School Opening in September 2020
Following the government announcement that all children return to school in September, we have been working closely to establish what is right for our school and planning accordingly. The council is supporting schools in County Durham and have provided a risk assessment, which is designed to put the health and safety of children first. The staff have been working extremely hard to prepare the building and make the necessary changes. Everyone has taken a key role in this as we realise how vital it is. I am very grateful for their continued commitment and extreme professionalism.
Parents should be aware that these plans may be subject to change at short notice as further guidance becomes available from the government or changes are needed within school to ensure we meet the required safety standards. Following our planning and risk assessment, we have decided that the following approach best suits the needs of children and families at our school. We have looked at how to organise the teaching spaces and are able to offer the required social distancing in classrooms for these year groups.
We look forward to welcoming pupils back to school soon and starting our new academic year when gates open at 8.50am on Wednesday 2nd September. We will not gather on the yard as we normally do at the start of term, but children will go straight into their classes as they move to their next year group. The teachers look forward to welcoming the children and settling them back to school. The government have provided some guidance on returning to school but it remains up to each school to decide how to do this safely. To ensure we follow our Durham County Council risk assessment which has been adapted for our school, I would like to remind you of the following procedures in place:
Year 1 to Year 6
- We will continue to welcome children through the side gate with one adult only per family and ask parents to leave by walking up the ramp and out the top gate. We ask that parents follow social distancing guidelines.
- To collect your child(ren) you will also enter through the side gate and leave via the top gate.
- No staff will be on the yard at the start or end of day to talk to. We need to get every child out safely and ensure parents stay apart.
- Communication with school needs to be via the telephone or email and visits to the school hatch should be kept to a minimum and for essential reasons only.
- Children need to return to school wearing uniform and appropriate school shoes.
- They can only bring in essential items such as a named water bottle for water only (no juice), packed lunch (if your child brings one) and their PE kit.
- All stationary items will be provided to ensure children bring in the minimum, essential items to school.
- No snacks from home may be brought in.
Reception and Nursery
- As children in Reception and Nursery have been unable to come in for transition visits, we will be staggering their starts this year.
- Reception children will attend for mornings only for the first 2 weeks. We hope this will allow them to settle into their surroundings, building up to full time days by week 3. Their times will be 9.00-11.00 for week 1 and 9.00-12.15 on week 2, allowing the children to stay for lunch by the second week before being collected from the side gate by a parent/carer.
- Our Nursery children will also have 2 weeks transition to allow them to get to know staff and settle in. All Nursery children are invited in for afternoon sessions for the first 2 weeks to get to know the staff in Early Years. A letter with their start times has previously been sent home.
Your support and understanding are greatly appreciated during the full opening of schools. I have included a list of Questions and Answers that may offer more information.
Mrs Laura Snowdon (Headteacher)
Questions & Answers
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