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St Mary's C of E Primary

Academy and Nursery

We grow together in our faith and aspirations.

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REF: Re-opening of school for the new academic year from Thursday 3rd September

Dear Parents/Carers

REF: Re-opening of school for the new academic year from Thursday 3rd September

We are looking forward to welcoming our children back into school from Thursday onwards. We already welcomed back many of our children during the partial re-opening of school in the summer term; for those children who have experienced lockdown in its entirety at home - please don’t worry as they will soon settle back in.

Pods

Classrooms will look a little different, particularly in years 1-6, as children will be sat side by side in rows facing the teaching wall in the classroom. This is consistent with Government guidelines to reduce the risk of spreading Covid-19. Please prepare your children by talking about the layout of rooms if they have not been in school since the end of March. Children will be encouraged to wash their hands more regularly, hand sanitizer will also be available (please do not send in sanitizer from home). Children will be provided with their own frequently used resources, such as pencils, to avoid the need to share. They should not bring resources such as pencil cases from home. Shared resources in class will be more frequently cleaned and resources shared between pods will be cleaned/sanitised or quarantined for 48 hours (72 for plastics). Class pods will not mix with other pods with the exception of year 6 where the pod will be the year group, and not single classes, in order to facilitate intervention group work. Pods will work together, play together and eat together. Collective worship will not take place in the hall but virtual collective worship will take place weekly and class acts of worship daily.

Early years

Children in the Early Years are usually allowed to bring parents inside during the first few days but this is not now possible.  Nursery parents may still engage in an outside activity with their child in order to settle them but are required to wear a mask. Please prepare your child for the start of school, staff will coax children and hold their hands as necessary, following hand hygiene procedures afterwards for both themselves and the child, but if a child is very distressed it may be necessary to try again the next day. Many of our reception children have already attended our nursery and will be familiar with the setting. Parents will have received packs with start dates and times in July.

Wider school

Movement around school will be kept to a minimum.  Cleaning of frequently touched surfaces such as door handles has been increased. Pods have been allocated toilets and children will be allowed to visit at any time in order to minimise potential queues. Start and end times of the day have been staggered in order to reduce general traffic around school at any given time. This was effective during the partial re-opening of school. This is to keep everyone safe and we politely request that parents who bring children from different age ranges support us in keeping times separate.  The small playground can be used to wait between drop off/collection times if necessary. Times were shared in correspondence prior to the summer but as a reminder start/end times are as follows;

Reception

8.45

3.15

Years 1,2,3

9.00

3.30

Years 4, 5,6

9.15

3.45

  • Nursery remains as 8.45-11.45

In order for this to work successfully please be on time, not too early and not too late so we can have a steady flow of children into the school building and no gathering of people to compromise social distancing. We request that only one parent accompanies their child onto school premises. There is a one way system to the rear of the school which is signposted. There is a one way system from the front of the school in and out of the playground which is signposted. Access to the nursery and main entrance are clearly set out and is a two way system. Children will usually come straight into school via the entrances previously shared (see below for a reminder) but staff will be by entrances on Thursday and Friday to direct children. Years 1-6 will be collected from the main playground at their allocated times to go home.  Class collection points are labelled, please queue using the social distance markers (yellow donuts!) and your child will be handed over when you reach the front of the queue.  Reception children will be collected where they are dropped off. Staff will be unavailable for lengthy conversations at these times so if you do need to speak to a class teacher in more depth please call the office and leave a message or request a telephone call and staff will return the call at their earliest convenience.  Year group emails are still up and running for communication purposes but please do not use these if a matter is urgent.

 

Entry

Collection

Nursery

Nursery gate into Nursery playground

RWS

Outer class door through outdoor area

RJ

Main entrance by school office

1S/1H

Main entrance

Playground

2F/2S

Side grey door from playground

Playground

3N/3A

Back door from playground

Playground

4B/4M

Main entrance

Playground

5H/5SH

Side grey door from playground

Playground

6S/6W

Directly into class from playground

Playground

 

Masks

The guidance set out by the government states that children do not currently require masks in school. We appreciate that some children may wear masks on the way to school, especially if travelling on public transport. Please ensure that children are able to remove their mask safely upon arrival to school and have a place to store the mask e.g. coat pocket or bag. Staff are unable to help children with masks. You may wish to take their mask home with you. In order to protect our community, we request that all adults visiting school site wear a mask.

Equipment

Children must bring a labelled water bottle daily. This must only contain water and NOT juice or cordial. They may bring a coat, a lunchbox and / or a small bag. As shared in correspondence prior to the holiday, PE kit will need to be worn to school on PE days. PE will only take place outside until further notice. Class teachers will inform you of PE days.  There will be no PE this week.

Asthma and Allergies

Please ensure that any necessary inhalers, Piriton or epi-pens are brought into school on the children’s first day back. Please inform school of any new medication or allergies that have occurred during lockdown in order for an appropriate medical plan to be completed. Please ensure that, if your child needs to keep this type of medication in school, it is in date.

Lunches

The children will be eating their lunch in their class pods this term. We are not able to use our school hall for lunches currently as we cannot fit the children in safely avoiding mixing of pods or clean between sittings fast enough to reduce contact risk. For the first two days and then the first two full weeks the school kitchen will be producing a packed lunch for those who wish to order one; the price of a meal remains the same. These lunches are also available for children entitled to free school meals or universal free school meals (R, Y1, Y2). There will be two sandwich/baguette filling options daily (2 from cheese, turkey, ham, chicken and tuna), lunches will contain fruit and muffins, cookies or similar. Water or orange juice will be provided to drink. We are working with Citiserve to then possibly introduce a limited menu of hot lunch options and addressing ways in which to safely serve these. Children may of course bring their own packed lunch from home. A reminder that we are a nut free zone.

Wrap around

As communicated previously, we are currently unable to offer wrap around care.  This is due to staffing and building issues related to the number of groups we would be required to have in order to ensure clear groups for track and trace and to avoid cross contamination of daytime pods.  We are working to resolve this issue safely by half term but cannot give a definitive date as the recruitment process may need to be followed in order to accommodate such groups. The cost of wrap around provision may also be affected by an increase in staffing.  We recognise that some parents rely on this childcare but appreciate your support whilst we are working to ensure that we can provide suitable out of hours care safely.

 Illness

If you, your child or anyone in your household develops symptoms of Co-vid19 please do not attend school.  The person who is ill should be tested (testing information is available on the NHS website) and guidance followed on isolation of themselves and other members of the household, if the result is positive. If your child becomes ill at school with symptoms of Co-vid19 they will be isolated in school and you will be asked to collect them immediately.  Your child should then be tested and remain at home until results have been received.  Guidance should then be followed.  If children are ill for any other reason please keep them at home until they are well enough to return, ensuring that school is informed. In the event of vomiting children should remain at home for 48 hours after the last episode of vomiting. Calls home for children who are generally unwell will remain the same.

It has been brought to our attention that there is information online stating that children can be removed from school, by health officials, if a child develops symptoms.  We would like to offer reassurance that this has been reported in the media as fake news and we would always contact you or your named emergency contact to collect children from school in the event of them exhibiting symptoms. We would ask that you do come and collect your child immediately and request that you ensure that school has an active number to contact you on and a current emergency contact.

Thank you in advance for your support with these measures in order to keep everyone safe.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs Booker

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