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25th February 2021
Re: Full School Opening on Monday 8th March 2021
As you’re likely aware, the government has announced that schools will reopen to all pupils on 8 March. We’re very much looking forward to welcoming back more of our pupils to face-to-face education then.
The staff and I at Nettlesworth Primary School are delighted to be planning for a return for all our children in March. I am again 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. Especially getting to know our new virtual platforms of learning-DB Primary an TEAMS at such a short time. It has been an absolute pleasure in seeing how many children have accessed these for their daily learning.
From 8 March, school attendance will be mandatory and our usual rules on attendance will apply.
As a reminder, your child should self-isolate and not come to school if they:
- Have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive
- Live with someone who has symptoms or have tested positive
- Are a close contact of someone who has tested positive
In line with the latest government guidance, pupils who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend school. If your child is in this group, they should continue to learn from home until further notice.
For pupils who are self-isolating or shielding, we’ll:
- Continue to provide our remote learning offer via DB Primary and TEAMS daily sessions. Please see link below for information on our school website about our remote learning offer.
Our safety measures
When the school does open on Monday 8th March 2021, staff again 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 continue to 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 approach we followed in the Autumn Term continues best to suit the needs of children and families at Nettlesworth Primary School.
Following on from the guidance issued by the Government on Monday 22nd February 2021, we have met and discussed arrangements for March. To make school and the surrounding area as safe as possible for children, staff and parents/carers, we will continue to make the 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
SIBLINGS MAY CONTINUE TO ARRIVE AT THE EARLIEST TIME AND LEAVE AT THE LATEST TIME.
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. Only 1 adult should drop off/pick, up to reduce the number of people around school. Please walk, or cycle, to school whenever possible – to ease traffic congestion. Please disperse as soon as you have dropped off / collected your child – to avoid unnecessary larger gatherings.
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 continue to feel strange and I am constantly following guidance and assessing every risk to keep everyone safe. Some of the safeguarding measures school we will continue to 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.
- Public Health England has advised schools to ensure that children under 12 do not wear face coverings in school. Please do not send your child into school with a facemask. If staff need to come into close contact with a child e.g. when administering First Aid or if a child shows symptoms of Covid-19 they will wear the appropriate PPE.
- 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, if 2m distance cannot be maintained 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.
From September, School Meals for pupils in Year 3, 4, 5 & 6 increased 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.
PLEASE NOTE SOMETIMES DUE TO THE CURRENT CIRCUMSTANCES, DELIVERIES MAY BE AFFECTED AND THE COOK MAY HAVE TO CHANGE THE MENU SLIGHTLY.
New expectations for our curriculum
We will continue to modify our curriculum substantially, like we did at the start of the academic year, but aim to return to our normal curriculum for all pupils by autumn term 2021.
We will continue to 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).
Statutory KS1 and KS2 assessments planned for summer 2021 won’t go ahead but school will still do teacher assessments. We will administer the optional Year 4 multiplication tables check within the 3-week period from 7 June 2021
The DfE has added temporary disapplications to the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) – as such, it won’t be mandatory to complete the EYFS profile assessment in 2021.
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.
Breakfast club will commence week beginning 8th March. 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 not be able to offer after school provision – we will review this at Easter and hopefully re-instate as soon as restrictions on mixing are further lifted and be able to offer again our tuition sessions in the Summer Term.
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 3- PE days for the rest of this term are TUE and WED
Class 4- PE days for the rest of this term are TUE and WED
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 March.
Many Thanks and Take Care
We absolutely love this photograph that Peyton, Isla and Naya sent us. Look what they have found above our beautiful school. We can’t wait to see you all back in school Monday March 8th.
22 February to 7 March 2021
For two weeks each year at the end of February and start of March, thousands of individuals, companies and groups across the UK come together to share the stories of the people who grow our food and drinks. mine our gold and who grow the cotton in our clothes, people who are often exploited and underpaid.
In 2021, Fairtrade Fortnight will feel very different. 2020 has been a hard year for everyone and we know that physically campaigning and meeting people will continue to be challenging in 2021 but we have also heard from so many of you that you want to continue to support Fairtrade through this time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than ever how interconnected we are globally. This interconnection is at the very heart of the Fairtrade message and is where your role begins. You are part of the Fairtrade movement and you have the power to drive long-term change, not only with your shopping choices but with your support in spreading the message. We just have to do this a little differently in 2021!
23rd February 2021
Re: Full School Opening on Monday March 8th 2021.
The staff and I at Nettlesworth Primary School are delighted to be planning for a return for all our children on Monday March 8th. We are sure things will return the same as when we re-opened in September with staggered starts and children staying in bubbles etc. We are waiting for further updates and I will be in touch with you as soon as possible to remind you of the arrangements we had in place in the Autumn Term.
This article reflects the latest government guidance as of 5pm on 22 February. The latest update is about schools reopening to all pupils from 8 March.
Schools to reopen to all pupils from 8 March
- All pupils will be allowed to return to face-to-face education
- Before and after-school educational activities and wraparound childcare should resume where this provision is needed to support parents to work, attend education, seek medical care or attend a support group. Vulnerable children can attend this provision in all circumstances
- In primary schools:
- Staff will continue to take 2 rapid COVID-19 tests each week at home
- There are currently no plans to test pupils when they return to school
- In secondary schools:
- Staff will be provided with 2 rapid COVID-19 tests to use each week at home
- Pupils will need to take 3 tests as they return to school from 8 March, at existing school testing facilities. You’ll have discretion on how to stagger pupils’ return over that first week to enable them to be tested, but you should prioritise vulnerable children, children of critical workers and year groups 10 to 13
- After the initial programme of 3 tests, pupils will get 2 rapid tests to use each week at home
Thank you again for your continued support.
Friday 12th February 2021
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you so much for all of your support with regards to home learning. You have been absolutely amazing helping the children access DB remote learning and Microsoft TEAMS, we couldn’t do this without you all. Key worker/Vulnerable children will return to school and remote learning will begin again after half term on Monday 22nd February.
Reporting symptoms after the school closes for February Half Term
Nettlesworth Primary school will close on Friday February 12th . If your child develops symptoms of coronavirus you must book a test.
If your child develops symptoms that result in a positive test, up to and including February 14th which result in a positive test up to 18th February, you must inform the school at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Please include the name of your child, their class and the date that their symptoms started, as well as your own contact details.
From Monday 15th February
If your child develops coronavirus symptoms from Monday 15th February onwards, they must be tested and, if positive, follow the advice of Test and Trace. You do not need to inform the school of any symptoms which occur after this date.
Contact tracing during the February Half Term
Please be aware that the school, following the guidance of the Department for Education and Public Health, will do the following for 6 days after the end of term:
- Collect information from staff and pupils with positive tests and families of symptomatic pupils
- Advise families of close contact with confirmed Covid cases, and inform them of self-isolation requirements
Have a lovely February Half Term and well deserved rest
10 February 2021
At this difficult time where schools are unable to offer on site education to all, they have been working extremely hard to provide an alternative education offer to ensure the continuity of children’s learning.
It is appreciated that sometimes there can be some technical difficulties accessing remote learning, and we also recognise that parents who are educating their children at home may also be working from home, balancing the demands of home life and employment circumstances. Should you have any difficulties accessing your school’s remote education offer, we would encourage you to contact the school to resolve these as a matter of urgency.
If you are unable to access the school’s remote learning because of some other difficulty, it is imperative that you contact the school at your earliest opportunity so that learning can re-commence, and so that, as a parent, you can continue to meet your duty in law to ensure that your child(ren) of compulsory school age receive a suitable full-time education.
Schools have important duties to ensure that children are safe, well and receive the support that they need whilst remote learning. If a pupil is not accessing this, and the school are unable to make contact with you, naturally the school may be concerned. It is therefore important that parents maintain an open dialogue with schools so that they can help you with any concerns or difficulties. In some circumstances, it may be necessary for the school to make a referral to the Local Authority who will assess whether a home visit is required.
Head of Education and Skills