Returning to School
As you are aware, the government has announced that schools should fully reopen from the start of the upcoming autumn term. They have made this decision on the basis of:
· The prevalence of coronavirus decreasing
· The new NHS test and trace system being in place
· More clarity about the measures that need to be in place to create safe environments in schools
· Time out of school being detrimental to children’s development
· The low risk to children of becoming severely ill from coronavirus
This means that we are getting ready to open to all of our pupils in September. We are very much looking forward to welcoming back our pupils in Y1 to Y6 on Thursday 3rd September and our EYFS pupils from Monday 7th September (please note the start date your child will have been given in their welcome letter for Reception or Nursery). We are obviously all working hard to minimise risks and to ensure that the school is a safe, enjoyable environment.
It is important to be clear on what you can expect from us and equally, what we will expect from all of our parents, carers and students
Attendance will be mandatory in September, as the government expects all pupils to attend school. The usual rules will apply, meaning we will be recording attendance and following up on any absences.
If your children have been staying at home due to the current shielding guidance, the government paused this guidance on 1 August; that means they should be able to come back to school in September.
However, if you have received clinical or public health advice that your children should still remain at home, please let us know and continue to follow that guidance. We will be offering remote education to these pupils.
When your children come into school, we will have a large number of protective measures in place as we want to ensure that all of our pupils and staff remain safe throughout the school day:
· Our procedures for going to and from school, such as our changes to drop off and pick up times and routines and the entrances that different year groups can use must be adhered to and are detailed in the FAQ section
· We have introduced clearly marked one-way systems in all areas of the school
· We will have clear rules on what pupils can take to and from school: pupils will only bring in ‘essential’ items (e.g. bags, stationery, lunch boxes)
· The classrooms have been specifically set up to maximise space, following DFE guidance, so excess furniture and resources have been removed
· We will be ensuring good personal hygiene and responsible behaviour, with clear expectations about regular hand washing, social distancing where possible, avoiding physical contact
· We will be ensuring that our pupils remain in class ‘bubbles’ for teaching and year group bubbles for playtimes and lunchtimes, with specified zoned play areas for the different year groups
· We will be cleaning key areas and surfaces more frequently throughout the day
· We will work hard to ensure that all of our pupils are clear on the new protective measures and offer regular reminders and good role modelling
· If a pupil or staff member develops Covid symptoms, we will actively follow the guidance and will be clear in our communications regarding confirmed cases and informing those who may need to self-isolate
· We will not be planning any trips during the first half term and will continue to monitor the situation carefully before planning for any future trips and outings
Although there will need to be some changes to reflect the teaching time that was lost during the lockdown, we will still be doing our very best to provide an ambitious, broad curriculum for all of our pupils.
When the children return we will be aiming high, working hard and caring deeply so that we can do the following:
· Provide a strong focus on wellbeing so that all pupils are emotionally ready to learn
· Identify our pupils’ starting points and any gaps in their knowledge created over the lockdown period and ensure that they are well supported to catch up on lost learning, using additional teaching staff to provide intervention support as needed. This will be done through ‘light touch’ assessments and not any sort of formal testing
· Focus on the most important concepts when teaching which will act as a strong foundation for the next stages in the children’s education: we recognise that we will not be able to cover all the missed learning from the spring and summer terms
· Teach all subject areas so that all pupils can have access to their favourite lessons
· Mark and provide feedback so that pupils can understand their next steps
· Provide an extracurricular offer including breakfast and after-school clubs within year group bubbles
We are only too aware that the lockdown has been a difficult time for many of us, including our pupils.
Please let us know if you think your child(ren) might need extra support when returning to school, such as if they feel anxious about coming back or they are experiencing bereavement.
We will be actively supporting our pupils’ wellbeing and working hard to develop resiliency this academic year. It will be important for us to measure wellbeing once our pupils return so that we can have a whole school snapshot to help inform our planning and identify pupils who will benefit from early support and interventions.
Staff have worked very hard to form a three-tiered graduated response process which includes the following:
· A universal response that all pupils will benefit from, including Jigsaw PSHE and PiXL wellbeing lessons, regular class circle times, mindfulness minutes, class worry boxes and lunch clubs
· A selected response for some pupils that provides ELSA sessions, access to our Mental Health first Aiders, Nurture interventions, Lego therapy sessions, counselling
· A targeted response that may include access to dramatherapy sessions, CAMHS support or involvement with the Getting Help team
We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received so far from the school community and want to continue to work in strong partnership with you to keep all of our stakeholders safe and happy. We will continue to keep in touch if there are any updates to our plans or if we need to make changes due to new or updated government advice.