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Proposed Phased Reopening of School

Dear Parents and families,

I hope you are continuing to stay safe and well.  I am now in a position to provide an update on the current position on the proposed phased reopening of school.

The government have asked schools to commence a phased reopening from 1st June dependent upon the 5 key tests being met. However, the Local Authority have pushed this date back for all Warrington schools to the 8th June. As mentioned on my previous letter, the priority groups will be children of critical workers (previously called key workers), vulnerable children, pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.

As a staff we will do everything we possibly can to look after your children and to make them feel safe and happy in school. We have worked relentlessly in school over the last few weeks to prepare our school building and when we open, it will be in an extremely measured and cautious manner. The North West has had one of the highest infection rates in the UK.  We are aware of the uncertain scientific evidence with regard to children passing on the virus and therefore will be putting in place a completely new regime for children. Pupils will experience a school that is very formal for a lot of the time.  It will not be school as the children have known before 23 March.  This will take some significant adjusting to.

It is right to point out that currently we cannot guarantee your child will not get the virus or that it will not be spread to your household.  We are making our best endeavours and all reasonable steps to provide as safe a school as possible.

 

Priority Groups Proposed Return Dates:

Monday 8th June

Year 1

Monday 15th June

Year 1, Reception and Year 6

Monday 22nd June

Year 1, Reception, Year 6 and a limited number of nursery pupils

The government ambition is to welcome back Classes 2, 3, 4 and 5 but will need to wait until later in June to confirm these arrangements.  The DfE is keeping this under review.

NO after school clubs or trips will be able to run for the remainder of the summer term. 

 

Current guidance is that school will close for the summer (as previously arranged) on Tuesday 22nd July

 

Parents will need to decide whether to follow government advice or not to allow your child to return to school, however it should be taken in to account that children who are classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, due to pre-existing medical conditions, or children who live with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable, are not expected to return to school for the time being.  Parents who decide not to send their child back to school until September will not receive any penalty or fine.

 

What will the school day look like?

 

Please note that the guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) acknowledges that as primary schools, we cannot guarantee that children will socially distance within their allocated group.

Drop off and pick up

  • To reduce the number of adults on site and adhere to social distancing, there will be a staggered start and finish time. Each family will be given an allocated time to drop off and collect their children. We request that only one adult drops off and collects their children.
  • Pupils will enter and leave via their allocated classroom door.
  • On entering the school site, all families will need to adhere to a strict one-way system.

 

Pupil Groups

  • Children will be in groups of no more than 12. The children will remain in these groups every day and will not mix with any other group in school.
  • Children will be taught by a familiar adult; this may not be their normal class teacher, however your child’s class teacher will plan and supervise the teaching.
  • The classroom environment will be different, particularly for our early years children. All soft furnishings will be removed along with any resources that will be difficult to clean.
  • All activities will take place within the classroom base and each group will have their own outdoor area. We aim for much of the learning to take place outdoors.
  • Children will be able to play games and sports, but not those that involve sharing any equipment or contact.
  • Children will need to bring in a clearly labelled water bottle.
  • Please keep as closely to school uniform as possible. Ensure that your children can do up their own shoes as staff will not be able to do them without potentially putting themselves at risk.  We would like children to wear school uniform as it will feel more like ‘normal’ school, but realise that it is recommended that children’s clothes are washed at the end of every day. Sensible flat footwear must be worn, suitable for sporting activities.
  • Please do not send in any bags, PE kits, planners, etc to minimise the risk of cross infection.
  • If any child becomes ill in school with a cough/temperature/feels unwell, they will be sent home immediately. The child, their family and their school group may need to be tested/isolated dependent on further clarity in government guidelines.
  • Cleaning will be taking place throughout the day, as will regular handwashing and sanitising. All doors through the school will be kept open to avoid repeated touching of surfaces. There will be regular cleaning throughout the day and a thorough clean after school. Children will use internal corridors sparingly and this will be through a one way system.  Where there is need for two way there will be markers on the floor guiding route.

 

Lunchtime

  • All children in infants (YR, 1, 2) and all those who are entitled to free meals through income related reasons will also receive when they attend, a free meal.
  •  All children will have a packed lunch, whether free or paid.  Payments will be through Parent Pay from 8 June. 
  • Children will have lunch in their classroom. If children bring a packed lunch into school, they MUST bring it in a disposable bag.
  • Lunchtimes and breaktimes will be staggered.
 

 

I would like to thank all our families for your amazing support through this difficult time. I understand, as a parent myself, how difficult it is to make a decision about whether to send your child back to school or not. School will support your decision and continue to support your child with their learning, whether it is at school or at home.

In order to help us plan effectively for the next few weeks, we do need a definite answer from parents/carers of children in Year 1, Reception, Nursery and Year 6 as to whether you wish your child to return to school as set out in the plan above. Please could you email school stbarnabas_primary@warrington.gov.uk with a yes or no by Wednesday 3rd  June at the latest. If school does not have a response from you by then, we will assume you do not want a place.

Throughout June we will be reviewing the plan and hope to be able to invite more year groups back to school (in small groups) for the last few weeks of term. We will ask parents again at the end of June if you would like a place for your child. We understand what a difficult time this is and how hard it is to make the decision.

Please be assured, for those children that attend school, we will do our upmost to make it a positive and enjoyable experience. School will look very different, but, as a staff we remain committed to ensuring your child feels safe and happy for the remaining weeks of the school year.

Please do not hesitate to contact me at school if you would like to discuss the plans.

With very best wishes,

Miss J Hodgkinson

Headteacher

Student Login

St Barnabas CE Primary School

Collin Street, Warrington,

Cheshire WA5 1TG

01925 633606