Risk assessment information for school visits
This document provides relevant information to support teachers and schools to prepare risk assessments ahead of their visit to Discover Children’s Story Centre. A PDF version of this information can be downloaded here.
Please review this entire document when preparing your own risk assessment and please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 8536 555 if you have any further questions.
1. Covid safety measures
To ensure schools have a safe and fun visit to Discover, we have introduced new safety measures to minimise risks posed by Covid-19.
Visit times and capacity:
We are only taking school visits during morning slots (10am – 12pm) Monday to Thursday. Schools will not share play or workshop spaces with members of the public but your group may pass by members of the public on the way to your workshop room upon arrival.
Group sizes must remain maximum 30 pupils per class. In the past we have permitted additional parents or carers – above minimum child need – to join the group but to minimise risk we ask that only the minimum supervising adults required to meet child needs (teachers, carers, parents) accompany the group.
Double class booking are only permitted for school visits to the exhibition. School sessions on the Story World can only accommodate a single class.
Safe entry and exit:
We have created a quick entry system for schools, staggered to avoid entry crowding with public visitors. Schools are not permitted to arrive more than 15-minutes before their scheduled session.
Surface cleaning of spaces and objects will occur between sessions (12pm & 2.30pm) and a deep clean will occur at the end of each day so materials and spaces are fully refreshed.
Materials used for school workshop activities – pencils, craft materials etc. – will be fresh for each class, rotated as per our strict object cleaning procedures.
We have installed additional hand wash and sanitation stations throughout the building for all visitors to regularly use, and new signage to remind visitors to regularly clean hands during their visit.
Wipe stations have also been provided for visitors to clean items before and after playing, if they wish.
Masks & visors:
Discover staff will wear masks and/or visors and will maintain a 2 metre distance while facilitating school sessions. Adults are asked to wear a mask during visit (this is not required for 0-11 year olds).
No lunch and additional free play for schools:
Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate schools lunching in the building. We hope to reintroduce this in the future but currently we cannot meet our cleaning schedule needs if schools lunch after their visit. We apologise for the inconvenience.
The café will be closed until further notice, but chilled soft drinks will be available at reception.
We are also unable to accommodate additional free play in the story garden after timed school play and workshop sessions.
Cancellations & rescheduling:
We are permitting last minute rescheduling for schools who need to cancel their visit due to a Covid case/s preventing their visit from going ahead at the planned time.
Please do not visit Discover if you or anyone in your group has Covid symptoms.
2. General information to prepare your risk assessment
Schools are welcome to arrange a visit to conduct a risk assessment prior to bringing pupils to the centre. To minimise risks posed by Covid-19, we are now only permitting teacher site visits at set times. This must be pre-booked with the Education Team – email@example.com
The centre is designed and built to be safe for schools and families to visit. The building is fully risk assessed, regularly maintained and checked on a daily basis, including all lunch areas, exhibitions, story worlds and the story garden. The garden is fully enclosed with gated entry, and the front entrance is always staffed during opening hours.
Activities conducted within school sessions are designed to be safe for pupils, minimising hazards and potential risks. Materials used are safe and child friendly, and schools will be informed in advance should a session include any activity that involves extra risk. Risk assessments are regularly updated and session activities have been revised to incorporate new Covid safety measures.
Fire & evacuation:
We have fully tested evacuation procedures in place in case of fire or other emergencies. In the case of an evacuation, school groups will be escorted to a muster point by our staff who will work with teachers to ensure that all pupils are present and safe. Our buildings are fitted with alarm systems and emergency exits are clearly marked.
Discover ensures that at all times there are relevant staff in the centre who are first aid trained. Any specific medical needs of children or staff that may affect their visit to Discover should be provided by the school in advance.
As standard, all Discover staff working directly with children undergo enhanced DBS disclosure checks and all staff are required to review Discover’s safeguarding and child protection and health and safety policies.
Discover has public liability insurance providing cover up to £10,000,000.
3. Responsibilities of the school
Teachers and school staff are responsible for the health and safety of pupils in their charge while visiting Discover. A member of school staff must stay with children at all times during the visit or in the event of an emergency evacuation.
All visiting schools must adhere to our minimum adult to child ratios as follows:
EYFS, KS1 & Special Schools – 1:5
KS2 – 1:10
In the past, additional parents and carers have been permitted – above what is required to meet the needs of the child/ren – but to minimise Covid risks we ask schools only bring the minimum number of teachers/staff required to meet their child needs.
In the event of a pupil being lost, the school must inform a member of Discover staff immediately. Discover has in place tested procedures to deal with this situation as quickly as possible.
Health and safety:
Teachers and school staff accompanying a school visit must wear a mask or visor inside at all times unless they have a valid exemption.