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Covid Preparations for September 2020 Full Opening

School in September 2020

This document is designed to outline the measures that we will need to have in place from September to enable us to operate safely as a whole school. We rely on you as parents to comply with our controls and also to follow government guidance outside of school in order that the risk of bringing COVID into school is significantly reduced. This guidance will outline the key principles set out in the Government guidance and the control measures that will mitigate risk. We aim to include as much as we can at this point, but we need to bear in mind that guidance and circumstances can change frequently and at short notice. We will update this document with any additional information as time goes on.

 

Our aim is to plan to open for all children full time in Years 1 to 6 from Tuesday 8th September 2020 with staggered start and finish times. Reception will have their own timetable of events for the first 2 weeks.

 

Government Key Message:

  • It is not possible to be totally risk free but we can mitigate risk
  • We need to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day
  • We will also need to plan for the possibility of a local lockdown at any point
  • All elements of the system of controls are essential. Each one reduces the risk and combined will “effectively minimise risk”
  • All schools must cover all controls but how we do it is based on our individual circumstances

 

Essential measures include:

  • a requirement that adults/children who are ill stay at home
  • a requirement that adults/children who have been advised to isolate stay at home
  • active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
  • robust hand and respiratory hygiene
  • enhanced cleaning arrangements
  • formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable

 

Staggered starts and finishes

These are absolutely essential to minimising contact and preventing the spread of the virus. We will still be restricted to one parent dropping off/collecting children. We ask that children in years 3-6 are dropped off at the gates in the morning. KS1 and Reception parents will need to form a socially distanced line outside the classrooms. Child minders may need to arrange a place for their children to meet them as they may be on site for longer if they have children with different times. Staff will be present in both playgrounds and the carpark to usher children round to their classes where they will be met by the year group staff. Children will be asked to wash their hands before entering the classroom. The drop off times will be 8.30, 8.40 and 8.50am. Collection times will be 3.00, 3.10 and 3.20pm. We must insist that these times are strictly adhered to. We have given siblings the same time but are unable to change the times that have been allocated. We ask that you leave the site immediately after drop off/ collection. This can only work if we all stick closely to these timings.

Masks are not allowed to be worn by the children in school. You will be asked to remove children’s masks as they enter the grounds and take the mask home with you. Parents are welcome to wear masks on the premises. At the moment this is not a requirement  but this may change.

Times will be sent out later this week.

 

Class bubbles

Children will be in their class bubbles of around 30 children. They will have staggered starts, finishes, playtimes and lunchtimes to prevent them coming into contact with other children/bubbles. Children will not be expected to socially distance within their bubble but staff will be required to do so when possible. Some staff will have to access more than one bubble to provide PPA cover (Statutory Planning, Preparation and Assessment) or to support children with interventions or SEND needs. We have taken the decision to do this to prevent the closing of school to all children one afternoon a week and to support working parents. This will be under review. However, it is important to note that it may mean that more than one bubble may have to be closed for isolation if a child or member of staff test positive for COVID-19 and has had “close contact” with children/staff across more than 1 bubble.

Within each bubble, there will need to be a raft of control measures to reduce risk. These include:

  • Handwashing Children will be required to wash their hands on entry to school. Additional sinks are being installed through the holidays outside each classroom. Children may also bring their own labelled handsanitsier that is kept in their book bag bag.
  • No bags in school. Children may bring in a school book bag or plastic wallet (provided) containing a few colouring pencils/pens and their reading book and reading record. They will also need a packed lunch (if not on school dinners) and a water bottle that is taken home and washed daily. The bags will be stored in their tray.
  • PE uniform. Children will be asked to come in their PE kit on the days that they have PE. This should consist of black bottoms/leggings, trainers, a white T shirt and a school jumper or school PE hoodie if possible. These are available now from APC, a local supplier… https://www.school-uniforms.co.uk/find-your-school/deighton-gates-school.html   All PE will take place outside until further notice.
  • Classroom organisation. In Years 1-6, in line with Government guidance, the desks will be forward facing and most additional furniture removed from the classroom to allow more space for staff to circulate and to wipe down surfaces regularly. Reception children are not routinely sat as desks.
  • Children will access all their learning within their classroom and will not have access to the halls, art, music and computing rooms.
  • Music We will be unable to have singing and to use wind instruments
  • Playtimes and lunchtimes will be staggered and limited to 3 classes outside at any one time, one on each playground. Reception will access their own play area initially. Most classes will have their lunch in their classroom and then go out to play. Lunch will initially be in the form of a “grab bag” that will be delivered to the classrooms. The menu choices will be on the website as usual. We aim to return to full school dinners as soon as we can.
  • Face masks Staff have the option of wearing face masks if they are working within 2 metres of children. They are advised to work side on. Staff working with children where it needs to be face on, eg Speech and Language therapy, will work behind a Perspex screen.
  • Equipment  Staff and children will have their own equipment where possible
    • Individual pens/pencils and other frequently used equipment in their tray
    • Books/games can be shared within the bubble, but regularly cleaned
    • Resources rotated by bubbles need to be out of reach for 48 hours (72 hours for plastics)
    • Reading books/library books can go home but will be stored and returned to the boxes/library after 72 hours.

 

After School Provision

We are working closely with Brook Babes to manage the after school provision. If you wish to discuss your child’s place, please contact Sarah immediately so we can finalise plans and risk assessments: sarah@brookbabes.co.uk or 01937 580925. It is hoped that we can run 2 bubbles to reduce the risk of the whole schoolie club having to close if there is a positive case.

 

Extra-curricular provision

  • Swimming This has been postponed for Year 4s until Year 5 (2021-22)
  • After school and sports clubs are suspended until further notice
  • Residentials and school trips are suspended until further notice

 

Office

The school office will remain closed to visitors in September. We can be accessed by phone 01937 584359 or email staff@deightongates.leeds.sch.uk . The year group emails will be closed from 17/7/20 except for the New Reception which will close on 21/9/20. Please note that we will not be able to take collection of forgotten items such as water bottles and packed lunches at the office.

We would ask that any appointments for dentists and doctors are kept outside of school hours where possible.

 

Medication

Please make sure that this is labelled and handed into your child’s class teacher on the first day if it is not already in school.

 

Public Health Advice

Please see our website for the full details: https://www.deightongates.leeds.sch.uk/public-health-advice-covid-19/

 

COVID-19 symptoms and positive case

There have already been several positive cases within Leeds schools this term and we have very clear procedures about what would happen if a child or member of staff is required to have a COVID test. Working with Test and Trace is essential to reducing the risk of a local lockdown and we will be complying fully. Please make sure that you follow the guidance below:

 

In the event of a suspected case of COVID-19

Whilst we respect the right to privacy, we understand the anxiety for parents about their children being in school and we will aim to keep you informed. Over the coming months, I suspect many of us will need to go for tests and it is important that we do not over react and close bubbles without following the protocols laid out by Government and that are an integral part of our risk assessment. Therefore we are sharing the flow chart below that sets out the procedures that we will be following:

 

Pupil Wellbeing

Over the last few months, staff have been responding to requests to support children with their well-being and we will continue to do so as we welcome all the children back. We understand that each child will have had a different experience of lockdown. We won’t make sweeping assumptions and will respond to your child’s individual needs. Teachers will be ringing parents over the first couple of weeks to catch up individually as a “virtual parents meeting”. We will send more details in September.

Our priorities will be to:

  • support the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement
  • address and equip pupils to respond to issues linked to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • support pupils with approaches to improving their physical and mental wellbeing

 

Curriculum

We are aware of the concerns that some parents may have about the “lost learning” opportunities that the children may have experienced during the lockdown. The media has been awash with stories of catastrophe, the need to “catch-up” and the impact that the situation has had on our children. It is important that we do not pass these messages of doom onto the children and we see that the return to school is a new opportunity to reconnect with friends and our learning. For this reason, we are not calling our curriculum a “Recovery” but a “Reconnection curriculum”. Staff have been busy over the last couple of weeks, mapping out their timetables for September. There will be time for focusing on key learning skills such as the basics of arithmetic, timestables, spelling, reading and grammar but there will also be ample time for a broader diet of Personal, Social and Emotional work as well as other subjects such as history, geography, art and science. We will be unable to sing or do PE inside but I am sure we will keep busy!

 

Remote learning

Remote education may need to be an essential component in the delivery of the school curriculum for some pupils, alongside classroom teaching, or in the case of a local lockdown. All schools are therefore expected to plan to ensure any pupils educated at home for some of the time are given the support they need to master the curriculum and so make good progress. We are expected to have a plan for this by the end of September and we will share it with you early next term.

 

 

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