Below is a range of information that will help you to get a better understanding of what a return to school will look like for children and will outline the measures we are putting in place to ensure the safety and well being of pupils, staff and our whole school community.
Dates for Pupils Returning
Following extensive discussions with our Governing Body and consulting all the guidance available, the following dates have been agreed to facilitate a phased return to school:
Week Beginning Monday 1st June – Children of Critical Workers and Key Workers only
Week Beginning Monday 8th June – Children of Critical Workers and Key Workers only
Week beginning Monday 15th June – Children in Nursery, Reception & Year 1
Following the latest guidance, sadly our Y2 pupils will not be coming back to school before the Summer. We are currently planning how we will be able to say good bye. To support our Y2 pupils moving to St Francis, the Junior school have created the following video – please follow this link St Francis Juniors Transition arrangements
Daily Times and Entry / Exit from School
The offer for year groups to return to school will be for whole days (including Nursery pupils) and we will have staggered times in operation to enable a safe arrival and departure for all children. The school day will be slightly shorter than normal with timings as follows:
|Nursery||08:40||12:00 – 12:30||14:00|
|Reception||08:50||12.00 – 12:30||14:15|
|Year 1A||09:00||11:45 – 12:15||14:30|
|Year 1B||09:10||12.15 – 12.45||14:45|
Nursery and Reception pupils will be split into 2 groups and will attend for the full day. We will let you know which group your child is in.
Group 1– Monday & Tuesday
Group 2 – Thursday & Friday
If your child is not able to attend school on a specific day please ring school and leave a message on the answer phone before the start of the school day, as you would with a usual absence.
Please note that school will be closed to all pupils on Wednesday to allow the buildings to be thoroughly cleaned. This will also give staff a chance to plan and prepare work for the following week. Usually staff would have planning and preparation time during the school day, however as we need a consistent member of staff with each ‘bubble and we are unable to let staff move between the various ‘bubbles’ in school, this is the only time we can allocate for staff to plan and prepare.
Children will enter and exit school via the main school gate. All children and parents must remain outside of the school site until your allocated time slot. You must maintain social distancing whilst waiting for your child to enter and exit school, paying close attention to the markings placed on the path for this purpose. This will be the same at the end of the day, with staff bringing each group of children to the main school entrance to hand children over to parents. We ask that only one parent drops off / picks up your child to minimise the number of adults around the outside of school. I must stress the importance of collecting children promptly at the end of the school day and making sure you are keeping to your allotted time of arrival. Drop off and collection of our children has been specifically planned in line with our risk assessments and will broadly follow usual school opening times. Please also bear in mind our school is close to houses where residents are concerned and have asked us to remind parents about social distancing. If you have children in more than one group then please bring both children at the later time. Finally, most pupils will either walk or travel to school by car. However, if you do have to use public transport to travel to school, we kindly request that you observe social distancing as best you can when on public transport, wear a face covering as is mandatory on all public transport from 15th June and if possible, use hand sanitiser/gel on completion of your journey. All children must sanitise/ wash their hands on entry to the building.
Uniform and Equipment
Children will need to wear casual, comfortable clothes and shoes each day. Examples of these include tracksuit bottoms, t-shirts and trainers. They do not need to wear uniform. They will also need a jumper / hoodie as windows and doors will be open in classrooms to promote air circulation. Children will not be allowed to change clothes during the school day, therefore PE sessions will take place outdoors and in the clothes children have attended school in. No PE kits are required to be brought to school. Children may also need to bring a coat with them, but this will be weather dependent.
Guidance recommends that both staff and children attend school in clean, freshly washed clothes each day to prevent the risk of COVID 19 transmission and we encourage you to ensure your child comes to school in different clothes each day. This is why we have chosen to not ask children to attend school in uniform. If we think your child’s clothes are not clean we may not allow them on the premises.
The majority of resources and equipment will be provided by school. However, children should bring the following:
- x1 filled water bottle that will return home each day with your child;
- x1 coat (as always our weather is unpredictable)
- x1 packed lunch stored in a carrier bag (all bags will be placed in the bin at the end of lunch)
- Sun Cream for self-application (weather dependent)
Children will not be allowed to bring in their own pencil cases, stationary etc.
Your child will be taught in a ‘bubble’ and based in a classroom space around our school site. This may not necessarily be their regular classroom and they may not be taught by their usual teacher. Information about where your child will be taught and who their ‘bubble’ staff will be, will be sent to you in a letter from Mr Brown before they are due to return. The children within the ‘bubble’ will always remain in this ‘bubble’ and will not come into contact with others during the school day. Children in Year 1 will work at tables spaced 2m apart and staff will be at socially distanced locations in the classroom. As a result, staff may be unable to have direct contact with or work alongside children. We understand that our youngest pupils will be unable to socially distance however in Nursery and Reception we will encourage social distancing by ensuring that pupils have access to outdoor provision at all times.
During lesson time, children will work independently on work set by their ‘bubble’ teacher wherever possible. We intend the implement a ‘recovery curriculum’ for the second half of the summer term where children will focus on revisiting key basic skills that took place before lock down began along with concepts provided for home learning. There will be a wide focus on PSHE and supporting children to re-acclimatise themselves to the classroom environment and being with their peers again. We will encourage art and design projects on an afternoon where possible.
Children will have structured access to iPads and computers so they can complete online learning tasks. All technology will be sanitised before and after use and children will be asked to wash hands after using them. Children in Year 1 will have access to their own personal devices.
Break times will be taken on the main yard / school field where children will be positively encouraged to maintain a social distance from all other children unless they are a sibling. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide any access to the outdoor play equipment for children to use at this time.
From Monday 15th June, lunches will be in the form of packed lunches only. School can provide lunches for pupils but you may choose to bring one in if you wish. You must let us know if you intend to do this. If your child is entitled to a free school meal, they will be provided with a school packed lunch. You are not, however, obliged to take up this offer and you are welcome to provide a packed lunch from home for your child if you so wish. Lunch will be eaten at your child’s designated table in their hub which will be sanitised before lunch time. Alternatively, if the weather is fine, hub staff may choose to take children outside to have a picnic on the school field. All lunches should be brought in a carrier bag that can be put in the bin after lunch.
Please note that pupils who were accessing the vouchers prior to school opening will no longer receive a voucher if their child is entitled to be in school – i.e. Reception or Year 1. We will therefore provide a packed lunch which can be collected from the school at a set time. Year 2 pupils will continue to receive vouchers until they are due to be in school.
All children will be encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly at given points throughout the day: on entry to school, before and after using iPads, before and after break and lunch times, before eating, after toileting and before leaving school for the day. Pupils should not bring their own hand sanitiser from home.
First Aid / Illness
The government guidelines do not require school staff to wear PPE as a matter of course, however staff have been given the choice to wear whatever level of PPE they are comfortable with for them to successfully carry out their duties in school. In circumstances where a child requires First Aid, is unwell or appears to be displaying symptoms of COVID-19, staff will wear gloves, aprons, face masks and visors as appropriate to protect themselves and your child when social distancing is not an option. If your child has an accident, becomes ill or requires First Aid you may be called to take your child home.
We ask that your child does not come to school if they are ill or if they or anyone in your house is displaying symptoms of COVID 19. The symptoms of COVID 19 are:
- a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back;
- a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours;
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If your child becomes unwell at school, with suspected COVID symptoms your child will be isolated in the main school hall and you will be asked to take them home, adhere to government self-solation guidance and seek a test to ascertain a diagnosis.
If we receive notice of a confirmed case of COVID 19 the school may need to close, at short notice for deep cleaning and staff and families may be asked to follow government guidance regarding self-isolation.
Preparing for Return
For those children returning to school it will be useful for parents to help them to understand that school looks very different at the moment with tape demarking walkways and tables spaced out inside the classrooms. It is very important that children understand social distancing rules and that they can’t be close to each other or touch their friends at playtime etc. Please practise washing hands effectively and reminding children about not touching their face, biting nails etc before they return. We will of course sensitively remind children of these throughout the day.
Unfortunately, parents will not be allowed on the school site. If you need to contact school please phone or email. Our main office entrance area will have a strict 1 person only rule. This is clearly signposted as you approach the main entrance.
Thank you for taking the time to read this information and we appreciate your support in putting the points mentioned into practice in the weeks ahead. We understand that a return to school may seem very daunting as we continue to live through highly unusual times. Our main aim is to ensure all children, staff and families are kept as safe and at as little risk as possible. We have put extensive measures in place to minimise the risk, but, as you will be aware, we cannot fully eradicate it.
This will not be Horndale School as we know it, but we will endeavour to make it as pleasant as possible for all our returning pupils. Should you have any questions or queries about children returning to school, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com.
To further reassure parents / carers of the measures we have put into place, please find below a pdf copy of our school specific risk assessment that has been agreed by both staff and our Governing Body. Please also look at the pupils page to see photo’s and videos of what the school and classroom will look like.
You may need a product like Adobe Reader (free download) to view our PDF documents on our website.