September Reopening Information
You will have heard the government announcement that schools will be open for all children for full-time education from September 2020. Our school has been welcoming children in different year groups back to school since June. We approached this with great caution, reviewing all the scientific advice to ensure that we could be as safe as possible. Thank you to all those parents who sent their children back into school – it has been lovely to see them, hear their laughter in the school and see them making progress.
We are delighted that we can now look forward to seeing all our children back in September. We will be very busy in the next couple of weeks planning, completing new and detailed risk assessments, and working out exactly what school will look like and feel like when your child returns.
The Government has stated: ‘Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)’.
We’re working hard to consider how we group pupils together, ensure that we reduce contact between different groups of pupils, and keep the stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes we have in place to ensure that our school is as safe as can be for your child.
In preparation, there are some key points that you need to be aware of to ensure that your child is safe. Please be aware some details may change, but we will keep you updated.
- You must ensure that if anyone in your household has COVID-19 symptoms, your child does NOT attend school. Any child or staff member who develops symptoms in the school day will be sent home immediately. If anyone in your household, or your child, tests positive for COVID-19 you MUST inform the school immediately
- The government has advised walking or cycling to school wherever possible to reduce the use of public transport
- The rules around attendance are changing. The government relaxed the rules on attendance during lockdown. However, this will change in September and attendance will be monitored as it previously was. The government guidance says:‘Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term’
- Pupils and staff will not be wearing face coverings in school. The government advice states that this is not necessary
- Your child will be expected to follow strict behaviour rules relating to physical contact with other pupils, and keeping their hands clean. Pupils will be expected to wash their hands regularly, and/or use hand sanitiser
- If your child has Special Educational Needs and/or Disabilities (SEND), we may contact you to explain what provision will look like from September but if you are worried about anything specific or have any questions, please do get in touch
- Our school kitchen will re-open in September and hot lunches will be available again. Pupils eligible for free school meals will return to having their lunch at school, and will no longer receive lunch vouchers. The children will be eating their lunch in their classroom to ensure that they remain within their bubble. Lunches can be paid for in the same way as previously done so by using the Gateway
- In order to maintain social distancing during play times, the children will remain in their class bubble with an allocated area of the playground to use. The children will be given the opportunity to go out for playtime in the morning and will have time to play outside during lunchtime in addition to their time eating inside
- We will begin to issue reading books again. We appreciate your patience as there may be some delays between books as we are making sure that any book returned isn’t touched for at least 72 hours. This will ensure books that go home are safe
- The children will go back to wearing school uniform. We would still encourage that this clothing be washed on a regular basis
The beginning of term for the school is Thursday 3rd September 2020 (Tuesday and Wednesday are inset days in school for staff but not children).
We will be staggering the timings of the day. There will be more details of this to follow but it will be really important that you are on time for the drop offs and pick-ups as we have a very small drop off window to ensure effective social distancing. Our guide to school, first published before we reopened in June, will be updated and published before we break up for summer.
We know that many of the children who have been unable to return to school will be excited to return however we also understand that some of you and your children will be anxious about returning in September. Please be reassured that we are taking exceptional measures to make our schools as safe as can be. We will be providing additional emotional and wellbeing support for the children of Gray’s Farm, and will also be providing additional opportunities to support learning where this is required. Although many of our children and families have worked hard using our remote learning resources provided by our dedicated teachers, we are fully aware that some learning may have been lost. We’re adapting our curriculum to make sure that your children get the learning and knowledge that they need to achieve success in the future.
Have a wonderful and safe summer. We are looking forward to seeing your lovely smiling faces again in September.
Take care and thank you for your ongoing support