Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information for Parents and Carers

 

  

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you and your children are safe and well and are having some pleasant times despite the mixed weather! You kindness, patience and understanding has been much appreciated throughout this most extraordinary time and you have been incredible.  I am writing to you to share information about September and the changes that will be in place following the guidance from the government.  There is quite a lot of information in this letter and it is important that you read it carefully and understand the routines and guidance.

I am delighted that from Wednesday 2nd September children in Years 1 through to Year 6 will be returning to school with our children in Nursery and Reception following on Monday 7 September.  The whole staff team are excited to welcome you and your children back to school and to introduce you to our new ways of working which ensure everyone can play their part in reducing the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  We are currently in the process of preparing our school for the changes that will be in place from September.

Before School

It is absolutely essential that we all continue to play our part in keeping our school and our community safe:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly and ensure that your children do also.
  • The children must wash their hands before they leave home to come to school.
  • Ensure that you continue to follow government guidance on social distancing and are cautious about the numbers of people that you meet up with.
  • If you are unwell or your child is unwell, stay at home and inform the school.
  • Anyone with symptoms of Covid-19 can now get a test and the school can help you to arrange for this to be done as soon as possible.

Staggered times

 In order to allow for social distancing between classes and adults, we will be introducing a staggered start and end to the school day. Below is a table which explains which gate the children must enter through. Please note that timing is crucial to the safety of the pupils.   All gates will be sign posted to help you and staff will be available to guide you on which gate to use.)

 

Staggered Start of Day

Year Group

Time

Gate

Nursery

8.45

Gate 3   (Quinn Street)

Reception

9.00

Gate 3   (Quinn Street)

Year 1

8.45

Gate 1   (small gate main school entrance)

Year 2

8.45

Gate 2   (large gate main school entrance)

Year 3

8.55

Gate 4   (staff car park  Quinn Street)

Year 4

8.55

Gate 4   (staff car park Quinn Street)

Year 5

9.05

Gate 1   (small gate main school entrance)

Year 6

9.05

Gate 2   (large gate main school entrance)

 

Staggered End to the Day

Year Group

Time

Gate

Nursery

3.00

Gate 3 (Quinn Street)

Reception

3.10

Gate 3 (Quinn Street)

Year 1

3.00

Gate 1 (small gate main school entrance)

Year 2

3.00

Gate 2 (large gate main school entrance)

Year 3

3.10

Gate 4  (staff car park Quinn Street)

Year 4

3.10

Gate 4 (staff car park Quinn Street)

Year 5

3.15

Gate 1 (small gate main school entrance)

Year 6

3.15

Gate 2 (large gate main school entrance)

 

Late Arrivals

Due to our new routines and organisation it is essential that your children arrives to school and are picked up on time. If you are late for arrival, then your child’s class will already have made their way into school. You will have to wait with your child until all the children in all of the classes have gone into school, then a member of staff will take your child to class. If there is more than one person late you must wait at a distance of 2m from them. Please be aware that it may take a considerable amount of time to bring the children into school as they can only enter one by one to avoid mixing the classes. You must wait with your child until they are escorted in by a member of staff.

Can we ask that you do not congregate outside the school. Member of staff will be on hand to direct you. Please make sure anyone else you ask to pick up your child knows the precise timings and the gate they need. It will also be useful for them to know the name of your child’s class teacher. Please inform the school if someone is picking up your child who is not on the usual contact list.

Travelling to school

Please can we encourage you where possible to walk or cycle to school as the spread of the virus is reduced outdoors. If you use public transport, please observe the government rules regarding wearing face coverings. We have facilities for children to leave their bikes in school. We would also encourage you not to park outside or around school. We have spoken to Tesco and they have given permission for you to park in their car park and walk over to bring and pick up your children. Staff will also be around for you to support you with this.

Class Bubbles

Each class will operate as a bubble however children in Nursery and Reception will be classed as one bubble. They will work, play and have lunch together and be socially distanced from other classes outside their year group. From September, the children in each class will not have to socially distance from each other and they will be able to share a limited amount of learning equipment. The children will be provided with their own set of stationary that they can use daily. The children will be seated facing forward in the classroom, rather than in groups. This may be a little strange at first, but staff will reassure them and give support where necessary.

Equipment

Due to Covid security we will need to limit the amount of things children bring to and from school. The things that they will need to bring daily will be limited to a coat, water bottle, sun hat (if hot weather), winter hat and gloves (if cold) and a packed lunch. It is important to remind children to take their water bottles and packed lunch boxes home each day. At the start of the term, the weather may be fine, so please put a long-lasting sun cream on your child before they come to school, or send in a labelled bottle of sun cream that they can apply themselves and leave in school. They will not need to bring a school bag into school at least for the first half term. We will be looking at how we can provide homework and reading through online learning and we will send further information to you about this later on in September.

Lunchtimes

On our return in September, we will begin by limiting the menu choices for children for the first few weeks, as we will be limited to eating in classrooms, until restrictions are relaxed for children to use the hall together. We have worked with our school meals provider DOLCE and they will be providing a hot grab bag for children. Those who wish to have a meal provided by the school and those who are in receipt of free school meals as well as those in Reception Year 1 and Year 2, please continue to order via DOLCE the normal way. If you have any problems ordering please contact the school office from 1 September.

Breakfast Club

We will be providing breakfast club for those parents and carers who need it due to work commitments. I have written separately to you about the plans for Breakfast club. There will be no after schools clubs during the first part of the Autumn term.

Uniform

Full uniform must be worn from September and this includes brown or black shoes. Trainers are not acceptable as part of school uniform. On days when your child will be taking part in PE lessons they must come to school in their PE kit. As it will be Autumn they will need to wear a warm tracksuit over their shorts and T shirt. We encourage you if possible for your child to wear one of the school PE hoodies which can be purchased from the uniform shops in Widnes.  Your child’s teacher will tell you about the arrangements for PE days on our return in September. Further information about our school uniform can be found on our school website.  Please ensure all uniform is clearly labelled including your child’s coats and hats.

Outdoors

As well as playing outdoors, we will work outdoors as much as possible, as this is the best environment for reducing the spread of the virus. Children also love to be outdoors! An outdoor space has been allocated to each class to use during break times and lunch times. Please bear this in mind when preparing your child for the day. They need to be warm and dry, so a jumper and a waterproof coat are essential.

Communication in September,

There will be no access to the school for parents and carers. All queries must be made by telephone or email. We ask that if you need to speak to a member of staff you phone and make an appointment or send a message to them via the school office. We would also encourage parents and carers to make any appointments for your child outside of school hours and if this cannot happen we need to see evidence of appointments. Please ensure that your child also brings their packed lunch to school rather than you bringing it later on in the day.

Arrangements for if a child is unwell in school

If a child becomes unwell in school they will be placed in an isolation area, supervised by an adult in PPE who will sit nearby. In the rare event of this occurring I imagine this could be very distressing for a child, despite our best efforts to reassure them. This is why we need to be able to contact you immediately, so that an emergency contact can get to the school quickly in order to minimise any distress to your child. It is essential that we have at least two emergency numbers for your child. The office will be chasing this up in September.

Other safety measures

In addition to the above here are some of the things we will do in school to prevent the spread of Covid-19 as much as possible:

 · Regular and frequent handwashing and use of hand sanitizer will be encouraged in school for pupils and staff. During the summer we will be installing outside washing facilities for children to be able to wash their hands outside before going into school.

· Extra cleaning will take place; we will have a full time cleaner in school throughout the day.

· Your child will be encouraged to look after their own workspace and equipment.

 · The children will be provided with their own resources to work with whenever possible.

· Any items they have to share eg large construction in Nursery and Reception will be cleaned regularly.

 · There will be no gatherings in the hall for assemblies or singing.

 · The number of adults the children come into contact with will be limited.

What you can do in addition to the above

 · If your child has symptoms of Covid-19 do not bring them to school. Your household must then follow the government guidance on isolating and getting a test.

· Dropping off and collecting children, can only be done at the specified time, at the specified gate. Late arrivals will not be admitted to school until all other classes have entered. Late arrivals will be escorted to their class one at a time in order to maintain social distancing. You must wait with your child until they have been escorted into school. Please be aware that this may take some time.

 · You cannot collect your child from school at an earlier time than that specified for your child’s class.

· If your child is given a hospital or unavoidable dental appointment during the school day, arrangements must be made with the school office for late admittance/ early collection. A letter or appointment card from the hospital/ dentist must be provided to the school so that appropriate safety measures can be put in place for the drop off/ collection of your child outside the designated time.

· Your child and those with whom they live must follow government guidance on social distancing.

Attendance

Attendance at school is compulsory from 2nd September. We will continue to monitor attendance and will ring up each day if your child is absent and we have had no communication from you. I know that you may be anxious about bringing your child to school after such a long period of lock down, however, I can assure you that those children who did return before school closed for the summer settled quickly and benefitted from the routine and structure that school provides. Your child will greatly benefit socially, emotionally and academically from returning to school and you can see from this letter we have put so much in place to ensure their safety.

Learning

When the children return the teachers will be able to get on with what they do best; building relationships with the children, keeping them safe, assessing where their learning is up to and planning to move them onto the next stage of learning. Whether you have done lots of school work in lockdown with your children, or none, we will be able to meet the children where they are, and support them to fill the gaps in their learning and to move on. Please do not add to this challenging time for families by feeling guilty in any way about how you have managed during the lockdown period. We will not be judging you. You have done your best and that is all anybody can ask for. You have guided your child through an ongoing global pandemic… and that makes you an amazing parent! Now we can continue that work together, supporting each other through the next stage.

School will not be the same as it was in March for our children and I would appreciate it if you could share some of what is in this letter with your children so that they are prepared for September. We have amazing staff who will ensure that your child is safe and happy and will ensure that they continue to receive the very best education during this pandemic.

I will write to you again, before our return to school to confirm the above arrangements.  We will continue to follow government guidance and in the event of a local lockdown or school closure, we will keep you updated on our plans including home learning.

Please look out on the app and on the school website for this information.

Take care and stay safe.

Yours sincerely

K Landrum

Headteacher

Files to Download

Contact Us

St Gerard's Catholic Primary and Nursery School

Lugsdale Road, Widnes, Cheshire, WA8 6DD

Office Manager: Mrs M Roach

0151 424 2879

Sec2.StGerards@halton.gov.uk

Student Login

STAFF LOGIN
PARENT LOGIN
SCHOOL BLOGS