General Information on School Lockdown from 07/01/21
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you and your families are safe and well.
At 8.00pm on Monday, the Prime Minister gave a public statement that all state-funded schools in England would be closed until February half term at least. Having indicated that all schools would be closed, he then went on to say that schools would be expected to remain open for the children of Critical Workers and for those in various vulnerable categories – as occurred in March 2020.
Children Who Stay at Home
In order for this lockdown to be effective, the vast majority of children must stay at home and work remotely each day as stated by the Prime Minister on Monday evening.
Online learning will be provided daily from Thursday 07/01/20 via Purple Mash to all pupils who have to stay at home during this period (as it was on the 21st and 22nd of December). Please see the remote education offer letter that gives more details which will be sent today.
Children of Critical Workers and Vulnerable Pupils
Critical Workers are those people that must still go to work to ensure that the vital services in society, such as those that work in the NHS, essential food shops, schools etc. continue during lockdown. Critical Worker parents and carers must think carefully about whether it is essential that their child needs to take an available place at school, as the purpose of the lockdown is to prevent the new Covid strain from spreading through daily contact with others.
For those children who are eligible for a critical worker place or meet the vulnerability requirements, the two key principles for minimising risk to children and staff at our school are; restricting teaching groups to no more than 30 children and minimising contact between these separate teaching groups during the school day. We will therefore be continuing with the implementation of the 10 control measures to ensure that staff and children are as safe as they can be when they come into school (these can be found at the bottom of the home page on the school website).
We will also try to maintain the daily timetables and routines that the children have got used to since September 2020. We will also try to ensure that children are taught in bubbles so that they can continue with the relevant curriculum content for their age group.
The information below is detailed, so that you receive a clear picture of how the school will be organised for Critical Worker children. Plans are being kept under review and are subject to change, in order to respond to the latest advice from the DfE, Local Authority or trade union guidance. Plans may also change if our staffing availability is affected and we will inform you of this as soon as we are able to.
When is school re-opening for Critical Worker children and vulnerable pupils?
Our official reopening day is Thursday 7th January. Reception children will come through the Early Years Entrance, children from Y1 –Y6 come through the Bollington Rd entrance.
Is there a breakfast or after-school club?
During this lockdown no wrap around care will be available at school as this would mean mixing children from different year groups.
How will you keep children separate from each other?
Your child will be in a fixed teaching group with up to 29 other children. These groups will stay together for the day throughout teaching time, lunchtime and play time. Along with the measures listed below we aim to reduce (but not eliminate) the risk to children by keeping these groups separate.
- Separate classes will not be allowed to mix with each other at break or lunchtime
- Staff will avoid physical contact with children, including handholding. They will be able to administer first –aid and intimate care, whilst wearing the appropriate PPE
- The start of the school day will operate in the usual way where children will walk straight into their class, dropped off at the gates by parents. Gates will be open from 8.40am until 9.00 and we will check registers for the first few days at least to ensure we have eligible children only in school.
- All contact with the school office must be by phone or email
- Children will wash hands on entry to school and frequently throughout the day
- Children will continue to eat lunch in the classrooms
- Frequent and regular cleaning of surfaces
- Any shared resources will be cleaned after use
- Individual stationery packs will be provided for each child to reduce sharing resources
- Parents and children will need to socially distance on the playground at the end of the school day and leave as soon as possible
- Home times for children will be staggered to reduce congestion as usual
Children are allowed to sit in pairs, side-by-side in the classroom from Y3-Y6, children from YR-Y2 can use the classroom as they did before Christmas. Staff must remain 2 metres away from children as much as possible when in the classroom.
What happens if my child, another child or an adult in a teaching group shows symptoms of Covid 19?
If your child is unwell with any symptoms of Covid 19 then they should not come to school and you should book a test for them at https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 if you have no access to the internet.
If any child shows any of the recognised symptoms of Covid 19 parents will be required to collect them from school immediately. We will also inform parents of other children in this group. Parents must then follow Government Guidelines on isolation and book a coronavirus test for their child. These tests must be booked online at https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test or by calling 119 if you have no access to the internet.
Other family members must follow isolation guidance, (currently 10 days). If any child or teacher tests positive for the virus, the whole teaching group will be required to isolate for 10 days, even if they show no symptoms.
What is happening at lunchtime?
Each teaching group will eat their lunch in their classroom. Lunches that are provided by school will continue to be delivered in the same way that they were before Christmas. We will not be using the dining hall as this would mean children mixing with other teaching groups and it would not be possible to clean down the tables between classes or sittings. School lunches can be ordered using the Lunch Hound app but orders will need to be redone for tomorrow onwards. Children who normally bring their own packed lunch will still be able to do so.
What will the curriculum look like?
Teaching and learning will continue to build on the catch up programme that was in place during the first term and will still focus on activities and tasks in the core skills of phonics, reading, writing and maths for each year group, as recommended by the Department for Education. This content will mirror what is being provided remotely to children at home via Purple Mash, so that there is equity in provision, as far as is possible.
Year group teachers will be organising the learning structure for each week, aiming to plug the gaps that children may have in the National Curriculum requirements for each year group.
Does my child need to wear school uniform?
Yes. As in September 2020, it is no longer necessary for children to have freshly washed uniform every day. We are also asking parents and carers to provide PE kit for outdoor games lessons. We will not be having gymnastic or dance lessons, but we are hoping to continue with yoga sessions in KS2.
Can my child bring things into school?
The only things your child will be able to bring in from home will be a named PE kit, water bottle and packed lunch if they need one.
What happens if we are late for school?
Gates will be open until 9.00am. After that, children must arrive at the school office gate and they will be taken to their class group by a member of staff.
Will any school events be taking place?
Currently there are no plans to have any assemblies, meetings or events for children or adults. In the meantime, please keep looking at the school website and school spider app, as this is our main way of contacting our school community.
How can I help my child?
Talk to your child about school will look like and try to discuss any concerns they may have. Practise helpful behaviours, such as hand washing and remind them that at the moment they should avoid hugging or holding hands with friends and staff. Explain to them how they might not be with all their friends and some of their classmates from last year.
For families who have lost loved ones during the holiday period we offer our condolences and any support that the school is able to provide.
If you need to speak to us about any family bereavement you have experienced in recent weeks, please phone the school office (0161 432 1916) so that we can arrange a time that Mrs Whitlow, the Family Liaison Officer can speak to you. We can also provide copies of Stockport Council’s Bereavement Guidance and support is available at the following link http://www.stockport.gov.uk/wellbeingcoronavirus
We feel confident that through our pre-existing safety control measures and with your co-operation, we will be able to manage a safe and successful period at school for Critical Worker and vulnerable children and provide a robust and challenging remote learning offer for those children at home. We will be constantly reviewing our plans and procedures to iron out any unforeseen problems that may arise in the first few days.
In the long term, we will have to take our guidance from the government and the local authority as to what measures will need to be maintained, but we are hopeful that school will return to a full reopening after February half term. Thank you for your continued co-operation and support during these unprecedented times.
Simon Langley, Headteacher Laura Thomas, Chair of Governors