Welcome back to what is for many, their favourite half term of the school year. It may look very different to how it would usually but we are working hard to ensure the children are still given a broad and balanced curriculum to meet all of their needs. Whilst we will not be able to welcome our community in to school for the usual Christmas productions, Festive Fayre and award ceremonies, we will continue to find ways of bringing school to you so that can still share in the children’s successes and experiences.
The Government continues to prioritise the wellbeing and long-term futures of our young people and will not be closing schools. It remains very important for children to attend, to support their wellbeing and education and help working parents and guardians. Senior clinicians still advise that school is the best place for children to be, and so they should continue to come to school.
Whilst we had hoped that the national picture would start to improve, with the announcement of national restrictions from this Thursday, 5th November, it is really important that we work together to keep everyone safe.
With this is mind I am specifically asking for your continued support in the following areas
• Please continue to observe social distancing when queueing around the school site and when on the school site itself. When around other people ensure that you are two metres apart from anyone not in your household or support bubble.
• Please support us by observing the one way system so that it is easy for people to move around safely, Please don’t be offended if we stop you and ask you to observe the one way system, we are just trying to keep everything consistent and safe.
• From Thursday, government guidance will be that people from more than two households should not be meeting at the same time, so please bear this in mind – children from multiple households should not be meeting up outside school. Also, for this reason we cannot allow parents to pick up children from another household and take them home. If this happens, it compromises the small consistent groups we have in school and all the protective measures we have put in place.
One of the key protective measures required in school is to “Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual.” Soap and hand sanitiser is available in every classroom. We know that some children are experiencing dry skin that can become very sore. Children are welcome to bring in their own soap that may be more suited to their skin type. Please ensure this is brought in in a small named bottle as space to store this is limited. Soap must not be shared with friends. Soaps with no SLS (sodium Lauryl Sulfate) are less likely to cause skin irritation and dryness* but it is also really important to support children learning that thoroughly washing off all the soap, particularly between the fingers, and drying them will help reduce the risk of drying and cracking.
* Professor Richard Guy at Bath’s Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology
In line with guidance published on Saturday, parents are able to form a childcare bubble with another household for the purposes of informal childcare, where the child is 13 or under. If you have a regular arrangement in place for this, please advise the school so we can ensure your child’s class teacher is aware that someone else may be collecting your child.
At present, we will be able to continue Tiger Club provision through the period of national restrictions. However, this will be dependent on safe staffing levels and Government guidance remaining as it is now, if we do not have enough staff to run Tiger Club or guidance changes then we may have to consider a temporary suspension of this service.
Childminders will still be able to drop off and collect children from school.
Communication remains a key part of ensuring everyone feels safe and secure. You can call the school office on 023 8077 4814 or email them using the firstname.lastname@example.org. Please use the parents@ email address for all general enquiries, and questions and requests about appointments and medical matters as these can be passed to the relevant staff members.
Please use the year group emails only for curriculum and learning based questions. It’s important to remember that all of our staff are working incredibly hard and they may not be able to respond to your email straight away. Emails sent during the evening will not be picked up from the year group emails until the next school day. If you have an urgent query or concern, please call the school office.
We do miss being able to talk face to face to parents and carers in the mornings and afternoons during drop off and pick up but we need to keep this type of contact to the absolute minimum. Please don’t keep your child’s teacher talking for extended periods of time and please don’t be offended if they ask you to call the office with your concern so that the Admin team can support you or arrange a time for your child’s teacher to call you. All staff do very much welcome a good morning, good afternoon and goodbye though!
Items from Home
We would remind you that we have asked children not to bring anything in from home to enable us to keep the school site as secure as possible, this includes large bags, toys etc We know how important sharing exciting things from home is to our children and as soon as we can safely do this, we will.
Please ensure you notify the school office as normal if your child is unable to attend so that staff are aware and can discuss any absence with you. Please ensure you clearly explain why your child is off if you are emailing or leaving a message on the school answerphone.
Support for Families
Our amazing caterers, City Catering, are offering 2 week isolation food boxes to families who are entitled to free school meals and have to isolate following a positive case of COVID-19 in their household. If you are eligible for free school meals, not universal infant free school meals, and would like to request one of these boxes during a 14 day isolation period, please let the school office know.
Mrs Dowdell is also available to offer telephone or Zoom support and advice so do let us know if you would like to speak with her.
Visits to School
Unfortunately due to the new lockdown we need to avoid parents coming on to school site in all but extremely exceptional circumstances other than to drop children at or collect them from school. This means the majority of meetings will take place either online or by telephone. We would ask that parents do not come to school to drop off forgotten items please. We have spare water bottles and cups in classrooms to support the children staying hydrated so don’t worry if your child doesn’t have theirs with them, we will make sure they have access to fresh drinking water throughout the day.
The weather is forecast to turn quite cold over the next week or two. We are ensuring good ventilation in classrooms and school buildings by having windows and doors open where possible. We would encourage you to consider adding an extra layer of clothing by means of a vest or additional t shirt under school uniform to help keep our children warm and comfortable in school.
It's also vitally important they bring a named coat every day. Despite Mr Taylor’s wonderful eternal optimism that “it won’t rain today,” showers are highly likely and we must ensure that children have coats to keep them warm and dry.
We would also recommend that children bring gloves to school for use outside. Where the children are cleaning their hands more often, wearing gloves will protect their hands when outside in the cold.
School Risk Assessment
An updated version of the school’s risk assessment is available on the school website for parents to review.
As always, there is a lot of information to take in and if you have questions, please do call the school office or email via email@example.com and we will do our best to answer your questions.
Thank you for your continued support during this difficult time.