Letter Monday 1st June 2020

Monday 1st June 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

I hope you and your families are healthy, and coping well in this challenging time.

Following confirmation from the government that it is safe to do so, we confirm that we will reopen school on Monday 8th June 2020, to children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 ONLY.

(I apologise that this is a change from my previous letter and I hope this has not caused any inconvenience to you.)

Children in years 2, 3, 4 and 5 must remain at home for now and we will continue to provide resources for these pupils to use to support home learning.

Vulnerable children and children of key workers should attend as they have been doing throughout the closure period. This group is called the Cosmos bubble.

The doctors who advise the government have explained very carefully, why it is important and safe for children with no health issues in these year groups to come to school. Scientific evidence shows that children have a much milder version of the disease and the risk of them becoming very unwell with it, is very small.

Children must not come to school if they or any of the family who they live with, have COVID19 symptoms which are a high temperature, a new, and continuous cough or a loss of taste and smell.

The government guidance states the following:

‘We know that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain two metres apart from each other and staff. In deciding to bring more children back to early years and school, we are taking this into account.’

We will continue to follow government guidance, but I want to be clear to all parents that strictly enforcing social distancing in our primary school will not be possible. We will, however, ensure safety measures are in place. BDAT have checked our detailed risk assessments and plans very carefully and are confident that all the necessary arrangements are in place to plan for everyone’s safety.

  • Each class will be split into two groups with a maximum of 15 children and two adults (one teacher and one assistant). Each group will be called a bubble
  • Children will stay in these bubbles and not mix with other children or adults
  • Children will have their own pencil case with their own equipment
  • Children will eat and have playtime with the children in their bubble
  • Regular hand washing will take place
  • Classrooms will be cleaned several times per day
  • Door handles, toilets and hand rails will be cleaned regularly throughout the day
  • Children will access the outdoor areas as much as possible in their bubble
  • Children should not bring items from home including their book bags
  • Children need to wear clean uniform that is changed or washed every day
  • We are unable to run breakfast club or after school clubs
  • Northallerton Road gate will be closed until September. Please use the Westminster Road gate only
  • Children and adults do not need to wear masks or gloves in class. Staff will use gloves and masks only when administering first aid.

Drop off and collection procedures

  • Arrival from 8.30am
  • Please do not arrive early as you will have to wait outside the gate. If waiting on Westminster Road, please ensure that you maintain 2m social distance from other parents and families. Parents must follow the social distancing guidance at all times
  • Year 6 parents should drop their child off at the school gate and children will queue down the drive and make their way to class
  • For other year groups, one parent will be allowed to walk down the drive and will need to queue with your child and wait on the marked spots until a member of staff collects your child.
  • Unfortunately, we do not have space on the driveway for family members. Family members will need to wait on Westminster Road ensuring 2m social distance from other parents and families.

Collection

  • Please do not arrive early as you will have to wait outside the gate. If waiting on Westminster Road, please ensure that you maintain 2m social distance from other parents and families. Parents must follow the social distancing guidance at all times
  • At the end of the day, one parent can queue and wait on the drive and be directed by staff to collect your child from their bubble on the field
  • 2.55pm – children in year 6 who walk home (Friday 11.55am)
  • 3.00pm – children in year 6 can be collected (Friday 12pm)
  • 3.10pm – children in reception and the Cosmos bubble can be collected (Friday 12.10pm)
  • 3.15pm – children in year 1 can be collected (Friday 12.15pm)

I know the last few weeks have been very challenging for everyone and that you may be worried about children coming back to school. If you have any questions about how we are going to keep children safe, please ring the school office on 01274 648490 and ask to speak to Liz Holland or me. You can also email the school office via office@westminsterschool.co.uk

You will not be fined for keeping your child at home, but please be aware that if you keep your child at home they will be missing out on learning. Research says this will have longer impact on their health over their lifetime. It is for parents to decide if they want their children to return to school, but please do give it careful consideration. You can read the scientific advice the government are using to base their decision about opening schools. Please also be aware that we will no longer provide resources or online learning for Y2,3,4,5 after 5th June 2020.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/885631/Overview_of_scientific_advice_and_information_on_coronavirus_COVID19.pdf

Please make sure if you have children attending the school, that you are following the latest government guidance on socially distancing as a household and you are not going into other family and friends houses.

It is essential that we have your up to date mobile number and that you are contactable every day, so that if your child becomes ill during the day, we can ring you and you come quickly to collect them. Please let the office staff know on 01274 648490 if your number has changed.

Yours faithfully

Nicky White

Principal