I am writing to update you on our plans for the phased reopening of schools from 1 June if the government announces that the conditions are met on 28 May. We have been very busy organising plans and risk assessing to ensure we have the procedures in place to keep everyone safe by mitigating the risks.
Firstly, I need to be clear that our school will not be reopening on 1 June but will be opening in a phased way from that date in line with government guidance. At each stage we will be checking our plans are working, risk assessments are effective and we have enough staff to move to the next stage. At each stage our primary concern is the wellbeing of all our children.
Assuming the government announces on 28 May that the conditions have been met and schools will be reopening from 1 June, this is our plan;
- From the 1 June the school will only continue to be open to key workers children and vulnerable pupils only. Key worker children and vulnerable children who are in YR, Y1 and Y6 will start to form the class bubbles. In the class bubbles teachers and teaching assistants will support the children’s wellbeing, teaching the children how to stay safe and hygiene, the rules of class bubble and start working on basic skills. No other pupils will be attending school at this stage of the plan. This stage will last at least three days.
- We will let all parents know when we can move to the next stage of the plan. At this stage we will invite children in YR and Y1 to return to school. YR and Y1 will join the established class bubble of the key worker children and vulnerable children. Teachers and teaching assistants again will support the children’s wellbeing, teaching the children how to stay safe and hygiene, the rules of class bubble and start working on basic skills. This stage will last at least three days.
- We will let all parents know when we can move to the next stage of the plan. At this stage we will be inviting Y6 to return to school. Again, teachers and teaching assistants will support the children’s wellbeing, teaching the children how to stay safe and hygiene, the rules of class bubble and being secondary ready.
This plan enables the school to reopen the school safely while looking after the children’s wellbeing, growing from the key workers children to also having YR, Y1 and Y6, hopefully by the end of the second week.
We will need to work with families of pupils who find social distancing difficult or have other behaviour difficulties to agree a risk assessment of how we support your child.
We will continue to provide home learning for pupils who are not in school, however it will look different as staff will now be working with class bubbles in school. Teachers are currently planning work for the first week back and I will update you after that with our plans moving forward.
When children in YR, Y1 and Y6 do return to school it will look very different. Instead of working in classes in their group’s, children will have individual desks with lots of their resources on their desk. Any shared resources will be cleaned after use and we will not be using any resources we cannot clean. It would be helpful if you could talk to your child about school being different before they are invited to return.
Children will be staying in their new smaller class bubbles throughout the day and the bubbles will not mix with other bubbles. Each bubble will have a separate playtime and will eat lunch in their bubble, not in the hall. Children will have a consistent member of staff who will stay with their class bubble. Please could you talk to your child about not seeing everyone in their class or across the school.
We will be asking different children to arrive and leave at different times so we do not have a lot of children arriving at the same time. At the first stage of the plan key worker children will arrive at 9.00am and leave at 3.15pm. No parent will be allowed to come onto school site without an appointment, so children will be collected by an adult from the pedestrian entrance gate at 9am and returned to the gate at 3.15pm. It is really important that these times are used please, to help us with the social distancing. Please could parents also ensure they socially distance outside the gate. We will tell parents about the starting times of the other groups when they are invited to return to school.
Children will be able to order a school packed lunch or bring in a packed lunch. However, the school packed lunches may not be available on the first day so we would ask all of the key worker children and vulnerable children attending the care provision to bring in a packed lunch on the first day.
Our school has carried out a risk assessment around cleaning and addition cleaning resources and time has been allocated to making the school site safe. We will also ensure children wash their hands regularly and have clean resources. Teachers will be talking to children about their work rather than marking books in school or at home. All of these approaches are designed to ensure children and adults are as safe as possible.
We will be asking children to wear their school jumper and polo shirt when they return to school. Children will be allowed to wear shorts, joggers or trousers that can be washed easily each day. Children can also wear footwear suitable for PE all day to limit the need for changing and bringing in extra resources as children will be keeping all of their belongings at their workstation. We would recommend that all of each child’s clothes are washed each day.
If a child was to become ill during the day we would look after that child by themselves until their parent arrived. If we had any cases of COVID-19 within any of our class bubbles we would let all parents know and the individual class bubble would need to self-isolate for 14 day.
I am sure there will be additional information that we share with you all over the next few weeks but I wanted to let everyone know what our school plan was before we heard the government’s announcement. We will look forward to seeing our key worker children and vulnerable pupils who have booked a place with our school from 1 June and look forward to inviting more pupils back as the school goes through the stages of reopening.
I hope everyone is well and continuing to stay safe.