We are all looking forward to welcoming the children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1,and Year 6 back to school after half term. We have been working hard to develop our plans to partially open the school and can now provide further details of how we anticipate the school will operate day today, providing there is no change to government advice before 1 June.
The children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will attend school every day, all day Monday –Thursday and until lunchtime on Friday. The children will be allocated to a ‘pod’ with a maximum of 15 children and 2 staff in each. Their contact will be limited to those in the same pod. This reduces the number of contacts for everyone with the emphasis on isolating each pod from other pods, rather than physical distance between individuals.
Parents will not be allowed onto the school site for any reason. If you need to speak to your child’s teacher, or contact the School Office, please email and we will respond or call you as appropriate.
Questions and Answers for Parents and Carers
Is the intention to create ‘bubbles’ of children and adults, meaning that my child will only ever have contact with the same children and adults?
Yes. The government guidelines recommend using ‘bubbles’ (which we are calling pods) recognising that children, especially younger ones, will not be able to socially distance from each other. This means that we focus on reducing the number of individuals each person has contact with rather than reducing contact through physical distance between individuals.
We have split each year group into two groups to achieve a maximum of 15 children and 2 adults for each pod.
Will the teachers be wearing gloves and masks? Will the children need masks?
Wearing a face covering or face mask in schools has not been recommended. The government advice is that face coverings may be beneficial for short periods indoors where there is a risk of close social contact with people you do not usually meet and where social distancing and other measures cannot be maintained, for example on public transport or in some shops, which does not apply to schools.
Children of primary age should not wear face masks, as incorrect use may inadvertently increase the risk of transmission.
Staff will have access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as gloves and masks where close contact is necessary, e.g. if a child needs first aid or intimate care, or if a child becomes ill with Covid symptoms at school.
Will they be socially distancing at school? How can social distancing be enforced when the children are so young? Will they keep the 2-metre distance?
We will encourage social distance by spreading out across larger spaces and multiple classrooms and using outside space as much as possible, and for older children there will be space between desks.However, the government guidelines recognise that younger children will not be able to achieve physical distancing, and therefore aims to limit contact to smaller groups of people. If a child needs help or to be comforted, teachers will be there in the usual way.
Will days/hours be the same as usual? Will the days be split?Will you be providing before and after school care or after school clubs?
The children in these year groups will attend school every day, all day Monday –Thursday and until lunchtime on Friday.
We have changed the times of the beginning and end of the day, and of break and lunch times to help keep pods apart. We will also finish early on Fridays to allow time for staff to prepare for the following week.
We are sorry that it will not be possible to provide wraparound care because we would not be able maintain reduced contact between the children in different pods.
Will they have an altered timetable?
We will not be able to provide our usual curriculum. Some subjects cannot be providedunder government restrictions e.g. swimming, and we will not beable share specialist teaching spaces such as the science lab, cookery room and art studio between pods. Since contact is limited to the members of each pod,we cannot use our specialist subject teachers in the usual way. All of our teachers are qualified to teach across the primary curriculum,and we are committed to providing a broad, rich learning experience at school.
How do you intend to manage social times?How would children be guided to social distance during breaks, lunches and class time.
Each pod will have a dedicated outdoor play area where they can play together whilst avoiding mixing with other pods. At lunchtime, we will eat outdoors as often as can. The dining room will be available for use on wet days, with separate sittings for each pod, additional space between seats and cleaning between sittings. Nursery will eat in the Nursery building.
Where will classes be happening?
Each pod will have their own spaces around school. They will be able to spread over multiple classrooms as well as outside space. As far as possible, they will have teachers who are familiar to them, and usually teach this year group, but there may be some staff changes where necessary to keep clinically vulnerable staff safe.
What if my child becomes unwell?
If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they should follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance-to self-isolate for 7 days and for other household members to self-isolate for 14 days.
If they develop symptoms at school, they will be isolated from others and sent home to self-isolate.
All staff and students who are attending an education or childcare setting will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario. Parents can request a test through the 111 online booking system (or by calling 111 if the child is under 5).
If they test negative, they can return to school and others in their household members can end their self-isolation.If they test positive, the rest of their pod will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. If this situation arises we will provide remote learning for the children in the pod for the period of isolation.
If your child is ill at school, we will contact you to collect them as quickly as possible. Please ensure you have arranged to be able to collect them if your usual emergency contact will not be able to under government restrictions.
Can my child attend part time?
It may be possible for children attend part time e.g. by being collected at the time their pod usually goes to lunch or by attending full days but not every day of the week.If you would like to request part time attendance, please let us know and we can confirm what would be possible.
If my child doesn’t return to school full time, will they be able to continue to learn at home?
We will continue to provide our remote learning programme only for children in Years 2 –5, as provision for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will be available at school. For those children who do not return to school, our wider remote learning resources will be available e.g. online reading scheme books, Doodlemaths and Spelling Shed.
Will the children have a communication book? Or reading books?
As nothing should travel between home and school, we will continue to use the online reading scheme books. Communication between home and school will be with your child’s pod teachers via email and phone.
Can the children wear their own clothes?
Please help your child to be in the right mindset for school by wearing school uniform as far as possible. When the children wear their own clothes they can find it more difficult to stick to the rules, and we don't want to make returning to school more difficult for them. However, we also don't want parents to have to buy additional uniform or to replace outgrown items when there are only a few weeks left of term. So wearing either PE kit or uniform, and if necessary, replacing some items with home clothes, will be fine. The children don't need to wear ties or blazers and should wear trainers as we will be outside and active as much as possible.
Can we walk to school?
Of course. To drop off just come into the school grounds as you usually do and walk your child to the gate. Just take care to maintain social distance from other families, as you would when outside of your home in other circumstances.