School Update - Phased Opening

Dear Parents

I am overwhelmed by your positivity and thank you for your supportive comments and thanks.  I completely understand the reservations that some people have and want to give you as much information as I can so that you can make a reasoned decision.

I have written this letter in response to address some of your questions on the survey and others sent via the office@ email address.  I have copied relevant sections out of the Risk Assessment as I am still working on the whole document with the team and it will need to go to governors prior to publishing. 

There have been 222 parent responses so far with 165 children returning to school.  We have 61 staff willing to return, as at today’s date, and 8 staff who are shielding plus Jason and Christine in the kitchen, who have been in all the time.  All the AMEY team have been in all along deep cleaning the buildings. The painters and decorators have been in Y1 and Y2 and are replacing the carpets so it’s all looking very smart.

We are mindful of maintaining social bubbles of children with the same staff and children as far as possible in the classroom and in zoned areas at playtimes, where they will be with adults known to the children, as far as possible.  In addition, there will be staggered drop off and pick up times to accommodating siblings at the same times.  There will be a map with a one-way system for footfall on display for drop offs.  There will be 2m markings in corridors, the hall and outside the classroom where they line up.  Tables are set at 2m apart with ample room.

The transition back in to school is flexible and people can change their minds at any time and we will adapt.  We can see which parents are unsure from the questions and are flexible with your decisions.

The children will be with their class members and friends as far as possible.

As an aside the keyworker children have been an eye opener as they have varied in age from 3 – 11 and have made new friends across the age range and been incredibly resilient and on the whole, happy!  We have also seen such caring relationships between siblings.  They are kept busy and there’s never a dull moment.

So some answers to your questions:

  • Y6 – the children can walk if you trust them to social distance.
  • There will definitely be hot dinners available.  You will be able to book these through ParentMail once you have been advised of your group and received a ‘book now’ email from the School Office.
  • Key worker children will join the key worker group when they are not in class.  We are still thinking about this group and findings ways to reduce cross over between groups and we will keep you informed of any further decisions.
  • EYs will be distanced at tables and on the carpet and we will use our coloured spots on the floor to demarcate 2m.  The Reception team have been setting out activities in hoops on the floor, which has worked well.
  • We expect parents to check temperatures and check for symptoms before the children come to school and we will be vigilant during the day and may call you if your child show symptoms, in which case they would need collecting straightaway.  We have thermometers in school to check children showing any symptoms.
  • I shall upload pictures of the classrooms etc to my blog later in the week.
  • We will accommodate siblings in Nursery, Early Years, Year 1 and Year 6 on the same days and at the same time for drop offs.
  • We will maintain Seesaw in the year groups not in school but reducing it for the year groups in school.  They will get work in between to consolidate the work they do in class and there will be basic learning for those not in school yet.  It won’t be possible for teachers to maintain the level of support they have given during lockdown as, unfortunately, they will be in school.
  • Staff will not be wearing PPE unless otherwise advised; however, we have PPE for personal care, any child who displays symptoms of Covid-19 and potential physical behaviour incidents.  This consists of gloves, masks and aprons.

I hope that answers most of the questions.  Please continue to email or call with any other enquiries and questions.

Extracts from the Risk Assessment so far

  • Toilet breaks
    • Put dots on floor demarcating 2m in corridors, the hall and outside classrooms.
    • One-way system – children will keep on the left.  Children will be with an adult and taught the rule.
    • Only traffic in one direction at any time.  If oncoming foot traffic then you wait.
    • One-way system around the buildings for drop off and pick up shown clearly on a map.
    • Move around buildings and grounds in lines 2m apart.
  • Aim to keep children socially distanced approximately 2m with constant reminders.
  • Children will remain in small groups within their own socially distanced bubble.
  • Bubble movement will be overseen by staff and will be limited.  If groups overlap surfaces/resources will be wiped down by staff.
  • Groups/bubbles:

    • Nursery  - up to 5 children in each room with 2 adults per class plus one additional adult
    • Early Years - classes will be divided into two groups, maximum of 15, and alternate their weeks in school.  1 adult for every 5 children and a further member of support staff across the unit supervising toilets etc.
    • Year 1 - classes to be divided into two groups, maximum of 15, and alternate their weeks in school.  2 adults per  room for Year 1 and a further member of support staff for the year group and one to work 1:1.
    • Year 6 - a maximum of 15 children per class in 6 rooms with either a teacher or HLTA and TA plus one additional TA across the year group.
    • Key worker/vulnerable children - the group will be based in the Y3 classrooms with 2 adults per class.
  • One way systems
    • To be monitored to reduce the number of children using them at any one  time.  Only one child inside at a time and others wait outside on dots 2m apart if more than one child.  They will use specific toilets for their bubble/group and these will be regularly cleaned.
    • Children to wash hands every hour for 20 seconds (see hand-washing section below).
    • Wash hands after play, before lunch, using equipment etc.
  •  Lunch Time
    • Nursery - eat in their unit classrooms
    • Early Years - 12.00 pm - the children collect lunch and eat in the hall spaced at either end of 2m tables and separated into 3 class bubbles.  Cutlery will already be placed on the tables and the children will take their own water bottles.  Wipe down tables afterwards ready for Year 6/key worker group
    • Year 1 - 12.20 pm – the children collect lunch from the hall and take to eat in classroom.  When finished, children will put the plates and cutlery outside one by one for the Lunchtime Supervisor to collect.  Tables wiped down by staff.
    • Key worker/vulnerable group - 12.30 pm - collect lunch and eat in their classrooms with the same arrangements as Y1.
    • Year 6 - 12.40 pm – children with sandwiches will eat in their classrooms or outside and those having school lunch will eat in the hall in 3 separate class bubbles.
  • Play times
    • Playground/field to be zoned enabling games 2m  apart and year groups will have staggered playtimes and separate areas.  We will have different areas within those outlined below for each class bubble.
    • Nursery will play in their outside area 2m apart.
    • Early Years will play on the small side playground and field in a coned off supervised area.
    • Year 1 will play in the Year 1 and Year 2 triangles of playground outside their classrooms
    • Key worker children will play outside the Year 3 classrooms on the large playground.
    • Year 6 will play on the top playground outside the Inspire block.
    • Any play equipment used will be wiped down
  • Handwashing
    • Staff assigned to refill soap dispensers and cleaning materials throughout the day.
    • Access to classroom sinks and toilets under adult supervision.  One at a time.
    • Children encouraged to wash hands when entering school, after coughing or sneezing, after using the toilet, before and after handling food.
    • All children to wash their hands every hour.  If your child has very sensitive skin please provide an appropriate, named, emollient.
    • Ensure sufficient supplies are topped up.
    • Any visitors to school will be required to wash their hands when first entering the  building.  Appropriate hand gel will be available if access to the medical room is not available.
    • Visitors will have their temperatures taken and asked if they have symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Staggered drop off and pick-ups
    • Staggered start and end times have been established for drop off and collection.  These are detailed below and based on the initial of your child/ren’s surname and also accommodates siblings.  Arrangements will be made for siblings with different surnames.  Please try to arrive no earlier or later than your selected drop off and collection times.
      • A – H:        Drop off - 8.40 am      Collection – 3.00 pm
      • I – P:          Drop off – 8.50 am      Collection – 3.10 pm
      • Q – Z:        Drop off – 9.00 am      Collection – 3.20 pm 
    • A map will be fixed to the fence showing circulation of foot traffic around the building.
    • Signs on the fence will reiterate family Covid-19 protocols at a 2m distance.
    • Parents who visit the office need to queue outside 2m apart but can contact the school via the school number or email at any time.

I hope this starts to answer some questions and we will publish the whole Risk Assessment as soon as possible.

Kind regards

Alison Harvey


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Date 21 Dec 2020 - 01 Jan 2021

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