13th July 2020
Re: Full School Opening on Wednesday 2nd September 2020
The staff and I at Nettlesworth Primary School are delighted to be planning for a return for all our children in September. I am disappointed that we have not been able to welcome all year groups back before the summer break and I am sorry for those families and children who have found it so tough being at home for such a long period of time. I would just like to thank you all again for your amazing support during these last few months. Your communication with us via email, socially distance visits and telephone calls has been amazing and you have all supported your children so well with their home-learning. I know many of you have found it incredibly tough, especially as the novelty wears off but please don’t worry, many of our staff have had the same issues with their own children. Hopefully this unexpected time away from school has also created many special memories and our children have learnt many new skills, which they would have not been taught at school.
When the school does open on Wednesday 2nd September 2020, 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. The government guidance directs us to:
- stagger the times of any movement around the school as well as start and finish times
- keep class groups in their own bubbles
- keep children in these bubbles for the whole time they are in school
- not allow bubbles of children to mix with each other at all
- continue to encourage children to maintain social distancing where possible.
We cannot guarantee that children will socially distance and government guidance states this issue very clearly. However, there is a huge amount of work taking place behind the scenes to help minimise the risk to both pupils and staff.
We have continued to work closely with Durham County Council to establish what is right for our school. They have provided a risk assessment, which is designed to put the health and safety of children first and ensure each school mitigates, to the best of their ability, risks associated with a full school return. Working with the Council, we have decided that the following approach best suits the needs of children and families at Nettlesworth Primary School.
Following on from the guidance issued by the Government last Thursday 2nd July, we have met and discussed arrangements for September. To make school and the surrounding area as safe as possible for children, staff and parents/carers, we have made some necessary changes to school timings and its organisation.
The times of arrival and departure for the different year groups will be:
Class 1 Children (Reception) – 8.45am-3.00pm
Class 2 children (Years 1/2) – 9.00am-3.15pm
Class 3 children (Years 3/4) – 8.30am-2.45pm
Class 4 children (Years 5/6) – 9.15am-3.30pm
Arrival and Departure
At these allocated times parents/carers will need to be waiting outside main school gate at main entrance, alongside the green fence, adhering to social distance requirements at all times. Parents/Carers will not be allowed to enter the school building/school site or have the daily contact or conversations they are used to having with staff but we will try our best. Contact will continue to be mostly electronic via email and telephone and prior arranged appointments. Please adhere to strict social distancing at drop off points and only arrive at school in time to drop off and collect your child. Arriving or staying close to school outside of this time could put other staff, parents/carers and pupils at risk. Please ensure you are aware of your child’s pick up and drop off times and stick rigidly to these times to help the day run smoothly – Your child’s class teacher will collect children from the gate and they will be escorted into school to wash hands immediately. Children and parents must wait alongside school fence and not come to the door and ring buzzer. If you are late you must ring the office to arrange an alternative drop off/pick up.
If you need to pass any medication into school please contact the office in the first instance- 0191 3710444 and we will arrange to meet you in the main entrance.
School will feel strange at first and I am constantly following guidance and assessing every risk to keep everyone safe. Some of the safeguarding measures school we will implement are as follows:
- Children who display coronavirus type symptoms or children who live with someone who has coronavirus will not be able to attend school. Isolation and self-isolation rules will be followed.
- To maintain social distancing and appropriate levels of cleanliness, the start and finish times of the school day will be staggered.
- Lessons will involve more independent learning as the teacher and support assistant will need to try and maintain social distance where possible to children to give them targeted support.
- Classrooms will have all unnecessary furniture, equipment and all soft furnishings removed.
- Staff workstations are positioned at the front of the classroom, socially distanced from pupils.
- Children’s desks are placed in rows facing the front of the classroom.
- Pupils kept in consistent groups/bubbles.
- Pupils are supported to maintain distance and not touch staff and their peers where possible.
- Pupils taught in identified classrooms, lesson subject movement is limited throughout the school day.
- Classroom based resources, such as books and games, are used and shared within the bubble /group and not to be shared with the other bubble/groups.
- Each class will have their own activity bag for break/playtimes
- Movement limited where possible to key times-Break times/Lunch times
- Whole school assemblies and concerts etc are not allowed to take place
- Strict hygiene rules will continue to be implemented. Children will frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly. They will clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing. Hand sanitiser is provided at school. If your child needs to use hand cream due to regular handwashing, please contact the school office and let us know.
- The children will be given individually allocated stationery
- Children will be given regular drinks of water using disposable cups rather than their water bottles
- Children should not bring anything from home into school except for a sun hat on days where it is forecast to be warm and sunny. Please ensure that you have put sun cream on your child at the start of the school day as they will be going outside wherever possible and this will protect them.
- School Reading books, homework books etc may be taken between school and home as it contributes to pupil education and development. These will be kept in individual trays and reading books will be stored for 72 hours before sent home to another family.
- The classes of children will have to remain in their groups (bubbles) at all times – school will ensure that lunch and play times are separate.
- If your child receives a free school meal or you pay for school meals, the meal will be served to your child in their class base.
- Children may bring packed lunch but their box must be wiped down outside with anti -bacterial on arrival
- Staff will not wear any PPE – unless for intimate care, first aid or if a child/adult develops symptoms.
- Parents will not be allowed to gather on the playground or enter the school building. You will have to communicate with staff by telephone and call the office to make an appointment. Please do not come to the door and ring buzzer. Only one parent or carer is permitted to bring their child to school and collect them at the allocated time.
- Movement in corridors will be different and as far as possible, there will be continue to be a one-way system with 2m distance markings.
- If a child or an adult in their group is confirmed as having the virus, the whole group including the staff working with that group, will be sent home immediately to self-isolate for 14 days.
School Meals from September
From September, School Meals for pupils in Year 3, 4, 5 & 6 will be increasing in price to £2.10 per day, which means a week’s dinners will now cost £10.50. Meals for those in Reception, Year 1 & 2 will still be free.
*Pupils moving from Year 2 into Year 3 will need to pay for their dinners in September via ParentPay unless they are entitled to Free School Meals.
* If you think you may be entitled to Free School Meals and haven’t applied, or your circumstances have changed, please email the School Office for a form for us to do a check with Durham County Council.
New expectations for our curriculum
We will need to modify our curriculum substantially at the start of the academic year, but aim to return to our normal curriculum for all pupils by summer term 2021.
We will assess pupils’ staring points and address gaps in their knowledge and skills, and use this to inform changes to our curriculum. .
For pupils in early years:
- For children in nursery: focus on the prime areas of learning, including communication and language; personal, social and emotional development (PSED); and physical development
- For children in reception: focus on the above, but also assess and address gaps in language, early reading and maths, particularly ensuring children’s acquisition of phonic knowledge and extending their vocabulary
- For all children: follow updates to the disapplication guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage and consider how all groups of children can be given equal opportunities for outdoor learning
For pupils in KS1 and KS2, prioritise:
- Identifying gaps and re-establishing good progress in the ‘essentials’ (phonics and reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and maths)
- Identifying opportunities across the curriculum so they read widely
- Developing their knowledge and vocabulary
We will keep the curriculum broad, so that the majority of pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year (e.g. sciences, humanities, the arts, PE, RE).
The Department for Education is planning on the basis that statutory primary assessments will take place in summer 2021, although it has delayed the introduction of the new reception baseline assessment until September 2021.
Some trips can start again
We can resume non-overnight domestic educational visits. We must make sure any trips are in line with protective measures, such as keeping pupils in their ‘bubble’.
Breakfast and After school clubs
We have had to think carefully about how we can make this provision work alongside our wider protective measures, like keeping pupils in their ‘bubbles’ when possible. We also understand that a lot of parents/carers need access to wrap around care to help with work commitments.
Class 2, 3 and 4 Teachers are going to offer their class bubble one hour after school tuition three times per week . We can then keep our bubbles together and offer extra tuition to try and help close any gaps of learning for all of our Year 1-6 children. There will be no after school care for our Reception children as always in the Autumn Term. These tuition sessions will be of no cost and will last one hour immediately after the class bubble finishes for the school day. This after school provision will start week beginning 7th September 2020 on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Class 2– 3.15pm-4.15pm -Tue, Wed, Thur
Class 3– 2.45pm-3.45pm-Tue, Wed, Thur
Class 4– 3.30pm-4.30pm- Tue, Wed, Thur
Class Teachers will send out letters on Wednesday 2nd September so that we know which pupils will be attending these sessions.
Breakfast club will commence week beginning 7th September. Children who attend will be served breakfast in their own classroom bubble to avoid class bubbles mixing. It will start at 8am and finish when their class bubble arrives. It will continue to cost £1 per day, which you can pay via parent pay. Parents/Carers will need to follow same arrival guidelines as attending school classes and supervisory assistants will meet at main entrance at 8am. Please could children arrive on time.
We will return to our usual school uniform
Uniforms won’t need to be cleaned any more than usual, or with methods different from normal.
Children in Class 1 and 2 will need to bring their full PE kit into school on the first day back in a PE bag or carrier bag. Please ensure that this is labelled with their name and class. The PE kits will be stored in the cloakrooms on a labelled peg in school and sent home weekly to be washed. Class 3 and 4 will come into school with their PE kits on allocated PE days to avoid moving around. Class teachers will notify
School Holidays and Term Dates 2020 – 2021
I am sure that many of you will have had holidays cancelled or postponed and will be considering when these can be re-booked for next year. It is really important to remember that holidays during term times can only be authorised in very exceptional circumstances. Very few holidays are ever authorised and this is likely to be even lower next year. It is going to be essential for ALL children to be in school as much as possible due to the extended closure of schools during the latter half of this year. Please also bear in mind that if you do decide to take a holiday during term time which has not been authorised, if your child is out of school for more than 7 consecutive days you can be fined – £60 per parent for each child.
|Holiday||Closing Date||Date re-open for Teaching Purposes|
|Summer Holiday||Friday 17th July 2020||Wednesday 2nd September 2020|
|October Half Term||Friday 23rd October 2020||Monday 2nd November 2020|
|Christmas Holiday||Friday 18th December 2020||Tuesday 5th January 2021|
|February Half Term||Friday 12th February 2021||Monday 22nd February 2021|
|Easter Holiday||Friday 26th March 2021||Tuesday 13th April 2021|
|May Day||Friday 30th April 2021||Tuesday 4th May 2021|
|Summer Half Term||Friday 28th May 2021||Monday 7th June 2021|
|Summer Holiday||Friday 16th July 2021||Thursday 2nd September 2021|
If you have any questions, queries or are worried about your child starting or returning, please do not hesitate to contact the school via email or call us on 0191 3710444 and someone will get back to you.
Thank you again from the bottom of my heart to you all for your support during these very strange times. I can’t thank enough our wonderful staff again for their positive attitudes and commitment to always make sure we do the best we can for our children. We can’t wait to see all of our children again in September.
Many Thanks and Take Care