Dear Parents/ Carers
We are looking forward to welcoming children back to Regents Park for the new academic year from Thursday 3rd September 2020.
As you know, this will be the first time we have been fully open to all pupils since lockdown began on March 20th. In order to make sure that all children, parents and staff are safe, we have put into place some additional guidance related to our COVID-19 response which we need all parents to read and understand before returning to school this week. Much of this was shared in July before the Summer holiday began; however, there have been some slight amendments so, although it is long and detailed, I would urge you to read it again before bringing your children to school on Thursday.
Guidance for parents and familiesin light of Covid-19 response
Please note that the following guidance is subject to change – we will continue to follow national and local guidelines, consider concerns raised by staff, children and parents and monitor local and national rates of virus infection and, as such, review and adjust this guidance as appropriate.
The aim of this guidance is to give a clear breakdown of the key measures to be implemented to ensure that school can successfully and safely open for all groups of pupils from September 2020.
Key aims during this period in terms of COVID-19 response:
- Support the safe reopening of the school to all pupils from Nursery through to Year 6
- Ensure the health and safety of all pupils and staff working in school
- Support pupils in all year groups, providing them with a curriculum that will help them to catch up, especially in reading and other key areas of the curriculum
- Support all pupils with their mental health and wellbeing following lockdown and school closure, especially individual pupils who are identified as a cause for concern
- Ensure contingency planning is in place in the event of any future school closure due to COVID-19, making sure online or paper-based home learning is available and accessible for all pupils and provision is available to provide safe childcare for Key Worker/ Vulnerable Families
Key strategies in terms of COVID-19 response
There are 5 key strategies that will be in place in order to ensure school is a safe environment for all pupils and staff. These are:
- Social Distancing
- Minimising contact
- Increased focus on handwashing and effective hygiene routines for all
- Increased cleaning across school throughout the school day
- Ensuring all pupils, families and staff follow Government guidance on self-isolation, quarantine, testing and track and trace procedures
Ensuring social distancing is a key strategy in terms of our COVID-19 response. Social distancing between children and between children and staff is almost impossible and will not be an expectation. Instead, children and staff will be encouraged to keep a reasonable social distance between one another wherever possible.
Social distancing between adults (ie. between staff members and between staff and any other adults) is an expectation and should remain 1m+ at all times.
The principle of minimising contact between groups of pupils and staff is another key strategy in terms of our COVID-19 response. Class and year group bubbles will be used to minimise contact between pupils and other members of staff.
Zones within school and reduction of movement around school will also support the minimising of contact between pupils and staff.
Pupils and staff will be expected to wash hands regularly throughout the school day. More hand washing and hand sanitiser stations will be provided around school.
Pupils will be reminded about and expected to follow good hygiene routines such as “Catch It, Bin It, Kill It” and avoid touching their faces with their hands.
There will be increased cleaning on-going throughout the school day and more opportunity for deeper cleaning across school with a half day closure on Wednesdays.
Implementation of plan for full reopening to pupils
We have endeavoured to ensure that the safety and welfare of the pupils, staff and wider school community is at the heart of this plan.
- Within these guidelines, we understandably cannot plan for every possible outcome and eventuality. Therefore, we absolutely recognise that navigating certain situations will be up to the discretion and judgement of staff.
- Please note, we support staff to use their professional judgement – in areas not outlined in the guidance - to make sensible and measured decisions with pupil and staff safety considered.
Date of reopening in Autumn 2020
School will reopen to all pupils in Years 1 to 6 on Thursday 3rd September 2020. All staff will attend training days on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September 2020.
Phased opening for EYFS pupils
- In order to support pupils who are making the transition to Year 1, EYFS children will not start full time until Monday 28th September 2020
- All EYFS staff will be available from Thursday 3rd September through to Friday 11th September to work with staff in Y1 supporting these pupils with transition from EYFS to KS1
- From Monday 14th September, Nursery staff will begin to withdraw in order to begin transition work with pupils and parents that will be starting in Nursery
- On Friday 18th September, Reception staff will withdraw to meet new pupils who are starting school
- From Monday 21st September, Nursery and Reception children will begin phased visits in their new classes
- From Monday 28th September, all Reception children will be attending school full time
- Nursery children would normally attend part time on either a morning or afternoon session. However, initially children will attend part time either full days on Monday to Tuesday or full days on Thursday to Friday. To avoid disruption, Nursery will be closed to pupils on Wednesdays.
Changes to the start and end of the day
- There will be staggered starts and finish times and parents will not be allowed to drop off or collect children at times other than those they are given
- Families will be given one of four staggered start and finish times. The slots are 10 minute apart and are from 8.30 to 9.00am and from 2.30 to 3.00pm. We will insist that parents follow the timings strictly and that they do not gather and remain by the school entrance at other times.
- In the mornings, all entrances will be available for parents to drop off children – Camelot Way, Dixon Road and Arthur Street. Children will be left at the gate and expected to walk to their classes themselves.
- Families can be dropped off at any gate except for those with children in EYFS or Y1 who will be expected to be dropped off at the gate on Camelot Way
- No parents will be allowed in through the gates
- Gates will be locked at 9.05am and lessons will be expected to start as soon as possible after 9.00am
- Pupils that are late will enter via the office from Arthur Street. SLT/ Office staff will supervise and remind parents that pupils must arrive on time.
- At the end of the school day, all pupils will be brought to the main playground to meet parents. Pupils will be supervised by TAs/ Support Staff
- One parent will be allowed to enter the playground via the Dixon Road entrance and wait behind the marked line on a designated spot. Parents will be asked to wear a mask or face covering and will be expected to maintain appropriate social distance from each other and from staff
- There will be a marked entrance into the playground and out of the playground for parents with signage for directions
- Children will remain with members of staff until parents are in the playground at which time they can be sent to meet them
- As soon as parents have collected all of their children, they should exit the playground as soon as possible
- Staff will not be available to have conversation with parents in the playground - parents must ring the office to organise a suitable time to speak to the parent, preferably by phone. s
Class and Year Group Bubbles
- In order to minimise as much contact as possible between groups of pupils and between adults in school, pupils will continue to be grouped in “social bubbles”
- Most of the pupils’ time in school will be spent in “class bubbles” with their class teachers/ teaching assistants.
- Lessons will take place in class bubbles led by the class teacher. Part time staff will be able to continue to lead the teaching within their class bubble
- There should be minimal contact between class bubbles when children are inside school
- However, there will be some limited contact with others as part of a “year group bubble”. This will include other pupils from their year group and other adults assigned to work with the year group including other teaching assistants, teachers, pastoral care staff, lunchtime supervisors, etc. There should be minimal contact between year group bubbles
- Lunchtimes and break times will be spent within year group bubbles
- Consideration has been given to situations which may require staff to make sensible adjustments to the plan; this may include a first-aid incident, challenging behaviour or a situation in which a pupil requires social and emotional support.
Movement around school
- Movement around school by children and staff should be kept to a minimum and children should, where possible, remain in their classrooms when inside school
- We will control movement around the building so that there is minimal contact between groups. The playground will be zoned into different areas and children will be given a specific space to be with their group when outdoors
- There are signs and markings on the floors to indicate movement around school and these should be followed by all pupils and staff
In the classroom
- When in the classroom, furniture will be arranged so that, wherever possible, pupils will be able to maintain a reasonable social distance from each other. However, as the DfE have stated in their guidelines, social distancing between children will not always be possible in schools and, for young children in particular, it is neither natural nor easy to understand
- Tables will be arranged in rows in Years 3 to 6. In other classrooms, consideration will be given to minimise face to face contact where possible
- Good ventilation should be encouraged when working in class. Open windows, doors and skylights will help support with this.
Working with individuals or small groups
- When working with individuals or small groups, staff should remember to work in open, well-ventilated spaces or should keep a reasonable social distance from the children of at least 1m+
- The playground will be split into two main zones:
- Zone 1 – Basketball court/ Astroturf/ Y2 & Garden Area
- Zone 2 – Trim Trail/ Arena area/ Y3 Area
- At playtimes and lunchtimes, one year group will be allocated to a zone. They will swap over on the following day.
- Staff supervising during breaktimes and lunchtimes must make sure that year group bubbles are kept separate in their allocated zone.
Changes to lunchtimes
- During the Autumn term, only children in EYFS and KS1 will have their lunch in the hall in 20 minute sittings with 10 minutes cleaning between each one:
- EYFS – 11.30am to 11.50am
- Y1 – 12.00pm to 12.20pm
- Y2 – 12.30pm to 12.50pm
- Children will be collected from the classrooms by lunchtime supervisors and taken to the dining hall. There will be minimal lining up in corridors
- Children will sit in class bubbles and socially distanced where possible
- Children will be served at tables by the kitchen staff supported by lunchtime supervisors
- Lunchtime supervisors will support the children to eat their food
- Children will then have a 20 minute lunchbreak in an allocated playground zone:
- EYFS – 11.50am to 12.10pm in the EYFS playground area
- Y1 – 12.20pm to 12.40pm
- Y2 – 12.50pm to 1.10pm
- Children in KS2 will have their lunch in their classrooms in 20 minute sittings followed by 20 minutes break in the playground
- Lunchtime supervisors will be allocated per class to support children with lunch in the class and then supervise them in the playground
- Children that finish lunch early will wait until the other children are finished so that they can all go out to the playground together
- Timings for KS2 lunches are as follows:
- Y3 – 12.00pm to 12.20pm lunch in class; 12.20pm to 12.40pm in the playground
- Y5 – 12.30pm to 12.50pm lunch in class; 12.50pm to 1.10pm in the playground
- Y4/ Y6 – 12.50pm too 1.10pm lunch in class; 1.10pm to 1.30pm in the playground
Children who have packed lunches
- Children who normally have packed lunches will be able to bring them in to school as normal
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.
Cleanliness and hygiene around school
- Handwashing and good hygiene practices are key to ensuring there is minimal risk of transmission of infection in school
- There will be stringent handwashing and hygiene practices (“Catch it, bin it kill it!”) in place throughout the day. BSS/ cleaning staff will also regularly wipe down surfaces and touch points throughout the day in addition to the daily cleaning provided by cleaners in school
- There will be cleaning materials available for staff to clean down and wipe surfaces in the classroom and elsewhere if necessary
- Children and adults will be expected to wash their hands using soap and water regularly throughout the day
- There will be hand sanitiser available at all entrances and exits and we will be putting some mobile handwashing units into the playgrounds for children to use
- Adults are reminded not to touch their face with their hands and should remind children not to do so either
- Shared equipment used for PE or for outdoor use during break times should be wiped down before and after use where possible.
Cleaning classrooms and in school
- Please note, a planned, systematic approach of increased cleaning will take place to ensure the school is cleaned thoroughly on a daily basis. The appropriate cleaning products/chemicals will be used and key ‘hot spots’ will be cleaned multiple times throughout the day.
- There will be cleaning materials in every class so that cleaning can be completed more frequently, if required. Teachers are required to find a safe and suitable place for storage of these.
- Toilets will be cleaned regularly throughout the day, but it will not be possible to be cleaned after every single use.
Pupils and staff who are not well
- Children and staff 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
- Children and staff that are well but are part of a household that is self-isolating must not attend school during that period.
- If a child or member of staff starts to feel unwell at school and, in particular, if they are showing COVID-symptoms, they will be taken to the ELS room and they will be isolated from everyone else.
- Children will be expected to be collected by parents immediately. Staff will be expected to go home 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 group including staff may also have to self-isolate
- If a child is tested and the test is negative, the child’s class group may be able to return to school
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including wearing face coverings/ masks
- The DfE are not recommending the use of PPE in primary schools for either children or staff unless a member of staff is supervising a child who has been isolated and is waiting to be collected
- There will be PPE available for staff administering First Aid to pupils in school, including masks, face visors, gloves and aprons
- Pupils may wear a face covering when travelling to school but will be asked to remove it once they arrive at school.
- Parents will be asked to keep children’s face coverings as they enter school and take it home with them. If a child has a face covering in school, they will be given a bag to put it in which can be tied up and sealed and then given to parents at the end of the day
- In light of recent guidance on wearing face coverings in indoor spaces, staff may wear face coverings in communal spaces where they are in close contact with other adults, e.g. in the staffroom, in office spaces, in meetings or training with other staff, in the kitchen, in corridors, etc. Staff who are on gates at the start and end of the day and likely to be in close contact with parents should also wear face coverings
- When staff are working with or supervising children, face coverings shouldn’t be worn, e.g. in the classroom, taking children to or from the classroom, in the dining hall, in the playground, etc. When staff are with children, they should make sure that they follow guidance on maintaining a reasonable social distance from children and other adults, limit contact with those outside their social bubble and follow guidance on good health and hygiene routines
- Cleaning staff will wear necessary masks/ face coverings when working around school
- Staff are encouraged to work outdoors with children as much as possible. When working indoors, staff should make sure rooms and working spaces are well-ventilated with open windows/ skylights, etc.
Breakfast Club and After-School Clubs
- Initially, there will be no Breakfast Club or After School Club provision although this will be reviewed and may change as we move through the first few weeks of term
Pupil attendance in school
- The expectation is that ALL pupils will attend school from September 2020; however, we recognise that some parents may not feel confident sending their child or children into school
- During this period, we will seek to encourage and support parents and pupils who may feel apprehensive about returning to school. We will offer Early Help to families for the first half term.
- Where parents choose not to send their child into school we will speak to them and reassure them about the measures that are in place to keep their children safe
- Parents should be aware that an amended behaviour policy will be in place in light of Coronavirus which will highlight a variety of additional measures to ensure the safety of all children and staff on site when reopening.
- It will be vital that these measures are followed as school will not tolerate any disregard to 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. Incidents such as these will be regarded as a serious breach of the school rules and staff will follow guidelines set out in the amended behaviour policy
- Parents of pupils who do not comply with the amended school behaviour policy may be contacted for further discussion about their child's behaviour
Communication between staff and parents
- There will not be the opportunity for parents to speak to a member of staff directly when they drop off or pick up children; however, parents can ring the school office, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or continue to use contact methods set up and used during the summer term.
- If a member of staff needs to speak to a parent, they can do so by phone or ask a member of office staff to contact the parent for them
- Parents will not be allowed onto the site at any other time unless they have made a prior arrangement by telephone
Early closing at lunchtime on Wednesdays
- Please note, school will be finishing early for all groups on a Wednesday so that cleaning staff can begin a thorough whole school deep clean. All children will be given a “grab and go” packed lunch on Wednesday unless they normally bring their own lunch.
- Parents will be asked to pick up their children promptly at the allocated time on Wednesdays so that school can be closed and cleaners can begin work on the deep clean
- Pick up times on Wednesdays will be 12.00pm, 12.10pm, 12.20pm and 12.30pm and will be from Dixon Road only
- Support staff and lunchtime supervisors will oversee the dismissal of children on Wednesday afternoons.
- From September, children will be expected to wear full school uniform as normal. On PE days they will be allowed to wear PE uniform for the day instead to avoid changing
Bringing in things from home
- Items that children bring in from home should be kept to a minimum where possible
- Children who have packed lunches will need to bring in their lunchbags/ boxes and these should be stored together in a box in a suitable location near to their classroom.
- Children can take home and return reading/ library books; however, books that are returned should be kept out of further circulation for 48 hours before being loaned out again. Each class will have a box for the library boxes which can be rotated amongst the three classes. A separate box to quarantine the books will also be in class.
- Children will not bring in separate PE kit. Children and parents will be told which day is PE day and they will be able to wear their PE kit to school on that day.
Homework/Home Learning on Wednesday afternoon
- Children will still be given homework to do at home each week as normal; however, some thought will have to be given as to what the homework is, what it involves and whether it is appropriate for children to have to return the work to school when it is completed
- Homework will be given to children on a Friday and will include maths and English work, spellings and online access to TTrockstars, BugClub, Read Theory, Accelerated Reader and maths
- On Wednesdays, children will be given work or activities to complete at home. This is likely to be work linked to their topic. Again, where possible, this should be work that doesn’t require time consuming feedback or marking by staff.
- Use of online learning activities should be encouraged where possible although staff need to be aware that not every child has access to the internet or suitable connective devices at home
- Parents should let school know if they are struggling to provide access to online learning activities at home as school may be able to support them with this
Educational Visits/Visitors in school
- Bookings can be made for educational visits and visitors in school during the Autum term, although the risk of each visit or visitor will need to be risk assessed and a decision made on its merits
- Consideration will need to be given as to how social distancing will be maintained at the venue and during any transport that is required and how other Coronavirus guidelines will be followed during the visit
- Mitigation against Coronavirus infection will need to be identified on any risk assessment ahead of the visit or visitor coing into school
- Some visits by other adults into school are already planned such as music service support and HEN project work and visitors will be reminded of our COVID-19 guidance
- All visits and visitors will remain under review during the Autumn term
Marking and Feedback
- There is a marking and feedback policy currently in place which encourages teaching staff to reduce the amount of written marking that is done and aims to encourage more feedback via other means such as individual or whole class verbal feedback, peer and self assessment and use symbols to acknowledge work completed in books
- In light of Coronavirus, staff will aim to limit the amount of marking that is done in order to reduce possible infection through contact between surfaces
- Assemblies will not take place in the hall during the Autum term; instead, we will experiment with assemblies taking place online
- We are also going to experiment with organising pre-recorded class assemblies and how we can safely share them with parents online. We will send out more information at a later date.
Planning for further closure due to local lockdown
- In its most recent guidance, the Government have made it clear that schools will be only be closed as a last resort. Primary schools in particular will remain open even if nearby secondary schools are partially closed as a result of a local lockdown
- However, by the end of September, we are expected to have a contingency plan in place to ensure that, should school close or should there be a partial closure due to a local lockdown, it is possible to support all children with their continued learning
- School leadership will be working on this but, in the meantime, we need to make sure that children are aware of how to access any online learning resources they will need to use and how they would communicate online if possible. Staff will make it a priority in the first few days and weeks to make sure that children are aware of any online learning resources and how to access them as well as any means of communicating with staff when at home
- Consideration also needs to be given to providing continued learning for children who are unable to access online learning or who are too young to do so. It may be necessary to prepare work for these children which is paper-based and keep it ready for immediate distribution
Post-lockdown recovery curriculum
- It is recognised that many children will have missed out on a lot of learning since school closed on March 20th and lockdown began. Priority needs to be given to providing a curriculum that helps children to catch up quickly on missed learning whilst also supporting their mental health and well-being
- Despite the restrictions on what can and can’t be done in school, the expectation is that we provide engaging and stimulating opportunities for pupils that return to school
- During this period of full reopening we are required to follow the National Curriculum. However, a big part of our focus when children return to school will be on resocialising the children and providing activities that reflect their need for well-being and mental health
- For all children we will be supporting them with learning and catching up in the core areas of English and maths, especially in the essential life skill of reading
- Depending on the weather, we will also be encouraging the children to spend as much time, and undertake as much of their learning, outdoors and to take part in creative activities and projects
- Children will also need support in knowing how to access online learning and resources should a further full or partial lockdown mean that either all or some of their learning needs to take place at home. Also, depending on age and access to internet devices, children will need to know how they can communicate and receive feedback from staff if they are at home
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.
- Pastoral support staff will be available to provide one to one support for pupils although it will be following social distancing guidelines, e.g. taking place in larger open spaces or outdoors
- Usual fire procedures will be in place as pupils are able to exit the building through their normal fire exits. Assembly points and exit points for different rooms will be as normal.
- Please note that in the event of a fire/lockdown/evacuation, risk to life will take priority – social distancing will not apply.