I really hope that you have a wonderful and restful half term. This afternoon, the Prime Minister has continued to expect that schools will begin to open, if they are ready, on the 1st June. High View is obviously making plans for this to happen. However, I must stress that this has not been confirmed and I ask for your patience and kindness during this week.
Plans moving forward: Where are we based on our plans for opening school?
Below is a brief explanation of some of the changes school will be making for you to digest and begin to get your head around, as well as begin to explain to your children, as they are vast and significant.
Groups and Numbers
Currently, we have the number and lists of pupils which we are expecting on 1st June. Classes have been placed in groups. I must explain that the classes that the pupils work in and the teachers that they have may be different based on the small group guidance and staff I have in school able to work. This will be sent out to parents through email once we have confirmed we are ready to open and the date this will take place.
All adults on site will have to adhere to the 2m social distancing. We are stating only one adult will accompany their children on site. They will not be able to gather at doors or on the playground. There will be markings on the school paths and playground to support this, as well as school staff ensuring this is adhered to.
In school, it is expected that the older pupils will be able to follow the 2m distance. They will be seated on separate desks and have individual resources. The younger children will be supported and encouraged to be separate but we understand this is extremely difficult for them to understand and follow. The bubble they are in will be able to have the same resources but items like sand, water, play dough at this moment will not be used. They will all have separate playtime, lunch times and areas to use for outdoor play, which will be on a rota. Lunch time SMSAs will be assigned to one group only for the foreseeable future. In terms of the furniture, school has removed excess furniture to provide the 2m distancing. This has meant that corridors have been used as storage and therefore these will not be used as any teaching area apart from Y2 corridor, due to access to the classrooms through doors.
Staggered start times and finish times:
In order to ensure the social distancing, school will be operating very differently to ensure no large gatherings take place and to ensure 2m distancing can be maintained. To do this, the car park will be closed for significant times during the day to cars, deliveries and any visitors in school. Adults and children will be using designated paths on and off site which do include the car park, which is why we have had to make the decision to close it. Also the timing will be different for the pupils to ensure this. Again, once this has been confirmed it will be explained to you all in letter form this week.
All of our static equipment (adventure play areas, climbing frames, benches, musical stage and all static equipment in Foundation Stage playground will be taped off due to the guidance from the government. Each individual group will have individual equipment for use, and this will be wiped daily.
As you can imagine, the school is extremely busy implementing all the necessary actions and organising resources, to ensure that school is following the guidance and ensuring all health and safety measures are in place through a rigorous and comprehensive risk assessment and recovery plan. The honest and open information is that these plans are still changing, with the differing numbers expected and the information we are still receiving from all outside advisers, and in particular the DfE and Government.
The relevant information will be published on our website once the final draft has been completed. I really appreciate your support and patience during these very uncertain times and the school needs the time to ensure it is ready to greet the pupils coming in. The information will be shared as soon as possible in order for all parents and pupils to familiarise themselves with the drastic changes they will find when they come to school upon opening. I am mindful of all the questions you will have and the uncertainty you will all be facing as you await the information, so I will endeavour to get this to you with urgency.
Once again, have a wonderful half term, please stay safe and be patient with us. More detailed information and confirmation will be coming your way as the school continues to work through the recovery plan, so ensuring school is ready.
Thank you, as always, for all that you are doing and for supporting the school. You really are making a difference with your kindness, positive attitudes and belief that the school is doing all it can.
All the best and sending hugs and love to each and every one of you.
Miss Smith xx