We hope you have had a restful summer and we cannot wait to welcome our pupils back. We have been working hard to make everyone feel as safe and secure as possible, whilst making the school as “normal” as possible. All of the measures below are designed to limit the number of contacts per day and will be in place for the first half term at least.
School will run on the following basis from September:
Start and finish times
Please see the attached school map which details entrances and exits
Only one parent should drop off and pick up their children and should leave the yard quickly. We need you to stay out of the building to minimise the number of people in school.
We are operating an internal and external one-way system, for pupils, staff and parents. The only entry point to school is the gate on Whickham street, and the only exit point is the car park gate onto St Nicholas Terrace. It is essential that all parents adhere to the one-way system. We have worked hard to stagger things wherever possible to prevent over-crowding, but if a queue forms, please maintain social distancing. A visual representation of the one-way system is on the attached map.
- Start of the school day: children should be dropped off in line with the following:
If you have more than one child in school, please drop all children off at the earliest time of 8:45 at their designated door.
- End of the school day: children should be collected in line with the following:
If you have more than one child in school, you should collect at the latest time of 15:05, from their designated area.
- Years 1 -6 will be collected from their designated pick up point and children will only be dismissed once the whole class is outside.
Parents must NOT approach the line or class teacher as their child is being dismissed. Please bear with us in the first week, we will try our best and review systems to ensure the safety of everyone in school.
- Reception parents will go into the classroom and follow the internal one-way system to collect their child from the class teacher.
- Children who have parental consent, within permitted year groups, can walk home. Parents should ensure that children wash their hands as soon as they get home.
- Communication with your child’s class teacher will be limited to email or telephone. No messages can be passed to the class teacher before or after school.
Wraparound childcare will operate from the first week. Please e-mail email@example.com detailing:
– Your child’s name
– September requirements
Please note: we are working hard to ensure that wraparound care is available, however, due to the restrictions and our risk assessment we currently have capacity to provide childcare from 8am – 5pm. If you require childcare outside of these times, please get in touch, using the above e-mail address.
- Wraparound is not currently available to nursery children.
- Whole school breakfast club will operate from 8am. Breakfast will be served in practical areas and eaten in classrooms, to ensure that children remain in their bubbles.
- Breakfast club pupils should be dropped off at the main entrance between 8-8:40am. If there is a queue, please ensure that social distancing is adhered to.
- Children should wear full school uniform. They should only bring to school what they need. We will not send books or paper homework home initially. We intend to use Google Classroom to set homework and this will remain live and be accessible in case of the need to self-isolate.
- Wherever possible we will keep pupils in year group bubbles. Some higher year groups will mix for 15 mins a day with another year group in their phase, but only when outside.
- Children will be taught in their classes, as normal and will access a full and varied curriculum, which will still include cookery, forest schools and non-overnight educational visits. Children will be given their own equipment and desks will be forward facing, so that children are sitting next to each other but not opposite each other in close proximity.
- Nursery, Reception and Year 1 teaching will operate as normal with access to age-appropriate provision
- For the first 2 weeks, we have carefully planned extra PSHE teaching, based around social skills, guided discussions, opportunities to work as a team and also to safely explore the ‘new normal’ and ‘life without school’ for the last few months, in a safe environment. We will also be working, in each class, on a group project (e.g. a rainbow, flag or jigsaw) that each pupil will contribute to, to form a sense of belonging and promote the ethos that we are ‘all in this together’ and our school community is like a family.
- No PE will take place in the first 2 weeks. You will be notified of your child’s PE day and they should come to school dressed appropriately in sport clothing, and they will wear this all day.
- There will be no large whole school events. Assemblies will be virtual/ take place within class bubbles.
- Music tuition will be on hold until autumn 2.
- We will not be offering any extra-curricular after school clubs for the first half term at least, to prevent the mixing of groups.
Lunch and breaks
- Lunch in the school halls will be staggered, to prevent unnecessary queuing and to minimise
contact between phases.
- Hand washing will be encouraged before food and when pupils come in after their break.
- Both lunch and break times will be staggered to prevent phases mixing.
- Cleaning regimes will be carried out during and after the school day
- Children will wash their hands when entering school and continuously throughout the day
- High touch areas will be cleaned at additional times throughout the day.
- We have always welcomed parents and visitors in the building, but in order to keep everyone safe, this will not be possible, in September. Parents should attend the school office by prior appointment only and if absolutely necessary.
- Visitors who come to our school to offer interventions to individual pupils will adhere to our risk assessment and carry out work in a designated area, if safe to do so.
The government’s current position is that all pupils return to education, unless advised otherwise by a health professional. The most recent statement from the UK Chief Medical Officers on schools and childcares reopening states that ‘School improves health, learning, socialisation and opportunities throughout the life course’ and that they ‘are confident that there is clear evidence from many studies that the great majority of children and teenagers who catch COVID-19 have mild symptoms, or no symptoms at all.
However, we do understand that coming back to school might cause anxiety for some pupils and families. It is natural to feel nervous about returning to school after such a prolonged period of time. We have adapted our curriculum to ensure that pupils are well supported on their return.
As of Wednesday, 2nd September, all pupils should return to school, unless they have Coronavirus symptoms, or have been told to isolate via the Track and Trace system. It is essential that we are kept informed about the reasons for pupil absence, particularly if it is related to Coronavirus symptoms.
We hope that this letter answers the many questions that I’m sure you will have and reassures you that we are putting everything possible in place to ensure a safe and settled return to school. We can’t wait to get back to the ‘new normal’ and spend time with our pupils, again.
If you have any questions or queries please contact the office via telephone, on Tuesday, 1st September, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss B. Jones
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