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Friday, 29th May 2020
UPDATE – Increasing capacity for more children
I hope that you are all continuing to keep safe and well during this time. If we work together to follow government guidelines, we can help to control the spread of the virus:
It is now highly likely, based on information from the Government this week that the 5 tests, that the increasing capacity of school was based on, have been satisfied. During the last few weeks staff have been working incredibly hard, making sure that school is ready for more pupils.
In the meantime, we are putting in a number of measures and are continuing to review our plans and preparations to make sure that school is as safe as possible. We know that we can prepare our school to the best of our ability, however, there will always be a risk despite the measures that we put in place.
So far, we have:
- Set up classrooms for smaller class sizes – class sizes will be for 15 children with one teacher and one TA. These classes are often smaller based on confirmed numbers. These classes will not mix.
- Purchased 6 hand sanitising units for the main entrance and other key areas around school. These will be in place very soon, but there are bottles of approved sanitiser in the meantime.
- Thoroughly cleaned all classrooms that will be used by the children.
- Removed all fabric chairs, soft furnishings and additional furniture that we will not be using.
- Purchased resources so that each child will have their own work space and equipment – this will not be taken home and the children will not be able to bring their own equipment into school.
- Ensured that we have plenty of paper towels, tissues and cleaning products etc.
- Completed a Risk Assessment which is now shared on our website. I have today received confirmation that is has been approved by the Local Authority and covers all the core elements as required. This will also be regularly updated with the staff before, and throughout the time, that we are opening to more children. I will update you of any changes through my future letters and post the updated version of the risk assessment onto our school website.
We are continuing to work on making the environment as safe as possible and will now be working on:
- Updating the Behaviour Policy to include the importance of following the Covid-19 guidelines. This will be published on the website when approved and shared with you.
- Placing markers and signage around school (including the playground) to ensure that the social distancing measures can be followed by all children, parents/carer and any visitors/contractors in the building.
- Setting up the systems to support the children throughout the school day including, staggered start and finish times, staggered breaktimes, lunchtime organisation and ways to ensure that children get lots of time outside.
We are now asking for your support and understanding at this time, as we will not be opening to more children until we are confident that the measures we have in place will reduce the risk as much as we possibly can.
On Monday 1st June and Tuesday 2nd June, we will be opening for the children of key workers who have already been attending school over the past few weeks, while we finalise plans and make sure everything is in place for our first “bubble.” On Wednesday 3rd June, those children of key workers who have already registered a place, will start to work in their bubble rooms. We will contact the parents of these children on Monday 1st June to explain, in more detail, the start and finish time, which entrance the children will use each day and confirm any further details. It will also be an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about the return to school, although much of this will be included in a letter , which will be sent to these parents to explain everything in more detail, along with our updated home-school agreement that we ask you read with your child ahead of them starting. Staff will be asking, on that first morning, that you have read this and discussed it with your child. If this is not confirmed by the one parent bringing the child to school, we will not be able to invite them in until this is completed.
As a school we are committed to keeping your child and our staff as safe as we can so we will also need your help with this. It is vital that you follow the guidance laid out by the Government as well as from school to ensure the safety of the children and staff that live outside of your household.
Please read the guidance on the final page of this letter. We will continue to update this as we get more information and advice from Public Health England.
We are aware that our school will look very different and feel very strange when the children start returning. Please have a conversation with your child about this beforehand. School staff will also ensure that the curriculum will also explain the changes that we have made and why we have made them. We will make sure that children are supported by our staff throughout this time.
Apart from the key worker bubbles, children invited in from other year groups will be, for the foreseeable future, only attending school from Monday to Thursday, and not Friday. This is to provide teachers with their allowance of time to plan for the children as we are unable to cover this by introducing more staff to the bubble to avoid bubbles mixing, but also to allow for a deeper, more through clean of the school, so we are constantly fighting the virus and, as much as possible, reducing the risk of spreading. Key worker bubble rooms will also be cleaned in this way just after the children have left school on a Friday afternoon.
School is only open to the children of key workers, who have already confirmed a place, for 5 days each week.
We envisage, in our current plans that we will extend our offer to Year 6 initially, which, unless anything changes in our current plans, is planned for Monday 8th June. We will contact parents of Year 6 children, who have confirmed a place, on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th June to explain this in more detail.
The plan is then to open to Reception children next, followed by Year 1, and possibly some nursery dependent on the capacity of the building. As present, the government have not issued any guidance on Year 2, 3, 4 or 5 returning to school but I will share this with you, as soon as it is made available. We will give you at least 48 hours’ notice before we open to new children so that you can make arrangements.
Throughout this time, school staff have felt supported and encouraged by you, our parents and carers, and we all value your continued understanding and patience at this time. We really are looking forward to seeing you all again in person – when it is safe to do so!
Please stay safe and alert so that we can all be back together again soon.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION – to be read and discussed before your child returns to school
We recognise the risk posed by Coronavirus (COVID-19) to our staff, pupils and their families. Control measures to minimise the risk of infection and the transmission of the virus are in place in school. We have put in place appropriate protective measures to ensure, as far as is reasonably practicable, the Health, Safety and Wellbeing of our staff and pupils.
Please read the points below and ensure that you and your child follow them at all times.
- Pupils will have a designated time for drop off and collection – we will be very strict on this.
- Pupils should wear school uniform,
- Pupils are encouraged to wear a clean uniform each day as not wearing clean clothes each day may increase the risk of the virus spreading. Should your child not have clean uniform everyday, we will understand and encourage you to send them in clothes that are as closely matched to the uniform expectations as possible but will not enforce the usual uniform rules and expectations.
- Pupils will keep their coat in their classrooms with them (on the back of their chairs – cloakrooms will not be used. PLEASE DO NOT BRING ANY UNNECESSARY ITEMS FROM HOME such as pencil cases or school bags etc.
- Pupils bringing packed lunches will be required to bring their lunches in disposable bags as this will be thrown away immediately after lunch. Please send your child on their first day with a water bottle, of no more than 500ml, preferably still sealed. This will be sent home each night and must be cleaned and sent back to school the following day.
- If you can walk to school please do – this reduces chances of contracting the virus. If you do have to use public transport please ensure you follow the guidance set out by the operators designed to keep you and your child safe.
- Please ensure you follow social distancing outside our school grounds. DO NOT congregate with other parents/pupils outside of the school gates.
- Parents will be unable to come into the school grounds or building. Please understand our decision to not invite parents beyond the school gates is to protect you and your child. Please pay dinner monies by sending the correct amount in a named envelope with your child. If you have any questions please contact the school office by phone. YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO POP INTO THE OFFICE
- We request that only one parent/carer brings a child to school – AND ONLY WHEN YOU ADVISED TO DO SO.
- Pupils will eat their dinners in their classrooms to minimise their contact with other small class groups.
- If your child or anyone in your household shows any symptoms of Corona Virus please follow government advice and self-isolate for 14 days or 7 from the first day of symptoms.
An unwell, possible case of COVID-19: They can be displaying just one of the following symptoms – cough, temperature, vomiting, diarrhoea, sleeping more than usual, complaining of not feeling themselves in anyway, agitated, cold, headache – anything that is not feeling themselves could be a sign of COVID-19. School will send any child presenting with any of these symptoms home.
- Please inform school if anyone in your household is self-isolating due to symptoms.
- If there is a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the school, Public Health advice is for any setting to remain open. Any individual who has come into contact with this person should be vigilant in the following 14 days for symptoms in themselves. If a member of staff or a child should have a household member who tests positive, then they should self-isolate as a household and should be vigilant in the following 14 days for symptoms. School will inform you if there is a confirmed case in school and offer further advice and guidance.
- Please explain to your child the importance of following the social distancing rules and procedures we have put in place in school.
Thank you for supporting these guidelines and ensuring your child follows these guidelines.