Coronavirus: update on closure

The Government has requested that schools open to children in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 – in addition to vulnerable children and children of key workers – from 1st June. This request is subject to the perception that coronavirus is under control nationally, and has yet to be confirmed. In the eventuality that we do open, we have therefore put together information so that you, and we, can make plans.

The Government has published a great deal of guidance to support schools. We do want children to return to school, but our priority is to maintain the highest standards of safety, reduce the potential to transmit disease, and thereby protect the health of the whole school community. As I have indicated before, we must recognise that it is not possible to guarantee that children will socially distance at all times in school.

If the Government confirms that it is safe to do so, we will have a phased wider opening of school. This means the following:

  • Year 1 will return on Monday 1st June
  • Foundation Stage will return on Wednesday 3rd June
  • Year 6 will return on Monday 8th June

Arrangements for those children who have been attending since 23rd March will remain unaltered.

What will different be in June?

In completing risk assessments we have had to make adjustments to how the school will operate.

TIMINGS OF THE SCHOOL DAY

The dropoff and pickup time for each group will also be phased to reduce the number of parents on the school site. This will be as follows:

 

Key worker
children

Foundation
Stage

Year 1

Year 6

  Dropoff

9.00

9.15

9.00

8.45

  Pickup

3.00

2.45

3.00

3.15

Before- and after- school care will only be available to children of key workers.

 

BUBBLES

In order to minimise contact we have created “Bubbles” of small groups of children and adults. System will aim to minimise contact between bubbles:

  • Children will stay in their designated classroom / outdoor space throughout the day
  • Staff will not move between bubbles (with the exception of leadership/nurture team).
  • There will be a one-way system round the school site for drop off and pickup. This means that parents will not be able to use the school car park at all.
  • One parent per child will be allowed to accompany their child(ren) on to the school site and to the classroom
  • Parents need to arrive promptly at their specified dropoff/pickup time (previous section).
  • Parents cannot enter the school buildings. A big change for our school
  • Parents and carers must not congregate within the school grounds or at the gate.
  • Movement of people around school will be reduced to a minimum

When Yr 1 and Yr 6 children are working indoors they will use their own workstation, and their own equipment.

We cannot guarantee that children will respect the rules of social distancing, and as parents you will need to take this into account when deciding whether or not your child should return to school.

 

PROTECTIVE MEASURES

We will follow the guidance issued by the DfE on protective measures as stated here:

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

In particular:

  • Children and adults with symptoms of coronavirus MUST inform school immediately, stay at home and self-isolate for 7 days.
  • Staff have a clear protocol to follow if a child or member of staff displays symptoms during the day:
  • Child removed from class and sent home
  • This child must be tested as soon as possible and school informed
  • If test is positive the rest of that bubble (children and staff) will need to self-isolate for 14 days

In addition there will be:

  • Regular hand-washing for 20 seconds with running water and soap
  • Good hygiene practices including “catch it, bin it and kill it.”
  • Removal of any items in the classroom which are difficult to clean
  • Clear guidelines for staff to social distance

 

UNIFORM AND OTHER ITEMS

We recommend that clothes are washed at the end of each school day. Children should wear school uniform. However, we understand that this might not be possible at all times when there is a need to wash clothes more frequently.

Children may have outgrown their uniform and you may not have been able to replace it. During this period our uniform policy will be more relaxed but please ensure that your child wears sensible shoes to school. They need a pair of trainers so they can take part in physical activities, but please, no separate PE Kit.

Children should only bring the bare essentials with them. A water bottle, sunhat, coat (if needed) and lunchbox (if needed, please ensure that lunchboxes are thoroughly cleaned each day). Book bags can remain at home as books won’t be changed. Children will be given stationery – please do not bring pencil cases.

 

QUESTIONS
 

Will staff wear PPE?

DfE  guidance states that PPE is not needed in schools. Staff will only wear it if a child is needs first aid, is unwell / displaying symptoms, of if dealing with intimate care needs.

What is the guidance for shielded and clinically vulnerable children and adults?

We do not advise that a child attends school if they live with someone who is clinically vulnerable. If your child is clinically vulnerable, please seek advice from your GP or other medical practitioner. Further guidance is here.

What will the curriculum be for children attending school?

The DfE have asked schools to concentrate on speaking and listening skills for children in Foundation as well as sessions on phonics and maths skills. For children in Yr 1 we have been asked to focus on key skills in reading, writing and maths. For children in Yr 6 we will look at transition to secondary school and focus on any gaps in maths and English.

The DfE advise that touching paper and books should be kept to a minimum. Therefore, all feedback will be verbal and we will not be able to change reading books.

We also recognise that time away from school will have been different for all children. Our excellent nurture team remains available to support children’s emotional wellbeing.

What about children in Foundation, Yr 1 and Yr 6 whose parents don’t want them to return?

The use of the Seesaw learning platform will cease for children in Foundation and Yr 1. For Yr 6 children user of the platform will stop from 8th June. Parents of children not in school will be directed towards learning platforms such as Oak National Academy and BBC Bitesize – further information can be found on our website. Seesaw will continue for all other years.
 

What are the implications for school meals?

Provision of school lunches remains unchanged from before lockdown, which includes eligibility for Free school meals. For the first few weeks of term, however, we will be unable to provide hot meals – so lunches in school will be a cold meal only.

If you have any other questions, please contact me via the school. We appreciate your patience whilst we work out details, and we will all need to be flexible and adaptable in the face of challenges which few of us have experienced before. If I can help, I will continue to be happy to do so.

Kind regards
Matthew Ingall,
Headteacher