A video recording of this message can be found HERE.
Dear Parents and Carers,
You will have heard the government announcement that schools will be open for all pupils’ full-time education from September 2020. Our school has been welcoming pupils in different year groups back to school since June. We approached this with great caution, reviewing all the scientific advice to ensure that we could be as safe as possible. This has gone extremely well, as our safety measures and risk assessments were excellent. Thank you to all those parents who sent your children back into school as requested – it has been lovely to see them.
We are delighted that we can now look forward to seeing all our pupils back in September. We will be very busy in the next couple of weeks planning, completing new and detailed risk assessments, and working out exactly what school will look like and feel like when your child returns.
The Government has stated:
‘Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)’.
All children are therefore expected back in school on Monday 7th September.
We’re working hard to consider how we group pupils together, to ensure that we reduce contact between different groups of pupils, and keep the stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes we already have in place to ensure that our academies are as safe as can be for your child.
In preparation, there are some key points that you need to be aware of to ensure that your child is safe. Please be aware some details may change, we will keep you updated.
1. You must ensure that if anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, your child does NOT attend school. Any child or staff member who develops symptoms in the school day will be sent home immediately. If anyone in your household, or your child, tests positive for COVID-19 you MUST inform your school.
2. The government has advised walking or cycling to school wherever possible to reduce the use of public transport.
3. Attendance at school. The government has relaxed the rules on attendance during lockdown. However, this will change in September. The government guidance says: ‘Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term’.
4. Pupils and staff will not be wearing face coverings in school. The government advice is quite clear that this is not necessary. If face coverings are used on public transport to get to school, children will be asked to remove them upon arrival at school, safely disposing of them if they are disposable masks and putting them in a sealed plastic bag if it can be reused.
5. Your child will be expected to follow strict behaviour rules relating to physical contact with other pupils, and keeping their hands clean. Pupils will be expected to wash their hands regularly, and/or use hand sanitiser.
6. If your child has Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND) we will contact you shortly to explain what provision will look like from September.
7. Our School kitchens will re-open in September. We are hoping to re-introduce hot school dinners as soon as possible but until then all children will need to bring a packed lunch to school each day. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 and those children entitled to Free School Meals will be provided a packed lunch by the school. Pupils eligible for free school meals will therefore no longer receive lunch vouchers.
8. In order to maintain social distancing during social times, year groups will have break times at either different times or on a different playground to others.
9. It will be more important than ever that your child has their own equipment in school to ensure that this does not need to be shared. Children will be provided with pencils and pens for their sole use but if your child has items that they may want to use in school then they can bring them in and store them in their own ‘pencil cases’.
10. Pupils will be expected to wear school uniform. On the days they have PE, children will be asked to come into school wearing a school PE kit (details HERE). Your teacher will tell you which day your child has PE when they return in September.
To avoid a congregation of parents, the window for dropping your children off each day has been extended from 8.30 until 9.00 and the collecting window will now be anytime between 3.00pm and 3.15pm. We ask that only one adult brings the children into school each day. This should reduce the waiting time that a parent has whilst on the school grounds.
Anyone who does not arrive on time will need to drop their children off via the main office. We respectfully ask that everyone makes every effort to arrive during these time-slots. If you are late, please do not use the signing in systems – we will sign the children in. If you arrive after 3:15pm to collect your children, the children will wait on the playground with an adult from their group until a parent arrives. They can no longer be collected from the office.
To reduce congestion and to allow us to enforce social distancing at the start and end of each day, every gate into the school will be used.
1. The normal gates by the pedestrian crossing.
2. The double gate by the school office (ideal for Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 children) .
3. The gates by the allotments by the KS2 playground (ideal for Key Stage 2 children).
We will shortly be sharing two separate guides, one for parents and one for children outlining the changes we are putting in place to keep members of the school community safe.
We understand that some of you and your children will be anxious about returning in September, after some months out of school. Please be reassured that we are taking exceptional measures to make our schools as safe as can be. We will be providing additional emotional and wellbeing support for any pupils that need it, and will also be providing additional opportunities to support learning where this is required. Although very many of our pupils have worked hard using our remote learning resources provided by our dedicated teachers, we are fully aware that learning has been lost. We are all determined that your sons and daughters will absolutely not be ‘a lost generation’ and we’re adapting our curriculum to make sure that they get the learning and knowledge that they need to achieve success in the future.
Your children deserve a great, and safe education – we will not let them down.
See you in September!
Mr J Manclark