Important Information for Parents
Please read the following information taken from the letter - final letter to parents re option to return to school 18th May 2020. This letter is available as an attachment below.
18th May 2020
Following our letter last week about the possible re-opening of schools (which will be at the earliest 1st June), we have now received some further guidance from the government.
In the event of a decision that schools should begin to offer further provision, they have advised that all schools do a clear risk assessment and plan as to how many children they can safely accommodate within their buildings, taking into account not just available space, but also staff available to work under the current health restrictions.
Opening of school (even when the government deem it safe to do so) may not happen immediately for each school, as there is a great deal of preparation work to do in order to ensure the safest return to school for those involved.
Although we will be trying our best to operate as normally as possible, there are a number of actions that we will be putting in place to try to minimise Covid-19 related incidents in school; we therefore have to make it clear that the school day will look very different to the children, parents and staff.
The children will be split into smaller groups in a range of different classrooms; they will not be together with their normal class (although we will try to maintain some friendship groups as far as possible). This is because young children, such as ours, will find it very difficult to socially distance (i.e. keep 2 metres apart). The government recognise this and have suggested that children are placed together in ‘social bubbles’ (small groups of children who remain together for the duration of their time in school) and that they work with just one or two adults in one consistent classroom all day, every day. They will also get access to outdoor play, but this will be in zoned areas, where they will play with just the children in their ‘bubble’.
Other changes are likely to include:
- children being in a different classroom to the one they are normally in (to allow for small ‘bubbles’ of 8 – 12 children)
- children may not be with their usual class teacher and/or teaching assistant
- the timing of the school day (with staggered start and end times to help social distancing)
- shorter timescales in school on either a daily basis and/or closure on a certain day or half day (to build in time for extra deep cleaning of the building and resources)
- parent drop off and collection points away from the school building (to limit contact between people on school site)
- a more limited curriculum offer than normal (as resources will be shared through a larger number of groups and lots of time for handwashing and outdoor play built in for hygiene and health reasons)
- eating lunches in their classrooms, rather than the hall (to aid social distancing)
However, I can assure you that whatever actions we take, will always have the children’s best interests and safety at the heart, along with those of the staff and parents.
As an Infant and Nursery School, the government have advised that we must prioritize the following groups for provision within school:
- Vulnerable Children
- Children with an Education, Healthcare Plan (EHCP)
- Children of Critical (Key) Workers - these children can be offered full day, full week (Mon – Fri) provision
(please see list of identified Critical Workers as identified by the government at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-maintaining-educational-provision/guidance-for-schools-colleges-and-local-authorities-on-maintaining-educational-provision)
If there remains capacity to offer further places beyond this, then we are told to offer them in the following order:
- Year One
Although the Prime Minister has expressed a wish for all primary school children to return for a month before the summer break, the size and capacity of our school, means it is highly unlikely at this stage, to be able to offer this. We are concerned, however, that Year 2 children will be leaving us at the end of this term and would benefit from at least a few days in school before the end of term. We are trying to work creatively to work out how this can be supported.
In order to contribute to our planning for the effective and safe return of more children to school, it would help if you could indicate whether you intend to send your child to school when we open to more children.
The government are actively encouraging children, within the groups schools can accommodate, to return to school. However, it remains up to you, as parents, to decide what is best for your own child(ren), taking into account their own individual needs and those of your family. This may include considering whether anyone in your household falls within the ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ category, who is strongly advised to shield or maintain strict social distancing from other people, including children. There will be no attendance measures or fines for those that choose not to attend school.
I would be grateful if you could now either email school at email@example.com or text the following number: 07514 386316 by Thursday 21st May (10am) to let us know whether you intend send your child(ren) back to school, if provision is available from June 1st, or whether you have decided to keep them at home until September.
Information needed in email/text:
Name of Child(ren):
Children in Nursery/Reception/Year One
YES; I intend for my child to return to school if a place is available
NO; I intend to keep my child at home and return them to school in September
For children in any age group, whose parents are Critical (Key Workers)
YES: I require a Key Worker provision place Job title of parent:
Thank you for your help with this. As soon as we have further information, I will contact you again. In the meantime, if you have any queries or questions, please contact one of the numbers below:
Mrs Valli: 07514 386316
Mrs Barker: 07922 842843
Mrs Coates-Mohammed: 07922 842841
My very best wishes to you all.