Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Parents and Carers
You will have heard that the Government have now confirmed that schools in England will begin to re-open for more children from Monday 1 June. I am writing to you to provide further information about this. As you aware, our priority has always been about keeping our children safe. A thorough risk assessment, taken from government guidance, has now been completed and we are in a position to share our plan. As you are aware, school has remained open for the children of critical workers and for vulnerable pupils also.
The government is now asking schools to plan for a gradual further opening for more children to return to school and has prioritised Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Parents will need to decide whether to follow government advice or not to allow your child to return to school. However it should be taken in to account that children who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, due to pre-existing medical conditions, or children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, are not expected to return to school for the time being. Parents who decide not to send their child back to school until September will not receive any penalty or fine.
For the children who do return to school we need to inform you and prepare you for the fact that sadly school will not be how they left it in March. The children will be in smaller classes with up to 15 children from within the same year group. Once allocated within their group this will not be changed and children will not be allowed to mix between groups.
Children may not be with their own Teacher, some will be led and supported by a Teaching Assistant, however your child’s class Teacher will plan and supervise the teaching. We have put measures in place to encourage children to remember to keep their distance from each other although it is widely recognised that physical distancing is difficult for young children.
Children will not be able to share resources or equipment; there will be changes to the start and end of the school day to stagger start times to avoid parents congregating and to enable the two-metre social distancing. Playtimes and lunch times will also be staggered. Children will eat with the children in the group at their designated space.
We will continue to provide a safe learning environment for our children and we will be gradually increasing the numbers of children attending school while it remains safe to do so. It is thought that by returning children gradually, we can initially reduce the number of children in classrooms to allow us to put protective measures in place to reduce risks.
Therefore, we are planning to phase the children in in as follows:
- School will continue to open for key worker and vulnerable children each day Monday – Friday from 8.30 am -3.00pm.
- On Monday 8 June we intend to welcome children back from Nursery and Reception.
- On Monday 15 June we intend to welcome children back from Year 1 as well as continuing to have key worker/Vulnerable children and Nursery/ Reception children.
- On Monday 22 June, we intend to welcome children back from Year 6 as well as continuing to have key worker/vulnerable children, Nursery/ Reception children and year 1.
- School will not be open for children on Friday other than key worker/ vulnerable children; this will allow Teachers to plan and prepare home learning packs and for a deep clean to take place.
The government’s ambition is to welcome back other children from other year groups but we will need to wait until later in June to confirm these arrangements. The DfE is keeping this under review. No after school clubs or breakfast club will run for the remainder of the summer term. Current guidance is that school will close for the summer (as previously arranged) on Friday 17 July.
The government recognises that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children will find it more difficult to remain two metres apart from each other and staff, therefore additional measures have been put in place to try to minimise the risks of transmission, including:
- frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
- regular cleaning of all areas in school
- minimising contact and mixing, with children in small groups
While we continue to put in place a range of control measures to minimise risks, this will not mean that risks can be removed altogether. A Home-School Agreement will also be sent out to families. Please ensure that you read through this with your child and ensure that all points are understood and will be adhered to. For those children who are not planning to return to school, Home Learning will continue.
Thank you if you have already responded to the survey to confirm your decision on whether or not to send your child back to school. If you have not communicated your decision to us or confirmed it, please do so by Monday 1st June so that a place can be allocated. Remember, we will support in any way that we can. Call or email school and we will get back to you.
Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. Those of you who have said yes to your child returning we will be in contact with you next week for final confirmation and to provide you with further details.
Take care and stay safe.
Mr. K Landrum