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Return to school – Junior School – March 8th 2021

Dear Parents/Carers,

As you are aware, it has been announced that all children will return to school on Monday 8th March 2021. Senior leaders and staff have been busy since then planning for a safe and exciting return for the children.
As with all major announcements, we have tried to act swiftly to inform you of the schools’ intentions. Please note that all plans could change very quickly, dependant on government guidelines.
Bubbles
With all children at school there will be 168 children within the junior school building.. Children will then be based in the classes and kept separate as much as possible, however, they will share outside space–
Lower School Bubble- (class bubbles for inside)
Blythe Class- YR3- Mrs Walker and Mrs Cullen
Townsend Class- YR3/4 - Miss Sutton & Miss Ring
Hazlitt Class – YR4 – Mrs Dudgeon-Smith, Mrs Ainsworth and Miss Ridd
Upper School Bubble- (Class bubbles for inside)
Goodwin Class – Y5 – Mrs Bascal Kelly and TA
Brenchley Class – Y5 – Mr Wootton and Mrs Smith
Culpepper Class – Y6 – Mr Faulkner and Miss Garbett
Cavell Class – Y6 – Miss Bobbett and Miss Neal
We will restrict the movement of adults between the classrooms as much as possible. The bubbles will stay in their own classroom spaces. Upper school and Lower school will have separate playtimes and lunchtimes.
Start and Finish times
Please follow the one-way system in place and adhere to social distancing rules.
Lower School- Year 3 and 4- School will begin at 8.30am and finish at 2.45pm –
Blythe Class- Enter through reception door
Townsend Class- Enter through the playground gate
Hazlitt Class- Enter through the purple gate outside Hazlitt
Upper School- Year 5 and 6- School will begin at 8.45am and finish at 3pm –
Goodwin and Brenchley- Year 5- Enter through the purple gate outside Hazlitt
Culpepper and Cavell- Year 6- Enter through the playground gate
If you have more than one child at the school and these start and finish times are going to present issues, then please go back to what was arranged before Christmas.
Please drop off and collect your child quickly – no waiting in the playground or outside the school gates. Please do not arrive before your allocated time. In order to meet the government guidelines, the school will have to be very strict with families on this.
Illness
Important – Please do not send your child to school if they are poorly. This will include - coughs, colds, sore throats, aches and pains, tummy problems, sickness and diarrhoea, temperatures. Children need to be well and fit to attend school. We will be using an infra- red thermometer to check the temperature of any child who claims to be feeling unwell whilst in school.
If anyone 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 least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). This helpful ‘Stay at Home Illustration’ gives clear guidance for what to do in case you, or a member of your family, becomes unwell and need to self-isolate.
The guidance from the Department of Education is as follows –
Rapid testing using Lateral Flow Devices (LFD)s will support the return to face-to-face education by helping to identify people who are infectious but do not have any coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms. Staff in primary schools will continue to test with LFDs twice a week at home, as per existing guidance on testing for staff in primary schools and nurseries. Children in primary schools will not be tested with LFDs.
Staff members, parents and carers will need to:
Book a test if they or their child has symptoms - the main symptoms are:
• a high temperature
• a new continuous cough
• a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
Self-isolate immediately and not come to school if:
• they develop symptoms
• they have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) 24
• anyone in their household or support or childcare bubble develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)
• they are required to do so having recently travelled from certain other countries
• they have been advised to isolate by NHS test and trace or the PHE local health protection team, which is a legal obligation
Provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with, if they test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace.
If a test comes back positive then we would immediately contact Public Health and they will advise us of the next steps to take. This means that if a child becomes unwell at school then we will send that child and any sibling home immediately to be tested. We will not send the other children in the bubble home until we know the result of the test and were advised to do so by Public Health.
We will immediately send home any child who is brought into school feeling unwell. They will not be allowed to stay in school. Teaching staff will also be asked to stay at home if they are feeling unwell.
Daily Routine
All bubbles will continue to follow a similar routine that they were used to before lockdown.
Worship – Worship will now take place in the hall twice a week and each bubble will have a timetable for this. Daily Worship will take place in the classroom for the remainder of the week. Children will also have a ‘celebration assembly’ in the classroom every Friday afternoon.
Playtime – Lower school and Upper school bubbles will have their own time allocated for playtime – please can children bring in their own tuck for playtime if they would like a healthy snack.
Lunchtime – School hot meals will be provided if you wish. Children will be sat in their bubbles in the school hall for their lunch, whether they are having a packed lunch or a hot meal.
Toilets – The upper school bubbles will use the upper school toilets near the hall. The lower school bubbles will use the lower school toilets opposite the library. We will only send one child per bubble to the toilet at any one time.
It remains a challenge for us to maintain social distancing rules with junior aged children. Whilst all precautions will be in place to minimize the contact between bubbles and regular reminders will be given, with the lay out and the age of the children, there may be cross overs at some points. For example, our school corridors may see children passing each other on the way to and from the toilets however the rule will be no stopping in the corridors.
Handwashing – There will continue to be a focus on hand washing throughout the day. This will take place in the classrooms and also after using the toilet. The message to the children will still be ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’. Children will also wash their hands after break and lunchtimes. This might initially create sore hands again – please send cream in bookbags if you would like your child to use it. They must be able to do this by themselves.
Breakfast Club – There will be limited spaces for Breakfast Club – we are able to allocate 20 spaces only to ensure safe social distancing can be in place. Please note that there will be a mixture of infant and junior children at breakfast club, and whilst every effort will be made to keep the children apart, children are children, and will mix with each other. Please only use this service as an emergency provision and if there is no other alternative. Breakfast Club will still be based in the infant school hall.
Spaces will be allocated on a first come first serve basis and we can not offer any more than 20 spaces per day. You will need to inform us of which days you would like and when you have been allocated that space for that day, a £3 charge will be applicable whether your child attends Breakfast Club or not. Please email me at Headteacher@st-michaels-infant.kent.sch.uk if you require a space, by Monday 8 March.
After School Clubs – There will be no after school clubs for any year group until further notice. We will keep you updated should this change.
The School Curriculum
When we return to school, we will be working hard to settle the children in school through ‘learning to learn’ activities. Children will be given the time to adapt to learning in a school environment again so the emphasis on wellbeing and learning behaviour will be vital. We will also need to assess the children academically in order to develop a ‘recovery’ curriculum where necessary. Some children will need this and others will not.
We will provide the children with a broad and ambitious curriculum, focusing on the individual needs of our children. We certainly will not rest until every child is back to the academic potential that they had before lockdown. After our assessment, we will be providing information reporting your child’s current level and what their next steps will be. You will receive another interim report just before the Easter holiday. We will then hopefully be able to invite you into school to discuss your child’s progress and attainment early in T5.
As a school, we will be focusing on perseverance across term 4 to celebrate and continue the resilience and determination our children have demonstrated throughout the pandemic. Once again, all children will need a sense of belonging and to know that their teachers can take on the role of being their family and community, during their school time. We will be comforting and hugging your children if they need a cuddle. If this is not something you agree with, then please email me and I will be able to inform their teachers.
We will continue to put the weekly planning onto the school website so that you can see what we are doing in school, and also so that we are prepared in the unfortunate event of a bubble closing. Please refer to the Remote Learning policy to see what the expectations of your child will be in the event of a bubble closure.
Attendance
School attendance will be mandatory for all pupils from 8 March. All of the children that have returned so far to school, have had the best time, and have remained well. We have missed them and cannot wait for all children to return to school! A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice to self-isolate because they:
• have symptoms or have had a positive test result
• live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive and are a household contact
• are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
Please inform the school by Friday 5 March if your child falls into one of the categories above.

We cannot wait to see you all on March 8th - we have taken the guidance and composed a plan that will best suit the children at St Michael’s and is similar to that in September so children can return confident of school routines. If you have any concerns at all then please call me on 01622 751398 or email me on headteacher@st-michaels-infant.kent.sch.uk if you prefer. It will be vital that you have the school app or can access the school Facebook page, as things may change very quickly.
As always, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you to our amazing parents for their continued support.
Mrs Dicker