School re-opening

Information for parents regarding phased return to school from 1st June 2020

If, when you have read this information, you decide you would like your child to return to school on Monday 1st June you must let school know by Friday 22nd May at the latest. After that we will require at least one full school week's notice to allow us to make arrangements for your child to return safely.

Thank you for your patience in waiting to hear our plans for the proposed phased return of pupils to school from June 1st 2020.

This document outlines the actions we will be taking to ensure that the children’s return to school does not put them, their families or the school staff at significant or increased risk from Coronavirus.

In developing this document we have adhered to the guidance sent out by the Government in the following documents. 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-educational-and-childcare-settings-to-prepare-for-wider-opening-from-1-june-2020

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures/coronavirus-covid-19-early-years-and-childcare-closures

We have developed these plans based on thorough risk assessments and the current information we have received from parents stating their preferences. Please be aware that these plans may be subject to change as more children begin to return to school.  We will keep you informed of any significant changes. 

Please make sure that you inform us of any changes to your wishes. If you have answered ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ to our survey and now want to say ‘yes’ to your child returning to school you must give us at least one week’s notice so that we can prepare for his/her return safely. Please also inform us if you do not wish your child to come to school having previously answered ‘yes’. If you want your child to return to school on 1st June you must inform us by Friday 23rd May at the latest.

Who can return to school on June 1st?

The Government states that children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 who are not currently attending can return to school on June 1st. 

Children who are already attending school because one of their parents is a key worker or they are considered ‘vulnerable’ can continue to attend regardless of their year group.

Children who have a parent who is a key worker or who are considered ‘vulnerable’ and are not currently attending can also return to school, regardless of their year group. 

What will school be like for my child?

We know many of you are anxious about what school will be like when your child returns. Although, to try to prevent the spread of any infections, there will have to be changes to the classrooms and what the school day is like, we will do our utmost to ensure that school is as happy, welcoming and familiar as we can possibly make it. 

We will be following the Danish model and will teach the children in family groups or ‘bubbles’ based on their current year groups or key stages. 

Each family ‘bubble’ will consist of no more than 10 children, to ensure that social distancing in classrooms can be adhered to as much as is possible with primary age children. The Government acknowledges that this is difficult. 

Each family bubble will have one classroom base in the school with one teacher and one teaching assistant. Wherever possible the children will be taught by a teacher currently working in that year group, so it will be someone they know. 

Where teachers and teaching assistants are part of a job share they will share their family bubble.

Personal hygiene

The staff and children will follow a programme of regular handwashing at the start and end of every lesson and whenever they go outside and come back in, including at the beginning and end of the school day. We are already doing this with the children who are currently attending and they quickly get used to it. We have installed hand sanitiser dispensers in every classroom and in the main school entrances so the children and staff can top up when needed.

The children will be provided with tissues and taught to ‘Catch it,bin it, kill it!’ so that any germs from sneezes or coughs will be immediately disposed of safely in our new lidded bins, with foot pedals (we have enjoyed our shopping spree).

Each family bubble will be allocated their own toilets for use during the day. Again, they will have to wash their hands after using them and we will be teaching them to make sure they flush. All toilets will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of the school day.

Parents can help their children get used to this system by practising thorough hand washing, ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’, and flushing the toilet for yourself at home. If you would like to send your child with their own labelled hand cream to be kept at their station then you may do so.

Playtimes

We will not expect the children to play entirely on their own in a two metre space. It is important  for their wellbeing that they interact with their friends. We will teach them social distancing and games they can play without touching or getting too close, but our main method of reducing the risk will be through frequent and efficient personal hygiene practices, i.e. regular handwashing and hand sanitising, and respiratory hygiene (Catch it, bin it, kill it) and by staying in our family bubbles.

The children will have their playtimes in their family bubbles and will not mix with other family bubbles. Playtimes will be staggered so that the children do not accidentally come into contact with too many others, but the yard will be zoned so that more than one group can play at a time in their own designated area. 

Each bubble will have its own shared playtime equipment which will be cleaned daily. The children will wash their hands before and after using it.

Lunchtimes

In the summer term we will only be providing a packed lunch for the children. This will be made in the school kitchen, where the kitchen staff will wear full PPE as well as following our rigorous hand and respiratory hygiene protocols. The lunches will be in a grab bag, which will be brought to the classroom by the teaching assistant assigned to the family bubble.

If your child brings his/her own packed lunch it will be kept in the classroom until lunchtime.

If your child is in Reception, Year 1 or 2  he/she is eligible for a free lunch under the Universal Free School meals system. Children in nursery, Years 3 and 4 will need to pay for their lunches in the usual way. If your child is eligible for free school meals he/she will be entitled to a free school lunch.

If your child is eligible for free school meals you will not receive the Free school meal vouchers when your child returns to school. 

Classroom set-up

Following Government guidance we have rearranged the classrooms so that the risk of any infection spreading by the children or staff being too close to each other is minimised. We have spaced the desks to ensure that, as far as is possible, the children are seated two metres apart. We have also had to remove soft furnishings and toys and resources which cannot be easily cleaned. However, we are retaining wall displays and any furniture which can stay in place and still allow for as much social distancing as possible, so the classrooms will be as familiar and comfortable to the children as we can possibly make them (and a lot tidier!). We have attached some pictures for you to see what the classrooms will look like.

Children in Years 1, 2, 3 and 4, who are used to frequently working at desks, will be allocated their own ‘work station’ with their own resource pack in a plastic wallet or drawer, to avoid having to share resources. Any shared resources will be cleaned before and after use.

We won’t be using the hall or library at this time so that the children won’t be coming into too much contact with other family bubbles, but we will still have (virtual) assemblies and PE lessons outdoors, following the same hygiene protocols as for the playtime equipment.

What about Early Years?

Many of you are rightly very concerned that our youngest children will find social distancing too difficult. We share that concern and would remind you again that the government also acknowledges that particularly in Early Years social distancing between the children is not really feasible. We will, however, do our very best to teach the children this new skill. 

Early Years children won’t be allocated desks but they may have their own ‘special’ space, either on a washable chair or cushion (something they are familiar with) distanced from the other children when they need to listen to the teacher all together. Activities will be spread out around the classroom and the number of children at each activity will be limited (as it is already) to avoid too much contact. 

Although we have had to remove soft furnishings, soft toys and some resources which cannot be easily washed, Early Years classrooms will still have toys which the children can play with. The toys will be cleaned daily and the children will wash their hands before and after using them.

The children will have access to the outside area and will use toys which can be easily cleaned, such as the bikes.

What should my child bring to school?

To avoid any possible cross contamination we ask that your child only brings the following to school:

  • A water bottle - Years 1, 2, 3 and 4 will keep their water bottle on their station. Early Years will have a designated space to keep their own water bottle and will be supervised when accessing them. 

  • If you are providing your child with a packed lunch please bring it, wherever possible, in a hard plastic lunch box or plastic bag which can be wiped clean.

  • If it is cold or wet (and we hope it won’t be) your child should bring his/her coat, which we will keep in their classroom base.

  • We will not be getting the children changed for PE, so PE kits won’t be needed. We also won’t be sending home reading books or homework this term, so your child does not need to bring a bag.

  • If your child needs hand cream because of the amount of handwashing please send it, labeled with your child’s name, to be kept safely in your child’s station or special place. Please teach your child to put it  on him/herself.

  • We will still encourage the children to bring their bikes and scooters to school, but children in Years 3 and 4 will have to bring them in the carpark entrance and we will take them to the bike stands once all the children are in school.

  • Any medication should be handed to your child’s adult from their bubble. You will need to complete a medication permission form as usual. Medication, including inhalers, will be kept securely in your child’s classroom base.

Should my child wear uniform?

We are happy for the children not to wear uniform if you would prefer; we know some of them will have grown out of it and you may not be able to access new uniform at the moment. If your child would like to wear school uniform then by all means let him/her, but please make sure your child’s name is in the clothing in case they take it off and leave it on the playground if it’s hot. 

We do ask that you send your child in clean clothing every day if at all possible so that any bugs aren’t travelling between school and  home. 

Please do make sure that what your child wears for school is suitable and safe for playing outside and doing PE (no high heels, flip flops etc).

 

Where should I drop off and collect my child?

As per Government guidelines only one adult per family should drop off and collect the children.

From June 1st each family group will enter and exit through an outside door, i.e: 

  • Nursery will use the Nursery entrance

  • Reception will use the Reception door

  • Year 1 will use the Year 1 door

  • Year 2 will use the Year 2 door

  • Year 3 and 4 will use the car park emergency exit – we will close the  car park during the school day

 

We ask that you please stick to the following timetable for drop off and pick up to avoid any congestion outside the school. Unfortunately we are not able to allow any parents into the school buildings and we do ask that you adhere to social distancing when you are waiting to drop off and pick up your child. We will provide signage to help with this.

8:40am to 8:50am

Year 1 parents should bring their children to the ramp gate where a member of staff will meet the children. You will not need to enter the school grounds.

8:40am to 8:50am

Year 3 and 4 parents should bring their children to the staff car park to enter via the emergency exit.  A member of staff will be there to greet the children.

8:50am to 9:00am

Year 2 parents should bring their children to the ramp gate where a member of staff will meet the children. You will not need to enter the school grounds.

9:00am to 9:10am

Nursery parents should bring their children to the main nursery door in the usual way. We will ask you to social distance down the path and a member of staff will collect your child at the door. 

9:00am to 9:10am

Reception parents should bring their children to the ramp gate where a member of staff will meet the  children. You will not need to enter the school grounds.

All the children can be collected at 3:20pm - 3:00pm for Nursery children.

Parents of children in Nursery should collect their children from the main nursery entrance. Please maintain social distancing while you wait for your child and leave the school site promptly.

Parents of children in Reception, Years 1 and 2 may enter the playground at this time and wait in socially distanced spaces until the children are brought out. Please leave the yard promptly maintaining social distancing rules. 

Year 3 and 4 parents should collect their children from the car park door, maintaining social distancing rules while they wait. We will send the children out to you individually.

Please remember that it is everyone’s responsibility to maintain social distancing and stop the spread of the virus, so please don't be tempted to hang around for a chat or block exits and entrances.

Arrangements for drop off and pick up when more children return to school will change. We will keep you updated.

What if my child has an accident or is ill during the school day?

If your child has an accident requiring first aid a member of staff from your child’s family bubble will provide it. If it is a simple wet paper towel job your child will be provided with a paper towel and supported to deal with it themselves. If your child requires treatment for injuries such as cuts or grazes the member of staff from your child’s bubble will wear PPE (gloves, apron, face mask and visor) to protect your child and themselves from any infection whilst providing first aid. You will be informed of any first aid provided in the usual way.

Each family bubble will have it’s own first aid kit and PPE.

If your child is unwell during the day you will be contacted in the usual way. Your child will be looked after in the medical room by an adult wearing PPE until you arrive.

If your child shows any symptoms of coronavirus we will contact you immediately to collect your child. We will then follow the government advice on informing all other parents of children in that family bubble as per the guidance shared above.

What about toileting accidents?

If your child has a toileting accident and is able to clean themselves up with supervision from an adult they will be supported to do so. If they require more assistance a member of staff from their bubble will wear PPE to help them to change. We ask that all early years children are provided with a bag of spare clothes to be kept in school in case of this eventuality.

What work will my child be doing?

The first thing we will need to do is to settle the children back into school and teach them the new systems. We will introduce them to the PPE that staff may have to wear so that they don’t find it frightening.

We will need to address any concerns they have about being back at school and discuss their lockdown experiences so that they understand that we have all been facing similar issues and that it's alright to be upset, angry or worried. 

We will assess where they are in their learning after so many weeks away and begin to get them back in the swing of the basics, maths, writing, reading, building up their stamina as we go. 

For children in Years 2, 3 and 4 who will be in school from June 1st we will continue to work through the children’s workpacks so that children at home and in school are getting the same learning as much as is possible. 

As yet we have not finalised our plans for children in Years 2, 3 and 4 who may return later this term. We will keep you informed when we know more from the Government about this.

Parents in school

To minimise the risk of spreading the virus parents will not be allowed into the school building. If you need to pass on a message please inform the school office in the first instance by phone or email or speak to the adult from your child’s family bubble at drop off. If you need to pass on a longer message or need to discuss something with your child’s teacher please contact the school office to give the message or arrange an appointment. Remember staff will not have time for a lengthy chat when they are welcoming the children in.

Please send in dinner money with your child in the usual way but please make sure it is in an envelope with your child’s name on it. 

If your child is late for school please come to the main entrance and ring the doorbell. We will then ask you to socially distance while we bring your child into school. Please don’t be offended if we do - it’s just about keeping everyone safe.

What can I do to help my child prepare for coming back to school?

  • Practise regular handwashing and drying following the guidelines from Public Health England.

  • Teach your child to manage their personal toileting needs, wiping their bottoms, flushing and washing their hands.

  • Talk to your child about how they can social distance and why it is important. We don’t want to frighten the children, so try to make it fun.

  • Teach ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it!’ so the children know what to do if they cough or sneeze.

What else can I do to help?

  • If your child shows any symptoms of coronavirus do not bring him/her to school. Inform the school office immediately.

  • If anyone in your household has symptoms self isolate for 14 days and inform school immediately.

  • If anyone in your household tests positive for Covid 19 self isolate for 14 days and inform school immediately.

  • Check your child’s temperature before school every day. If he/she seems hotter than normal do not come to school. Inform the school office immediately.

  • Stick to social distancing when you are dropping off and picking up and make sure your child does too. It is all of our responsibilities to help to stop the spread of the virus. We know you will be delighted to have some more social contact but please don’t gather in groups outside the school gates or engage staff in lengthy conversations.

  • Where possible walk, cycle or scoot to school - it’s healthy, good for the environment and helps to stop the spread of the virus. Avoid using public transport if you can.

  • Try to stay positive with your child about coming back to school. We don’t want to frighten or worry the children and we want their return to school to be as positive an experience as we can possibly make it in the circumstances.

  • Be patient. Things may change and we may have to change our plans accordingly. It takes time to make these arrangements and we want to get them as right as we possibly can. We will keep you informed.

  • Smile and breathe - it won’t last forever!

 

I hope this document answers your questions about how we plan to care for your child when he/she returns to school. There are more questions and answers on the Frequently asked questions page of the Covid 19  tab on the school website. If you have any questions specific to your child please do not hesitate to get in touch. 

These plans only relate to those children returning on June 1st. Once we know what the Government is planning for the return of more children to school before the end of term we will update these arrangements and, of course, keep you informed.

Although we have followed government guidance at every stage, we appreciate that some of you may still not be confident to return your child to school. That is, of course, your choice and we respect it. We hope that as the situation improves we will be able to relax some of these protocols to make school a more familiar place for all of the children. We look forward to welcoming them all back, whenever that may be.