17.8.21 New Term Ms Gita Letter
I hope you have all had an opportunity to relax, see something new, meet friends and family, and are ready to think about the new academic year.
I am writing to give you an overview of what to expect when we return to school on Wednesday 25th August. Please read this information carefully so that we can continue to keep each other as safe as possible as we learn to live with Covid-19.
I have also placed below a site map with class locations for next year so you can try and figure out where to drop or pick up your children!
‘The Government’s priority is to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education - particularly given that the direct clinical risks to children are extremely low, and every adult has been offered a first vaccine and the opportunity for 2 doses by mid-September.’
‘Schools priority is to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils. The evidence is clear that being out of education causes significant harm to educational attainment, life chances, mental and physical health.’
It is clear that the vaccination programme is working with the current variants, and this Government strategy for schools is based on the assumption that most adults (18+ years old) will have had 2 vaccination doses by mid-September. The World Health Organisation states that if 70% of a population is vaccinated, risks have been reduced enough to allow more freedom of movement, keeping risks to a minimum for more vulnerable individuals. The health principles for Covid are the same as those applied for diseases in the past, like measles and whooping cough, for which as a general population, we continue to be vaccinated against.
Health & Safety – Covid Symptoms, Testing & Isolation
As always we should NOT come on to the school site if we have coronavirus symptoms and should get tested.
If your child develops a temperature, a persistent cough or demonstrates a change in their sense of smell or taste, these are symptoms of Covid and you should ensure your child is tested before sending them to school. Please do not ignore these symptoms, do not give your child paracetamol /Calpol and send them to school if they have a temperature.
Testing & Isolation
From 16 August 2021, children under the age of 18 years old and those who have been vaccinated will no longer be required to self-isolate if they are contacted by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
Instead, children will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage you to ensure your child takes a PCR test if advised to do so.
It is only if your child or a member of your household tests positive, that your child will need to isolate. This means whole classes will no longer close.
Any child who is isolating will continue to be provided with online access to their class lessons via their MSTeams account.
This can be difficult for class teachers to manage, as they will also be teaching the children in class. Therefore remote teaching will only be offered to any child who cannot be onsite due to Covid reasons only.
Health & Safety – School Site
‘The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.’
At Shenton, for drop off and pick up times we will expect all adults to continue to wear face coverings. All staff will continue to wear face shields.
It’s important to remember that the wearing of face shields/coverings/masks is a safety courtesy to others, not ourselves. Wearing a face mask protects other parents, children & staff from us. Please continue to be respectful of others within our school community, as there are some who have been unable to be vaccinated and are still vulnerable.
We will challenge you, if you are not wearing a face covering at these times, and may not permit you entry to the site until most other adults/children have gone to ensure any risks stay as low as possible.
Drop off: 8.40am – 8.50am
Pick Up: 3pm – 3.10pm (Nursery finish 11.40am)
The one way system will no longer be in operation as we do not have available staff to monitor and support. There will no longer be any access through the school hall.
Please continue to avoid driving down and/or parking on this road during pick up/drop off times. The children are used to walking in the middle of the street and are therefore not as safety aware, and also, importantly, it helps us to all maintain our distancing.
Do not rush, if we’re late, we’re late. If we can accept we are late, we can then stop rushing and can make sure others’ are kept safe.
Health & Safety – Classrooms
The Government has issued new guidance for schools.
Children will no longer be in class ‘bubbles’, they will be seated in a way that supports their education rather than in rows and will mix across classes at playtimes/lunch times with a maximum of one more year group.
This means at playtimes & lunchtimes, all Year 5 & 6 children will mix, all Year 3 & 4 children will mix, all Year 1 & 2 children will mix. Children in Reception will mix across the two classes and Nursery will remain as a separate class with their own play area. This supports the children’s emotional and social development.
We will continue to ensure children wash their hands regularly, classrooms and equipment is regularly cleaned, children use ‘Catch it, Kill it, Bin it’ when using any tissues or if they sneeze, and keeping classrooms well ventilated.
All staff will also continue to test themselves using Lateral Flow Tests twice weekly.
For the academic year 2021/22 classes will break for lunch at the following times:
Reception: 11.45am – 12.45pm
Year 1, 2, 3 & 4: 11.30am – 12.30pm
Year 5 &6: 12 – 1pm
(Nursery finish 11.40am)
Communication with Teachers
If you would like to meet with teachers, this will need to continue to be via appointment so we can maintain 2m distancing or we can meet with you via MSTeams.
You can talk to teachers at classroom doors to arrange convenient times, email or ask at the office. If teachers need to talk to you about an incident, they may ask you to wait until 3pm or tell you that they will contact you via MSTeams after all the children have left to ensure we maintain confidentiality whilst still relaying any important information. If you haven’t done so already, it would be helpful if you could download MSTeams on to your phones.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 0116 2628778
What do you need to do now?
- Make sure your child has the correct school uniform, and they are warm enough as classrooms will continue to be well ventilated.
- Get your children to school, and their classrooms between 8.40am and 8.50am – wear a mask if you come on to the school site. Don’t drive down Dunlin Road.
- Ensure your child has their book bag, water bottle, PE kit (in a bag).
- You may wish to send your child with a healthy play time snack and packed lunch.
- Be ready to collect your child, wearing a face covering, between 3pm and 3.10pm.
We are looking forward to a very positive academic year, making sure your children feel a much greater sense of normality. This will ensure your child can make the social, emotional and academic progress they need to, to become the amazing young adults they will grow into.
Thank you for your continued support. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please email me. email@example.com