I am writing to let you know about our plans to re-open the school for all children in September.
School will open for children on Monday 7th September 2020, new Reception children have their own induction programme which has been communicated separately.
Guidance issued by the Department for Education last week has given us the green light to open for all children, but with some restrictions still remaining to ensure that the risk of infection spreading is kept to a minimum. Essentially, the “bubbles” will be the size of full classes and we will have procedures in place so that the children in each class don’t mix with each other. Each class will have separate start and finish times and will use separate routes into the building. Families will be notified by their class teacher by email about their start time, finish time and which entrance and exit route to use (these can also be found below). Playtimes and lunchtimes will also be at separate times.
Teachers will be able to move between the class “bubbles” which will enable most of our normal teaching practise to continue throughout the school.
In most classes desks will be in rows so that children are not facing each other and we will be restricting or refraining from some activities to avoid children sharing resources in art or other practical lessons such as science experiments or D&T.
Children will continue to wash their hand frequently throughout the day as they have done previously.
A full risk assessment is in place and will be shared with governors and the Local Authority, this is available on our school website.
Our highest priority is the safety of children, staff and families and the new procedures are designed to limit the chances of infection spreading. We will do our best to encourage children to observe social distancing but cannot guarantee this at all times. The following principles and requirements will apply to all children when they re-start school:
- Children, young people, parents, carers or any visitors, such as suppliers, MUST NOT enter the school premises if they are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus (following the Covid-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection) and access a test as soon as possible.
- Children will be sent home if unwell. If a child develops symptoms of Covid-19 they will be taken to an isolation area and you will be contacted. Please ensure you collect them promptly if contacted by school.
- Parents should then arrange for their child to be tested for Covid-19 and inform the school of the result when it is returned (usually withing 48 hours)
- Government guidance is that the wearing of facemasks is not recommended in schools. If children wear masks on their way to school they must be removed and kept in a plastic bag during the day.
- PPE is available for staff to administer intimate care and for first aid emergency situations only.
- We ask that all children wear their school uniform and advise parents that it should be washed daily, or as frequently as possible. We understand that some children may have grown out of uniform and will do our best to sort out uniform orders as soon as possible in September.
- On days when children have PE they should wear their PE kit to school and will wear it all day. Children may wear plain black or navy tracksuit bottoms over their shorts and should wear a normal school jumper over their PE t-shirt.
- Children will wash their hands regularly at an allocated sink. Hand sanitizer will also be available in classes. Children can bring their own soap, sanitizer (this should contain at least 60% alcohol) and moisturiser if they need to but will need to use this responsibly.
- We will be limiting the number of children using the toilets at any one time and where possible restrict this to timetabled break times.
- Break times and lunches will be staggered so children from different groups do not share the outside space.
- Where possible children will have their own resources and will not share.
- If you pay for school meals these must be paid online. If you have any problems please contact the office
- Parents/carers will be informed of their allocated drop off and collection times (10 minute intervals). Please do NOT arrive before allocated time and be on school premises.
- Please avoid late drop-offs and early pick-ups. If these are unavoidable phone the office in advance so that preparations can be made.
- We request, that where possible, children and their families walk to school following social distancing protocols. If your child needs to be accompanied to school, only one parent/carer must attend.
- Parents/carers must not gather at entrance gates or doors or enter the building (unless they have a pre-arranged appointment).
- Initially, email will still be the preferred method of communication for parents and carers.
- Owls Club will be re-opening but children will be in three separate groups, each with separate entrances (families booked into Owls club have been informed of the detailed procedures).
- We have made changes to our behaviour policy and these are to be followed at this time (full policy on school website).
- All areas that are in use will be cleaned following Covid-19 guidance.
We are receiving guidance from the Department for Education and from Bury LA on a daily basis at the moment. Whilst we have a clear plan going forward as described above, it is important to note that if circumstances require it we may have to change our plans at short notice.
I am conscious that the guidance above may seem daunting, however the intention is that children are re-introduced to school in a safe and manageable way which keeps them as free as possible from the risk of contracting Covid-19. We are all aware of how stressful and upsetting the last few months have been and are looking forward to the possibility of regaining some stability and normality.
S. Waddington S. Heathcote
Headteacher Chair of Governors