Re: September Opening, Goodbye Year 6 and Have a Safe Summer Break
Friday 17th July 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
Re: September Opening, Goodbye Year 6 and Have a Safe Summer Break
We are looking forward to seeing everyone back in September and I am writing this letter to wish you all a relaxing and safe summer break, to say a heartfelt goodbye to our Year 6s and to share an overview of what school will be like next academic year, given the current government guidance.
The government guidance, recently published, recognises how difficult it is to maintain social distancing in primary schools and have outlined a ‘System of Controls’ for schools to have in place. These are central in our plans for September and Public Health England (PHE) is clear that if schools do this, and crucially if they are also applying regular hand cleaning, hygiene and cleaning measures and handling potential cases of the virus as per the advice, then the risk of transmission will be lowered.
Below is an overview of procedures that will be in place:
Minimising contact with other children: children will mostly be kept in their class bubble (a bubble is a group that stay together), sometimes, we may group them in a year group bubble (for example for a year group assembly in the hall or at lunchtime in the hall). There will be some instances where class/year group bubbles is not possible, for example Wrap Around Care (where we will have consistent bubbles). The protective factors will include minimal contact with other children outside of this class or year group bubble, within their bubble there will be protective factors in place (outlined below):
*While in general, class/year group bubbles should be kept apart, brief, transitory contact, such as passing in a corridor, is low risk.
*Our one-way system around the lower corridors will continue to be in place, with arrows placed clearly to demonstrate this. Children and adults will continue to walk on the left hand side only, throughout the school. *To enable our corridor space to be as wide as possible – children should not to bring in belongings from home; they will only require a small bag large enough to bring a book to and from school and a packed lunch, if needed. They will not need a PE bag because….
*From Monday 14th September, the week that PE resumes, your child should come to school in their PE kit including appropriate trainers or plimsolls, which may also include plain, dark coloured joggers (it might be too cold to wear shorts all day). This is to remove issues around children getting changed/lost property etc.
*Swimming will not take place until further notice.
*Class bubbles will be taught in their classrooms for the majority of the week, unless PE, swimming, music is taught, which will be in different rooms.
*There will be no more than 2 class bubbles at any time in the dining hall for lunch.
*Teaching assistants, HTLAs, our swimming coach and peripatetic staff will be working across bubbles. This is permitted to run school effectively.
*Where larger spaces are being used by multiple classes, the space will be cleaned between users, i.e. hall space for lunchtimes.
*We will not be able to have large gatherings (whole school assemblies), however, instead, each year group will be timetabled an assembly in the hall (streamed, via Zoom in all other classrooms). Every Friday there will be an Achievement Assembly which will be streamed into classrooms, with one year group on a rota to attend. *We will continue with staggered break times and lunch times (and time for cleaning surfaces in the dining hall between groups).
*Children will be expected to wear their usual school uniform, including appropriate school shoes because it is an important part of promoting the ethos of The Hayes. Uniforms from September, do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.
Measures within the classroom: we will maintain a distance between children and staff, particularly face to face contact- whenever we can although we recognise this is not always possible with our younger children. Classes will be taught in their classroom, with the following measures in place:-
*sitting side by side at desk, facing the front of the classroom (where possible, EYFS will still have carpet sessions, challenges and free-flow);
*school will provide pencils / pens / rulers, which will be ‘theirs’ and stay on their tables for the duration;
*under no circumstance can children bring in their own pencil case;
*own, named water bottle (provided from home);
*tissues (school will provide);
*rooms will be continue to be well ventilated with windows and exterior doors open.
Other considerations: staff moving across schools, equipment, taking books home
*Supply teachers, peripatetic teachers and/or other temporary staff can move between schools. They will minimise contact and maintain as much distance as possible from other staff. Additionally, if peripatetic staff wish to teach via Zoom, they are able to do so.
*Specialists, therapists, and other support staff can visit children/provide interventions as usual, if wished.
*Many resources were minimised after March- that position has now changed. Because prevalence of coronavirus has decreased and because they are so important for the delivery of education, such resources can be used, if cleaned after use, ie: classroom based resources, such as books and games, can be shared within the bubbles; these should be cleaned regularly, along with all frequently touched surfaces.
*Sports, art and science equipment should be cleaned frequently and always between bubbles, or rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for a period of 48 hours (72 hours for plastics).
*Outdoor playground equipment should continue to be more frequently cleaned. This also applies to resources used inside and outside by wraparound care.
*Pupils and teachers can take books and other shared resources home, although unnecessary sharing should be avoided, especially where this does not contribute to pupil education and development.
*Please note, marking will be reviewed early in September - for many reasons and also due to cross-contamination. Verbal feedback will ensue in the interim.
*We will be concentrating on Home Reading and so any books returning into school will be cleaned before being re-issued to another child.
Home Learning: there is the expectation that all children are in school in September and that schools will provide home learning if: a class, group or small number of children need to self-isolate; there is a local lockdown requiring children to stay at home; there is a pupil unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice.
*The government continue to advise against UK overnight and overseas educational visits at this stage, see: coronavirus: travel guidance for educational settings.
*In the autumn term, schools can resume non-overnight educational visits, done in line with protective measures, however, The Hayes will not embark on any external trip and will review this situation before the October half term.
*We will make use of outdoor spaces in the local area to support delivery of the curriculum.
*We will continue to undertake full and thorough risk assessments in relation to all educational visits to ensure they can be done safely. As part of this risk assessment, we will consider what control measures need to be used and ensure they are aware of wider advice on visiting indoor and outdoor venues. We will consult the health and safety guidance on educational visits when considering visits.
*We will not be running any clubs (to be reviewed before October half-term), because we need all available spaces to run our Wrap Around Care provision.
Behaviour and Re-Establishing Routines and Expectations, Well-Being
*To recognise very different experiences during the lockdown period- for some children, it will take time for them to re-establish and re-learn the expectations of the school, particularly learning and behaviour. Children are reminded regularly of the school’s expectations from the outset, if needed.
*Ensure that behaviour expectations are re-established as quickly as possible.
*Movement around the school is calm and well ordered (following the one-way around the school).
*Aim to re-establish the culture and ethos that existed before with a focus on attitudes to learning.
*Behaviour Policy to be followed with empathy – an addendum added and to be followed from September. *We will allow time to rebuild communities- class/year group bubbles will be new to all.
*Assess well-being and create a healthy environment to enable children to be ready to learn.
*Accept that when the majority of children return, this will be a new situation for everybody.
*If there is a need for counselling – consider ELSA (in-house) or the LA’s contacts.
Assessment: there will be no formal assessment to baseline children until further notice.
Any baseline will be from daily on-going teacher assessment, visuals and from books. We will not stress our children when they come back to school with formal(ish) assessments which are likely to demonstrate that the majority are lower than they really are, or indeed higher. Once in a routine, children should be able to recall previous knowledge and will be in a better place to begin learning new ideas and concepts. Staff should assess informally in an on-going fashion to gather an understanding of any learning missed or gained from the previous terms to enable gaps to be identified and appropriate learning planned.
Drop off and collection: please keep to the staggered times
Only one parent to bring their child to school and pick up – according to staggered times, and to adhere to 2m distancing at all times. If possible, children to be dropped off at gate (to the right of the school) and to come on to the playground independently (KS2), to be met by their class teacher at the below times.
*EYFS to drop off their children at the EYFS entrance, to the left of the main gate (there will be someone there to direct you on the first day). Please keep a 2m distance.
*Year 1 and Year 2: drop off and pick up outside classrooms doors, keeping a 2m distance. Year 2 to leave via our one-way system and Year 1 to leave via the main entrance (to the left of the walkway). Year 1 parents to stand on the grass by the tree.
*Year 3-Year 6 to drop off in the playground where the class teacher will meet the class. All classes to line up in designated spaces, for drop off and pick up.
*One way system: if parents are dropping off children, they are to follow our one way system: in through the side gate (right of the school), walk across the playground and exit by gate at the far end of the playground (by the tyres) on the swimming pool path.
*As soon as parents have dropped off their child, they are to leave the school premises to avoid congestion.
Pick Up: as above.
Staggered drop off and collection from September 2020
Yr 5 and Yr 6
Yr 3 and Yr 4
Yr 1 and Yr 2
Wrap Around Care: we will resume breakfast and after-school provision, from the start of the autumn term. We will need to respond flexibly due to the fact this will be logistically challenging. For example, we would normally group children across year groups, we are now having to consider wider protective measures: keeping our children in small, consistent groups. Siblings will not necessarily be together because we are keeping classes together.
The following will happen:
*Children will be grouped into three consistent bubbles of no more than 25.
*There will be no ad hoc bookings.
*Children will be in three consistent spaces: music room, ICT suite and breakfast club room.
The finer details will be sent to you in a letter, no later than Tuesday 21st July.
*We will minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible although we recognise that children, and especially young children, cannot socially distance from staff or from each other.
*Minimising mixing between children and staff reduces transmission of coronavirus, achieved through keeping year groups separate and maintaining distance between individuals, where possible. Maintaining distinct groups/bubbles that do not mix makes it quicker and easier in the event of a positive case to identify those who may need to self-isolate, and keep that number as small as possible. However, there will be times when we will not be able to do this (for example Wrap Around Care).
*All teachers and other staff can operate across different classes and year groups in order to facilitate the delivery of the school timetable and to enable a full education offer. Where staff need to move between classes and year groups, they should try and keep their distance from pupils and other staff as much as they can, ideally 2 metres from other adults. Again, this is not likely to be possible with younger children. Staff that will need to teach or support across bubbles: music, swimming, HTLAs, Wrap Around Care, etc).
*Adults should avoid close face to face contact and minimise time spent within 1 metre of anyone. This will not be possible when working with many pupils who have complex needs or who need close contact care.
Parents and Carers:
*Parents/Carers must make an appointment to speak to a member of staff, either via a phonecall to the office or email. The meeting could take place via Zoom or Microsoft Teams.
*There will be a protective screen in the reception area.
*We will not have any volunteers at this time, to be reviewed October half term.
*Unfortunately, the guidance (section 5) states that ‘gathering at the gates and coming on to the site without an appointment is not allowed’.
Washing hands, hygiene, cleaning and temperature
*Everyone will continue to 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).
*Public Health England is clear that routinely taking the temperature of pupils is not recommended as this is an unreliable method for identifying coronavirus. We will therefore not take temperatures upon entry.
*Staggered breaks and lunchtimes will help in ensuring toilets do not become crowded. Different class bubbles do not need to be allocated their own toilet blocks, but toilets will be cleaned regularly throughout the day and pupils will need to clean their hands thoroughly after using the toilet.
*We will continue with good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach (catching coughs and sneezes in a tissue and dispose of the tissue in a bin).
*Younger children and those with complex needs are helped to get this right, and all pupils understand that this is now part of how school operates.
*We will continue to use enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often using standard products, such as detergents and bleach. Every room will be cleaned daily.
PPE: the majority of staff will not require PPE beyond what they would normally need for their work. PPE is only needed in a very small number of cases, including (however, if staff wish to wear PPE throughout the day, they can do):
*when a child becomes ill with coronavirus symptoms whilst at school, and only then if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained;
*where a child has routine intimate care needs that involves the use of PPE.
What to do if anyone has symptoms/COVID-19
The NHS test and trace service ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, it also helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus, The Hayes community should:
*Book a test if 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.
*Self-isolate if have been in close contact with someone who develops coronavirus symptoms or someone who tests positive for coronavirus.
Minimising contact with individuals who are unwell: it is paramount that staff and families adhere to government advice if displaying any symptoms of Covid, if they do display any symptoms they are not to come into school and are to get a Covid test. Track and Trace needs to be a key component in keeping everyone as safe as possible. There is clear LA guidance in place for Croydon schools should there be a positive case of Covid identified in children or staff, and they will advise us on who should be sent home.
Symptoms: 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, they must be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’.
If someone has Covid: they must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus. Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.
If taken ill at school: if a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door (medical room), depending on the age and needs of the child, with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. If they need to go to the bathroom while waiting to be collected, they should use a separate bathroom if possible. The bathroom must 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 if a distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained (such as for a very young child or a child with complex needs). More information on PPE use can be found in the safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care settings, including the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance.
*Parents and staff to inform the Head Teacher (or a member of SLT) immediately of the results of a test:
-if someone tests negative, if they feel well and no longer have symptoms similar to coronavirus, they can stop self-isolating. They could still have another virus, such as a cold or flu – in which case it is still best to avoid contact with other people until they are better. Other members of their household can stop self-isolating.
-if someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’ and must continue to self-isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone.
-the 7-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days.
Management of an outbreak
We will take swift action when we become aware that someone who has attended The Hayes has tested positive for coronavirus.
*We will contact our local health protection team, who will guide us through actions we need to take.
*Based on the advice, it is very likely we may have to send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when infectious. Please bear in mind, this could be the whole class, the staff involved with the class and if the child or adult is part of Wrap Around Care, also the bubble in this service.
*Household members of those contacts who are sent home do not need to self-isolate themselves unless the child, young person or staff member who is self-isolating subsequently develops symptoms.
*If someone in a class or group that has been asked to self-isolate develops symptoms themselves within their 14-day isolation period they should follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’.
*If the test is negative, they must remain in isolation for the remainder of the 14-day isolation period. This is because they could still develop the coronavirus within the remaining days.
*If the test result is positive, they should inform the Head Teacher or member of SLT immediately, and must isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of their symptoms (which could mean the self-isolation ends before or after the original 14-day isolation period). Their household should self-isolate for at least 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms, following ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’
As communicated in previous emails, schools are planning for all children to be back in school in September. Should guidance dramatically change, I will write to you again in the summer holiday. Our aim is to keep the whole school community as safe as possible by putting in place reasonable steps to minimise risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
That leaves me to say a massive well done and thank you, to all of our parents who have been so supportive over the past four months, we know it has not been easy but hope that you also have great memories of this time. Our children who have been at home – so resilient and we are all so proud of what you have achieved. Our children who have been in school over this time – again, so proud that you have returned with smiling faces and have been able to get used to the new norm, so sensibly.
And our Year 6s who have missed out on a lot in their final year at The Hayes. It has been a pleasure to see so many of you in school and we all know that you will go onto secondary school, prepared and ready for your next step. You will all do tremendously well, but we will all miss you so much! We look forward to when we can all meet again to share your achievement assembly – watch this space!
I am confident that all our children will start the new term and approach future challenges with the bravery, skill and tenacity that they have shown during the last four months.
Thank you for all your support through this uncharted territory and difficult time we find ourselves in. Your kind words have meant so much to myself and The Hayes team. I look forward to leading the children, families and staff into the next year, as I know that I have your overwhelming support and best wishes.
In the meantime, if I don’t not see you personally, please do have a restful and safe summer holiday.
All the very best,