Phased reopening plans from 8th June
Dear Parents and Carers,
We truly appreciate all your support and understanding during this difficult time as we navigate the unknown within very short time frames. We know that any wait for information creates anxiety but hope you understand the need to spend time considering plans and how we can implement them as safely as possible. Thank you for your patience.
As you are aware, the Government have announced the reopening of schools on a phased basis from 1st June. This includes the return to school of Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children. Working with the Bath and Wells Trust and the Headteachers in the Bath Hub, we have decided, as a group of schools, to open to more children from 8th June.
Over the past two weeks we have carefully risk assessed our options against the Government guidance, consolidated and worked with local Headteachers in the Bath Hub, worked with our Local Governing Body and the Central Team at the Bath and Wells Multi Academy Trust.
After extensive planning, including reviewing staffing levels, considering the physical design of our school sites and the best ways to support the well-being of as many pupils as possible while mitigating the risks of COVID19 using the Government guidance, we have organised a part-time school approach for all our children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
The plans outlined in this communication could be subject to change if Government guidance changes, or if, for example, we experience issues with staffing levels.
The information in this email will cover the following areas:
1. Who will be attending school and how will this look
2. Information on the Key Worker Group
3. Information on attendance of the new ‘bubble groups’
4. Information on uniform and equipment for ‘bubble Groups’ and ‘Key Worker Groups’
5. Information on lunchtime for all groups
6. Information on Home Learning for all children
7. Information on how the Curriculum will be taught for ‘Bubble Groups’
8. Information on how the school offices will function from 8th June
1. Who will be attending school?
Pupils coming into school from 8th June will be organised into ‘bubble’ groups of no more than 15 children and will fall into one of three groups:
1. Nursery children – the team will contact you separately to organise attendance and sessions
2. Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 – initially this will be for 2 days per week (Monday and Tuesday OR Thursday and Friday).
3. Children of Key Worker parents, vulnerable pupils and pupils with EHCPs – This flexible 5 day provision will be the same that has been provided since March, however we are looking to break these into ‘bubbles’ of 15 children and therefore may need to organise more than one ‘bubble’ each day.
Please note that if, for example, your child falls into both categories of Reception/Year 1/Year 6 AND a Key Worker, then you will need to decide and commit your child to either being part of a Key Worker Group, for up to five days a week, OR part of a class group ‘bubble’ for two days a week. There cannot be any mixing of children between ‘bubbles’. Please can Key Worker families inform the Junior School Office by email at email@example.com which option you would like to do by 9am Thursday 28th May.
This part-time ‘bubble’ approach for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will allow us to best staff groups of no more than 15 children, ensuring groups are led by a teacher, in many cases their normal class teacher, allowing them to be based in a classroom with access to a ‘private’ outside space and manage ‘pick up’ and ‘drop off’ of children in line with social distancing.
The timetable will either be Monday and Tuesday OR Thursday and Friday depending on the group your child has been allocated. These will be full days in school with slightly different start and end times to help us create a staggered start from the normal school day. In addition, the children could be in a different classroom to the one they were in prior to lockdown. At this time before and after school clubs will not be running.
We know how important friendship groups are at this time and have asked the class teachers to organise the groups with this in mind. They have also taken into account vulnerability within each group and additional needs, to ensure that no more than two adults will be permanently based with each group. The teachers are confident that they have organised these groups appropriately and unfortunately, due to the strict timeframe and complexities of the organisation, we are unable to change children between groups or take requests from parents.
The organisation of these groups including the group your child has been allocated will follow in a separate email as soon as possible and hopefully by the end of the week. Due to the very tight timescales, and the amount of work involved, we will not be able to confirm these bubbles before then. We really appreciate your patience with this.
2. Key Workers Group
If you will require Key Worker provision from 8th June please can you confirm this with us by completing the survey that will be sent in another email.
3. Does my child have to attend their ‘bubble’ and what will it look like in school?
We know that families and children will be nervous to return to school on 8th June and the Government has confirmed that no family will be fined for not attending. We will however make provisions for all children in these year groups, even if parents have expressed that they do not wish their child to attend at this time.
I have created a video to support reintegration to school and to share with the children about how school life will be changing. I hope this video is supportive in helping you discuss returning to school with your children. Sophie Hunt and Mrs Simmons will also be publishing some further videos specifically for individual year groups.
These videos will be published over the next week or so. The links to the videos will be sent out via email and uploaded to the home learning website page and social media.
4. Uniform and equipment
The government’s guidance asks that parents wash children’s clothes daily. We understand this can be hard, children may have grown too big for their uniform or it’s just not manageable to wash uniform each day, therefore we WILL NOT be insisting on school uniform for the rest of this academic year. Please send your child in clean clothes each day, and wash these before they wear them again.
We will supply all children with the equipment they need in school. For safety reasons we ask that pencil cases, toys and other items are left at home. We ask that children only come to school with their named water bottle, a coat (if required), a sunhat (if required) and lunchbox (if required). Please ensure that lunchboxes are plastic and not fabric. We advise that ‘once’ sun cream is applied before arriving at school and that bottles of sun cream are not brought into school.
At this stage the children will be eating in their classrooms and the meal supplied by school will be a packed lunch. No hot food will be available. After discussions with our catering provider, and carrying out our own risk assessment, we have decided that a packed lunch is the only manageable way to supply children across the two schools with meals at this time. Children in Year 6 will be able to order their lunch at registration in the normal way, or bring their own packed lunch. Reception and Year 1 will be entitled to a packed lunch as part of their normal Universal Infant Free School Meals, or may bring their own packed lunch from home.
6. Home Learning
Home Learning will continue as normal for children in year groups that are not due back in school, but the work may be set or supported by a different teacher. For children staying at home from Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, changes to home learning will be made in order to manage the workload for teachers who are now back in school teaching children regularly. Further information will be sent out about this closer to the time.
7. Curriculum in school
When the children arrive back in school there will be an increased focus on well-being, Thrive and PSHE activities to support children’s mental health. When the children are ready we will start to implement other subjects from our curriculum. Teachers will be given the flexibility to respond to the needs of their ‘bubble’ and the individuals within it. The curriculum will not be structured in the same way as it was before lockdown and the overriding objective is to support children through this difficult time and ensure that they are happy and ready to learn before planning any traditional style lessons. Please let us know of any significant events your family has experienced over this time, such as bereavement or illness, so that we can support your child most effectively. Please do this by contacting us through the school’s email addresses on the website.
8. The School Office
Both school offices will be reopening on 8th June with reduced staffing. There will only be one member of staff available per office at any time. We encourage parents and families to contact the school office by phone or email rather than visiting the office. However, if you do need to visit the office, we ask that you follow the social distancing guidelines and the new rules below:
1. As you approach the school please stop at the line outside and wait to be approached by a member of staff. Please be aware that if the office staff are busy, for example, running a message to a classroom, you may have to wait.
2. Please do not approach the door or press the buzzer.
3. A member of the team will come and meet you at the door from a distance of at least 2 metres.
The office will be able to help you in the following ways:
What the office staff CAN do:
1. Help you with concerns and questions (please email or phone these through if possible)
2. Organise for someone to get back to you if you have a question they can’t answer
What the office staff CANNOT do at this time:
1. Take items from you to take to a child in school (including packed lunches, water bottles, sun hat, etc)
2. Allow you to enter the building for any reason, for example if a sibling needs to use the toilet
We hope you understand why we have had to put these measures in place. Please do not hesitate to contact the Office Team if you have questions. We are always very happy to help, but would prefer to do this on the phone or by email during this time.
We understand that you may have many more queries and we hope that this email and the videos (coming soon) will answer some of these. I will be around with Sophie Hunt and Mrs Simmons at the start and end of every day. We are always happy to answer questions, but can we please insist that you follow all social distancing guidelines.
As a reminder, here is what you need to do now:
1. Talk to your child about their return to school and show them the videos when they are published
2. Decide if your child will have a school packed lunch or prepare to make one (in a plastic lunchbox) for the week of 8th June
3. Explain to your child that they will only be bringing in a water bottle to school (maybe a coat, lunchbox and sun hat as well)
4. If you are a Key Worker, please confirm if you will need provision from 8th June using the link that will be sent in the next email
5. If your child is in Reception/Year 1/Year 6 and you are a Key Worker, please let us know if you would like your child to remain in the Key Worker Group, or move to a year group part-time ‘bubble’. Please can you inform the Junior School Office by email at firstname.lastname@example.org which option you would like to do by 9am Thursday 28th May.
6. Please contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns – we are here to listen and help!
Thank you to all the families that completed the Trust parent questionnaire. This was very helpful in understanding how our families felt about the proposed return to school. Our plans are based on all entitled children returning to school, so your child will always have a place in a ‘bubble’. If you change your mind about your child returning, please contact the school so we can support your child’s transition into their ‘bubble’. When school restarts for these year groups we will likely be in contact if your child doesn’t turn up (even if you have already declared your child will not be returning), we apologise if this is an inconvenience but we are just fulfilling our safeguarding duty and checking everything is ok.
As always we thank you for your understanding and continued support. If you have any further questions please let us know.
Executive Headteacher of St Saviour’s Infant Church and St Saviour’s Junior Church Schools