I hope that you have all managed to have a wonderful relaxing Summer. It is hard to believe that we are nearly at the start of the Autumn term. I am finally in a position where I am able to share with you our plans for reopening in September. These have been informed by a comprehensive risk assessment that has been submitted to Worcestershire Children First and Public Health England. After a number of meetings, queries and adaptations, I have had the risk assessment approved this morning.
It is our intention to be open to all children in Class 2, 3 and 4 on Wednesday 2nd September 2020. To make this possible, a number of adaptations are required in school, as is the full cooperation and support of everyone in our community. Please take a moment to familiarise yourself with these adaptations and consider the practical implications for your family. If your family has recently returned from a holiday abroad and are required to observe a period of self isolation, please contact the school office on 01452 780309. When we have returned to school, if your child develops any Covid symptoms, again please let the school know so that we can ensure that the correct procedures are implemented.
Large gatherings are to be avoided in the short term and therefore there will be no assemblies held in school - we will find an alternative to our celebration assemblies. Children in Years 1-6 will, for the most part, be sat in front facing rows and will be sat next to a classmate. We will, whenever possible, balance this with opportunities for active and outdoor learning. Contact between key stages will be kept to a minimum (staggered breaks etc). Some movement of staff between classes is permitted under the current guidance. Social distancing for adults is required and whilst it is not the expectation that our youngest children will always adhere to this, they will be encouraged to give each other space and to avoid physical contact. We will address this in an age appropriate way as part of our pastoral work. We must all be prepared that events we have come to expect and enjoy may not take place - we will explore alternatives to these wherever it is practical and reasonable to do so.
After a period of non-compulsory attendance, we return to the position that there is a legal imperative for parents to send their children to school. On those occasions when a child is unable to attend school we ask that you call us on 01452 780309 before 9am.
Curriculum Plans are already underway to adapt our curriculum to enable our pupils to receive the most effective provision for the year ahead. You may hear this being referred to in schools nationally as a ‘recovery curriculum’. In the first instance careful attention will be given to creating opportunities to gauge our pupils’ social and academic needs to inform further plans. In addition to our pastoral work in September (learning routines, names, health and safety) there will be a need to address basic skills (phonics, reading, writing, number) with rigour. We are committed to continuing teaching these skills within a broad and balanced curriculum.
We will require parents and carers to respectfully adhere to social distancing guidelines, follow the instructions outlined and to avoid lingering on site. Children in Class 1 and 2 can be dropped off at the front gate between 9.00 and 9.15am, they can be collected from school between 2.45 and 3.00pm. Children in Class 3 and 4 can be dropped off at the front gate between 8.45 and 9.00am and collected between 3.00 and 3.15pm. Children will enter their classrooms through the external classroom doors and will be required to wash their hands thoroughly on entering and leaving the classroom.
As previously communicated, packed lunches will be available from class catering, our catering company. We hope to be in a position to provide hot lunches after half term. If you are sending your child with their own healthy packed lunch, please ensure there are no nuts or products that contain nuts included to support those children with allergies. Named water bottles are required daily.
We have seven members of staff qualified to administer First Aid. Our library will be repurposed to provide a space for First Aid in which staff will wear elements of PPE. Masks, goggles and other items will be shown to all children in class as part of our pastoral work so that they know what to expect should they require medical attention. All medication held in school must be in date and in the original packaging with the correct prescription labels.
A more flexible approach to breaks and the timetable will be taken at the discretion of the teaching staff to minimise the contact between our key stage groups.
It is every families’ responsibility to ensure school is kept informed of any changes in contact details - three emergency phone numbers, full home address and the email addresses of those wishing to receive newsletters and forms. Our current contact details will be sent home early in the Autumn term to enable you to check that our records are correct.
To support a positive working ethos in school and to re-establish our sense of community, full school uniform is expected for all children from September. Where there are significant practical or financial reasons why this is not possible, school will be supportive of this until a solution can be identified. On days when your child is taught PE or Forest Schools, we ask that your child arrives in school in either school PE kit or Forest School kit and will remain in it for the remainder of the day.
In line with national guidance we will continue to promote and enable a rigorous approach to personal hygiene: handwashing with soap and water at key times of day and the ’catch it, kill it, bin it’ approach we are advised to follow. Please take the time to support your child’s understanding of this at home and reinforce these key approaches. Links to key guidance and public health messages will be made available through our website for September.
To enable us to keep our keys stages separate, we will need parents to book children in to before school club a week in advance. I will send out further details about this next week. The actual provision will look different to how it has previously with children undertaking desk based activities.
Whilst this may seem like a lot of information to take in, please rest assured that every decision made regarding our new operating procedures has been made in close consultation with the school governing body, the local authority and Public Health England, and has been made with their full support.
We are delighted that we are able to welcome all children back to school in September and we are excited about returning to a new sort of normality.
I look forward to seeing you all soon.