Dear Parents/ Carers,
I am writing to you to let you know what our plans are here at Regents Park Community Primary School for full reopening to ALL pupils in September.
On 2nd July, the Government announced plans for the full reopening of schools for all pupils in September. This can be read in full here: https://bit.ly/2CzmTak
The document makes it clear that all children are safe to return to school in September although with precautions and increased safety measures in place. It states that the risk to children's education is greater than any current risk to children's health from Coronavirus providing sensible measures are put into place.
Among the headlines were that, during the Autumn term, schools should plan to:
- Keep children working in groups or bubbles with minimal contact between the groups/ bubbles
- Bubbles should be kept small (class-sized) but, if necessary, bubbles can cover a whole year group
- Social distance as much as possible although it's recognised that not all primary-age children can do this nor should they be expected to
- Ensure that rigorous handwashing and hygiene routines are in place as well as increased cleaning throughout the day
Along with all schools, we have had time to study the new guidance and consider what our plans should be to make sure that school is safe for all the children of Regents Park to return to in September. Because of the size and layout of each school, plans will look different from school to school. Our plans have been discussed with school staff, governors and the local authority and now I am sharing them with parents.
Please note: the plans are temporary and we will return to our normal school organisation and timetables when the Government tell us it is appropriate to do so - this may be in January although it may possibly be longer. In the meantime, we need full support from ALL parents to make sure that ALL children and staff are kept safe.
- Social distancing of 1m+ between children and between children and staff is almost impossible and is not expected – children and staff are to be encouraged to keep a reasonable social distance where possible
- Social distancing between staff and other adults such as parents is to remain at 1m+ at all times
- Use of social bubbles, zones within school and signed movement around school to minimise contact
- Movement around school to be kept at a minimum
- No parents allowed in school - parents should ring or email to arrange an appointment with a member of staff
- Parents must agree to tell school if their child or anyone else in their household has symptoms or has tested positive for Coronavirus
- Parents must agree to follow guidelines on self-isolation and use Test and Trace if necessary
- Regular handwashing and effective hygiene routines to be continued
- Increased cleaning to take place throughout the school day
Dates for reopening in September 2020
- School will be CLOSED on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September for staff training days
- School will OPEN for pupils in Years 1 to 6 on Thursday 3rd September
- School will OPEN for new Reception and Nursery children on Monday 28th September
Delayed start for new Reception and Nursery intake in Autumn
- To support the current Reception moving into Year 1, we are going to delay the start for new Reception and Nursery children until the week beginning Monday September 28th
- This will allow EYFS staff to support the children moving to Y1 with their transition following what has been a disrupted year for them at an early and crucial stage of their education
- It will also allow EYFS staff to arrange appointments with parents of new children coming in to Reception and Nursery and support all new EYFS children
Staggered start times for families
- Unfortunately, to begin with there will be NO breakfast club provision at the start of term
- Families will be given a staggered start time at which ALL the children in that family must arrive
- Staggered start times will be every 10 minutes from 8.30 to 9.00am
- Families can be dropped off at ANY gate (Arthur Street, Camelot Way or Dixon Road) where children will be met by a member of staff
- No parents will be allowed on site and parents must not gather at gates blocking off access for other children to enter
- Children will make their own way from the gate to their classroom
- EYFS and Y1 children MUST be dropped off with the rest of their family at the Camelot Way gates
- Gates will be locked promptly at 9.00am so lessons can begin as soon as possible
- We would urge you to make sure that children are not late but, if they are, they must be taken to the office by a parent via the Arthur Street entrance
Staggered finish times for families
- Families will be given a staggered finish time at which ALL the children in that family must be picked up
- Again, finish times will be staggered in 10 minute slots from 2.30pm to 3.00pm
- All children from Reception to Y6 will be collected from the playground
- When picking children up, parents will only have access to the playground from Dixon Road. Parents should note that parking is not possible near this entrance. Parents should walk to school via Warners Walk or Dixon Road or park within walking distance, e.g. on Cooksey Road or Bolton Road
- Only one adult from each family will be allowed into the playground at a time and any other children with them should be kept by their side
- Adults waiting in the playground must follow directions and should stay behind the yellow line at all times
- Adults waiting in the playground are expected to use the markings in the playground to maintain social distance from others. Please do not stand in areas that restrict others from entering the playground
- All the children will be brought down by a member of staff a few minutes before their pick up time and will wait by the fence around the garden area in the playground until sent across to the parent that is waiting
- Once parents have all their children they must exit the playground quickly following the signs and should not stop to chat to other parents or try to speak to staff
- At the start of the Autumn term, there will be no after school clubs to begin with.
Early closure on Wednesdays
- Unfortunately, during the Autumn term, we will have to close for ALL children on Wednesday afternoons
- There are a few reasons for this decision -
- it means that we can keep each lunchtime the same in terms of school organisation instead of having to change it every day to accommodate staff PPA release time
- it helps to minimise contact between children and staff by allowing us to give staff their release time together for planning and preparation without disrupting the bubbles
- it means that we have a longer period for a deeper clean half way through the week
- This change will be temporary and we will revert back to our normal timetable and school organisation when the Government tells us that it is safe to do so
- Staggered finishes on Wednesday will start from 12.00pm to 12.30pm and will be in similar 10 minute slots
- Arrangements for collection will be the same as on other days
- Pupils who have paid or who are eligible for Free School Meals will be given a grab bag lunch to take home with them
- Children will be given learning activities to take home with them which will either be paper-based or will be online
- Because of the early closure on Wednesdays, we have made a decision not to run AM and PM Nursery groups in the Autumn term. Nursery children will be put in to two groups - one will be in school on Monday and Tuesday and the other will be in on Thursday and Friday
- Nursery will be closed all day on Wednesdays to allow for the deeper cleaning to take place
Year Group and Class Bubbles
- To minimise contact between large groups of pupils/ staff, pupils will be kept in social bubbles in school
- Most of their learning and contact with others will be within class bubbles of up to 30 children
- Some limited contact with other children and staff may take place between class bubbles as part of a year group bubble, e.g. lunchtime and breaktimes
- Some staff in school will be allowed to work across year group bubbles but should try to maintain social distancing
Breaktimes and lunchtimes
- Breaktimes and lunchtimes will be staggered and year group bubbles will be kept separate in playground zones
- EYFS and KS1 children will have their lunch in the hall but KS2 children will have their lunch in the classroom to avoid lining up in corridors
- We would like to minimise the number of children bringing in things from home so we would encourage all children to have a school dinner, particularly those children in EYFS and KS1 as they are all eligible for Universal Infant Free School Meals
- Also, to avoid disruption and minimise contact in school, it would be advisable if children do not go home for lunch at dinnertimes
- To avoid queuing, children will be given a menu to choose their lunch each morning which they will hand in to their teacher. Their dinner will then be pre-served to them at lunchtime
- Children in EYFS will be given a menu a week ahead on a Thursday so that it can be completed with their parents at home and then returned by the next day
- As part of their lunch, children in Y1 and EYFS will be given an afternoon snack to be eaten part way through the afternoon session in class
- Children will be expected to wear correct uniform as normal from September - please make sure children have white shirts, bottle green jumpers/ cardigans, grey/ black trousers or skirts and black shoes for the beginning of term
- On PE days, children can wear their PE kit uniform to school. PE kit uniform consists of:
- Plain white t-shirt
- Plain black or grey tracksuit/ sweatshirt/ hoodie/ shorts
- Black or grey socks
- Plain black/ grey trainers
- No brands/ logos
- Trainers can't be worn for indoor PE - children can wear plimsolls or will be barefoot indoors
Attendance and punctuality
- From September, the Government has made it clear that attendance at school is no longer optional and it is expected that ALL pupils will attend school
- The Government has said that parents can be fined from September if they continue to refuse to send children into school. We hope this won't be the case at Regents Park and that we can speak to you and assure you if you have any concerns about your children returning
- Punctuality is going to be vital from September in order to ensure that reasonable distancing can be maintained. We would ask you to arrive to drop off children or to pick them up at exactly the time that you are given so that we don't have too many families around the site or on the playground at any one time.
Pupils who are not well/ self-isolating
- Children that are not well and are showing symptoms of Covid 19 must not attend school and should self-isolate for a minimum of 7 days with household members self-isolating for 14 days.
- Parents MUST contact school to let us know if a child is not well and not coming in for any reason
- Children that are well but are part of a household that is self-isolating must not attend school during that period and, again, parents should contact school to let us know
- If a child starts to feel unwell at school and, in particular, if they are showing Covid19 symptoms, they will be isolated from everyone else and we will expect them to be collected immediately.
- All children and school staff can now access testing if they are showing symptoms. If a child is tested for COVID-19 and the test is positive, parents must contact the school immediately as the rest of the child’s class bubble will also have to self-isolate. We will liaise with Public Health England if there are any confirmed cases for further guidance and advice.
- If a child is tested and the test is negative, the child and their class bubble may be able to return to school
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Although you may choose for your child to wear PPE (face masks/ plastic gloves) on the way to school, the Government are not recommending its use in school by either children or staff unless a member of staff is supervising a child who has been isolated and is waiting to be collected.
- Children that wear face masks and gloves on the way to school will be expected to give it to their parent before they come in to school or bring a plastic bag to put it in to so it can be tied up during the school day
- Regents Park Community Primary School has taken a variety of additional measures to ensure the safety of all children and staff on site when reopening. It is vital that these measures are followed and school will not tolerate pupils ignoring the rules set out or any deliberate attempts to endanger the health and safety of other children or staff, e.g. not maintaining reasonable social distance, coughing or spitting at or towards others. This will be regarded as a serious breach of the school rules and staff will follow usual guidelines set out in the behaviour policy and Covid 19 policy addendum.
- Where pupils do not comply with the amended school behaviour policy, parents may be asked to pick their child up and take them home. Continual behaviour issues that endanger pupils and staff may lead to individual pupils receiving further sanctions
Parent/ School Communication
- It is vital that school can communicate quickly and effectively with parents
- Parents must make sure that mobile phone contact numbers are kept up to date
- Parents must make sure that they can be contacted quickly during the school day in case of emergency, e.g. a child falls ill with symptoms or school needs to close quickly
- Parents must make sure that there is more than one emergency contact available
- Parents must contact school immediately if a child or a household member shows symptoms or is diagnosed with Coronavirus.
- Children can be tested if showing symptoms and parents must let school know immediately what the outcome of any test is
- School will also let parents know immediately if a child from the same bubble is diagnosed with Coronavirus
- Please note: if a child or member of staff is diagnosed with Coronavirus, this may not mean that the whole school is closed. It may mean that a class or year group bubble are asked to self-isolate. We will take and follow advice from Public Health England on this.
Emotional support for pupils in school
- Families have been affected in different ways during the past few months and this will have been unsettling to all of our children. Children will be supported emotionally in a variety of ways throughout the school day, from planned teaching activities to bespoke support as and when needed.
- Our pastoral support staff will be available to provide one to one support for pupils although it will be following social distance guidelines
- Please let school know if your family has been affected directly by Coronavirus and school will work together with parents in order to try and help all children through these uncertain times
Other things for parents to note:
- From Y3 to Y6, classrooms will be arranged with tables in rows facing the front of the class. EYFS and KS1 will continue to have tables grouped together with carpet space for other group teaching
- We would like to minimise items that children bring to and from home. However, because of the importance of reading, books can be taken home and returned to school
- There will be no large gatherings during the Autumn term, i.e. no assemblies taking place
- There will be no breakfast club or after-school clubs initially although we will be trying to arrange for catch up tuition for children that need it to start up as soon as possible in the Autumn term
- Children will be expected to wash hands regularly throughout the school day. There will be extra wash basins and handgel available for children and staff to use as often as possible
- Some shared equipment will be used in school but we will ensure it is wiped and cleaned down between use by different bubbles. Some equipment such as pens, pencils, rulers, etc will be organised into individual packs for each child to use.
- If the school is closed or there is a local lockdown, children will be expected to return to learning from home. Parents should aim to be able to support children with their learning whether paper-based or online.
There is a lot of information to take in so we are organising for a member of staff to ring each family to talk through it all with you. Obviously if you have any concerns or questions please don't hesitate to contact school and let us know and we will get back to you as soon as possible. You can ring school as normal on 0121 464 6746 or email using the address firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope we can work with all the parents and families of Regents Park to make sure that everyone including children, families and staff remain safe and well. We look forward to seeing you in September.