End of the school year and Arrangements for September 2020
Friday 17th July 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
I apologise in advance for the length of this letter. However, it does contain very important information, so please take the time to read it in its entirety.
Today is the last day of the 2019-2020 academic year and I hope whatever plans you have for the holiday period are safe and relaxing for you all to charge those batteries and prepare for the year ahead. Who could have predicted it would turn out the way it has? I’m sure you will agree that the last four months have been extremely challenging for everyone and it was welcome news indeed when it was announced that we will be able to welcome all pupils back to school in September. Whilst it is clear, school will be very different for quite some time, it is great news that the COVID situation has reduced enough at this time to reopen schools for everyone. We have completed a full risk assessment, which you can read on the school website before your child returns to school in September so you can see in full detail how we will ensure we minimise risks as much as possible. I will put the document on the website in the first week of September to ensure it includes the most up to date information and reflects any changes required.
I’d like to thank you for your support in helping home-school your child/ren- you have done a brilliant job! Staff have been overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of work sent in from many families and the new skills that children have developed over this period are nothing short of fantastic. Mr Cutt has been very impressed with the number of Rock Stars and Rock legends we now have on TT Rockstars! I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the amzing entries into my challenges too!
We look forward to hearing more about these in September where staff will create displays to share the achievements, both academic and non-academic to help to unite the pupils when they return.
The first day for all pupils (except pupils who are due to start our Nursery in September- they start the following week) is Monday 7th September.
We realise that some pupils who have not been in school since March, may be quite anxious about returning to school. Mrs Braithwaite has made a short video which shows what school will be like, including the procedures for breaks, dinners and what it is like in the classrooms. Please share this video with your child to help prepare and reassure them.
Click the link below to view:
We have offered an optional phased transition for the first week for our pupils moving into Reception and for those attending full-time Nursery and several parents have been glad of this offer as it’s a huge jump from half days back in March to full-time in September with nothing in between. We also recognise though that other pupils may also find returning to school full-time in September challenging so we are therefore extending this offer to all parents of pupils who haven’t attended school since March if you have significant concerns about how your child will settle in September. The phased transition would be Mon and Tues half days, Weds and Thurs increasing by another hour and Friday full-time. Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to discuss this further. All staff know that children may need support socially and emotionally so we have lots of activities to support this. Ensuring children are feeling mentally well and ready to learn will be a priority in September.
Reports and Class arrangements
Hopefully, you have all now collected your reports. I recognise these are not as informative as they would usually be but am sure you understand the reason why. We added the details of your child’s new class on their report so I hope you noticed this. Our class structure staffing overview for 2020-2021 is as follows:
Nursery- Mrs Abbott-Lewin with Mrs Leverton and Miss Monks.
Reception- Miss Harrison with Miss Hudson (sadly, Mrs Wilkinson is leaving us this year- we wish her all the best and thank her for her amazing contributions to our school).
Year 1-Miss Walker with Mrs Hand and Mrs Bonsall.
Year 2- Mrs Barnes with Mrs Pickbourne and Mrs Clayton.
Year 3- Mrs Braithwaite with Miss Rushin, Mrs Bowler and Mrs Thurman.
Year 4/5- Mr Cutt with Mrs Winstanley and Mrs Hyde.
Year 5- Miss Thompson with Mrs Winder and Mrs Rason.
Year 5/6- Mrs Miles/Mrs Smith with Mrs Standring and Miss Marriott.
Our Y4 cohort this year is considerably larger than the other classes. To help reduce the risks, we have been asked to keep group sizes as small as possible. Therefore, we have split the Y4 class slightly next year with some pupils joining the Y6 children to make a Y5/6 class and some joining the Y4 children to make a Y4/5 class. The remaining pupils are in the Y5 class. Parents have been contacted by telephone if this affects their child.
Pupils will remain in these classes and groups will not mix with each other to reduce the risk of spreading COVID 19. Mrs Holmes will continue to teach across many classes but will ‘teach from the front of the class’ to ensure she maintains social distance from all pupils keeping herself and the pupils safe.
During this pandemic, attendance has not been compulsory and parents/carers that decided to keep their children at home even if they were entitled to a place, have not received any penalties or fines. As Government scientists now advise that, on balance, children are better in school than at home, they have also placed the requirement back on schools to report student attendance to the Department for Education and call for all students to attend unless they have a clear medical requirement to stay at home.
It is a difficult truth for us to share with you that we will be required to progress with prosecution of parents/carers who do not support their child’s regular attendance at school. We know that this is a worrying time for families and we do not underestimate the risks that are still around us. We would like to reassure you that we have clear risk assessments in place that all staff have read and agreed to work to. These extensive expectations include working in ‘bubbles’/small student and staff groups, robust respiratory hygiene expectations, extensive cleaning routines and working closely with the NHS Test and Trace Service.
Staggered start and end times
As you know, to minimise the risk of spreading COVID, all groups' start times and end times are staggered. Different gates are also used by different groups.
FS1 am 8:30-11:30
FS1 pm 12:30-3:30pm
Main reception gate:
FS1 30hrs 9:00-3:00pm
Car park gate: (no access to and from car park during these times)
Only one adult should drop off and collect each child to minimise the number of adults at school. I appreciate if you have more than one child, you may need to wait or you may need to go to two different gates. If you do have to wait, please do this away from the gate as other groups may need to use the same gate before you. If you have older children, they may be able to queue at their gate on their own, leaving you to stay with your younger child. If this is not possible, just drop one child off and then go to the next gate. It is really important that you arrive at the times given as other groups may be arriving before you or after you. You will see white spots on the pathway outside the school gate. Please use these to maintain social distancing. Adults will not be permitted to enter through the schools gates to reduce the risk to staff and pupils so please ensure you talk to your child about this as this is not what they are used to. A staff member will greet your child at the gate and bring your child to the gate at the end of the day.
Unfortunately, at this time, we cannot have visitors inside the school building. We therefore ask you to telephone or e-mail the school in the first instance. If there is something exceptional, that cannot be dealt with by e-mail or over the telephone, we will make an appointment for you to visit. You will be asked to sanitise your hands on entering the building and sign in. Please bring a pen as we are not permitted to share pens with visitors.
What should my child bring to school?
To reduce the risk of contamination from outside school, pupils are asked not to bring anything with them to school apart from the following:
At the beginning of the week- please bring a plastic bag (preferably) containing a change of clothes, spare pants/pull ups as appropriate, wet wipes, sun hat, sun cream and wellies which can be left in school. Please do not bring any toys, teddies etc from home. We have lots to play with and have to limit the reources coming into school.
Over the summer holiday, if your child is not toilet trained, please make this your focus so they come to come in September in pants.
At the beginning of the week- please bring a plastic bag (preferably) containing a change of clothes, spare pants/pull ups (if appropriate), wet wipes, sun hat and sun cream which can be left in school. Your child will also need a PE kit (see website for details), including plimsolls and trainers and wellies to be left in school.
Daily- Coat, Home school diary, reading book/Phonics cards, lunchbox (if relevant).
At the beginning of the week- a plastic bag (preferably) or a drawstring bag containing sun hat, sun cream, PE kit and trainers which can be left in school.
Daily- coat, reading book, organiser, lunchbox (if relevant)
Pupils are now asked to bring their personal organiser and reading book each day and to get back into the habit of reading at least 5 times a week with parents recording this. Lunchboxes need to be plastic so they are easily wiped. If your child doesn’t have this type, please send them with their lunch in a disposable bag instead.
What will my child be learning at school?
There is no doubt that the prolonged absence from school will have impacted pupils and we expect there to be gaps for most of them in the areas we didn’t get chance to cover this year. In September our priorities are as follows:
We recognise that not all pupils will have gaps and some will have more than others. The Government has announced additional funding for us to provide the best support to our students and this will be a key priority next year to ensure pupils ‘catch up’ where needed as quickly as possible.
What else will be different at school?
We will, of course, ensure the pupils receive a broad, balanced curriculum which inspires them to learn.
The revised guidance says there is no need to wash pupils’ clothes more frequently any more so we are reverting back to our school uniform for all pupils. (Except Nursery where uniform is optional). Please see the website for details if you are new to our school.
It is really important that staff maintain social distance from pupils as much as possible so please ensure younger pupils wear clothes which they can do themselves, e.g. trousers with elasticated waistbands rather than buttons, shoes with Velcro straps rather than laces etc. Staff will, of course, still help where needed but we need to minimise the adult contact wherever we can so please support us with this.
Children can still wear clothes of their own choosing on their birthday or on the closet school day to their birthday for those pupils who have birthdays at the weekend of in the holidays.
Each group will have an allocated playground and time slot so no two groups are on either playground at the same time. Children will still engage in a variety of games as long as contact is avoided. E.g. they may pass the football to each other or take practice shots. There will be limits to the number of pupils in each zone. Hand sanitisers will be used before using the trim trail.
The catering team will be offering the full menu choice as indicated on the latest menu, including sandwich and vegetarian options. Please order via School Money. Even if your child is free school meals or entitled to universal free meals, you can still order on School Money- you won’t be charged if your child is entitled to free meals.
Please be aware that the cost of meals increases in September to £2.20 per meal. Our dinner money policy has been updated to show this. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are all entitled to universal free school meals. If your child is moving to Y3 in September, please remember you will need to pay for school dinners from the first day back.
To prevent different groups mixing, dinner times will be staggered, different rooms used to eat and each group will have a separate zone on the playground or on the field with only one class being in each zone. Each class will have a named Midday Supervisor who remains with their group only at all times.
Nursery and Reception pupils will eat in the dining hall in separate areas.
All other classes will eat their lunch (school sandwiches, school dinners or sandwiches from home) in their classroom (on their named table). These will of course be cleaned before and after the children have eaten.
FS1: 11:30-12:30 break. Eating at 11:50am in the dining hall with Teaching Assistant.
FS2: 11:50-12:50 lunch break. Eating at 11:50am in the dining hall. Midday supervisor-Mrs Steel.
Y1: 11:55-12:55 lunch break. Eating at 11:55am in the Y1 classroom. Midday supervisor- Miss Burton and Mrs Lack.
Y2: 12:05-1:05 lunch break. Eating at 12:05pm in the Y2 classroom. Midday supervisor- Mrs Bingley.
Y3: 12:15-1:15 lunch break. Eating at 12:15pm in the Y3 classroom). Midday supervisor-Miss Carr.
Y4/5: 12:20-1:20 lunch break. Eating at 12:20pm in the Y4/5 classroom. Midday supervisor-Miss Garratt
Y5: 11:55-12:55 lunch break. Play break first then eating at 12:25pm in the Y5 classroom. Midday Supervisor- Miss Tucker.
Y5/6: 12:00-1:00 lunch break. Play break first then eating at 12:30pm in the Y5/6 classroom. Midday Supervisor-Mrs Jackson.
This provision will be available in September from 8am until the time your child’s class starts school. Please be aware due to increased staffing and food costs, the price of breakfast club has increased to £1.50 per day, including breakfast. Due to COVID restrictions, numbers will be limited to 19 so it is crucial you book and pay in advance. Priority will be on a first come, first served basis. If there are no spaces available, the system will let you know. We truly hope this will not be the case however and will monitor the provision closely. Please do not send your child to breakfast club if you haven’t pre-booked as we will not be able to cater for them. Bookings will open on Wednesday 2nd September for you to book for Monday 7th September onwards.
Childcare after school club
We are continuing to offer after school club provision in September- however for the first term, we will be offering reduced hours. We expect to build this back up as COVID hopefully continues to reduce. Due to COVID restrictions, the number of places available will be limited to 19 so it is crucial you book and pay in advance. Priority will be on a first come, first served basis. If there are no spaces available, the system will let you know. We truly hope this will not be the case however and will monitor the provision closely. Please do not leave your child in school at the end of the day if you haven’t pre-booked as we will not be able to cater for them. Bookings will open on Wednesday 2nd September for you to book for Monday 7th September onwards.
In September, we will offer after school childcare from 3:15-5:15pm. Please be aware due to increased staffing and food costs, our prices have increased. Our price structure and timings for September 2020 are as follows:
3:15pm-5:00pm (including a drink and biscuits) £3.50 per session.
3:15pm-5:15pm (including a drink and biscuits) £4:00 per session.
3:15pm-5:15pm (including a drink, biscuits and sandwich or toast) £4.50 per session.
Our charging policy has been amended to show these price changes.
As I have said in previous communications, social distancing outside of school is crucial to minimise the risks to all pupils and staff as well as their wider families. Please ensure you/your household all follow the social distancing rules consistently, keeping up to date with any changes in the rules that Government. I’m sure you can understand everyone has a right to be kept safe and we don’t want a situation where staff or other pupils feel unable to come to work or school due to increased risks.
What to do if your child has symptoms
If your child has COVID related symptoms you should request a testing kit from the NHS Test & Trace team. Your child will not be allowed to attend school until you have test results to share with us. If the test result is positive, your child will need to remain at home for at least 7 days. Their absence will be authorised and all family members living in the same household will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
Every case is different and we ask that you follow the NHS guidelines.
If your child arrives at school with any COVID-related symptoms, they will be safely supported until you can collect them and take them home and arrange for testing. Again, all other household members would begin 14 days isolation on the first day of symptoms. If the test is negative and your child is well enough, they can return to school and family members can end the self-isolation.
If a member in your household has COVID-related symptoms, we ask that your child follows the 14 day home isolation requirements. The full 14 days needs to be completed if a positive test is received. The child can return to school if a negative test is received.
In all cases, these absences will be marked as authorised. However, evidence may be requested if there are current concerns or have been concerns about attendance in the past.
We will remind you about these procedures again in September.
Home learning from September
We will be very lucky indeed if no pupil or group has to self-isolate due to suspected or confirmed COVID symptoms in either themselves or a wider family member. With that in mind, all teachers will plan for this possibility every week so that if a child has to self-isolate, they will immediately have access to quality online learning as close to what is being learned in school as possible, so they don’t slip behind. Those who cannot access learning online will be provided with paper based activities.
Eggs and Peanut allergy
Can I remind all parents that we have pupils in our school with serious allergies to eggs and peanuts?
Peanuts should not be brought onto the school premises. This includes foods which may contain
peanuts (labels will indicate this). If the label says ‘may contain nuts’ but not specifically peanuts,
these can be bought into school. If you bake anything for any of our events or if you send food
treats to share with classes, please ensure that peanuts are not used.
Raw eggs should not be brought onto the school premises. The only exception to this is the school
kitchen where pupils are not permitted. Cooking eggs at high temperatures changes the protein in
the egg making it less dangerous for people who are allergic. Pupils will bake with egg replacements.
The kitchen will no longer be offering egg sandwiches. We would prefer pupils to only bring foods
containing baked eggs, e.g. cakes. Due to needing to eat in the classrooms, pupils in Year 1 are not permitted to bring any foods in which eggs haven’t been cooked for long, e.g. boiled eggs, egg mayonnaise. In other year groups, we would prefer these not to be brought but if they have to be, we will have a separate section in the classroom and your child will need to bring a toothbrush and toothpaste to use after eating.
Due to the restrictions of COVID, we have edited our behaviour policy which is available on our website. Children are still earning Beks, although we can’t plan any trips to spend them on at this time. However, we will still keep banking them for when they can spend them. In the mean-time, we will have a competition in each class to see who can earn the most Beks in the term. Prizes will be given at the end of the term. Pupils will still be able to earn and lose Beks in the same way.
This term we have been giving out Rainbow drops to reward excellent work, attitude, effort etc. In September, we will announce the winners from each class working from home and for each group working in school and award them each with a prize.
Our Crusader codes remain unchanged and we will be looking to award Crusaders by half term (Oct).
One key difference in our behaviour policy is the way we deal with very challenging behaviour. In KS1 and KS2, if a child reaches the bottom of the behaviour tower in class, (which thankfully doesn’t happen very often) we would usually send them to a partner class for the rest of that lesson. However, we are not able to mix children with other children not in their class so instead, we have a ‘reflecting’ table outside of each classroom with a timer. Depending on their age, children will spend a relevant amount of time at this table completing their work supported by a teaching assistant. It is expected that they will return to class and climb back up the tower. In extreme cases, where this doesn’t occur, the child will spend the remainder of the day with a senior leader. Parents will be contacted to discuss next steps should this occur.
For your safety, it is recommended that public transport is avoided wherever possible. The safest way to journey to school for those that live close enough is by walking. It is also not recommended to car share if it’s avoidable.
Please remember mobile phones are not permitted in school. We are not insured for such valuable items.
INSET days 2020-2021
Our INSET days for the next academic year are Wednesday 2nd September, Thursday 3rd September, Friday 4th September, Friday 4th December, and Friday 28th May.
I hope over the summer holidays you have the opportunity to spend time together as a family without the added pressure of home-schooling although it would be really wonderful if you could still ensure your child reads regularly so we can get a good start in September. Mr Cutt has been very impressed with the number of Rock Stars and Rock legends we now have on TT Rockstars!
Thank you for the support you have given us over the past four months.
Mrs Donna-Marie Johnson