The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) led to the closure of schools in England from 20 March 2020. As we reopen our school there are a number of new measures in place to keep the children, parents, staff and wider community as safe as possible. Initially, we will be opening for the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as well as continuing to be open for the children of Key Workers.
What safety measures are in place to protect my child?
The DfE guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings recognises that for children of primary age they ‘cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff’. We will be discouraging contact between children. However, for 1st aid or for some children with intimate care needs close contact will be necessary.
However, we will ensure that:
- Children and staff avoid contact with anyone with symptoms
- Promote frequent handwashing and good hygiene e.g. blowing nose into a tissue
- Regular cleaning of rooms and equipment
- Minimising contact and mixing between groups of children.
A copy of our risk assessment is available below:
An addendum to our behaviour policy can be found below:
|DROP OFF||PICK UP|
|Reception and siblings||8.45||2.45 (Fri – 12.15)|
|Y1 and siblings||9:00||3:00 (Fri – 12.30)|
|Year 6||9.15||3.15 (Fri – 12.45)|
|Key Worker Group||9.00||3:15 (Fri – 1.00)|
Arrival at School
On arrival at school we are now operating a one way system. Please follow the signs and take notice of social distancing as you drop your child or children off each day. It is very important that only one adult accompanies a child/siblings to and from school, regardless of their age, so that social distancing can be maintained. We will also be operating a staggered drop off and pick up system.
Where will my child be in school and who will teach them?
Our Reception children will be working in 2 groups in either the Reception Classroom or Class 1. These groups will be led by Miss Tomlinson, Miss Houghton and Miss Tinkler.
The Year 1 children will be working in 2 groups in either Class 2 or Class 3. These groups will be led by Miss Whitelock and Mrs Musgrave.
The children of Key Workers from Y2, Y3, Y4 and Y5 will be working with Mrs Jones and Mr Plews in Class 4.
The Year 6 children will be working in 2 groups in either Class 5 or Class 6. These groups will be led by Mrs Summerfield and Mrs Murray.
The desks are spread out in the classrooms to help promote social distancing and some equipment and soft furnishings including rugs have been removed from classrooms. This is to aid with cleaning rooms each day. As well as surfaces and equipment being cleaned daily, each week, classrooms will be deep cleaned. This increased amount of cleaning we feel is necessary to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep children and adults safe and the reason we will need to close at 1pm each Friday for all children including the children of key workers.
All groups will also be spending a significant amount of time outside, making full use of our extensive grounds, they will be kept in their own groups.
What will be the focus of lessons and home learning?
The main focus on return to school will be on wellbeing, ensuring pupils feel safe, happy and comfortable back in school. Learning, while still important, will take on secondary importance in the early stages. The planning and work prepared for the children who are in school will be the same as that which is available for parents to access if their children remain at home. All home learning will continue to be available on our school app through the home learning section.
I know that many of you have had regular contact with staff through the school app, however, staff will not be available to communicate as frequently with parents as they may currently have been doing because they will be teaching throughout the week. However, if there are any issues requiring a prompt response, please contact school and we will do our best to respond quickly. As a school we have always encouraged face-to-face communication. However, at this time, we are asking parents and carers to communicate via the school app, email or phone whenever possible to minimise the need for physical interactions. We do not want you to feel that we are trying to distance ourselves, we just want to minimise risk where this is possible. We thank you for your understanding at this time.
From Monday 15th June, lunches will be in the form of packed lunches only. Mrs Noble-Eddy, our school cook will be opening our kitchen so packed lunches will be available each day. If your child is entitled to a free school meal, they will be provided with a school packed lunch. You are not, however, obliged to take up this offer and you are welcome to provide a packed lunch from home for your child if you so wish. Your child’s lunch box and water bottle will be sanitised on entry to school with anti-bacterial wipes. Lunch will be eaten at your child’s designated table in their class. The children will have a zoned area in which to play throughout the day but groups will not mix.
Dates for Pupils Returning
Following extensive discussions with our Governing Body and consulting all the guidance available, the following dates have been agreed to facilitate a phased return to school:
Week beginning Monday 15th June –
Monday Children in Reception
Tuesday Children in Year 1
Week beginning Monday 22nd June – Children in Year 6
Daily Times and Entry / Exit from School
The offer for all year groups when they return is on a full time basis and we will have staggered times in operation to enable a safe arrival and departure for all children. The school day will be slightly shorter than normal with timings as above.
If your child is not able to attend school on a specific day please ring school as you would with a usual absence.
Please note that school will close to all pupils by 1pm on a Friday to allow the buildings to be thoroughly cleaned. This will also give staff a chance to plan and prepare work for the following week. Usually staff would have planning and preparation time during the school day, however as we need a consistent member of staff with each group and we are unable to let staff move between the various groups in school, this is the only time we can allocate for staff to plan and prepare.
Children will enter and exit school via the KS2 top school gate on Copeland Road. Year 6 can be left with staff at the gate. You must maintain social distancing whilst entering and exiting school, paying close attention to the markings placed on the path for this purpose. You will be able to walk with your child onto the playground around the back of the school to the dining hall where your child will be able to join their group while you walk through the dining hall (only used for entry and exit) and out through the main gate. This will be the same at the end of the day, with staff bringing each group of children to the dining room for collection to hand children over to parents. We ask that only one parent drops off / picks up your child to minimise the number of adults around the outside of school. I must stress the importance of collecting children promptly at the allocated staggered time and making sure you are keeping to your allotted time of arrival. Drop off and collection of our children has been specifically planned in line with our risk assessments and will broadly follow usual school opening times. Please also bear in mind our school is close to houses where residents are concerned and have asked us to remind parents about social distancing. Finally, most pupils will either walk or travel to school by car. However, if you do have to use public transport to travel to school, we kindly request that you observe social distancing as best you can when on public transport, wear a face covering as is mandatory on all public transport from 15th June and if possible, use hand sanitiser/gel on completion of your journey.
Uniform and Equipment
Children will need to wear school uniform and trainers each day. If they have grown out of their uniform please try and wear clothes as close as possible to what is the expectation, this would be greatly appreciated for health and safety reasons. They will also need a jumper / cardigan as windows and doors will be open in classrooms to promote air circulation. Children will not be allowed to change clothes during the school day, therefore PE sessions will take place outdoors and in the clothes children have attended school in. No PE kits are required to be brought to school.
Guidance recommends that both staff and children attend school in clean, freshly washed clothes each day to prevent the risk of COVID 19 transmission and we encourage you to ensure your child comes to school in different clothes each day.
The majority of resources and equipment will be provided by school. However, children can bring the following:
- 1 x filled water bottle that will return home each day with your child;
- Sun Cream for self-application (weather dependent)
- Packed lunch
Children will not be allowed to bring in their own pencil cases, stationery etc.
Your child will be taught in a group and based in a classroom space around our school site. This may not necessarily be their regular classroom and they may not be taught by their usual teacher. Information about where your child will be taught and who their group staff will be, will be shared with you prior to their return to school through a telephone call. The children within the group will always remain in this group and will not come into contact with other year groups during the school day. Children will work at tables spaced 2m apart and group staff will be based at socially distanced locations in the classroom. As a result, staff will be unable to have direct contact with or work alongside children as they must remain in their designated areas and support children from a distance.
We are acutely aware that children will need time to re-engage with school. They have not attended for a substantial period of time and will need support, guidance and time to get used to being with us again. Some children will be in different classrooms and / or with different teachers. Time will be needed to establish relationships, routines, structures and expectations; just as we would normally do at the beginning of an academic year. We intend to do this in a very pastoral way, utilising an increased number of Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) lessons to establish comfort, confidence and mental well being related to being back at school. We will communicate clearly and often with parents/carers during this phase to ensure you have a good understanding of how your child is settling in to being back at school.
Teachers will then take the time to review with children what has been provided for home learning and how much of this has been understood and retained. They will also review children’s knowledge of basic skills in reading, writing and use of number and will use this as a starting point from which to move learning forward.
Teachers will plan for and deliver lessons that support children to recover from the lost learning time of the last three months. We intend to make this interactive and engaging to further enhance pupils learning and understanding, particularly in English and Maths.
Break times will be taken on the main yard / school field where children will be positively encouraged to maintain a social distance from all other children.
All children will be encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly at given points throughout the day: on entry to school, before and after using ipads, before and after break and lunch times, before eating, after toileting and before leaving school for the day.
First Aid / Illness
The government guidelines do not require school staff to wear PPE as a matter of course, however staff have been given the choice to wear whatever level of PPE they are comfortable with for them to successfully carry out their duties in school. In circumstances where a child requires First Aid, is unwell or appears to be displaying symptoms of COVID-19, staff will wear gloves, aprons, face masks and visors as appropriate to protect themselves and your child when social distancing is not an option. If your child has an accident, becomes ill or requires First Aid you may be called to take your child home.
We ask that your child does not come to school if they are ill or if they or anyone in your house is displaying symptoms of COVID 19. The symptoms of COVID 19 are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back;
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If your child becomes unwell at school, with suspected COVID symptoms your child will be isolated in the Computer room and you will be asked to take them home, adhere to government self-solation guidance and seek a test to ascertain a diagnosis.
If we receive notice of a confirmed case of COVID 19 the school may need to close, at short notice for deep cleaning and staff and families may be asked to follow government guidance regarding self-isolation.
Preparing for Return
For those children returning to school it will be useful for parents to help them to understand that school looks very different at the moment with tape demarking walk ways and tables spaced out inside the classrooms. It is very important that children understand social distancing rules and that they can’t be close to each other or touch their friends at playtime etc. Please practise washing hands effectively and reminding children about not touching their face, biting nails etc before they return. We will of course sensitively remind children of these throughout the day.
If you need to contact school please phone, message or email.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information and we appreciate your support in putting the points mentioned into practice in the weeks ahead. We understand that a return to school may seem very daunting as we continue to live through highly unusual times. Our main aim is to ensure all children, staff and families are kept as safe and at as little risk as possible. We have put extensive measures in place to minimise the risk, but, as you will be aware, we cannot fully eradicate it.
This will not be school as we know it, but we will endeavour to make it as pleasant as possible for all our returning pupils. Should you have any questions or queries about children returning to school, please do not hesitate to contact me.