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Return to school 1 June Final details

28th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I write to you to set out the arrangements we have made to open Churchend School from 1st June 2020 using a staggered approach to bring in groups, as classrooms are prepared.

Thank you.

Before I set out these arrangements, I would like to take this opportunity to thank parents and carers for their understanding and cooperation since we had to close to the majority of children from 23rd March 2020. I know that this period has been challenging for many families, in particular when you have had to juggle work commitments with managing childcare and your children’s learning.

I am pleased to let you know that, further to the government’s announcement that Year 6, Year 1, Reception and Nursery will open from the week beginning 1 June.  We are using a staggered approach to open first to Year 6 on the 1st June. Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will open on Tuesday the 2nd June. Children will return to school on a full time basis. This will be reviewed every two weeks and may be subject to change dependent on Government guidance, pupil numbers and staff availability in order to ensure the safety of our school community.

Which children can attend from 1 June?

As you may be aware, we have remained open for the children of key workers and vulnerable children and have been operating with smaller group sizes and additional hygiene and infection control measures. We will remain open for them until wider opening is confirmed and they will be expected on the 1st June where they will be taught in a group of 15 or less children from year 2-5. These children will enter the school grounds via the back gate which has been used in the past for after school club collection. They will then line up next to the dining room windows and bike shelter. (This only includes children who have been booked in by parents as per the key worker booking system.)

Year 6 will also attend from the 1st June and their line-up is also outside dining room and they have line up markings on the floor. Year 6 will  enter via the back gate/ after school clubs collection point. Year 6 should be entering the school property on their own to minimise the number of people in one area.

Which children can attend from 2 June?

Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will start on the 2nd June. Nursery will enter through their normal gate but please follow the one -way arrows and social distance markers.

Reception and Year 1 will enter through the main gate, following the one- way arrows and social distance markers. These will direct you to the drop off points. After drop off please follow the arrows around the one -way system to exit the school. This is to allow safe social distancing whilst on the property. If you have children in two different year groups with different drop off times, please drop off the first child at the earlier drop off and then proceed immediately to the next class where someone will be present to receive your child.

Please see the rota:

Class

Drop off

Collection

Nursery

8:30

14:30

Reception – Group A

8:55

14:55

Reception – Group B

9:05

15:05

Reception – Group C

9:15

15:15

Year 1 – Group A

8:50

14:50

Year 1 – Group B

9:00

15:00

Year 1 – Group C

9:10

15:10

Year 6 Leopard

8:35

14:35

Year 6 Tiger

8:40

14:40

Key Worker Provision (Y2 – Y5)

8:45

14:45

 

 

For the vast majority of children and young people, coronavirus is a mild illness. Some categories of children with specific serious health conditions should not attend their early years setting/ school . If you are unsure whether your child should attend the setting due to a health condition that they or someone they live with has, please contact us so we can discuss the details with you.

 

 

Protective measures we are taking in light of coronavirus (COVID-19)

First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. We are working hard, following the latest government guidance, to develop and implement a number of new ways of operating. This will allow us to open as safely as possible, focusing on measures that will help limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our setting. We have PowerPoint presentation with all guidance and links on the website and this will be updated regularly.

Some of the steps we are taking in readiness for reopening include:

  • Asking that anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who does, not to attend the setting. That includes children and staff who work here.
  • Keeping our children in small groups with as much consistent staffing as possible, and minimising contact with other groups around the setting.
  • Cleaning our hands more often than usual. We have developed routines to ensure children understand when and how to wash their hands, making sure they wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using 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 our children understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins throughout the setting.
  • Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by children and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including table tops, door handles and play equipment.
  • Asking parents and carers to physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household.
  • Asking children not to bring toys or other items from home to the setting, unless this is essential to their health and wellbeing.

What can parents and carers do to help?

There are a number of things parents and carers can do to help us make these arrangements effective, in addition to the points listed above concerning arrival and departure and not bringing toys to the setting.

Expectations for parents and carers when children return to school

For our children, staff and parents returning to school will be very different. The focus will be on minimising the risk of infection and keeping everybody safe. We will continue to follow Government guidance about good hygiene practises and advice about social distancing. All children attending school will be expected to follow instructions from staff and behave appropriately to ensure everyone’s health and safety. Staff have worked hard to prepare social stories specifically written with your children in mind to explain what school will be like on their return. The aim of this document is to reassure children and focus on the positive aspects of returning to school. Please take the time to share the social story with your child to support staff in welcoming your child back to school.

To maintain the safety of pupils, parents/carers and staff, it is essential 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.

Attendance

We have implemented plans to accommodate those children whose parents/carers have indicated their attendance. Your response has enabled us to prepare classrooms to ensure there are no more than 15 children per class. Children must not turn up unannounced, as special measures have been taken to prepare adequate space and appropriate staffing in all classrooms. If you require a place for your child, email the school office so that we can modify our plans for the following week. You will be notified by the office about your child’s return date to school. The government’s guidance states that parents/carers will not be penalised for their children’s non-attendance at this stage. These children will also continue to receive home learning support via the internet/email and we will try to match this, where possible, to the learning being taught in class. Parents/carers who are key workers and/or have children in returning year groups should continue to contact school if pupils are not attending, as the office will be following up on absences in the usual way.

School Uniform

Children are asked to come in school uniform that is suitable to wear inside and outside the classroom. Children will need to be able manage their uniform independently so that staff will not need to support children with items of clothing. Children should not wear ties and 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 there is no need for anything other than normal personal hygiene and washing of clothes following a day in a school. Uniform that cannot be machine washed should be avoided.  If this isn’t possible or items of uniform no longer fit your child, then please wear a suitable alternative in line with the above.

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.

Lunchtime and snack

 Please provide your child with a packed lunch and snack, that they can unwrap themselves and a water bottle. Infants children (Nursery to year 2) will continue to receive free fruit and vegetables as part of the government scheme. 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 and year 1 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 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.

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. If your child is upset or their anxiety prevents them from doing this, you will be asked to try the next day.  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. Children arriving later than their given drop off time will need to wait off the school premises until 9.30 when the playground has cleared of other parents/carers. Late arrivals will need to come through the main school office. Only pupils will be able to enter the foyer. To avoid congestion, you may be asked to leave and return on the next school day.

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.

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

We will not be using cloakrooms at this time.  Children will need to be able to store their belongings in a bag on the back of their chair or at their individual work space. 

To control possible infection transmission, we ask parents and carers to minimise the number of personal items brought in to school. For the time being, children are not required to bring in PE kits. As a consequence their school uniform and footwear must be appropriate for indoor and outdoor use. Please do not provide children with a pencil case.  Instead, your child will be provided with an individual pack of age appropriate resources and/or books for learning. Older children will be asked to complete all work in a single book, which will be kept at school.  If your child was provided with a home learning book then please return this on his/her first day.

For the time being, children will not be provided with reading books to take home. Instead, parents and carers are asked to continue to use online resources at home. Year 6 pupils may come to school with one of their own reading books.

Parents must ensure all items are brought into school with the child in the morning as no items will be accepted at the office later in the day and children will not be able to request that items are brought up to school.

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. 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 postbox 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.

Testing

Once early years and schools open to more children, all children who are attending a childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. The aim is to enable children to get back to childcare, and their parents or carers not to need to self-isolate any longer than is necessary, if the test proves to be negative. A positive test will ensure rapid action to protect other children and staff in their setting.

We ask all parents and carers to ensure they organise a test for their child, in the event that they develop coronavirus symptoms, and notify us immediately of a positive test. Further guidance is available about getting tested.

Conclusion

I hope that this letter has given you the information you need to understand what arrangements we have made to enable children to return to us from 1 June. We are looking forward to welcoming your children back and I hope that you are assured that we have taken all possible steps to ensure safety for all in our setting.

Kind regards

 

Richard Pearse

 

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