Thursday 16th July 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Further to a full trust Board Meeting on Monday 13th July, the Headteachers and I are now in a position to write to you to confirm our full reopening plans for September 2020.
We are all excited and very much looking forward to seeing the children back in school from September. I know that many of you will be worried about children being behind academically but, solely focussing on recovering lost knowledge, will not be helpful in the long term.
We recognise that there will be much to do to support the children and we will be focussing on building relationships and reigniting the flame of learning in each child; it is only then that we can begin to address lost learning and ensure skills are embedded.
I understand many of you will have concerns relating to the health and safety of your child whilst they are in the schools or nursery but I want to reassure you that all of our organisations have thoroughly prepared for a safe and full reopening, making full use of government and HSE guidance. With an exciting and well-planned recovery curriculum, which meets the needs of all children along with thorough risk assessments and controls, the schools and nursery have created inherently safe environments in which to thrive.
We now expect all children to return to school on Tuesday 8th September and further details about specific arrangements for your school /nursery can be found below.
With warmest wishes, Mrs Claire Lowe CEO
On their return to school, Hightown pupils will be grouped into one of the following four bubbles:
• Early Years bubble
• Year 1 and Year 2 bubble
• Year 3 and Year 4 bubble
• Year 5 and Year 6 bubble
Children will remain in their bubble for the entire time they are in school learning and children from one bubble will not mix with children from any other bubble throughout the day.
All classrooms and additional areas in which the children will work will be frequently cleaned throughout the day following the Government and Public Health England guidelines.
In order to maximise safety for everyone and ensure social distancing measures remain firmly in place, we have planned staggered start and end times of the day for every ‘bubble’ (see below). These times are staggered at 5 minute intervals so it is extremely important that all children arrive at school on time.
Year Group Bubble Start Time & Finish Time
Years 5 and 6
Years 1 and 2
Years 3 and 4
Early Years: Will follow their own transition arrangements – details have already been sent to our new parents.
• Every child, regardless of their year group will need to be dropped off and collected every day at the main school entrance. Each morning they will be met by a senior leader who will lead them straight to either the Key Stage 1or Key Stage 2 playground to be met by their class teacher. We must insist that social distancing is adhered to at all times by everyone on arrival outside the school gates. On arrival in school, each child’s temperature will be taken as a precautionary measure.
• Due to the need to keep everyone safe, parents will not be allowed to enter school for any reason, including the main office. If you need to pass a message to a member of staff, please email or phone the school office, on 02380 403536 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• The children will go straight to their classroom and wash their hands. This essential handwashing will continue at frequent intervals throughout the day. Please be reassured that it will be overseen by a member of staff.
• In the majority of classrooms, children will be seated in front facing rows and deep cleaning of all classrooms and all classroom furniture will take place each day.
• Each child will be given their own set of named resources which will be used only by them and shared with no other child. Please note, pencil cases or other resources from home, including toys cannot be brought into school and will not be permitted.
• The children will be taken out onto the playground in their ‘bubble’ by their adults and there will only be one bubble of children in the playground at any one time.
• Every child must bring into school a drink of water in their own, named water bottle.
• We ask that packed lunches are brought into school in a food bag or carrier bag rather than a lunch box please so that these and any rubbish can be thrown away each day. Please also note you will need to provide your own spoon if you provide your child with a yogurt.
Hightown Primary School is a member of Inspire Learning Partnership
• Extra care will be taken to ensure packed lunches and water bottles are kept separate from other children in order to minimise any risk.
• All children will need to resume wearing full school uniform in September and we ask that you ensure they come to school the following day wearing a clean set of clothes; please also ensure your child is wearing closed footwear (i.e. not flip flops or sandals).
• Attendance for all children from September is compulsory and we must insist that all children arrive at school on time every day. Any concerns regarding attendance will be followed up promptly by our Attendance Team and, if attendance remains a concern, by our Education Welfare Officer.
• Please note, from September, attendance is also compulsory for any child in a vulnerable group who had previously received a shielding letter. The only exception here would be receipt of a medical letter from your GP, stating a valid reason why your child should not attend school.
• Please note mobile phones are not to be brought into school.
• Please note, on our return in September we will not initially be running breakfast club or after school clubs. Government guidance states that ideally schools should not mix children from different bubbles and although this approach will be possible when after school clubs are re-instated, it is not the case for breakfast club. Planning and organisation around the running of breakfast club will therefore need additional time.
• Please note from September the cost of a school dinner is increasing from £2.35 to £2.45 per day (a total of £12.25 per week).
I am sure you can appreciate that with all our children returning to school, maintaining social distancing outside of school is crucial if we are to ensure the utmost safety of all the children and our staff so I ask that this guidance is strictly followed by all of our parents and carers.
We hope that all the children will adapt quickly to the ‘new normal’ way of school life in September and settle well into their new year group with their new teacher; please be reassured that to help them all adapt successfully, our aim will be to explain all these changes sensitively to them to help them understand what to expect.
We are all really looking forward to welcoming back all of the children to school and I would like to emphasise that that their safety and well-being, as well as that of all our staff, will remain our utmost priority at all times.
Should any of you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact either your class teacher via your class email address or the school office via email@example.com
Thank you all, as always, for your on-going support; take care, stay safe and enjoy the summer.
Mrs Sian Cook
Mrs Claire Lowe