Re: Phased Opening on June 1st (Year 6)
Dear Parents and Carers,
Re: Phased Opening on June 1st
I write in the hope that you and your families are well, keeping safe and that our remarkable children and of course yourselves are able to remain positive in the current circumstances.
This letter is focused on the phased re-opening of our school from June 1st. I have sent this to all of you, even if you do not have children in Y6, Y1 or EYFS so you are aware of what is going to happen at The Hayes going forward from the 1st June, if it is safe to do so.
Additionally, I want to also continue to thank you all for your ongoing support, kind messages and cards which have been passed onto our staff. They truly mean so much. We are missing you all and looking forward to seeing some more of you from 1st June, however as detailed below, necessary arrangements have had to be made which may make our school feel a bit different. Can I please reassure you that the warm ethos remains, however at present, safety has to come first and we thank you in advance for your support with these necessary measures.
As I wrote in my newsletter on the 18th May, we now have the roadmap from the Government to ease lockdown restrictions gradually. This includes the phased reopening of schools in England for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, from June 1st. Our Hayes Hub for key worker children (our rationale for this in an earlier letter still remains) will continue to run. I was clear in this newsletter that the utmost priority for me as Head Teacher remains: to keep our WHOLE school community safe and this does not mean that we are in a position to expand pupil numbers in the way the government has indicated. We will not be having 15 children in each class as the government suggested, and will be restricting all classes to no more than 10 children. We will also not be re-opening The Hayes on the 1st June with 180 children + our Hub.
We still believe it to be impossible to carry out effective social distancing that is consistent throughout the school, this was again, written in my last newsletter. It will rely on a good deal of self-discipline- difficult for most, unlikely to be wholly successful for some and actually impossible for the youngest of our pupils to adhere to consistently. Therefore, until there is secure guidance about how this is conceivable, as you know, we are starting the phased approach with Year 6, which we will review after a fortnight, to be followed by Year 1, to be reviewed after a fortnight and then EYFS. But the latter two year groups will join us IF we think it is safe to do so.
As I have said, we are starting our re-opening with Year 6. Parents/carers of Year 6 pupils who do not wish to send their child/ren back to school on the 1st June or beyond, will not be penalised, we will obviously not be fining you, this is your choice and we completely understand this due to a very varied range of reasons. This is unless the government make it statutory that your child has to come to school. Additionally, home learning will continue to be planned for, and put on the website as before for all year groups. School on Wednesdays will be closed for all classes except for the Hub- this is for teachers to plan for home learning and in-school learning whilst the school is being deep-cleaned. Therefore, Y6 children from 1st June will attend school on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday only (unless you are a key worker, in our Hub, which will be remain open on Wednesdays).
Below are the main structures for re-opening our school to larger numbers of Y6 on June 1st (apologies, this will be lengthy but does indicate arrangements necessary for your child/ren and staff to be as safe as we can be):
*Children will be in protective ‘bubbles’ – these groups of no more than 10 children will remain in their group throughout the rest of the summer term, so a little like a family within a classroom.
*These groups will have the same two teaching staff (CT and TA) over 2 days (Monday and Tuesday) and a different team of staff on Thursday and Friday (CT and TA), for as long as we can manage it, until and if our school grows larger. But at all times, there will obviously be one adult with each bubble.
*Each class will be split into bubbles of 10 by their class teacher who know their children really well. Friendships will of course, be taken into account.
*With increasing numbers of children coming into our school, we have to plan for this protective measure in order to reduce contact between people as much as possible, and we can achieve that and reduce transmission risk by ensuring children and staff where possible, are kept in a small, consistent group that does not mix with other bubbles. Starting with Y6, we can then assess how this goes over the fortnight before bringing in Y1 – to be reviewed.
*Therefore, from June 1st, as children cannot cross between class bubbles and the Hub, the choice is as follows: children currently in the Hub may opt to leave and join their year group bubble on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday (excluding Wednesday). If they need to be in school on Wednesday, they will need to remain in the Hub from Monday to Friday, where they will be more than welcomed.
*Children in their bubble (same as our Hub) will sit at the same desk every day- unless there is a need to change this layout as we head into July (we are unsure what the government may decide to dictate as time goes on). If it is guidance, which it is at the moment, we will continue to make the right decisions for our school.
*On the 1st June, each bubble will think of a name for their new small group and this will be linked to positivity (one of our values), for example: love, hope, joy, kindness, peace, etc. We will make sure that each bubble will not have the same name though! A poster will be designed for their door, so that each bubble is an individual one. ‘Bubble’ is just a term and our groups of classes need individuality!
*Where we can, we will keep children in their bubble, 2 metres away from each other (classrooms are set up for this already).
*Break and lunchtimes are staggered to avoid contact with other bubbles as much as we can and our large playground and field will be marked into sections over the next few days, to enable this as best we can.
*Bubbles will not mix outside on the field/playground and one adult will remain with their bubble during this time to enable this, within the clear markings on our field and playground. This can be managed for the 1st 2 weeks (with Y6 and the Hub), but will need to be reviewed in an on-going fashion, going forward. This down to staff : bubble ratios.
*There will be no more than 3 bubbles at any time in the dining hall for lunch – seated 2m apart.
*Year 6 children will start as we mean to go on – if they have school dinner, they will be taking this back to their classroom to eat it. We have already placed 2m markers for this to happen in the corridor. Those eating packed lunches from Y6 will also be eating in their classroom. Year 6 children will do this in their protective bubbles.
*If you wish your child to have a school dinner (paid for via ParentPay, if you are not in receipt of free school meals) then this is available and will be marked by a member of staff on the register as your child enters the school building.
*Children are not to bring in snacks due to cross contamination.
*There will not be milk at this time.
Effective Infection Protection and Control
*If your child wishes to bring a coat because it is raining or unusually cold during this time, they will be asked to put this on the back of their chair to limit any cross-contamination. We will not be using cloak rooms.
*Individual packed lunches (ideally in a named disposable carrier bag) will be placed under the child’s desk in their classroom.
*From June 1st, we will have a one-way system around the lower corridors and where children are upstairs in classrooms, arrows have since been placed clearly to demonstrate this to avoid any congestion, which is so important as our school grows, if we are safe to do this. Children will be taught how this works, this is a new change for our Hub.
*No different from our Hub during this time, throughout the day, there will be regular intervals for our children to apply hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures. Everyone will clean their hands more often than usual - wash hands thoroughly for 20 seconds with running water and soap and dry them thoroughly or use alcohol hand rub or sanitiser ensuring that all parts of the hands are covered (soap and water is the preferred option but where a sink is not nearby, hand sanitiser is appropriate).
*We will also ensure good respiratory hygiene by continuing to promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach (catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue and dispose of the tissue in a bin).
*Sufficient amounts of soap, hand sanitiser, paper towels and bins will continue to be supplied in infection control areas: bathrooms, staff room, kitchen and classrooms.
*Sufficient amounts of suitable cleaning agents and cloths are available on the premises to sanitise regularly used areas, surfaces and high touch points – this is to be managed by CTs/TAs during the day and cleaners/site manager before school and after the day- same as we have been doing in the Hub.
*Staggered start and finish times to the day for our Year 6 pupils and then on if we open for Y1 and EYFS. Y6 parents will be informed of these times (individually), shortly after you receive this letter. We cannot put names on this letter due to GDPR.
*The entry and exit points are: main gate onto the playground and via the hall door. Parents will be informed of the times and places for this after you have received this letter and before June 1st!
*Our Hub children will continue to come through our foyer during the usual times- there is no change to this.
*Windows and doors in classrooms and internally (except for the door, leading into the foyer due to safeguarding reasons) are open at all times to enable good ventilation, air flow and to avoid additional touching of the door surfaces.
*The Hayes will be closed every Wednesday for all classes except for the Hub to enable a deep clean of rooms and toilets used during the week, to include high touch points.
*In classrooms- equipment, toys (that can be washed) and hard surfaces are sanitised at the end of each day. Anything in each room that is impossible to clean regularly (soft furnishings) have been put neatly, to one side with instructions to be given for the children not to touch them.
*Playground equipment which cannot be easily cleaned will not be used, this includes playground equipment, such as the trim trail and static fitness equipment which will be sectioned off during this time. Any equipment used must be taken back with the Hub or each ‘bubble’ group and not to be used between other bubble groups or the Hub. It must be washed before being used again by the CT/TA in each group.
*Stationary will be provided and children will keep the same pen/pencil throughout this time. Individual pencil cases are not allowed in school. Children to bring in their own water bottle and to take home at the end of the day to be washed thoroughly before the next day.
*Children will not be required to wear school uniform and should wear ‘school appropriate’ clean clothes every day to minimise the risk of infection. Clothes must be washed as soon as children get home- due to infection control. Pupils should also attend each day in a changed set of clothing (from the day before) and we would ask that they take a shower or bath as soon as they return home.
*For the same reason, staff are not required to wear their usual smart clothing – to wear appropriate clothing which again needs to be washed on a daily basis (no different to the Hub).
*We ask for reasons of cross contamination that your child does not bring their mobile phone into school because they will not be able to be housed in the school office, as they have been in the past. If your child needs their phone with them, this needs to be discussed with a member of SLT after school re-opens on 1st June – please call the school office.
*Marking of work is not required in ‘bubbles’ – verbal feedback to take place due to cross-contamination.
*Children to write in school books they used pre-lockdown, which will be in each classroom pre-opening of our school.
Drop off and collection
*Children attending our Hub will continue to enter our school via the foyer, as usual, adhering to social distancing.
*‘Bubbles’ of Y6 children to enter school in a staggered fashion, via: main gate or hall door entrance. Parents will be communicated of this approach, including times to drop off and collection, shortly after you receive this letter and then on as the school continues to grow, if we are safe to do so.
*Children must be dropped off during the time allocated to ensure safety of all bubbles and congestion.
*If children are late, they are to come to the foyer at 930am, to avoid congestion of staggered times of ‘bubbles’ entering our school.
*There will be a member of staff to greet your child/ren at all drop off points. This member of staff will tick your child off on the register, which will also include whether your child will have packed lunch or school dinner. The adult will then take your child’s temperature with a digital thermometer (to forehead). If you child’s temperature is above 37.5°, they will need to go home and you will be informed of this, so we ask that you stay with your child until this has been administered.
*Parents/carers should not gather at entrance gates or doors, or enter the site (unless they have a pre-arranged appointment, which should be conducted safely- meetings should take place over a phone call or online meeting.
*Parents/carers should not congregate outside the school after drop off – 2m distancing at all times.
*Only one parent to bring their child to school and pick up – according to staggered times/pick up place, and to adhere to 2m distancing.
*2m distanced markers to ensure social distancing is adhered to around pick up and collection points.
*If parents/carers are able to leave siblings at home for the school run, please do so to minimise the number of people at the entrance and pick up points.
*Where a member of staff accompanies or supervises a pupil showing symptoms of coronavirus, infection control procedures and social distancing arrangements are adhered to at all times. They are to wear PPE and gloves and are to bring the child to the medical room, in the school office.
*Toilets will not become crowded by limiting the number of children who use these facilities at one time – staggered breaks and lunchtimes should help in this area. If there are more than 4 children the bathroom, children are to wait outside (2m apart) until it empties.
*Volunteers and external practitioners, such as visiting music teachers, EP, etc are not allowed on site – to be reviewed as the months develop.
*Year 6 children walking home on their own are advised to do so within the 2m distancing rule. Please ensure your child is aware of this from June 1st and beyond because staff cannot ensure this, for obvious reasons when children leave our care.
What happens if someone becomes unwell at The Hayes?
*We know that there are many symptoms connected to the Coronavirus and at present, these are: high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back; a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual); a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything; or things smell or taste different to normal.
*If anyone becomes unwell with the above symptoms, they will be sent home and advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance.
*If a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved, if possible, to our medical room.
*If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom, if possible. The bathroom will be cleaned and disinfected using standard cleaning products before being used by anyone else.
*PPE will be worn by staff caring for the child while they await collection.
*In an emergency, we will call 999 if children are seriously ill or injured or their life is at risk.
*If a member of staff has helped someone with symptoms, they do not need to go home unless they develop symptoms themselves (and in which case they need to access a test through the government/NHS or the child subsequently tests positive. They will inform school of the outcome.
*If a child is sent home with symptoms, they must be tested (see NHS website), please inform the school of the outcome.
What happens if there is a confirmed case of coronavirus in a setting?
*If a child or staff member develops symptoms compatible with coronavirus, they will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 7 days. Their fellow household members should self-isolate for 14 days.
*All staff and children who are attending The Hayes (or any educational setting) will have access to a test through the NHS/government if they display symptoms of coronavirus, and are encouraged to get tested in this scenario.
*Where the child or staff member tests negative, they can return to The Hayes and the fellow household members can end their self-isolation.
*Where the child or staff member tests positive, the rest of their ‘bubble’ or any adult or child that may have come in contact with them, will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of the bubble or wider group do not need to self-isolate unless the child or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms. At this point, we will need to review our risk assessment due to staff:children ratios.
*As part of the national test and trace programme, if other cases are detected within the bubble or in the wider setting, Public Health England’s local health protection teams will conduct a rapid investigation and will advise The Hayes on the most appropriate action to take. In some cases a larger number of other children, may be asked to self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure.
*The Hayes are observing guidance on infection prevention and control, which will reduce risk of transmission, closure of the whole setting will not generally be necessary, but we will do, if we need to.
*Areas used by children or staff in this context are deep cleaned once vacated.
*If staff wish to use PPE, we have clear visors for their use, provided for free from a First Aid provider based in Caterham, called Gillett Training Services. We thank them for this.
*We will ensure intimate care guidance, if needed, is followed (see website).
*We will not prohibit children wearing PPE, but if parents/carers would like to provide their child/ren with PPE, the child needs to understand this is for personal use only and is not to be tried on or touched by others. These need to be
*We will ensure social distancing guidance is followed (2m distance), where possible.
*A trained member DSL (Designated Safeguarding Lead) will be on site at all times.
*If First Aid in needed to be administered, the member of staff is to wear PPE: visor, gloves, and apron.
Actions required dedicated to well-being of children (staff well-being is in a different document to this).
*Home Learning, from June 1st, to include in the ‘grid’ a section on well-being.
*For those in school from June 1st, teachers will plan for well-being, alongside the core areas but the well-being of our children is to take priority over the core curriculum at the start and of course will continue.
*We will allow time to rebuild communities- ‘bubbles’ are new, although children do have friends within each one. This will of course be a different Hayes – but our caring ethos remains. Children may need reassurance, whilst understanding our new procedures.
*Staff are not required to wear PPE, however, if they wish to, we have clear face visors available. Children may need to be reassured if there is some anxiety in the wearing of these. However, at all times, staff administering First Aid, will wear PPE.
Behaviour and Re-Establishing Routines and Expectations
*We obviously recognise there have been very different experiences during the lockdown period. For some, it will take time to re-establish and re-learn the expectations of the school, particularly learning and behaviour. Children are reminded regularly of the school’s expectations, if needed.
*Movement around the school is calm and well ordered (following the one-way around the school).
*Many children will be looking forward to returning to school, but some may find being around people difficult- all of this will be taken into account.
*Our Behaviour Policy to be followed with empathy – an addendum has been added, which is on our school website: https://primarysite-prod-sorted.s3.amazonaws.com/hayes-primary-school/UploadedDocument/edccb1788b3349058b55da0e4b293399/amendment-to-the-hayes-behaviour-policy.may-2020.pdf
*Member(s) of SLT will be on site, each day to deal with any problems, should they arise.
Wrap Around Care
We will not be able to run wrap around care due to the need to clean all rooms thoroughly after school and before school. We also cannot ensure social distancing during these times due to the number of rooms required our pupil numbers and sheer numbers of staff to be able to ensure this.
Please talk to your child about returning to school. It is vital that they understand why such arrangements are in place, we will of course explain and discuss this with our children upon return, should you wish them to return.
As I am sure you can imagine and appreciate, this letter is not the kind of letter that I would usually send to you or ever wish to send to you. It is long, full of structures needed to ensure safety of all and is not at all my previous style of newsletters. However, I do hope that it may have answered some of your questions about how we will keep our children, staff and community safe. I know I have said on numerous occasions over the past two months, how much I value and appreciate the support and goodwill of you, our school community, but it does need repeating.
Quite simply, your responses and reactions to all that has happened have been humbling and inspiring. I want to assure you that as we proceed to the next stage, we will do so with the same sense of common purpose – and common sense – that you have all so clearly demonstrated.
If you are a follower of The Hayes Primary School on Twitter: @TheHayesPrimary please take time to watch our wonderful staff video of ‘you cannot stop The Hayes Team from thinking about you all’, it is sent with love. Please enjoy.
Thank you so much.
The Hayes Primary School