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Guidance for September

Dear Parents/Carers

 

Re: Guidance for September reopening of schools for Parents of WVPS

 

We cannot wait to welcome back our whole school community in September. It feels like we haven’t seen many of you for such a long time and then many of you have been with us for the entire journey. March 20th seems like a lifetime ago and yet it has gone so quickly.

 

We have been working the whole time to ensure that we follow the correct safety guidance laid out by the DfE and will ensure we will continue to adapt our provision with the constantly changing parameters. Our detailed risk assessment can be found on the website.  We have begun making our plans for September from what we know from the current guidance as of July 2020 - detailed below.  Please keep your eyes out for any further guidance or changes that may occur over the summer as we may have to continue to be flexible and adapt to any current information at the time.

 

September at WVPS:

We will continue to teach the children in their own classroom ‘bubbles’. Currently they are capped at 15 but they will be able to be whole classes in September.  Your child’s class/ Year group will be kept within their classroom bubbles and will not mix with any other classroom. We will be careful to timetable the playground, lunches and PE hall times to keep each class isolated as they work and move around the school.

 

For that to happen we will have to stagger our timetable across the whole school.  Entry and exit times and lunch and break times will all be staggered to ensure the maximum use of space and time.

 

From September each year group’s hours will be like this:

 

When?

Which Class?

Where?

8.30am – 3pm

Year 5 and 6

Year 5 - top gate/ Church road. Drop off on the top playground

Year 6- main playground gate/ Hill Road

8.45am – 3.15pm

EYFS

Year 3 and 4

EYFS - EYFS gate/ lower Hill Road

Year 3 – top gate/Church Road. Drop off on the top playground

Year 4 - main playground gate/ Hill Road

9am - 3.30pm 

Year 1 and 2

Year 1 - top gate/ Church road. Drop off on the top playground

Year 2 - main playground gate/ Hill Road

 

 

We have been trailing this staggered approach during lockdown with the 100 pupils we have had in school and this is the best way to ensure classes arrive and leave safely and without contacting each other’s bubbles.  We appreciate that there may be some organisational issues with those families with siblings but we have provision in place so that you can drop your children off at similar times to avoid any waiting around. Parents will not be allowed onto the playgrounds (except where directed) or in classrooms initially at all in September. As soon as guidance and restrictions lessen we will let parents on site – but not for the foreseeable future. Maps of where to line up safely will be sent out to you before the start of term.

 

We will also be starting up Breakfast and After School Club provision (chargeable) for those parents who need to drop their children off and go to work. Breakfast Club will be from 8 o’clock - you must pre-book to ensure a space and arrive at 8 o’clock. We will have limited spaces due to social distancing in the hall and we all need to arrive at 8 o’clock otherwise people arriving at different times will compromise other bubbles.   After School Club will run until 5.45pm as before but there will be smaller groups and as much of the time spent outside as possible - again for the safety of the staff and children. If you are interested in either before or after school wrap around care more information will be made available about this as soon as possible, please do respond to this guidance as soon as possible as spaces will be limited.

 

The curriculum will continue to be broad and balanced and we are able to plan trips and exciting activities for the children to ensure they have the best experiences in school as a class.  However, there will be no assemblies or clubs as we are limiting the chances of bubbles mixing. There will also be no contact sports, singing or peripatetic music lessons allowed in school. Remote learning will cease unless in extreme circumstances and it is necessary for a child to stay at home.

 

We have not been wearing uniform during lockdown so we could monitor that children were changing their clothes daily and not wearing contaminated clothing. We have decided to insist that pupils wear uniform when we return in September to make school as normal as possible and to promote whole school identity and community. We will however ask you to be very vigilant with washing clothes and have at least two sets of uniforms that can be washed regularly/ daily to prevent infections spreading. Those children coming to school unclean or unwashed will be asked to go home as this is a health and safety issue. The children will be asked to hand wash regularly and use anti-bacterial gel on entry to school and often throughout the day. There is a new programme of rigorous cleaning throughout the day during breaks and lunchtimes, as well as the normal daily cleaning routines which are robust and monitored. We will also need you to provide a warm, waterproof coat for your child to be kept in school.  One of the safety measures is to keep all doors and windows open for maximum ventilation. This sometimes means the classrooms are a little chilly. Also playing outside will be essential come rain or shine as the classroom routine will be more sedentary than the children are used to – sitting down for longer periods than normal.  The risks to children coming to school and contracting the virus are minimal but we have to protect the staff and ensure they feel safe to come to work. These measures still feel restrictive and do not reflect the open and caring school we have come to be very proud of but health and safety is most important and we hope this gives you confidence that we will do our best to look after you children and they will come to no harm whilst at school.

 

Attendance is compulsory again from September and the government have given Headteachers the power to fine those who don’t attend. If you have any health or anxiety worries at all, do not hesitate to contact me or the school so we can discuss your concerns if you do not intend to send your child back. I have no intention of fining any family who has justifiable or legitimate reasons not to send their child to school but I will need a conversation with you before deciding. I hope, from the provision and changes we have made, you will feel safe to let your children return. Clear and consistent expectations for attendance will help your child get back to school and will reduce the anxiety that being away has caused.

 

If, however your child or any family member within your household has symptoms or have tested positive within the last 7 days we ask you to be over cautious and not send them to school. We will have Track and Trace procedures in place and testing kits available by September. Anyone who has any of the symptoms which may include: coughing, temperature, loss of smell and taste should remain at home and get tested as soon as possible and then inform the school of the results- whether positive or negative please. We are also relying on all our families to ensure they strictly follow government guidance and social distance etc in out of school hours to ensure the whole school is not put in jeopardy. Shielding for adults and children will pause on the 1st August so unless contacted by the doctor, there is no reason to stay at home.  Any child or adult who exhibits symptoms at school will be sent home ASAP and we ask you to respond quickly to any calls to pick your child up. We will manage confirmed cases and contain any outbreaks and keep you fully informed of any actions to be taken. There may be a time when we have to close the school or bubbles within the school to self -isolate cases or as a precautionary measure and send your children home. We will inform you immediately. Household members of those contacts that are sent home do not need to isolate themselves unless the person sent home to self-isolate subsequently develops symptoms. If they do get symptoms get them tested and then self-isolate for 14 days. If we have to close again we will be ready to continue with our remote learning as we have done during the current lockdown.

 

Your child can bring a bag in containing their plastic lunchbox, reading books and phone but they must be sanitised or quarantined before sharing. We are discouraging any unnecessary resources or items from home or bringing things from school to home. 

 

The guidance now states that you can use public transport to get to school but again please read the guidance carefully (or ask the office):

 

www.gov.uk/guidance/coronovirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers

 

Social distancing is important as is cleansing on entry to school. We do have masks available if people need them to wear on public transport. If a child wears a face covering to school, the parents will need to help remove it on entry and dispose of it safely. Guidance says they are not necessary in school but if people feel safer wearing them they are allowed.

 

Our school meals service will resume but pupils will eat their dinner in their own classes and not the dining hall. Meals for KS2 (Year 3 and above) will be payable via ParentPay in the usual way.

 

Behaviour expectations of pupils will be high when we return. There will be new rules, policies, boundaries and expectations that the children will have to follow. There will be a low tolerance for disruptive or unsafe behaviour and there will be sanctions for those who break social distancing or hygiene rules.  We will clearly set out and explain to the children what is expected and the consequences for poor behaviour so they fully understand them. If a child consistently breaks the rules and is putting other children or staff at risk, we will ask for your full support to enforce the rules or remove them if necessary. We will work very hard to re-engage pupils who are at risk of being absent and help to overcome any barriers. We will need to work together and will need full parental support to ensure everyone’s safety.

 

Staff will be super vigilant as the pupils return and check in on all the children to ensure they feel safe and confident and have no welfare or safeguarding issues. If you have any concerns about a child, please keep us informed and we will do all we can to support the family. Our Mental Health First Aider is helping us with activities and a plan: 

  • To help reduce anxieties and rebuild friendships and social engagement,
  • Address and equip pupils to respond to issues linked to Covid and,
  • Supply pupils with opportunities to improve physical and mental wellbeing.  

Our Learning mentor is also on hand for pastoral support to deal with stress, fear, trauma and bereavement anxieties. 

 

If you would like any further information the DfE guidance for parents can be found here:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak

 

Apologies for the length of the letter and I am sure there will be more information to follow. Please keep an eye out for any emails regarding updated guidance and any changes for September. Thank you all for your ongoing support and the love shown towards the school over lockdown. We thank you enormously for all the patience and understanding you have shown and will continue to show until we are all back together again as normal!!

 

Yours Sincerely

Mrs S Elliott

 

 

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