Parents/Carers information - Friday 28th August

Dear Parents

RE: Full opening of school in September

I hope you have all had a wonderful summer and the children are keen to return to school. It will be so lovely to have them all back. Most of this information was sent out at the end of the summer but as you are all aware, in this current situation, guidance can change at any moment so there are a few updates. 

We will be welcoming back all classes from Y1 to Y6 on Wednesday 2nd September. A reminder that ‘school attendance will be mandatory from the beginning of the new academic year. This means that it is your legal duty as a parent to send your child (if they are of compulsory school age) to school regularly’ (DfE guidance). If you have any concerns about your child returning to school, please contact the school office and we would be happy to discuss these with you and reassure you of the protective measures we have put in place.

Teachers will have planned lots of opportunities to support your child’s transition back into school and their mental health and wellbeing. Should you feel that your child may need additional support in terms of the transition back to school due to the effects that lockdown has had on their mental health, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher or our ELSAs: Mrs Gardiner and Mrs Kavanagh, by email or phone via the school office. Please also share the ‘Going Back to School’ resource below with your child.

A reminder of the measures we have put in place:

How will our bubbles work?

  • The government refers to children and staff as working in bubbles that do not have contact with each other, where possible.
  • In September the children will all be in their class bubbles and there is no limit on size.
  • Staff are able to move between bubbles for example teaching assistants, teachers who work across different classes: Miss Shaw and Madame Carter, music teachers, but our intention is to keep this to a minimum.
  • At lunchtime, two class bubbles (Y1&2/ Y3&4/ Y6 & Rec/ Y5 will remain as one bubble) will join together due to space and supervision outside, unless the field is in use.
  • We will continue to have a one way system around school to ease congestion and reduce contact in certain points. Movement around the school will be kept to a minimum.
  • Classrooms have been organised with forward facing desks from Y1-Y6.

What time is the school day?

  • One of the protective measures we must have in place is a staggered start and end time to the school day. This is to keep groups apart as they arrive and leave school.
  • This relies on children being punctual and parents leaving the school grounds quickly.
  • The overall teaching time of the school day remains the same.
  • We will also be using two different entrances and exits.
  • We ask that only one adult accompanies children to and from school and parents and carers will not be allowed beyond drop off points.
  • Teachers will be at the gate 5 minutes before to allow children only through the gate to line up on the playground in the hope this eases any congestion.
  • We ask that children and parents continue to observe the 1m+ social distancing rule at drop off and collection time.
  • Please get in touch with Kids Activity World for before and after school provision if you haven’t already done so. Places are limited.  

Staggered start and end times for September 2020

Entrance/ Exit

Hillside

School Lane

Y5 door

School Lane

 

R

1

2

3

4

5

6

Start

9.05

8.55

8.45

9.05

8.55

8.50

8.45

End

3.20

3.10

3.00

3.25

3.15

3.10

3.05

 

The staggered start and end time is contained in the DfE guidance with the aim to: keep groups apart as they arrive and leave the premises’ in order to minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible.’ We understand that there may be logistical issues with dropping off and picking up siblings at different times of day or in a few cases the same time but different gates. We will try and help where there may be difficulties but please bear with us as we try to best support families whilst ensuring the safety of everyone.

 How do I talk to my child’s class teacher?

  • Please email the school office with any messages.
  • Any urgent, brief messages can be passed to the class teacher at drop off or pick up time.
  • If you need a longer chat with your class teacher, they can phone you at a mutually convenient time, please contact the school office to arrange.

What can my child wear and what do they need to bring into school?

  • Children must adhere to our usual school uniform policy from September. This includes ‘Hairstyles should be appropriate for school at all times: please note we do not allow extreme styles such as dyed hair or hair cut with lines or patterns.’
  • Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual.
  • As much as possible, children will be using their own pencils and equipment provided by school. They are not to bring in pencil cases from home. 
  • Classroom based resources such as books, iPads and PE equipment will be shared and cleaned regularly within and between bubbles.
  • It is recommended that children limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day to essentials such as lunch boxes, hats, coats and reading books. They may bring in a bag. PE kits can remain in school. Please do not hand items into the school office. 

Does my child need to wear a face covering?

  • The current guidance is that face coverings should be worn by adults and pupils in secondary schools and colleges when moving around, such as in corridors and communal areas where social distancing is difficult to maintain.
  • There is currently no requirement for children in primary schools to wear a face covering.

What will happen at lunchtime?

  • Lunchtimes will be staggered.
  • Mrs Weedon will continue to provide a choice of hot school meals as usual.
  • 2 class bubbles will play together in each designated area unless the field can be used.
  • Surfaces will be cleaned between different class bubbles.
  • Children must put their lunchboxes on the correct designated shelf.

What will the curriculum be like and how will school help my child to catch up?

  • We will continue to provide a broad and exciting curriculum covering a wide range of subjects.
  • In September, teachers will carry out informal assessments of children’s starting points to address any gaps in their knowledge.
  • Teachers will prioritise addressing any significant gaps in children’s core knowledge through quality first teaching and additional support and interventions where necessary.
  • Initially school will focus on implementing the many new routines and settling the children back into the normal school day. We will build up any additional extracurricular activities and visits over time. There will be no after school clubs during the first half term.
  • Collective worship will take place in classrooms and using virtual technology. There will be no whole school worship together in the school hall although there is space for 2 classes to worship with our new vicar, Reverend Elaine Atack. Sadly, we will not be able to hold whole school services at church but we hope each class will still be able to visit St Laurence. We shall miss singing very much!

What extra hygiene measures are in place?

  • Children and staff will continue to wash their hands regularly throughout the day.
  • Hand sanitiser is available in all classrooms.
  • We encourage the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach with tissues and special bins in school.
  • A cleaning schedule is in place so that frequently touched surfaces are cleaned more regularly.
  • The children will use their usual toilets, and don’t need to be allocated their own, and these will be cleaned more often than normal. 
  • Windows will be open to encourage good ventilation and doors are kept open.

Please refer to the following DfE guidance for further information: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term

Thank you so much for your understanding in these difficult times. This is all new to us but we are trying hard to ensure the return to school goes as smoothly as possible for all of us. Of course we will be making any necessary changes as and when we need to or are advised to. Our number one priority is keeping everyone safe. 

Enjoy the Bank Holiday weekend. I can’t wait to see all the children again on Wednesday.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Kirby

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