I am writing to try and provide some additional information regarding our return to school in September. The information below is the current information we have from the Department for Education. Please note that this may change depending on Covid case rates but we are hoping that the below can be put in place from September.
Organisation up until the end of term.
What will happen from July 19th?
Due to the large number of cases currently in Tamworth, all current restrictions will remain in place, including the bubble system and mask wearing. Parents are kindly asked to continue to wear masks when on the school site for the remainder of the academic year due to the significant concern in Tamworth. This will help protect everyone. Thank you.
Organisation for summer club
Will my child be in a bubble for summer club?
No, the department for education have advised that bubbles will not be necessary for summer clubs.
Organisation from September 2021
What time will school start and finish?
Staggered starts and finishes will end. The gate will open at 8.50am and close at 9.00am. All pupils need to arrive at school during this time. Pupils arriving after 9.00am will be marked as late in the register. Pre-school will close at 3.00pm but all other classes will be released at 3.15pm. Children will not be released earlier than this to avoid further disruption to lessons.
Will my child remain in their own year group bubble?
No, the government have advised that school bubbles will no longer be necessary. However, we will continue with some form of phase bubbles for playtimes and lunchtimes to reduce the number of pupils on the playground at any one time. This is also good for other health and safety reasons such as reducing the number of accidental bumps and falls.
Will children be allowed to mix for assemblies?
Yes, the guidance now states that pupils can mix for assemblies. However, we will keep groupings slightly smaller than whole school for the first half term as we analyse local case rates and any additional government guidance.
Will desks still all be in rows facing the front?
No, desks will be grouped in a more traditional ‘primary school’ style so pupils will find it easier to collaborate in pairs or groups. Each classroom format will be decided by the class teacher.
Will my child still use their own dedicated equipment?
No, children will now be able to share equipment across the class.
Will increased hand hygiene continue?
Yes, cleaning hands is now an embedded part of school life and will continue. Children will wash or sanitise hands when entering school in the morning, before eating, after coughing or sneezing and after visiting the toilet.
Will I need to wear a mask on the school site?
This will no longer be a government directive. However, staff and parents are more than welcome to wear a mask if they consider this to be in the interest of our school community.
What will happen on PE days?
We have found that pupils wearing their PE kit on PE days to be beneficial. It has reduced lesson time lost through changing as well being used as a covid measure. Therefore, this will remain and all pupils will be asked to wear their PE kit on the days that they have PE. PE kit must be a dark tracksuit (or shorts in the summer) with a white T-shirt. School branded tracksuits can be purchased from SK Uniforms or from school. If your child does not have a school branded tracksuit, they are welcome to wear any dark coloured tracksuit, eg. all black or all navy blue. Please note that brightly coloured PE kits or football kits are not considered school PE uniform. Thank you. You will be informed what days your child has PE before the end of term.
Will after school clubs run in September?
Yes, sports clubs will begin in the Autumn term. You will receive further information about the club timetable in September. Our school care club will also continue running before and after school.
When will school trips resume?
School trips will resume once again from September. You will receive additional information if a visit is coming up for your child’s class.
Will swimming classes resume?
We are hoping that class swimming lessons can resume from the Autumn term. If this affects your child, you will receive further information nearer to the time.
Will enhanced cleaning regimes continue?
Yes, school will continue to ensure that regular cleaning is done to a high level.
What will parent’s evening be like?
Many parents have said that they have liked the phone call style of parent consultation we have had to use this year. We are currently undertaking a parental survey to ascertain whether parents would prefer this to continue or whether they would prefer to come to school to meet with teacher in person. Once we have collated these results, we will inform you of how parent’s evenings will be organised next year. Regardless of the structure of the designated parent’s evenings, all parents are welcome to make an appointment to speak to a class teacher to discuss any concerns throughout the year.
What should I do if my child is ill with Covid symptoms?
Children should not be sent to school if they have Covid symptoms (a cough, temperature or loss of taste and smell). School should be informed of their absence and a test should be organised for your child as if it is positive they will need to isolate.
Will classes of children be sent home if a member of the class tests positive for Covid-19?
No, from September, bubbles will not close if there is a positive case in the class. Identifying close contacts will no longer be undertaken by school but by track and trace but pupils who are close contacts are very unlikely to have to isolate. Only the child with the positive test result will need to stay at home.
Will you send my child home if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19?
Yes, to ensure the virus is not transmitted around school, we will continue to ask you to collect your child if they are displaying symptoms of the virus and you will be asked to get a test for them. They will be welcome to return to school as soon as a negative test result is received.
Will the school still have a covid-19 risk assessment?
Yes, as the virus has not gone away, school will still have a risk assessment to ensure all necessary measures are in place. The most updated version will be placed on the website once it has been finalised.
Will strict measures ever return?
It is hoped that the stricter measures that we are currently working within will not need to return. However, we will always be guided by government advice and Department for Education legislation. If any changes are required, you will be informed as promptly as possible to ensure we limit any risk to our school community.
Will my child be able to meet their new class teacher before September?
Initially we hoped that classes would be able to spend a period of transition time with their new teacher before we break up. However, with the significant increase in the number of cases in Tamworth, especially amongst children, it has been decided that placing teacher with different bubbles may cause undue disruption before the end of the term. Therefore, teachers will informally meet children around school at playtimes outside and will provide their new class with a recorded slide show to introduce themselves and the new classroom. This will be placed in google classroom for your information.
What can I do if my child is anxious about going into the next class?
If your child is anxious or worried about moving to their new class, please phone and speak to the new class teacher who will discuss their anxieties with you and organise an individual transition plan if required.
Where can I find further information?
If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to any member of staff or phone the school office and they will be able to signpost you to the best person to answer your query.
I hope this answers any questions you may have regarding the organisation for the new academic year. I look forward to welcoming all our families back to school in September for what, we hope, will be a less disrupted year. Thank you for all your support this year in supporting our restrictions and ensuring our school has been as Covid safe as possible.
Mrs M Walsh
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