A summary of information for parents and carers
When will the children start back at school?
School will reopen for all current Foundation Stage 1(FS1) pupils and all pupils in Foundation Stage 2 (FS2) to Year 6 on Thursday 3rd September.
The new children who are joining FS1 will start school on Monday 7th September or Tuesday 8th September. This is because we have arranged some ‘transition visits’ for all the new FS1 children on Thursday 3rd and Friday 4th September as, due to Covid 19, some of the new children and families have never visited school so we want them to feel happy and comfortable starting school.
How should we travel to school?
We encourage parents to walk or cycle to school where possible to reduce congestion, help the local environment and improve children’s fitness. We will be installing bike racks to provide a secure location for pupils to keep their bikes at school. More information will be provided once these have been installed.
We ask all those driving to school to continue to be mindful when using the village hall car park. We kindly ask that once you have dropped off/collected your child that you create space in the car park for other families. It is also important that, wherever possible, all families adhere to social distancing rules and avoid group gatherings.
If you use public transport to travel to and from school, all adults and children over the age of 11 must wear a face mask. Following government guidance children are not advised to wear face masks in school. Should you choose for your child to wear a mask whilst using public transport, it must be removed and stored in a clean plastic bag before entering the school building. School have bags available for those who require them.
Where will I drop-off or collect my child from?
Please note that Staggered starts have been put in place to support social distancing and reduce mass gatherings of children and pupils. The entrance/exit location and time for each bubble are as follows…
Year 1 & 2 pupils will enter the Ark through the front door and Year 3 will enter via the back door.
If a family member or childminder drops-off and collects your child, then it is the responsibility of parents to share these details and make sure they are clear about the arrangements.
What measures are in place to reduce mass gatherings of parents and children at the start and end of school?
Parents must not congregate on or around the school site before or after school. All adults must always maintain social distancing to reduce the chance of transmitting the virus and because they are role models for the children about how to behave in public places.
We kindly ask that only one parent accompanies their child to and from school. School staff will meet and greet pupils at the gates/doors. Unfortunately, during this time, parents are still not able to enter the school ground or premises without an appointment.
If parents of Year 5 and 6 pupils would like their child to walk home, they must inform the school office of this information via email, as we require written confirmation of these arrangements.
What do I do if I am late dropping off or collecting my child?
It is essential that all children arrive and leave at their designated start or finish time.
Anyone arriving after their designate time must wait until 8.40 before making their way to the main gate or the front entrance (school reception). Any pupil arriving after 8.45 will receive a late mark. Parents must not enter the school grounds when dropping their child at the gate or reception.
At the end of the day, any pupils who have not been collected will wait in their classroom bubble. Parents must then wait until 3.10 before making their way to the main gate or the front entrance (school reception). Parents must not enter the school grounds so please use the telecom and your child will be collected from their bubble by a member of staff.
If you are unable to wait please contact the school office and we will try our best to organise alternative arrangements, however, this may not always be possible.
What is happening about Breakfast and After School Clubs?
We can only offer a very limited number of places in our Breakfast and After School clubs because we cannot mix large groups of children. Early Birds is due to restart on Friday 4th September and Night owls will re-start from Thursday 3rd September.
At this time, we can only offer Early Birds and Night Owls places to parents who rely on them for childcare. For this reason, we sent out booking forms for Wrap Around Care at the end of the summer term to allow those in need to prepare and plan ahead.
As per government guidance, children may mix bubbles in order to access wrap around care (WAC). We have put plans in place to ensure WAC bubbles remain as safe as possible and distance is maintained. In Early Birds, this will be done by grouping children by siblings and classroom bubbles and ensuring a minimum of 2m distance is kept between other small groups. Early Birds will continue to be led by Mrs. Morton.
In Night Owls we have two groups, one group of children will be run by Mrs. Wright, our new Night Owls leader, and the other group by Mrs. Drever or Mrs. Holland. We have used the days in which pupils attend Night Owls to plan these groups.
Parents who use the wrap around provision for childcare must understand that if any child tests positive for COVID, then both their class bubble AND their breakfast club/ after school club group will be closed down and all children in those groups would be required to self-isolate.
We look forward to offering a full selection of After School Clubs as soon as possible, when the Government Guidance allows.
Drop off and collection at Breakfast and After School Clubs
Children attending Early Birds must be dropped off at the main entrance (office). Please use the hand sanitiser provided and ring the buzzer to inform a member of staff of your arrival.
As children in Night Owls will be split into groups, there will be two collection points. We advise adults collecting children from Night Owls to park in the village hall car park. If your child is accessing outdoor provision, then please wait to collect your child from the side gate. If your child is accessing inside provision, then please head to the main entrance to collect your child from the hall. Please use the hand sanitiser provided and ring the buzzer to inform a member of staff of your arrival.
If another family is at the door/gate when you arrive to school, then please keep your distance and wait for a member of staff to welcome your child into school.
Do they need to wear uniform?
School uniform should be worn in accordance with the school’s uniform policy. Uniform ‘does not need to be cleaned more often than is usual’ as stipulated by Government guidance. Please ensure all uniform is clearly labelled. This will support school in returning any lost uniform to their owner.
What will they need to bring from home?
Pupils can take books and other shared resources home, although unnecessary sharing
should be avoided, especially where this does not contribute to pupil education
and development. Cleaning and rotation of items to be followed.
Children will be able to bring the following items to and from school
PLEASE ENSURE ALL ITEMS FROM HOME ARE NAMED.
Reading books will be sent home as usual. They will be cleaned after they have been returned and will only be permitted to go back onto bookshelves after 72 hours.
Children must not bring any other items from home unless permitted by their class teacher. We kindly ask that pupils limit the number of key rings on their book bags and refrain from attaching large 'soft toy' of fabric keyrings where possible as this prevents them from being stored safely in school.
All personal belongings will be kept in your child's tray or on their peg.
What hygiene measures are in place?
We have hygiene kits in each classroom, including cleaning products and equipment. Surfaces are cleaned regularly and systems for cleaning equipment in between use is in place.
Children are expected to wash their hands multiple times throughout the day; members of staff will be available to support and supervise handwashing where it is appropriate, and we have visual reminders in all the toilets and sink areas about good handwashing.
We have plenty of tissues and remind children about good nasal hygiene through use of Catch It – Bin It – Kill It signage.
We have supplies of hand-gel throughout the school (inside and outside) and children are expected to use this regularly (in addition to handwashing).
How will you make sure children are socially distant with each other?
Children have been organised into class groups that will stay with each other for most of their time in school. You may have heard them being referred to as ‘bubbles’. Early Years (FS1 & FS2) will form a bubble as they share toilet facilities however they will not share resources inside and wherever possible will be kept separate whilst inside. They will share a space during their lunchtime break. There will be 4 class bubbles across the school, Yr 1&2, Yr 3, Yr 4, and Yr 5&6.
A playtime rota is in place to ensure pupils can remain in their bubbles during their breaks yet reap the benefits of ‘being together’ safely as a whole school. Alongside their outdoor learning environments, Early Years pupils also have access to a sectioned off area of the main playground during their lunchtime break.
Children will not move around the site as much as they used to however, when they do, they will use social distancing markers that are on the floor throughout the whole site to help them.
We recognise that social distancing with the younger children is a challenge so we will remind them regularly about it, but we cannot guarantee that it can be maintained with the younger children. The government guidance states that schools do not need to insist on social distancing with the younger children. We want our children to learn through play and engage in the quality interaction with others that are so important for young children.
How will staff social distance?
Staff will continue to maintain 1m+ social distancing wherever possible. Our staffroom will not be used for staff to congregate and our school office is out of bounds to all but a few members of our team.
We will not allow visitors or parents into the school building to maintain good social distancing, however, we are still available to talk to parents either over the phone, email, or online meetings such as Teams or Zoom.
What will happen at lunchtime?
Unfortunately, for a range of reasons, we are still unable to offer our normal hot lunch menu in September.
NCC catering are offering a packed lunches that contain a sandwich/roll (selection of fillings available), a piece of fruit, a packet of crisps, and a muffin/biscuit. The meals cost £2.30per day and are payable through your child’s Schoolmoney account. Children in FS2, Year 1, and Year 2 are entitled to the lunches free of charge under the government’s Universal Free School Meals Scheme. Children receiving Free School Meals will be exempt from charges.
We ask that packed lunch bookings are made on a half termly basis, however, there will be flexibility during the first two weeks of term to support families as we all settle back into school life. We are keen to reinstate hot meals and will continue to follow government guidance and inform families as soon as we believe it is safe to do so.
Lunch will be eaten in the classrooms for all classes except Early Years. Children in Early Years will eat their lunch in the school hall as there is not enough table space for all pupils in the early year’s environment.
Children can bring a packed lunch; parents must ensure the lunch box is cleaned thoroughly every day.
What will the classrooms look like?
The classrooms have been planned to respond to both the children’s needs and the government guidance. Where possible/appropriate tables have been arranged to ensure pupils are forward-facing and/or are distanced from others.
We have aimed to ensure that classrooms have the same welcoming feel that they used to have, whilst managing the use of high touch and shared resources with regular cleaning in mind.
Teachers are planning learning activities that reduce the need for close face to face interaction.
In KS2, adults will provide feedback to the children at the adults’ level rather than the adult moving to the child’s level (unless required to best meet the needs of the pupil).
In Reception and Year 1 we will allow a more’ free flow’ approach to the provision so that the children can learn through play. In Year 1&2 tables and classroom provision have been set up to ensure they are forward-facing wherever possible. They will be allowed to sit on the carpet in small groups but will be expected to distance themselves as much as possible.
Do the normal rules and expectations still apply?
The journey through North Wheatley C of E Primary will give every
member of the school community the courage and faith to: ‘Believe,
Achieve and Thrive’ to encourage them to ‘be the best me that they can
be’ so that they ‘Shine as lights in the World’ - Philippians 2:15.
Christian Values are the heartbeat of our school.
Worship is an important and special part of our day at North Wheatley C of E Primary. As group gatherings are to be avoided, pupils will be unable to take part in collective worship until further notice. Plans for worship have been put in place to ensure distance between bubbles. Worship will be held in classrooms on four days a week. One day a week the hall will be used to facilitate worship in the following groups.
Early Years – 1 bubble
Yr 1&2 and Y3 – 2 bubbles
Yr 4 & Yr 5&6- 2 bubbles
The seating has been planned to ensure all pupils can remain forward-facing and distanced (as necessary) within their bubble and between another. Groups will enter and exit separately through different doors keeping a minimum of 3 metres away from children of the other bubble at all times. Distance will be enforced using barriers (benches). The room will be well ventilated to ensure arrangements are as safe as possible.
We will continue to use our Behaviour Signposts and Sat Nav to support pupils in making good choices.
The Gem Powers will be used across school to focus children’s minds on key learning behaviours, and supporting them in becoming confident, independent learners that are willing to challenge themselves, support each other and enjoy learning.
How will you involve the School Community in school life?
It should be noted by parents/carers that you will not be able to enter the school building without a prior appointment-this is for the safety of all. If you require an appointment with a member of staff, please email or phone the school office to arrange this. On attending an appointment, face coverings must be worn by visitors in school corridors due to space restrictions. These may be removed (given social distancing of 2m minimum is achievable) in well ventilated spaces. Appointment will be limited to avoid times where levels of staff/pupil movement across school is at its highest. Appointments are only to be made where a telephone or online meeting is not sufficient.
Parents may arrange meetings will their class teacher after school via telephone. Short face to face meetings may take place outdoors after school pick up as long as social distancing is in place. These should be pre-planned wherever possible. Staff are unable to engage in longer discussions at morning drop due to staggered start and to ensure pupils learning is not delayed.
Unfortunately, there will be NO parental events during the Autumn Term – this includes Fab Fridays. This is a huge part of our school ethos and it is very disappointing, however, we must follow the guidance given. If the guidance around this changes, school will alter the arrangements in compliance with this. We are planning alternative ways to offer these events and aim to utilise various online platforms to ensure the whole school community remains an active part of school life. We will keep in touch about future events via the school calendar on the school website and through regular newsletters.
All letters from parents should be returned through pupils, who can bring limited items into school. For younger pupils, parents may wish to inform their child’s teacher about the letter or hand it to their child’s teacher personally. Systems will be put in place for parent governor voting.
How will you make sure the children settle into their new class? How are you going to support their wellbeing after such a difficult time?
During the summer term, we produced transition booklets and transition videos for pupils in early years. These are available on our website on the Early Years Class Page. Mrs. Lowndes also recorded a welcome video for those new to Year 1&2. All parents received information about their child’s new year group as part of the summer term reports.
Activities over the first half term will be planned to support the transition for everyone. We understand lots of our children will not have been in school for over five months, so the teachers are planning to take their time to make sure the children can settle in. The children will revisit our school values and expectations including our Behaviour Signpost and Gem Powers.
All members of staff have accessed training on reintegrating pupils into education and will be provided with strategies to support wellbeing and our recovery curriculum.
Pupils wellbeing will be a priority across school, with class worships and PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic education) being planned to further support pupils. Adults across school demonstrate the 3 C’s, calm, considerate, and compassionate in their approach.
How will you help the children to ‘catch up’?
Our priority is around wellbeing and health.
When the children have settled in, their teachers will carry out assessments and plan support for anyone who needs additional help in Reading, Writing and Maths.
All teachers and leaders have reviewed the curriculum and adjusted our plans so that it enables the children to repeat aspects they may need to, but also supports rapid progress.
Knowledge organisers were sent home over the summer holidays to support pupils with recapping previous learned knowledge and facts. Staff have planned fun activities for pupils to recall and apply this knowledge as they return in the autumn term.
Will swimming lessons continue?
We have made the decision to delay swimming lessons until March 2021 when we hope to be able to take more than one bubble swimming safely. In March we will be offering a block of 17 lessons to some pupils on a Friday morning. More information about who will access this provision and the safety measures in place will be planned in line with government guidance and shared with parents/carers in the spring term.
What if my child, or one of our family members, becomes ill? What happens if a child gets ill in my child’s group?
If a child displays any symptoms of Coronavirus, they will need to be isolated from others in their ‘bubble’. Their temperatures will be taken by a member of staff. We will then contact parents and ask that their child is collected as soon as possible by a member of the family household. When the child is awaiting collection, they will be moved to the Headteachers office where they can be isolated behind a closed door with a window and with appropriate adult supervision. The adult supervising the child will wear full PPE clothing when dealing with a suspected case; this includes a face mask, face shield/ visor, apron, and gloves.
The child would then need to be kept in isolation at home for 10 days and additional family members for 14 days. Tests are now freely available, any child or family member displaying symptoms will need to undertake a test as soon as possible and inform school of the outcome.
If any child in school tests positive for COVID, every child and member of staff in their group will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. If a member of a child’s household tests positive for COVID, the child and the household members must self-isolate for 14 days. The other children and staff in the child’s group do not have to self-isolate.
The development of the NHS ‘Track and Trace’ scheme is a key part of the government plan to manage Coronavirus. School will, therefore, be required to share essential data on request from NHS Track and Trace workers. We will be sharing data on the basis that this is a Public Duty as per our school Privacy Notice. Please be assured that we will keep a record of the information that we have been requested to share.
What if I live with an extremely clinically vulnerable household member? What if my child is still shielding?
If any families have a household member who will continue to shield after the 1st August, please contact the school office (individual risk assessments to be carried out where necessary). The government guidance states that all children will be expected to attend school from September and we want to work with any parents who are worried to reassure you that we are taking every precaution to keep our community safe.
What will happen if in the events of a local lockdown or if my child is unable to attend school due to Covid 19.
Where a class, group, or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or there is a local lockdown requiring pupils to remain at home, schools are expected to have the capacity to offer immediate remote education. Staff will be putting plans into place to ensure we are prepared to offer high-quality home learning as required.
Staff will complete online safety training during the September Inset and will be prioritising this element of the computing & PSHE curriculum during the Autumn Term.