Returning to school in September 2021
Information for Parents
With the relaxation of restrictions across the country we are really pleased to be able to share our plans for the return to school in September with you.
We are following the guidance which has been issued by the Department for Education to make the school as safe as possible for both children and staff.
What will school be like?
As far as is reasonably possible, school will be as it was before the first lockdown in March 2020 although there will be some changes.
There will no longer be year group bubbles so this will give us greater flexibility and opportunity to reintroduce some parts of the school day which have been absent for the last year and a half.
Attendance is compulsory for all children.
We will continue to encourage children to practise good hygiene routines, including regularly washing their hands. This is simply good practice and will continue to reduce the risk of spreading germs and viruses. The NHS has produced a short video which parents can share with children to show how to wash hands well.
We will once again be offering school dinners to ALL children who are eligible or who want them. Children in Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 2 are all entitled to a Universal Infant Meal and/or a Free School Meal. For children in Key Stage 2 we will be able to provide a school dinner to those entitled to Free School Meals or those who pay for a hot lunch. The new school menu can be found here.
Children who bring a packed lunch will eat with their friends in the dining room.
Bags and equipment
Children may bring a bag to school if they need to but realistically they do not need to bring anything with them other than their PE kit, packed lunch (if they have one) and drinks bottle. The fewer things which are brought in and out the school the better. All equipment needed in the classroom will be provided so there is no need for pens / pencils / pencil cases etc. If it is going to be a warm day please consider whether your child even needs to bring a coat.
Before and After School Childcare
We will be offering before and after school childcare from the start of term. If you have not used our childcare previously but would like to now, please contact the school office as soon as possible.
Start of the School Day - BIG CHANGES!!!
All pedestrian gates to the site will be open to use from the start of term. This includes the gate to Balmoral Road, the playground gate to Greenhill Road and the new playground gate close to Meadow Lane.
There will not be a staggered start to the school day. Instead, there will be a drop-off window for all children.
ALL CHILDREN CAN BE DROPPED OFF BETWEEN 8.40 a.m. AND 8.50 a.m.
They will not be required to line up but will be able to make their own way straight into school, as they have done for the last 18 months quite happily. A small number of staff will be on the playground initially to guide children in the right direction if needed.
Parents will not need to escort children to their classrooms or remain on the playground in order to continue to avoid large gatherings.
Teachers will not be on the playground at the start of the day; please continue to contact your child's teacher via ClassDojo.
Children who arrive after 8.50 a.m. will be marked as late.
The gates will be unlocked at 8.40 a.m. and locked at 8.55 a.m.
End of the school day - CHANGES!!!
At the end of the day, children in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 will finish at 3.15 p.m.
Children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 will finish at 3.25 p.m.
Gates will be opened at 3.10 p.m. for parents to collect their child(ren); please wait on the playground and the classes will come out to you. This is a return to the routines which were in place before the first lockdown.
Managing Coronavirus - CHANGES!!!
Children must NOT come into school if they have any symptoms of coronavirus or if they have had a positive test. Similarly, if a child develops any of the symptoms during the day they will be isolated in school and parents called to collect them.
Symptoms of coronavirus are explained here.
Children who display symptoms of coronavirus must be taken for a PCR test. Lateral Flow Tests are not designed for use on children. Information relating to how to obtain a PCR test can be found here.
If there is a positive test, either at home or at school, the guidance has changed considerably:
Individuals are no longer required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
This means that if there is a positive case in school we will not be advised to send children and staff home; they will be able to come into school as normal, other than the person who has tested positive and needs to isolate.
Track and Trace will determine who the contacts are of the person who has tested positive and they will be advised to take a PCR test (but NOT to isolate). They will be able to continue to attend school whilst waiting for the results of the PCR Test.