22nd May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I sincerely hope that you are all safe and well and that you are keeping busy, staying positive and enjoying family time together.
Following the letter from our Trust Leader that I sent on Wednesday, I wish to outline our individual school plans for reopening to some pupils in the near future.
We feel we are now in the position to re-open our school to Year 6 pupils, if the government advice permits us to do so, around Monday 8th June, should the ‘R’ rate be low enough. The reproduction, or ‘R’ rate, is the number of people that a single infected person will go on to infect and we are awaiting an updated figure on May 28th.
As a school, we have completed a comprehensive risk assessment, using the government guidance and support from our Trust, and I would like to reassure you that measures have been implemented to try and make our school as safe for pupils and staff as possible.
We have looked closely at our setting and feel we are in a stronger position than many other schools due to the size of our classrooms, corridors, cloakrooms and outside space, which will be critical in maintaining social distancing of 2m.
In addition, our staff are all fit, well and keen to start working with the boys and girls again.
I understand the anxiety many of you may have around your child starting back. As a father of two children, I share the concerns many of you have expressed, but feel it is the right time to move forward should it be safe to do so.
Below are a list of measures, detailing our plans for reopening:
- Pupils will start to arrive at school from 8.30 each day, maintaining the 2m distancing rule.
- Pupils will be placed into smaller groups of no more than 12 children, which the Government have termed ‘bubbles’.
- Each bubble will be assigned a specific classroom, cloakroom and toilet block and will be taught by a specific teacher.
- Each bubble will be allocated a specific playground and section of the school field to use, where they will spend their playtime and lunch time, maintaining the 2m distance at all times.
- The children will be given their own stationary, which will be kept on their desk, in their tray with their work, so they will not need to bring this from home.
- The children will require a packed lunch each day and this will be eaten outside on the school field, picnic-style if the weather permits, or in the classroom if the weather is poor.
- Any children entitled to free school meals can order a packed lunch from the kitchen.
- The children will be taught lessons, in the same way as previously, although there will be no paired and group activities where children will share equipment or work or where the 2m distancing rule could be compromised.
- Pupils will continue to do PE outside and due to the size of classrooms, cloakrooms and adjacent bays can change for this in the usual way, so PE kit can be brought in their bag each day.
- Bubbles will be dismissed from school in a staggered way, every 5 minutes from 3pm to avoid congestion.
- There will be no Trailblazer for pupils at present.
- Children will have access to hand sanitiser on arrival to school and throughout the day and children unable to use this will be reminded to wash their hands thoroughly.
- Tissues will continue to be available in classrooms.
As you will see from the photographs of classrooms below, non-essential furniture and equipment has been removed from teaching areas to enable thorough cleaning at the end of each day.
The school is working closely with our trust, the Embark Federation, and our family of schools to ensure that our planning is comprehensive and a full risk assessment can be viewed by clicking the link below. Embark Federation are liaising with the Department for Education closely to ensure that any plans made are in line with Government guidance which keeps updating on a daily basis and we are amending our plans accordingly.
Please be reassured that we have done all we can to ensure we are ready for pupils and whilst I would like to see all of our Year 6 pupils back and getting down to business, I realise that it may not be possible for some of them to attend due to personal circumstances.
I will contact you as soon as I have any more information but should you have any questions about the risk assessment or your child returning to school, please do not hesitate to get in touch either by email or telephone.
Learning at Home During Lockdown
The teachers have been working on ways to continue to support your child whilst the school remains closed and we have developed an online learning platform using Google Classrooms which we feel will help to meet the needs of you and your child at home.
Google Classroom enables your child's teacher to schedule work each day, allows your child to submit work for marking and enables teachers to give feedback to your child on how they have done and any improvements they can make to their work.
The teachers will set daily tasks for the children to complete, but to begin with you will need to do the following:
- Visit Google Classrooms using the web link or alternatively download the app onto your phone or tablet.
- You will need to use an existing Google account or set up a new one to sign in. You will be prompted to do so when you visit Google Classrooms.
- Use the code kmdsvnd to join the school.
- You will find your child’s individual class underneath ‘classwork’.
We appreciate that this is a new way of working- it's new to us too, and that things may not run as smoothly as we'd hoped, especially during the initial stages of its use, but if you have any problems at all, please email me at email@example.com. I will be available over the weekend to assist you with any issues you might experience logging on to the classroom.