Parent/Carer Update - 20th September 2020
When we made our plans in July and August to reopen the school for the new year, the virus was in decline and the pressure was on to reopen and try and get some sense of normality back for the children. Since we have reopened, we have been immediately challenged with two cases which have tested our response and our systems.
Over the last few days we have reviewed our systems and decided that we must make some changes to reflect the changing picture that is before us. Our plan for year group bubbles, whilst allowing us to operate without too many restrictions and resume some school activities, comes at the cost of 120 pupils self-isolating for 14 days, as we have seen with Year 3 last week. This precautionary measure, as directed by Public Health has big impacts on the learning and well being of our children.
From next week (w/c 21st September) we will reduce to pairs of classes being in a bubble and alter arrangements for the day to day management of that change. This brings in more complications and restrictions, but we feel we have no choice, especially as infections are increasing. The only exception to this will be Nursery that will remain a bubble of 3.
So what does this mean for the school day?
Playgrounds will be split into two for break time and lunchtime (Years 1-6) with 2 classes in each half
Reception will continue to operate in class pairs rather than allowing full free-flow around the whole reception provision
No year group gatherings or mixing, such as assemblies, golden time activities, theme day events
Restrictions on year group interventions
No clubs for the time being (trials next week are postponed)
Lunch will move to packed lunch only and eaten in classrooms (this needs more planning with the catering team, so we will let you know when this change starts. Next week will be as planned with hot dinners.
For the time being Wrap Club will continue in the fixed groups that we have established. However, this may come under review in the future.
Drop off and Pick-up
The drop off in the morning seems to be working well. The pick-up remains busy and the ability for parents and carers to socially distance themselves is sometimes compromised by the numbers of people particularly around Wellington Road. However, please remember that by socially distancing outside and inside the school you are playing a huge part in helping to ensure the school remains open.
In line with the government guidance where distancing is difficult, face coverings are recommended and therefore we now recommend that those who can, wear a face covering when dropping off and picking up.
Parents and Carers can also help by
Arriving at the site during your time slot
Following the one way system (Year 6 can exit via Raglan Road at the end of the day)
Only having one person drop off and collect
Keeping your distance in the waiting lines
Ensure you are not sending siblings to collect as this further mixes the bubbles of children
Keeping your distance from staff during conversations
Hailing the 192 bus away from the school site
Not waiting or hanging around the gates
Walking to school wherever possible and if you do come by car, stay away from the immediate roads around the school (Raglan Road, Wellington Road and Amberley Road)
We are often asked about the staggered times and moving them further apart but they are stretched as far as they will go without causing other problems, particularly for those with more than one child, which is over 500 pupils with siblings.
Keeping us Informed
Please keep us informed of your situation, as we are looking on a daily basis at absentees and reasons, so we can spot any concerning patterns. The online form is closely monitored around the clock and is the best way to let us know. This has been updated over the weekend to include an UPDATE option so you can report any changes (such as results).
Please contact us BEFORE your child returns to school after an absence due to possible symptoms of coronavirus. In most cases these turn out to be typical cold symptoms and other illnesses, but if you report them to us as COVID symptoms and then your child turns up in class, this is causing unnecessary anxiety and alarm.
Outside of School
It is crucial that outside of school everyone is following the latest rules and guidelines. We are already seeing a number of children coming into contact with infected people outside of school through everyday activities such as play dates, clubs and gatherings. These children are now self-isolating and we have been able to isolate these potential infections before they come into the school. However, everyone should be mindful of keeping everyone safe in the choices we make outside of school.
If attending a club or activity outside of school, are safe arrangements in place - HANDS - FACE - SPACE
The Rule of 6 means your household should not be meeting large numbers of people inside or outside
You should not be meeting and greeting others with handshakes and hugs
We have moved all the COVID information and updates to a new site - click here. We will continue to update that on a regular basis including the Questions and Answers page.
Remember to report an absence or update us on your child - use this form.
I do believe we have a strong staff team and a supportive school community and together we will navigate this challenging term. Please be kind to each other and to staff who are doing their best to keep things going.