Plans for Re-Opening in September 2020
Please find below a letter from Mrs Thapar and the Chair of Governors about the school’s plans for re-opening in September.
Text of the letter
29th July 2020
Planning and Preparation for Wider Re-Opening of School
Information for Parents
I hope you are all enjoying the summer holidays and staying safe. We have now reviewed the Risk Assessment to open the school in September to the whole school.
Our priority remains the health, safety and well being of all the children and adults working in school and the wider school community.
We are planning for all year groups to return as normal in the new academic year, however there are quite a few changes to the way we have to behave when we are on the school site. The junior school is also starting back so between the two schools we are managing 960 pupils, and as every child arrives with at least one adult that is 960 adults making it 1,920. If we add at least 150 members of staff between the two schools to the mix that is a lot of people on one site. Fortunately we are able to spread the numbers out because we are big site and our plan to stagger the start and end of the day will reduce congestion and enable social distancing, it can only work if we all adhere to the rules and co-operate, so I am emphasising the need for everyone to work with the two schools to keep everyone safe.
Before the school closed for the Summer Holidays staff have been in school to clear the classrooms of unnecessary furniture, equipment and resources. The classrooms will be deep cleaned again in the holidays. We have given out PPE to every member of staff and they have had training for the opening of the school and the procedures in place to ensure their own safety, the safety of the children and of other adults. Staff will not be wearing masks or PPE generally, but if they have to work closely with a child, for example reading 1:1; if a child is injured; a child needs help to change, then they can wear a facial visor or mask.
If we have a meeting in a room for a prolonged period of time – although this will be avoided, staff may wear a mask, and if there is a visitor or parent then staff and visitors can be expected to wear a mask as meetings sometimes have to be confidential.
Children will not wear a mask unless there is a medical emergency.
Smooth transitions are really important so what happens outside the school gate is vital to the safety of the children. I would urge you to walk to school if you can, park far away from the school and do not gather outside the school gate to catch up with friends. I apologise for this in advance.
During the wider opening of the school from June we have seen that our systems have worked really well, parents and children have been amazing in co-operating. We have learned from this experience have modified our plans accordingly, for instance we have looked at congestion points, timings and signage. We want to get the children into class as quickly as possible without compromising on health and safety. We can do it if we all work together.
Please see below some of the questions that we have anticipated you may have about our wider reopening. Some of the information may change as we receive new guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) and we will inform you of this as soon as we receive it.
Please take the time to read all the information. I know it is lengthy, but we have to be thorough in order to protect everyone who comes on the school site.
We hope these points have helped to answer some of your questions about returning to school in September. Anyone who has urgent concerns that they feel have not been addressed by this letter are encouraged to send an email to email@example.com.
Kiran Thapar Harjinder Rahanu
Head Teacher Chair of Governors
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION AND ANSWERS FOR RETURN TO SCHOOL IN SEPTEMBER 2020
Which year groups are returning to school in September?
- Year 1 and Year 2 will return to school on Monday 7th
- Reception children will return according to the timetable and appointments given to them on their offer letter, the first of which begin on 7th It is really important for parents to keep to the time and dates given as we have been mindful of numbers, our capacity to clean after each family unit has visited and it will be difficult to re-arrange an appointment due social distancing.
- Nursery children will start their parent and child visit to the Nursery on 7th Parents must attend on time and bring all the necessary documents with them.
- Our capacity to have all the children back however will be kept under review and is dependent on staffing levels, the rate of the infection in the community and our capacity to deal with the numbers safely in the space we have.
Is it compulsory for my child to attend?
I am worried that my child is vulnerable or that a family member is vulnerable. Should I send them back to school?
- Yes all children must return to school. Unless it is for the following reasons:-
- A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19
- Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1st August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.
- If you have travelled abroad then check if you are required to quarantine on your return and if the quarantine period falls into the academic year then you must follow the government guidance and also let the school know.
What will the children learn when they return to school after such a long period of absence
The teachers have been planning and preparing to teach the children with this in mind.
For the first few weeks teachers will be keen to settle the children back into routines (parents should start normal school routines such as early bed time and getting up in the morning two weeks before the end of the holidays).
We have designed a ‘catch up’ curriculum so there will be an extra focus on phonics, handwriting, reading, writing, mathematics and Personal, Social and Health Education (PSHE) to give the children opportunities to talk about the last few months so that we can move on.
What happens if an adult or child has symptoms of COVID-19 in school?
- Anyone displaying symptoms of COVID-19 will be isolated and the child’s parent/carer will be asked to collect them. Their temperature will be taken by using a non-invasive thermometer that is pointed to the forehead. Staff will wear PPE to care for the child, observing the child’s experience of the symptoms until they are collected by their parent/carer. PPE will be disposed of according to Government guidelines.
- If one member of the Bubble (child or adult) experiences symptoms of COVID-19, they should be tested immediately. If the result is positive, all members of the ‘Bubble’ will be required to self-isolate and will not be permitted to attend Grange Park Infant School until the isolation period is over. If the result is negative, all members can return to school.
- Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development. Schools have to report unauthorised absence as previously.
Will the school guarantee that social distancing takes place
- We will do our best to support social distancing. We want to protect the children and adults.
- The DfE guidance states:
‘We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and schools, we are taking this into account.’ Therefore, we are employing a ‘Bubble’ system. See below.
- Although there will be limited movement around the school, it is expected that when it is necessary to do so, children will always follow a one-way system with their key adult. Transitions within corridors will be kept to a minimum.
- Parents should be aware that it is very likely that children will touch adults and one another, and come into close contact.
- It will be very difficult for Reception and Nursery children to socially distance from each other. We have arranged the rooms in Reception and Nursery as ‘work stations’ where a limited number of children can learn and play with equipment that can be washed easily at the end of each session. The children can still move round the room with some level of choice, but staff will be directing children to move between spaces safely. We have taken as many precautions as is reasonably possible. We will not be able to respond to complaints if this happens.
What will school be like for my child and what do I have to do to prepare for my child to return to school?
School will look and be different for children, staff and parents. Many routines will change in order to keep everyone safe, and the points below show how the school will operate.
- Every child will have their temperature checked before they enter the classroom using a non-invasive thermometer.
- All classrooms have been organised with tables facing the front with as much distance as possible between each table. Two children will sit at each table side by side
- Classrooms have all had unnecessary furniture and equipment removed including any soft furnishings so that the rooms can be deep cleaned at the end of the day thoroughly, and wiped down easily during the day.
- No scooters/bikes on the school grounds please for now.
- Each child will have a tray in which to keep their equipment and a clear zippy bag for their pencil, sharpener, rubber and whiteboard etc.
- Each Bubble will have their own allocated play spaces outside, and will have their own outdoor equipment, which will be cleaned regularly. Climbing frames will not be accessible in the Key Stage 1 and Reception Playgrounds.
- The number of children in the Bubble may vary, but the maximum number of pupils in any Bubble will be 35 including adults.
- Children will be kept within their class Bubble as much as possible and they will not be able to interact with other children or staff outside of their ‘Bubble’.
- Teachers will organise more lessons to be outside (weather permitting) and playtimes, lunchtimes, and the start and end of the school day will be staggered so that there is no mixing between Bubbles.
- Children should wear their school uniform everyday if possible, but due to continuing hygiene rules, children should wear clean clothes everyday so can wear sensible home clothes on some days while the uniform is being washed. Uniform is however the norm for school. No child should come to school in home clothes everyday.
- Children with long hair should have it tied back with a plain hair tie; head scarves should be white or royal blue and washed everyday; children should not wear fancy hair ties or hair bands.
- Staff members have been directed to wear clean clothes everyday as they have done while we have been open since 1st
Uniform can be bought online at www.pmgschoolwear.co.uk.
- Do not buy a commercial rucksack, pencil cases or other items for school as we will have to send these items back home. We do not have the space and want to avoid contamination. Due to Covid-19 we have to limit items from home.
- Please see the school uniform website for the correct rucksack size to purchase or send your child’s PE kit in a plastic bag.
- Purchase your child’s PE Kit during the holidays, including plimsolls, label every item, but do not send the PE Kit to school until we ask you
- Please wash your child’s Blue Reading book bag during the holidays or you may want to order a new one from the uniform website. Keep the yellow reading record safe and send it in with the bag when we tell you to. Do not send the bag into school on the first day back to school.
- A light raincoat can be worn to school if it is raining
- Children should bring a sunhat to school if it is sunny, and should have sun cream applied before school.
- Children will eat lunch in their classroom to maintain their class Bubble for the first few weeks. Lunch time staff will be supporting the children. All surfaces will be cleaned after lunch.
- A healthy school meal will be served to all children in their classes for the first few weeks. There are No options to have a packed lunch at present. A menu will be published on the school website shortly.
- If your child has a food allergy we should be made aware of this and the school kitchen will provide an appropriate meal for your child, taking into account their medical needs.
What rules are in place to maintain high standards of hygiene?
- All children and adults should wash their hands before leaving home.
- Children will wash their hands on entry to the classroom, after break time, before and after lunch and anytime that they visit the toilet or cough/sneeze into their hands. All children and staff must comply with this rule.
- Parents of children in Reception and Nursery should bring hand sanitiser with them and staff will observe parents applying the antibacterial to their child’s hands. Once the children are in class we will take them one by one to wash their hands as they will need help to do this and it will avoid long queues at the door. .
- During the holidays please teach your children to wash their hands independently.
- There will be regular cleaning of shared areas and toilets. At various intervals, adults will disinfect and clean tables, door handles and equipment. Each class will have their own allotted set of cleaning equipment that will be stored appropriately and safely within the classrooms.
- Resources will be cleaned regularly; unfortunately this means there will be a limited number of resources available for children.
- All classrooms have sinks for handwashing. Classrooms will be equipped with soap, water, hand sanitiser, tissues and lidded bins for disposal of rubbish. These supplies will be replenished regularly.
- Classrooms will be well ventilated, with windows and doors to the outside open as much as possible.
- Children will have new hygiene rules explained to them in an age-appropriate manner and they will be expected to follow these rules. Parents and teachers must encourage children not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose.
- Parents should help their children to understand why it is important to wash hands, use tissues and avoid touching others.
How will I collect and drop off my child?
- Pick up and drop off times will be staggered for different classes Bubble groups.
- A social distancing queuing system will be in place to drop off/collect children. This will ensure that parents do not come into contact with more people than necessary.
- Only one parent/carer can drop off/collect.
- Parents must enter from the Nursery gate on Balmoral Drive, follow the one-way system, and leave by the Field gate in Year 1, Year 2 and Reception. The Nursery have separate arrangements – please see the grid below.
- Parents should not approach staff members when dropping off and collecting children. A polite wave and smile is all that is needed. There will be no ‘handover discussions’ between staff and parents. Instead, parents should use the class email they have been given to communicate with the teacher if necessary.
- Parents will not have access to the school building or teachers. The School Office will not be open for parents to visit in person but they can telephone or email the school and an appointment can be made if required.
- Markers have been placed on the floor at 2m intervals at the entrance to school. We are keeping to the 2 metre rule as we have we believe there is no harm in being over cautious.
- Staff will welcome children from the playground, and parents will leave the children as per agreement. Parents will then exit through the correct gate immediately.
- When the child comes into the classroom the teacher will direct your child to wash their hands and then they will go and sit at their designated desk space.
- Each child will have their own work tray where they keep all their equipment including their reading bag when we ask for it.
- Each child will keep their water bottle on their desk, so please do not send in a large bottle, they can always refill their bottle. Make sure it is clearly labelled with their name and class.
- Each child will have access to tissues on their tables – please send in a tissue box on the first day which you will place in a bag outside the classroom to go into quarantine.
- Although it is understandable that parents/carers may wish to socialise during these times, we politely request you not to do so, and to respect the Government’s social distancing guidelines. We also ask you to disperse as soon as possible so that other groups of children can arrive and depart safely.
- Any child that displays signs of distress or upset when coming to school may be asked to go wait at the end of the queue until they are settled with their parent/carer. If they don’t settle, the parent will be asked to take the child home or come back later on in the day. We will be flexible as possible. Many children will still feel anxious about coming back to school after such a long time so please do not worry if this situation arises when you bring your child to school.
- Parents/carers must have their mobile phones turned on and available for any emergency calls throughout the duration of the time their child is in school. It is essential that you inform the School Office if your contact details have changed.
What if I am going to be late to collect or drop off my child?
- Parents must be punctual when dropping off and collecting their children. If you are likely to be late, you must inform the School Office as soon as possible to arrange a new drop off time.
What if I have more than one child to drop off and collect?
- Drop off the oldest child first then the next youngest and so on, a staff member will welcome any siblings who arrive earlier than their allocated time. It is more important not to have adults waiting around.
What if I have a child in the Junior School to drop off?
- We suggest you drop off the child who has been allocated the earliest time first for example Year 2 child at 8.30 am and then take the Junior School child after that to their playground or the other way round. If it becomes a problem then do get in touch.
What happens if my child has an accident at school?
- In case of a toileting accident, or fall, children will be encouraged to help themselves as far as possible, for example, changing themselves, or clean their scrape or cut. If this is not possible, staff may help them with the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
- For staff looking after children with complex special educational needs and providing direct personal care (at a distance of less than 2 metres), PPE will be used, and disposed of according to government guidance.
- If it is deemed necessary for the child to be taken home, the school will contact the parent/carer as normal, however they will not be allowed to enter the school building – instead a member of staff will escort the child to the main entrance.
How will children with medical conditions be supported?
- Any medication (including inhalers/EpiPens) must be in date for your child to return to school. We will let you know if any medication is out of date.
- If any medication is administered, adults will wear a face visor, mask and gloves to further reduce the risk of spreading the virus.
Will breakfast club and any after-school clubs be running?
- No, as this will bring other children into contact outside of the ‘Bubble’ group.
Will there be any assemblies?
- There will be no whole school assemblies at the moment, children will have class assemblies for the time being.
Will the school allow visitors and volunteers into school?
- No – at this time we will not allow any additional adults to visit the school, unless it is for the purposes of site safety and maintenance. We will expect any such contractors to attend the school outside school hours, and follow all rules such as the one-way system.
How will standards of good behaviour be maintained?
- Our approach to behaviour is broadly in line with our Behaviour Policy that is normally adhered to. However, safety of the school community is paramount, and the procedures we have listed above have been put in place to minimise the risk of contracting COVID-19. Therefore we must insist that ALL children, parents and staff play their part in observing and implementing them. Any child failing to observe these procedures will have to be collected and taken home. Any other inappropriate behaviour will be dealt with as usual, following the school’s Behaviour Policy.
- Children with challenging behaviour will be supported to return to routine as soon as possible.
- If behaviour is an issue for individual children and that leads to the school not being able to ensure the safety of others, then parents will be contacted.
There will be zero tolerance of deliberate breaches of safe social distancing by children, parents or staff.
Appropriate measures will be taken for the different individuals:
- Children would be sent home
- Parents would be prevented from entering the site
- Staff would face disciplinary procedures
My child is feeling nervous or anxious about coming back to school. How can I prepare them?
The following things will change about day-to-day life at school:
- We understand that returning to school after such a long time will be strange and perhaps upsetting for any child. They may also feel nervous about the changes made to keep everyone safe.
- Staff will try to reduce any anxiety by engaging them quickly into activities prepared for them and will remain a positive and optimistic presence in the classroom. They will celebrate the changes of routine and ask the children to say what is different.
- We ask that parents try to prepare their child by explaining what school was like and what it will be like now, as well as reflecting on their experience of lockdown. Please visit the school website where we have prepared a short video of what it will be like when the children return.
STAGGERED STARTS AND END TIMINGS FOR CHILDREN IN RECEPTION, YEAR 1 AND YEAR 2 FROM 7TH SEPTEMBER 2020
|To maintain a one way system and social distancing Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 will use the Nursery Gate on Balmoral Drive to enter the school use the big Field Gate to exit – also on Balmoral Drive.
If you more than one child to drop then off the oldest child first then the next youngest and so on, a staff member will welcome any siblings who arrive earlier than their allocated time. It is more important not to have adults waiting around
Please enter and leave the school site immediately after dropping and picking up your child as you can see we have staggered times for every year group and this planning has been co-ordinated with the junior school arrival and leaving times. You will appreciate why it is important to be punctual.
PLEASE BE PUNCTUAL IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THE PLAN WORKS
|Classes||Start time||Home time|
|Year 2 Classes
Emerald Class, Pink Class, Lilac Class,
|8:30 AM||3:00 PM|
|Year 2 Class
|8.35 AM||3.05 PM|
|Year 1 Classes
Purple Class, Crimson Class
|8:40 AM||3:10 PM|
|Year 1 Classes
Blue Class, Yellow Class
|8.45 AM||3.15 PM|
Green Class, Turquoise Class, Silver Class
|8.50 AM||3:20 PM|
STAGGERED STARTS AND END TIMINGS FOR CHILDREN IN NURSERY
|Nursery Classes||Start time||Home time|
Big Field gate to enter and exit
Nursery gate to enter and exit
Big Field gate to enter and exit
Nursery gate to enter and exit
Nursery gate to enter and exit
Nursery gate to enter and exit