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Guidance for school reopening - September 2020

Dear Parents / Carers 

I want to once again thank you all for your support during the pandemic and acknowledge the adaptability of all of the children to the situation. With the release of new Government guidance I am writing to inform you of the arrangements for transition and the return to school in September this year. As you know, this year has been very different and as such our approach to September is different to normal.

 

This year, we are unable to have face to face transition during the summer term, due to current Coronavirus guidelines we are working to. However the ‘new’ class teachers have been inviting the children in their new classes for ‘zoom’ meetings so that they can ask questions/talk about any concerns they may have for the new school year.

 

We will be welcoming all of the children back to school on Thursday 3rd September and the first two days will be treated as transition days enabling the children to become familiar with the rules and routines within their new classrooms. Further information about our Reception new starters has been sent out in a separate letter.

 

Following the release of the new guidance, we will continue to operate a staggered start/end to the school day in September in order to minimise interaction between bubbles and adults gathering together. The children’s class will be their ‘bubble’ and systems will ensure that they do not mix with other class ‘bubbles’ at playtimes and lunchtimes. The DFE guidance has advised that children in bubbles are not required to social distance from each other, but staff are required to maintain 2m distance, wherever possible.

 

As has been the case with bubbles this term, each ‘bubble’ will have their own allocated outdoor space and lunches will be eaten in classrooms for the majority, in line with our risk assessment. This appears to have worked well since June and again it will be something that we constantly keep under review. We are unable to offer Breakfast Club for now, as this would mean that they would be mixing with other ‘bubbles’, but again this will be reviewed regularly and we will continue to explore all possibilities as further guidance is released. Just bear with us on this for the first few weeks – we are currently exploring all possibilities!

 

From September 3rd, drop off and pick up times are as follows:

 

Year Group

Drop off time/Gate  (*)

Pick Up time /Gate

Class R (Miss Robinson)

8.50am – Church Gate

3.20pm Church Gate

Class 1 (Miss Decouto)

8.55am – Church Gate

3.25pm Church Gate

Class 2 (Miss Broughton)

8.45am – Church Gate

3.15pm Church Gate

Class 3 (Mrs Tyrrell)

8.55am – Devonshire Gate leave via Harrington Street

3.25pm Devonshire Gate leave via Harrington/Church

Class 4 (Miss Burgoyne)

8.45am – Devonshire Gate leave via Harrington Street

3.15pm Devonshire Gate leave via Harrington/Church

Class 5 (Mrs Camish)

8.45am – Devonshire Street leave via Harrington Street or Church

3.15pm Devonshire Street

Class 6 (Mrs Kirkham)

8.55am - Devonshire Street or Church

3.25pm Devonshire Street

 

(*) Please note – Devonshire Street will be for access onto the premises ONLY – you will not be able to EXIT

By using all three entrances/exits, we are trying to minimise contact and gathering of adults and children and therefore reducing the risk of transmission as well as staggering the use of the available sinks for handwashing.

 

We ask that you support the one-way anti-clockwise system across school and keep moving rather than waiting in groups. Staff will be on hand to guide their classes into the specified lining up space and take them into the classroom. It is important that the children arrive at school at their allocated time and are collected promptly and do not gather collectively within the Church car park for example. We recognise that ‘siblings’ may be in year groups where there may be ‘collection times’ at a similar time but different gates – in these instances we will arrange for the older sibling to come to the younger sibling’s exit point. (Bear with us, this is working progress!)

 

The following requests are made:

  • If your child is accompanied to school – please limit this to one adult.
  • The drop off and collection times have been allocated to reduce adult to adult contact.
  • Adults must not gather at the entrance gates.
  • Children should walk or cycle to school where possible.
  • The children should return in full uniform.
  • The children will need to bring a water bottle each day that goes home to be washed each day.
  • A snack for break time ( KS1 will receive a piece of fruit through the Government fruit scheme)
  • Coat
  • P.E kit on designated days.

 

All other equipment will be provided by school and not shared between bubbles without thorough cleaning.

 

Handwashing

Children will have frequent opportunities to wash their hands with soap and water and will be reminded of the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach when coughing/sneezing and disposing of tissues.

An increased cleaning regime will be in place, with classroom surfaces, toilets and necessary equipment sanitized throughout the day to reduce the risk of cross contamination.

 

Lunchtimes

In September, we will be trialling new times to support the bubble process and enabling the midday team to be allocated to certain bubbles as well as ensuring children are in different zones of school. This will be under constant review.

 

Medication/Health Care Plans

During this pandemic, school staff will only administer medication for asthma, life dependent medications and emergency medication (eg: epipen). Health Care plans will be updated ready for the new academic year.

If your child is ill (no matter what their symptoms), they must stay at home and you must inform the school office.

 

Coronavirus Symptoms

If anyone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or high temperature, they will be sent home. Other symptoms might include a loss of or change to sense of smell or taste and you will be asked to come and collect your child. Details can be found at https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus - covid-19/symptoms/coronavirus-in-children/

 

Please note:

When a child or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. All staff and children will be able to access a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested. It is important for us to know if the test is negative or positive. If anybody in the school tests positive, then we must contact Public Health England and engage with the Track and Trace.

Where the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to school and the fellow household members can end their self –isolation. Where the child or staff member tests positive we will take advice from Public Health England as to what to do next. It is clear in the guidance that if we have a positive case this does not necessarily mean that the school will have to close. However, it is possible that a group of children will have to self – isolate.

 

Attendance Expectations

The Department for Education released new guidance on the 2nd of July stating that, ‘school attendance will be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term.’ This means that from this point, the usual rules around school attendance will apply.

 

We will of course be reviewing our arrangements on a regular basis and will keep up to date with government releases.

 

Thank you for your on-going patience, support and understanding, throughout what has been a year of unique challenge for us all.

 

Well-being and Support

We recognise that some of our pupils have not been in the school building since March and may be feeling a little hesitant about returning to school and particularly as there are new systems in place to get used to. However, please reassure them that the staff are here to support and the ‘groups’ that have returned this term have quickly adapted to the situation.

 

Whilst this letter contains a lot of information, on the positive it helps us to think that we are getting St Anne’s back to full capacity which is our primary aim. We have been told as Head Teachers to expect further guidance in the second week of August and should I need to amend any of our initial plans I will be in touch with you all.

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