Full Re-opening Monday, 8th March, 2021
It is my pleasure to write to you in regards to Thorney Close Primary School opening fully from Monday, 8th March, 2021. We have now finalised planning following the most recent Government Guidance.
Arrangements will be similar to those that were put in place in September which aimed to:
• Ensure pupils, parents and staff are as safe as possible
• Enable the school maintain the highest standards of COVID security
• Support everyone’s well-being when school opens fully
• Maintain a continuity of learning
The new guidelines for schools to be adopted from March 8th allows for some relaxing of the current restrictions, meaning that children will be in their normal classes with their own teacher as in the autumn term, unless the staff member has to shield until 31st March. However, there will still be limitation on movement within and around the building regulating interactions between groups of children. We will be maintaining increased levels of cleaning throughout the day and the focus on hand washing and general hygiene will remain a priority. We will stay close at 1pm for the full school deep clean but this will be reviewed in summer term.
I am aware that there have been recent cases in the community affecting our families so we want to ensure everyone is kept safe until vaccinations can be rolled out to everyone. The majority of the staff and parents are as yet unvaccinated, so we will need to do our very best to keep each other safe and hopefully we won’t be directly affected if everyone follows the rules. Remember we have not had a case as yet and we want to keep it that way so children’s learning isn’t disrupted anymore.
Dropping off and Collection
There will be a new one-way system in operation around site you will enter through the right-hand pedestrian gate next to the driveway and exit through the left-hand pedestrian gate. Arrows will show you the direction of travel, Masks should be worn at all times on school premises. We understand that not everyone is able to wear a mask. Those who are exempted can display their exemption tags/lanyards to reassure the rest of the community.
TIME – Please arrive on time for drop off and pick up – even 5 minutes before the designated time for your class is too early. We would never let your child go until there is a trusted known adult to collect them.
ADULTS – Only one adult needs to be on the school site with each child at drop off and pick up time. Children in Year 5 and 6 shouldn’t need to be accompanied on site. Can Year 5 and Year 6 parents/carers please fill in the end of school day collection arrangements form that will be on Class Dojo/text.
LEAVE – please leave the site as quickly as possible after pick up and drop off – please do not stop to chat to other parents or let your children play on the grass or the play equipment. There should be a constant one way flow around site. Children in Cedar, Spruce, Fir and Elm will be collected from behind marked lines in the top yard.
DISTANCE – Please keep your distance from other parents and children.
CHILDREN – please keep your children with you at all times until you leave the site. As you can imagine keeping a distance of 2m is difficult during drop off and pick up so please be considerate of other parents when in the school grounds.
We will continue to adopt staggered arrival and collection times. Start and collection times will be staggered depending on your child’s surname:
|Surname Starts With||
Please can I ask you to keep to these times and if at any point you find you are running late for drop off or pick up let the office know. We will be locking the wooden gates promptly in the morning ready for lessons to start at 9.00am.
Please can I ask that you leave the school grounds quickly to ensure the least amount of contact with other parents and keep your mask on until you have left the site.
Teachers have been asked not to talk at length with parents at the beginning and end of the day to avoid hold ups. We also ask that parents and carers leave the school promptly after pick-up to avoid congestion.
It is important to remember that we will expect all adults to maintain the social distance rule while on site.
Uniform/PE kit and other belongings
All children will be expected to wear school uniform. Children will also be expected to come in their PE kits on PE days which will be communicated by your child’s class teacher on Class dojo.
We will be using the fields and yards as much as possible to ensure the class bubbles are distanced at playtime and dinnertime. I know in the autumn term we did have issues with how muddy it got. Hopefully the weather will be improving and the grass will dry out but I expect we will have a few wet days ahead! We will endeavour to keep the children as clean as possible but please bear with us if your child(ren) do come home some days muddier than usual.
With regards to other items being brought into school, children should only fetch in a filled water bottle, lunch box and coat. All other resources will be provided by school. Please do not send in any other items.
Responding to a symptomatic child
When a child or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19), they will be sent home and told to book to have a test to see if they have COVID-19. Staff are now home testing twice a week and we do have tests in school for children who may be sent home to speed up the process. Tests can be booked by visiting NHS.UK or by contacting NHS 119 via telephone.
Up until the results of the test are known the child or adult presenting with symptoms should self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 10 days. Where the child or staff member tests negative they can then return to school and other household members can end their self-isolation.
Where the child tests positive, the rest of their class will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 10 days. The other household members of the class who are isolating do not need to self-isolate unless their child then develops symptoms. As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the school, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will liaise with the Headteacher and advise the school on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases, a larger number of other children may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.
Under no circumstances should you send any child with the following symptoms into school:
• A continuous cough
• A high temperature
• A loss of smell or taste
If your child presents with any of these symptoms, please book a test immediately and notify the school as soon as the result is known. Please refer to the ‘Stay at home and self-isolate’ guidance that accompanies this letter.
Hygiene and Hand Washing
One of the best ways to mitigate against the contraction of Covid 19 is through increased hand washing. Children will be encouraged to wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds under running water at set points throughout the day. Increased cleaning will obviously be taking place and the school will continue to do a weekly deep clean on Friday afternoon to kill any lingering germs before the start of a new week. Children will also be encouraged to follow “catch it, bin it, kill it” approach. There will be tissues, sanitisation points and wipes available in all classrooms and children will continue their practice from the autumn term.
Although there has been a relaxation of social distancing in classes, social distancing elsewhere around school will remain in place. We will be encouraging children to observe these rules when necessary, although there will be limited movement around school. Any child who deliberately breaks any of the new routines and measures will be at risk of exclusion from school. The measures are in place to keep all of our school community safe.
It is a well-known fact that children who attend school daily have fewer gaps in learning and make more progress than those children whose attendance is irregular. In light of the absence from school for the past 9 weeks, it is all the more important that children attend daily from the 8th March in order to make up lost learning. We had an amazing 96.5% attendance in the autumn term and I am optimistic we will have the same attendance this term. We are very keen to work with any of our families who may be feeling nervous about sending their children back to school as can be expected.
On the return to school on 8th March we will ease all the children back into the routines of school and promote fun learning that the children will enjoy.
We will be taking time to assess all children again before the Easter break and will continue to deliver a limited curriculum of English, Maths, Science, PE, RE, Computing, PE, and well-being activities. After Easter the full complement of subjects will be reintroduced and all topics delivered as usual, whilst maintaining a heavy focus on reading and vocabulary acquisition. The local authority have also issued schools with new catch-up guidance which we will be looking to follow in the summer term.
Since the lockdown on the 5th January I’m sure you’ll agree that the children have become experts in the use of Google Classroom! We will continue to use Google Classroom within school as part of our daily teaching in classes and will continue to meet remotely across the school for our collective worship sessions, school meetings and for other social occasions. If there is a case where we have to close a class bubble due to self-isolation, learning will continue for children on this platform.
Please can we ask that all families who have taken a Chromebook home to access remote learning return them on Monday 8th March by taking them back to class. If there needs to be a time where we need to redistribute chrome books we will do so once again.
Information and reminders:
• Do not enter the school building without prior approval by the Headteacher
• If in the event a class needs to isolate we will send a text and Class Dojo to inform all parents of the situation and it is expected you collect your child promptly.
• Please communicate with school via email or telephone.
• The office window will remain closed.
• Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01915250808
Thank you once again for all your support in the last few months; it has been a difficult time for everyone involved. Thank you for your patience and hard work in supporting your child(ren) in your own situation. If you or your family have been affected in anyway by Covid 19 that you think will have an impact on your child’s return to school please do not hesitate to contact us so we can support your child’s transition back into school.
We are looking forward to welcoming all the children back with us on the 8th March and are thrilled to be back together again in school. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or queries regarding your child(ren)’s return.
Please click on the link below for the full risk assessment.