Letter from Headteacher – Friday 15th May
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you know I am beginning to think about how we return to school and keep everyone as safe as we possibly can.
Headteachers have been asked to prepare to begin welcoming back children on week commencing 1st June at the earliest and only if the conditions are right.
As government guidance suggests we are looking to welcome back year pre school ( in very small groups), reception ( in small groups) , year 1 and year 6 as well as those in the priority group of vulnerable or key worker pupils. This may not be full time or full days.
The decision to return to school has been made by the government and is not a definite at this current time however, we are asked to plan and prepare should they decide we will open.
I have come across some questions over the last few days and will try to respond to as many as I can here. Please continue to send your questions via our website contact page.
The decision to return is based on scientific advice and is not a school or authority decision. The government have said they will only welcome back additional groups if the most up to date assessment of the risk posed by the virus indicates it is appropriate to have larger numbers of children in schools. The safety of our school community is our utmost priority.
During the next week or so a member of staff will contact the parents/carers of pupils in pre school, reception, year 1 and year 6 children to confirm if you wish to take the offer of a place in school. Potentially we will have 150 pupils in year R (small group), Y1 and Y6 across a school that can accommodate 350 pupils. Added to this will be our pre school in small groups.
The information you give us will help us to calculate accurately staffing ratios.
The following information may help you make your decision:
1. Children will be in groups of no more that 15 pupils
2. Children will not mix groups – we are going to call these groups ‘bubbles’ and children will only come into contact with the children in their bubble to maintain social distancing
3. Children may have a different teacher from our usual team and work in a different classroom. Children may work with a teaching assistant under the guidance of a teacher.
4. We will avoid using bank teachers if we can possibly do so
5. Due to the reorganisation we may not be able to put your child with all of their friends
6. Teachers will work out groups based on friendships where they can
7. Some teachers may not be available to take their classes
8. We will not be putting children in a playground ‘box’ to play as some of you have seen on TV nor will we be ‘spraying’ them as some of you have seen. However, we will expect them to maintain a minimum 2m distance even at playtime- this means a lot of their usual games cannot be played
9. Children on FSM in years R and Y1 will receive their free school meal as before.
10. Children may bring their own packed lunch as they did before- these will stay in the class with them and not go on the communal trollies
11. Pupils will work on their learning that is currently on offer on our website and engage in social activities and extended learning
12. We will continue to upload learning each Monday, Wednesday and Friday on our website for your child to work on at home, those in school will do it in school.
13. There will be no communal events such as assemblies, concerts, sports days etc
14. Our priority will be on supporting pupils social and emotional well being in the first instance. This is our ‘recovery’ curriculum in response to the unusual circumstances we find ourselves in.
15. We will have limited use of our school counsellor who will work at a social distance of 2 metres with identified pupils
16. Pupils that do not return to school may continue to do their learning at home as they have been doing. Our full online service will continue.
17. If a parent chooses not to send their child there will be no penalties or prosecutions for the time being, however we would expect their home schooling to continue
18. If there is a confirmed case of COVID in any class the whole class with be told to isolate at home for 14 days
19. Pre school pupils are likely to be offered one day a week for one session in a small group due to the small space available. Pre school education is non statutory.
20. We recognise that some pupils may feel very anxious about return as will parents and carers. We understand and are here to support you through this. Please talk to us.
21. Pupils will come to school and leave at staggered times
22. The school will be locked once pupils are in and no visitors will be accepted.
23. We are currently looking at a range of features to add to our building including thermal imaging cameras to identify those running a high temperature. We recognise that a child may have a temperature for a number of reasons but we will alert you to this and discus a way forward.
24. The grounds will be marked to remind us to maintain a 2 metre distance at least.
25. In the younger year groups all soft play equipment such a teddies, dolls and costumes will not be available as these are difficult to clean well.
26. Children will wash hands regularly and there will be lots of cleaning down tables etc
27. If you wish your child to wear a mask we are happy for you to do so but it is not a requirement or a recommendation
28. Usual school uniform is expected including suitable footwear for outdoor play including running and climbing.PE kit will be required including plimsols.
29. The Academy staff will not be visiting our school for the transition visits and the Academy remains closed. They do have a year 6 page on their website.
30. We will not be organising an end of year production or assembly for year 6 as this would break social distancing rules however we will be making an end of year film and are already part way through this.
Please be aware that we are still at the planning stages and the advice may change as time goes on. Safety of our whole school community is our utmost priority.
Any further questions through our website contact page please.
Thank you to most parents for not putting negative comments on our pages, These are for celebration of work and to raise morale and enjoy our children’s learning. These pages are important to us and our children to keep a link with you. If you have a concern please raise it through our website contact page and a member of staff will get back to you as soon as we can.
Thank you for your continued support.