Dear Parents / Carers,
Since the start of this outbreak our schools and nursery have been working hard for all our children and have not been closed. They have remained open for the children who have needed our support and care, including the children of key workers. Teachers and leaders have in many cases worked harder than ever as they have sought to support home learning and to ensure that those families who needed it, had food. Parents too have been magnificent in supporting their children’s learning while in many cases, also continuing to work.
We know that children benefit hugely from being at school. So, we need to take steps towards the possibility of opening our schools more widely.
For now, we are simply making plans for how we might open schools more widely from Monday 8th June and as a Trust we are now writing to you all to share our next steps.
The government will make the final decision on whether to open schools more widely when it reviews the latest science, including transmission rates, on 28th May.
Safety and wellbeing
The safety and wellbeing of our staff and pupils is very important. Plans are based on the hierarchy of measures recommended by the Scientific Advisory Group on Emergencies (SAGE). This is not without risk. But the approach that we are taking is based on comprehensive risk assessments.
Planning will take account of the needs, vulnerabilities and concerns of all staff and children. If for any reason it is not possible to implement opening in the way outlined in government guidance, then we limit what we do to what is safe. We will adopt a slow, planned phased approach.
Based on SAGE modelling, we are putting in place these controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19:
• Children will be put in bubbles of up to 10 with the same adults each day, where possible, and will stay together all day. Bubbles will not mix at any point.
• Social distancing and hygiene lessons daily.
• Children to have their own desks/equipment.
• Bags, coats and lunchboxes to be kept with the child.
• Outdoor learning where possible but only in separate bubbles.
• Allocated toilets per bubble.
• Identified entrances/exits per bubble.
• 1 parent dropping off and no parents on the school premises, with staggered start & finish times.
• Children to eat own packed lunch in their allocated classrooms.
• All surfaces, handles, toilets and shared equipment cleaned daily.
• Personal protective clothing will be provided for all staff e.g. face masks/visors/gloves/aprons.
• Surfaces will be cleaned throughout the day.
• School will remain closed every Friday for deep cleaning.
• Hand sanitiser/anti-bacterial wipes available in every room.
• Children and staff to wash hands at start of the day/before break/after break/before lunch/after lunch.
• Children to wear clean clothes (non-school uniform) every day and have bare arms from elbow (t-shirts).
Vulnerable family members
• Children who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend school.
• Children who are living with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend school.
• Children who are clinically vulnerable should seek advice from their doctors.
Our approach and strategy
Three stage strategy
1. W/B 1st June staff to be back in school - planning for reopening ( key worker and vulnerable children return to school).
2. From 1st June and ongoing schools to ensure protocols of Cleaning, Personal Hygiene and Social Distancing are working and adjust as necessary.
3. From 8th June: begin to reintegrate some pupils
Please note therefore that, if your child is not currently attending school as a key worker or a vulnerable child, and they are in Early Years, Year 1 or Year 6, they will not be returning to school until at least 8th June (see table below).
Please also note that decisions by parents on whether to send their child back to school are now final and we cannot allow anyone to change their mind after half term from a ‘No’ to a ‘Yes.
We will be sending out another letter, during the first week back after half-term to all those families of YR, Y1 and Y6 children who have said ‘Yes’ giving further important information.
Hightown Primary School Plan for re-opening
w/b 20 May
Risk Assessments/Planning/Protocols/Trust Meetings/Staff meetings.
w/b 25 May
Half Term: School Closed for Deep Cleaning.
w/b 1st June
School open to key worker children and vulnerable group (this week and every week until the end of term).
This week we will run staff training to go through staff welfare, risk assessment and health and safety protocols, organise classrooms etc.
Closed Friday 5 June for all children for deep cleaning.
w/b 8th June
Early Years children return 9:15 - 12:00, 4 mornings, without lunch.
School closed Friday 12 June to all children for deep cleaning.
w/b 15th June
School to remain closed on Fridays until the end of the summer term for deep cleaning.
w/b 22nd June onwards
Following review, look to extend time for each year group gradually, as children become more accustomed to the ‘new normal’.
We would like to thank you all, in advance, for your understanding.
This remains an uncertain and anxious time for many and we ask that you are above all things kind to each other.
With all best wishes to you and your families
Mrs Claire Lowe
Mr Tim Sunderland
Chair of Trustees