School Closure Updates


21st May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

As we prepare to have a phased opening of school to pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, possibly from 1st June 2020 it is vital that we all understand that our school will be a very different place to what we were before 20th March.

Children will NOT be in school every day of the school week – It is most likely that they will attend school on a rota, a provisional copy of which can be found detailed below. Please find below some very important information regarding your child’s possible return to school:

Year group

Days in school

Start time

End time

Nursery

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

9.20am

2pm

Reception

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

9.10am

2.10pm

Year 1

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday

9.00am

2.20pm

Year 6

Tuesday, Wednesday

8.50am

2.30pm


The journey
Children who are due to start a phased return to school from 1 June, will be asked to get to school by foot, bike or car, avoiding public transport as much as possible, accompanied by just one parent or carer. Car sharing with another household must also be avoided.

The drop-off
The new school day may start slightly later for some, because there will be a staggered drop-off time to avoid large numbers of parents and children gathering at the school gates. Please note that the start and end of day time will NOT be the times that were in place before 20th March and MUST be strictly adhered to.

Only ONE adult should accompany the children and we ask that you avoid bringing siblings please. It is important that parents/carers adhere to the social distancing markers and the designated route in and out of school. Parents/carers should not enter the building or gather at the school gates or doors.

Drop-off areas have been marked out and adults will be asked to remain outside while pupils queue to get into the building, ideally keeping 2 metres apart. Conversations with adults will be held at a safe social distance outside, or by phone or email, so schools can remain sealed off to all but essential staff and pupils.
We expect everyone to abide by social distancing protocols. To facilitate this we will not allow any vehicles, other than staff vehicles, within the school grounds.

Children will attend in small groups or ‘bubbles’. Each group or ‘bubble’ of children will have their own area, teacher/or teaching assistant, toilet, play space etc. It is recommended that each ‘bubble’ is kept separate from all the others and that children and adults stay within the same ‘bubble’ throughout. This means that your child may have a teacher or teaching assistant that they are not familiar with on their return and that they may not see all their friends at school. Children will all be split into two or three groups to limit the numbers mixing together. Parents will leave their children with staff who will lead them into school after the children have first washed their hands very thoroughly. Children will not be allowed to bring anything from home – no PE kit, school bag. They can bring a lunch bag with them which will be cleaned and stored on arrival.

New-look classrooms
The schools that pupils return to on 1 June and in the following days will look very different from those they left on 20 March. Much of the furniture and many of the toys that might have been difficult to clean – soft toys, those with intricate parts and other small items –have been removed. There will be no water play, no sand and no playdough. Children will be reminded of social distancing rules, tables and seats will be separated and children will each have their own equipment. Each child will be given a zipped plastic wallet, labelled with their name, which contains the equipment that they will need for their learning, which must not be shared. We will attempt to keep children 2 metres apart at all times, (included when seated) but this has proved to be very difficult, particularly with the younger children. In Nursery and Reception there will be spots on the floor to mark where children will sit when they are not at their desk. Windows and doors will be kept open for better ventilation and the corridors will been marked out with tape as a one-way system to keep children a safe distance apart. Children will be expected to stay in the same room – apart from outdoor play – with the same classmates and teacher in a “protective bubble”.

Lessons
Our main focus will be on the children’s health and well-being, on helping them transition back to school and preparing them for next stage of their education. Many activities we would normally undertake with your child will not be able to happen in the same way. Where we can, adjustments will be made, but reducing risk of transmission will be the driving force in all decisions that are made regarding care and curriculum. Sadly, our Y6 children will not be able to take part in the usual end of primary school activities but we are working closely with our secondary colleagues to discuss transition support.

Lunch and playtime
We will be staggering break & lunchtimes so that the ‘bubbles’ are not mixing together/moving around the school at the same time. Movement around the school will be restricted in order to reduce the risk of contact. We will be providing a lunch service meal for all children who are entitled to Free School Meals (FSM) or Universal Meals (Sandwiches only will be available). Parents/carers may purchase a school lunch for those children not eligible for FSM. Any packed lunches sent in from home must be in a lunch bag. All children must be sent with a fresh water bottle every day. All meals will be eaten in the designated classroom areas/‘bubble’ space. and then each group will be allowed to go and play in their designated part of the playground, marked off with sports cones. Each group will be allowed one set of simple equipment – for example, balls or hoops – which can be easily cleaned. Staff will clean the classrooms regularly, wiping surfaces and equipment, with a full clean overnight, while children will be expected to observe a strict hand washing regime throughout the day.

Home time
Children will not be allowed to take pictures or other pieces of work home to their families. Pick-up times will be staggered, with each group of children escorted off the site by their assigned teacher, and parents and carers will be expected to wash their child’s clothes at the end of every day.
School will be open between 8:50am and 3:15pm.
If you are late dropping your child off – you will be asked to take your child home and return at the correct time the following day. If you are late picking your child up at the end of their school day on two or more occasions, the school has the right to withdraw the offer of a place for your child for the remainder of this term.

Keeping safe
We are completing comprehensive risk assessments. We will be considering if PPE is necessary for staff. However, it will definitely be worn if they are supervising children who are ill/showing symptoms in school, (whilst we wait for parents/carers to collect) or administering first aid/intimate care. Frequent hand washing and sanitising of surfaces will take place, (children will be encouraged to help keep their own area clean).The ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ mantra will be stressed and bins will be emptied throughout the day. In addition, rigorous cleaning programmes will take place throughout the day and each classroom will be sanitised by a cleaning team at the end of each day. Doors will be propped open, where safe to do so, windows opened and rooms well ventilated. We will be aiming to do as much outdoor learning as possible as being outdoors carries less risk of contact. Outdoor equipment/ apparatus/ play equipment/ climbing frames will not be accessible because of the difficulty of sharing surfaces and of cleaning. Children do not have to be in school uniform, however please send your child in to school in fresh clean clothes every day. We also strongly advise that clothes are washed at the end of each school day. Coats will be placed on the back of each child’s chair. If anyone has a cough/ temperature/ feels unwell at school, they will be sent home. They will need to self-isolate for 7 days, or until tested negative. Anyone in the child’s household will need to self-isolate for 14 days. If a child or adult shows symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19, then the whole group (BUBBLE) that the child/adult was in, must be sent home and they must self-isolate for 14 days. Children MUST NOT attend if they have symptoms or are self-isolating due to symptoms in their household.

Future plans
The Government have said that it is their ‘ambition’ to bring all pupils back in to school before the end of the school year however, this will depend on a number of factors. We will be better able to answer this question in a few weeks’ time. In the meantime, all the current online learning resources will continue to be provided. Printed learning packs will continue to be made available every week, for all children not attending. We are not able to offer siblings a place in other year groups if you have a child in one of the specified year groups. Parents need to be aware that if we do open in such a way as to enable all pupils to return to school, this will mean that all pupils would be placed onto a part-time rota.

Currently, it is not compulsory for your child to attend and there will be no sanctions for nonattendance. We will endeavour to follow all the guidelines and to take all the precautions we can to keep your child as safe as possible should you decide to send your child to school; However, we understand that you will want to make your own decision about what is best for your child under these circumstances and we will support and respect whatever you decide.

Many thanks to all of you who have informed us of your decision as to whether you will be sending your child to school. This has given us a great overview of how many pupils in each year group might attend and has really helped with our planning. I appreciate that these arrangements will present difficulties for some families and I apologise for this. As I’m sure that you can appreciate, our main concern is for the safety and wellbeing of pupils and staff.

Parents have the right to change their mind. Should you wish to change your mind and no longer want the place, please email admin@forestpark.org.uk or phone the school by 3pm on Friday 22nd May.


Many thanks for all of your patience and support during this challenging period. We really appreciate this.

Miss L Irving
Head Teacher

Important information for parents

Important information for parents - possible school reopening to Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from June 1st 2020

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