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St Michael's C of E Junior School

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1st September 2020

Return to school – Junior School - September 1st 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Bubbles

With all children at school there will be 168 children within the junior school building. We are planning to split the children into 5 different bubbles. Children will then be based in the classes and kept separate as much as possible, including using separate areas of the playground–

Lower School Bubbles-

Blythe Class- YR3- Mrs Walker, Miss Ring and Mrs Cullen

Townsend Class- YR3/4 - Miss Sutton & TA (tba)

Hazlitt Class – YR4 – Mrs Dudgeon-Smith and Miss Ridd

Upper School Bubbles-

Goodwin Class and Brenchley Class– Y5 – Mrs Bascal-Kelly, Mrs Brown, Miss Tsang and Mrs Smith

Culpepper Class and Cavell – Y6 – Mr Faulkner, Miss Garbett, 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 at the front of the school

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

For drop off in the morning please can parents stay on the pavement and leave their children to come onto the school site by themselves. For collection, please can parents enter through the playground gate on Douglas road and stand in the allocated area for their bubble. This will be signposted on the day. Once you have collected your child then please leave via the purple gate near the school office.

If you have more than one child at the school and these start and finish times are going to present issues, then please see me for a chat and we can work out a plan.

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, ear aches, general 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). Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

The guidance from the Department of Education is as follows –

Schools must ensure they understand the NHS Test and Trace process and how to contact their local Public Health England health protection team. Schools must ensure that staff members and parents/carers understand that they will need to be ready and willing to:

  • book a test if they are displaying symptoms. Staff and pupils must not come into the school if they have symptoms, and must be sent home to self-isolate if they develop them in school. All children can be tested, including children under 5, but children aged 11 and under will need to be helped by their parents/carers if using a home testing kit
  • provide details of anyone they have been in close contact with if they were to test positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or if asked by NHS Test and Trace
  • self-isolate if they have been in close contact with someone who develops coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms or someone who tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)

Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS testing and tracing for coronavirus website, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet. Essential workers, which includes anyone involved in education or childcare, have priority access to testing.

If a test comes back positive then we would immediately contact Public Health and they will advise us on the next steps to take. This means that if a child becomes unwell at school then we would send that child and any sibling home immediately to be tested. We would not send the other children in the bubble home until we knew 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 – Daily worship will take place in each classroom or via Zoom. The hall will not be used for worship as we do not want to mix the bubbles.

Playtime – Each bubble will be allocated their own playtime slot within the playground – please can children bring in their own tuck for playtime if they would like a healthy snack.

Lunchtime – We are hoping there will still be an option to provide hot school meals, but this will depend on the school that provides the meals for us. If you would like your child to have a hot school meal, please note that they will be sat in the school hall on an allocated table for their bubble. There will also be other children from other bubbles in the hall at the same time. Packed lunches would be preferable at this time to minimise the contact for the children between bubbles.

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.

This is the time for me to tell you that it is 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. We will also be starting our campaign of ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ to try and teach the children about the use of tissues for sneezing and coughing and also immediately washing their hands afterwards – wish us luck!!

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 ring the infant school office before the 23rd July to book your space.

After School Clubs – There will be no after school clubs for any year group until further notice.

 

The School Curriculum

The curriculum will look slightly different in September to the normal school timetable. We will need time to settle your children back into school life, so the emphasis on wellbeing will be vital. We will also need to assess the children academically to start to put a ‘recovery’ timetable into place if necessary. Some children will need this and others will not.

What all children will need is a sense of belonging and to know that their teachers can take on the role of being their family, during their school time. Some children by September, will have been at home for 6 months – which is a substantial amount of time to be away from school. 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.

Enjoy your summer and try not to worry!  I am honestly not worried about the impact that this may have had on our children academically. Children are amazing, and with the continued support of you at home, and planning from our amazing teachers, they will soon be back on track! We certainly will not rest until every child is back to academic potential that they had before lockdown. After our initial assessment, we will invite you in for a meeting to discuss the pathway forwards for your child. We will also 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 localised or national lockdown due to a second wave.

Attendance

We are being told to tell you that all children must return to school in September. All of the children that have returned so far to school, have had the best time, and have remained well – so I hope that you will feel safe enough to send your precious ones back in September. We promise to look after them - We have missed them! If you have concerns about September and would like to chat it through with me personally, then my door is always open.

Hopefully, you now have a better insight as to what September will ‘look’ like. We have taken the guidance and composed a plan that will best suit the children at St Michaels. 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 over the summer, 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