I am writing to outline our plans for a partial return to school on June 1st.
Firstly, can I reassure you that we have undertaken a rigorous risk assessment to ensure that we have considered all the factors within the Government's guidelines to minimise the risk to children and staff. I think it is important to state, as the Government has recently said, that in whatever we do there is always going to be an element of risk. This is true in any situation, including the current one with COVID-19. As always, our priority is the health and well-being of our children and staff which is why we have completed a very detailed risk assessment. This is available upon request from school.
As part of this risk assessment I have had to consider which groups of children we can safely have return on June 1st. In the second set of guidelines which were issued on Thursday night, Infant schools were directed to prioritise children of critical/key workers and those considered vulnerable first, then those in Year R and then children in Year 1. This has been a very difficult decision to make as ultimately, if it were safe to do so, we would love to welcome all the children back to school.
Therefore, from June 1st school will be open to those children from Year R,1 and 2 who are deemed vulnerable or whose parents are critical/key workers and those children from year R who have indicated that they would like to return to school. Unfortunately, at this time those children in year 1 who indicated that they would like to return to school will be unable to do so. This is because that as part of our risk assessment we have considered that it would be prudent to allow some time to monitor the uptake of places from the first two priority groups over the next two weeks. Our provision will be reviewed weekly and if the current numbers we are expecting remain as they are we will be looking to welcome children in Year 1 back after two weeks. I understand that this will be disappointing for the children and you but I have to consider the provision I know we can safely plan for whilst adhering to the guidelines we have. If you wish to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact me at school.
As I said in my previous letter, the children will be in ‘bubbles’ which means that they will be in a group of no more than 12 children in a classroom. They will remain with this group for the whole day. They will be with their peers and taught in the main by teachers and TA’s from their current year group. However, their learning space may not be the classroom they were in before lockdown began.
The children will follow the home learning tasks so that all children, whether at school or not, will have the same provision. The home learning packs will be available, as before, from the school office or can be found on the school website. The packs will be planned fortnightly starting on June 1st. The home learning packs are planned following the National curriculum objectives for year 1 and 2 and the EYFS for year R so that the children are continuing with the learning appropriate to their year group.
I have considered other factors such as staggered drop-offs, lunchtimes, playtimes, handwashing and toilets. Below are the systems that we have planned to be in place for June 1st.
There will be staggered arrival and collection times for each group of children. This will help support social distancing. There will be a one-way system in operation.
Parents will enter through the main gate and walk up the pathway. Teachers and TA’s will be in the Year R small playground to collect their group from the parents. Parents will say goodbye to their child at the gate and your child will then line up with their teacher or TA. Parents will then follow the footpath around towards the school office and exit using the gate by the car park. PLEASE CAN WE ASK THAT ONLY ONE PARENT DROPS OFF AND COLLECTS YOUR CHILD. Also, could we kindly ask that parents observe social distancing rules and keep at least 2m apart from other parents.
Collection of children will be in reverse, so children will be brought to the small Year R playground and collected by their parent from the gate.
Critical worker children Year 2 - 8.50am drop off, collect at 3pm
Critical worker children Year 1 (including Nurture) – 9am drop off, collect at 2.50pm
Year R (including critical worker and vulnerable children)– 9.10am drop off, collect at 2.40pm
Please contact school if you wish to discuss this further if the drop off and collection times are going to cause a problem for you.
The children will have their own designated chair and table space in their classroom. Classrooms have been organised so that the children will be able to sit with another child on a table but social distancing will be maintained.
The classrooms and staff will be as follows;
Year R Group 1 - Mrs Miles and Mrs Stewart- Green Caterpillar Bay
Year R group 2 - Mr McGowan, Mrs Clark and Mrs Harbut- Green Caterpillar base
Nurture - Mrs Ball, Miss Blankley, Mrs Kempton and Mrs Woodwrad- Rainbow room
Critical/ Vulnerable Year 1 group 1 - Mr Riley, Miss Bowman, Miss Glanfield - Yellow Brimstone
Critical/ Vulnerable Year 1 group 2- Mrs Innes, Mrs Hillier and Miss Drury- Holly Blue (Mrs Innes class)
Critical/ Vulnerable Year 2 group 1 – Mrs Hill, Mrs Drew and Mrs Corbin- Holly blue ( Mrs Hill’s class)
Critical/ Vulnerable Year 2 group 2 - Miss Kett and Mr Innes ( Red admiral - Miss Kett’s class)
The children will be following a timetable to ensure that it replicates as much as possible a school day. I think this is very important as we need to recognise that school will be different to the one they remember so maintaining the usual day will help to give a sense of ‘normal’ school:
Each group of children will be using a designated toilet and sink as this will support social distancing from other groups of children.
Children will only be able to use the toilets at set times of the day for both going to the toilet and to ensure there is regular handwashing.
Year R- Toilet- 10am, 11am, before lunch, after lunch, 2pm
Nurture Toilet - 10am, 11am, before lunch, after lunch, 2pm
Year 1 - 10am, 11am, before lunch, after lunch, 2pm
Year 2- 10.15am, before lunch, after lunch, 2.15pm
If the children need the toilet at any other time they will be accompanied by an adult to ensure they use their group’s toilet and sink.
On entry to school, children must wash their hands for 20 seconds. This will need to be repeated at the same times as the toilet times above. There will be hand sanitiser in each class room as well as anti-viral spray for surfaces to be regularly cleaned.
The playground and field have been divided into zones so that each group of children will have their own zone to play in, again to maintain social distancing from other groups of children.
Playtime for Year R and Nurture will be at 10.15- 10.35am
Playtime for Year 1 and 2 will be at 10.40- 11am
Lunch will be served to the children from the servery in the hall. This will be in a takeaway box so that the children can go back to their classroom to eat or they can eat outside in their zone. We will be sending a menu home this week and children can still bring in a packed lunch if they would prefer.
Lunch will be served from 11.40;
Year R- 11.40
Year 1- 12.00
Year 2- 12.10
Children will remain in their classroom until it is time to get their food. Dinner staff will be in from 12.00-1pm to supervise the children outside. At 12.55pm Dinner staff will ring the bell and children will sit down in their zones, then teachers/TA’s will collect their children from their zones at 1pm.
Children will need to stay within their ‘bubble’ for the whole day. Social distancing should be maintained as much as possible.
Any injuries etc. will be dealt with by the office as they will have the appropriate PPE needed to deal with this. If a child is sick, the ‘bubble’ will need to be taken outside and again the office staff or site manager should be called for to deal with this.
Children will have an individual zippy wallet for their resources such as pens and pencils. They can continue to work in school books or on paper.
Children will not need to wear school uniform and can wear their own clothes. Please can we kindly ask that your child comes in fresh, clean clothes each day as will help to minimise any potential risk.
Children will need to bring a named water bottle each day.
I appreciate that there is a lot of information contained in this letter but I wanted to ensure that we provided you with all the relevant facts and guidance as to how school will operate from June 1st.
These are unprecedented times and we are all faced with challenges and issues we have not dealt with before. Our children are at the heart of all we do and their welfare and well being is central to this. Any decisions I have made have been to ensure we can open, as we have been directed to do, but paramount in my mind is, and always well be, the children.
The changes we have had to make will make school different but please be reassured that all the staff are committed to making sure school continues to be the fun and nurturing place it was before we went into lockdown.
For those children that we cannot currently welcome back to school, home learning packs, class emails and the YouTube channel will continue. I am also looking at ways that we can have transition for the children so that they can meet their new teacher before September, as well as how we can plan for them to have the opportunity to say goodbye to their old teacher. I will send further details about this after half term.
Please do not hesitate to contact school with any questions and concerns you may have.
Beverly Corbin - Headteacher