I hope that you have had a safe and restful summer and have enjoyed the time with your loved ones. As you will be aware, the Government has announced that all pupils will return to school from September. This has been decided on the basis of:
- The prevalence of coronavirus decreasing
- The new NHS test and trace system being in place
- More clarity about the measures that need to be in place to create safe environments in schools
- Time out of school being detrimental to children’s development
- The low risk to children of becoming severely ill from coronavirus
This means Waverley School will be open to all of our pupils in September. We are looking forward to welcoming our primary pupils back on Thursday 3rd. We have carried out extensive and detailed risk assessments to make our school as safe as possible for the children when they return. From September, things will be a little different for parents/carers and the children due to the safety measures that we will have in place. We wanted to get in touch to explain what you can expect from us and what we will expect from all of our parents and carers.
Measures for arriving at and leaving school
School will open to all primary pupils on Thursday 3 September. In line with government guidance and as is necessary to maximise social distancing, we will need to operate staggered start and finish times.
- Reception: start of the day 8:30, End of the day 2:55
- Year 1: start of the day 8:40, End of the day 3:05
- Year 2: start of the day 8:50, End of the day 3:15
- Year 3: start of the day 9:00, End of the day 3:25
- Year 4: start of the day 9:10, End of the day 3:35
- Year 5: start of the day 9:20, End of the day 3:45
- Year 6: start of the day 8:30, End of the day 2:55 (using the secondary gate and entrance)
The staggered start and finish times will not reduce the amount of overall teaching time that your child will receive. It is essential that you adhere to the timings highlighted and do not drop your child off any earlier than what is shown above. All year groups (with the exception of year 6) will use the Primary gates for entering/leaving the school site. Hand sanitisers will be placed near the Primary gates for you and your child to use as you enter/leave the building. In line with government guidance we will no longer be taking temperatures on arrival. Although, it is not a requirement for primary pupils, those who feel wearing a mask offers more protection may do so throughout the school day.
There should be no gathering at the school gates; drop off and collection will need to be a safe but swift process. If you need to speak to a member of staff, this will need to be via telephone in the first instance. Any meetings with staff will need to be pre-arranged/booked in advance.
Measures within the classroom
Current restrictions on group sizes have been lifted to allow schools to fully reopen to all children. This will mean that we will keep our children in class and year group sized bubbles to allow for whole class and group teaching. Covid-19 secure measures will remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission, and older children will be encouraged to keep their distance from each other and staff where possible. This is alongside protective measures such as regular cleaning and handwashing. All pupils will be informed of a no-touching addition to the behaviour policy to further ensure we have strict measures in place.
Classroom based resources, such as books and i-pads, will be used and shared within the bubble; these will be cleaned regularly, along with all frequently touched surfaces. Resources that are shared between classes or bubbles, such as sports, art and science equipment will be cleaned frequently.
Measures during morning and lunch break
All pupils will have a mid-morning comfort break which will allow them to have their fruit, milk or healthy snack. Pupils will stay inside classrooms during this time. Lunch time will be staggered by year group to minimise contact between other year groups. The duration of lunch break will be thirty minutes to allow for this staggered approach. Normal dining services will be available and all children in receipt of free school meals will receive their entitlement.
We will continue to teach an ambitious and broad curriculum from the start of the autumn term, but make use of existing flexibilities to create time to cover the most important missed content. Curriculum planning will be informed by an assessment of pupils’ starting points and addressing the gaps in their knowledge and skills, in particular making effective use of regular formative assessment. Subjects such as PE will continue but contact sports will be avoided. Swimming sessions will not take place in primary for at least the first term.
Attendance will be mandatory in September, as the government expects all pupils to attend school. The usual rules will apply, meaning we will be recording attendance and following up on any absences.
Much more is now known about coronavirus (COVID-19) and so by September there will very few children and young people advised to shield. The overwhelming majority of pupils will be able to return to school in September. You should note however that:
A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19).
Shielding advice for all adults and children paused on 1 August. This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding.
However, if you have received clinical or public health advice that your children should still remain at home, please let us know and continue to follow that guidance. We will be offering remote education to these pupils.
All pupils will be expected to wear the full uniform.
Unfortunately, we will not be able to offer Breakfast Club for the start of the autumn term, this is proving to be logistically challenging as it would involve pupils across year groups and therefore the mixing of bubbles. There will be limited extra-curricular provision especially in the first half term but we would want to explore ways in which we could gradually increase this provision and the term progresses.
Be vigilant and help us prevent transmission and NHS Test and Trace
All schools have been instructed by the government to follow this process and to make students, parents and staff aware:
Important Virus Prevention Measures
It is important to 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. Pupils, staff and other adults must not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 10 days.
If anyone (child or adult) in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at 10 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). In the case of a child, we will contact home and ask one parent only to collect the child. Other members of their household (including any siblings who may also be students in school) should self-isolate for 14 days counting day 1 from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms. If the test result is negative, the child or adult will be able to return to school and anyone who is self-isolating for 14 days will be able to end it.
Read the following government documents for further information:
We are asking parents to keep us informed of COVID 19 test results if your child must have one so that we can track attendance and support your child with learning at home. We will keep your child’s test results confidential to only key members of staff, e.g. the appropriate senior leader and the school nurse.
Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
We will take swift action if we become aware that someone who has attended school and has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). We will contact the local health protection team. This team will also contact us directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and has attended the school – as identified by NHS Test and Trace. The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.
The health protection team will work with us in this situation to guide us through the actions we need to take. Based on the advice from the health protection team, schools must send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious.
The children’s well-being will be our main priority when they return. We will also of course be making sure that your children catch up with the learning they have missed out on as soon as possible. Some children may be feeling anxious about coming back to school after such a long time, let me assure you staff will be doing everything they can to help. We are extremely grateful for all the support we have received so far from the school community. We will continue to keep in touch if there are any updates to our plans or if we need to make changes due to new or updated government advice.
Head of School Primary