29th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Thank you for your patience and support during the Covid-19 lockdown as we emerge gradually from this, we would like to acknowledge the difficulties that you may have faced during this time. We hope that the support we have been providing has helped in some way and apologise if at any point it has not met your expectations.
Following the highly anticipated government announcement last night that schools are to open for children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 from 1st June, I am writing to explain the plans and procedures we will put in place. We know that some of you would have received specific letters from the headteachers regarding the opening and how it affects you but generally we want to explain the Trust wide actions.
Starting with years 2, 3, 4 and 5, the government has given no updated guidance on the timeline for a wider reopening for these year groups. We will continue with home learning, which will now begin to include voice over video lessons from the week beginning 8th June. We will keep you informed of any further announcements or guidance regarding the wider opening as and when the government provides any updates.
Key worker and vulnerable children who have continued to attend school during the lockdown period will continue to do so. Those in the year groups identified by the government for wider reopening will join social bubble groups within their year groups once they open. Those key worker and vulnerable children in years 2, 3, 4 and 5 will create their own social bubble group and continue to attend school. Parents of these children have received guidance on how the school day has now been adapted to incorporate the addition children returning.
Children in nursery, reception, year 1 and year 6 will begin a staggered return to school from Monday 8th June. This will ensure that we can effectively train and prepare our staff for the safe return and transition of children into social bubbles. Parents of these children have also received guidance on the adaptions that have been made to the school day for their safe return.
We understand that this has been a difficult decision for parents to make and we support which ever decision you have made. For those parents who decided not to return their children to school at this point, we will continue to provide home learning. We would like to assure you that if you have decided to continue home learning at this point but change your decision at a later point, your child will be able to return. We ask that you contact the school to give 48 hours’ notice of your decision to ensure your child can be safely integrated into a new or existing social bubble. Key worker children will remain with their key worker social bubbles until their year group returns to school.
Year groups will be returning as follows:
- Nursery will return Monday 8th June
- Reception will return Tuesday 9th June
- Year 1 will return Wednesday 10th June
- Year 6 will return Thursday 11th June
We know that some of you will be concerned as you will have children across multiple year groups. As our staggered start and finish times align with guidance for easing travel congestion and safeguarding of our staff and families on public transport, we ask that if you have children across multiple social bubbles that each is dropped off at their appropriate times. It is important to note that staff may not be available until their social bubble times. If this is not suitable for you then all children in the family should be dropped off with the last drop of time and collected with the earliest collection time to ensure staff are available for all your children. Please contact the school if you have any concerns regarding this.
Government guidance suggests that for infection control that all children come into school with clean clothes where possible. As the school reopens to more children, we are now asking that children wear school uniform. We acknowledge that this may be difficult for some families and we suggest that this could be supplemented with non-uniform clothing when needed.
If any child or member of the household displays symptoms of Covid – 19 they should not attend school and should self-isolate for 14 days. Everyone is now entitled to book a test, should they show symptoms. If a positive test is returned, families must inform the school as the social bubble of the child will then be required to all self-isolate for 14days. Should your child develop symptoms during the school day they will be placed in isolation separate from the normal first aid room until they can be collected.
Although we recognise the difficultly, we ask that parents reduce physical contact with all school staff as each social bubble is dependent on the availability of staff. To reduce and control infection we ask that parents reduce physical contact with staff and always maintain 2 metres distance. This will reduce the possibility of staff being tracked and traced and asked to isolate if any parent should become infected. This in turn would result in the collapse of the social bubble during the staff member’s absence.
We want to thank you again for all your support during this period. Please contact the school if you have any concerns as we are aware this is an anxious time for all.
Chief Executive Officer
Arbor Academy Trust