Letter from Headteacher – 11.6.20
Dear Parents, Carers and Children ,
I am very happy to be able to welcome back key year groups of pupils to school next week as well as our key worker group and vulnerable pupils. We start with pupils in year 6 and Pre school on Monday 15.6.2020.
School looks a very different place now and there are lots of new rules to learn and follow but we will guide you all the way. There has been an immense amount of work here over the past few weeks and we are now ready to begin a cautious phased return. If at any point we are concerned then we will review our offer and communicate this to you. Safety of our whole school community is at the top of our list of priorities.
We will continue to upload our home learning packages each Monday, Wednesday and Friday as we have been doing and this will go on until the end of term. Children in school will work on those same learning packages and we will not be doing catch up programmes at this point.
I would like to recognise the hard work parents and carers have been doing and continue to do in teaching their own children, it is a tough task to teach your own and you have done very well at it judging by the Facebook pages. Thank you all so much.
Other families have worked on maintaining a positive attitude, good mental health and reducing levels of anxiety through this time. As many have said before me, these have been unprecedented times and there was no previous model to follow so I think we have all done very well and we all need to be congratulated.
We are entering a new chapter of the school’s history now as we begin to reopen. We are responding to guidance from the government, our local authority, our unions, parents, children and other school providers.
I hope you understand the need for our new rules- they are all in place to protect your child and we appreciate you following them.
For those who continue to work from home- keep up the good work and share away on our Facebook pages. We love to see what you have been doing.
See you next week!
What will school look like?
Frequently Asked Questions – Updated 10.6.20
RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS (FAQs)
We will add to this list as questions arise and republish this document.
NEW: IF I DON’T SEND MY CHILD TO SCHOOL WILL THEY BE MISSING OUT ON CATCH UP TEACHING?
We will not be running any ‘catch up’ programmes during this period. We plan for these to commence in September if needed when children start their new classes. We expect that most pupils will be able to access their year group curriculum and know that many pupils have been very well taught at home during lockdown. We expect our children to have learned a range of new skills from this unique period of schooling including greater independence, resilience and self learning.
NEW: WILL YEAR 6 PUPILS BE GETTING A REPORT?
Yes. these will be coming out on 7th July. Teachers are working on them now. They will be available to collect from the office on or after 7th July 2020. Ring us on the day to arrange collection if your child is not in school.
NEW: IF MY CHILD IS A KEY WORKER CHILD AND MY OTHER CHILD IS IN YEAR R, 1 OR 6 DOES THE KEY WORKER CHILD HAVE TO COME IN EVERY DAY?
No. The Key Worker child only has to attend on the days the parent/s is/are working. If the parent would like the Key Worker child to come in every day they may do so. The child from YR, 1 or 6 is expected come in every day if they have taken up the offer of a place.
NEW: WILL SCHOOL BE OPEN OVER THE SUMMER BREAK?
Currently we are not planning to be open over the summer break. If we receive a government directive to open we will inform you through the Facebook page, text to parents and the website.
Please be aware that all staff have been working extremely hard over this lockdown period.
NEW: CAN I CHOOSE WHICH BUBBLE MY CHILD CAN GO INTO?
Sadly no as we are restricted by numbers. The senior team allocate the children to their bubbles and they must remain in this bubble. This is the plan until the end of the summer term.
NEW: AS A KEY WORKER PARENT CAN I COLLECT MY CHILD EARLIER THAN STATED?
No. As from 15.6.2020 all key worker children are in school from 9 am until 3.15 pm
NEW: WHERE WILL MY CHILD HAVE THEIR LUNCH?
Your child will eat lunch in their classroom with the pupils in their bubble. This is for both packed lunches and hot meals.
WILL MY CHILD DRINK FROM THE SCHOOL WATER FOUNTAINS?
No. These will be switched off. Your child must bring a fresh bottle of water to school with them every day with their name on. It will sit on their table with them.
WILL MY CHILD BE OUTSIDE IN THE HOT WEATHER?
Yes. We know that the virus does not spread as easily outdoors so there will be lots of outdoor learning. It is essential that you make sure your child is wearing high factor sun cream before coming to school. We are unable to put cream on them as this would require us coming within 2 metres and we are trying to avoid this unless it is an emergency. If your child can top up their cream throughout the day you may send it in with them in their coat pocket- no bags.
I HAVE MORE THAN ONE CHILD TO BRING TO SCHOOL, WHICH ENTRANCE DO I USE AND WHAT TIME DO I BRING THEM?
Come to school at the right time for the first child. This will give you time to take your second child to their door afterwards. Remember 2 metre social distancing at all times. Leave promptly and do not linger.
DO I HAVE TO WASH MY CHILD’S COAT EVERY DAY?
No. Your child’s coat will be on the back of their chair in their ‘learning zone’ where they sit and their packed lunch will also stay with them.
WILL MY CHILD BE TAUGHT BY DIFFERENT PEOPLE?
No. We will not be using a rota system as this does not enable us to track and trace if there is an issue. Music lessons may take place with the outside providers but this will be at a 2 metre distance in the large hall.
WILL MY CHILD KNOW WHO HIS/HER TEACHER IS GOING TO BE SO I CAN PREPARE HIM/HER?
Yes. We will publish this as soon as we have it sorted out. This is a changing picture as you can imagine so we will let you know this nearer the time. Your child’s teacher will ring you to welcome you back.
WHAT CAN MY CHILD WEAR?
The government recommendation strongly advises you remove and wash your child’s clothes when they get home and children are given a new set of clothes each day. This may mean that you run out of school uniform by the end of the week. If this is the case you may send your child in plain play clothes for example jeans and a sweatshirt, which are practical for school and sensible footwear. This does not include fashion items, crop tops, sloganed wear or partywear. We only expect children to wear their own clothes if absolutely necessary as we believe wearing uniform gives them a sense of belonging to our school family as we need to reinforce that right now. Your child must be dressed for outdoor learning in all weathers.
WILL MY CHILD NEED TO BRING THEIR SCHOOL BAG?
No. In the run up to the summer your child does not need a school bag as this is another item we would need to clean. Please return all school books to school on the first day. We will place some boxes around school for you to put them into. We will not be sending books home and will review this for the Autumn term.
WILL THE EMERGENCY KEY WORKER PROVISION STILL RUN?
No. The key worker provision will end on 12.6.2020 as all pupils will move into classrooms from 15.6.2020. There will be no Key worker provision on Friday afternoon from 1 pm to allow for deep cleaning.
WHAT LEARNING WILL MY CHILD BE DOING?
Your child will be working on the learning we are uploading to the website each Monday, Wednesday and Friday. They will be supported in reading and writing and maths and we will identify any gaps we need to address for individuals. The online learning will continue to be uploaded for those working from home. They will engage in class activities to support social and emotional wellbeing and positive mental health. They will take part in outdoor learning activities and sports.
WHAT WILL THE CLASSROOM LOOK LIKE?
Teachers will redesign their classes to meet the needs of their new set of learners. Each age group will have a different set up which is age appropriate. We will be removing fabric type resources eg dressing up clothes, teddies, soft toys, dolls, cushions, rugs, blankets etc, as these are not so easy to clean on a regular basis. We will also be taking out any resources we feel are not essential for this period of reintegration to enable us to clean easily between sessions. Displays will remain in place for the next few weeks and we will do our best to make the environment welcoming and homely. It is important to us that the children feel safe and nurtured so we will be making sure the classrooms are only subtly different where we can. However, we must accept that we do need to make changes to enable us to keep a thoroughly clean environment. During the time we have been closed the school has been deep cleaned and will continue to be well cleaned by OCS our cleaning service provider.
WILL MY CHILD BE ALLOWED TO GO OUT TO THE TOILET DURING LESSON TIME?
Of course. Luckily the design of our building means that the children can go to the toilet straight from the classroom in most classes. Those in upper school will need to come into the heart space to access the upper toilets. Each class will have a designated toilet enabling the teacher to monitor who is in and out of the classroom. Where two classes share the toilets children will go one at a time. Classroom doors will be pushed back and remain open. Windows in classrooms will remain open if weather permits.
WILL CHILDREN BE WORKING IN THE HEART SPACE?
No, they will not as this is too open an area for use at the current time. Children will not be allowed to walk freely around school or come alone to the reception desk. This is a change for them as they have enjoyed the freedom of the school in the past. However, we feel we must know where every child is and who they are coming into contact with during this time. There will be a one way system in place throughout the heart space. We are advised that touching as children pass each other is considered low risk.
All classrooms have phones and we have 12 ‘walkie talkies’ which we will use to ensure things are running well. All senior staff will be on site supervising the day.
HOW WILL YOU KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN?
We will be wiping down tables and chairs between lessons and children will wash their hands as they have been taught on entering school, after break and before and after lunch. Please make sure your child washes their hands when they return home. OCS cleaners will be on site to ensure door handles etc are cleaned regularly. We have foam soap and hand gel on supply. OCS will be deep cleaning on Friday afternoon as well as throughout the day and after school.
WILL ANYONE BE WEARING PPE?
We will make PPE available to staff to use when coming into close contact with a child for example if they have had an accident, been hurt or feel unwell. Also full PPE if we suspect a pupils has Covid. Staff will decide if they wish to use PPE themselves and it is available. Some staff may be shielding others at home and need to wear PPE. Staff dealing with medical needs will wear PPE.
WILL ALL STAFF BE BACK IN SCHOOL?
No. We expect this to be a changing picture as staff have their own families to care for and we have a wide range of personal circumstances to manage as a school. If your child’s teacher is off we will place someone else in the bubble to remain there. This is a complex matter and cannot be predicted. We have two members of staff in lower classes as a starting point.
WILL I BE FINED IF I DON’T SEND MY CHILD TO SCHOOL?
The current guidance states no penalties will be given at this time. Schools will not be held accountable for their attendance data in the summer term.
WHAT WILL HAPPEN AT PLAYTIME AND LUNCHTIME?
Children bringing packed lunches will eat these in their classroom as well as those on hot meals. Once they have eaten they will go out to play as a ‘bubble’ in a designated area. They will be supervised by the same lunchtime supervisor.
AMENDED: WILL TEACHERS BE COMING INTO CONTACT WITH EACH OTHER?
Staff will work within their designated bubbles and will only meet together maintaining a 2 metre social distance. They will have their lunch in their classroom or outdoors and the staff room will not be in use apart from to collect a drink. This avoids social gathering. We are having more staff meetings using online tools now as this is safer but rest assured staff are still training and upskilling.
WILL YOU BE HAVING ASSEMBLIES, CONCERTS AND SCHOOL TRIPS?
Sadly we are unable to hold these events at this time as we are not allowed to have group events. We will monitor the guidance on this over time. We will not have a year 6 production, sports days or the Lockerbie trip. We are currently in dialogue with Lockerbie regarding the payments we have made.
WILL VISITORS BE ALLOWED IN SCHOOL?
Any visitor wishing to come into school must be passed by the headteacher. There will be as few as possible visitors into school to avoid pupils being in contact with any more people than necessary. Essential visitors working with children will keep a 2 metre social distance and be required to have their temperature checked on arrival.
WILL YOU BE USING THERMAL IMAGING EQUIPMENT?
Yes, We have invested heavily in this equipment. We will be checking everyone’s temperature at the start of the day including all staff. Where a high temperature is indicated in a pupil we will contact parents to discuss a way forward. This camera detects the heat from a person and alerts us where a temperature is high.
We are very conscious that this matter must be handled sensitively and are developing a policy on its use. We expect this to give us all some peace of mind. We respect that a high temperature can be caused by a number of conditions and is not necessarily an indicator of COVID-19. We would be grateful if you could check your child’s temperature before coming to school each day and alert us if they have been ill.
WILL I BE ABLE TO RING TO CHECK MY CHILD IS OK?
Our usual procedures will continue and we welcome your concern about your child- you are both bound to be a little anxious after such a long lockdown. By all means ring if you are worried. We will contact you if your child is upset and discuss a way forward with you. If you have a particular concern you can ring but our office staff will be extremely busy in the first few days as you can imagine!
WILL I BE ABLE TO CHANGE MY CHILD’S BUBBLE GROUP?
Sadly no we can’t allow this as it is a risk to others. That’s why the teachers are setting the groups making sure everyone has a friend. We are not able to tell you who is in the group as this is against GDPR regulations. However, we appreciate that this may help your child in coming back. We have made sure all children will be with a friend.
WILL MY CHILD BE OUTSIDE DURING LESSON TIME?
Yes they will! It is our usual practice in the summer term to do lots of outdoor learning and we are so lucky to have these beautiful well kept grounds. Our teachers have done lots of training in using outdoor to promote exciting and engaging learning opportunities. There are plenty of places for our bubbles to find a good place to learn. A story on a lovely warm day on a rug outside sounds perfect! Research also indicates that the virus is less likely to travel from person to person outdoors.