Things you need to know for your child's first week back
Any updated or changed information below is written in red.
The kitchen can start to provide school lunches from Thursday 4th June. If your child is in school before that, they will need to bring a packed lunch.
Going forward, the school kitchen will only be able to provide cold lunches. This is due to the fact that we cannot have children in different bubble classes mixing in the hall, and the catering company risk assessment states that they cannot serve hot meals in classrooms.
If this changes at all, we will let parents know.
Staff will not be able to come close to pupils to help with their lunchboxes. Your child needs to be able to open their box themselves, as well as any packets or tubs inside, and peel their own fruit if necessary. If your child needs a spoon this needs to be provided from home.
Box of tissues
It would be helpful if your child could being in their own box of tissues in the first week so that they can have a personal supply on their desk.
What children should wear
Children in school need to wear clean clothes each day, following these rules
If children are not following the dress code, we will ask you to take them back home to change.
Sun cream should be applied before school and pupils can bring their own sun cream. Sun cream should be roll-on or in a tube, spray sun cream will not be allowed in school.
Staff will not be allowed to apply it, pupils will need to do that themselves. Pupils must not share sun cream.
On sunny days, if your child does not have a cap or sun hat they will not be allowed outside until you bring one in.
Children will not need to bring in a separate PE kit.
What should children bring?
When will my child start and finish, and which gate should I use?
In order to follow social distancing guidelines, children will enter and leave school using a specific gate, and at a specific time. Please do not come early as then there will be too many people in the lines.
A letter will be sent out individual families confirming start & end times for each class, and which gates to use.
In order to increase the safety of families entering the school, cars will not be allowed onto the school site between 8:35-9:25am or 2:45-3:35pm.
Please walk to school whenever possible to avoid parking near local residents homes. If you must drive, please park respectfully.
We have risk assessed and decided that two classes can enter and leave at the same time. It is not possible to have families all enter/leave school at the same time or the same gate. Each class has a 10 min window to enter school in case families have to go to 2 different gates. There is a 5 minute buffer between groups arriving. If things get faster, we may speed up the process over time.
Children will leave their parents at the gate and wait in an area of the playground with 2 m2 distances marked on the floor.
Once around half of the class are in the playground, these children will be taken in to wash their hands while another member of staff gathers the rest. If a child arrives late to the gate and their class has already gone in, a member of staff will take them to their class. If the gate is closed, parents will need to bring their child to the front office, observing social distancing guidelines.
At hometime the staff will bring pupils to the same gate to be collected. Children will go one by one.
Pupils and parents will need to be patient while we all get used to these new procedures.
Arrangements for the opening of school
Opening date for school
We are working towards opening school to pupils on Tuesday 2nd June. Over the last week it has become apparent that there is an incredibly large amount of work to do to be ready. Our school Risk Assessment and list of control measures is already 13 pages long, and growing, as we take on advice from our school Health and Safety Governor, West Berks Health & Safety team and the unions.
So much work has already been done but actions still to do include: marking up 2m spaces all around school (in the playground, on pathways, in corridors, in toilets etc), removing furniture from classes so that tables can be spaced out and creating individual work stations for each child with the resources that they will need.
We also need to ensure that each class is stocked up with first aid supplies and PPE. This sounds straightforward but of course staff in a class cannot pass each other equipment, or get out equipment from the same bag. So each class needs 3 bags prepared, one for each member of staff.
We are still waiting for deliveries of some equipment due to the fact that orders we made at the start of the month were diverted to the NHS. We are currently expecting these to arrive in time.
Work is going to continue over the next week to prepare, however, it is important to warn you that our Risk Assessment has identified that there are some conditions that would mean the opening would need to be delayed. These include: not having enough cleaners, cleaning equipment, first aid supplies or PPE, the Headteacher, Site Manager or School Business manager being ill, and not having enough teachers to run the bubble classes.
Over the next week Governors will continue to monitor progress towards setting up, and the Headteacher will make the final decision on Friday 29th May as to whether school will be ready.
If we do delay the start date, planned arrangements will remain the same.
We will also be following any new advice that the Government send out, with a further announcement anticipated on Thursday 28th May
Setting up bubble classes
We have looked at the number of children who want spaces in the critical workers, vulnerable category and in Nursery. We plan to open 10 bubble classes in the first week. There will be two for Nursery, two for Reception, one for Year 1, one for Year 2, two mixed Year 3/4 classes, one Year 5 class and one Year 6 class. the arrangement of classes has depended on numbers in each year group.
Appropriate sized classrooms have been selected for each bubble. During our Risk Assessment process we identified that we can fit 10 pupils in most of the classes in the old buildings, 13 in the new building and 15 in Wild Wood Club. I originally planned to keep similar year groups near each other, but now the final numbers are in, that has had to be changed.
In Reception, Year 3 and Year 4 staff are creating 2 classes and carefully considering the emotional needs of the pupils in the classes. In all other year groups all the children coming in in the first wave are being placed in one class.
One pupils are allocated a bubble class that cannot be changed.
Life in a bubble class
Nursery is slightly different from the rest of the school as it is not expected by the Government that pupils will stay in seats while inside.
Within a bubble class pupils will have a set place to sit which will be theirs the whole time. Children are going to have to learn a whole lot of new routines, such as coming into class 1 at a time, washing their hands, sitting in their seat. If a child wants to go the toilet, all of the children in their row will need to stand up and walk into the corridor or outside, so that the child may pass them at a 2m distance, etc
We are planning a rota so that children can be outdoors as much as possible, both for learning activities and break times. We are creating zones in the playground so that 5 classes can be outside at each time. Children will not be allowed to mix with a different bubble class. Reception children will have more frequent times to go outside than other year groups and their timetable will take into account that they need more independent learning time than other year groups.
The lessons taught in the bubble class will be the same as the learning activities that families will be doing at home. In school these will have a teacher input so will last longer. Staff will not be able to go up to pupils to mark their work or look closely at it, and we are looking creative ways to manage this.
Lunchtimes will be rota-ed so that pupils have time to eat, play inside at their work station, and play outside. Each class will have their own Lunchtime Support Assistant who will only be linked to their class.
Start and end to the day
In order to avoid large amounts of people congregating, careful thought will be put into how we can use our different gates, and different times to make this a smooth process. Information will be given about individual start times for classes and routes into school next week.
We know that for some children, particularly those in the younger year groups, they might find it difficult to separate from parents and carers in the mornings after being home for a long time and with school drop-off being different.
In line with the social distancing guidelines, staff will be unable to physically remove any children who are distressed from parents. The staff will encourage the child to come into school and help to reassure them that they will be okay. However, any children who become increasingly distressed and unable to leave parents will have to be taken back home to calm down. We will then contact you to discuss the next steps.
Due to the Government guidance, we cannot allow parents into the school building to settle their children into class. If you anticipate that this might be difficult for your child, please take time to talk to them about what the drop-off will look like before you come to school, to help them prepare for this. You can also email your teacher if you would like some further advice.
If your child leaves you in the morning and is distressed or upset, please be reassured that staff will ensure that they settle and are not distressed for a long time; once they are in the school building and distracted with activities, children do tend to settle quickly.
Information on COVID-19 symptoms and new school procedures
This is an unprecedented situation. Very few of us have ever faced anything like it. To help protect your children and the wider community, please be as honest as possible with school around symptoms, testing and results. You shouldn’t be embarrassed or concerned about reporting a suspected or confirmed case.
We want to provide as much information as possible on our approach to coronavirus symptoms, testing and isolation periods. Please see the answers to key questions below.
1. What do I do if my child displays symptoms?
2. Will the school tell me if another child in the class is displaying symptoms?
3. How many children have to be off school with unconfirmed symptoms before you notify parents?
4. Does my child need to take a test in order to come back to school?
5. What do I do if my child tests positive?
6. What do I do if my child tests negative?
7. Will the school tell me if another child in the class tests positive?
8. Will the school tell me if another child in the school tests positive?
9. What if someone in my family is isolating because they have tested positive with to the virus? Is my child expected to stay at home too?
10. What if someone in my family is isolating because they are aware they may have been exposed to the virus? Is my child expected to stay at home too?
11. What will happen if my child's teacher or TA is off sick?
This information is based on Government Guidance at the time of issue 21st May 2020 and is subject to regular review.
Dates for the phased wider opening of school
In order that we may train as many staff as possible, school will be open only to the children of Critical Workers who are currently attending school and who are not able to be cared for at home on that day.
In order to avoid mistakes in the admissions process, please request places using the correct form below.
You only need to complete one form.
If you are a critical worker, vulnerable family or have a Nursery child and you would like to request a place, please telephone the school office.
Further information and FAQs
Part time places
Teaching and Learning (including home learning)
Personal Protective Equipment
Further year groups
Arrangements in School
Children will be taught in a ‘bubble’ class. These bubbles will consist of children from one or two year groups and once set up, will remain the same throughout the current arrangements.
The number of pupils in each bubble will be dependent upon our risk assessment and the size of the room (noting we need to have children 2m from each other within the classrooms) but will be between 10 and 13 children. Staff will consider pupil needs when arranging bubble classes but I cannot guarantee that pupils will be with their normal teaching staff, be within their normal class group or be with large groups of their friends. Key Pupils will be in their own bubble classes within their own or a mixed year group.
Children and staff will remain in their bubble throughout the day and will not mix with other bubble classes. Break times and lunchtimes will be staggered so that bubbles do not mix outside.
The school day
Break times and lunchtimes will be staggered so that pupils can play and learn outside at different times. Nursery will stay in Early Years and use their playground. With the two fields and two playgrounds, we will have 4 'zones' so 4 bubble classes can be out at any one time. Access to the different zones will be rotated and timetabled carefully to give pupils a change of scenery and avoid cross over.
The kitchen will be offering picnic bags. Alternatively, pupils will be able to bring in a packed lunch. Please remember that we operate a nut free school. Children will eat in their own classrooms.
Drop off and pick up
The Government guidance is that parents should not enter the school and should leave pupils at the gates. In order to do this, we will need to have a staggered system where parents drop off and collect at different times, and we use different gates for different year groups. I am working on this plan, and more information on this will come out nearer the time.
School will close at around 12:00pm for pupils. This is in order to give school a thorough clean mid-week, and to give teachers the planning time they are entitled to, without having lots of different staff moving around the different classes.
Children of critical workers, who have no other childcare available, will be able to remain in school and have an afternoon of PE and other (to be arranged) activities. I would ask that parents please try and make arrangements for childcare for this time.
Our behaviour policy is based on meeting the needs of pupils and keeping them safe. With the current situation some behaviours that would not normally be allowed will now be breaking the rules. For example, children will not be allowed to go close to other pupils or staff.
When bubble classes are first formed staff will spend time helping pupils to understand the new rules. However, I cannot have children scaring or endangering others. I also cannot easily give sanctions, such as a missed break time or missed lunchtime when rules are broken, given the severe nature of the matter.
Any child who does not follow adult instructions to keep themselves or others safe, will need to go home until I am reassured that their behaviour will be safe. This will not be negotiable and will be fully at mine and the senior leadership team’s discretion. This approach has full Governor support.
Social Distancing, hygiene & movement around the school
Government guidance is clear that children in Y1-Y6 need to remain 2 metres apart at all times, and attempts should be made to keep younger children apart.
I think that it is fair to say that I have concerns about how this will operate in practice and children will find this very hard, especially when playing. I know that staff will do their upmost to keep pupils apart and I would ask that you assist in this by teaching your child how far 2 metres is and what it looks like to be 2m from someone else, before they return to school.
The Government guidance is that pupils should wash their hands before they enter class, and then frequently throughout the day and we will facilitate this within the bubble classes.