Email Sent on 14th May 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Since my previous newsletter, the government has set out some guidelines for schools so that they can plan for the potential reopening on the 1st June for children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
As you can imagine, the reopening of the school will provide us with many challenges before we can open the doors and safely welcome children into the building. The reason for this letter is that safety will be our number one priority and we want to find out the potential number of pupils that we will have attending if Parkfield does open, allowing us to plan effectively.
Rest assured, I will be taking every precuation feasible to ensure that the school will be as safe as possible for our children, staff and wider community. The guidelines that the government have presented to schools means Parkfield will look, feel and run very differently to how it did before lockdown. For example, if Parkfield does reopen in June, the following are some of the measures that are likely to be in place:
- Phased return for each year group. It is highly unlikely that we will have all groups in immediately on the 1st June. Steps will be taken to gradually and methodically bring back groups of children.
- Staggered start and finish times to reduce the number of people dropping off and picking up in the school yard.
- Part time timetables for pupils. It is highly unlikely that children will be in full time.
- Children segregated into smaller groups that they stay with whilst they're in school. This will probably include two members of staff that also spend everyday with the group. There will be no mixing between these groups.
- No guarantee that your child will be with thier class teacher.
- Children of Keyworkers and those that are classed as vulnerable but are not in Rec, Y1 or Y6 will be kept as one group.
- No school place offered for siblings that aren't in these classes.
- No before or after school clubs.
- Little movement around the school.
- Staggered break times so groups don't mix.
- Lunchtime in classrooms.
- Reduced furniture and learning resources within classrooms. For example, soft furnishings and toys have to be removed from classrooms.
- Increase in outdoor learning opportunities within the school grounds.
- Return will be a long way from 'education as normal'
- Different approach/style of the usual Parkfield lessons. Paired discussion and group work is unlikely to take place.
- Regular handwashing.
- Increase in the amount of cleaning taking place throughout the day.
- Reduced/little opportunities for sports to reduce risk of injuries.
- Those pupils that are unable to follow social distancing guidelines (i.e. stay with their group) will be unable to attend.
- If a pupil/member of staff is diagnosed with COVID-19, the whole group will self isolate. However, the group will also be able to be tested for the virus.
The government have recognised that social distancing within schools is difficult and have relaxed the 2m rule, particularly for younger children. However, we will be 'promoting' social distancing where possible.
The measures above highlight the challenges we currently face to keep all Parkfielders as safe as possible. Before children do return we will be completing a risk assessment which will include all the measures we will be putting into place and we will share this with you once complete.
Nothing would give us greater pleasure than welcoming your children back but we will not be placing any pressure on you for your children to return. We appreciate all of your cirumstances are different and we fully understand if you decide not to send your child(ren) due to the current pandemic. The government have indicated that parents and carers that choose not to send their children to school will not be fined.
For those that do remain at home we will continue with our home learning programme and ensure it links closely to what's happening within school. We do not want those that stay at home to be disadvantaged.
Finally, to help us plan for a reopening of the school I am asking all parents to complete the online questionnaire below and indicate their intentions if school does reopen. I have included all year groups in this so that I can gauge the opinions of the whole school community.
Thank you for your continued support and understanding. Stay safe and I will contact you again shortly.
COMPLETE THE QUESTIONNAIRE HERE. https://forms.gle/Lpszb6DH8GtgbGuZ6