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Please read our letter about re-starting school in September 2020 on our School News, in About Us.

14 July 2020
COVID Re-Opening September 2020

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Dear Parents and Guardians.

As the strangest of academic years is nearing the end, I wanted to keep you fully informed of developments for September 2020. All the practices and procedures are designed to keep everyone safe, but to also try and return school to some normality (albeit with some major differences). I understand there is a lot of detail in this letter, but it is vital to let all parents know exactly what is happening. I also understand that some of this may cause some upset or distress as it may be different to your expectations. Please also be aware that these are all according to the current situation and national guidance, but they may change significantly by September 1st if there is another significant outbreak or second spike. Please contact the school office if you need any further information or guidance.

Communication with home

The school will not be sending any physical letters home from September 1st. All communications with parents will be through the online media and/or emails. More details of this will be released in September but please ensure you are connected to Class Dojo, have access to the school website or school has your email address.

If you need to speak to a member of staff, then this must be done either through a phone-call, email or Class Dojo messages. Unfortunately, no parents will be allowed into the school building until further notice.

Attendance

All children in Year 1 to Year 6 will be expected to return to school on Thursday 3rd September. Children in Nursery and Reception will have a staggered return, but they will not fully return until Monday 14th September. On Thursday 4th September, all children in Nursery or Reception will receive notification of two half-days in the week commencing 7th September where they will attend for an induction into school.

As per Government guidelines, attendance is expected of all children from September unless there are extreme circumstances for individual children. This must be verified by a medical letter from a hospital/doctors etc. All absences for other illnesses will continue to be recorded, and the overall attendance policy applies, which could lead to a fine if attendance levels are not acceptable. If your child is shielding at home due to being clinically extremely vulnerable, then we will continue to provide remote access to the school curriculum through online learning. All children who are on our SEND register will be contacted on either the 1st or 2 nd of September with specific details about their return to school. Please contact us if you need further guidance on this.

There will still be a staggered start and end to the normal school day to stop the congregating of children and parents on the school playground. Please see the table below to see times for entering and exiting school using the one-way system for Year 1-6 (enter through Coalpool Lane and exit via Harden Road both at the beginning and end of every day). Reception and Nursery can access via Harden Road to avoid having too many parents accessing school via Coalpool Lane and walking across the playground. There will be no access to any child in Year 1-6 through the Harden Road playground entrance. If you have children in these year groups and Reception/Nursery, you will still have to do the one-way system. If you have multiple children in Year groups, please bring all your children at the latest entry time for one of your children so that there is no congregation whilst waiting for other children. It is vital that parents arrive no more than a few minutes before their arrival time, so that there is a minimal number of children and adults on the playground as possible.

Please also remember that parents should not be using the car-park on Harden Road when dropping or picking your child up. Please allow extra time in the morning and afternoons for the school run as inevitably they may be more delays than normal. Please also be considerate to our neighbours around school when parking cars or walking to and from school.

Year Group Entrance Time Finish Time Doors for Entrance & Exit
Nursery 08:40 11:30 Harden Road Entrance
Reception 08:45 14:50 Harden Road Entrance
Year 1 09:10 14:50 KS1 Door
Year 2 09:05 14:55 KS1 Door
Year 3 09:00 15:00 KS1 Door
Year 4 08:55 15:05 KS2 Door
Year 5 08:50 15:10 KS2 Door
Year 6 08:45 15:15 Ks2 Door


On the first day of return in September, the staff will be on the playground to receive your child into their new classes, but we must continue with not allowing parents near the door by asking you to remain beyond the tape/barrier in school and to respect social distancing with other parents. If you need to speak to any member of staff, this will be through a telephone conversation or by online media. Unfortunately, the children must walk unaided into school and no child will be admitted through the school office. Again, please ensure you stick to the entrance times for your year group and do not arrive too early for school as this will encourage congregation on the playground. The school gates will open at 8:45am on Coalpool Lane for parents and children alike.

Children who normally arrive or depart by themselves will still be allowed once parental permission is given. Again, no mobile phones will be allowed in school. If you are worried about your child walking to school or home alone, then please escort them.

If a parent has a disability or is pregnant, then please contact us to make special arrangement for your child into school. Unfortunately, proof of disability is needed to allow us to be able to make alternative access arrangements. Parents with Blue Badges can just show this as proof. Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions.

Hygiene and illness

There is no need for any child to be wearing a facemask in school, and they will not be allowed entrance with one. The school will continue to ask the children to wash their hands throughout the day. We will also ask that the children continue not to bring anything into school. This includes re-usable lunchboxes, mobile phones or book bags. Any child who does show any of the key symptoms in school will be placed in isolation and their parents contacted immediately to collect the child. The child would not be able to return to school without a negative Covid-19 test and having been in isolation for the 14-day period.

If a child receives a positive Covid-19 test, you must inform the school as soon as possible. We would then follow guidance from the NHS Track and Trace procedures. This would mean that the whole class would need to be isolated at home for 14 days. If this occurs, all children parents affected would be informed straight away. If any child started to show symptoms during the self-isolation period, then they must be tested for Covid-19 and school informed. 

If there was a further positive test in the class or school, there may be a need to isolate one or more year groups. If this occurred, or there was a local or national lockdown, then the school would enable an online learning platform to ensure that lessons continued as best as they could. Further guidance will be issued about this in September.

School Uniform

The school will also be expecting full school uniform to be worn by all children from September. This is government guidance and the expectations are on the website. The school office is unable to take orders but the uniform is available in Clive Marks. Please inform your class teacher or the office if this will cause any issues. Please also remember that there will be no trainers allowed from September. The only exception to this rule is on days where the children will be doing PE lessons. On these days, the children will be allowed to wear tracksuit bottoms and trainers to school for the whole day. The children should still wear their school jumpers with a PE T-Shirt under it. However, we will not allow any Football (or other sports) shirts to be worn. In September, PE will be approximately one-hour lessons on the following days:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
Year 2

Year 5
Nursery

Year 3
Year 4
Year 1

Year 6
Reception

School Day

The children will continue to taught lessons from all subjects, but there will be a higher emphasis on Reading, Writing, Maths and Mental Health in every year group to help the children catch-up any missed knowledge as well as addressing any issues they may have about returning. Currently, the Government has indicated that there will be assessments next Year in Year 1 (Phonics), Year 2 (SATS), Year 4 (Multiplication Tables Test) and Year 6 (SATs). It is vital we prepare your children as much as possible for these tests without putting pressure on them. The children will receive homework every week, but this will be issued through online media. The children will not be able to bring any books or reading diaries into school or home with them in September. This will be reviewed frequently and changed as needed.

The children will be also contained within their classes for Breaktimes and Dinnertimes. There will be no mixing with children from other classes or year groups at all in school. The only exception will be in EYFS, where the Class bubbles will be based on the whole Year group, rather than individual classes. This is due to the EYFS setting being play-based within one large room and outside area. Nevertheless, children in Nursery will not be mixing with children in Reception.

Unfortunately, there will be no school assemblies until after Christmas at the earliest. Each class will still award their Academic Star of the Week and a Values Child of the Week certificates. These certificates will be displayed in school for the week and an electronic copy sent home. As soon as we are able, we will send the originals home with the children. Again, it is sad to inform you that there will be no musical instruments, swimming, visitors or school trips allowed until at least Christmas.

School Dinners

Children who pay for School Dinners will continue to do so for the days they need one. This will be done through the school office for cash or through the new school payment system once it is up and running. More details of this will be released as soon as possible. All dinners need to be ordered in advance and will not be available on same day it is ordered. Please ensure you give at least 24 hours’ notice for a meal to be prepared for your child. Children who receive a Free School Meal will continue as normal.

All children who receive a meal at school, it will be a “packed lunch” approach to ensure the children are not mixing in the dining hall. All children will eat their lunches within their classroom so they are not mixing outside of their class. Children who normally bring in a packed lunch will be able to do this, but the lunch must be brought into school in a disposable bag, not a reusable lunch box. All items will be disposed of as soon as the child has finished eating. School is allowing water bottles to be brought into school as this is deemed safer than having children all accessing the same watering points within the classrooms. These should be filled before they get to school.

Behaviour

The return to school will be a happy return for many children as they see their friends again, but it could also be a traumatic and worrying time for some children, and some children will have difficulty making the adaptation back into a formal learning mode. As a school, we understand and will nurture your child as much as possible during this transition process as everyone makes adaptions, but unfortunately there will be some incidents that we cannot deal with under the risk assessments and procedures for Covid-19. A parent will be called immediately to take their child home if:

• They deliberately leave their bubble/classroom without permission
• Any altercations with other children where any physical contact has broken social distancing rules.
• Any deliberate coughing, spitting, shouting in faces or physical aggression to another child or adult.
• Any acts that would endanger either themselves or other children and adults in the school.

A full review of the behaviour policy is being undertaken due to Covid-19 and more details will be shared with all parents next week.

Whilst we hope that all the children respond to our reminders about behaviour, but we understand this will take time. If you are worried about your child’s return and would like to speak to someone about behaviour, then please contact school so that individual circumstances can be met.

Once again, thank you for your support over these difficult times and please stay safe throughout the summer. Please contact school if we can help in any way.

Best wishes

Darren Mann

Head Teacher

If you would like more information about joining the Trust, or would like an informal chat about our work, please don’t hesitate to call Professor Michelle Shaw on: 01902 518592. JOIN THE TRUST.