Dear Parents/ Carers,
On February 22nd, the Prime Minister made the announcement that ALL schools were to fully reopen to ALL pupils from Monday March 8th 2021.
Most of the guidance for reopening that schools have been given following the latest announcement is similar to what was in place during the Autumn term, i.e. social distancing where possible, limiting movement around school, class/ year group bubbles, increased hygiene and cleaning, use of face coverings where appropriate, staggered starts, finishes, break times, lunchtimes, etc.
Attendance at school will again be mandatory for ALL pupils. However, we will be making some changes to our plans in order to ensure less disruption to the school day and increase the teaching time available in order to help children to catch up on missed learning.
Key changes from Autumn term:
- We will return to our normal opening times, i.e. gates will open from 8.40am until 8.55am each day and parents will be allowed to drop children off at any of the 3 school entrances – Dixon Road, Camelot Way or Arthur Street (although we would still expect Nursery, Reception and Y1 children to be dropped off via the entrance on Camelot Way)
- We are changing our staggered finish to the day. There will now be only two pick-up times – 2.50pm and 3.00pm and parents will be given an allocated gate to collect their children from depending on whether they have one or more children. Parents with more than one child will continue to collect children from the playground via Dixon Road whilst parents with one child to collect will either collect from Camelot Way (Nursery, Reception, Y1, Y5 and Y6) or from Arthur Street (Y2, Y3 and Y4)
- We will no longer close at lunchtime on Wednesdays. Children will stay in school and be collected at the times indicated above.
- Nursery will be open every day for a morning and an afternoon session. NHH will attend in the mornings from 8.30am to 11.30am and NVH will attend from 12.00pm to 3.00pm. This will help children in Nursery to get into a better routine of attending school every day and prepare them better for starting Reception in September.
Staff will phone and contact all parents and families next week (w/b 1st March) to discuss the reopening and the changes. In the meantime, below is the full guidance for parents and families about the full school reopening on 8th March 2021. Please read through carefully (use Google Translate if you wish to change into home language)
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 March 2021.
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 2m+ at all times. All adults in school will be expected to wear face coverings or visors when with other adults in communal areas.
Parents will not be allowed into the school building unless an appointment has been made. Parents entering the school site (e.g. the school playground) will be asked and are expected to wear a face covering 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 deep cleaning at least once a week.
There is an expectation that everyone (children, parents and staff) fully engage with Government guidance on self-isolation, quarantine, testing and track and trace procedures. All staff now have access to twice weekly lateral flow testing for Coronavirus and are encouraged to take part in order to reduce possible asymptomatic transmission of the virus.
We would also encourage all eligible staff and members of the community to take up the opportunity for vaccination when it becomes available to protect themselves and others.
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 Spring 2021
School will reopen to all pupils from Nursery to Year 6 on Monday 8th March 2021. Full attendance is expected for all pupils.
Changes to the start of the day
- All school gates will open at 8.40am. They will remain open until 8.55am and parents can drop children off at any time between these 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 together at any gate except for those with children in Nursery, Reception 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 8.55am and formal lessons will be expected to start at 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
Changes to the end of the day
- There will be two staggered times for parents to collect children – 2.50pm and 3.00pm. Parents must arrive promptly to collect children at these times.
- Family groups will be collected from the playground via Dixon Road. Parents who have more than one child in school will continue to enter the playground via Dixon Road and collect children as they did in the Autumn term.
- Parents who have only one child in school will collect from the following gates:
- Nursery, Reception, Year 1, Year 5 and Year 6 – entrance via Camelot Way
- Year 2, year 3 and Year 4 – entrance via Arthur Street
- Only one parent/ adult may enter the school site to collect children. Parents must wear a face covering when they enter the playground and keep at least 2m+ from other adults including staff.
- All pupils will be brought to the main playground to meet parents. Pupils will be supervised by TAs/ Support Staff.
- Children will remain with members of staff until parents are in the playground at which time they can be sent to meet them
- 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.
- There will be marked entrances/ exits and one way systems in place for parents with signage for directions
- As soon as parents have collected all of their children, they should exit the playground as soon as possible
- We will insist that parents follow the timings strictly and that they do not gather and remain by the school gates.
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 “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. Other staff may also need to cover and work with these bubbles from time to time.
- 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 outdoors
- 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 indoors 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.
- 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.
- Staff supervising during breaktimes and lunchtimes must make sure that year group bubbles are kept separate in their allocated zone.
Changes to lunchtimes
- 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 should 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 there will be 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. Children will be expected to wash hands as soon as they have used the toilet.
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 10 days after the day they first developed symptoms. All household members should self-isolate for 10 days at the same time
- 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 after Easter.
Pupil attendance in school
- The expectation is that ALL pupils will attend school from March 8th 2021
- 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 previously
- 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
- From March 8th, 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.
- 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
- Use of online learning activities will 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
- For now, parents that have loaned laptops or tablets from school will be allowed to keep them to allow access to online learning at weekends. This will be reviewed after Easter
- 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
- There will be no educational visits until at least the Summer term.
- 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 Spring 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
- Face to face assemblies will not take place although we will continue to record virtual assemblies for children and parents to watch online
- There will continue to weekly “Star Learner” assemblies each week with information for parents as well as children
- If possible, we will resume some of the class assemblies that took place in the Autumn term.
Planning for further school closure or partial closure
- In its most recent guidance, the Government have made it clear that schools will be only be closed as a last resort.
- However, we have a contingency plan in place to ensure that, should school close again or should there be a partial closure in a class or year group bubble, it is possible to support all children with their continued learning
- Should there be any reason for school to close or if a year group or bubble has to close, we will revert back to the plans for remote learning which have been in place during January and February.
Post-lockdown recovery curriculum
- It is recognised that many children will have missed out on a lot of learning since school closed 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
Emotional support for pupils in school
- Families have been affected in different ways during the past couple of 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.