19th June 2020
I am writing to update you on our latest moves to open the school to more pupils. From Monday we will be welcoming back many of our Year 6 pupils and this means that we will have all of the government’s priority year groups back in school. We will have over 250 pupils on the school site organised into 19 small classes of no more than 15.
Achieving this has been a mammoth effort and I would like to thank all of you for your patience, understanding and kind and encouraging words. It is important that we are able to communicate with all parents and the easiest way to do this is electronically. Many of the teachers are using Marvelous Me to stay in touch with their class. If you have not yet signed up for a ‘Marvelous Me’ account then please contact the school office and we can send you the log in details for your child.
I understand the frustration experienced by those parents who cannot yet bring their children back but, with positive news about the pandemic over the past few days, I am confident that we will soon be able to start planning for the return of all pupils from September.
This will only be possible however if the pandemic remains under control, so we must all continue to follow the governments’ advice to ‘ Stay Alert, Control the Virus and Save Lives’. The news from Germany and China over the last week shows the importance of continuing to keep measures in place and not to relax too much, too soon.
With this is mind I am specifically asking for your continued support in the following areas • Please continue to observe social distancing when queuing around the school site and when on the school site itself
• Please support us by observing the one way system so that it is easy for people to move around safely, especially now that the site is getting busier .
• It is still government guidance 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 in school.
• 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 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.
As you would expect, the Government regularly update their guidance and there have been a few changes over the last couple of days. Yesterday they issued an updated guidance document for parents, “What parents and carers need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak” There are a few key points from this document we would like to draw your attention to.
Flexibility to welcome back additional children this term – if schools have the capacity to safely do so, they can welcome back additional children this term. As I explained earlier in this letter, we will now be running 19 classes from Monday 22nd June, most of which are at capacity. Due to staff shielding, we will not be able to extend our offering past this number. Where parents in eligible year groups have chosen not to send their child back to school, schools have the flexibility to offer any capacity to other pupils. We have opened an additional key worker group for children in years 3 – 6 and this has now almost reached capacity. If you have a specific request for key worker provision in these year groups, please contact the school office but please bear in mind we may not be able to offer you a place. Please don’t be offended if we ask for evidence of your key worker status, this is something we need to do to ensure consistency and fairness of any offer of support for our key workers.
NHS Test and Trace – with the introduction of the test and trace program, if anyone attending school were to test positive, they will be asked to share details of whom they have had close, recent contact and places they have visited. Public Health England will carry out a rapid risk assessment to identify who that person has been in contact with. In most cases, this will be the child or member of staff’s immediate class or group and they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with the person with the positive test. The other household members of that class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live within that group subsequently develops symptoms. Larger groups of children may be asked to self-isolate if the risk assessment deems this to be necessary but closure of the whole school will not generally be necessary.
Attendance –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.
Wraparound care – Tiger Club – as we are currently unable to implement the same protective measures in Tiger Club as we have in school. Tiger Club will remain closed for the time being.
School Meals – as you will have seen from our various communications, our Head of Kitchen is back on site and we are providing a limited menu of school meals at lunchtime. Meals are available free of charge for children in years R – 2 and those eligible for Free School Meals in other year groups. As our school kitchen has reopened, we are expected to make food parcels available for collection or delivery for any children that are eligible for free school meals who are staying at home, this will continue to be done through our weekly grocery box scheme.
Summer Holiday Food Provision – following the announcement that funding will continue through the summer holidays, we are investigating the possibility of providing vouchers to eligible families for the 6 week period as an alternative to the grocery boxes. Further updates as to whether this is possible will follow in due course. If we are not able to provide vouchers then the grocery box scheme will continue for the 6 weeks.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to answer your questions.
Thank you for your continued support during this difficult time.