Friday 22nd May 2020
Phased reopening of Churchfield
Dear Parents and Carers,
We now have a much clearer idea as to how we will open Churchfield further to include the children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 alongside the current provision for key worker parents and vulnerable children. In addition to the government guidance, I have also received guidance from the local authority; from unions representing both our teaching and support staff; and have worked closely with headteachers across the other Ivy schools.
School will not be school as we have known it up until this point. At Churchfield, we have completed a detailed and comprehensive risk assessment to ensure that we can safely reopen. We will do this through a phased approach introducing one year group at a time. The risk assessment directly addresses risks associated with the virus so that we can ensure sensible measures are put in place to control these risks for children, staff, and the wider community. We will only reopen when we are fully prepared as the safety of our children, families and our staff is of absolute importance.
Precautions we will be taking include:
- Following Government advice and planning for children to be placed in smaller groups (known as bubbles) of no more than 15. In order to reduce the possibilities of cross contamination, a ‘bubble’ will have the same small team of staff in the same classroom for the rest of the school year. Bubbles would not come into contact with other staff or children.
- The guidance states that ‘primary children cannot be expected to be 2m apart from each other’. Whilst distancing measures are supported through the separate bubbles, we will also encourage distancing for children and staff within a classroom but this cannot be guaranteed.
- Start and end times, as well as playtimes and lunchtimes will be staggered to accommodate the distancing of the bubbles.
- Staggered pick-up and drop-off times and different doors for this.
- Increased cleaning of the school.
Please read all of the following pages of information in order to make an informed decision about whether you wish your child to return to school. The information is extremely lengthy as I wanted to include as much detail as possible to support you in reaching your decision. You will then be able to click on the link to a booking form if you wish to book your child a place in school.
Will Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 definitely be returning in the week commencing 1st June?
We have carried out thorough risk assessments to ensure the safety of our children, parents/carers and staff. Although our plan is to provide spaces for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, we will prioritise the opening of the school for the younger children first. The expectation is that on Monday 1st June will be a staff training day and there will be no children on site. We will then have a staggered start for the different year groups that the government has highlighted to come back. We will also finish every Friday between 11:40 and 12:40 to allow the staff planning and preparation time and for further cleaning to take place. Only children in the key worker group can stay in school until 3:00pm on Fridays.
On Tuesday 2nd June children in Nursery will start along with children of critical worker families and those children classed as vulnerable. Then on Wednesday 3rd June, our Reception children will start, on Thursday 4th June Y1 will begin and on Monday 8th Y6 will start back. These dates are subject to change depending on the government’s announcement on Thursday 28th May and if there are further things our school needs to risk assess once different year groups come into school.
For Nursery children, depending on uptake, the plan is for them to attend during what would be the usual morning session only (9:00am – 11:40am). If your child usually attends in the afternoon, they will be allowed to attend in the morning instead.
Will my child be in their classroom, with their class teacher and with their friends?
Based on initial numbers, Nursery will be in one group, Reception and Year 1 will be split into two groups and Year 6 will be split into three groups each. There will be a maximum of 15 children in each. Each group will be known as a ‘bubble’ and we aim for each bubble not to mix with any other bubble throughout the school day. Each bubble will have 2 members of staff assigned to it. Except for Year 6, this might not be their usual class teacher or even a teacher within their year group; it may be a teacher from another year group completely. All of this is dependent on staff availability. Staff members allocated to each bubble will not work with any other bubble. Each bubble will also have an allocated classroom in which they will be working; this may also not be their usual classroom. Bubbles will be created by staff and we will consider class and friendship groups where possible. However, we cannot guarantee that your child will be in a bubble with their friends and once children have attended a bubble, they will not, under any circumstances, be moved to a different bubble.
What about playtimes and lunchtimes?
The children will have staggered break and lunch times. They will eat in their classrooms and we will provide children who have school lunches with a hot option from the kitchen. During break and lunch times, children will only be allowed to play and interact with children within their bubble.
Will the start and end of the school timings be the same?
We will be staggering start and finish times of the school day, and entrance to the school building to minimise contact between other bubbles of children and parents/carers. We would also like to encourage families to walk to school and to only take public transport if absolutely necessary.
All gates will be opened at the start and end of the school day. We will insist that only one parent/carer brings the child into the school grounds and only one parent/carer comes to collect at the end of the day. Year 6 parents and carers should leave their child at the front gate to make their own way into school and not come on site. Whilst on school grounds, parents/carers must observe the 2-metre distance rule and leave straight away. Please do not stay to talk to others. There will be painted lines at allocated entrances and pick up areas that parents/carers should not cross. Once you have dropped your child at their allocated entrance or collected your child from their pick-up area, parents/carers should leave the school premises immediately. Each bubble will have an allocated route (mostly one way) to and from their classroom.
START OF THE DAY TIMINGS
|YEAR GROUP||ALLOCATED ENTRANCE INTO SCHOOL AND CLASSROOM||ENTRY TIME|
|NURSERY||Usual Nursery gate
Please use one way system
|RECEPTION (Bubble 1)||Entry through main gate and Sawfish classroom door
Please use one way system
|RECEPTION (Bubble 2)||Entry through main gate and Seal classroom door
Please use one way system
|YEAR 1 (Bubble 1)||Entry through main gate and Seahorse classroom door
Please use one way system
|YEAR 1 (Bubble 2)||Entry through main gate and Penguin classroom door
Please use one way system
|YEAR 6 (Giraffe class)||Giraffe classroom
Come through the farm gate and use the door at the bottom of stairs by farm at 8:45. Finish time 3:00pm
|YEAR 6 (Lion Class)||Macaw classroom
Come through playground and through Macaw’s door at 8:50 Finish time 3:05
|YEAR 6 (Camel Class)||Panda classroom
Come through the farm gate and down the path towards Panda class at 8:55 Finish time 3:10
|Key Worker group||Infant Hall
Entry through main gate and Infant Hall door
Note: If the main gate has closed at the start of the day, we regret that we will not be able to accept late-comers and you will be asked to take your child home.
END OF THE DAY TIMINGS
At the end of the day, children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will remain in their classrooms. The adult collecting should stand in the playground observing the 2-metre distance rule and a member of school staff will send children out to their adult individually. Children in Year 6 will be dismissed from their allocated exit and make their own way to the school gate. Any parent or carer picking up a year 6 child must observe the 2m rule while waiting.
|YEAR GROUP||ALLOCATED ENTRANCE INTO SCHOOL||PICK-UP TIME||Friday pick up time|
|NURSERY||Teacher will release from Nursery door
30 hour children
|11:40am for ALL children|
|RECEPTION (Bubble 1)||Teacher will release from Seahorse classroom door||3:15pm
|RECEPTION (Bubble 2)||Teacher will release from Seal classroom door
|YEAR 1 (Bubble 1)||Teacher will release from Seahorse classroom door
|YEAR 1 (Bubble 2)||Teacher will release from Penguin classroom door
|YEAR 6 Giraffe||Dismissed at farm gate||3:00pm
|YEAR 6 Lion||Dismissed at main gate||2:55pm||12:35pm|
|YEAR 6 Camel||Dismissed at farm gate||3:10pm||12:40pm|
|Key Worker group||Infant Hall Door||3:00 pm||3:00pm|
Will the usual school curriculum resume?
At Churchfield, mental health and well-being will continue to be at the forefront of what we do, with time devoted to this daily. As the school and the school curriculum will be very different, our usual collaborative approach where children work closely in pairs and small groups will no longer be possible. However, children will learn to be more independent. Children will be spread out across the classroom and for Nursery and Reception their outdoor areas as well. Year 1 and Year 6 children will be seated at an individual seat at an individual table. Tables will be positioned side-by-side with a gap between each rather than in groups. This means no child will be sat face-to-face with another child.
The priorities for our children at this time will be pupil well-being and adjusting to the new style school routine as well as core curriculum. Year 6 teaching during this time will also focus on readiness for secondary school.
To minimise the risk of spreading the virus, the timetable for all bubbles will include outdoor learning where possible. PE lessons will continue to take place and activities will limit contact.
Will online learning continue?
We will continue to provide online learning for those children not eligible to return to school and for those children eligible but have chosen not to. We will be developing our online learning further and moving over to Google Classroom in the coming weeks. We will continue to do our best with our online learning and continue to support and motivate children who are at home.
What about the provision for families for key workers?
The children of key workers in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 who have been attending ‘school-not-school’ will be in a bubble with up to 15 children from their own year. The remaining key worker children in Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5 will form a separate bubble together.
Will there be breakfast club?
We are only able to provide breakfast club for the Key Worker group. We will continue to provide Magic Breakfast in class and have put procedures in place to ensure that this is safe.
Will there be After School Clubs?
No, we are unable to provide any after school clubs. The pick-up times must be followed.
Will my child be expected to socially distance and what hygiene measures will be in place?
The government has stated that, “…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.” (Guidance. Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-implementing-protective-measures-in-education-and-childcare-settings
We will be following this guidance around the 2-metre distance. We will encourage children to maintain (where possible) distance between one another but we cannot guarantee or expect children to keep a 2-metre distance at all times.
As previously mentioned, children will remain in their bubble throughout the school day. Tables will be spaced out and side-by-side rather than facing each other. Children in Year 1 and Year 6 will be provided with their own set of stationery. Limited toys, resources and equipment will be available to Nursery and Reception. Bubble sets of equipment will remain within each bubble; not shared between bubbles. Toys, resources, and equipment that cannot be easily cleaned will be removed from classrooms. This will include the removal of all soft toys and soft furnishings. The same rules will also apply to playground equipment. Equipment will be provided for each bubble and remain within that bubble. The reduction in toys and equipment, especially for Nursery and Reception children, will be considerable. Large climbing apparatus will be out of use for all children. Outdoor learning will be encouraged where possible and classrooms will be naturally ventilated at all times.
Good hygiene practice will be in place. Children must wash their hands with soap and running water at the following times: on arrival to school; before and after break times; after any outdoor activity; before and after eating; at home time; and at all key transitions. The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach will be adopted with regards to coughing and sneezing and children will wash their hands after coughing or sneezing. Surfaces and resources used within the school will be cleaned more frequently.
If my child/a family member is considered to be clinically extremely vulnerable, should I still send my child to school?
The government advises children who have been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable due to pre-existing medical conditions to shield. Therefore, we do not expect these children to be attending school. Parents/carers of children in the clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) category should follow medical advice. We recommend that before making any decision that you seek and follow advice from your doctor. This recommendation should also be followed if children live in a household with people who fall into these categories.
Can siblings attend school if one of them is in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 or Year 6?
The government guidelines state that unless children are in Nursey, Reception, Year 1, Year 6, children of key workers or classified as vulnerable, they will not be allowed in school at this stage. Any child who arrives at school but is not eligible to be in school will be sent home.
Will school uniform be required?
Uniform can be worn but it should be changed daily. If this means that children need to wear their own clothes then that is fine. Any clothing worn should be suitable for outdoor learning. We also understand that children may have outgrown some items and you are not able to purchase new ones. At this stage, uniform is not something we want parents to worry about.
What will happen if I choose not to send my child to school?
The decision is YOUR choice and the government have stated that there will be NO penalties for non-attendance.
How do I confirm my intention to send (or not send) my child into school?
We will require parents/carers to book a place for their child when school reopens. Please follow the link below to a Google form to indicate whether you wish to book a place for your child or not: https://forms.gle/XE8ehRbrRzsq5qML7
We are asking you complete this form by 4pm on Wednesday 27th May. Please be reassured that the decision on this form is not binding. If you indicate ‘yes’ on this form, you can still change your mind at a later date. If you indicate ‘no,’ on this form, you can still change your mind but we will require one week’s notice before your child can attend. You should contact the school office if this is the case.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus?
If a child or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they will be sent home, advised to self-isolate for 7 days and obtain a test. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days. All staff and children in the bubble will have access to a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
Where the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to school and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of the bubble will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that bubble do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with subsequently develops symptoms. This is a vital action to ensure the risks are reduced to all staff and children in the school and help prevent the spread of the virus.
Once parents/carers have completed the booking form (deadline 4pm Wednesday 27th May), confirmation of a start date and the bubble information for your child will be emailed.
Booking form link: https://forms.gle/XE8ehRbrRzsq5qML7
Finally, thank you for getting to the end of this letter – I know there is a huge amount to take in, but we want to try and cover all areas. I am excited about the children’s return to school but I fully understand if you decide not to send you child in, just as much as I understand if you do.
Please continue to take care of yourselves and I hope that in the near future we can return to our normal routines and reunite everybody in our happy school.
In the meantime, please continue to look after yourselves and your families. If you have any queries or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the school office via email or phone and we will do our best to help you. All of the staff at Churchfield are committed to supporting our children and families through this difficult time.
Best wishes and take care,
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