Year 6 class reopening: please read this information carefully.
I am writing to inform you that the school will be reopening for Year 6 children on Monday 22nd June for 4 days a week. Children who currently attend the keyworker provision will be able to attend and then go back in a separate mini Year 6 bubble on Fridays.
I am asking parents to let me know (via the return to school form link below) whether their child is returning to school by 3.30pm on Thursday 11th June. Children will not be able to join the provision later in the term, unless there are exceptional circumstances. If I have not heard from parents by that deadline, I will assume that your child is not coming back.
Please use the following link to our return to school form to let us know if your child will be returning. The usual attendance protocols will not be in effect over the summer term, so please make the decision based on what is best for your child, which I know you will do.
First and foremost, it goes without saying that the safety of your children and the William Patten staff are our main priority. We are working hard, following the latest Government guidance, to develop and implement new ways of working. The details outlined in this letter should be received cautiously; the new systems being introduced will be reviewed daily, and our plans are dependent on a constantly changing local and national picture and may need to be altered, including closure, due to circumstances outside of our control.
We do not underestimate how difficult the recent weeks have been for us all, and we all will have been touched in some way by the coronavirus pandemic. We recognise the need to focus on pupils’ emotional wellbeing as well as their return to learning. Please be reassured that the emotional wellbeing of our children remains our utmost priority. We have provided training for staff and researched a broad collection of resources to help support children both at home and as they return to school, but the school will seem very different and it is important that the changes are shared with children before they come back.
Changes that families need to know:
Smaller class sizes
The children will be split into groups or ‘bubbles’. We have planned for four groups, or ‘bubbles’, but may need fewer depending on how many children come back to school. There will be a maximum of 15 children in each bubble. So that we can meet the suggested measures, the children may not be taught in their original classes and, in some cases, not by their original teacher. The children will be allocated to their teacher when we know the numbers of children returning. We will consider friendships and children’s particular needs as well as academic abilities, so we have a balanced mix of children within each bubble.
The children will stay in their groups at all times. They will have playtime and lunchtime in the same groups. All lessons will be delivered in the classrooms or the playground, apart from PE lessons which will take place in the hall or outside if the weather is nice. The groups have been timetabled to spend time in the playgrounds.
Each group / bubble will have a new temporary name.
The beginning and end of the day
The beginning and end of the school day are the busiest times for children and adults congregating together in one place, and so to avoid crossover with the keyworker provision and the Reception children, Year 6 will attend Monday – Thursday from 8.45am – 3pm.
It is very important that the children are on time, as children who are late will not be allowed in. Children can come to school and leave school on their own, if you have previously given your permission for your child to do so.
The children will need to wait outside their designated gate at 2 metres apart – we will have coloured cones outside each gate, to help them remember social distancing.
On Fridays, teachers will have their planning, preparation and assessment time and children will not come in.
The children will be in their groups in the Year 6 classrooms on the top floor. We will use the two Year 5 classrooms as well, so all children are on the same level. We will have access to the top hall and playground.
Outline of the day
Year 6 classes will have a maximum of 15 children and one teacher. In line with Government guidance we will remove any shared resources from our setting and each child will have their own individual resource pack.
We have planned a Year 6 timetable that will incorporate familiar elements of routine such as Hackney Loves Reading, Literacy and Maths. We will also focus on PHSE, Relationships and Sex Education, PE, Art and preparation for Year 7. Each class will have a designated time to be outside and they will remain with the children in their group; they will not mix with other Year 6 children. Outside activities will also be organised to minimise physical contact between children. We will organise games, circuits, races etc.
The day will be structured to allow time for reflection on their own experiences and feelings during lockdown, as well as providing opportunities for children to look to the future and focus on happiness and positivity.
Google Classroom home learning support
As teachers will be working in school from the 22nd June, they will no longer provide literacy, maths and creative activities on Google Classroom from that date. If you decide not to send your child to school, we will provide you with a list of resources and websites to help you support your child.
Resources and equipment
The classrooms will be reorganised so that the children are spread out, 2 metres apart. Classrooms have been measured. Children will be sitting one per table. Spare tables and furniture have been removed (wherever possible). Certain resources will be covered or removed so children do not touch or share resources. Individual plastic zip wallets of resources will be prepared and given to each child. Activities and tasks have been planned that do not require sharing of equipment. Any equipment that has to be shared will be first sanitised before another child uses it.
Washing hands will be timetabled throughout the day. Children will be taught the new rules and routines as soon as they are back to school. Children will wash hands first thing in the morning, before they start their first lesson, and throughout the day. Plenty of cleaning and sanitising products have been purchased which are available in every classroom, in the halls, the office etc. Each classroom will have a hygiene station and a wall-mounted hand sanitiser gel dispenser.
Classrooms and toilets will be cleaned in the morning, at lunchtime and after school. The cleaning rotas have been amended to enable this to happen.
Bringing things to and from school
To minimise cross contamination, we are looking to reduce the number of items brought to and from school. Children should only bring their water bottle and a packed lunch. All water bottles and packed lunches must be clearly labelled with your child’s name. No other items must be brought in, so no bookbags, toys or books etc.
Bikes and scooters
Children are not allowed to bring bikes and scooters into school.
Please provide a packed lunch for your child with a bottle of water. Please make sure items are clearly labelled. Please ensure that any food is in easy to open containers and children will need to bring their own cutlery. Please remember lunches need to be nut free and not contain fizzy drinks or sweets
It is very important that children wear clean clothes each day. If a child wears a jacket, they will not be able to store it on the class coat racks, they will need to put it on the back of their chair.
Playtimes and lunchtimes
These will be staggered throughout the day with children staying within their own group / bubble and allocated to a specific area within the playground. There will be a rota for zones in the playground so children can take advantage of all parts of the playgrounds during the course of the week. Games that allow social distancing will be promoted. Any equipment will be for an individual’s use only.
Protective measures we have put in place
In order to prepare for the reopening to more pupils we are:
• Asking anyone who is displaying coronavirus symptoms, or who lives with someone who is, not to attend school. That includes children and all staff.
• Keeping our children in small groups with as much consistent staffing as possible and minimising contact with other groups in the school.
• Cleaning our hands more often than usual. We have developed routines to ensure children understand when and how to wash their hands, making sure they wash them thoroughly for at least 20 seconds using running water and soap and dry them thoroughly, or use sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered.
• Ensuring our children understand good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach and ensuring a good supply of tissues and bins in every room across the school.
• Implementing an enhanced cleaning schedule, ensuring surfaces touched by children and staff are cleaned regularly and throughout the day, including table tops, door handles and play equipment.
• Asking parents and carers to physically distance from each other and from staff when dropping off and collecting their children and to limit drop off and collection to one parent or carer per household.
• Asking children not to bring toys or other items from home to school.
What can parents do to help?
Parents will not be able to come into the school building. We would ask that only one parent brings their child to school, if you do bring them, and with no other siblings. If you need to talk to the teacher about anything in the morning, please call the school or email. Please leave the school grounds as soon as possible and do not hold conversations with other parents and carers at these times.
It is very important that your child is aware of how school will be different, so please prepare your child for their return to school by explaining the changes described in this letter.
There are a number of things we need your assistance with:
• If you, your child or anyone in your household displays any symptoms of coronavirus, do not attend school. If this is the case, you should follow all directions of Public Health England. We ask that you contact the school to inform us immediately.
• If we contact you to inform you that your child is unwell, you must attend school as soon as possible to collect your child, therefore parents need to be contactable throughout the day. If your child becomes unwell at school, they will be taken to a space away from the other children and will remain with an adult until you arrive to collect them.
• Before they return to school, we ask that you speak to your child about what school might feel like, that they might not see their best friends, that they might not be taught by their usual teacher or in their usual classroom and that you won’t be able to come into the school grounds..
I am aware of the difficulties many of you have faced during this time and of the many challenges in supporting your children’s learning at home. As I have said previously, your support, kind words and encouragement have meant a lot to us all while we have been apart.
We are looking forward to welcoming the children back and I hope that you are assured that we have taken all possible steps to ensure safety for all in our setting.
I will send confirmation details to families who have said their child will be returning, on Monday 15th June.
If you have any questions, please get in touch.