Return to school letter to families

Dear Parents/ Carers,

 

We hope you are all well as we approach the start of another school year.

Following the Government’s recent announcements, we are looking forward to welcoming all our children back to school in September. Returning to school is vital for children’s educational development, mental and physical wellbeing, social development and sense of regular routine.

Children who attended our Summer Booster weeks were all very keen to get back into school and worked really hard – well done to all of them and to the teaching staff who enabled this to happen.

Staff have worked incredibly hard to ensure Christ Church has remained open for as many of our pupils as possible, as well as providing remote learning for those at home during lockdown. During this difficult time, we were grateful for the way in which so many of our pupils engaged with their home learning, showed great resilience and perseverance, and how families remained in contact with us. We have been pleased to help in any way we can, including: providing food parcels, help with food vouchers, and additional support with school work as well as being on the end of the phone to offer support. Our aim is to continue to plan for any future local lockdown and school closure, using Class Dojo to post daily home learning as last time. We will be sending out a short survey to gather your feedback and to find out the position of families in regard to computer and internet access.

 

Parents are encouraged to visit gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school. This includes the latest update to the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn termhttps://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/schools-/resources/parents-leaflets/

 

 

Below are our plans for a full return in September. Please note that these are subject to any changes from the Government as we approach the end of the summer holidays.

 

Please be assured that the Trust, Governors and all staff at Christ Church CE Primary & Nursery Academy are working tirelessly to prepare for this by working through relevant government guidance, so please do be patient with us if this changes. Our paramount concern is to ensure, as best as we can, the safety and security of the children and staff members. It is important to note that school life is going to be very different and measures in place may seem regimented but they are necessary. We can promise you though that our amazing staff will make the return to school as friendly as possible to ease the children back into school to support their wellbeing. We are proud of our nurturing, caring ethos and this will shine through.

 

We will outline the many preventative measures we have put in place across our school, all with the aim of minimising cross-infection. You can be assured that we will continue to do our utmost to keep all of our children and each of the staff members there to support them safe, on the basis of the knowledge we currently have. Details of how the school will operate will be flexible, depending on the latest government guidelines and we will let you know if, or when, any arrangements change.

Guidance for parents and carers, as well as other useful resources regarding the COVID-19 can be found on our website.

Transition

During Term 6 you would have found out your child’s new class teacher and class for September along with their end of year report. You will be able to find a welcome video from staff members in each year group on our school website under Class Blogs.

 

What will classes look like?

In line with government advice, the following will be put in place:

  • Class size

Children will work in their allocated class, with the same adults each day (as far as staffing will allow). This will be their ‘bubble’ and they will not interact with any other children outside of this ‘bubble’. Class sizes will be up to 30, as usual. We will aim to space pupils with their desks as far apart as possible, all facing the front.

  • Classrooms

The children will be seated at an allocated desk. It will be theirs for the foreseeable future. They will be provided with their own pen, pencil, whiteboard and whiteboard pen. These items will remain with them at their allocated desk, along with their reading books.

  • Staffing

To maintain the ‘class bubble’ groups, children will be taught by one teacher (and possibly one Teaching Assistant) and will not be able to mix. Please note that this staffing arrangement will only change when a teacher is either off work or when it is their PPA day once a fortnight (planning, preparation & assessment days).

  • PPA Days

Support staff in the year group will run these days, along with Mrs Burford our music teacher, in the same arrangement as last academic year (mini forest school sessions, some Funky Food sessions, Premier Sports, PSHE and Music). Class ‘bubbles’ will remain together and will not be mixed. We are following the latest guidance which states: ‘Schools with the capability to do it should take steps to limit interaction, sharing of rooms and social spaces between groups as much as possible’.

  • Learning

Over the last few weeks we have been discussing our ‘recovery curriculum’; the school’s response to the many challenges posed by the global pandemic and our return to a more normal style of provision here in school.

Class ‘bubbles’ will initially focus on ensuring children’s well-being and discussions about the new school situation, in order that we can relieve some of the anxieties that children may have, both in understanding what is happening in the world, as well as helping many of them to adapt after such a long period out of school. The curriculum will be adapted to allow for relationships and routines to be re-established, maximising the use of outdoor space. We aim to continue to teach our planned Learning Adventures each term, but will focus initially on ensuring key skills across all subjects from the previous academic year are covered and then built upon. Families will receive Term One Curriculum News and Creative Home Learning. Please refer to both Class Dojo and the Class Blogs on our school website for up-to- date information.

  • Social distancing

Children will be taught the principles of social distancing, but the younger the child, the less likely it will be that they can adhere to it. The Government recognises that schools cannot guarantee it. There is a one way system in place and tape has been used to section areas within classrooms and in corridors. This has been working very well and will continue.

 

As from September, ALL children need to be in school full-time. They will be dropped off and picked up at their designated time.

 

 

How will the school ensure hygiene?

 

  • On arrival and departure

All the children and staff MUST apply hand gel on entry to the school site.

 

Any child/adult showing Covid-19 symptoms will have to go home and will not be able to return until they have been tested. Guidance on this can be found in the link below.

Share guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

We will minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school or, if they do, they will be contained in a separate area until collected.

 

On departure, all will apply hand gel.

 

  • No parent, guest or visitor will be allowed on site unless they are invited in by a member of the School’s Leadership Team.
  • Staff may wear optional PPE (aprons, gloves, masks, visors) – particularly when cleaning, providing first aid, nappy changes or when working closely with a child for a specific reason.
  • The majority of soft furnishings have been removed from all rooms and surfaces as empty as possible, to ensure cleaning is thorough.
  • Rooms will be ventilated as much as possible.
  • Resources, desks and equipment will be washed/sanitised regularly.
  • Children will be taught the principles of a personal hygiene regime (regular hand washing, blowing/sneezing/coughing) and this will be strictly adhered to throughout the day.
  • Cleaning and deep clean. We have already introduced enhanced cleaning, including the cleaning of frequently touched surfaces often throughout each day – this approach will continue. The school will also undergo a weekly deep clean.
  • Breakfast Club and Stay & Play

We can only offer this for 18 children. These children will be divided into 3 groups of 6 and kept consistent as possible. Places must be booked by the end of the week for the following week’s slots. This can be done through the text service (07786208896) or by phoning the school office (01424 422953). Breakfast club runs from 8am – 8:45am. Stay & Play runs from 3:15pm – 4:30pm. This earlier finish allows the site team to complete their full cleaning schedule.

 

What about breaktimes and lunches?

  • Timing

Break times and lunchtimes will be staggered to maintain the safety ‘bubbles’. Children will remain with their class ‘bubble’. ‘Bubbles’ will be allocated a playground zone where they will have access to equipment. This equipment will be cleaned at the end of use.

  • Lunch

Packed lunches will be eaten in classrooms or outside in the same ‘bubble’ groups.

We will continue to offer a full menu including hot meals via Chartwells. These will be delivered to Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 classes. Other children will have an allocated slot to get their school dinner and return to their classroom/outside area to eat with their ‘bubble’. Catering staff will provide a pre-prepared tray with cutlery ready to minimise touching of surfaces.

Reception and Year 1 children are still eligible for Universal Free School Meals.

Children entitled to Free School Meals in any year group are still eligible for a free lunch so can order a lunch as normal.

School lunches are at a cost of £2.10 per meal for others.

 

 

What time will school start and end?

The school day will start and end with staggered times. To ensure all children and adults are kept safe we ask and expect:

 

  • parents/carers to keep to the given times below – THIS IS ESSENTIAL (if you have more than 2 children please speak to us to arrange one time for dropping off)
  • walk to school if at all possible to limit traffic on surrounding roads
  • please do not car share as social distancing rules still apply.
  • we still encourage only one family member to accompany your child/children when dropping or collecting if possible so social distancing can happen as much as it can around the school site. You are encouraged to be responsible for your own personal safety (some parents have been wearing masks for example).

 

Year Drop off Time Collection Time Location Note
Nursery 9.15 – 9.30 2.40 – 2.50 Main slope entrance Send children into the Early Years playground from the blue door.
Reception 9.00 – 9.15 (except on the first W, Th and Fr – see Reception information pack) 2.55 – 3.05 Main slope entrance
Year 1 8.50 – 9.00 2.55 – 3.05 St Peter’s Road entrance Send child down the steps on their own to meet a member of staff.

 

Year 2 8.40 – 8.50 3.05 – 3.15 St Peter’s Road entrance
Year 3 9.00 – 9.05 3.15 – 3.20 St Peter’s Road entrance
Year 4 9.05 – 9.10 3.20 – 3.25 St Peter’s Road entrance
Year 5 8.55 – 9.00 3.15 – 3.20 Main slope entrance Send children into the Early Years playground from the blue door.
Year 6 8.50 – 8.55 3.10 – 3.15 Main slope entrance

 

 

 

 

What do children need to bring with them?

  • Cups and bottles

Please ensure your child has a water bottle with them at school. Please note we will be unable to provide cups.

  • Uniform

We would like all the children to wear normal full school uniform as from September. Please ensure your child’s clothes are washed regularly. Uniform expectations are on our website.

  • School bag and PE Kit

The children can bring in a small school bag. There is no need to bring in PE kits as we are asking children to come into school wearing PE kits when it is their PE day. For Forest School sessions, you will be notified as to what your child needs to wear. We recommend a change of clothes and footwear if it is bad weather!

 

What are the behaviour expectations?

Nothing has changed. At Christ Church we have high expectations of all children. We expect all children to behave in line with our school expectations. The behaviour policy is found on our website.

 

What if my child has an underlying health condition or is asthmatic?

Please consult your Doctor or medical professional for advice before returning. Let us know via the office of any conditions we need to be aware of.

 

What if someone in my household is clinically vulnerable?

Please note that we are following the latest guidance and it states that children can still attend school. See the link below.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19

 

 

What about transport?

The mini bus will not be running in Term 1 due to the need for social distancing. We will review the situation for Term 2.

Please note you should not be sharing lifts between families to ensure the safety of the ‘bubbles’ in school and each other. Only people from a household or support bubble can travel together in a vehicle.

The safer travel guidance encourages parents and pupils to walk or cycle where possible.

Children will be required to safely remove any face coverings worn on public transport on entering the school site. They need to keep their face covering in a plastic bag with them until the end of the day. The safer travel guidance explains how to use face coverings safely. Children under the age of 11 (Public Health England do not recommend face coverings for children under the age of 3 for health and safety reasons).

 

Will families be fined if children do not attend?

Yes, as from September 2020. The usual attendance rules and regulations will apply, unless public health advice is being followed or a statutory reason applies.

 

If a child is sent home due to showing COVID-19 symptoms, what will they do whilst waiting for test results?

We will continue to post work on Class Dojo if necessary where a class, group or small number of pupils need to self-isolate or if there is a local lockdown.

 

Is distance learning continuing?

With all pupils due back into school, we will no longer be posting daily tasks on Class Dojo. However, in case of a local lockdown, if a class ‘bubble’ needs to be shut down due to a positive case of COVID-19, we would like to reassure parents and carers that we are continually reviewing our provision of ‘distance learning’. This is so we can support learning in the best way possible during the challenging situation we are still facing. If you wish to provide any feedback, please email office@christchurch.academy. We will discuss any points raised with staff so we can improve the process moving forwards.

 

Members of staff have shared so many exciting pieces of home learning over the last few months – it has been wonderful to see the engagement and creativity! We wish to thank both the staff for their commitment and hard work over this difficult time period, as well as the pupils and families who have engaged so well with what has been set. Thank you.

 

 

We hope you have enjoyed the summer break and thank you for your continued support. We look forward to an exciting Term 1 back with all the children.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Mrs Singh and Mr Thorne