Information for parents updated on Tuesday 23rd June 2020 at 4pm
Following recent changes please click here to download the letter about school re-opening to all years.
Information for parents updated on Wednesday 20th May 2020 at 12 noon
On 20th March 2020, Boris Johnson shut schools indefinitely for all but keyworker’s children. On Sunday 10th May, he announced his plan to phase the opening of schools, starting with Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils from 1st June 2020. This is, however, still dependent on sufficient progress being made on a national level to contain Coronavirus.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Re: School opening from 1st June for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children.
I apologise, for what is quite a lot of information to take on board, however I want to give you as much detail as possible so that you can make an informed decision. I urge you to read it all.
I can only imagine to begin to understand how hard the last weeks and months have been for you and your families since lockdown began. As parents we face many challenges and having your children at home with you all this time will have been hard at times. However successful you feel you have been as a parent and a teacher, please remember you are doing a great job. Your child’s mental health and well-being is far more important than their academic progress at this time. When your children are back in their normal classrooms we will do all that we can to support them to catch up with their learning.
There is nothing we want more than to welcome our children and their families back to school. As Executive Headteacher of All Saints Multi Academy Trust it is my job, on behalf of the Board of Directors to work out how we can safely do that.
Firstly, I think it is important to be open and honest about the situation, ensuring that you are all as well informed as you can be to help with your decision making if you are a parent of a child in either of the above year groups.
We have put together a plan for a phased return of children to school. However, this is not without its drawbacks. Hopefully you are all aware of School Rule number 3 – ‘Look out for the safety of everyone’. Our school rules are not just for the children to follow but also for the staff, parents and visitors to school. Therefore, I need to make sure that when and how we open the schools it is safe for everyone.
We do want the children back, but this cannot be at ‘any cost’; we do not want it on our conscience that we have made a decision that has led to a tragic circumstance, so it is all about minimising risk.
It is important that you are all aware that, on their return, the school will seem like a very different place. Our Mission Statement hasn’t changed; our ethos is the same but things will need to look different. Our school rules haven’t changed but the way we need to do things has. Children’s movement around school, playtimes, drop off and pick up etc. will be strictly managed.
A list of these details is at the end of this letter and is correct at the time of writing. If things change, we will contact parents by text message. Returning to school as outlined below is still dependent on the Prime Minister saying it is safe to do so.
To reduce risk, the government have stipulated that children will be kept in small groups (capped at 15), at all times with the same adults and with limited movement around school. Consequently, to facilitate this, we will have to split adults and children into smaller classes. We will do all that we can to ensure that at least one of the adults in your child’s group is someone they are familiar with.
Social distancing has become the new norm and we are getting more and more used to staying 2m apart from people outside our own homes. The government 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 schools, they are taking that into account. We cannot, and will not expect children to social distance from the other children in their small groups and with those adults in school. We will do all that we can to keep the small groups of children apart with staggered lunch and play times etc.
Due to staffing constraints we are inviting:
- Nursery, Reception and Year 1 to return to school from Monday 1st June
- Year 6 to return from Monday 15th June.
On Thursday 21st May or Friday 22nd May, a member of staff will be phoning parents of those children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 to discuss if you are planning to send your child to school.
If your child is in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 or Year 6, attendance is a decision for you and your family to make regarding them coming to school. Although parents in these year groups are encouraged to bring their child to school, we understand that many of you may still be anxious and choose to keep them at home. You will not be penalised for non-attendance and we will support any decision that you make. If you decide at a later date to send your child to school, you will need to contact the school office in advance to ensure we can accommodate this.
Year 6 Leavers
For Year 6 pupils the end of their time at primary school will not be like it has been for previous children. We will not be able to do a performance and celebrate in the usual way but we have some exciting ideas of how to mark their transition to secondary school. This will be for all Year 6 pupils regardless of whether they come into school from Monday 15th June.
New routines and expectations
We want you to be aware of some of the new routines and expectations when making your decision about sending you child to school.
What we intend to do to keep your child safe:
- If you choose to send your child to school, we will expect them in everyday and all day unless they are ill or the family need to self-isolate;
- School uniform is encouraged but the expectations will be relaxed, allowing clothes to be washed more frequently;
- Children can wear their PE kit all day on PE days (days for PE to follow);
- When working indoors, windows will be opened to ventilate classrooms and doors left open to eliminate touching of handles
- The outside environment will be utilised as much as possible as guidance has indicated that this reduces the risk of infection
- Only one parent is allowed on site for pick up/drop off, and parents on site need to observe social distancing;
- Pick up and drop off routines must be strictly adhered to including the gate and door you must use (this will be clearly signposted);
- Children will be able to arrive in school between 8:40am and 9am. Please do not arrive at school before this time;
- Parents will be asked to stand 2m back from the allocated door and send their children into school;
- Children will be directed to wash their hands regularly and encouraged not to touch their face;
- Breakfast club will only be open for children of eligible key workers;
- There will be no after school clubs until further notice;
- The normal curriculum will not be able to happen due to restrictions around resources and the use of space in school;
- A Recovery Curriculum, supporting mental health and well-being will be delivered in place of normal academic studies;
- Books and other resources will not be sent home and brought back into school
- There will be an increase in cleaning schedules across school;
- There will be no face-to-face meetings with staff whilst restrictions last;
- Queries to the school office should be by telephone or email;
- The school will not permit visitors to access the school building other than in exceptional circumstances e.g. a social worker visiting a child who is at risk;
- Children will need to bring a packed lunch please (a free packed lunch will be made available to eligible children in Reception and Year 1);
- Free School Meal vouchers will continue for those receiving them at present and these children will need to bring a packed lunch;
- If a child becomes ill they will be isolated in another room until their parents collect them, (please ensure we have up-to-date contact details)
Obviously, for our key worker parents (who are on our list) we will still be supporting by making places available for their children.
I hope that you all appreciate the difficulty we are in with all of this, and that much of the above has been stipulated by the government. It is not what we want. At All Saints, we talk about the ‘my child test’ and I ensure you that I approach all of this with that in mind, thinking about my own grandson preparing to go back to Reception after what will be at least 10 weeks out of school. We will do everything in our power to support you and your child/children at this difficult time and I would like to take this opportunity to say how proud I am of everyone in our school community and thank you for your continued support.
We will do our best to communicate with you as effectively as possible. The website is the best place to get the latest information.
Stay safe everybody.
Please click here to download a copy of this letter about the re-opening of school.
The most up-to-date and accurate information can be found at:
Public Health England - https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/coronavirus-covid-19-uk-government-response
if you are concerned about symptoms check the NHS website - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
If you would like to access help and support during the Coronavirus click here for the Ladywood Helpers Project - https://www.ladywoodhelpers.co.uk/
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