Dear Reception and Year 1 Parents and Carers,
I am writing to let you know the arrangements for re-opening St. Margaret’s for Reception and Year 1 children.
As instructed by government our re-opening plan is careful and considered and is based on putting safety at the forefront of our thinking. We hugely appreciate the support from all parents to respect our rationale for this measured and steady approach. These measures are intended to ensure that children and staff keep to small and consistent groups at all times across a day and over the course of a week. These are called bubbles. Mixing between bubbles will be reduced to an absolute bare minimum and will not happen at all where possible. This is easier for the older children to achieve but is almost impossible with the youngest children. We will try our best! This is to protect staff and children from being exposed to the virus outside their group.
From June 22nd Year 1 children will start a phased return in a morning Monday to Thursday.
Drop off time: Year 1 Bubble 1: 8.55am to 9.05am. Pick up time: 11.55am to 12.05pm
Drop off time: Year 1 Bubble 2 -9.05am to 9.15am. Pick up time : 12.05pm to 12.15pm.
Reception children will return from Monday 29th June.
Drop off time : 8.45am to 8.55am. Pick up time: 11.45am to 11.55am.
On Fridays schools will be deep cleaned by our school cleaning staff and therefore only keyworker children will be in school.
Classroom space and class capacity
Firstly I feel it is important to stress that, as a school, we agree with the government guidance that states;
“Unlike older children and adults, early years and primary aged children cannot be expected to remain two meters from each other and staff.”
So whilst our plan is to encourage social distancing as far as possible, we cannot guarantee that children will be two meters apart from other children and adults at all times and we wish to make that explicitly clear to parents and carers.
When organising class capacity we have followed government guidelines. Which states ‘Children aged 3 and 5 years need 2-3 metres squared per child’. Therefore Willow Class has been set up with 2m by 2m play areas for each child. We can fit five children in Willow class to facilitate this.
Y1 will be sitting at tables that are distanced 2m apart. There will be five children in Lilac class and five children in Oak.
How will my child enter and leave the school?
Drop off and collection times will be staggered to support social distancing measures. We will ensure that siblings are assigned the same times.
Coming in to School
Year 1 children will enter through the main front door and parents need to observe the tape on the floor and school instructions:
Social distancing measures must be in place for drop off and collection times. Only one person should bring their child to school and this person needs to be the same. Children will come in to school one at a time (like we enter supermarkets). I ask that parents bring their child up the school path as normal. We need to guarantee that they have socially isolated on the way. There will be tape on the floor to signify social distancing.
Reception parents will need to bring their child to the gate as they usually would where a member of staff will greet each child and take them into school one by one. Parents will then leave through the school car park and down the drive.
Please refrain from socialising at the bottom of the path before or after drop off and pick up, unless you are observing social distancing.
Where parents need to speak to the office, we ask that this takes place by email or by phone. If, in a very small number of situations, this is impossible then parents will need to wait for the children to be admitted to school and then come into the foyer where there will be clear instructions to follow to keep office staff and parents within appropriate social distance.
The proposed time allocations are to minimise the number of adults on site at any one time. This is subject to trial and we may move to wider staggered times. Please do not gather in groups or stay on site any longer than needed to drop-off. We will not be able to facilitate any face to-face queries with teaching staff during arrival and departure times – if you need to talk to a member of staff please telephone the office or email. Email addresses for teachers are on the class page.
It is vital that you arrive within the allocated time. If you are late, we ask you to wait outside the school
grounds, phone the office and a member of staff will come to meet you.
Will my child be taught by their class teacher
The children will not necessarily be taught by their usual class teacher as we have limited staff who are working on a rota system across the bubbles of keyworker, R, Year 1 and Year 6. They will be taught by one teacher each day, however this might not be the teacher that teaches them for the week. It is important to note that the curriculum will not be the usual Reception/Year1 Summer 2 curriculum. The children will, first of all need a lot of re-assurance and pastoral support. This is not a return to school as we know it. We will not be returning to a school timetable, curriculum or teaching style that was in place prior to school closure.
What should my child wear to school?
Children can wear their own clothes. They must wear clean clothes each day. We intend for children to be outside a large majority of the time so please ensure sun cream is applied before children come to school and they bring a sunhat. Alternatively, if the weather is cooler (as
doors and windows will be left open) or wet, please ensure they have suitable clothing as we will be
outside as much as possible. All long hair should be tied back and no jewellery (including watches) should be worn.
What should my child bring to school?
Children should only bring a full water bottle and a sun hat/weather appropriate clothing. Learning resources will be provided by school. Please do not bring book bags to school.
Lunch arrangements will be explained to you if and when the childrens’ day is extended.
How will school support the increased need to washing hands?
Children will be required to use sanitizer on entry to school. A sanitizer pump has been provided in the entrance area. There will also be hand sanitizer in each classroom. We will encourage children to wash their hands regularly throughout the day. Please do not bring hand sanitizer to school, we must use specific tested sanitizer.
Reception children will be in Willow class and will therefore use the Willow Class toilets. They will use the toilet and wash their hands one at a time to ensure social distancing.
Year 1 children will use the girl’s and boy’s toilets as normal, making sure that only one child uses the toilet at a time.
Staff will clean toilet handles, door handles and taps between each child.
What will the classroom look like?
Reception children will be in Willow Class and will have their own allocated learning space. Within the space will be a small table and chair. Familiar play/learning resources will be allocated to each child to avoid cross contamination.
Year 1 children will have an allocated table that they will work at. They will have their own equipment to use: stationery; pens; pencils etc These will be provided by school and children must not bring equipment from home.
Will staff be wearing masks/PPE equipment?
Staff may choose to do so around school.
Staff MUST wear a mask, gloves and apron to administer First Aid or to change a child if needed.
I know that this is a lot of information to digest, but it is there to keep us all safe. We have missed your children and can’t wait to welcome them back to school.