The staff of the school are delighted to be welcoming all our pupils back next term. We have missed them all!
We all know how important school is for children’s education and wellbeing. The government have decided that the prevalence of Covid-19 has decreased and, with their Test and Trace system up and running, they believe the time is right to bring all children back to school.
There will continue to be a system of protective measures in place to keep everyone as safe as possible at school. The purpose of this letter is to describe to you the main changes, so you are aware what awaits your child and you know how to work within our guidelines to fully support their return to school.
All our systems and procedures outlined below are detailed on a risk assessment that has been agreed with Dorset Council.
1. All children are expected back in September
School attendance will be compulsory.
The usual rules on attendance will apply, including;
- Parents’ duty to make sure your child attends school regularly and to inform us of any absences
- School’s responsibility to record attendance and follow up absence
- Denial of authorisation for holidays in term-time
- The availability of sanctions, including fixed-penalty notices
2. Minimising contact with individuals who are unwell
Pupils must not come into school if they display any of the symptoms of coronavirus or have tested positive in the last 7 days. Children who develop symptoms during the school day will be sent home and will need to be tested.
3. Keeping clean
- Pupils will be cleaning their hands frequently during the day. To avoid crowding at our limited handwashing facilities, we will also be using hand sanitiser and cleaning wipes.
- We will continue to promote the ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach in class
Please help your child by reinforcing the importance of good hand and respiratory hygiene at home.
The school building will continue to be thoroughly cleaned every day, and we have employed additional cleaning help for next term.
Please note that Public Health England does not recommend the use of face coverings in schools.
4. Minimising contact between individuals
- Pupils will become part of a class of 30 or more once again, but each class will be kept separate from the other.
- There will be no expectation that pupils will distance themselves from each other in class.
- Staff will need to keep 2m apart from their pupils where possible.
- Pupils will be able to work in small groups with children from other classes for short periods.
- Staff can work in different classes and children on the same day.
- Most classes will be arranged so the pupils will sit side by side and facing forwards.
- There will be no assemblies.
5. Drop-off arrangements at the start of the day
- We are continuing a staggered start to the day to avoid large numbers of parents waiting together.
- Parents mustn’t gather together anywhere so please time your arrival so you don’t have to wait – children can then go straight into class
- Our one-way drop-off route will remain. Please enter through the front pedestrian gate and exit through the lower playground gate.
- There will inevitably be some difficulty for parents of children with different drop-off times. Our apologies for this but we can’t organise it any other way.
Reception 8.45am 8.55am Rec gate
Year 1 8.55am 9.05am Unit 1
Year 2 8.55am 9.05am Unit 1
Year 3 8.45am 8.55pm Unit 2
Year 4 8.45am 8.55am Unit 2
Year 5 8.35am 8.45am Unit 3
Year 6 8.35am 8.45am Unit 3
6. Collection arrangements
- We are continuing staggered finish times to avoid large numbers of parents waiting together.
- We have also rearranged collection points so that children leaving at the same time exit through different gates.
- Collection points will be either the front pedestrian gate or the lower playground gate.
Reception 3.15pm Rec gate
Year 1 3.10pm Front pedestrian gate
Year 2 3.10pm Lower playground gate
Year 3 3.15pm Front pedestrian gate
Year 4 3.15pm Lower playground gate
Year 5 3.05pm Front pedestrian gate
Year 6 3.05pm Lower playground gate
7. Coming into school
I’m afraid we must keep visits into school to a minimum, so parents won’t be able to come to school without an appointment. Likewise, you will not be able to speak to the teacher before school. It’s not how we’d prefer to work with you but, in all cases, we are encouraging the use of email as an alternative – teachers email addresses have been sent to you in the new class welcome letters. We hope to revert to being our more welcoming selves soon.
The same restrictions apply to the school office – you must keep visits down to the absolute essential ones only. Our lovely office staff will be readily available on phone or email.
8. Pupils’ equipment
- Pupils must limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day
- Reading books should be brought into school and will be swapped daily
- Pupils can take other resources home, when necessary
- Bags are allowed
- No toys please
Please bring all maths books, writing books and chromebooks back to school on the first day.
Children should return to school in normal school uniform. In particular, can we ask you to give due regard to the following areas that are usually troublesome following the summer holiday:
- Shoes: no sandals, canvas or sports brands
- Ear studs should be small
- Long hair should be tied back
- Tattoos and nail varnish should be removed
Thank you for your support with this.
We are planning a curriculum of catch-up for the first term as we get to grips with gaps in children’s learning. There will also be an increased emphasis on personal, social, health and emotional lessons, especially for the first week. As well as reading, writing and maths, the pupils will be following the Cornerstones curriculum topic for the term, details of which have been sent to you in your welcome letters from your new teacher.
There are some significant rule changes for PE which will sadly mean we’ll probably end up doing less at school for a while:
- PE will be outdoors only. Our hall is too small to cope with a whole class’s strenuous breathing!
- Please can we have PE kit in school everyday. We’ll fit PE in around the weather so it may not always be the same time each week.
- Contact sports are not allowed.
- Equipment will be cleaned after use.
- The daily mile will continue as it encourages both exercise and social distancing!
12. Breakfast Club
This will restart in September. Children will be kept in separate class groups and will enjoy various games at their tables, before breakfast is served by Mrs Sharpe and Mrs Harris. Please book through SCOpay if you wish to reserve a place.
13. After-school clubs
We won’t be running any clubs after school for the first term, at least. This is because clubs normally comprise children from different classes – and this isn’t possible under the guidance.
All school sporting fixtures have been suspended for the term.
Hot school meals will be available to all parents as normal, and continue to be free to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2.
Local Food Links have a new online ordering system and you should, by now, have received a ping or email with your child’s activation code to log on to the new system. Please ensure that you order meals (7 days in advance) for your child’s return on the first day of term. If you have any queries regarding the new system, please telephone Local Food Links on 01308 420269.
15. Behaviour Policy
Below are the additional points to our Behaviour Policy which we’ve written to help keep children as safe as possible. We’ve used them in the summer term with no problems. It’s important that children abide by these rules so we’d be grateful if you could talk them through with your child before returning to school. Thank you.
- consistently follow new routines for arrival and departure
- always follow school instructions on hygiene, such as handwashing and sanitising
- stay in class groups at all times, following instructions on who they can socialise with
- move around the school as per specific instructions, following designated pathways and avoiding areas that are out-of-bounds – such as where they can or cannot play
- Following instructions for playtime games (eg no contact – esp football)
- follow guidance for sneezing, coughing, tissues and disposal (‘catch it, bin it, kill it’)
- not cough or spit at or towards any other person
- try hard not to touch mouth, nose and eyes
- tell an adult if they are unwell
- follow class rules about sharing any equipment or other items including drinking bottles
- use only the designated toilets and ask staff before going (so that numbers using the toilet can be monitored)
16. Contingency Plan
Should there be a local lockdown resulting in a school closure, we will revert to online daily tasks set by teachers on our website (in the same format as when we started the lockdown in March).
If there is another lockdown, we expect to continue to stay open for the children of key workers.
17. Start of term
The first day back will be Thursday 3rd September. We are planning two gentle and fun familiarisation days for everyone before the term starts fully the following Monday.
18. Any questions?
Please contact the school office or Mr Mason directly on email@example.com