Thank you to all our parents and carers for their support, understanding and cooperation since we had to change to providing care only for our vulnerable children and children of critical workers back in March. This period has been challenging for all of us.
Since then, we have been operating with a smaller group size and additional hygiene and infection control measures. This group (now called Rainbow Bubble) will continue to remain together and have the same school day timings, but there will be a change of room and entrance/exit to allow for distancing from the other Bubbles.
Our school’s phased re-opening to other pupils will begin on Monday 15th June, starting with Year 6. (Our current plans are for Year 1 to follow starting on Monday 22 June, and then Reception and Nursery on Monday 29th June. (We started with the older pupils first who understand social distancing).
Protective measures in school in light of coronavirus (COVID-19)
First and foremost, the safety of your child and of our staff is our top priority. We are determined to open as safely as possible by implementing measures that will limit the risk of coronavirus transmitting within our school.
The main steps we are taking to ensure safe reopening include:
- Keeping our children in small groups with consistent staffing (as far as possible), and minimising contact with other Bubbles in school.
- Maintaining high standards of hygiene including regular hand washing and sanitising.
- Ensuring good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and providing a plentiful supply of tissues and lidded bins throughout the school.
- Implementing an enhanced cleaning regime, including extra toilet cleaning and ensuring any ‘touch points’ are cleaned regularly (such as table tops, door handles, taps and play equipment).
- Asking parents and carers to physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children, and limiting drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household.
- Implementing a staggered start and finish time to our school day
- Implementing staggered play times and lunch times
- Minimising transfer by requiring children not to bring any items from home to school except for a named water bottle (and packed lunch box where required).
Anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who has symptoms,
must not attend our school or enter our school premises.
What will this look like for your child?
Our children will need to quickly get used to the requirements for social distancing and adapt to new ways of working. It will be a learning curve for all of us.
There will not be more than 15 children in any one Bubble.
For maximum safety, we ask that only one adult drops off and picks up their child. No waiting on the yard or at the school gates, please. (Year 6 children are permitted to arrive and leave independently at parents’/carers’ discretion). If you have any queries or need to see someone in school, please go to the main school office door and ring the number. In most circumstances there will be no need to enter the building.
Once in school, below is a list of our expectations for all our pupils:
- As school is re-opening for education purposes, children should come in uniform. However, this uniform may be adapted slightly for learning outside. i.e. trainers, comfortable bottoms. It is advised that clothes are changed on a daily basis.
- Children will enter the school yard via their designated gate and there will be socially distanced spots on the yard for the children to stand on. Bubble teachers will come and collect the children from their area.. They will immediately sanitise their hands and go straight to the classroom.
- High standards of cleaning and hygiene are expected from everyone. Children will be expected to wash their hands at regular intervals. Frequently touched surfaces and equipment will be cleaned thoroughly daily.
- Movement around school will be limited. Some areas will be closed. Children will be expected to follow a designated route through corridors for their Bubble and avoid contact with any other Bubbles. Windows will be open and doors will be propped open to allow natural ventilation and to avoid unnecessary touching of door handles.
- Toilets will be used one at a time throughout the day. No other Bubbles will use the same toilets. They will be cleaned thoroughly each day.
- Children will be able to hang their coats up in their designated Bubble cloakroom but the named pegs have been distanced appropriately.
- Children will be work in their designated classroom with the windows open at all times. Only essential furniture and those resources which can be easily be cleaned will be used. Soft furnishings will have been removed.
- Individual workstations will be organised the required 2-metres apart. Each station will include a desk and chair, a tray for books, a Chromebook and a pot/packet of new equipment for the child’s own personal use. The children will only use their own station and will return to it the following day after thorough cleaning. No pencil cases to be brought from home.
- Each teacher will have a 2-metre squared teaching space at the front of the classroom.
- We hope to offer lots of outdoor learning to take place in the school grounds, and non-contact PE will also be taught. A PE kit will not be needed as yet.
- The children will have separate break times and lunch times from other Bubbles. They may bring a snack (fruit) for their own use at this time. Socially distanced games will be encouraged.
- Each child must bring their own water bottle and return it home at the end of the day for thorough washing. No cups will be available for drinks.
- We ask that the children only bring themselves, a water bottle and a small snack into school for the moment.
We can appreciate that these measures may seem very different; your child’s experience of school will not be the same as before we changed our provision.
Our school are following the government guidelines in order to reduce the risk as far as possible but we cannot eradicate the risks completely. We have a comprehensive risk assessment in place, which will be under constant review, and we will inform you as quickly as possible of any new measures or changes.
It is understandable and normal that your child might be feeling worried or anxious during this uncertain time. From classrooms to playtime, things will be a little different at school. Please talk to your child about these changes and why they are necessary before they return to prepare them for the new expectations.
If your child does present with COVID-19 symptoms you must keep your child at home and let school know immediately.
We are looking forward to supporting your children on the next stage of their journey and we hope that they are looking forward to returning to school and continuing their learning. Emotional well-being is very important to our school family and we hope that your children will feel safe and happy whilst in school.
If you have any questions, concerns or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher or a member of the Senior Leadership Team. Please keep in regular contact with us, especially if you feel your child will need some extra support to settle back in. If you suspect your child is becoming anxious, let us know so that we can work together to find a solution.
Tips for Parents & Caregivers – preparing your child to return to school
- Start talking – your child might have worries about returning to school. You can explore these and help them think of ways to manage them using our Time for Us pack or the resources on the Family Links website.
- Sleep routine – help your child return to their normal sleep routine in the weeks before school starts again. Our “How to…” guide on improving sleep could be a good place to start.
- Talk about school – start to talk through the daily routine that they were once so familiar with. It doesn’t have to start as a conversation about worries, but these might arise as you talk.
- Model coping strategies you use when feeling stressed such as reconnecting with friends before returning, doing regular exercise or using breathing techniques. If it applies, you could share your own worries and feelings about returning to work and ways you are managing these feelings.
- Make yourself available as much as possible – they may want to come and “debrief” but maybe not when you expect. Create space for talking in different ways, such as going on a walk together or baking together – there may be less pressure in these circumstances than when sitting face-to-face.
- Look at the positives – as schools reopen, other things will too. It might be helpful to talk about things the child is looking forward to, like their favourite shop reopening, seeing friends in the park or getting ice cream from their favourite café.
Further links to support for handling back-to-school anxiety
- 5 tips for handling back-to-school anxiety from the BBC
- A return to school guide for parents of children with autism from the National Autistic Society
- 10 ways for parents to help their children cope with change from Mentally Healthy Schools
- CBeebies guide to managing anxiety in Primary School