Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope you and your family are well and that you enjoyed some time with loved ones during the summer break. I am writing today to welcome you back for the academic year 2020/2021 and give you some updates on our return to school for all pupils on Monday 8th September. The start of the new academic year is always a mix of excitement and nerves and I know how much we are all feeling that this year.
I am really pleased with how supportive so many of you have been with the staggered start we have put in place this week. This has allowed us to give the children a really focused transition day and ensure that we can appropriately risk assess the pupils. All of the staff have been very positive about how well the children have responded to this. It has allowed us to now be ready for a safe return to full school next week.
The key areas of information are as follows:
Organisation of the school day
Pupils will arrive on transport as usual. All pupils will be collected one at a time from the buses and there will be a one way system in place for escorting pupils into school.
Parents and children who do not use will need to access the school via the pedestrian entrance as usual. You will need to wait for a member of school staff to come to the gate to collect your child. I respectfully ask that parents do not congregate together in groups and that 2 metre social distancing is adhered to at all times. Drop off and pick up times are staggered to limit the number of people on the school site and therefore ensure the safety of children, parents and staff. Please keep to your allocated time slot as much as possible. If you miss your time slot then we may have to ask you to wait until all other children are in school.
Staggered drop off times:
8.55 am Pupils in Maple, Sycamore and Willow
9.00 am Pupils in Rowan
9.05 am Pupils in Daisies and Elm
9.10 am Pupils in Clover
9.15 am Pupils in Acorns and Bluebells
Staggered pick up times:
2.55 pm Pupils in Maple, Rowan, Sycamore and Willow
3.00 pm Pupils in Clover, Daisies and Elm
3.05 pm Pupils in Acorns and Bluebells
We will be reviewing this system and will inform you if we need to make further changes. Please assume these times continue to be in place unless we inform you otherwise.
Although we are one school bubble, we are also trying to where possible, keep children in their own classroom. We will not be having children together in communal areas. We are minimising the passing of pupils in the corridor and stairs. However, we do not have the space to set up a one way system in the main school building
Safe access to toilets will be supervised by school staff.
The government has advised that children should wear school uniform as normal. However, we will continue to take an individual approach to uniform to reflect the needs of your child. Please do not send your child with their PE kit until further notice.
Regular cleaning of school toilets and class equipment and furniture will be ongoing throughout the day, including lunchtime.
Additional items from home, such as toys, are not permitted. The exception to this is where your child has a sensory or behaviour need and you have discussed with us the items that will need to come into school.
Visitors, including parents and carers will not be allowed in school unless they have been invited. Any parents or carers who do enter the main school building must wear a face covering.
Lunch and playtime
We are still able to provide pupils’ usual lunches but there may be times when the menu is altered.
Lunch will be eaten in the classrooms, children will then have time to play outside with other children. This will be done on a strict rota so that we only have a maximum of 3 classes (no more than 36 children) in a playground at one time
All children will be able to play outside every day and will need a suitable coat for all weathers.
We will not be accepting cash into school, payment for lunches must continue to be made via ParentPay.
Our curriculum and environment
The curriculum in all classes has been organised to support all children to catch up with missed learning. It is also heavily focused on supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing and to help rebuild friendships and relationships.
We will continue to deliver the curriculum in full, including all subjects. However, we will not be putting pupils under any undue pressure to meet targets.
The classrooms remain the calm and soothing environment they were before with relaxed lighting and neutral colours. There is less furniture but this gives children more space to move around.
All classes continue to be set up in the right way for the needs of the children. For example, some children will not be expected to sit at desks. They will have access to the learning environment as normal with increased washing of hands and equipment.
Staff are provided with PPE to be used when social distancing is not possible, for example when personal care takes place.
Current guidance is that primary school aged children should not wear face coverings.
A return to remote learning
I am sure you have seen in the media the government’s commitment to keeping primary schools open. However, I want to reassure you that if we find ourselves in a situation where school cannot provide learning in school then we will revert to the successful systems that we had in the summer term.
Symptoms of Covid-19.
If your child is displaying a symptom of COVID-19, then we will contact you immediately to ask you to come and collect your child. While we wait for you to arrive, your child will be taken to a safe, ventilated room in school with a member of staff. The member of staff will wear PPE and all areas that your child has been in contact with will be thoroughly cleaned. We will give you the most up to date information about testing and requirements for self-isolating. Currently the information is as follows:
Your child and all family member that your child lives with will need to be tested and self-isolate. You can arrange a test by either phoning 119 or online at nhs.co.uk/coronavirus.
Your child must self-isolate for 10 days or until they have a negative test result.
Your family members that live with your child must self-isolate for 14 days or until your child has a negative test result. If your child receives a negative test result then all family members can stop self-isolating unless they have developed symptoms themselves. If they develop symptoms then they must follow advice to be tested and self-isolate.
We will inform public health of your child’s symptoms and the advice we have given you. You must inform us of the outcome of any tests and development of symptoms of COVID-19 and we will share this information with public health.
Your child will not be able to return to school until the appropriate self-isolation has been completed or a negative test result has been received.
Unfortunately there has been some ‘fake news’ circulating about schools and testing. Schools can only advise parents to get their child tested. School do not have the right to test children or take a child for a test.
It is crucial that we have up to date contact information for you. It has always been the case that we need to have a way of contacting you in an emergency and now it is essential that we can contact you immediately if your child develops a symptom of COVID-19.
As always, if you have any questions or concerns please contact me at school. I know this is still a difficult time and we as a school want to continue to support you.
Head of School