely we have had to make some changes to how school runs. Here is a summary of the major changes, and the questions you have asked us about them.

Where does my child go at the start of the day?

On students' first day back they should enter as normal through the driveway. After this they will use different entrances. These are:

  • Year 7 & 8 - Playground gate by the Norwich Playhouse theatre
  • Year 9 & 10 - Side door on the driveway (under the arch)
  • Year 11 & Sixth Form - Side door behind Reception (under the arch)

Many of our assemblies are being held in St George's Church on Colegate (opposite the school). This is to reduce congestion at entrances in the morning. If your child has an assembly in the Church they should go straight there. We will confirm which year groups this applies to in September.

Students will need to sanitise their hands on entering the school.

What if my child is late?

If they arrive between 9am and 9:15am they should go to the main side door on the driveway (under the arch). If they arrive after 9:15am they should go into Reception. This is the same as they would do currently.

How should my child get to school?

Students should walk or cycle if possible. If they do need to take public transport it is the law that they must wear a face mask.

Does my child need to wear normal uniform?

The government recommend that schools apply their normal uniform policies in September. We will follow this recommendation. There is no need to wash uniform more often than normal.

What does my child need to bring to school?

There are no special requirements for next year. However, students will not be able to share or borrow equipment. Please make sure they have a fully-stocked pencil case, including spare pens and pencils. Students in Year 8 and above will also need a scientific calculator.

What does my child need to wear on PE days?

Students will now wear their PE kit all day when they have their PE lessons. This is to reduce the number of students in confined changing room space.
The full JAC PE kit list is available on the website, and students must wear the correct kit. They may wish to wear something on top of their PE polo shirt. The three options are: JAC mid-layer, JAC waterproof jacket, or their school blazer.
Students only wear PE kit when they have Core PE. They do not come to school in PE kit if they only have GCSE PE or Performing Arts option lessons.

Are electives still running?

Yes, but government restrictions mean that we will have a more limited elective offer than normal. The maximum size of an elective with multiple year groups will be fifteen students. This means we cannot offer as many spaces as normal. Elective choices will come out in the first week back, and will start from Monday 14th September.

Is prep still running?

Yes, we will continue running silent prep after school on the same timings as we do currently. We will need you to sign your child up in advance to ensure we have adequate space.

Are you changing the times of the school day?

Our school day timings remain the same. The day at Jane Austen already starts and ends slightly later than other local high schools. If we were to stagger the school day then our students would be travelling to school at the same time as students from other schools.

Does my child need to wear a facemask? 

Government guidance currently states that:
"Public Health England does not (based on current evidence) recommend the use of face coverings in schools. This evidence will be kept under review. They are not required in schools as pupils and staff are mixing in consistent groups, and because misuse may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission. There may also be negative effects on communication and thus education."
Based on this guidance, students do not need to wear a face mask. However, they are welcome to do so if they wish.

Does my child need to attend school?

Yes, the return to school is compulsory. We recognise that some children may be nervous about returning to school. This is completely understandable. If your child is concerned about returning to school we ask that you let us know so that we can make sure we support them.

What if my child is clinically vulnerable, or living with someone who is clinically vulnerable?

Shielding is being paused from 1st August. That means that even students who are clinically vulnerable can return to school. If the rate of infection in the Norwich area rises then the government may re-introduce shielding. If your child has a severe medical condition and you are concerned for their safety then please speak to us. We will work with you and their medical care team to make sure they are safely educated.

What if my child is ill?

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A continuous cough (that last three hours or more)
  • A high temperature
  • A loss, or change in, sense of smell

If your child develops these symptoms you must ensure they self-isolate and book them a test. Please phone the absence line and let us know this has happened. They must self-isolate until they have a negative test result back, or until seven days have passed.
If your child is ill with other symptoms then they should come to school as normal, unless they are too unwell. If they are too ill to attend school then phone the absence line as normal.

What if my child tests positive for coronavirus?

Please phone the school to let us know straight away. We have to notify Public Health England and take their advice. We will communicate with you about when it is safe for your child to return to school.

What if someone else in my household develops symptoms of coronavirus?

Everyone in your household needs to self-isolate. This self-isolation needs to last for fourteen days. It can end sooner if the unwell person receives a negative test result. If your child is self-isolating please call the absence line to let us know.

What if someone in my household tests positive for coronavirus?

Please call the school to let us know. The NHS Test and Trace programme will tell you how long to self-isolate for.

What if my child develops symptoms at school?

We will look after them and make sure they are safe. We will take them to a space away from other students and ask them to wait whilst we call you to arrange to take them home. You can choose to collect them, or for them to make their own way home. If they have siblings they will also have to go home at the same time. Please make sure we have up to date contact details so that we can reach you if this happens.

What if I've changed my phone number?

We must have accurate contact details that we can use to reach you during the day. This is so that if your child develops coronavirus symptoms we can arrange to send them home. If you have changed your mobile or work numbers then please let us know.

What will happen if another child in the school tests positive for coronavirus?

If there is a positive test result in the school then we will contact the local Health Protection Team. This is a team within Public Health England who monitor cases across Norfolk. They will tell us what we need to do. This will be based on the wider situation in the area, and who the infected student has interacted with. We will always follow the Health Protection Team's instructions.