Wednesday 26th August, 2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I hope you have managed to have a good summer break.
We are delighted to be able to welcome all pupils back to school in September, and I offer a very warm welcome to our Reception children, those children joining in different year groups, and their families.
Further to the letter you received on Friday 17th July, regarding a planned return to school in September, we have set out further safety procedures that will need to be adhered to. Please know that each of these procedures and measures has been considered carefully, and that everyone’s safety remains the underlying principle in every decision that has been made.
The vast majority of children were able to return to school, albeit for a very short period of time in some cases, from 8th June. During this period we were astonished at how successfully the children accomplished this, and this provides us with confidence that September will be a positive start for all.
We do of course recognise that pupils’ well-being and mental health may have been impacted during the time of school closure and therefore we will support all children to readjust to time in school, in new classes and with new teachers. At the start of term, we will allow the children time to reconnect with one another and become accustomed to the new routines. School life will not be quite as they knew it, but some systems and many faces will be familiar. The curriculum has been planned to support learning that has been missed, and the children’s well-being. For the first two full weeks of term, all of the children across the school will complete learning tasks based on the book ‘Here We Are’ by Oliver Jeffers.
This will provide a powerful vehicle for children to reflect on and make sense of the world we are all living in, and to move forward together in a positive and constructive way.
The children, in most cases, will need to enter school without parents and carers. Again, we saw the children doing this very successfully from 8th June. We will of course, support all children in knowing the expectations on arrival and guide them to the appropriate places. Transition, as we would usually carry out, was unable to take place, but we are very hopeful that the children will take the next step in their stride and with everyone’s support.
Please see below all of the current safety messages and procedures. Please be aware that these may change, at any time, due to a local or national situation in relation to Covid-19. The systems presented will be reviewed continually and again, may be amended in light of this process.
Symptoms of Covid-19
Any pupil or adult displaying symptoms of Covid-19 will not be permitted to enter the premises.
The most important symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are recent onset of any of the following:
a new continuous cough;
a high temperature and/or
a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia).
If anyone has any of the symptoms above they should self-isolate at home and request a test.
We will continue to operate an enhanced cleaning programme, with classrooms and communal areas being cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis.
Strict hand washing and sanitising routines will take place throughout the day. The children will be again taught how to wash their hands in line with NHS advice https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
Hands will be washed/sanitised at least:
on arrival at school;
after having been to the toilet;
after sneezing and coughing;
after having been outside and
before going home.
All pupils will be reminded not to touch their face.
All pupils will be advised to use tissues, which will be available in all classrooms. Each classroom will have a pedal bin for disposal of tissues. We will promote the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ safety message.
The eBug website can be used to support understanding of good hygiene practices.
Clear hygiene messages are posted around the site and staff will revisit key messages regularly with their class.
Our updated Risk Assessment will be available on the school website before the start of the academic year.
All children will be expected to return to school full-time. This does not apply to the children starting school in Bee and Ladybird Class, who will have been provided with their timetable for the coming weeks.
If a parent/carer, pupil or family member is classed as clinically extremely vulnerable or clinically vulnerable, and this classification prevents a pupil from attending school, please can the parent/carer telephone the headteacher or deputy headteacher to discuss this.
Drop off arrangements
On 17th July it was published that year groups should arrive at staggered times. This has been revised, and now all children should arrive between 8.40am and 9.00am. We recognise that initially these systems will need careful organisation; however we are hopeful that they will support families arriving and leaving together safely. The systems will be reviewed continually and may be amended if we feel that staggered times at both ends of the day may be appropriate.
On arrival, children in Year 2 to Year 6 can use either the Charmouth Road gate or the Newbridge Hill gate. For safety reasons, children in Reception and Year 1 will use the Charmouth Road gate.
Pupils are to be dropped off by only one parent/carer.
When approaching the school, families should ensure that they observe the 2 metre distancing rule.
Parents/Carers should not gather at the school gate and are requested to leave promptly.
Parents/Carers should consider whether they wish to use the footpath that runs around the edge of the school field as it will be difficult to observe the 2 metre distancing rule on this path.
It is advisory that families should walk up Charmouth Road on the right hand pavement, and walk down Charmouth Road on the opposite pavement.
Both Newbridge Hill gate and Charmouth Road gate will be open for use at the start of the day and the end of the day. The adult collecting the pupil must wait, observing the 2 metre distancing rule, outside of the school gates until they are opened.
The collecting adult will file through the one way barrier system. The pupil will be handed over to their collecting adult and there will be minimal face to face interaction.
On arrival, all pupils will wash or sanitise their hands, supervised by school staff, at stations near the school entrances or inside the building.
Children can arrive in family groups, but immediately on entry, children will be expected, with the support of school staff, to make their way to their classrooms safely. Staff will be posted around the site to help guide the children with the new routines.
- Reception children will enter the lower school playground by the gate immediately inside the Charmouth Road entrance. These children will be able to wait with an adult on the playground. We will operate this system for the duration of the induction period.
- Year 1 children will enter their classrooms via the lower school front door, off the driveway.
- Year 2 children will enter their classrooms via the pedestrian gate to the right of the school office.
- Year 3 children will enter their classrooms via the ramp to the upper school front door.
- Year 4 children will enter their classrooms via the steps to the upper school front door.
- Year 5 children will enter their classrooms via the door at the end of the corridor of the upper school, by the After School Club area.
- Year 6 children will enter their classrooms via the children’s entrance at the back of the Key Stage 2 building.
Going home arrangements
These are different to drop off arrangements. Your youngest child will dictate your collection time and the appropriate gate – Newbridge Hill or Charmouth Road.
The adult collecting the pupil must wait, observing the 2 metre distancing rule, outside of the school gates until they are opened.
The collecting adult will file through the one way barrier system. The pupil(s) will be handed over to the collecting adult and there will be minimal face to face interaction.
- Reception pupils will line up on the drive at 3:05pm. Their siblings, in other year groups, will be sent to line up with their brother or sister at this time. Therefore, parents who have a Reception child, as their youngest/only child, will need to come to the Charmouth Road right hand gate at 3.05pm, to file through the barrier system and collect their child(ren).
- Year 1 pupils will line up on the drive at 3.10pm. Their siblings, in other year groups, will be sent to line up with their brother or sister at this time. Therefore, parents who have a Year 1 child, as their youngest/only child, will need to come to the Charmouth Road right hand gate at 3.10pm, to file through the barrier system and collect their child(ren).
- Year 2 pupils will line up on the drive at 3.15pm. Their siblings, in other year groups, will be sent to line up with their brother or sister at this time. Therefore, parents who have a Year 2 child, as their youngest/only child, will need to come to the Charmouth Road right hand gate at 3.15pm, to file through the barrier system and collect their child(ren).
- Year 3 pupils will line up on the drive at 3.20pm. Their siblings, in other year groups, will be sent to line up with their brother or sister at this time. Therefore, parents who have a Year 3 child, as their youngest child, will need to come to the Charmouth Road right hand gate at 3.20pm, to file through the barrier system and collect their child(ren).
- Year 4 pupils will line up by the top of the school field at 3.05pm. Their siblings, in Years 5 or 6 will be sent to line up with their brother or sister at this time. Therefore, parents who have a Year 4 child, as their youngest child, will need to come to the Newbridge Hill entrance at 3.05pm, to file through the barrier system and collect their child(ren).
- Year 5 pupils will line up by the top of the school field at 3.10pm. Their sibling(s), in Year 6 will be sent to line up with their brother or sister at this time. Therefore, parents who have a Year 5 child, as their youngest/only child, will need to come to the Newbridge Hill entrance at 3.10pm, to file through the barrier system and collect their child(ren). Year 5 pupils can leave unaccompanied.
- Year 6 pupils will line up by the top of the school field at 3.15pm. Therefore, parents, who have a Year 6 child, will need to come to the Newbridge Hill entrance at 3.15pm, to file through the barrier system and collect their child. Year 6 children can leave unaccompanied.
At the Newbridge Hill gate we ask that parents considerately give way to others when entering and exiting the site at collection time.
Travelling to school
To support congestion and safety at the school gates, we ask that wherever possible, parents/carers and pupils walk to school. We also ask that, if driving, parents/carers to not double park or block the school gates.
Pupils will not be able to bring scooters or bicycles onto the school site.
Going home notification arrangements
Previously, parents with children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 were able to access a book inside the classroom door to notify the teacher of collection arrangements. For the foreseeable future, please can parents email the school office by 10:00am to inform staff of any alternative collection arrangements for that day.
Pupils should bring a very limited number of items and these are restricted to: a waterproof coat; a lunch box if required; a filled water bottle and a hat or cap for warm days. Key Stage 2 pupils (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6) can bring a reading book. Pupils should not bring a pencil case or any toys or games or have key rings hanging from their bags.
All possessions should be named and brought in the smallest bag possible.
Please can we ask that pupils who were provided with reading books in Term 5, return these to school at the start of term. Plans for reading books to be sent home will be confirmed soon.
Uniform and dress code
Full school uniform is expected from September.
All hair longer than shoulder length must be tied back.
Children should not have dyed hair.
Children should not wear Fitbits or watches.
On Forest School days (Year 2 Tuesday - alternate weeks and Year 4 Wednesday - alternate weeks) children should come to school dressed for this activity. This will commence in the first full week and parents/carers will be notified of class dates.
On PE days (to be confirmed at the end of the first week) children should come to school in PE kit. It is advisory, that as the weather becomes colder, children should wear tracksuit bottoms or leggings.
Face masks and protective gloves
In line with current government guidance, pupils are not permitted to wear face masks or protective gloves. If a pupil comes to school wearing these items, they will be asked to remove them and they will be placed in a plastic bag to be taken home.
Children will be kept in their year groups. This means that they will enter, leave school and spend playtime and lunchtimes with their year group. The children will spend the remainder of their day with their class.
In each classroom, whenever possible, desks will be in rows and children will be front facing.
Only necessary resources will be accessible and any shared resources will be cleaned.
Each pupil will have their own resources pack and/or stationery items.
Amended curriculum activities
For the foreseeable future PE lessons will take place outside.
As with physical activity during the school day, contact sports in PE lessons will not take place.
Music lessons will be somewhat limited as singing indoors is not permitted and wind instruments are not to be used either indoors or outside.
Small group work, within the classroom or for interventions, will be minimal.
Staggered break and lunchtimes
There will be staggered break and lunch times for each year group. The timings of these have been planned so there are not multiple classes leaving and returning to the same areas at the same time. Pupils will play in their designated area and will not mix with pupils from other year groups.
Lunches will be eaten in the children’s own classrooms. The school’s catering team will continue to provide school meals, however, initially, there will be a revised menu which will contain options that can easily be transported and served. Drinks will be provided, but children can use their own water bottles, if they wish. Meals will continue to be charged at £2.60 per day for children in Years 3 to 6. Please find attached the revised school menu for Term 1.
Children can bring a healthy packed lunch from home.
Children must not share food.
Fruit and vegetable snacks
We understand that the government free fruit scheme will resume for Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 children.
Children in Years 3 to 6 can bring their own fruit or vegetable snack from home, but must not share this.
Events and gatherings
Until Term 3, at the earliest, all gatherings for pupils larger than a year group size are not permitted. This will include assemblies.
School meetings for parents and NPSA social events will not take place until further notice. Further details will follow in the next few weeks about ‘back to school’ information - which would usually have been a meeting, new parents’ meetings and parents’ consultation meetings.
Visitors on site
Only visitors with essential work will be permitted onto the school site.
We will continue to have minimal face to face contact with parents and carers.
Extra-curricular clubs and peripatetic music lessons
In order to minimise mixing, we are not able to offer any extra-curricular clubs – run by school staff or external providers, or music lessons from peripatetic teachers, until Term 3, at the earliest. Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate online peripatetic music lessons in school time.
Breakfast Club and After School Club
We will offer both Breakfast Club and After School Club. Breakfast Club will operate from 7:45am until the start of the school day. Parents/Carers will need to drop the children at the Charmouth Road entrance. Please can we ask that children arrive for either a 7.45am start or an 8.05 start, to support staff being able to collect the children from the gate.
All booking must be made in advance.
After School Club will operate from when children finish their school day until 5.45pm. The slightly earlier finish time will allow for enhanced cleaning.
Parents will need to collect children from the Charmouth Road entrance.
Until numbers are confirmed, our plan is that for both clubs, we will operate two separate groups; one for the upper school children (Years 3, 4, 5 and 6) and the other for lower school children (Reception, Year 1 and Year 2). It will not be possible to keep pupils in their year groups in Breakfast Club and After School Club. Therefore hygiene, handwashing, and distancing where possible, will be prioritised. Information on booking places will follow shortly.
Usually, older pupils are allowed to bring their phones to school only to support independence in walking unaccompanied, and place them in the school office for safe keeping. From September, any phones brought to school must be placed in the class teachers’ cupboard or drawer.
Each class will have designated facilities. Pupils will be supervised, as much as is possible at these times, to support 2m distancing. Generally, toilet visits will be timetabled, however if a pupil needs the toilet outside of this time, they will of course be allowed to go.
Pupils who require an inhaler or Epi-pen must bring these to school. An indemnity form must have been completed. If a child has been prescribed medication since school closure, please contact the school office by phone to discuss this with a member of staff. These forms are now available on the school website.
Each class will have a first aid kit to manage minor injuries. For major injuries or vomiting, the pupil will be taken to the medical room and will be treated by a member of staff. This member of staff will wear PPE. Parents will be contacted for immediate collection if this is deemed necessary.
The Behaviour Policy has been amended to reflect all new safety rules. A copy of this will be uploaded to the school website.
There will be signage around the site to promote good hygiene. e.g. Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.
Distancing spots remain 2 metres apart in all walkways.
Routes around school
A clear plan for how all groups will enter and exit their spaces safely has been made. Children will be informed of these.
Doors and ventilation
All doors, except fire doors, will remain open, wherever possible, to avoid use of door handles.
Windows will be open to increase ventilation in all spaces.
Due to this, in the colder months, it is advised that all pupils wear additional layers.
Sun cream should be applied before school, if this is necessary. We recommend that a long lasting lotion is used. On warm days children should wear hats or caps.
Isolation areas and testing
There will be designated isolation areas in the upper school and the lower school. Children who display symptoms of Covid-19 will be taken to these spaces immediately by an adult. The adult will wear PPE. Parents will be contacted for immediate collection. Isolation rooms will be cleaned after use.
For a child displaying symptoms of Covid-19, parents will be asked to complete a Covid-19 test. Parents will need to share this result with the school immediately.
Testing positive for Covid-19
In the event of a pupil or staff member testing positive for Covid-19, the school will take swift action and liaise with Public Health South West and their guidance will be followed.
The school will keep a record of pupils and staff in each group, and any close contact that may have taken place between children and staff in different groups.
Please can parents/carers immediately report a positive Covid-19 test result for a family member or close contact, to the school. Again, advice surrounding this will be sought from Public Health South West.
A cleaning schedule has been drawn up. This will take place more frequently throughout the school day and after school.
Due to limited face to face communication, all queries and concerns should be emailed to the school inbox in the first instance, at email@example.com
Please be assured that staff understand communication will prove more difficult will respond to emails as quickly as possible.
Please ensure that the school office has your up to date contact details – phone number, email address, home address and emergency contact. If these have changed, please email the school inbox at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject title Pupil contact details
It is the parent/carers’ responsibility to phone the school on 01225 421675/421620 by 9.30am on the day to report pupil absence. It is very important that the reason for absence is shared.
We will continue to follow the dates that we set out for this year. These follow the B&NES dates and can be found on the school website.
The INSET Days for the academic year are: Tuesday 1st September, Monday 4th January, Thursday 1st April, Friday 25th June and Wednesday 21st July.
B&NES School Nursing Service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
Please contact the Bath Area on 01225 831666 or the Norton Radstock Area on 01761 408111
This service is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.
There is also a CHAT health text service so you can text a School Nurse for advice or support for any health issues or worries, again this is confidential and you don’t need to give your name if you don’t want to. The number is: 07480635513
Resources to promote and support children and young people’s mental well-being include:
Public Health England’s Rise Above platform;
MindEd educational resources for adults about children and young people’s mental health;
Every Mind Matters;
Guidance on looking after wellbeing and mental health and
Guidance on supporting children’s wellbeing and mental health
Thank you for your anticipated support and understanding in all of the above procedures. Again, please know that every decision that has been made is in the interest of everyone’s safety. We will continue to do our very best under the current circumstances and look forward, very much, to seeing all children return to school on Wednesday.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, please email the school inbox at email@example.com
and I will endeavour to reply.
Further detail will follow once term starts to include procedures about reading books, timetabled days of activities and usual ‘back to school’ year group procedures.