Proposal for school to reopen

Dear Parents and Carers

I am writing to outline the process by which we are going to organise our phased return to school. I apologise that this letter is detailed but making sure that we do this in a safe and controlled way is complicated. We are being guided by the Bourne Education Trust and all its schools are adopting the same model. 

The Prime Minister has outlined some basic principles around which we have based our planning:

  • Schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from (not on) 1st June
  • The Government expects children in early years’ settings, reception, year 1 and year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point
  • The Government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.

To implement this strategy, we will be opening the school in a controlled and measured way as follows:

  1. Home schooling support will stop at the end of Friday 5th June to enable 2 days of on-site preparation on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th June; key worker and vulnerable children will continue to attend. Home schooling will resume on Wednesday 10th June for year groups not invited into school and pupils who continue to learn at home.
  2. The phased reopening will start on Wednesday 10th June.
  3. Wednesday 10th June: Year 6 plus key worker and vulnerable children.
  4. Monday 15th June:  Year 6, year 1 plus key worker and vulnerable children.
  5. Monday 22nd June: Year 6, year 1 and reception plus key worker and vulnerable children.
  6. Monday 29th June: Year 6, year 1, reception and nursery plus key worker and vulnerable children.
  7. Monday 6th July: Possible date for all primary pupils to return.
  8. The above will have to be adjusted for individual schools’ staff availability and our response to risks that arise during the phased return.
  9. It may be necessary to introduce a temporary cap on numbers to ensure that safety is prioritised.

We understand that some of you will be anxious about your child returning to school. In order to minimise the risks of returning to school we are reducing class sizes in accordance with Government guidelines:

  • Primary cohort sizes: Year 6, 15 pupils’ maximum per classroom; year 1, 10 pupils’ maximum per classroom; reception and nursery, 8 pupils’ maximum per classroom.

In terms of the personal protective equipment (PPE) the Government and Public Health England do not recommend pupils or staff wearing a face covering or masks, but they can if they wish and will not be prevented from doing so. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus.

Children DO NOT need to wear school uniform but they do need to wear a fresh, clean set of clothes each day, so the spread of infection is minimised.

With that in mind, we are introducing strict social distancing measures and new routes around the school to avoid pupils meeting each other unnecessarily. Pupils who deliberately and continuously fail to follow social distancing guidance will be sent home and will be expected to continue with remote home learning.

The school will run to a revised timetable to enable safe entry to and exit from the site and enable regular and rigorous cleaning. We will be operating a shorter day, from 8.30am to 1pm with cohort groups to be given 15-minute staggered starts from 8.30am. This revised timetable will include short breaks but will not include a lunchtime and pupils will be expected to eat lunch on their return home. Parents will still be expected to send snacks in for play time. There will be no provision for breakfast and after school clubs. Pupils will always remain in their cohorts and be segregated in these groups. Play times will be staggered and each cohort will be allocated designated areas to go to. Our educational focus will be on well-being, English and Maths and, for the younger pupils, resocialisation. Parents and carers should note that there will be only limited catering provision available, so pupils will have the option of a cold packed lunch to take home. Where relevant, FSM vouchers will continue to be provided.

Key worker children will continue to attend 8.30am-3.30pm and will stay in the key worker cohort. If their class is invited into school and they want to join their class cohort, they will need to follow the timings of their class and will not be allowed to return to the key worker cohort for the afternoon.

As per the guidance from the Government, each day and subsequent days, each cohort will be taught by the same staff. Class teachers will be guiding the teaching in each classroom but not always teaching the class, as they are unable to move from classroom to classroom.

As you know, we usually encourage parents and carers to come on-site and interact with the staff. Sadly, this can no longer apply either at the start or the end of the day. Please drop your child off in the morning at their allotted time where they will be met by a member of staff. Each group of pupils will be given a designated drop-off point and specific routes of entry and exit into the school building. Details of these will be provided at a later stage. Parents and carers collecting pupils will follow the same format at the end of the day. We will take your child to his or her allocated exit point where he or she will line up, whilst maintaining social distancing, to await collection. You will be notified of your slot in due course. Parents and carers will not be allowed entry to the school buildings without an appointment, which should only be in an emergency.

I realise that these new systems will take some getting used to, but I know that the staff and children will adapt; they always do. We are looking forward to returning to some sense of normality and thank you, in advance, for your support with this.

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Yours sincerely,  Sue Nardoni  Head teacher