Wider Re-Opening to Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from June 22nd.
It has now been 12 or more weeks since school closures and the impact of lockdown and isolation is causing worries for an increasing number of our children and their families. Our school ethos has always been to be open and welcoming and so having to close for some of our year groups has been difficult for us. Since March 23rd, the day we closed as a school but re-opened for childcare, we have not turned any children away. We have been open through Easter, half term and Bank Holidays and we have been able to offer full time places for our Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children since June 1st.
As we approach the end of term we want to be able to accommodate as many children as possible. We still need to adhere to guidelines and we are still only open as a school for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. We are of course also open for children of key workers and children who we consider as needing pastoral support from school.
To allow more children in to school, we will be closing on Monday 22nd June (for a deep clean of the building) and then on every Wednesday after that for the last four weeks of term.
Whilst we appreciate that this may cause some inconvenience for yourselves, we hope you understand that the reason for making this decision is to allow more children to come back in to school. (All staff will be working on Wednesdays so please don’t think we are having a day off!)
Please complete the questions below so we can be sure all needs are met.
Thank you for your support and understanding.
Thank you again for your support and understanding. If you need to talk to a member of staff, please call school on 01384 818315 or email on email@example.com
If you child is coming in to school for the first time, on or after June 22nd, you must also read the information below (including our Risk Assessment), before you send your child back to school. You must them complete the questionnaire at the bottom of this page.
To make things easier for you, we have summarised the key points in some FAQs below. If you have any questions or queries about the Risk Assessment, or have anything else that you want to discuss before sending your child back, please contact us through our firstname.lastname@example.org address and we will get back to you ASAP.
Q. How will you make sure my child stays 2 metres away from other children and adults?
A.Each group of children will be working with a set team of four adults (two adults per day). This won't change at all. Neither children nor adults will be able to move groups. Each group has their own allocated classroom, additional space and outdoor area. They won't come in to direct contact with any other group and other groups won't use each other's allocated spaces. We will encourage children within the group to keep 2 meters apart, but we cannot guarantee this will always happen. At lunchtime, groups using the hall will be limited and will sit on tables as a group and away from others. Children will eat outside as much as possible.
Q. How will you monitor corridors and toilets?
A. Each group will have allocated sets of toilets and will be supervised at all times to minimise cross-contamination. Children won't need to use corridoors as they will be limited to their classroom and allocated additional space (so we won't be enforcing a 'one-way' system).
Q. Does my child have to return in school uniform?
A. We would like children to wear school uniform on their return to school but fully understand that this may not be possible if your child has outgrown it! Therefore we do not expect you to have to buy new uniform before September and will allow your child to wear other clothing of a sensible nature.
Q. Do I need to send my child in with a packed lunch?
You can if that is what you prefer. If your child is in Reception or Year 1, they can have a school packed lunch. If your child is in Year 6 and is entitled to free school meals, they can also have a school packed lunch. (The Dudley Catering team have made a decision not to provide any hot meals at this time.) The survey at the bottom of this page will ask you what you want to do about lunch.
Q. Do I need to send my child in with a PE Kit or other equipment?
A. No, the only things your child will need is their lunch (unless they are having a school lunch), a water bottle and a sun hat.
Q. Where do I drop my child off and collect, and at what times?
A. All these details are in the survey at the bottom of this page. You must complete the survey if you are intending to send your child in to school on the 2nd June. We also need you to complete this if you are a key worker and have previously arranged for your children to be in school on or after June 1st.
Here is a summary of what we will do to minimise the risk to children and staff.
We will keep updated with guidance from the Government and Local Authority and we will use this to inform the decisions we make for our school family. We will follow a Risk Assessment and we will use a wide range of practical measures-
- We will organise children in to small groups (a maximum of 15*) and not allow groups to mix with other groups where possible. *For our Year 1 Bubble it has been necessary to raise the limit to 16 as we have several 'part time' children in that group. On the occasion that all 16 children are in school on the same day, time in the classroom will be reduced to the very minimum and the outdoor spaces around school will be utilised. The group may also be split into two smaller groups and teaching assistants will lead additional groups.
- We will allocate a teacher and a teaching assistant to each group and members of staff will remain with the same children throughout this period. There will always be a teacher or a teaching assistant in your child's group that they are familiar with.
- We will increase cleaning in school. We will make sure hand sanitiser and soap is available in every classroom. We will regularly ask children to wash their hands and we will regularly clean surfaces and door handles. We will have bins with lids in each classroom, to support the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' advice.
- We will stagger breaktimes and organise lunchtimes to minimise the risk of groups coming into contact with each other.
- Where possible we will reduce the amount of equipment available to your child. We will remove some equipment from classrooms.
- We will reduce the use of cloakrooms and other areas where children may gather.
- We will rearrange desks and other furniture in classrooms.
- We will use outdoor spaces as much as possible.
- We will appoint a specific entrance for your child to enter and leave school.
- We will allow children to be collected from school between 2:45 and 3:15 to reduce the number of parents having to congregate in one place at one time.
- We will only allow essential visitors into the school building.
- We will create signs to remind parents and visitors about the procedures we are using during this time.
- We will allocate a room to be used if a pupil or member of staff were to develop Coronavirus symptoms.
Q. What happens if I've said that I want to send my child back, but then I change my mind at a later date?
A. That's fine; we will regularly review pupil numbers and check arrangements with parents. If you have said you won't be sending your child back, but then feel differently, you will need to call school and let us know. It might not be possible for us to allow your child back in to school immediately. As we have had more than 50 children needing to return (from Reception, Year 1, Year 6 and Key worker children), from June 22nd we will be using a part time rota system and from June 22nd we are limiting our pupil numbers to 60.
Q. How will you support my child academically and emotionally when they return to school?
A. Whist at home, children will have completed differing amounts of work and will have responded to home learning in different ways. We have always stressed that home learning needs to fit the needs of the child, the parents and wider family circumstances. Because of this, your children will return to us having made varying amounts of progress and it will be very difficult to 'pick up where we left off'. If your child returns to school in June or July, we will focus on their well-being and will support them in adjusting to life back in school. Our priority will be ensuring time in school is calm and supportive and that any anxieties are reduced or eliminated. For our Year 6 children, we will focus on celebrating the end of their primary journey and preparations for their transition to Year 7. Our academic curriculum will restart fully in September.
Q. I am worried that my child has 'fallen behind' during the lockdown; how will school help them to 'catch up'?
A. All children across the country have been in a similar position so first of all, try not to worry. Our job, once we are back open and running as usual, will be to assess children and then make plans to give them the curriculum and support they need. We know many children will have become reluctant to work at home and that home learning will have been a struggle for many parents- we are prepared for this and will be ready to support each child in the best ways we can. We will talk to all parents about their children and the way we will be supporting them, when we are fully re-open in September. Please note that our priority for children returning before September will not be for them to catch up.
The most up-to-date version of the Risk Assessment will always be here for you to read and we will mark any changes in a different colour so they are easy to spot.
Our Risk Assessment
This is the Risk Assessment we have completed when planning to re-open for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. It covers the ways we will keep our children, families and staff as safe as possible. We have used the template recommended by the local authority as this had been approved by Dudley's legal team and Health & Safety experts. Our Governors have also approved the Risk Assessment.