Thank you for your patience while we have given considerable thought as to how we can reopen school for these year groups and other year groups who may return during the summer term. We have been working hard to create detailed plans to make sure we can safely welcome Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 groups back if it is safe for us to start the phased reopening of the school. It was lovely and heart-warming to talk to parents/carers from these key groups over the past week to find out about your personal circumstances and feelings at this difficult time. I hope that you feel reassured about your decisions and want to remind you again that you know what’s best for your child’s health and wellbeing and we won’t be pressuring you to send your child/Children to school. We appreciate that this is a significant decision for you to make. The government has also said it will be up to parents/carers whether they send their child or not.
We are looking forward to welcome our children and staff back to school but just to remind you that if your child is clinically extremely vulnerable, or living with someone in this group, they should not come back to school and should continue home learning. If your child is clinically vulnerable but not clinically extremely vulnerable, you should follow medical advice to determine if they should come back to school.
When the school does open on the 15th June, staff will endeavour to keep all children safe and all adults and pupils will be expected to adhere to the measures detailed in the school’s COVID-19 risk assessment which will be expanded upon below.. However, our school will look very different. Safety and protective measures will significantly change our school operations, in order to reduce the risk for children and staff.
Thankyou from the bottom of my heart to you all for persevering and continuing to work with our different ways of operation. I would also like to thank our wonderful staff again for their positive attitudes and readiness to respond to requests and go above and beyond to make sure we do the best we can for the children. Also a huge thank you to our wonderful children, who have been fantastic during these difficult times. I am so proud to be Head Teacher of our amazing little school- it’s a huge team effort with you fantastic parents/carers, children, staff and governors all working together.
Donna Lee (Head Teacher)
The outbreak of Coronavirus (COVID-19) led to the closure of schools in England from 20 March 2020. As we reopen our school there are a number of new measures in place to keep the children, parents, staff and wider community as safe as possible. Initially, we will be opening for the children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 as well as continuing to be open for the children of Key Workers.
What safety measures are in place to protect my child?
The DfE guidance Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings recognises that for children of primary age they ‘cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff’. We will be discouraging contact between children. However, for 1st aid or for some children with intimate care needs close contact will be necessary.
However, we will ensure that:
- Children and staff avoid contact with anyone with symptoms
- Promote frequent handwashing and good hygiene e.g. blowing nose into a tissue
- Regular cleaning of rooms and equipment
- Minimising contact and mixing between groups of children.
A copy of our risk assessment and action plan is available here:
Arrival at School
On arrival, please follow the signs and take notice of the social distancing signage as you drop your child or children off each day. It is very important that only one adult accompanies a child/siblings to and from school, regardless of their age, so that social distancing can be maintained. We will also be operating a staggered drop off and pick up system.
What should my child wear?
We are asking parents not to dress their children in uniform but to wear casual clothes that are clean on every day. This is following current guidance. Children are not permitted to bring pencil cases or bags to school, apart from packed lunch boxes if required. They should also bring a sun hat and sun cream applied before school as we anticipate spending a lot of time outside taking part in a range of activities.
Where will my child be in school and who will teach them?
One of the advantages of being a small school is that we can, in the main, keep children with their usual teacher or a member of staff who is very familiar to them.
Reception Children- 8.45am-3.00pm
Reception children will be supervised by Miss Grant, Miss Milburn and Mrs Hindmarch in Class 3
Year 1 children- 9.00am-3.15pm
Year 1 children will be supervised by Mrs Aspinall and Mrs Moore in Class 2
Year 6 children- 9.15am-3.30pm
Year 6 children will be supervised by Mr Graham and Mrs Shaw in Class 4
Vulnerable pupils and children of critical workers will continue to access school provision between 8.00am-3.30pm. Please could parents/carers tell us exact drop off and pick up times along with days of care a week in advance so that adults in charge of this bubble can be at the door for exit and arrival of these children. These children will be supervised by Mrs Hill and Mrs Gallacher in class 1.
The children will remain in their classroom and allocated outdoor space. All surfaces will be wiped down regularly at the end of the day, including door handles, switches, toilet handles, taps etc. We will do all we can to maintain a safe and clean school site and building.
For the children in we have distanced the desks to help promote social distancing. You will notice from the photographs that equipment and soft furnishings including rugs have been removed from classrooms. This is to aid with cleaning rooms each day. As well as surfaces and equipment being cleaned daily, each week, classrooms will be deep cleaned. This increased amount of cleaning we feel is necessary to ensure that we are doing all we can to keep children and adults safe.
We have additional space available in the hall and ICT suite if necessary. All groups will also be spending a significant amount of time outside, making full use of our extensive grounds, they will be kept in their own groups.
First Aid / Illness
The government guidelines do not require school staff to wear PPE as a matter of course, however staff have been given the choice to wear whatever level of PPE they are comfortable with for them to successfully carry out their duties in school. In circumstances where a child requires First Aid, is unwell or appears to be displaying symptoms of COVID-19, staff will wear gloves, aprons, face masks and visors as appropriate to protect themselves and your child when social distancing is not an option. If your child has an accident, becomes ill or requires First Aid you may be called to take your child home.
We ask that your child does not come to school if they are ill or if they or anyone in your house is displaying symptoms of COVID 19. The symptoms of COVID 19 are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back;
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If your child becomes unwell at school, with suspected COVID symptoms your child will be isolated near the Headteachers Office and you will be asked to take them home, adhere to government self-solation guidance and seek a test to ascertain a diagnosis.
If we receive notice of a confirmed case of COVID 19 the school may need to close, at short notice for deep cleaning and staff and families may be asked to follow government guidance regarding self-isolation.
What will be the focus of lessons and home learning?
The main focus on return to school will be on wellbeing, ensuring pupils feel safe, happy and comfortable back in school. Learning, while still important, will take on secondary importance in the early stages. The planning and work prepared for the children who are in school will be the same as that which is available for parents to access if their children remain at home. Resources for home learning will continue to be accessed via our school website.
I know that many of you have had regular contact with staff through email and telephone, however, staff will not be available to communicate as frequently with parents as they may currently have been doing because they will be teaching throughout the week. However, if there are any issues requiring a prompt response, please contact school and we will do our best to respond quickly. As a school we have always encouraged face-to-face communication. However, at this time, we are asking parents and carers to communicate via email or phone whenever possible to minimise the need for physical interactions unless this is necessary. We do not want you to feel that we are trying to distance ourselves, we just want to minimise risk where this is possible. We ask for your understanding at this time.
What will lunchtimes be like?
Groups will not mix at lunchtime and for the children in Early Years, Y1, Y6 and Key Worker children lunch will be served in their classroom. Our school cook will be opening our kitchen so a hot meal will be available each day. Hot meals will be cooked in our school kitchen and then collected by children.
Children can choose to bring a packed lunch if they wish. We will need to wipe these down on arrival in school. We are very fortunate and have extensive grounds. The children will have a zoned area in which to play throughout the day.
We are very fortunate and have extensive grounds. The children will have a zoned area in which to play throughout the day. For children in EYFS they will have access to the school field on their own.
We hope we have covered the main issues here, but please get in touch if you have a specific concern that I can help you with. We will work hard to do the very best we can to support both you and your families through this challenging time.
We’ve answered some of the key questions we know parents and carers have about plans for some pupils to return to schools, nurseries and colleges.
We are clear this will only happen when the five key tests are met and protective measures are in place.
Are children expected to social distance in schools and childcare settings?
Find more answers to common questions here:
Please find information about supporting families who have children with emotional and mental health.
The Mental Health Support Teams have produced a guidance document for parents with information around supporting their primary aged children to return to school. I have attached it for your information as you may find it useful.
There are things we can all do to help look after our mental wellbeing during this challenging time. Whether it’s staying connected with friends and family via phone and video calls, creating a regular routine or looking after our body through physical exercise, we all need that extra support to help deal with stress, boost our mood and feel on top of things 🌟