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Phased Return Arrangements

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope you are keeping well, staying safe and managing as well as possible in the current situation. Thank you for all you are doing to support your children at home.

 

We emailed a letter earlier this week explaining some of the information sent by the Government regarding a phased return for some year groups from Monday 1st June. You were asked to give an initial indication as to whether you would be sending their child/children back, at that time the school was not able to give many details of our proposed arrangements.

 

I am now writing to provide you with a picture of what school will be like for your child should you decide to send them back at the given time we open for more children – it is YOUR choice and there will be NO penalties for non-attendance.

 

Schools have been open to the children of key workers and other eligible children since lockdown began. The Government’s plans are to now begin Phase 1 for the opening of schools from June 1st for certain year groups. We have been informed that some of the teaching unions are advising their members to refuse to engage in discussions about a phased return. Therefore, our reopening to the recommended year groups will depend on whether or not there will be enough staff to safely facilitate this. Our Senior Leadership Team and Governors strongly feel that the partial opening of school needs to be based on what we believe is best for the safety, happiness and well-being of our children and staff. We have planned a phased return for our Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children initially, the dates this will begin for each year group are shown on the attached timetable.

 

We have made a decision that it is in the best interests of all children to be with their own year group, as we believe this will best support their learning and social and emotional needs. Therefore, we are disbanding the current key worker and other eligible children group who have been coming in to school over the last two months and will begin a new key worker/eligible children group after half-term. If your child has been part of this group but is Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 age, they will join their own year group after half-term.

 

All parents will also receive a separate letter about our learning plans for home and school at the beginning of next half-term.

 

Following a detailed Camden Risk Assessment, approved by Governors, here are some key points for you to take into account if you choose for your child to return to school if the government deem it to be safe from the 1st June:

  • Year groups will not necessarily have their class teacher each day and children may not be in friendship groups.
  • Children will be placed in small groups referred to as “bubbles”. There will be no more than 15 children and a Teacher and Teaching Assistant in this bubble. An additional adult may also support individual children in the bubble.
  • Children will be continually encouraged to socially distance and will have their own personal work space and they will not work on shared or collaborative activities together. We understand it will be challenging for young children to try and maintain social distancing but we will do all we can to support this.
  • School start and finish times will be different for each bubble group, these are shown on the planned timetable for weeks one and two (attached).
  • School will close at 1.00pm each Friday to give all staff time to prepare learning resources for the following week.
  • Children are allowed to bring in a labelled water bottle which will be kept at their own work station. The school will also provide disposable drinking cups for children to use if needed.
  • Lunchtimes will be reduced to minimise children having physical contact and reduce the possibility of first aid incidents. There will also be a morning and afternoon break. All breaks will be in different parts of the playgrounds and grassed areas, and at different times and with no groups mixing. There will also be no communal activities such as assemblies. All of these arrangements are to avoid cross contamination between groups of learners or “bubbles” across the school.
  • Children in Reception, Year 1 and those entitled to Free School Meals will have a packed lunch provided by the school. All other children need to bring in a packed lunch in a disposable container/bag or washable Tupperware. No hot meals will be provided. Lunch will be eaten at the child’s work-station to avoid large groupings in the dining hall and use of communal tables. 
  • The school will confirm with Camden if they will continue to offer lunch to the key worker and other eligible children who have been in school for care provision. If so, these children will also receive a packed lunch.
  • There will be no after-school clubs.
  • Every child will be provided with stationary equipment in school. There will be no sharing of learning resources.
  • Children should not bring in anything from home (except packed lunch and water bottles, as necessary).
  • Every item coming into school carries a risk so please think carefully. This will include no book bags, home reading books, rucksacks or toys.
  • We have been advised not to send school reading books home.
  • Any toys or resources used in school will be sterilised and cleaned frequently.
  • If your child requires medication such as an inhaler or Epipen please ensure that it is brought to school on the first day. The medication will remain in school as normal.
  • If your child is clinically vulnerable and has health issues, it is advisable you seek advice from the medical professionals involved in their care. Please then contact the school to discuss this further. Also, if you have a member in your family that is shielding, please seek medical advice before discussing arrangements with the school.
  • Children are to return to school in their Summer school uniform. Please ensure that they are wearing suitable shoes and have a sun hat.
  • Younger children will not have access to all of their usual physical resources, including outdoor equipment, to avoid contamination.
  • Children will be using toilets one at a time and staff will ensure that they wash their hands afterwards.
  • Regular handwashing will be scheduled throughout the day and all rooms will have liquid soap, disposable towels and hand sanitiser materials available.
  • Some staff may chose to wear masks and other protective equipment. It is at your discretion as to whether your child wears a mask.
  • If your child has symptoms in school (these now include loss of taste and smell as well as a temperature or persistent cough), your child will be immediately  removed from their “bubble” and remain in an isolation room, looked after by a member of staff, at a safe distance, until a parent or carer arrives.  The same government guidelines apply and they will need to be collected immediately and asked to self-isolate for 7 days. For this purpose you must provide a minimum of 3 contacts, one of which must be within 10 minutes of school. Your child cannot return to school if we do not have this information. If somebody in your family develops symptoms then the whole family will need to isolate for a further 14 days unless they receive a negative test.
  • If one of the children or the member of staff in “the bubble” tests positive for coronavirus, then the whole group of children and staff will have to self-isolate for 14 days. You will be informed if anyone in your child’s “bubble” has displayed symptoms. Classrooms are deep cleaned at the end of each day, with surfaces and tables wiped regularly using disinfectant throughout the day. Staff will be very vigilant in ensuring that children are washing their hands regularly with soap and warm water.
  • Children will enter the school grounds through different entrances (see timetable attached). Please follow these instruction carefully so that we avoid parents and children congregating in any drop-off zones. Please note that parents are not able to enter the school grounds and the children will be met by a member of staff. Should a parent need to pass on a message to the class teacher they should call or email the school office.

 

We will endeavour to make the experience of returning to school as positive as possible and recognise that children will be anxious – small groups will help with this. Should you decide that you wish for your child to stay at home, that is absolutely fine and I assure you, I will totally understand and respect your decision.

We have a wonderful staff at St. Dominic’s school, who are hard working and committed and really care about each individual child who attend here. Please be assured that every effort will be made to look after, care for, nurture and educate your child/children in the final weeks of this academic year.

Yours sincerely,

 

Miss J. O’Prey

 

Headteacher

 

 

 

 

Phased Return Timetable For All Groups and Start/End of Day Arrangements

 

Week 1 beginning Monday 1st June

Key workers and other eligible children

(Years 2,3,4 and 5 only)

Monday 1st June onwards

8.40am –3.30pm

Drop off and pick up at the main entrance gate on the Key Stage 1 playground.

Year 1

 

 Wednesday 3rd June  

 onwards

 8.40am – 3.15pm

Drop off and pick up at the EYFS gate.

 

 

Week 2 beginning Monday 8th June

Key workers and other eligible children

(Years 2,3,4 and 5 only)

8.40am –3.30pm

Drop off and pick up at the main entrance gate on the Key Stage 1 playground.

Year 1

 8.40am – 3.15pm

Drop off and pick up at the EYFS gate

Year 6

 Monday 8th  June

 onwards

 8.40am – 3.30pm

Drop off and pick up at the main entrance gate on the Key Stage 1 playground.

 

Reception

 Wednesday 10th June

 onwards

 9.00am – 3.00pm

 

Drop off and pick up at the EYFS gate

 

Please note the school will close to children at 1.00pm each Friday to give staff time to prepare learning resources for the following week.

 

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