I thank you in advance for your time and attention to this update and the information below – it is lengthy, but necessarily so, and I do hope you find it useful for the reopening of school on Monday.
No doubt you will be aware that the government confirmed yesterday the reopening of primary schools to particular year groups from 1st June. We have been working extremely hard to plan and prepare for this eventuality and to minimise the risk of Covid-19 transmission amongst our staff and pupils when school is open once again. We can not guarantee a risk-free environment but have followed Dept. for Education and North Yorkshire Education Services (NYES) guidance, completed a thorough NYES risk assessment and checklist, and will be implementing the stringent measures to prevent virus transmission.
We are currently able to reopen school from 8.55am – 3.30pm Monday to Friday to the pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Critical Worker children and Year 6 who have confirmed their decision to return to school on Monday 1st June. We are ‘at capacity’ in order to provide this offer and, should something such as staff absence occur in the coming days or weeks, we will re-assess the safety of the provision at the school and may need to revert to a reduced offer in the future.
The government’s ambition is to bring all primary year groups back to school before the summer holidays, for a month if feasible. We will only be able to welcome additional year groups to school if stringent measures are relaxed and the most up-to-date assessment of the virus risk indicates it is appropriate to have larger numbers of children within school. If future guidance is released with regard to further opening of schools, the school will need to assess new risks associated with wider opening, and make informed decisions around reintegrating additional pupils based on the new information at that point in time.
Currently, our plan is to continue providing remote teaching for any children not attending school. This, of course, relates to pupils in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 but we are also continuing to provide remote teaching to the minority of pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 who are not attending school. The remote teaching will mirror what is being taught at school as much as possible.
Miss Barron and Miss Harrison will be busy teaching pupils in their classes throughout the day so they will provide a reduced version of the remote teaching previously offered during school closure. Miss Barron will upload Rainbow Challenges at the start of the week onto Tapestry and will then add maths and phonics activities throughout the week when these are being taught in school. Miss Harrison’s daily remote teaching will mirror the classroom lessons as much as possible and will be uploaded the night before each day it is taught in school. Both teachers will provide feedback to pupils at home when possible throughout the week.
Miss Clarke will continue to deliver remote teaching to Year 3 and Year 4 pupils. Mrs Kerr will deliver remote teaching to Year 5 pupils and Mrs Briggs will teach Year 6.
At school, we will be familiarising the children in the first couple of weeks with routines and measures which will minimise the risk of transmission of the virus. This will include regular and effective handwashing, regular cleaning of equipment and high-touch surfaces (eg. door handles) by staff throughout the day, and minimising contact between, and mixing of, pupils and adults. Pupils will remain in the following ‘bubbles’ throughout each day and throughout the week –
Nursery and Reception with Mrs Godfrey, Miss Barron and Mrs Chapman
Year 1 and Critical Worker children with Miss Harrison and Mrs Bennett/Miss Smith
Year 6 with Mrs Briggs and Mrs Calvert.
The ‘bubbles’ of pupils and staff will have their own access and exit points on to the school site, will remain within their own work areas and play areas and will not mix with any other ‘bubble’ throughout the day.
In addition to the stringent arrangements at school, there are a number of things which parents should do to help us to limit the transmission of the virus and we ask that you follow the measures set out below:-
- We ask that any child or staff member who is displaying coronavirus symptoms (unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia)), or who lives with someone who does, not to attend school and that you notify us of this as soon as possible.
- If your child is unwell and presents Covid-19 symptoms whilst at school, we will ask you to collect your child immediately. We ask all parents to ensure that they organise a test for their child in these circumstances, in the event that they develop coronavirus symptoms, and to notify us immediately of the test result. A positive test result will ensure that rapid action can be taken to protect other children and staff in our school. If the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to their school and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation. If the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. Further guidance is here:- https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
- Your child does not wear a face covering or face mask in school – this is not recommended.
- Your child does not bring any items from home to school apart from their coat, water bottle, sunhat/suncream (both named) and packed lunch. Hard surface items such as water bottles, sun cream bottles and packed lunch boxes will be wiped and sanitised as the children arrive in the school building. (It will help us greatly if you apply a layer of suncream to your child before they come to school.)
- Children should wear school uniform but do not need to bring PE kit to school. Your child’s school uniform clothing should be comfortable enough to play active games in as we intend to spend much of our time outdoors. Children should come to school in their trainers to avoid changing footwear throughout the day.
- Children in KS1 and KS2 will have their own allocated table and chair and their own set of stationery, all of which will be cleaned regularly throughout the day. No pencil cases or stationery items should be brought into school from home. Reading books will not be provided by school and we ask that no reading bags or school bags are brought from home into school. Classes 1 and 2 are currently using Oxford Owl e-books to provide online reading at home which mirrors the books we use in school. We ask that Class 3 and 4 children read e-books and home books instead of school books.
- Drop-off and pick-up arrangements –
Class 1 and Class 2 parents and pupils will park on the pub side of the school and Class 4 parents and pupils will park on the other side of the school near the pedestrian gate.
Class 1 pupils will wait for Miss Barron at 8.55am on The Green standing 2 metres apart (hula hoops will be placed on the grass to help with this!) Miss Barron will collect Class 1 from the double gate leading from The Green into the EYFS outdoor area.
Class 2 pupils will wait for Miss Harrison at the double gate at the bottom end of the playground at 8.55am, waiting 2 metres apart from each other.
Class 4 pupils will wait for Mrs Briggs at the pedestrian gate, again 2 metres apart.
Drop-off and collection of children will take place at the same locations each day at 8.55am and 3.30pm. Adults, other than staff members, should not enter the school site and an appointment should be made if a parent wishes to do so.
Lunchtimes are usually a busy time of the day at school and in order to avoid the possibility of close contact between pupils, we will provide packed lunches which will be delivered to each classroom by our school cook. The packed lunch will have a sandwich choice (tuna, cheese or ham) with mini pizza/mini sausage roll, vegetable sticks (pepper/carrot/cucumber), a piece of fruit, and a cake/biscuit (rice crispie bun, flapjack, shortbread, raspberry bun). Children may bring their own packed lunch to school, but we would recommend that a school packed lunch, which is prepared on-site and disposed of at school, should be considered, as this will reduce the transmission risk of the virus. Children taking a school packed lunch will be asked each day for their sandwich choice. These meals will continue to cost £2.75 if you pay for school meals.
Finally, it goes without saying that the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. For some parents, the decision for your child to return to school will not have been easy and, understandably, there will be anxieties about your child’s health. I hope that this update has given you the information you need to understand the arrangements we have made to enable children to return to us from 1 June.
A lot of hard work has taken place since the school closure in March to continue the provision for learning for all of our children and to prepare for the children’s return to school. As we enter a new chapter, our aim is to continue this provision for our children at school and also for those at home. We appreciate the support you have maintained towards our efforts throughout the period of school closure and look forward to continuing to work with you as we enter the next phase of these unusual and challenging circumstances.
If you have any questions or suggestions, please let me know.
Take care, stay safe.