As you will be aware, schools have been asked to plan to reopen on June 1st 2020 or thereafter. We are currently offering provision for the children of key workers. These children will continue to be offered a place and we are to prioritise these children over other year groups.
Key Worker information:
Guidance for parents:
As mentioned in my previous letter, having followed the guidance sent to us, we have undertaken a whole school risk assessment that considers staffing, the health needs of the children, staff and household members. This has enabled us to start to pull together a picture of what school may be able to look like should we reopen on June 1st or thereafter. As it stands currently, the government will be making an announcement on the 28th of May to notify us whether the scientific evidence indicates that it is safe for schools to start the reopening process. For Eldersfield Lawn CE Primary School, Monday the 1 st June is an INSET day and the remainder of the week will be spent cleaning and preparing for a potential reopening, if the evidence indicates that it is safe to do so. The earliest that we will be opening our doors is Monday 8th June 2020. (Identified key worker children will still be able to attend on the week commencing the 1st June.)
I would like to share with you what our provision could look like and why we have made these decisions. Most importantly, all decisions have been made with the health and safety of children and staff at the centre. However, it is very important to note that, we are unable to guarantee the recommended social distancing for your child when they are in school. This is noted by the Department of Education (DfE) in their guidance. As a result, anyone who has received, or lives with someone with a shielding letter, should not attend school as strict social distancing cannot be maintained, nor guaranteed.
Using the guidance that we have received from the DfE, the Local Authority and the Diocese along with our professional judgement and our knowledge of the children, we have put together the following offer of provision should we reopen to eligible children on June 8th or thereafter.
What it will look like:
• Children will be in to split year groups of no more than 8
• Key worker and vulnerable children needing to attend school for more than their group allocation will continue to work in the school hall rather than in their classroom.
• The teacher that taught your child before school closure will not necessarily be the teacher they return to.
• There may be Year groups that will be taught by Teaching Assistants.
• Where possible, the class will have the same teacher all day.
• Children will not be able to interact/mix with any children outside the group they are in. This includes during arrival, departure, play time and lunchtime.
• The children will frequently wash hands and be encouraged to demonstrate good personal hygiene.
• There will be increased cleaning throughout the day.
• The children, where possible, will enter through external doors and not go in corridors.
• Classes will have designated toilets, where possible.
• If a child or staff member in that group is unwell and test positive for COVID-19, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting will be sent home and advised to selfisolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
• The day will start at different times and end at different times for the different year groups. Siblings will not be able to enter at the same time as they are not able to mix with other groups. Siblings would need to arrive at their group time. Please do not bring the sibling to the gate.
• Only one parent to bring the child/ren to school.
• Lunch will be eaten in the classroom and the time will be staggered to allow all year groups independent outdoor play.
• It will be expected that children in key worker classes and Years 1 and 6 will sit at desks to minimise movement and promote social distancing. Reception children will be expected to play individually, where possible, and to sit at desks where possible. Free flow learning, inside and outside, will be discouraged.
• All soft furnishings/toys/resources will be removed from the classroom for hygiene reasons. • Children will need to have their own stationary at their desk, and own pens and pencils. They will not be able to share.
• Daily lessons will not be as before. We will focus on the wellbeing of pupils and key skills in Maths and English. We will not be able to deliver a ‘broad and balanced curriculum’.
• Children in returning year groups will be encouraged not to use, craft, small resources, toys and items that need ‘touch’ to handle them, as advised by the DfE.
• Reception are encouraged to share stories and song and Year 1 encouraged to practice reading and phonics.
• It is unlikely that Year 6 will be able to experience planned end of year events and it is advised against attending the secondary school during this time.
• Children will not have an assembly, circle time and lining up as this now cannot happen.
• There will be no clubs or music lessons.
• Whilst we can go outdoors for learning, it will need to be timetabled and in zones to ensure groups do not mix.
The school will look and feel very different to how the children left it. The learning environments will be basic and the curriculum altered. I also need to make it clear that attendance at school during the phased reopening is not compulsory and should parents choose not to send their children to school, there will be no penalty. As noted in the guidance, we are to prioritise in the following order: key worker and vulnerable children, Year R, Year 1 and Year 6. As a school, we believe that the children in Year 6 deserve to return, to offer closure and a goodbye to their primary schooling. Whilst we cannot provide full days to all the children, we want to offer something!
I am presenting you a plan, subject to change. This is what, having risk assessed, followed guidance and the needs of the children and staffing availability, we can safely offer.
Please see below table,
Allocation to groups A and B will take place next week when we have a better idea of numbers attending. If your child falls into one of the groups above and you are planning on keeping your child at home, I would be grateful if you could fill out the attached form. If you decide not to send your child into school at this point, you are not tied to the decision for the rest of the term and your child is welcome to attend at any point. Please notify the school office to change your decision. I ask that you use the link below to submit your response, identifying what year your child is in or if they are a key worker child/vulnerable child.
Additionally, in line with current guidelines, we ask that children’s clothes are washed daily when they return from school. With this in mind, there will be no requirement for your child to wear school uniform when attending.
I am exceptionally proud of the staff of Eldersfield Lawn CE Primary School and how they have worked tirelessly and adapted to support children in school and at home. They have accepted the potential risks of supporting children in school because they believe that we, in some small way, have been making a difference to the lives of others during this pandemic. I am equally proud of the sense of community that has emerged during this difficult time. Your children have been incredible and are an absolute credit to you all. I also want to thank you for how you have supported each other as part of the Eldersfield Lawn community.
As a father of two children, it is important to me that you know I will be unwavering in my commitment to make the right decisions for us all. To that end, I will not be pressured or rushed into making rash decisions that could have unthinkable consequences, hence the decision to open on June 8th at the earliest. Within our school community we need to look after each other – now and always.
I thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation and ongoing support through this unprecedented time. If you have any worries or questions about re-opening please do not hesitate to contact me on [email protected] and I will do my best to answer them.
Take care and stay safe,