Reception return to school

June 24, 2020

Dear Parents and Carers of Reception Pupils,

Following the successful return of our year 6 and year 1 pupils to school, we are now able to continue our phased reopening of school, by allowing Reception pupils to return from Wednesday 1st July 2020.

Before your children return to school, I wanted to make you aware of the measures we have put in place for the safety of them, your families and the staff at school. Although we will be talking through these with the children when they come to school, I ask that you discuss these with your children in advance so they feel as comfortable with the changes as possible before returning to school.

How will the classes work?

  • The children will be taught in small groups that allows for social distancing within the classroom – this means that they may not be with their class teacher, or be in the same group as some other children in their class. Arrival and departure times will be staggered in accordance with government guidance.
  • Children in one group will not be able to mix with children from another group at any point during the school day even if they are in the same year group. Each group’s lessons, playtimes and lunch will be separate from the other groups.
  • Each group will have one teacher and a teaching assistant allocated to it.
  • Due to the age of the children and the structure of the curriculum, we acknowledge that it may not be possible for children to be completely socially distanced, however we will endeavour to do this where possible.
  • Children will have their own equipment, including stationery, to allow for social distancing. We have purchased additional stationery equipment for each child so that they will not need to share equipment.
  • The children will be taught subjects as normal, but there will be an extra focus on PSHCE to support the children’s emotional well-being and prepare them for their transition to year 1.
  • We will also be trying make use of our wonderful school grounds and take the opportunity to learn outside wherever possible. Once again this will happen within groups, and children will not mix with other groups. Each group will have allocated zones for outdoor learning and play.

What do I need to bring to school?

  • To reduce the risk, we are asking that the children bring nothing to school with them apart from a coat and water bottle – no pencil cases, toys etc. No reading books or homework will be sent between home and school.
  • Children should come in non-uniform so that clothes can be changed and washed at the end of each day, in accordance with government guidance. Please make sure that children are wearing trainers and comfortable clothes so that they can complete PE activities without changing.
  • Children should not be wearing any jewellery.
  • School packed lunches are available to order on Lunchshop. There will be no hot dinners from the dining hall, as the children will be eating in the classrooms. Those children who are entitled to free school meals, or normally pay for school meals, can get a school packed lunch. This should be ordered on Lunchshop as normal. If you wish to bring a packed lunch in from home you may.

How will we organise the drop off and pick up of pupils?

  • Each group will be given a drop off and pick up time. We are staggering these to allow for social distancing. These will be confirmed when we have established definite numbers of pupils attending.
  • You must come at the time allocated. Please form a socially distanced line using the markings provided, on the path to the entrance that you are allocated.
  • Adults will be asked to say goodbye to the children at the allocated door. A member of staff will be on the door to greet the children. Our school will be operating a one-way system for entry and exits to the school. Markings will be used to guide the parents.
  • Parents will not be allowed on the school site (other than drop off and pick up) or in the school building unless there are exceptional circumstances. If you wish to speak to someone in school, please telephone the school or email. In cases of emergency parents can buzz the school office via the intercom at the main entrance.
  • Only one parent or carer should escort their child to school. This is outlined in the government guidance to schools.
  • At the end of the day children will be brought to their allocated exit point, socially distanced, at their allocated time and dismissed to the adults from there. It is very important that parents arrive to pick up their children at the exact times so we do not have overcrowding at the exit points.

What will lunchtime and break times be like?

  • The children will have staggered break times and lunchtimes. These will take place in different zones on the playground.
  • Children will be having their packed lunches in the classroom and each group will have a lunchtime supervisor allocated to them. School packed lunches will be brought to the classroom by the lunchtime supervisor.

How will our expectations of behaviour differ?

  • Children and parents need to arrive as close to possible to times allocated as they will not be allowed onto the school premises until the allotted time so that we can ensure social distancing.
  • Our normal expectations of the children’s behaviour apply but in the interests of everyone’s safety it will be critical the children follow the staffs’ instructions and the rules on social distancing. Any children failing to do this will be removed from the group.
  • We have revised our school rules to include social distancing and safe play with others as advised by the government and will send a copy of the rules so that parents can discuss with these children prior to returning to school. Teachers will also discuss these in detail with the children on return to school to ensure they fully understand the new rules and their importance in keeping everyone safe.

What hygiene measures will be in place?

  • Children will be washing their hands at regular intervals throughout the day. We also have anti-bacterial gel available at entrances and other key point around the school.
  • There will be increased cleaning and the children will not share resources unless they are cleaned in between.
  • Doors will be kept open where possible to prevent contact with door handles.
  • There is no need for parents to do anything other than ensure the normal personal hygiene of your children and washing of clothes following a day in a school.
  • PPE – adults will not be wearing PPE unless there is a specific need e.g. first aid or someone is unwell.

What should you do if you or anyone in your family is unwell?

  • You must not send your child to school if they are unwell or experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19. If any child becomes ill during the day, they will be taken out the class and a parent will be contacted to take them home. School children will have access to testing. If any child tests positive, everyone in the group, including the staff members will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • If children have been in contact with anyone showing symptoms or have had a positive test for Covid-19 then they must self-isolate for 14 days and inform the school.
  • In order to ensure the safety of the rest of the school community it is vital that any parents choosing to send their child to school respect all government guidance and are maintaining a social distance with others outside of their household.

I appreciate that many of these rules sound strict, but we feel they are necessary for the safeguarding of everyone. I am also confident that once the children have had them explained and are used to them then they will still be able to have an enjoyable time in school, even if it is in a very different way to normal. We have had a number of younger Key Worker children in school throughout the past weeks and they have coped really well and enjoyed being in school.

I know there is a lot here to understand but please make sure you have read this letter carefully. We will be constantly reviewing our procedures and will keep parents informed.

In order for us to plan to open, it is vital that I know which reception children parents intend to send in. I know many of you have already responded to our initial survey but I felt it was right, now that we have been issued more guidance from the government and local authority to ask you to consider your decision in light of the more detailed information we are now able to share with you in relation to our school. We will shortly be sending you a text and ask that you reply YES or NO whether you will be sending your child back in reception.

Many of you have indicated that you do not wish to send your children back at this stage. We respect your decision and would like to reassure you that no further action will be taken if you make this choice. We will continue to provide home learning for all pupils who remain at home.

If you or your child has any questions or concerns, please get in contact with us so we can make the transition back in to school as reassuring as possible for them.

Thank you for your support.

Mrs Bailey