Our school will re open to all pupils on Wednesday 2nd September in line with Government guidance.
Considerable work has been undertaken during the Summer break to make our school as safe as it possibly can be. We have been guided by the Department for Education document: Guidance for the full opening of schools which was last updated on 7th August.
Whilst the guidance is explicit in its expectations, it also acknowledges that there cannot be a ‘one size fits all’ approach to safety measures in schools because all schools are different. It is recognised that school leaders understand the needs of their staff, pupils and communities and are best placed to make informed judgements about how to deliver a broad and balanced curriculum alongside the safety measures needed to manage risk.
Essential measures that all schools are expected to adhere to include:
- a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
- robust hand and respiratory hygiene
- enhanced cleaning arrangements
- active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
- formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable
Schools are not expected to implement strict social distancing between pupils due to the obvious challenges but we are expected to implement measures aimed at reducing the likelihood of transmission of Covid-19. How we reduce contacts, maximise distancing and minimise the potential for contamination is for schools to decide but the advice is that we:
- group children together
- avoid contact between these groups
- arrange classrooms with forward facing desks
- ensure that staff maintain a distance from pupils and other staff as much as possible
We have considered the safety of our school community carefully and our safety measures include:
- grouping children in bubbles to minimise the contact that they have with each other
- staggering the start and finish times for the school day to reduce congestion and minimise contact
- preventing pupils and parents from hanging around the school grounds and the gates
- allocating each bubble a gate into the school grounds and entrance to the school that is not used by any other bubble at that time
- allocating a toilet/cubicle to each bubble
- reducing the number of parents who are allowed into the school grounds and drastically minimising access to the school building
- installing hand sanitizer dispensers at every entrance to the school
- staggering playtimes and lunchtimes to ensure that bubbles do not mix
- implementing a four week lunchtime rota for school meals to avoid congestion in the school hall. Pupils will receive a hot meal in the hall for one week out of every four weeks and a school packed lunch in their classroom for the other three weeks
- allocating one member of lunchtime staff to each bubble to reduce contact
- suspending all non-essential after school clubs until at least October half term
- introducing an application process for places at before and after childcare. Places will only be offered to those parents who can demonstrate that this is essential for their work. Places are limited and strict social distancing will be in place with no shared resources
- limiting what pupils can fetch into school to reduce the possibility of contamination
- increasing the number of cleaning hours in school
These safety measures mean that school is going to look quite different when our pupils return. We have produced the following guidance documents for parents and pupils to support the return to school. It is hoped that these will help you to understand our measures and reassure you that your children will be safe.
Return to School Guidance
As part of the plan for a return to school, it is a legal requirement that we revisit and update all relevant risk assessments to consider the risks and control measures necessary to enable a return to full capacity. We believe that we have implemented effective and proportionate control measures to reduce the risk to the lowest reasonably practicable level.
Our risk assessment can be read in full below.
Where a bubble of pupils, class or small group of pupils need to self-isolate, or there are local restrictions requiring pupils to remain at home, we have the capacity to offer immediate, high quality, remote education.
Our Remote Learning Plan sets out what this will look like for our pupils and how we will ensure that families who do not have access to suitable electronic devices or the internet are supported in accessing remote education.
Here you will find the latest guidance from the government.