Friday 22nd May 2020
I hope you are all keeping well. As the rules of lockdown have changed, I do hope you have managed to see a few people you have not seen for a while or enjoyed a little more exercise while still keeping to the guidelines of Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Save Lives.
Activity in school has increased over the past week, with the school preparing for a phased reopening on the 1st of June for selected year groups. From Wednesday the 20th of May staggered groups of teachers have been in school to arrange their classrooms so that social distancing can be maintained in school and pupils and staff can keep safe.
Although much can change with the phased return to school, we are looking forward to welcoming an increasing number of year groups to school over the coming weeks.
Key Worker and vulnerable pupils
The information below does not affect the attendance of our vulnerable or key worker children. These children should attend as they have over the past 9 weeks. If parents now feel they need to access a key worker place in school, please contact the school office.
It is important to note, that key worker places can only be offered if a parent or carers job meets the key worker designation as set out by the government. Please click on the following link for more information.
Phased return of Year Groups
Following on from the governments stated aim that from the earliest from the 1st of June, schools can reopen to certain year groups, I intend to return the following classes on the following dates.
|Year Group||Date of return to school|
|Year 6||1st June 2020|
|Year 1||4th June 2020|
|Reception||8th June 2020|
|Nursery||11th June 2020|
The reasons for returning on these dates will be to ensure that the systems in place around school can safely handle an increased number of pupils, as well as ensuring that social distancing, school meals and cleaning can take place safely within school.
The school has a rigorous Risk Assessment that works to minimise risks as much as possible and a continual review of this, as more pupils return, is the most sensible way to safely build up pupil numbers in school.
Although we are still establishing the exact number of pupils in school for the safe return, we have planned for all pupils in the nominated year groups to return to school and have plans in place to do this safely, although from the 1st June, I do expect less pupils to be in the groups than the maximum planned for. Parents who have pupils in the selected year groups will be receiving a more detailed letter later today with more information about how school will operate upon return. Below is a quick summary about how we will keep pupils and staff safe.
When pupils return, all classes will be kept separate from other classes. Due to the social distancing guidelines, pupils will maintain social distancing in class, with classroom furniture, resources and activities arranged so that contact between pupils in each class is minimised.
Classes will not mix and staff in classes will only teach their allocated pupils. Playtimes and lunchtimes will be organised on a rota basis so that pupils can still take part in a range of activities within school, but with the risk of coming into contact with other pupils and staff minimised as much as possible.
Within class, there will be set routines throughout the day to remind pupils about social distancing, handwashing and class systems to ensure that pupils know how to keep their bubble as safe as possible.
One way systems in and around school
To minimise the risk of pupils and staff coming in close proximity to each other, there will be a one way system used around school to ensure that pupils and staff do not pass too close in our narrow corridors. Pupils will be told about the one way systems on a daily basis, with signage and markings used around school to indicate one way routes.
Daily drop off and pick up
A one way system will be used within the school groups to drop off and pick up pupils. Parents of pupils coming into nursery, reception and Year 1 will enter school via the Blossom Tree Nursery gate. They will walk into the nursery playground and then into the KS1 playground. Pupils will then head into their classrooms. Parents will then leave via the KS1 playground gate and leave the school premises via the school car park.
Keyworker pupils and Year 6 pupils will enter via the main school gate and will enter their classrooms via their classroom doors. Parents will then leave the school premises via the school car park.
To help support a safe, socially distanced entry and exit from school, there will be a staggered entry and exit time.
Cleanliness and hygiene in school.
Maintaining effective handwashing techniques is the most effective way to keep pupils and staff safe in school. This coupled with a range of other strategies are very important steps to keep our pupils and our staff safe.
To help assist with this the school will use the following techniques:
- minimising contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend childcare settings, schools or colleges
- cleaning hands more often than usual – wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered
- ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
- cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach
- minimising contact and mixing by altering, as much as possible, the environment (such as classroom layout) and timetables (such as staggered break times)
School will continue to be cleaned on a daily basis by our cleaning team, with pupils always entering a classroom that has had its door handles and surfaces cleaned, carpets hovered and any waste removed.
Throughout the day, the staff in the classroom will also provide the addition cleaning of surfaces and any resources used by the class.
School will close at 12:30pm every Friday for a deep clean of the whole school prior to the return of the classes the following week.
Upon our initial return, pupils in receipt of free school meals, as well as pupils in reception and year 1 who receive universal free school meals, will received a packed lunch from school. This will allow classes to either eat their pack lunch in classrooms or outside if the weather permits.
Year 2 pupils in the key worker group will also receive a packed lunch, as well as year 6 pupils in receipt of free school meals. All other pupils will need to bring a packed lunch to school.
Routines in case of illness
Within school there will be a stringent monitoring of pupil and staff health to ensure that any risk of illness spreading in school is reduced as much as possible. The school will deal with most issues such as slips and trips in a normal manner, but if anyone presents with issues such as a sore throat, sickness or diarrhoea, or headache. Parents will be contacted and the pupil will be sent home. Parents will be asked to monitor the pupils and as long as the pupil does not present with any further illness or does not develop a high temperature, a new and persistent cough or issues to do with taste or smell, they can return to school when they are feeling better.
If a child is awaiting collection, they will be accompanied by one of the members of staff in their class, maintaining a 2 metre distance, to the meeting room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, with appropriate adult supervision.
If a child or member of staff has coronavirus symptoms: a temperature above 38.1, a new and persistent cough or issues to do with taste and smell, they must go for a coronavirus test, which can be booked at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested.
During this time, while waiting for the results of the test, the pupil must isolate for 7 days, with the household isolating for 14 days. Where the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to their setting and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with subsequently develops symptoms.
As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the cohort or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise the school and other settings on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, and staff may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure – perhaps the whole class, site or year group. Where settings are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary.
The full letter detailing the finer details of the school return will be emailed today to parents in selected year groups and will be placed onto the school website for the whole school to see over the weekend.
Free School Meal Vouchers
As school has not heard any official confirmation about the non payment of free school meal vouchers over the half term break, these will continue to be released on Monday the 25th of May. School are still waiting for further guidance about what will happen after the phased return to school: will parents of FSM pupils who are attending school and getting a school meal still get a voucher? What about pupils who are on FSM but have decided not to attend school? As soon as we find out any details about this, we will inform parents.
Half term Break
Next week is the Whitsun Half term break. School will be closed on the bank holiday Monday, but open for the children of key workers and vulnerable pupils from Tuesday to Friday.
As this is half term week there will be no online activities provided by teaching staff. Pupils can still access the school online resources and Showbie accounts but any Zoom lessons or new content will not be provided.
With school planning a phased opening for certain year groups over the next few weeks, all staff are required to ensure that this can be carried out safely. With this in mind, there will be a reassessment of the home learning activities for other year groups within school. There will still be activities provided by staff, but due to teachers now working in school during the teaching day, this will have to be managed so that it does not have a significant impact on the workload of teachers. More information will be provided about this over the next week.
Thank a Teacher day – 20th May
On Wednesday it was thank a teacher day. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff, teaching and non teaching for the excellent way they have adjusted to the unprecedented times we are in. Throughout this time teachers have always been desperate to get back into school and recognise that anytime away for pupils will have an impact on their learning.
Over the past 9 weeks staff have continued to keep the school running by processing invoices, sorting FSM vouchers, planning lesson, cleaning the school and responding to pupils and parents all with the intention of getting back to school as soon as it is safe.
With all of the work that has taken place over the past 9 weeks, we are confident as a staff that school can reopen safely for the limited number of classes selected.