Issue 34 - Tuesday 14th July 2020
September 2020 Re-opening Plans
Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to share with you the school plans for reopening the school fully in September and the measures that will be in place to keep pupils, parents and staff as safe as possible. Guidance provided by the government to effectively reduce risk means that we are able to open the school on Thursday September 3rd to all pupils but with many measures still in place. In the guidance there are measures that school 'must' follow and additional measures that schools may implement. I am pleased that the government recognise that a one-size-fits-all approach will not work and our approach will be slightly different to many schools around the borough. However, following our experience of partially opening over the past couple of months, I'm confident that we'll be able to use our experience and implement these measures for an increased number of pupils.
I understand that there will be many families that will be anxious about sending back their children in September. I hope that the measures explained below help alleviate that feeling and increase your confidence when sending your children back. The government have said they expect all children to attend school from September and the whole Parkfield staff are looking forward to welcoming back our pupils. We have noticed that the children that have returned have benefitted enormously from contact with friends, teachers and the routine that school provides. If you still feel worried once you have read all that the school is implementing please do contact myself at the school and I'd be happy to discuss any questions or concerns that you may have.
The list below includes a great number of measures. However, we aim to implement them in a way that makes children feel comfortable and ensures Parkfield is still the positive, happy and relaxed environment it always has been.
Four Main Preventative Measures
The following measures 'must' be in place at all schools, including Parkfield:
Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school
Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach
Social Distancing and 'Bubbles'
At Parkfield we will minimise the contact between individuals and keep children in class bubbles that do not mix with other classes.
There is no requirement for social distancing between pupils whilst they're in their 'bubbles' and as a result we can have all pupils back in one classroom. Where possible, staff will socially distance from children within the classroom and not sit face-face with pupils for long periods of time.
Although this will be limited, staff will be able to move between classrooms and work with different groups of children. This is necessary for the smooth running of the school and is required for cover and teacher PPA time.
In KS2, tables will be set up in rows with children facing the front. In KS1, there will be a little more flexibility so that pupils aren't worried about the layout and so that it supports the learning of the younger pupils.
In years 1-6 there will be a 'no-go zone' at the front of the class where children can't stand. This has worked well over the past few months and helps protect members of staff.
Pupils will have their own resources that only they can use, such as pencils, rulers, scissors and pencil crayons. These will be stored in trays or a pencil case. All resources will be provided by school - children must not bring any items in from home.
As per usual, all children will have their own water bottle provided by school. However, these must be taken home each night, cleaned and returned full of water in the morning. Unfortunately, the shared water fountains within school will not be in use.
Items, such as reading books can now be taken home and brought back to school. At school, we will make sure that these items are not shared between classes.
There will be limited sharing of resources across classes, such as art materials and books. Any items that have to be shared, such as ipads, will be thoroughly cleaned beforehand.
In reception, soft furnishings will be removed from the class but children will have access to many resources that only their 'bubble' will share. These items, such as the those found in the home corner, will be regularly cleaned.
In all classrooms, windows and doors will be left open for additional ventilation.
Dropping off and Picking Up
We have decided not to stagger the start and finish time of the school day. We will continue to open the doors at 8.45am and 3.15pm. Please be patient as we do expect entering and leaving school to take a little while longer.
To reduce the numbers of people on the playground, we are asking that only one parent or carer comes onto the school grounds when dropping off and picking up. We will make an exception to this rule for those brand new reception parents that are dropping their children off for the very first time on Thursday September 3rd. This is a special moment we don't want you to miss out on!
An area for members of staff to stand, close to the school building, will be marked clearly on the playground. Teachers/teaching assistants will call their class and collect them from this area. Classes will only be allowed to enter once called to reduce the number of children entering at any one point.
Areas on each playground for parents/carers and their children to stand whilst waiting will be identified. There will be plenty of space for parents to socially distance on the yard.
Please ensure children do not go on the play equipment before and after school. These will be used on a rota basis by particular bubbles during school time.
Before and After School Club (Early Birds and Busy Bees)
Early Bird and Busy Bees club will take place in the hall during the Autumn term from the usual times of 7.30am - 8.45am and 3.15pm - 5.30pm. Parents are to drop off and pick up at the fire doors (new 'red cage') next to the main school entrance.
The hall will be split into areas to accommodate pupils from each class bubble. Children must stay within their allocated areas and maintain social distancing from members of other classes.
These groups will have their own resources, games, breakfast items, plates, cutlery, ipads...etc.
Space is limited and as a result places must be booked beforehand. Contact the school office to book a place.
Assemblies will not take place in the hall as classes can't mix with one another. However, we will continue regular virtual assemblies to bring the school together as a community. This unfortunately means that no class assemblies and parent events will take place for the foreseeable.
All pupils will return to wearing normal school uniform from September. The guidance explains that there is no need to wash uniform more regularly than normal. A reminder about uniform requirements can be found here: https://www.parkfieldprimary.com/website/uniform.html
Both playgrounds will be split into two areas for classes to play in.
KS1 will have playtime at the same time as one another.
KS2 classes will have staggered break times. Y3/4 will have a break for 15 minutes at 10.30am followed by Y5/6 at 11.00am.
KS2 children will not be able to enter into Reception's outside play area.
There will be equipment for each class that they can play with during this time.
The large play equipment, such as climbing frames, rota web and exercise equipment will be used by different classes on a weekly rota.
Lunch times will be staggered so that classes don't play in the same area.
Infants classes will eat their lunch in the school dinner hall.
KS2 pupils will have dinners delivered to their classrooms.
A full menu, including hot food, will be on offer that meets the national food standards. The price of dinners will increase from September to £2.30.
Children with Special Educational Needs
We're pleased that pupils with an EHCP can return full time and will receive the provision that they're entitled to.
For limited times during the day, pupils with SEN, may be grouped with members of other classes so that their needs can be fully met. Unfortunately, our usual excellent provision can't be provided without this small increased risk. If you are worried about this, please contact Mrs Whalen or Miss Steele who will be happy to talk you through the protective measures in place.
We will resume our deliver of our exciting, creative, broad and balanced curriculum. We will continue to teach all subjects. However, we may reduce the amount of time teaching of some foundation subjects in the Autumn and Spring term to focus on basic reading, writing, phonics, vocabulary and maths activities. This will allow children to 'catch up' due to any missed learning.
Following teacher assessments in early Autumn term, we expect a number of pupils across the school will take part in additional intervention and catch up programmes. For some pupils, this may result in them missing a particular subject for a number of weeks. This will only occur, following consultation with parents.
All PE lessons will take place outside.
Children in Y1 - 6 must come to school dressed in their outdoor PE kit on their PE day. (i.e. white t-shirt, tracksuit bottoms, trainers and a tracksuit top. Any dark colour tracksuit is acceptable.)
All PE lessons will include non-contact activities.
Extra Curricular Activities
After school clubs will return from Monday 14th September.
Members of one class only will be able to attend each club. As a result, there will be fewer extra curricular opportunities in the Autumn term.
All sporting fixtures against other schools have been postponed until the Spring term.
All sports clubs will take place outside. Appropriate clothing (i.e. outdoor PE kit) will be required.
Entrance into School
The school office will continue to be closed to parents. If you do need help from the office please call or send an email.
Members of staff will be on the playground each morning and after school to deal with any immediate inquiries. Please ensure you abide by social distancing.
The school gates will continue to be locked throughout the school day but the buzzer at the main entrance can be used.
Meetings with school staff have to be pre-arranged as there is limited space in the school to meet. The majority of meetings continue to take place virtually or over the telephone.
A full risk assessment will be emailed out during the summer holidays which will explain in detail many of the safety measures we're implementing. Please see below for some Frequently Asked Questions. If you have any further questions, please complete the form here (https://forms.gle/a28YWCrUgvB3DRyG7) and I'll include a response in future newsletters.
I do hope the numerous measures mentioned above do ease any anxieties you may have. Please stay safe and thanks for your continued support,
Frequently Asked Questions
We have attempted to answer many of the frequently asked questions we are being asked. If you have any further questions, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org
What risk assessment has taken place to ensure children are safe coming back to school?
A comprehensive risk assessment has been carried out to ensure that all pupils and staff are as safe as possible. The risk assessment, which has been approved by the LA and PHE can be found at the bottom of this page. An addendum will be written over the Summer holidays with additional measures in place for September.
Can you guarantee that my child will not catch coronavirus?
No. The measures we have put in place are to reduce the risk. We cannot eliminate the risk.
Will they be able to bring in a lunch bag?
Yes. These are allowed as children won’t be sharing the contents of their packed lunch.
Will my child have access to the water fountains?
No. Children will have to bring in a water bottle from home that can be taken home and washed daily. On hotter days, children may want to bring in more than one water bottle. Please be assured that if your child forgets their water bottle we will be able to provide them with a drink.
What will my child be able to bring into school in September?
They will be able to bring in usual items such as bags, coats, books, PE kits. No toys or stationary will be allowed.
Will I be fined if I don’t send my child to school in September?
Possibly. The government have said all children must attend school from September. However, there are particular cases where it would be acceptable for children to stay off school. If you have concerns, please contact the school.
What will happen if the member of staff in my child’s bubble is poorly?
If it is not coronavirus related symptoms, we will now be able to cover the class like we usually would with a member of Parkfield staff or a supply teacher.
What will happen if my child has to self-isolate?
We will provide children at home with an education which will be similar to what their classmates will receive in class. We will be working on this over the Autumn term and will provide more details in future.
Who will be allowed into the school building?
We will be reducing the number of people coming into school by having only essential services come in – such as social services, speech and language therapists and workmen. Parents will not be able to come into school. All communication will be via phone, email or video conferencing.
Specific Coronavirus Information
Parkfield school is committed to keeping both children and staff members safe now they have returned to school. We would like to inform you about what our school will be doing and what we ask of you as parents or carers if your child or any member of your household shows symptoms of coronavirus (COVID19).
The most common symptoms of coronavirus (COVID19) are a recent start of any of the following
· A new continuous cough
· A high temperature (feel hot to touch on the chest or back
· A loss or change in your normal sense of taste or smell
A well child/young person feels 100% well, seems themselves and not displaying any changes in behaviour or their daily routines. .
An unwell child could be a possible case of COVID19. Other symptoms that have been linked to COVID are vomiting, diarrhoea, sleeping more than usual, agitated, cold, headaches - anything that may indicate they are not feeling themselves.
Please DO NOT send your child into school if:
· They are unwell in any way
· Anyone in the household is unwell, awaiting testing or their result, or has been tested positive.
What happens if a child/young person or member of staff becomes unwell at school?
As soon as the school is made aware, the child, young person or staff member will be sent home and advised to isolate until the result of the COVID test is known. The school will arrange any necessary cleaning.
How do I get a test for my child?
If your child is displaying symptoms of coronavirus, your school will give you details of how to book a test at the local walk-in testing site which is located at the Rochdale Town hall car park.
A test can also be booked on the NHS website using the link below which provides you options for either a drive-through test, for which you or someone you live with must have a car to get to a regional test site or you can request for a home testing kit for yourself and anyone else you live with who has coronavirus symptoms. There is an identity check for home test kits.
Please ensure you inform the school when you have the test result, whether positive or negative.
What happens if a child, young person or staff member at the school has symptoms?
If anyone in school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste of smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and book a test.
· The person should isolate for a minimum of 7 days, or until the test
· Members of their household should self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 days is the time it takes for symptoms to show if you have been infected.
If a child is awaiting collection, they should be moved, if possible, to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door, depending on the age of the child and with appropriate adult supervision if required. Ideally, a window should be opened for ventilation. If it is not possible to isolate them, move them to an area which is at least 2 metres away from other people. The rest of the bubble need not be sent home unless the child or adult has a positive test result returned.
What happens if a child, young person or staff member at the school tests positive?
Guidance states that:-
Where the child, young person or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group within their childcare or education setting should be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms. Therefore, children/staff in their bubble need to be sent home only if the child/adult has a positive test result.
· The person should isolate for a minimum of 7 days, or until the test
· Members of their household should self-isolate for 14 days. The 14 days is the time it takes for symptoms to show if you have been infected.
· The rest of their bubble/class/group within their school (children and adults) will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days (and offered testing if symptoms develop).
· The other household members who live with the contacts in the bubble/class/group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms
If my child tests positive, do I need to tell people they have been in contact with? Yes. You need to log onto the NHS Test and Trace portal https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk/ and share details of all their close contacts. All close contacts (household, school related or any other close contacts) will receive a letter, a phone call or a text to advise them to self-isolate. Please also ensure that the School Head has been informed.
What happens if my child tests negative?
Your child can return to school when they are 48 hours symptom free. Household members can end their isolation straight away following the negative test, unless someone else in the household is waiting for the result of their test.
What do I need to do if either myself or my child has been in ‘contact’ with somebody who has tested positive
A ‘contact’ is a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic up to 7 days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others).
For example, a contact can be:
· People who spend significant time in the same household as a person who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
· Close personal relationships/partners
· A person who has had face-to-face contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), including: being coughed on, having a face-to-face conversation within one metre, or having skin-to-skin physical contact, or any contact within one metre for one minute or longer
· A person who has been within 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) for more than 15 minutes
· A person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or in a large vehicle or plane near someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
In a schools/setting context, all children/staff in the classroom ‘bubble’ will be classed as a close contact and others will be assessed on a case by case basis. If you or your child falls into one of the categories above of a contact, they must self-isolate at home because you are at risk of developing symptoms in the next 14 days and could spread the virus to others before the symptoms begin. If you have concerns for your health, contact your GP or NHS 111 online. In an emergency, contact 999.
What happens if somebody in the wider school community tests positive?
If a member of the wider school community (e.g. a parent/carer, a member of our cleaning staff, a governor) tests positive, they should let the school know immediately to identify if the confirmed case attended the setting in the 48 hours before the onset of their symptoms (or the date of the test). No further action is required in the school/setting if the person did not attend during that time when they could have been infectious. Contact tracing will take place with the person testing positive to understand the other types of contact the individual may have had both in school and out of school.
We would like reiterate ways to reduce the spread of coronavirus disease and the risk of you and anyone you live with getting ill with COVID-19:
· Maintain physical distancing and to stay 2 metres from apart from others (except family members)
· Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gathering
· Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
· Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
· Wash your hands as soon as you get home
· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
· Put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
· Keep your hands away from your face (eyes, nose and mouth)