Our teachers are now in school Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday every week
Thursday 4th June 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I write to you to set out the arrangements we have made to open for Reception and Year 1 children from 8 June.
Before I set out these arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their understanding and cooperation since we had to close to the majority of children from 20 March. I know that this period has been challenging for many families, in particular when you have had to juggle work commitments with managing childcare, if you have children with special educational needs or disability, or if you are a single parent.
Which children can attend from 8 June?
As you may be aware, we have remained open for the children of critical workers and vulnerable children since 23 March and have been operating with smaller group sizes and additional hygiene and infection control measures. We will remain open for them until wider opening is confirmed.
From the week beginning 8 June, we will be welcoming children from Reception and Year 1 in our first phase of re-opening. At this time, we have not set a date for when other year groups may return, as we aim to welcome children back in a measured and controlled way that is safe for the children, the families and our staff.
Protective measures we are taking in light of coronavirus (COVID-19)
First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. We are working hard, following the latest government guidance, to develop and implement a number of new ways of operating. This will allow us to open as safely as possible, focusing on measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting.
Some of the steps we are taking in readiness for reopening include:
- Asking that anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who does, not to attend the setting. That includes children and staff who work here.
- Keeping our children in small groups with as much consistent staffing as possible, and minimising contact with other bubbles around the setting.
- Cleaning our hands more often than usual. We have developed routines to ensure children understand when and how to wash their hands, making sure they wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
- Ensuring our children understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins throughout the setting.
- Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by children and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including table tops, door handles and play equipment.
- Asking parents and carers to physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household.
- Asking children not to bring toys or other items from home to the setting, unless this is essential to their health and wellbeing.
What can parents and carers do to help?
There are a number of things parents and carers can do to help us make these arrangements effective, in addition to the points listed above concerning arrival and departure and not bringing toys or stationery to the setting.
- If your child or any member of the household develops coronavirus symptoms to please keep that child off school and apply for a coronavirus test.
- If your child develops suspected symptoms of coronavirus, even if when you come to collect your child you disagree, that you will take your child out of the school and apply for a coronavirus test.
- Prepare your child for returning to school. Be clear that the school will look different when they arrive, for instance there is less furniture and books have been removed. Explain to your child that some of their class will not be at school as their parents have chosen not to send them back at this time. Reassure your child that we are here to help and if they are concerned about anything, then please speak to an adult.
Once early years and childcare providers open to more children, all children who are attending a childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. The aim is to enable children to get back to childcare, and their parents or carers not to need to self-isolate any longer than is necessary, if the test proves to be negative. A positive test will ensure rapid action to protect other children and staff in their setting.
We ask all parents and carers to ensure they organise a test for their child, in the event that they develop coronavirus symptoms, and notify us immediately of a positive test. Further guidance is available about getting tested.
Mrs Brailey’s class:
Please drop your child at school at 08:40. Pick up time is 14:40 Please enter the gate at the front of school and follow the signposted one-way route (across the new grass path and then leave via the concrete walkway).
Miss Debenham’s class:
Please drop your child at school at 08:50. Pick up time is 14:50. Please enter the school carpark, there is a new one-way system in operation. Proceed to the top of the carpark and wait at the gated fence. Miss Debenham will wait on the school playground and we will ask your child to walk unaccompanied to her.
IT IS IMPORTANT THAT:
· You are on time.
· At all times please ensure you respect social distancing on our school site.
· The school office will not be open – there will be members of staff outside who can help you.
· Please do not send your child to school with a bag. We will provide all stationery.
· We will not be providing a snack. Please put any snack or home packed lunch into a carrier bag that can be disposed of daily.
· Any child who is deliberately unsafe in school: spitting, hurting others, deliberately not following social distancing and therefore putting others at risk, will be sent home.
I hope that this letter has given you the information you need to understand what arrangements we have made to enable children to return to us from 1 June. We are looking forward to welcoming the children back and I hope that you are assured that we have taken all possible steps to ensure safety for all in our setting. If you have any questions or suggestions, please let us know.
Call: 01508 470379
Email us: email@example.com
Like many of you I have followed the government updates and guidance very closely. In addition to this I have also considered the information sent by Union’s, the Local Authority and consulted with the Interim Executive Board. I have seen stories in the media, Tweets, Facebook posts and know from all of this that everybody has an opinion. No one school or person has a plan that will ensure all children are 100% safe, or that 100% of people are happy with. What I have done is considered this information and made a decision that is right for this school.
The information below is not intended to worry you and is simply put forward so you are aware of the reality opening schools at this time presents. This information is correct as of Wednesday 20th May 2020 and is subject to change:
- We will open the school on Monday 8th June for Reception and Year 1 children in the first instance.
- At this point we do not feel able to admit Year 6.
- Children will return in ‘bubbles’. The bubbles are designed for each year group (not class), and will hold a maximum of 15 children. We intend to continue that for 4 weeks and change as necessary.
- The school week will therefore need to change to accommodate this. Children will be organised in two separate bubbles. One will access school learning Monday and Tuesday the other bubble will access school on Thursdays and Fridays. This will allow a deep clean during the week between bubbles.
- The children will spend the day in their year group bubble. This will include break and lunchtimes, which will be separate to the rest of the school.
- The start and end of the school day will be staggered to avoid crowding on the route to and from school and also for adults on the school grounds.
What this means for the children returning to school:
There will be rule changes for children returning. These include lunch arrangements, school uniform, stationary and many other items but we will send this information to you before your child returns. The teachers will deliver material from the Oak National Academy. Due to the amount of time in school, a full curriculum cannot be taught, priority will be given to wellbeing and key skills.
What this means for children who are not returning at this time.
The option to send Reception and Year 1 children back to school at this time is yours. Attendance law has been changed to reflect this.
Children accessing learning from home will still be provided with work. As the number of children increases in school the current procedures we have in place will need to change to reflect the additional work expected from all teaching staff. A communication will be sent on this during the first week after the half term break.
What this means for working parents:
The government initially provided guidance outlining who are key workers, this has not changed. Therefore, your employer may state that you need to return to work but please be aware this does not mean that you are then classified as a key worker. This itself presents huge challenges and I would encourage anyone unsure of what this means for you to contact school and discuss this further.
What this means for the school:
Unfortunately, the events that bring the school and community together, such as sports day, summer fete, end of year performances and discos will not be going ahead this term.
Can I please encourage you to contact school if this information is not clear. The guidance we receive daily can be contrary and I have taken the decision not to send regular updates to parents to avoid confusion. The school has remained open throughout the whole of lockdown and we will continue making decisions that have the children and staff working here at the forefront of everything we do.
Previously I communicated a new email address specifically for anyone wanting a direct contact to me here at school, that email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or as I have said the school has remained open, please call us on 01508 470379 if you wish to discuss any of this information.
A further communication will be sent during the first week back after half term (commencing Monday 1st June). Please also be aware this information is subject to change as there are lots of discussions and new studies happening as I am writing this now.
15/05/20: An announcement will be made next week in regards to moving forward as a school. Can we please remind everyone that school is, and has been, open Monday to Friday – please call 01508 470379 or email email@example.com regarding any queries or concerns you may have. We have not rushed in to any announcements at this stage as we are determined to make the right decision for the children, staff and parents from the outset.
12/05/20: Since the announcement yesterday from Boris Johnson that school could open from 1st June 2020 we are in the process of now contacting all Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 parents to initially gauge numbers. We are also working with support from the government and local authority to ensure we comply with current health and safety advice and guidance.
We will use this area to add new information to try and support you during this difficult time. Should you need any further help or guidance, members of staff are in school everyday and are contactable via telephone or email. The rota for this week is:
Monday 18th May: Mr Roberts + Mrs Brailey
Tuesday 19th May: Mr Roberts + Miss Loades
Wednesday 20th May: Miss Debenham + Mrs Steer
Thursday 21st May: Miss Debenham + Mrs Steer
Friday 22nd May: Mrs Steer + Miss Loades
Our two first updates include a suggested daily timetable – we have had requests for an outline for the school day and what this could look like at home. The second link includes information on internet safety. We hope you find them useful.