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St Mary's C of E Primary

Academy and Nursery

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REF: Further opening of school June 2020

Friday 22nd May 2020


Dear Parents/Carers

I hope that this letter finds you all safe and well. Over the past couple of weeks I have been planning for the re-introduction of some pupils from N, R, Y1 and Y6 into school. This has been a huge task which has been complicated by the ever changing guidance from the government. It is something which I have not wished to rush as I believe that the safety of our pupils, staff and community are paramount. In order to ensure that we are fully ready to accept further children safely back into school, I have made the difficult decision to begin a phased return from the 8th June.


All parents in these year groups have been contacted by telephone to gauge potential numbers for return. At this stage numbers are low enough for us to manage each “pod” (small group) of children safely, as suggested in the guidance. After much consideration we do not feel that lunchtimes can be managed as effectively and safely due to our space restrictions. We will have 10 “pods”, including key worker/vulnerable children provision and as such, to maintain a safe approach to the use of the space both inside and out, would result in us starting staggered lunchtimes at 9.00a.m if all pupils were to have eaten by 2.00p.m. For this reason we will be offering an extended morning session and pupils will go home for a slightly later lunch.


Preliminary times will be as set out below:


Key workers/Vulnerable children – no change to times and routines with the exception of using the after school club entrance to drop/collect children.


Year 6 – 9.15-1.15 Monday-Thursday. Start date: 8th June Drop/Collect Main playground Y6 entrance. When collecting please queue maintaining 2m distance


Year 1 – 9.00-1.00 Monday-Thursday. Start date: 10th June Drop- playground door at top of steps Collect- bottom of steps. When collecting please queue maintaining 2m distance


EYFS (R/N) – 8.45-12.45 Monday – Thursday. Start date: 10th June Drop- main entrance. Collect RWS door or main entrance depending on “pod”


School will be closed to all except keyworker/vulnerable children on a Friday for deep cleaning.


Key worker/Vulnerable children will need to either remain in their current group or join their year group pod. They will not be able to attend both. Parents/carers of these children should advise school as to which “pod” they will be attached. Please note that children attending in their own year group will be expected to attend all of the offered sessions. Keyworker/vulnerable provision will remain flexible.


Whilst I have carried out risk assessments, carefully thought processes through, in line with guidance, and put every appropriate measure in place, I cannot offer any parent 100% assurance that their child will not come into contact with the CO-VID19 virus. To do so would be irresponsible, I can however offer assurances that every best endeavour will be made to prevent the spread of coronavirus through measures such as; regular cleaning, supporting children to manage hand hygiene and social distancing. Hand washing facilities and hand sanitizer will be available to all children. Regular hand washing will be encouraged. Classrooms will be laid out to minimise social contact with desks being separate to allow for social distancing. Children will remain with their “pod” whilst in school.

Children are naturally social and will move towards their friends without realising, staff will regularly remind children to maintain a distance but I cannot therefore guarantee that a stringent full 2m distance will be maintained at all times. I have been reassured to see that the children who are already in school have been very good at following the rules and am encouraged that our other children will also be able to do so.


There will be staggered start and end times to minimise adult contact at the beginning and end of the school day. I would advise that cars do not park on trinity way and that those using this entrance walk up to school on the side of the houses and walk away from school using the fenced path to minimise social contact. On entering school, please use the path to access the building and the grass to exit, creating a one way system either side of the handrail. For those using the rear entrance to school, please walk up to school along the usual path next to the railway and leave on the wider path on the opposite side. Please be mindful of social distancing at all times.


Adults or children should stay at home if they are unwell with a new and persistent cough or a high temperature or loss of or changes to their normal sense taste and smell to avoid spreading infection to others. Anyone exhibiting these symptoms in school will be isolated and will need to go home immediately. Anyone with symptoms, and their families, should follow the guidance on isolating. Those with underlying health conditions falling into the critically vulnerable category (having received a doctor’s letter) should not attend school. Those in the vulnerable category must ensure strict social distancing.


Children will be expected to wear school uniform and I ask that clean clothes are worn every day to reduce the risk of spreading the virus. I am sympathetic to the fact that some children may have grown and that new uniform and shoes may not be as easy to obtain. If your child is unable to wear any part of their uniform due to this reason please inform school. Any necessary alternative must be appropriate and be easily washable.


These have been trying times and the main focus of our provision will be pupils’ well-being. There is no expectation from the government to reintroduce the curriculum. We will continue to post support for home learning on the school website for all children. Well-being calls will continue on a fortnightly basis. There will not be penalties for non-attendance at this time and it is every parent’s decision as to whether their child attends or not; the decision has to be right for you, your child and your family.


Apologies for the length of this letter but it is important to share as much information as possible at this time. Guidance changes daily and these are our plans at the time of writing. All plans are subject to change. We will continue to communicate through our website and via our text messaging service so please do check from the 1st June for any amendments.


Keep safe and well.

Yours faithfully


Mrs Booker