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Letter detailing school re-opening

THURSDAY 21st MAY UPDATE:

We have been advised to follow the Cheshire East guidance on re-opening.  A letter from CE can be found in Parents/Letters.  Even though we are now an academy we are expected to follow the guidance from Cheshire East.

 

(Wednesday 20th May)

Please find attached a detailed letter which sets out the schools plan to reopen in line with the current government expectations in the week beginning June 8.

Please note, the dates stated in this letter may be subject to change if the reopening of schools is delayed between now and then. Should that be the case we will let you know how our dates have changed.

 

We would like to stress to parents that all the staff at Disley primary school are very much looking forward to having the children back into school again, but we feel very strongly that this should only happen when it is as safe as can be reasonably expected. At the moment there is still some considerable debate over when this should be. But we have planned as if we will be opening from June 10 for children

 

Once you have read the letter and had time to consider, we would appreciate it if you can complete a 2nd very short survey so that we can confirm numbers.  The survey can be found here.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

Dear Parents/carers,         

 

We hope that this letter finds you safe and well. This is a follow-up letter from the message sent out last week and as a result of the comments we received from the questionnaire for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 parents. The main feedback from parents was that they required more information from school in order to make an informed decision as to whether or not to send their child back to school from 10th June.

Now that we have further information from the government, we hope that this letter will give you a more detailed breakdown of how we at Disley are planning to partially reopen school.  We apologise that it is quite long and detailed, but we are very conscious of making sure you have enough detail and information as we can possibly give so that you can be reassured that we are doing the best we can to keep everyone in our school community safe and healthy.

 

The government has issued guidance for parents and carers, which can be accessed below:

 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june

 

There are some key points outlined in the guidance that we have summarised below:

 

  • Schools are now being asked to begin to plan and put in place measures to allow pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 back into school. 
  • The government is urging all pupils from the identified year groups to attend school from the 1st June (or in our case w/c: June 8th).  Please note there are not places for siblings from other year groups at this time.
  • However, children of critical key workers, children with an Education and Health Care Plan and children who are classed as vulnerable are urged to be in school regardless of their year group.
  • Parents will not be fined if they choose not to send their child to school.
  • Children who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ are not expected to attend school.
  • Children who live in a household with someone who is ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and the child or young person is able to understand and follow those instructions.  This will form part of the school’s risk assessment.  Guidance on ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ members of society can be found here: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

 

We have now begun the process of undertaking a detailed risk assessment and planning how this can best be achieved, as safely as possible for children, staff and families.

 

The government, in their documentation, make it very explicit what schools should and should not do. It certainly is going to be schooling in a way that none of us have ever known before.

 

Whilst we will do everything we can to make sure that school is a safe an environment as possible for our children and staff, we are sure you will all realise that it will be almost impossible to socially distance children, particularly the younger ones. Reception and Year 1 children in particular will not be able to be kept the required 2m apart from one another during the day.

 

‘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.’

Government planning guide for Primary Schools 14 May 2020

 

The following plans indicate how we will do our best to minimise contact within school for the children and adults in order to keep everyone safe.

 

We have tried to look at the schools reopening in stages:

  • Pre-opening stage (from now until 10th June)
  • Partial targeted stage (10th June onwards)
  • Potential full stage (from 22nd June date given by government?)

As we don’t have enough details for the final full stage at this point in time, this letter is only going to cover the pre-opening and partial targeted stage in as much detail as we know.

 

Pre-opening phase (now - 10th June 2020):

Over the past few weeks we have installed hand sanitiser units around school that are accessible for all classes, purchased face masks, gloves and visors for staff.  We have tape and stickers for the floor, communal areas and some outside areas to mark out 2m distances and routes around school. Classrooms have been organised to accommodate 15 children sitting individually and spaced apart.  We will ask each child to bring in their own pencil case with their own pencil, sharpener and basic stationery.  This will be left in school at all times. School will have completed a full deep clean before 10th June.  Staff availability is being monitored to ensure that any staff that are clinically vulnerable or shielding will not be expected to be in school for the foreseeable future.

 

Partial targeted stage (10th June onwards):
From June 10th we will start to welcome back Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children. They will be working in groups of no more than 15 children to one teacher.  Due to the fact that Y1 and Y6 are part of split age classes and the Y2 and Y5 children won’t be in school the Y1 and Y6 children with be their usual class teacher as far as possible, dependent on staff health.  All Y1 and Y6 classes will be in their usual classrooms apart from Y1 Yellow who will be based in Mr Robinson’s classroom – next door to Blue class.  The reason for this is so each Y1 class has their own entrance and it will minimise passing on the stairs. 

Reception children will need to be split into three groups to ensure that they are in groups of 15 or less. If they are all in this means that we will need an additional teacher to be working with them so they may not have their normal class teacher. The Reception children will have to be taught in three separate classrooms, rather than together as they usually are in one room.  So your Reception child may not be taught in their usual classroom and may not have their usual teacher.  Details of this new class organisation will be sent out to Reception parents nearer the time once we have final numbers.

 

Orientation week – w/c: 8th June 2020:

Please note that school will be open to the Key worker children as normal this week.

Monday 8th June – orientation for staff only

Tuesday 9th June - orientation for staff only

Wednesday 10th June – Reception children only to attend for orientation day (9.00am-2.00pm)

Thursday 11th June – Y1 children only to attend for orientation day (9.30am-2.30pm)

Friday 12th June – Y6 children only to attend for orientation day (10.00am-3.15pm)

 

Timings of the day from 15th June:

In order to minimise queues and contact with others as much as possible, start and finish times of the day will be staggered for each of the three year groups, as will break times and lunchtimes. The start and finish times are as above.

 

Break times and lunchtimes will be taken with their own class group. The children will not be able to mix with other class groups and therefore will not be playing with any children from other classes. Lunches for each year group will be staggered in order to allow for this.  In addition, we will have three designated play areas outside so that each class group will have to play separately. Lunches will be packed lunches and will be provided as usual for Reception and Year 1 children and any Year 6 who normally have a school dinner. All lunches will be eaten in their classrooms rather than the hall in order to minimise any crossover in the corridors and in the hall.

 

Children will need to be prepared for the fact that at times during the day teachers and other adults in school may be wearing visors and face masks for their own protection. This might be quite worrying or unsettling for some children, but we really do need to keep the safety of the staff in mind. It is obviously not appropriate to ask children to wear face masks but the staff will be doing so where appropriate.  Resources and soft furnishings in each classroom will be minimised in line with government guidance.  Frequently touched surfaces e.g. door handles and table tops will be cleaned throughout the day.  Please note that reading books or any school resources will not be sent home.

 

Parents in school:

Inevitably parents will be coming into the school grounds to drop off and pick up the children. We cannot and must not allow groups of parents to be standing together in the playground which is why we have staggered the start and end times to the day for different year groups.

 

 

 

At the start of the day:

We ask that when you come to drop your child off only one adult comes with the child and you maintain a social distance of at least 2m from any other adult/child. Staff will be waiting at the doors to welcome the children in.

  • Reception children please come to your usual ‘morning door’ 
  • Year 1 Yellow class please come to the outside door of Mr Robinson’s class (to the right of the middle door)
  • Red class please come to the usual middle door
  • Blue class please come to the outside door of Blue class
  • Y6K and Y6R please come to the usual ‘morning’ covered way door
  • Y6N please come to the Y6 double doors

 

At the end of the day:

At pick up times we will be asking parents to wait in the playground in a line, such as you do when visiting the supermarket i.e. keeping a 2m distance between you and the parents in front and behind you.  Please queue up close to the door your child will be coming out from Staff will hand out the child to the parent at the front of the line who will then move away to allow the next parent to move forward and so on. Again, we ask that only one adult comes to school to pick up their child.  It may take a little while but, again, it is for the safety of everyone.

 

  • Reception please collect your child from the usual ‘afternoon door’
  • Year 1 and Year 6 children will be using the same doors as in the morning.  

 

We also ask that parents don’t come into the school office to pass on messages or information as we cannot admit any external visitors.  If you need to pass on any information to staff please either phone or email either jryder@disley.cheshire.sch.uk or admin@disley.cheshire.sch.uk

 

Club DP:

Please note that Club DP will not be running until September 2020.

 

Home Learning for other year groups during the partial opening stage:

Home learning and weekly email contact will continue during this stage for the children who are not in school.  

 

Children of Key workers:

School has remained open throughout for the children whose parents are both key workers and for vulnerable children. We will continue to offer this support even if the children are not in the targeted year groups in June. These children will be working together as one group in a separate room and will be supported with the online learning by an adult, much as we have been doing up to now.

 

What happens if a child displays Coronavirus symptoms whilst in school?

The guidance outlines what happens if a child becomes unwell with coronavirus symptoms during their time in school:

  1. Children will be isolated immediately within the setting and parents will be contacted to collect them.  PPE will be worn by staff members who assist with the isolation.
  2. Children attending the school setting are eligible for testing should they become unwell with coronavirus symptoms, as are members of their household, and a test will be facilitated as soon as possible
  3. Where a child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class/group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms

Potential full opening stage:

Looking further ahead, if the government are still proposing that all the school returns mid-June but only being taught in groups of 15, we are being put in an impossible situation as that would mean we would need 19 classrooms so unless we have an additional 9 classrooms we can only see this being manageable with a rota system being in operation across the school e.g. children come into school on alternate weeks and work at home for the second week.  This is obviously not going to be easily workable and so we will have to wait and see what further proposals the government come up with in the coming weeks.  Watch this space!

In conclusion:

We are highlighting the information in this letter to help you make as informed a decision as you can with regards to sending your child/ren into school from the 10th June.  There are many other aspects within the guidance you may wish to consider and we urge you to read it fully. 

We thank you in advance for your patience with the current situation.  Throughout all of this, our priority is the safety of all members of the school community and as we are sure you will agree, this is something that requires time to complete and will evolve as time goes on.

Naturally, many of you may still have concerns about the possibility of your children returning to school and we hope that the information we have provided you with has helped to answer some questions you have. We have uploaded a FAQ onto the website which may help to answer some of these questions, but if you have any further questions having read this letter and FAQ sheet please email admin@disley.cheshire.sch.uk 

As parents, we have no doubt you will make an informed decision that is right for your family.

 

Kindest regards,

 

H Taylor, L Carberry and J Johnson (Chair of Governors)

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