September 2020 – Returning to School After Lockdown

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September 2020 – Returning to School After Lockdown

Thursday 16th July 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Firstly, we would like to express our thanks to you for the support we have received from you over the last few months. It has been an incredibly challenging time for everyone. We have really enjoyed hearing about the learning that has taken place at home and receiving examples of work from the children via Google Classroom. This week you have had the opportunity to join your child’s teacher for September to allow them to say hello and introduce themselves. In addition, you have been able to book a phone call with your child’s current class teacher to discuss your child’s report and ask any questions you may have.

As you know, over the last half term, we have been able to welcome back more children. We have loved having some of the children back over this time. We are only sorry that we have not been able to offer this opportunity to all year groups. We are looking forward to seeing everyone back next year!

We would also like to thank you for your patience in waiting for our response to the Department of Education’s guidance for schools which was released on 2nd July, for the return to school in September. As you can imagine, leaders and governors have been working very hard to plan for the full opening of the school. Please be aware that this information will be accurate at time of writing, but we may find that we need to adapt our planning if the government releases further guidance for schools during the summer holidays.

You can refer to the government’s guidance for parents and carers at the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-earlyyears-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-andcarers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term

There is a lot of information to communicate in this letter, so please read the following very carefully. We would also encourage you to explore the ‘Hello there-Reopening School’ section on the school website page with your child. We will put everything to do with the new academic year here.

  • Summer Holidays

School will be closed over the summer holidays; therefore we are unable to offer our Key Worker/Vulnerable Provision over the Summer period. The last day of school is Friday 17th July

 

INFORMATION FOR SEPTEMBER

We are very excited to have all of the children back in September as well as our new Reception children! There are several changes that will be in place when we re-open in September and school may feel slightly different. All of the changes will help to keep children, families and staff as safe as possible. We are aiming to make things as safe as possible because we want to encourage all of our families to feel happy to come to school.

Below are some of the routines we will be following

  • Wherever possible, children will be kept in their class or year group bubbles.
  • Year 1 to 6 will be in class bubbles for the majority of the time and sometimes in year group bubbles to enable playtimes, lunchtime etc.
  • Reception will be in class bubbles for registration but to enable them to access both indoor and outdoor free-flow learning they will be in a year group bubble for a lot of the time
  • Wherever possible, social distancing will be implemented. We will have no large gatherings, bringing different groups together, e.g. whole-school assemblies or parent workshops. Assemblies will be held through Google Classroom.
  • Hygiene and cleaning routines will continue to be part of everyday practices and will be a high priority. We are funding additional cleaning hours so that cleaning of high contact/use areas can be cleaned throughout the day.
  • Parents/carers will not be allowed in the school building, except for exceptional circumstances or for a pre-planned meeting that cannot take place over the phone or via video call. This is to reduce contact.
  • Any communication will need to happen via email or by contacting the school office in the first instance.
  • School uniform is required and children must be able to manage their clothes themselves as much as possible – no shoe laces or tricky zips, please!
  • Attendance is mandatory from September and all children are expected to attend school and all rules on school attendance will apply.

Start and End times for the School Day:

We need to reduce the amount of human traffic both on the school site and on the roads at peak times.

Start and end times are staggered, and we have tried to co-ordinate them to enable parents to drop off children in different year groups.

 

Drop Off Pick Up  Pick Up Entrance
Mon- Thurs Fridays
Ra 8.50 3.00 1.00 EYFS gate entrance
Rb 9.00 3.10 1.10
Rc 9.10 3.20 1.20
1a 8.45 3.10 1.15 Fire door by the main office
1b 8.45 3.10 1.15 Secret Garden gate via the playground
1c 8.45 3.10 1.15 Left hand KS1 hall door
2a 8.50 3.15 1.20 Secret Garden gate via the playground
2b 8.50 3.15 1.20 Left hand KS1 hall door
2c 8.50 3.15 1.20 KS1 entrance door (far side of playground)
3a 8.45 3.10 1.15 Inclusion Office door
3b 8.45 3.10 1.15 Right hand hall door
4a 8.50 3.20 1.25 Right hand KS2 hall door
4b 8.50 3.20 1.25 Left hand KS2 hall door
5a 8.40 3.15 1.20 Left hand KS2 hall door
5b 8.40 3.15 1.20 Door near the kitchen path (Staff will direct from KS2 playground)
6a 8.40 3.15 1.30 Classroom door of new building in Charter St playground
6b 8.40 3.15 1.30 Classroom door
6c 8.40 3.15 1.30 Classroom door

 

Following discussions with the governing body, we have decided to close early on a Friday. 

This will enable a deep clean of the school to take place. All of the toys and resources will be sterilised and dried ready for the following week. Childcare provision will be led by a team of teaching assistants and organised within bubbles. This will also mean that we do not have to have any additional staff on site to cover the teachers’ PPA time thus keeping numbers in your child’s bubble as low as possible. We believe these measures will help to reduce the risk of infection.    We have made some small changes to the timetabled lessons within school, and we are still exceeding the statutory teaching time required each week, even with this change.

 

Working families: If you are a single working parent or a family where both parents work, you should complete the attached booking form and return to the office by email before Tuesday 21st July. We will then put arrangements in place so that your child can be cared for at school on Fridays until 3.15pm.

 

Breakfast Club: This will not be able to run from the start of the autumn term. We hope to be able to offer some form of breakfast club by the start of October. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work out the logistics of how we can do this while retaining year group bubbles.

 

Families with siblings: We would like to support families with siblings, as we can see that the staggered start/end times could otherwise be very tricky! In the mornings:  please drop off your eldest child followed by younger children. In the afternoons please collect your youngest children first. Staff will not leave any children unsupervised if you are delayed due to picking up siblings.

 

The School Site: Separate entrances and exits have been created to reduce the chance of bottle necks, where possible we have tried to create one-way systems. Staff will be out and about to support you following the routes each morning. From 8.30am the carpark gate will be locked but until then it may still be in use so please do not walk across the car park until after 8.30am. The gate will also be locked from 2.50pm until 3.20pm to again support the safety of our families.

Only one parent may come for drop off/pick up. Please ensure you come at the correct time. No parent may come in to school without a prior appointment.

 

Reducing risk of transmission: There is a separate document called ‘Information on reducing risk in school in September’ which will be available on the ‘Hello there-Reopening School’ section of the school website from mid-August.

 

The first day of school in September: We will have two training days at the start of September to ensure we are ready for the children. The first day of school is Thursday 3rd September. Year 1 to 6 should arrive at the times indicated and go straight to their drop off points.

Reception will have a different start date and time. Parents will receive a different letter with all the information on. If you are unsure of what to do as a new starter, please do ring the office and we will be very happy to help you.

 

Still have questions? If you have any questions or concerns, we urge you to contact the senior leadership team via the school office. We are very happy to talk about any worries you may have. There is a lot of information to take in so please don’t panic! – There will be another letter that will come out nearer the start of school that will remind parents of all the important parts for the first week!

 

I hope you have an enjoyable summer and I am very much looking forward to meeting you all in September.

 

Best wishes and stay safe.

 

 

Ms Karen Martin

Headteacher

 

 

Here are some tips from Young Minds on how you can support your child to transition back to school life:

https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/supporting-a-child-returning-to-school-after-lockdown/

If you have felt worried about your child’s mental health during the lockdown, you may also find the following link useful.

https://youngminds.org.uk/blog/parents-tips-for-supporting-an-anxious-child-in-lockdown/

 

Supporting parents and carers during coronavirus

Young Minds also provide a free Parents Helpline on 0808 802 5544 (Monday to Friday 9:30am – 4pm, free for mobiles and landlines).  Parents are able to speak to a trained advisor about any aspect of parenting or worries for their child.

Parents are also encouraged to contact school directly to chat about any concerns that they might have about their child’s emotional well-being.  If your family have been directly affected by Covid-19, for example through family illness or the loss of a loved one, we would also ask that you get in touch so that we can offer you support.  You can call school to speak with Mrs Mulkeen (Pastoral Manager) or Mrs Bi (SENDCo) on 01706 648174.
There are also local services, such as #Thrive, who are able to provide advice and support to families:

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