I hope you were able to enjoy the summer and managed to go away or have a staycation. We can’t wait to see the children back in school on Monday 7th September and have been busy getting ready for their return.
I would like to reassure you that the school has a robust risk assessment which has been thoroughly reviewed and updated for all children and staff to return ready for the new academic year. Our risk assessment is based on the government’s twin strategy of limiting contact between pupils and implementing hygiene measures. The way schools implement some of the requirements will differ based on their individual circumstances. Schools have been encouraged to take a realistic and pragmatic approach, so our procedures work for our school. School attendance is now compulsory and we will follow our usual attendance policy, which has been updated in line with government guidance regarding quarantine and self-isolation.
The children will be in year group bubbles and there will be a continued focus on hand hygiene, regular cleaning during the day of the school and changes to how children move around the school. The start and end of the day times and lunchtimes and playtimes have been staggered to minimise contact between year groups. There will be no large group gatherings such as assemblies and children will have lunch in their class or year group bubbles, but not in the dining hall. As long as the weather is good, the children will eat lunch outside. If it is wet play, the children will have lunch outside their classrooms in the hall. An article in Hackney Life on page 11 has further information about general approaches used by schools, as well as sources of support https://drive.google.com/file/d/1wVZ20DCbvN12TEKa0_-L6bQ8jt7IX17B/view .
The safety of children and staff have been paramount in planning to reopen and it is vital that everyone follows the guidance below. We would be grateful if you take the time to sit down with your child to discuss the things that might be different.
Start and end of the day
Each class has a colour which indicates which cone they will need to queue at either Dynevor Road or Lancell street. We are not putting cones out to indicate 2 metres, but would ask that families and children practise social distancing and stand apart from each other. Please make sure your child is with you in the line, so that when we open the gates, the classes can come straight in. This will help us keep to the timetable and ensure that all year groups come into school on time. We would ask that only one adult accompanies the children to school. Families will not be able to stay in the playground and any accompanying siblings will need to stay with their parent or carer and not play or run around the playground. Parents who have more than one child will need to leave the playground in between dropping off / collecting children.
We are only allowing parents of children in Year 3 downwards to enter the playground to drop off and collect their child and we need parents to leave the premises, as soon as their child has been dropped off or collected. There is a clear system for entry and exit for everyone to follow. Year 4 and 5 children will line up outside with their parents and then come into school on their own. As the majority of Year 6 children come to school on their own, they will wait outside and come in when we open the gates.
Our curriculum will remain broad and ambitious with all pupils being taught a wide range of subjects, in line with our topic approach. However, substantial modifications may be required at the start of the year, so teaching time will be prioritised to address any gaps in pupils’ knowledge. We recognise the emotional wellbeing needs of our pupils following the lengthy school closure and have incorporated additional PHSE into our curriculum. We will not be going on any school trips involving public transport for the foreseeable future.
We are not using the dining hall, so will be providing packed lunches for all children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 as part of the universal free school meals offer. Any children in these year groups who would prefer to bring their own packed lunch can do so.
We will provide a packed lunch for all children in KS2 who are entitled to free school meals.
All other children will need to bring their own packed lunch. Please ensure your child’s name is on the lunch box / bag. The lunch must not contain nuts or nut products, as we are a nut free school. Children must also not bring sweets or fizzy drinks.
We would like your child to bring in their own filled water bottle, preferably a reusable one. It would be helpful if the bottles had the child’s name on. We will have additional bottles of water for any children who forget. The water fountains in the playground are out of use.
It is very important that children wear clean clothes each day. Younger children will need to wear shoes that they can put on themselves.
The school rule on jewellery still applies. The children must not wear any form of jewellery, unless it is of religious significance. This includes friendships bracelets etc. They will be asked to remove them if they do wear them.
Bikes / scooters
Children will not be able to bring their bikes, scooters or skateboards etc into school yet.
Bookbags / bags
Children can now bring in their bookbags. Younger children will need them for their RWI books and older children will be able to borrow books from their class book corner, class teachers will introduce systems to safely store used books before going out on loan again. We will not use the libraries initially. Children must not use bookbags to bring anything else in from home.
There are no requirements for children to wear face coverings in primary schools.
We want to offer as much support as possible to you, but we would prefer you to continue to use alternative methods to face-to-face contact if at all possible e.g. telephone calls or emails firstname.lastname@example.org
Children / staff exhibiting symptoms of Covid 19
Staff and pupils must not come into the school if they have symptoms, and will be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in school. If a child 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, they will be sent home and advised to follow the guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection. The expectation will be that parents collect their child immediately and engage with NHS track and trace protocols. Any siblings would also be sent home.
If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, with appropriate adult supervision if required depending on the age of the child. PPE will be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection if direct personal care is needed and a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs).
All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children aged 11 and under will need to be helped by their parents/carers if using a home testing kit and provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus or if asked by NHS Test & Trace. Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS testing and tracing for coronavirus website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet. If a test result is negative the child / member of staff can return straight away.
In the case of a positive case within year group bubbles, we will follow all the guidance we are given from Public Health England and the local health authority about whether the entire bubble may need to isolate. These decisions will be taken on a case by case basis.
If any families have suffered a bereavement, particular trauma during lockdown or there are any other circumstances that you feel we should know about, please do email me.
I know that there may be questions or clarifications, in response to the information above. I will provide a further FAQs via email next week.
We are looking forward to seeing all the children back in school on Monday! We will have the WP family back together!