September 2020 Update
School Update: Wider Opening of School
May I first begin by thanking you for your patience with regard to the sharing of this information around the wider opening of school in September. As I write this, it is the government’s plan that all children, in all year groups, will return to school full time from the beginning of the autumn term.
As I am sure you are fully aware, the level of risk presented by Covid - 19 is changing, however, we know it still does present challenges that we will need to consider when planning to open fully. In order to effectively manage the risks that remain, school will be slightly different when your child/children return for the new academic year. This letter intends to set out some of these changes and protective measures we are putting in place.
This is a fast changing situation and all of what is detailed below is subject to change. Please keep an eye out for any correspondence from us via email and the school website.
The plan we have put together has been largely based on recommendations from the DfE and local authority, yet I am keen to add that it does reflect the unique nature of our school environment. We have begun to carry out the necessary actions required to ensure that the wider reopening of the school is completed safely.
Who will be allowed to return in September?
The first day of our new academic year for all children is planned for Wednesday 2 September 2020. School attendance will again be mandatory from this date.
How will the children be grouped?
Following government guidance, we intend to keep children in their class groups for the majority of the time, but also allowing them to mix with their wider year group for playtimes, lunchtimes, the beginning and end of the school day.
We will take steps to limit interaction, sharing of rooms and social spaces between year group bubbles as much as possible. We recognise that our children will not be able to maintain social distancing, and it is acceptable for them not to distance within their group.
Will there be changes to the beginning and end of the school day?
The beginning and end of the school day are the busiest times for children and adults congregating together so maintaining safe distances would be a challenge. It is for this reason that we will be changing the processes for drop off and collection.
Beginning of the day:
With the exception of Year 3 for the first week only, the school site will be closed to all parents at the beginning of the day. We will be operating a flexible registration period between 8.40am and 8.55am. Children can arrive at any time within this window, through either the Donalds Way or Aigburth Road gate. We would encourage parents to adopt a ‘drop and go’ approach to ensure this part of the day runs smoothly. Once dropped off, children will be met at the gates by a staff member, who will direct them to a year group ‘channel’ that they should follow into their year group door.
End of the School Day:
The end of the school day will be modified slightly and children can still be collected from the school playground and we would ask that this is limited to one adult. Access to the playground will be from Aigburth Rd only. The gates at Donalds Way will be ‘no entry’. We will operate a one-way system on the playground and you will exit through Donalds Way gates. Parents will be required to maintain social distancing during this time; staff and markers/cones will facilitate this. Please be prepared for this process to take longer than usual.
In order for us to dismiss two year groups at a time, the following changes have been made to the finish times of the day.
Year 3 and Year 4: 3.10pm - 3.20pm
Year 5 and 6: 3.20pm - 3.30pm
Upon entering the site, parents/carers will be directed towards their year group space where your child/children will be waiting for you.
If you have more than one child in school and their finish times are different (e.g. a children in Y3 and Y6) all of your children will be permitted to leave at the time of the earliest child.
The system is designed so that there is no hold up on the yard and families are able to keep moving as they collect their children. This will help us to avoid any queuing of parents/carers at the school gates. In order to reduce risk, we ask that only one parent/carer drops off or picks up. We also ask that you keep as close as you can to the pick up times and do not arrive early.
Please can I also stress that due to the large numbers accessing our Aigburth Road entrance that it is important you do not park on Aigburth Road and the school entrance is kept completely clear at all times.
Will I be able to access the school office?
The school office will also be closed to parents/carers. Anybody wishing to enter the school site during the day can only do so with an appointment. Face to face meetings between parents and staff will be avoided and communication by email/telephone is preferred where possible.
What will the curriculum look like?
We will deliver a blended curriculum of key concepts and learning that has been missed in the Summer term, alongside the planned Autumn term curriculum. We intend to provide an ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects. However, there may need to be changes to some subjects - such as PE and music - to ensure they can be delivered as safely as possible. Measures elsewhere include avoiding large gatherings such as assemblies or collective worship with more than one group.
Will my child need to wear school uniform?
Yes, we expect that all children attend in school uniform as they would do usually. PE kits are also required as usual and should be left in school. Please refer to school handbook for further details on this.
What will lunch and break times be like?
The children will stay in their year group bubble during break and lunchtime. As usual, children can bring a packed lunch if they wish, or stay hot dinner. The usual arrangements with regards to payments apply.
On the playground, timetabling and rotas will be used to ensure that contact between year group bubbles will be limited. Children will play in their year group bubbles in their designated area.
What should my child bring to school?
As all stationary will be provided by school, children should only bring a reading book, their water bottle and packed lunch if required. Therefore, only school bookbags are permitted. (No rucksacks and other larger school bags).
All pupils will be given their own items that will not be shared. Classroom based resources, such as books and games, will be used and shared within the bubble and will be cleaned regularly, along with all frequently touched surfaces.
What if someone within my child’s bubble begins to show symptoms?
Pupils and staff who become symptomatic during the school day will be isolated from the rest of the pupil group and will be sent home to self-isolate and obtain a test.
Towards the end of August, you will receive an email which will contain a PowerPoint Presentation. We would ask you to go through this with your child/ren in advance of them returning to school.
This will detail information about the things I have mentioned above and also the expectations we have of the children, including hygiene and hand washing, playtimes and use of equipment.
Up to date contact details:
It is very important that we have up to date contact details should we need to contact you during the school day. The school will only contact parents in an emergency. The school will not ring grandparents, neighbours etc. We must emphasise the importance of being able to get in touch with you quickly if necessary and therefore you must be contactable at all times throughout the school day.
Google Classroom/Home Learning:
Again, I would like to thank you all for your support with Google Classroom and your child/children’s home learning. Your child’s year group home learning email will cease from Friday 17 July 2020. Google Classroom will also cease from Friday 17 July 2020, this will be relaunched in September.
New Extension Update:
Our 4 new classrooms have finally been completed. From September these classrooms will be used for our 3 Year 6 classes and 1 Year 5 class – (5H).
Finally, I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone involved in our school community for their kind words, support and resilience during this challenging period. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our children back. They have been greatly missed.