Plans for Reopening School

Posted on: 2020-05-20

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Dear Parents and Carers 

I am writing to outline the process by which we are going to organise our phased return to school. I apologise that this letter is detailed but making sure that we do this in a safe and controlled way is complicated. We are being guided by the Bourne Education Trust and all its schools are adopting the same model.   

The Prime Minister has outlined some basic principles around which we have based our planning: 

  • Schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from (not on) 1st June 
  • The Government expects children in early years’ settings, reception, year 1 and year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point  
  • The Government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.  

To implement this strategy, we will be opening the school in a controlled and measured way as follows: 

  1. Home schooling support will stop at the end of this week and begin again on Wednesday 10th June.  This will allow 2 days of on-site preparation on Monday 8th and Tuesday 9th June; key worker and vulnerable children will continue to attend. 
  1. The phased reopening will start on Wednesday 10th June. 
  1. Wednesday 10th June: Year 6 plus key worker and vulnerable children. 
  1. Monday 15th June:  Year 6, year 1 plus key worker and vulnerable children. 
  1. Monday 22nd June: Year 6, year 1 and reception plus key worker and vulnerable children. 
  1. Monday 29th June: Year 6, year 1, reception and nursery plus key worker and vulnerable children. 
  1. Monday 6th July: Possible date for all primary pupils to return. 
  1. The above will have to be adjusted for individual schools’ staff availability and our response to risks that arise during the phased return. 
  1. It may be necessary to introduce a temporary limit on numbers to ensure that safety is prioritised.  
  2. If your child is attending school as a key worker or vulnerable child, you will choose whether they remain in this category and stay from 8:45am or 3:15pm or, when their year group returns to school, whether they join their peers and attend school from 8:30am to 1pm.

We understand that some of you will be anxious about your child returning to school. In order to minimise the risks of returning to school we are reducing class sizes in accordance with Government guidelines: 

  • Primary cohort sizes: Year 6, 15 pupils maximum per class; year 1, 10 pupils maximum per class; reception and nursery, 8 pupils maximum per class. 

In terms of personal protective equipment (PPE), the Government and Public Health England do not recommend pupils or staff wearing a face covering or masks, but they can if they wish and will not be prevented from doing so. Changing habits, cleaning and hygiene are effective measures in controlling the spread of the virus. Furthermore, school uniform is expected to be worn for the remainder of this term by those pupils returning and also key worker and vulnerable children. 

With that in mind, we are introducing strict social distancing measures and new routes around the school to avoid pupils meeting each other unnecessarily. Pupils who deliberately and continuously fail to follow social distancing guidance will be sent home and will be expected to continue with remote home learning.  

The school will run to a revised timetable to enable safe entry to and exit from the site and enable regular and rigorous cleaning. We will be operating a shorter day, from 8.30am to 1pm with cohort groups to be given 15-minute staggered starts from 8.30am. Pupils will always remain in their cohorts and be segregated in these groups. Play times will be staggered and each cohort will be allocated designated areas to go to. Our educational focus will be on well-being, English and maths and, for the younger pupils, resocialisation. Parents and carers should note that there will be no hot catering provision available, so pupils will have to bring in their own refreshments (snack and water bottle) if required and can have a take home cold lunch available if requested from school. Where relevant, Free School Meal vouchers will continue to be provided. 

As you know, we usually encourage parents and carers to come on-site and interact with the staff. Sadly, this can no longer apply either at the start or the end of the day. Please drop your child off in the morning at their given time where they will be met by a member of staff. Parents and carers collecting pupils will follow the same format at the end of the day. We will take your child to his or her allocated exit point where he or she will line up, whilst maintaining social distancing, to await collection. You will be notified of your child’s drop off time in due course. Parents and carers will not be allowed entry to the school buildings without an appointment, which should only be in an emergency. 

I realise that these new systems will take some getting used to, but I know that the staff and children will adapt; they always do. We are looking forward to returning to some sense of normality and thank you, in advance, for your support with this. 

If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

Yours sincerely, 

Nicola Matheson 

Head of School


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