Year 6 Return
RE: Reopening of school in June
Following on from the government’s announcement last week to reopen primary schools from June 1st, I am writing to inform you of how we are planning to do this in the second half of the summer term.
The staff and governors have considered the government’s published guidance very carefully in the formation of this plan. You can view the guidance for yourself via this link.
Every effort has been made to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children and staff when they return. We want to see our children back at school and I hope this plan gives you the necessary confidence that this can be achieved.
When will children the return?
Our Year 6 children will return to school on Monday 1st June. Children of key workers and those invited for specified reasons will also continue their provision. Children in Years 3,4 and 5 will return to school from Monday 22nd June. Further details about how these year groups will return will be announced after the half term holiday.
How will the children return?
In accordance with the government’s guidance, children in Year 6 will return to school in smaller class groups. These will be no larger than 15. The children will be taught by the same teacher and teaching assistant. They will also be taught in just one dedicated classroom. The groups will be organised by Mr Wallis and Mrs Healy to ensure that every child has a friend and someone they are used to working with.
The rationale behind creating smaller group sizes is to ensure maximum social distancing between children can be achieved and to reduce the number of social contacts that the children will have. The children and staff in a group will form a small ‘bubble’ of people that they will only come in to contact with each day.
The school timetable will also be slightly staggered to avoid different groups coming in to contact during the day. Your child’s specific group, timetable and teacher will be announced tomorrow evening. Please look out for that separate letter.
How will it work in the classroom?
Every classroom has been decluttered to provide each child with their own desk and tray. Each of the desks is separated by two metres. The children will be asked to keep everything they bring to school in their own tray. Where possible we would like children to keep pens and pencils in their own separate pencil case too.
The children will be carefully taught how to maintain distance from each other and from staff. There will be frequent handwashing and hygiene reminders too. Every group will have their own dedicated toilet.
How will children play and eat their lunch?
The children will eat their lunch at their table in the classroom. School lunches will still be available in disposable cardboard boxes that will be brought to the classroom. The children will then play outside, with only their group members, in a dedicated zone in the playground. The playground has been fenced off to create separate areas for the groups. The children will be supervised carefully by teaching staff and again reminded of their distance.
How will hygiene be managed?
All staff and children will wash their hand on arrival to school. They will continue to wash their hands or use hand sanitiser at different points during the day. At lunch time, when the children are outside playing, a team of cleaners will disinfect desks, surfaces and the children’s toilets. The school will also be cleaned thoroughly, in all areas, at the end of each day.
Will parents be allowed on the school site?
All parents will be kindly asked not enter our school site. To minimise contacts between parents we would like parents to wait in their cars, if they are driving, or to stand outside the school gate at a distance between each other. If parents wish to speak to a member of staff, a member of the senior leadership team will be on gate duty each day. There will also be a safe box for parents to drop payments or slips to the school office.
What will the children be taught?
Parents have done a great job with home learning but the children have now missed a considerable amount of their formal schooling. Teachers will do some assessment to ascertain where children have gaps in English and Maths. We will then focus our teaching on trying to achieve areas of need that the children have before they move on to their next year. This is particularly important for children moving to secondary school.
In addition to this, we really want our children to have some fun. This crisis has had a terrible effect on us all including our children. We will be making the most of our outdoors to enjoy some sunshine, creative projects and to play games too. We will be supporting our Year 6 children to celebrate their transition from primary to secondary school. This is a key milestone in a child’s life. We will be making plans for them to enjoy this at the end of term.
What will my child wear?
We would like children to return to school in their uniform. If a child is doing P.E for the day, they may come to school in their P.E kit. We don’t want parents to worry if a child has outgrown uniform or school shoes. We will make some practical allowances for this.
What do I do if I still feel worried about my child coming to school?
All parents will feel a sense of anxiety about the prospect of their child returning to school whilst this crisis continues. Many of our staff are parents too and will empathise with this predicament.
There is no school that can absolutely guarantee the safety of children and staff from this virus. Unfortunately we all must learn to live with an element of risk from the virus within our lives.
We are confident though that our school is and will continue to be a very low risk environment. The safety measures and professionalism of our staff have already ensured that we have safely operated with children throughout the worst weeks of this pandemic. If you are worried, please talk to us and we will do everything we can to assure you in your decision making.
If you are a Year 6 or key worker parent and you would like your child to return to school on June 1st, please can you confirm this using the survey link below or by contacting the school office by 12pm tomorrow.
We will then be issuing another letter to confirm your child’s timetable, group and teacher. This will be for Year 6 and our Key worker groups only. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us. Staff are in school to answer your calls today and tomorrow.
I would like to thank you in advance for your continued support in this difficult time. We look forward to providing our children with much needed learning but more importantly, with some joy and happiness for the remainder of this summer term.
Mr Tim O’Brien