PLANNED RETURN TO SCHOOL ON WEDNESDAY 2ND SEPTEMBER, 2020
I hope that you are all well, that you have been able to enjoy the summer with your child/ren and that as a family you are looking forward to the return to school next week. The weather has been generally kind to us over recent weeks, a bonus for those of us who have not had the opportunity to seek the summer sun on foreign shores – and this summer, that’s been the vast majority of us! As you begin to prepare for your child/ren’s return, can I once again thank you for your support over the past few months in working with us to try to help them continue on their learning journey. You must have been exhausted at times with the demands of home-learning and trying to balance your own jobs, particularly if you were working from home! If you have kept your child/ren’s work packs and any other pieces of work that you did together that you would like to share with us at school, these can be brought in for us to quarantine and then have a look at before returning them to you. I’m sure you will want to keep hold of these for your children in future years to be able to show their own children, as evidence of the ‘war’ against coronavirus (COVID-19) in 2020 and the impact on them as individuals.
And now it’s all eyes on what comes next... Without doubt, we are very much looking forward to our school community returning to as near normal as we can achieve, taking all necessary precautions as we do so to ensure that the school environment is as safe as possible for us to do so. We hope you and your child/ren are also looking forward to this too. We are very aware that there will need to be a period of adjustment for all of us, particularly those pupils or families who are anxious about the return. We want to work with you to reassure you that we are and will continue to do all we can to support your child both in their emotional well-being and academic progress in our efforts to bring about a much needed sense of routine, which will help those who have struggled to get back on track.
The Government are expecting that all pupils will return to school full-time from the beginning of the Autumn Term. From 1st August, the Government removed the requirement for people to continue shielding. Therefore, unless that information changes, we do not anticipate that pupils will be absent from school unless:
They are ill (for whatever reason);
They are self-isolating as a consequence of coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms themselves;
They have been tested positive;
Someone in their household has tested positive;
You have been advised to continue shielding yourself or your child/ren by a health professional – if this is the case, please contact us at school as a matter of urgency.
With the exclusion of these exceptional cases, attendance is therefore deemed to be compulsory once again.
Our Plan for Autumn Term
Schools have been given additional funding to support those vulnerable pupils who may have not engaged with their learning at home and whose progress has therefore been slowed as a consequence.
The children will be assessed early in the Autumn Term to allow us to identify those who need interventions to help them bridge any gaps in learning arising as a consequence of school closure. An assumption that parents / carers can make is that we have spent a considerable amount of time discussing and shaping the planned return and have undertaken rigorous risk assessments, all of which have been reviewed in light of all pupils returning.
Our risk assessments for fully re-opening have been approved by the EMET Trustees and our own school’s Governing Body. Full consideration has also been given to the Department for Education’s latest guidance for schools which was issued on 7th August. From the information provided we are told that the risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from coronavirus (COVID-19) is very low. Also, whilst it is not possible to ensure a totally risk-free environment, analysis of coronavirus (COVID-19) statistics suggests that the school community should not be at any greater risk from the contracting the disease. There is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. Although it was for a more limited number of pupils, we have a distinct advantage over many schools in that we were able to test our proportionate and protective measures during the Summer Term when we welcomed back all children whose parents felt the time was right for them to do so.
To that end, we will continue to ensure that:
Pupils or staff who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or who have a household member with the symptoms or have tested positive within the last 10 days will not be allowed to attend school;
robust hand and respiratory hygiene take place;
enhanced cleaning arrangements will be followed, with regular cleaning throughout the day of regularly touched surfaces; and we will actively engage with NHS Test and Trace.
COVID-19 Attendance & Health Information
In school, we will do everything we can to limit the transmission of the virus from one person to another but it is still crucial that we all work together to prevent anyone coming into school who is displaying symptoms of the virus. Please be aware that children with a cold can still attend school. This chart may help you: Symptom Flow Chart
See the link: NHS Covid-19 Symptoms for Children
As a reminder the main symptoms of coronavirus are:
a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
a new, continuous cough
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
Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.
Here is a link to a coronavirus symptom checker: NHS Symptom Checker
Parents and Carers must also be aware that we are following this guidance:
1. If a child develops symptoms of coronavirus whilst in school, then we will isolate them and send them and any siblings home. Parents / Carers of the child/ren being sent home will receive a copy of a letter setting out the details of the guidance that must be followed before their child/ren can return to school.
2. If your child develops symptoms whilst they are at home then you must keep them and their siblings at home and follow the guidance in a letter that will be sent out to you by the school.
3. If anyone in your household develops symptoms or has a positive test, then you must keep your child/ren at home and follow the guidance in another letter that will be sent out to you by the school.
4. If a family is contacted by national NHS Test and Trace contact tracers, their instructions must be followed. Children must not be sent to school if Test and Trace identifies that a child should be self-isolating (even if the child subsequently has a negative test result during the isolation period).
5. If your child is returning from a country that is included on the quarantine list, then you must follow the latest guidance found here: Self-isolation guidance when returning from holiday.
You must report all absences and the reasons (points 1 to 5) to us by dialling 0115 9321926 and selecting Option 1. Alternatively, you can contact Mrs Clarke, our Attendance & Welfare Officer via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Evidence of all test results are also required by the school and can be sent to Mrs Clarke, our Attendance & Welfare Officer via email: email@example.com
Breakfast and After School Clubs
For those parents who require their child/ren to attend our Breakfast and After School Clubs we have plans in place to ensure that the children will remain together in their consistent groups. For example, activities for the After School Clubs will take place on different days for the different ‘zones’ (see below) and in Breakfast Club, ‘zones’ will remain socially distanced from each other, i.e. each ‘zone’ will remain in a separate area of the room where Breakfast Club is held. Inevitably, parents will need to make their own decisions about the appropriateness of their child/ren’s attendance at these clubs, but we will do all we can to ensure that we continue to implement all the necessary control measures in our efforts to keep the children and staff safe.
Here, then, is our plan to allow our pupils to attend school:
Groups of children are to be referred to as ‘zones’.
To help minimise the number of people entering the school site, only one parent / carer to accompany their child/ren to school;
The Village Hall car park is now open once again, so please use this if you are unable to walk to school with your child/ren;
The start and finish times for each zone is indicated in the table below:
|Year Group||Class||Arrival time||Departure Time||Entrance / exit doors|
|F1||Roots||8:45 am or 12:30 pm||11:45 am or 3:30 pm||Main Nursery gate on The Lane|
|F2||Cedar||8:35 am||3:05 pm||Playground door (usual door)|
|Y1 / Y2||Maple||8:30 am||3:00 pm||Maple classroom door (usual door)|
|Y1 / Y2||Elm||8:30 am||3:00 pm||Elm classroom door (usual door)|
|Y1 / Y2||Willow||8:30 am||3:00 pm||Willow cloakroom door (usual door)|
|Y3 / Y4||Hazel||8:40 am||3:10 pm||Hazel classroom door (usual door)|
|Y3 / Y4||Oak||8:40 am||3:10 pm||Oak classroom fire exit door|
|Y3 / Y4||Birch||8:40 am||3:10 pm||LKS2 cloakroom door|
|Y5 / Y6||Larch||8:45 am||3:15 pm||UKS2 playground door (usual door)*|
|Y5 / Y6||Sycamore||8:45 am||3:15 pm||UKS2 cloakroom door (usual door)|
|Y5 / Y6||Pine||8:45 am||3:15 pm||UKS2 cloakroom door (usual door)|
* Please note that due to building work undertaken during the holiday, Larch Class may need to also enter and leave school via the UKS2 cloakroom door for a few days upon our return. Staff will be on the playground to advise parents accordingly.
Drop-offs / Pick-ups
When on the school site and in the school building, everyone is to observe the 1m+ social distancing expectations. Entrance and exit of the school site is to be one way.
Parents / carers are not to enter the school building, including the school reception area. If you need to speak to anyone in school, please telephone or email us;
No visitors are allowed on the school site without prior arrangement;
Each class will be taught by their regular Class Teacher for most of the time. However, they may also be taught by other staff who will remain solely within their zone, including midday supervisory staff;
In classrooms, desks will be forward facing and in rows. Children will retain their own seat in the classroom. If children move into another classroom e.g. if they are taught lessons by a different Teacher, they will sit at the same table each time. These tables will be cleaned as the children move back to their own classrooms;
PE / Swimming
The children will need to wear their regular school uniform. On the days that they will be having PE, they will be expected to arrive at school in their PE kit, which they will wear throughout the day. This is to consist of a school sweatshirt or cardigan, plain white T-shirt, jogging bottoms / leggings / shorts and trainers. They will also need to wear clean clothes each day;
Plans are in place for children in Y2 - Y6 to resume their swimming lessons from the start of the Autumn Term. You will be informed by your child/ren’s Class Teacher/s when this will be;
What Your Child/ren Can bring to School
In F2 and KS1, children are not to bring items from home except their water bottle and packed lunch (if they are not having a school meal) which will be returned home each day. Reading and library books will be allocated and returned to school on a weekly basis so that they can be quarantined before being reallocated to other pupils. Class Teachers will inform you what day this is to be;
In KS2, children will need to bring in their water bottle and packed lunch (if they are not having a school meal) which will be returned home each day. They may also bring in a small pencil case containing items of stationery e.g. crayons and felt-tip pens, which are to be for their sole use. We do not expect the children to bring bags into school, as these are not necessary. The school will continue to provide individual stationery items for all pupils, but there may be occasions where small group of pupils will be sharing equipment e.g. felt tip pens – but this will be kept to an absolute minimum. Resources which are used across the school, such as iPads and laptops, are to be cleaned after each use;
Personal Organisers will be sent home for parents to sign and then need to be returned to school for us to check once they have been quarantined. Until it is deemed safe for us all to start handling items that go between home and school on a regular basis, the Personal Organiser will be returned home for parents to use as a reading diary and for reference purposes;
Each zone is to have their own playtime and lunchtime and will not be outside in the same area as other children at any one time. Play and lunchtimes have been staggered to allow for this.
Outdoor equipment is to be limited and what is used will be for that zone only, being cleaned after use;
School Dinners and Free School Meals
We would like to encourage as many children as possible to eat a school meal which will be prepared on site. This is to prevent as many different items coming into school as possible.
Over the summer holiday we have made some changes to our school hall to enable the children to eat their lunchtime meal in there, rather than in classrooms or the corridors which have become very busy due to the growing number of pupils attending our school. We have removed the carpet in the hall and had a more appropriate covering which will make the floor easier to clean. The children will also have new dining furniture to sit at, all of which will hopefully making their experience at lunchtime more enjoyable.
(F2 children will however, eat in their own area – as we have only one F2 class in September they are able to spread out into the other classroom).
|KS1||11:30 (12 noon on Thursdays)||Dining Hall|
|LKS2||12:00 noon (11:30 on Thursdays)||Dining Hall|
The school menu is attached as a separate document;
Each zone have designated toilets. The toilets will be cleaned after lunch;
Assemblies / Christmas shows
There will be no assemblies in the hall, but these will be held via Zoom with the children remaining in their classrooms. We are unable to undertake any singing and the likelihood of us being able to hold our annual Christmas nativities and KS2 shows is very slim. Inevitably this is disappointing for all concerned, but we will look to make amends for this later in the academic year, if at all possible;
A Covid-Safe School
Children who are required to self-isolate and who are not ill, will be provided with work to be able to continue learning at home. We are looking at ways to make this as effective as possible, including the option for children to follow some of the lessons with their peers via a form of video link where appropriate and possible – this is in the early planning stages at the current time.
In the event of another whole school lock-down we will once again provide at home learning for all pupils and in school support to Key Workers’ children who will be able to attend on a daily basis, as before.