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Spurcroft Primary School and Nursery

The future begins here...

COVID-19 School Arrangements

Things you need to know for your child's first week back

Any updated or changed information below is written in red. 

 

School lunches

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.

 

Packed lunches

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

  • Children must be dressed sensibly for the weather. Shorts and a t-shirt would be ideal.
  • Clothes should be suitable for running around. 
  • Trainers or school shoes must be worn. Sandals or boots will not be allowed as they make running more dangerous. 
  • All t-shirts must cover shoulders and strappy tops will not be allowed due to the danger of sunburn.
  • Children cannot wear football kits.
  • All children need a sun hat/cap and cardigan/jumper each day because they will be outside a lot, sometimes in sunny areas, sometimes in shady areas. 

 

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?

  • A water bottle
  • Their lunchbox if needed
  • Suncream
  • Sun hat or cap
  • Their pencil case on a Monday 
  • A box of tissues to leave on their table
  • Children should not bring in a bag unless they have too much to carry on a particular day. To make storage easier, bags should be as small as possible, eg a PE kit type bag. 

 

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?

 

  • In line with government guidance if your child develops symptoms of coronavirus , they will need to stay at home and self-isolate until they can be tested. If your child develops symptoms in school, you will be contacted immediately to collect them.
  • If your child develops symptoms at home, please keep them at home and call the school to let us know.
  • Information will be provided on how your child and household can be tested for coronavirus and we ask that tests be undertaken as soon as possible.

 

2. Will the school tell me if another child in the class is displaying symptoms?

 

  • No - The symptoms of coronavirus are like many other common conditions. To avoid unnecessary concern, we will only let parents know if there is a confirmed case within the school. Any child showing symptoms will be sent home immediately and cannot return to school until they have had a test, or a period of 14 days has expired.

 

3. How many children have to be off school with unconfirmed symptoms before you notify parents?

 

  • The leadership team and Governors will be carefully monitoring the situation. With advice from West Berkshire Council (and Public Health England if necessary) we will inform parents if we think it is appropriate to do so.

 

4. Does my child need to take a test in order to come back to school?

 

  • Any child displaying symptoms should be tested for the virus. Detail of how to obtain a test can be found here.

 

5. What do I do if my child tests positive?

 

  • Please call to let us know as soon as possible. You, your child and your wider household will then need to self-isolate for 14 days. Your child will not be able to return to school until their symptoms have gone and you will need the agreement of the Headteacher before they can return.

 

6. What do I do if my child tests negative?

 

  • Please let the school know and provide a copy of their negative test result. Upon receipt the Headteacher, or member of the Senior Leadership Team will confirm that your child can return to school the next day.

 

7. Will the school tell me if another child in the class tests positive?

 

  • Yes, if a case is confirmed in your child’s class, we will write to let you know. All children and staff in that class will be required to stay at home for 14 days. If they don’t develop any symptoms during that time, they can then return to school. During that 14 day period the classroom and immediate surrounding area will be deep cleaned ready for the children to return.

 

8. Will the school tell me if another child in the school tests positive?

 

  • Yes – we will inform parents of all children attending school if there is a positive case. There will be no need for anyone outside of the affected class to stay at home.

 

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?

 

  • Yes – in line with the Public Health England advice, your child will need to stay at home if a member of your household develops symptoms.

 

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?

 

  • No – in line with the Public Health England advice, your child will only need to stay at home if a member of your household develops symptoms.

 

11. What will happen if my child's teacher or TA is off sick?

 

  • We will try to cover with other school staff by using teachers or TAs who have not been teaching any other class to avoid mixing. We will ask that teacher to work outside of a classroom environment for 7 days following that period.
  • If we are unable to provide cover with school staff we will seek to arrange a temporary supply teacher.
  • We will not split a bubble class up and mix them with other classes.

 

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

 

  • Monday 1st June ­– this will be a Preparation & Training day for staff. With such a large staff and school site, so many changes to make to classrooms and new procedures to put in place, Governors have agreed that we should close on this day.

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. 

  • Tuesday 2nd June – we will open for other Key Pupils. These are children of critical workers, children from vulnerable families and children with an Education Health Care Plan (EHCP).
  •  Thursday 4th June ­ – other Nursery pupils will start school, provided it is safe to do so.
  •  Monday 8th June – other Reception pupils will start school, provided it is safe to do so.
  •  Thursday 11th June – other Year 1 pupils will start school, provided it is safe to do so.
  •  Monday 15th June – other Year 6 pupils will start school, provided it is safe to do so.

Booking forms

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

 

Attendance

  • Sending your child or children back into school at this time is a voluntary decision.  The government has made it clear that it will not fine parents for keeping children at home.

 

Part time places

  • We are happy to give part time places to help children settle in, or to support families who work part time. We will consider all requests, but may not be able to give you exactly what you ask for.  We will need to consider the staggered entry and exit to the school site.  This would need to be organised carefully with advance notice provided to the school
  • The bubble class that part time children are placed in, will remain the same while the current arrangements are in place so that they can stay part time, or come in full time.
  • You will be able to request a part time place using the booking form. Staff in class will not be able to agree to such request, and will ask that you use the booking form.

 

Teaching and Learning (including home learning)

  • In order that pupils can be in school for the whole week, staff will work in bubble classes which are their normal year group, or near their normal year group. For example, Year 1 pupils will be taught by Year 2 staff, and Year 6 children will be taught by Year 5 staff.
  • A Teacher or Higher Level Teaching Assistant (HLTA) will teach each bubble classes where possible.  Government guidance is clear that bubble classes can be taught by Teaching Assistants (TAs) under the direction of a teacher and in some instances this will be necessary. 
  • The Government guidance states that teaching and learning for younger pupils should focus on ‘re-socialisation’ into new routines, early reading and phonics.  For older pupils, there will be a focus on transition.   For all pupils, there should be a focus on physical activities. We will continue to send home learning ideas for pupils who are not in school, and teaching in class will be broadly similar to what is sent home. 
  • Staff will not be able to go within 2 metres of pupils or handle their equipment, so giving feedback and doing marking is going to be severely limited.

 

Personal Protective Equipment

  • The government guidance states that staff and pupils do not need PPE other than when they might normally wear it, eg for cleaning or doing first aid.  Children will be given and asked to wear a face covering if they are having first aid given to them. They should not wear a face covering at any other time.

 

Equipment

  • Pupils will be asked to bring in a water bottle and their lunchbox if needed. They will need suncream and sun hats as they will be outside as much as possible.
  • In order to avoid children sharing resources, pupils will be allowed to bring in pencil cases from home. These must be brought in on Monday, and left in school all week.  We cannot allow frequent movement of objects between home and school.
  • Children will not be allowed to bring in toys from home.
  • Pupils will have a tray on their table with their own resources on – e.g. books, paper, pencils and whiteboards. These will be for the individual use of the child and will not be shared.
  • Government guidance is that reading books cannot be sent home. Please continue to use online books, such a as on the Oxford Owl website.
  • Where resources need to be shared, eg in Nursery and Reception, or in PE lessons these will be cleaned at the end of each session.

 

Further year groups

  • We haven’t yet been sent clear information on the Government’s plan to have in more children from Year 2-Year 6.   The number of pupils that we can have back will depend completely on whether we will still be asked to keep pupils 2 metres apart. With the current arrangements, we do not have enough classroom space to have all children in. Some sort of rota arrangement may be made.  I will let you know more about that when I get more information.

Arrangements in School

Bubble classes

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.

Lunchtimes

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.

Wednesdays

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.

Behaviour Management

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. 

 

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