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Information and Expectations for Parents, Carers and Pupils returning to school

Dear Parents/Carers

The new academic year starts on Thursday 3rd September 2020. We would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our families back to Churchend School and reassure everyone that we are doing and will continue to do our best to make Churchend safe for all pupils. We have completed risk assessments to introduce safety measures.  Our one-way system for drop off/collection ensures there is a flow of traffic with little gathering or crossing over. We will also have the following measures in place from September 2020:

 

  • Classes remain in bubbles with no large gatherings over 30 in confined, indoor spaces. Movement between bubbles is restricted and limited.
  • Lunches will be held in classrooms with food delivered to the classroom by the class lunch-time carer. Every class has a dedicated carer
  • Classes have dedicated play areas and times at break and lunch. The adventure play area is sprayed with sanitising cleaner
  • There are hand cleaning stations and cleaning products to clean all areas and equipment used. Children will wash their hands before and after activities, on entering/ exiting the building and both before and after eating. They will have their own pens, pencils and other stationery. Books will be quarantined on return.
  • Windows and doors will be open and rooms are well ventilated
  • Children will be seated in rows and not in groups opposite each other. Social distancing will be observed as much as possible within government guidelines.
  • There will be staggered drop off and collection times to minimise the numbers of adults coming into contact with each other. The times are in the table below. If you have more than one child to drop off then drop all your children at the earliest time allocated for your first child. Year 6 will enter through the back entrance on their own.
  • Movement around the school will be limited and people will avoid confined or poorly ventilated spaces. Toilets will be restricted to no more than 4 pupils at a time when using the toilets or wash basins.

 

For our children, staff and parents returning, school will be very different. The focus will be on minimising the risk of infection and keeping everybody safe. To maintain the safety of pupils, parents/carers and staff, it is critical that everyone follows the expectations set out below:

Illness

If you, your child or a member of your household have symptoms of coronavirus, you must not come on to the school premises. We also ask that children who are unwell (coronavirus or otherwise) do not attend school to avoid the additional pressure this places on staffing. Children and staff who display symptoms of coronavirus while at school, will be isolated and sent home. Please ensure that you update the school office with two emergency contacts, by phoning or emailing.  Also, it is important that you provide an alternative emergency contact if your current contact is shielding or in a clinically vulnerable group and would be unable to come to school to collect your child in an emergency.

Actions you can take

Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if:

Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms. Inform your nursery, childminder, school or college of the results.

If the test is positive, follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process

 

Attendance

Attendance is now compulsory

(Please see the government guidance on attendance at the end of this letter)

 

 

School Uniform

Children are asked to come in school uniform. Children will need to be able manage their uniform independently so that staff do not need to support children with items of clothing. Children must wear shoes that they can manage themselves. If your child cannot tie their own laces then please provide them with Velcro or slip-on shoes.  For younger children, elasticated fitting clothes that they can manage independently would be preferable. Government guidance says that items of uniform should be machine washable and washed daily.  

Children should wear their PE kit to school on PE days and they will not require uniform on these days. They must also ensure they have a raincoat and jacket or tracksuit to keep warm if the weather is inclement. Children will not be required wear any school uniform after PE. It is hoped this will reduce the amount of clothing left in school and the PE kit will go home to be washed after PE. It would be wise to have an extra dry shirt, socks and shorts on rainy days.

Facemasks

Children who wear facemasks to school will need a plastic bag to place the mask in when they enter the classroom. This bag will be placed in their school bag so that those who need the facemask for public transport do not lose them.

Warm Weather

Children must be provided with a sun hat and sun cream.  For younger children, please apply sun cream at home before coming to school.

Wet/Cold Weather

Please ensure your child has a waterproof raincoat and school jumper/cardigan on cold or wet days.

Lunchtime and snack

Please provide your child with a packed lunch and snack, that they can unwrap themselves and water bottle. Infant children (Reception to Year 2) will continue to receive free fruit and vegetables as part of the government scheme. You can book school dinners as normal. School dinners will be provided as packed lunches to enable children to eat in their classroom bubble or eat outside as a picnic. Reception, Year 1  and 2 children will continue to receive Universal Infant Free School Meals, as will children who are on the Pupil Premium Free School Meal system in year 3- 6.

Morning Routine

We have established a staggered timetable and one-way system (see maps) to drop off and collect children to reduce contact and mixing between people as much as possible, for the safety of children, staff and our families.

Parents/carers will be restricted to one adult dropping off and collecting. Year 6 must come on to the school premises by themselves. No parents/carers will be able to enter the school building. Parents are asked to come on to the school premises at the time outlined below. If you are dropping off and collecting children from more than one year group then you will be asked to drop off and collect all children at the earliest time.

 

 

 

 

SEPTEMBER 2020 DROP OFF/PICK UP TIMES

Please see the rota:

Class 

Start time 

End Time 

Entrance 

Reception  Fox 

8:50 

15:05 

Classroom door 

Reception Squirrel 

9:00 

15:20 

Classroom door 

Year1 Kangaroo 

8:55 

15:15 

Classroom door 

Year 1 koala 

9:00 

15:20 

Classroom door 

Year2 Hedgehog 

8:55 

15:15 

Classroom door 

Year 2 Badger 

8:50 

15:10 

Classroom door 

Year 3 Sharks 

8:45 

15:05 

Year 3 Stairwell door 

Year 3 Penguins 

8:50 

15:10 

Year 3 Stairwell door 

Year 4 Wolves 

9:00 

15:20 

Year 4 Stairwell door 

Year 4 Bees 

8:45 

15:05 

Year 4 Stairwell door 

Year 5 Hawk 

8:45 

15:05 

Classroom door 

Year 5 Falcon 

8:50 

15:10 

Classroom door 

Year 6 Lion 

8:40 

15:00 

Rear entrance  

Year 6 Leopard 

8:45 

15:05

Rear entrance 

Year 6 Tiger 

8:45 

15:05

Rear entrance 

Nursery 

9:00 

15:00    (12:00) 

Nursery front door 

 

 

 

Please follow the yellow arrows on the ground and the clockwise rotation around the school.

 

 

To reduce congestion and maintain social distancing, your child must enter the school building independently, when asked to do so. Staff will be there to welcome your child but will only be able to verbally encourage children to enter the classroom.  It is vital that parents/carers support pupils to develop a positive attitude about returning to school and avoid sharing their own anxieties, as children will pick these up and may become more anxious.

Children who arrive late due to a medical or similar appointment must enter through the main school office and sign in with office staff as usual. Late arrivals will need to come through the main school office. Only pupils will be able to enter the foyer.

 

Parent/carer and staff discussions

To maintain social distancing and reduce congestion, at drop off and pick up times parents and carers are asked not to discuss issues with staff at their classroom door. Parents and carers are advised to phone or email the school office and leave a message that will be passed on to the teacher or relevant member of staff. Unfortunately most communication will have to be via email of telephone at the moment.

Phones

Pupils must not bring phones to school as they will not be able to leave them at the office.  If your child needs to contact you outside of their school hours they must ask their teacher to make arrangements for a call home from the office.  Children will not be permitted to speak to office staff themselves.

Classroom equipment

To control possible infection transmission, we ask parents and carers to minimise the number of personal items brought in to school. Your child will be provided with an individual pack of age appropriate resources and/or books for learning. There will be no sharing of stationery and reading books that are returned to school will go into a quarantine box.

Parents must ensure all items are brought into school with the child as no items will be accepted at the office later in the day.

 

 

School Office

Parents who need to speak to the admin team will be able to enter the front lobby of the school by speaking to the office staff through the intercom. Only one family will be allowed in the foyer at a time or a maximum of 4 people. To minimise the number of people on site, email or phone calls are preferable for information that is needed for or from Office Staff. A post box is on the outside of school admin, should parents need to deliver documents and the contents will be sorted after 24 hours. If anything is urgent, a call or email is the best method.

 

We will constantly monitor the situation and make adjustments accordingly to ensure safety.

Please see the government guidance and links below:

 

DFE guidance to Parents:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term

Actions that nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges will take

We have asked nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges to:

  • manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the school or college, in line with current public health guidance - this means your child may be asked to self-isolate for 14 days by their nursery, childminder, school or college (based on advice from their local health protection teams) if they have been in close, face to face contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus
  • ensure that everyone cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive, when they return from breaks, and before and after eating - this should be done for 20 seconds with soap and running water or hand sanitiser
  • promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach, to ensure good respiratory hygiene
  • enhance cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often

Nurseries and childminders will also minimise contact between individuals where they can. This could mean using different rooms for different age groups and keeping those groups apart.

Schools and colleges will minimise contact and encourage maintaining distance as far as possible. They will decide how best to do this because it will be different for each school or college. This will involve asking children and young people to:

  • stay within specified separate groups (or bubbles)
  • maintain distance between individuals

We know that younger children may not be able to maintain social distancing. It is likely that for younger children the emphasis will be on separating groups, and for older children, it will be on distancing.

Actions you can take

Do not send your child to their nursery, childminder, school or college if:

Arrange a test if you or your child develops symptoms. Inform your nursery, childminder, school or college of the results.

If the test is positive, follow guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.

It is really important that you help nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges to implement these actions by following the advice set out here and wider public health advice and guidance.

Curriculum

We have set out what we expect schools to teach when pupils return in the autumn. Schools will provide an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects.

There may need to be changes to some subjects, such as PE and music, so that schools can teach these subjects as safely as possible.

We expect colleges to return to full, high-quality study programmes in the new academic year.

Schools and colleges will also make plans for providing remote education if needed. This means that if your child needs to stay at home, due to shielding or self-isolation, their school or college will support them to continue learning.

We have already announced a catch up package worth £1 billion to ensure that schools have the resources they need to help pupils make up for lost teaching time, with extra support for those who need it most.

Assessment and exams

Assessments in primary or junior schools

Children and young people have missed a critical period of their education due to schools having to close to the majority of pupils to control the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). It is vital that we better understand the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on children’s education and give support to schools that need it the most. To support this, we are planning for statutory primary assessments for those going into year 6 in September to take place in summer 2021.

Online safety

Most people, including children, have been spending more time online, whether that is in the classroom or at home.

See the support for parents and carers to keep children and young people safe from online harm. It suggests resources to help keep children and young people safe from different risks online and where to go for support and advice. Support to stay safe online includes information on security and privacy settings.

Mental health and wellbeing

Nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges will understand that some children and young people may be experiencing feelings such as anxiety, stress or low mood as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

There are online resources available to help you and your child with mental health, including:

  • MindEd, a free educational resource from Health Education England on children and young people’s mental health
  • Rise Above, which aims to build resilience and support good mental health in young people aged 10 to 16
  • Every Mind Matters, which includes an online tool and email journey to support everyone to feel more confident in taking action to look after their mental health and wellbeing
  • Bereavement UK and the Childhood Bereavement Network, provide information and resources to support bereaved pupils, schools and staff

It is also vital to report any safeguarding concerns you have about any child. Contact the NSPCC helpline or Barnardo’s support service.

Education, health and care (EHC) plans

During the outbreak, we needed to make some of the specified special education and health care provision within EHC plans more flexible.

This flexibility has now ended, which means that if your child has an EHC plan they should receive the support they need as usual when they return to school.

School and college trips

From the autumn term, schools and colleges can resume educational day trips in the UK. They must follow the latest public health guidance and wider guidance for schools and colleges on the actions they can take to reduce risks.

We currently advise against overnight trips in the UK and overseas educational visits.

Extra-curricular activities

Schools can run breakfast and after-school activities from the autumn term. Schools will need to make sure these can be delivered in line with the wider guidance on protective measures. This means they may need to run things differently.

Talk to your child’s school to check whether they will running breakfast and after-school activities.

Out-of-school settings, such as holiday or after-school clubs, can open to children and young people of all ages. It remains important that they put protective measures in place to help reduce the risk of transmission.

To minimise risks, consider:

  • sending your child to the same setting consistently
  • limiting the number of different settings you access

Ask the organisation that runs the activity what they are doing differently to reduce any risks.

There is advice available for parents on the use of these clubs and activities.

Local outbreaks

Nurseries, childminders, schools and colleges will contact their local health protection team if they:

  • have 2 or more confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among pupils or staff within 14 days
  • see an increase in children or staff absence rates due to suspected or confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)

The local health protection team will advise what action is required. Usually, closure will not be necessary, but some groups may need to self-isolate.

If an outbreak in a school or college is confirmed, a mobile testing unit may be dispatched. They will test everyone who may have been in contact with the person who has tested positive. Testing will first focus on the person’s class, followed by their year group, then the whole school or college, if necessary.

If your local area sees a spike in infection rates that results in localised community spread, the government will decide what actions need to be taken.

Your child’s school or college should provide remote education if:

  • groups of pupils need to self-isolate
  • a larger restriction of attendance at school or college is needed

 

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