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Return to School Key information for March 2021

As you will now be aware, the Government has released their plans for the wider opening of schools from 8th March 2021. We have worked with our Trust (WWPAT) to put together the following guidance which outlines how we will be able to operate.

This aim of this document is to give you, as a parent or carer, real clarity in what the school day will look like for your child and a clear understanding of the measures we are taking to ensure their safety is given full priority.

Many of the arrangements are similar to how we operated before Christmas but we wanted to re-share this. We hope it will also outline the key arrangements and guidance that will help to keep everyone as safe as possible. Please note: as we have found throughout this pandemic, the advice from both Government and PHE (Public Health England) is subject to frequently changing. This means the guidance will be continually reviewed and measures will need to be changed/adapted to reflect the ever changing situation. We will do our best to keep families fully informed as we continue to move through this difficult time.

What are we doing to keep all in school safe?

The following is a brief overview of some of the steps we are taking to help reduce the risk in school. We will constantly update our practice in light of new guidance and advice from our Trust, the Government and Public Health England.

• Displaying Coronavirus infection control measures information posters around the school. We will also be regularly sharing these messages with children via lessons and Class Briefing.

• Encouraging good hygiene by promoting the importance of hand washing for at least 20 seconds with warm water and soap / hand sanitizer throughout the day.

• Having alcohol-based hand sanitiser throughout the school.

• Ensuring children and staff understand that they must cover their mouth and nose with a tissue before they cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue away. This includes posters and education to promote this, tissues and new bins in classrooms etc.

• Increased cleaning regime ensuring frequently touched objects and surfaces are cleaned and disinfected more regularly than usual.

• Staff have undertaken additional training on hygiene control.

• Children will be working in class groups. These are social ‘bubbles’ suggested by the government. Children can interact, learn and play with children within their own bubble but groups are required not mix or interact with each other. This is to limit the potential for children to come into contact with the virus should someone who is asymptomatic be in school.

• When sitting at desks, children will be encouraged to sit side by side rather than facing each other.

• Groups will have designated toilets and handwashing facilities reducing the chance for them to interact with children or adults from outside of their group. Only one child to use toilet facilities at a time (unless there is an urgent need). Toilets and handwashing areas will receive additional cleaning during the day.

• Children will have their own key equipment (e.g. pen, pencil, ruler, eraser) so we can limit sharing. Resources will be cleaned regularly and any resources that need to be shared (e.g. Ipads) will be cleaned before being used by another child. Equipment that is difficult to clean (e.g. D&T equipment) will be cleaned but also isolated for 72 hours before being allowed to be used by another group.

• Activities in F1 and F2 have been set up to limit the amount of equipment needed to enable it to be cleaned regularly. Visual reminders such as markings on the floor and posters are present to help limit the number of children within a given area.

• We will be encouraging groups to work outside when possible in designated areas. We will make use of the great outdoor spaces we have at Woodsetts to facilitate as much outdoor learning as we can.

• Classrooms will be kept well ventilated by having windows and doors propped open as much as possible.

• A one-way system has been implemented in school and around the site. Movement around school will also be limited as children will not need to leave their designated areas and can enter and leave school via the classroom door where they are based.

• Additional cleaning will take place during the school day e.g. door handles, table tops etc. Our cleaners have also received additional guidance on infection control.

• Any child or member of staff who presents with symptoms will immediately be isolated and sent home from school.

• Calling NHS 111 if someone becomes unwell, isolating any unwell people in a separate room, and providing a separate bathroom, where possible. We will also be supporting the use of the NHS Track&Trace system.

• Teaching and reminding the children of the importance of good hygiene through our regular Class Briefings and lessons.

• Limiting visitors in school. Unfortunately this means that we will need to ask families not to come into the school building. Any professional services (e.g. Educational Psychology) will be encouraged to undertake visits via video call. Where this is not possible, high levels of hygiene and social distancing will take place.

Drop off and collection

We are asking, where possible, for families to follow a one way system on Wellfield Crescent. This is to help increase social distancing with people not having to cross paths on the pavements. We also have a one-way system in place once you enter the school site. Signs and floor markings are there to help and staff will be on hand each day to guide everyone to the appropriate entry and exit points etc. To view a clip of our one way system, please visit the special section of our website.

Any adults who come on to school site to wear a face mask or covering unless medically exempt.

We will be asking families to follow a staggered start and end to the day to further help with social distancing and reduce the number of people arriving and leaving at the same time. Details of this are included further down in this guidance.

Early Years(F1 Nursery and F2 Reception

What do I need to know for my child?

On entry and exit to the school grounds a member of staff will be available to help direct you, along with markings on the gates and footpaths.

Classrooms do look a little different to how they were but children will not be expected to sit at desks all day. There will be activities and continuous provision set up for them to use.

Some areas of provision have been removed for hygiene purposes and those still in place will be cleaned at regular intervals. Some areas of provision have been adapted and relocated to allow for more social distancing.

We will aim to make children aware in a child friendly manner of the ways they can keep themselves safe in school which includes hand washing regularly, avoiding physical contact where possible, moving around safely etc.

Children are encouraged to bring minimal items to school with them such as a coat and packed lunch are suggested. No stationery, books, PE kit or toys will be needed. If they can bring their own water bottle, this will help too.

We see the importance of school uniform and would encourage this as much as possible. However, expectations for school uniform will be relaxed but it is an expectation that children are wearing clean appropriate clothes every day and that clothes are washed before they are worn again. UPDATE: The Government guidance has now been updated to state that clean clothing is not required everyday. However, we would encourage clean clothing as much as possible to help further increase levels of hygiene and reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Children will eat their dinner within the classroom - this is so that they do not mix with other social bubbles. They can bring their own from home or order a meal via the school kitchen.

Should your child be upset and require support, staff will offer this should you wish. Should they offer to walk a child in to school e.g. holding a hand, they will ensure that both child and staff member wash hands on entering the classroom. Unfortunately we are unable to allow parents/carers into the classrooms.

Years 1 to 6

What do I need to know for my child?

On entry and exit to the school grounds a member of staff will be available to help direct you, along with markings on the gates and footpaths.

Some classroom items have been removed for hygiene purposes and those still in place will be cleaned at regular intervals.

Children will have their own equipment kept in either a wallet or their own drawer.

We will aim to make children aware in a child friendly manner of the ways they can keep themselves safe in school through hand washing regularly, avoiding physical contact, moving around safely etc.

Children are encouraged to bring minimal items to school with them such as a coat and packed lunch (if they would like) are suggested. No stationery, books, PE kit or toys will be needed. It would be useful for children to bring their own, named water bottle.

We encourage school uniform to be worn. However, expectations for school uniform will be relaxed as we know it may be a challenge to have enough for clean on every day. It is an expectation that children are wearing clean appropriate clothes every day and that clothes are washed before they are worn again. UPDATE: The Government guidance has now been updated to state that clean clothing is not required everyday. However, we would encourage clean clothing as much as possible to help further increase levels of hygiene and reduce the risk of virus transmission.

To help with hygiene and reduce the items being brought into and out of school, we are asking children to come to school in appropriate PE kit on their PE days e.g. jogger bottoms, t-shirt, track suit, old trainers etc. This will also help to increase the amount of PE lesson time as children will be able to get straight on with the lesson.

We will encourage the use of learning outside as much as possible making use of the great spaces we have at Woodsetts.

Children will stay within their given areas but should they need to move around school, they will follow the agreed one-way system that has been put in place.

FAQs

We hope this section will address many of the questions you may have about March. If we have not answered something, please email the main school address and we will do our best to help.

What will the start of the day look like?

We will be offering a staggered start to the day. This is to help reduce the number of people on both Wellfield Crescent and school site to help with social distancing. We are proposing the following timings:

These timings are intended to be a guide and once things are running may need to change. We appreciate that families with children in more than one year group may struggle with staggered times. If this is the case, please select the most appropriate time to bring all of the children at once. If you have a problem with the timings due to working patterns too, please talk to us and we will do our best to support. The main aim of the staggered times is to reduce congestion on Wellfield Crescent and the school site to help with social distancing.

• We are asking, where possible, for children in Key Stage 2 to come on to school site without an adult. Adults can, if needed, queue up on Wellfield Crescent and then send children through the pedestrian gate to ensure they are safely on to site where staff will greet them.

• A one way system with 2 entrances will be in operation. F1, F2 and Y1 will enter via the main vehicle entrance. This will be coned off for safety. The main drive will be divided in half to ensure a one way flow and 2m distance. Y2 – Y6 will enter via the pedestrian gate. Any parents who come on to site will follow the one way system and join the one-way on the main drive to leave the site. This is to prevent a bottleneck at the pedestrian gate and improve social distancing.

What about Breakfast Club?

We know that some families have relied on this service due to working patterns. However, we have liaised with our Trust and taken advice and unfortunately it is not safe at this time to provide this service. This is because it would mean children from different social bubbles interacting with each other which could present a risk of infection across multiple groups or the whole school. We will keep this under review.

How will playtimes work? Will the children be allowed outside?

Each social bubble will have an allocated time to play outside. This will include them having their own area of the outdoor space to use. This will reduce the chance of children from different social bubbles from interacting. Children will be allowed to play with others from within their consistent group. However, they will be encouraged not to play contact sports or games. When the weather allows, groups may also be taken on to our school field but will be kept from playing with other groups. Each group will also have their own set of outdoor equipment which they can use. This will be cleaned regularly to improve levels of hygiene. We ask that no play equipment be brought in from home. Children will also be reminded only to use their designated toilets should they need to go during play time.

How will lunchtime work?

As we can not mix groups, the Main Hall would not be possible to use for dinners. This is because it also serves as the main corridor through our school. Therefore, dinners will be eaten within the classroom. Children will be encouraged or helped to wipe down their table before eating and to wash their hands. We ask that children bring their dinner in from home, ideally with a cool pack to help keep food fresh. Dinners can also be ordered as normal through the School Grid app. UPDATE: Dolce are now able to offer some warm food options as well as cold sandwich grab bags. If ordered, these will be taken to the classrooms. Please remember, if your child is moving into Year 3, they will no longer be eligible for the Universal Free School Meals and, unless you are in receipt of the means tested Free School Meals, will have to be paid for. We ask that children also bring in a water bottle with their name on which they can drink throughout the day.

What about outside play for dinner?

We will operate the same system for dinner time as we do for morning break. Each group will have an allocated time and space to use on a rota system to play outside with children from within their social bubble. They will be supervised by one adult from within their bubble. If another adult is required to help with supervision (e.g. a member of dinner time staff or leadership), this will be done by maintaining high levels of hygiene and social distancing.

What will classrooms look like?

Tables and chairs will be set up in rows so that pupils are not facing each other as much as possible. Each pupil will have their own set of resources in an individual tray or folder on their desk space to help limit movement around the class. We have reduced some of the furniture and equipment in the classrooms but have tried to keep these as 'normal' as possible to help the children.

Will children have to sit at desks all day?

The guidance encourages children to socially distance where possible. However, it also appreciates this is extremely difficult with children. Therefore, as long as children remain within a consistent class bubble, they can move around and interact with others within their group. Teachers will encourage children to ask permission to leave their seat as this will aid social distancing. Children will be able to work collaboratively in pairs but group work requiring children to sit around a large table will not be possible. Children are also able to sit on a carpet (e.g. story time) if needed but will be encouraged to sit apart from each other as much as possible. Carpets will be regularly cleaned to further improve hygiene.

What about interventions or specialist support?

If a child requires additional support or intervention (e.g. to work towards targets within their EHCP), this will be undertake by a member of staff from within their social bubble.

Should this not be possible, the intervention will be provided ensuring social distancing, all equipment being cleaned before and after and delivered in a well ventilated space. Both adult and child will wash their hands and the table and areas will be wiped clean before and after each session.

What about PE lessons?

At Woodsetts Primary, we see physical education as a vital part of our curriculum. Therefore, these lessons will still go ahead. However, these will need to be undertaken outside due to it not being possible to use our Main Hall. We are asking children to come to school in suitable PE clothing on their allocated PE days. This could be a tracksuit, jogger bottoms, t-shirt and suitable trainers. By doing this, we are reducing the amount of items being brought in and out of school. We are currently looking at solutions to how we can deliver PE in poor weather conditions and this may include using classroom spaces to deliver areas such as dance, yoga and other activities.

Will the children have assemblies?

Unfortunately, we are not able to assemble as a whole school as children must remain within their consistent social bubbles. However, we will be offering classes remote assemblies and updates via our weekly Class Briefing. We will also celebrate their achievements each Friday in class. Members of our leadership team will visit classrooms and congratulate children whilst maintaining social distancing.

Will the children still do practical and creative lessons such as art?

Yes. Children will still be allowed to take part in these activities. Each class has been given their own set of basic equipment such as paint pots, brushes, paints etc. Children and staff will help with hygiene by wiping down equipment after use. Children will be able to bring their creations home but we encourage families to isolate these for 72 hours to help reduce any risk to a minimum.

My child is in Foundation Stage - will they be able to use different toys and equipment?

We will still encourage the use of continuous provision within our F1 and F2 classes. This will be altered to align with the current guidance. For example, it will not be possible to have a sand and water tray due to the risk of transmission these pose. We will also reduce the amount of toys and equipment out as this will allow us to ensure items are regularly wiped and cleaned. Children will be encouraged to work in smaller groups or individually within the provision too.

What about the end of the day?

We will also be running a staggered collection time for children at the end of the day to help reduce the number of people on school site at any one time. The suggested times are:

When collecting children in F1, F2, Y1 or Y2, please enter via the main vehicle gate which will be coned off for safety. Please follow the one way system to enter and leave the site.

Where possible and safe, we will be asking parents to allow children in the older year groups to walk themselves home or to leave the school and meet parents at a suitable and safe location off site. We will send out a permission letter about this.

If collecting children in Y3 to Y6, we ask parents/carers to enter via the pedestrian gate. Children will be brought up on to the top yard and sent through to meet you. You will then be asked to follow the one way system past the Main Entrance and up the main driveway. Please take care to maintain social distancing.

When dropping off or collecting children, we ask that families follow the one way systems in place and maintain 2m distance between each other.

Will there be any after school clubs?

Unfortunately, due to the same reasons we are unable to run a Breakfast Club, we are unable to run any after school clubs. This is to ensure children remain in consistent social bubbles. We are hoping that the guidance will change and we may be able to offer year group clubs sometime during the summer term.

Will children still get homework?

We will be providing children with a 'Home learning menu' which they will take home with some suggested activities linked to their current themes. This will accompany a knowledge grid which covers key concepts they need to revise and learn. Children will also have the usual activities of learning key words and spellings. To support home reading, children in EYFS and KS1 have access to Bug Club and KS2 children have EPIC Reading accounts.

Find out more...

Please visit the special section of our website at www.woodsettsprimary.co.uk/families/covid-19-support

Here you will find more information about our plans including how we hope to support the children with their return to school and some welcome back videos from the teachers.

Thank you again for your patience and understanding at this difficult time. We appreciate that this is an extremely difficult time for families and we understand that you may have concerns and worries; quite rightly so. We hope that having communicated our plan for your child, and the school, you have all of the information to help you feel reassured about their return in March. This is an ever changing situation and we will do our best to keep families as updated as possible.

I hope this document finds you and your families well and I look forward to seeing some familiar faces again soon.

Best wishes from everyone at Woodsetts Primary

M Revill and all of the team at Woodsetts Primary School.