Plan for Reopening of School
Next steps towards extending school opening to other children
IMPORTANT: This letter contains a significant amount of information. Please read carefully.
Firstly, can I take this opportunity to hope that you and your families are well and have remained safe during what has been an incredible time over the past few weeks. I would also like to extend my thanks on behalf of all our staff for your support, understanding and kind messages. Staff have worked extremely hard over the past 8 weeks to ensure your child has access to an education and to maintain the positive contact and relationships they have built with those children in their classes. It has been a time of great challenge, and the positive comments and feedback have been much appreciated during this time.
At short notice, the Government has asked schools to open for children in Reception, Y1 and Y6 classes from 1st June, provided their key tests are satisfied by that date. If it is decided that any of the measures have not been met, the Government assure us they will reverse the decision to open schools and we will remain closed to all but Key Worker children and those vulnerable children who currently have a place in school. Unfortunately, it would appear that a decision on this is unlikely to be made until 28th May, meaning that any changes will be short notice. I realise this makes it difficult to plan what your family will be doing from the 1st June, but unfortunately, we have no control over the date of this decision.
If the decision remains that schools should be opened to a wider number of children, I need to be absolutely sure that increasing the number of children in school is safe to children, staff and your wider families and that we can follow the guidance being given by Government to the best of our ability. For this reason, I have taken a number of decisions which will be implemented across school – please see the attached list for full details.
We will be ensuring children are observing strict hygiene guidelines and will be not allow children in school who are showing any signs or symptoms. We will take the temperature of every adult and child each day.
We will open for Reception and Year 1 children from 1st June. This decision has been made in line with our assessment of risks in school. We will look to extend this provision to Nursery and Year 6 over the coming weeks. I will be writing to those parents in Reception and Year 1 to give further information about start and end times and how drop off will work for your child and will keep all parents informed of any further developments.
Many parents have expressed concerns about sending their children back to school at this point in time, and many are simply not sure what to do for the best. By sharing these measures with you, I hope it allows you to make a more informed decision. No parent will be fined or issued warnings for keeping their child off school at this point in time. It is your choice and we respect the decision that any parent makes.
We look forward to welcoming the children back to school as soon as possible. In the meantime, stay safe and well.
Actions taken to ensure children and staff are safe to return to school.
- Key worker children and vulnerable children who already have a place in school will continue to be taught together in a group. They will continue to have full time access to school.
- A phased return to school will be put in place. We will offer places to Reception class and Year One only for the first week. Nursery children who are due to start reception in September will be given a place from the 8th June and Year 6 children from the 15th June. This will be subject to change if we have any doubts bringing more children back will increase the risk in school.
- Children will have a staggered drop off and pick up time. This will mean some children will have a shorter day in school. We have done this in order to reduce the number of parents coming into and out of school and the start and end of the school day.
- We will close at lunchtime on Friday each week to allow staff to have their statutory planning and preparation time. This will be after the children have had lunch and will be in line with a staggered pick up for each group. Due to the small groupings we are unable to release staff in the week, without introducing more adults to your child’s group.
- Parents will not be allowed to come into the building at all. Each gate and doorway will have an area of 2 metres marked off. We ask that under no circumstances do parents come into that space. Children will be met at the gates and escorted into the building by staff.
- It is likely that during pick up and drop off times staff will be wearing PPE (masks, face shields, gloves and aprons) as the number of adults from outside their own home they will come into contact with will be higher at this time.
- Children must not bring bags into school with them. We are asking that children attend school from the 1st June in school uniform, but we are asking that they wear trainers or pumps. This will reduce the need for getting changed and staff having to get close to children to help them with clothing and shoes.
- Where possible, if the weather is fine, please do not send your child into school with a coat. We want to reduce the amount of fabric coming into the building from home and reduce the risk of the spread of the virus.
- If your child has a packed lunch, can it please be sent into school in a plastic or hard container. Staff will be wiping down all lunch boxes coming into school to reduce the risk of transmission.
- Children will be put into a group for the time they are in school. Each group will have no more than 15 children. Each group will have a teacher and a teaching assistant allocated to them. These will be the only adults these children will be with during the day. It is likely that your child will not be in a group with their class teacher and whilst we will try to group children bearing in mind friendship groups, we cannot guarantee this will happen.
- The classes in school will all be set up with desks which will be approximately 2 Metres apart. Each child will be allocated a desk and will be asked to stay at their own desk whilst they are in the classroom. It is possible due to groupings that your child will not be in their usual classroom base. We are currently working on how this will look for our youngest children as we will not be able to provide normal EYFS teaching. We want to balance making this a safe, happy and fun time for children whilst balancing the need to maintain social distancing.
- Each classroom will have an allocated toilet for their group. This will be the only toilet that the group can use. The toilets in Key Stage 1 and 2 will be directly outside of their classroom. All toilets will be relabelled with the class name. There will be a divide in the middle of the cloakroom area to keep groups separate. Only one child will use the toilet at a time and they will need to wash their hands after using the toilet. Toilets will be cleaned frequently throughout the day to reduce the risk of infection.
- Each group will have a separate break time. We are not able to clean the play equipment to reduce the risks so children will not be allowed to use the apparatus. Each class will have a box of items they can play with at break times, however, staff will try to ensure children socially distance at breaktimes, but this is going to be difficult to achieve with young children who want to play with their friends. We will try and take a reasoned and balanced approach to protect everyone.
- There will be no access to the drinking fountains in school. Each class group will have disposable cups and fresh water, which staff will distribute throughout the day. We ask that parents do not send in water bottles from home please.
- Each child will be given a book in which they will complete any work and a set of pencils, rulers and stationary. This will remain on the table and be cleaned by a member of staff at the end of each day. Staff will not be collecting in the books to mark work but will respond to work verbally in the school day.
- All soft furnishings will be removed from classes. No cushions, bean bags, fabric covered chairs, rugs, soft toys or toys which cannot be disinfected easily at the end of each day will be available in classes.
- First aid staff will wear PPE including masks, gloves and aprons to treat any children who needs first aid. PPE will also be worn to provide any close contact care including changing nappies and clothes, giving medications and checking temperatures.
- Every child and member of staff will have their temperature monitored throughout the day. If temperature reaches 37.5 degrees, children will be moved away from their group and monitored. If temperature reaches 37.8 degrees that person, whether child or staff member, will be sent home immediately and asked not to return for 7 days. Testing is now available for anyone over the age of 5.
- Anyone showing symptoms of the virus, including a high temperature, persistent new cough or loss of taste or smell, should not be sent into school under any circumstances. Any confirmed case within a group in school will result in all those in that group being sent home and asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
- Children who are listed in school as having medical conditions such as asthma or allergies will need to have in date medication sent into school with them. If this is not done, parent will be contacted and asked to supply medication or they will be sent home from school.
- Families will need to continue to follow the Government rules for lockdown if sending their children into school. If families are breaking these rules, they put every member of the school community at risk.
These actions are subject to change depending on the latest government guidelines.