Full School Re-opening September 2020
I hope you have all had a wonderful summer despite the strangeness of the ongoing pandemic we find ourselves still living in. Next week, we will welcome all our children back to Warmingham.
The following information about the safe reopening of our whole school will hopefully answer your questions and help reassure you. Obviously, situations can change rapidly in this current climate and I will continue to keep you all updated with any guidance amendments, as quickly as possible.
In welcoming all children back this autumn, we are working on minimising the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day as part of implementing the system of controls outlined below to reduce the risk of transmission, whilst also ensuring that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress.
When will my child return to school?
As you will be aware, the government have stated that all children will return to school in the autumn term. Our term will begin as planned on Wednesday 2nd September. Our new reception children will be starting on Monday 7th September. From September, the government have stated that attendance at school will be mandatory once again.
What is a ‘bubble’?
You may have heard the term ‘bubble’ used over the past few months. This refers to the groups that children are required to be in throughout the day. From September, there will no longer be a limit to the size of our bubbles which means the children will be back together in their classes. Bubbles will continue to take break and lunchtimes at different times during the day and will not mix with other bubbles. As we are such a small school I have put Otters and Hedgehogs into one bubble with two separate classes so they can play together at playtime. Class bubbles will be taught by:
Otters (Reception): Mrs Allen and Mrs Brookes (MDA).
Mrs Elkington will also be helping Mrs Allen for the first few weeks.
Hedgehogs (Year 1 and Year 2): Mrs Long, Mrs Knight and Mrs Wright (MDA)
Squirrels (Year 3 and Year 4): Mrs Craven (Monday to Wednesday), Miss Turrell (Thursday & Friday), Miss Killilea and Mrs Dowman (MDA)
Badgers (Year 5 and Year 6): Miss Rauer, Mrs Gregory and Mrs Morris
PE : Miss Turrell (Monday all day, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons)
We will restart our broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum for all. PHSE will focus on well-being. Assessment of pupils will take place early in the autumn term to further plan for the rest of the term. Love Music Trust (the external music provision we use) has been brought back for the children in Badgers. They will continue with their clarinet and saxophone lessons. All additional safety and hygiene guidelines will be strictly adhered to.
In order to provide a broad and balanced curriculum, whilst also supporting pupils where needed, staff movement between bubbles will be kept to a minimum but is permitted in the latest guidance.
I will be teaching Maths in KS2 and Mrs Killilea will be supporting Maths in Hedgehogs.
All children should return to school in their full school uniform from September. If children wish to come back in summer uniform this is permissible until October half term. The latest guidance does state that uniform does not now need to be cleaned daily and so ties and blazers can be worn again.
On the days that children have PE (Monday and Tuesday) we are asking that the children come to school in their full PE kit as we do not have enough space for pupils to change safely. It will also limit the amount of bags coming into school. Plain jogging bottoms may be more advisable particularly as the weather changes further into the term.
What arrangements are in place for the start and end of the school day?
Staggered start and finish times will continue in the autumn term until the current restrictions are lifted.
Drop Off and Pick Up Times:
Badgers (Year 5/6): 9:00am and 3pm
Squirrels (Year 3/4): 9:00am and 3pm
Hedgehogs (Year 1/2): 9:10am and 3:10pm
Otters (Reception): 9:10am and 3:10pm
Siblings: 8:45am abnd 2:45pm
What if I have children in two separate bubbles?
Please drop your children off at the earlier time and then pick them up at the later time.
Parents must adhere to these times otherwise we will risk cross contamination between bubbles. Please do not arrive early. Only one parent/adult is allowed to accompany children at drops off and picks up times. If you are late, we ask you to wait until 9.15am to ensure that the children are in school and all of the adults have left the site. Please note you will need to report to the main gate as the other gate will be locked.
When dropping off or collecting, parents must follow the one way system in place and observe current social distancing guidelines. The one-way system is clearly signposted for parents. Mrs Marsden and I will around to guide you. This worked particularly well last term, and most parents felt it was much safer than parking on the Village Hall carpark. Over the summer, Ian Rutter has put down some more stones to reduce the amount of puddles. Thank you, Ian.
If you have different people helping you with drop and pick up times, could you please ensure that you tell them about our one way system, especially if they are used to parking on the Village Hall carpark.
Which door should my child use?
Otters – Otter’s gate at the back of the school.
Hedgehogs – Hedgehog’s classroom door at the back of school.
Squirrels – Squirrel’s playground door at the front of the school.
Badgers – Through the playground door by the gas tank.
What will a typical day look like?
Lessons and activities will follow a broad, balanced and ambitious curriculum from the start of the autumn term. We will make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content: for example through an emphasis on reading, writing and maths.
Each bubble will have allocated play and lunchtimes to ensure that bubbles don’t mix. Each bubble is also given an allocated toilet slot, again to ensure that bubbles do not mix. Children will be able to go to the toilet at other times but an adult will ensure it is not in use.
What about Lunchtimes?
Lunch is to be eaten at the children’s desks in the classroom area. Lunch can be ordered from the school but at present we will not be able to serve the full hot lunch option. Lunches will continue to be free for Otters and Hedgehogs and £2.25 per day for Squirrels and Badgers (unless in receipt of free school meals). A modified hot lunch menu has been devised below.
At present we will not be able to offer a snack at break and we ask you to send something with your child if they want a break time snack. The fruit scheme will be restarting for Otters and Hedgehogs w/c 14th September.
Children are not to access the main building during lunch time and movement of the children will be tightly controlled so they remain in their bubbles throughout the lunchtime period either in their class or outside on the playground at their allocated time or on the field in their bubble zones.
What changes have been made inside of school?
- All desks are forward facing where children can sit side by side.
- There will be minimal movement around the corridors with all classrooms using exterior doors for access.
- All children with have their own pencil case with equipment in – we will provide these.
- Channels for the teacher have been created behind the desks for teachers to move.
- All furniture not being used has been stored, including soft furnishings which cannot be cleaned.
- Doors to be propped open to allow for ventilation and limit the use of door handles (where safe to do so bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding).
- Windows will be opened across the school as soon as the school is open.
- Cloak rooms to be left empty and children to keep their coats, PE kits (when needed) on the back of chairs.
- Children are discouraged from bringing anything from home that is unnecessary. Only a water bottle, a healthy snack, and coat will be required with a lunch box if they are not having a school meal.
- Classroom spaces will be accessed from a singular entrance from outside.
- Children will not be allowed to use the corridors unaccompanied.
- Wedges to be used to keep doors open.
- We are purchasing A4 transparent zip wallets that the children can use to transport their reading book and reading journal to and from school in so they don’t need a big bag or even book bag as everything brought in will be kept on or under their desk space.
- NO Bags, Rucksacks, Book Bags, pencil cases, toys, show and tell allowed to be brought into school for now (everything that your child needs for learning will be provided including their very own individual pencil case.
- Bubbles will be allocated different play and lunchtimes.
- Where lessons and weather permit, learning is to take place outside; teachers should use outdoor education wherever possible.
- Children are not to enter the building alone during break time.
- Toilets will not be allowed to become overcrowded and staff will supervise entry/exit.
- Toilet breaks will be kept to a minimum and only one child at a time will be allowed to go to the toilet at a time.
- Toilets will be cleaned more regularly during the day and deep cleans of toilets will take place weekly.
What hygiene measures has the school put in place? Please note, the systems we have in place are aimed at reducing the risk. They will not eliminate the risk.
- Enhanced hygiene practices will continue throughout the school.
- There will be regular cleaning throughout the day and all shared equipment will be cleaned thoroughly before passing onto another bubble – IT equipment. Enhanced and rigorous cleaning practice will take place at the start, end of the day with a deeper clean on a Friday evening. Additional cleaning will also occur during the day after any shared equipment has been used. This will include lunchtimes.
- Cash cannot be accepted. Payment for lunches etc must be made online using ‘schoolmoney’. Any problems contact Mrs Marsden.
Teachers will talk with the children about safe hygiene practice. It will include regular hand washing for the recommended time throughout the day. This will generally be every 90 minutes. It will include talking to children about the ‘Catch it. Kill it. Bin it.’ approach to good infection control.
Cleaning materials will be available in all classrooms, including soaps and hand sanitisers.
Can I come into school?
Parents should still not enter the school building. Any communication should be done via email, telephone, conference call or via our new postbox outside the main office. Until further notice all meetings will be conducted either via Zoom or over the phone.
What if my child is ill/shows symptoms at school?
Please do not send your child to school if they have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive in the last 10 days. (coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms)
If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home. Whilst, a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved, to our isolation room where they can be isolated behind a closed door with adult supervision. PPE will be worn by the member of staff caring for the child while they await collection.
Any child sent home will be advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). At this point an alert letter will be sent out to the bubble to ask them to remain vigilant to symptoms. Any child displaying symptoms should remain off school until the test results have been received. We ask that all parents inform us immediately of the results of a test so that any appropriate action can be taken. If the test is negative the child’s bubble will be informed that there is not a case in school.
If someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’ and must continue to self-isolate for at least 10 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 10-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days. At this point school will contact the local health protection team who will work with the school to guide them through the actions which will need to be taken. The health protection team will provide definitive advice on whom must be sent home.
With Covid 19 still circulating in the community there may be a time when I will need to either close a bubble or close the whole school. Bubbles will only be closed if there is a confirmed case and the school maybe closed if there was an outbreak. An outbreak is confirmed as 2 or more positive cases within 14 days. At this point the school would work with our local health protection team.
Any bubble or school closure would result in home learning re-ignited for those pupils affected and immediate remote education would be offered. This would take the form of the planning we have been using since June 1st with the addition of high quality video with teachers explaining new content. Every class teacher would provide a detailed weekly plan of writing, maths, reading, spelling and topic work to support the children at home. In addition to this we have set up Google classrooms which will allow us to use online face to face teaching at this point and pupils to share their work so that we meet the latest DfE requirements of a consistent online tool which allows daily interaction, assessment and feedback. Staff will receive training on this early in September and information will be shared with all parents through our Remote Learning Procedure within the first few weeks of the school year.
What to do now….
We are currently working with 3 bubbles within school at present and I wanted to reassure you that all the systems, procedures and processes we have implemented are working well. I do understand however, that for some of you this may be an anxious time thinking about sending your children back to school and should you have any concerns or worries about returning to school please don’t hesitate to contact me. I will be in school for the remainder of this week.
I do firmly believe though that returning to school in September is vital for children’s education and well- being. The risk to children themselves of becoming severely ill from Covid 19 is very low and there are negative health impacts as well as academic effects of being out of school for such a long time. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the low risk from coronavirus.
In order to help the children, prepare for their return I will be using the welcome back booklet produced for those who returned in the summer term and making further videos for the returning year groups to explain some of the changes which they will see. This will be shared with parents using our school website, and Facebook later this week.
I appreciate that this is a lot of information to absorb. However, I thought that it was important to confirm with you how the full re-opening of Warmingham CE Primary will look next week. Should you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Thank you as always for your support, patience and understanding during these past few months and I look forward to welcoming you all back to school next week.
Principal of Warmingham CE Primary
Proud member of the Rural Church Schools Academy Trust