IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR PARENTS IN RESPONSE TO COVID-19 RETURN TO SCHOOL- SEPTEMBER 2020
I am delighted to be able to share with you a brief outline of the guidance we have received from the Government in relation to the wider re-opening of schools in September.
The Government is planning for all pupils, in all year groups, to return to school full-time from the beginning of the autumn term. As stated previously, school will not be open to children during the summer holidays whilst we prepare for the new term.
Much of the new guidance has been reported in the media, however, I thought it right to share some of the ‘systems of control’ with you to try to alleviate any fears you have of your child returning in September. These are defined under two headings, ‘prevention’ and ‘response to infection.’
There is an expectation that all children will return to school in September and the Government has stated schools should follow up absences with sanctions if necessary.
Pupils who are shielding or self-isolating
We now know much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so in future there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The focus of the curriculum when the children return will be to ensure the children’s social, emotional and mental wellbeing is addressed. Staff are very conscious that a long period away from school impacts greatly on children’s wellbeing, increasing anxiety and stress and a ‘recovery curriculum’ is being put in place to address this. Our staff training day at the beginning of September is being led by the school’s educational psychologist to support staff in supporting your child. We will then be moving onto our usual ambitious, broad and balanced curriculum offer and more details of this will be published in the autumn term. Staff are acutely aware that gaps in learning will need to be correctly assessed and individual plans put in place to address these gaps. We will start learning again from where your child is in their development, not where they ought to be in September.
I want to give you as much notice as possible to some important changes from September which will happen in school as a result of adhering to statutory guidance, following expected guidelines from the Government and ensuring risk is minimised through meeting the Local Authority risk assessment guidelines.
We will be operating a safe reduced breakfast club provision, starting at 7.30am. Children are placed in 'year group bubbles' - places are limited.
In line with the Government guidelines stating “schools should consider staggered starts or adjusting start and finish times to keep groups apart as they arrive and leave school,” we will operate our hours as follows;
First Steps & Nursery- usual allocated sessions – 8.45-11.45am / 12.15-3.15pm
Year 1: 8.45am-2.45pm
Year 2: 9.15am-3.15pm
Year 3: 9am-3pm
Year 4: 9.15am-3.15pm
Year 5: 9am-3pm
Year 6: 8.45am-2.45pm
Should you have more than one child in different year groups, you may drop off at the later time and collect at the earlier time to ensure no waiting around.
Please note, school will close to ALL children and staff at 1:30pm every Friday for children whose surname begins with A-M and 1:40pm for those whose surname begins with N-Z - this will allow Leeds City Council to complete a deep clean. Children will be called to leave the classroom one at a time when a parent is seen- please be patient with us as we dismiss the children safely. There will be no after school clubs until further guidance is received.
I am asking that parents do not congregate in the school grounds to minimise contact. As per our current rules, we politely ask only one family member visits the school when brining children or collecting children and we ask you maintain a distance of 2m from children, adults and staff when on site.
Finally, it is vital in ensuring that pupils, staff and other adults do not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 7 days, and ensuring anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home. These essential actions are to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).
If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and asked to take a test.
Therefore it is important that we have your up to date contact details- should you change your phone number or address over the summer holidays, please inform the school office in September.
I would like to thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding in what are very testing times for everybody.