In response to on – going parental comments in relation to drop off and pick up arrangements, I would like to make you aware of the context that surrounded the decision making for this.
In September, in order for a full re-opening of school to take place, we needed to adopt a system of staggered entry and pick up in order to keep class in separate bubbles. This was influenced by government directives and was intended to ensure the safety of all.
At the time, the senior management team discussed introducing a one – way system with children entering at the same time. However, we believed that in doing so a queuing system would be necessary and this could potentially increase the proximity of adults to one another. A queue would soon form outside on the pavement and this could potentially be very dangerous due to the proximity of the road and the speed of certain road users.
Other schools set back from busy roads do not have this to take into account and so have been able to operate a one way system with a drop off at the same time. In addition, unlike many schools, we are fortunate to have a very large space in front of our school for parents and carers to wait. Therefore, we had hoped that all parents and carers of children at school would recognise this and be able to take parental responsibility and support our drop off and pick up arrangements, whilst keeping themselves socially distanced.
Another consideration was that were children all to enter at the same time, it would greatly reduce teaching time. The children need to wash their hands on entry to school and, as we do not have enough separate toilet and washbasins, each class needs to use them at a different time to avoid the class bubbles mixing. Therefore, each class would need to wait their turn to use the facilities.
We also took into consideration the amount of parents/carers who need to relay messages about their children so potentially hampering the flow of children straightaway, causing the congestion we are trying to avoid!
Furthermore, our new starters in the Nursery and Reception classes need to be brought into school in a nurturing way and we thought that standing in a queue for their first weeks of school would not have supported this.
We have already altered the timings for some classes to reduce waiting time and we had hoped that we would be able to get closer to half term before introducing further changes.
However, following the voicing of concerns, we will trial the following changes to entry and exit from the week beginning Monday 12th October.
We will introduce a one way system, with all children, parents/carers entering from the gate on Claremont Road and exiting at the gate on Woodburn Drive. This will be supported by signage.
Due to the considerations mentioned above, we will still need to operate a system of staggered times for entry and exit. However, we hope this will decrease the amount of time it takes for all children to enter and leave school.
Therefore, please can you be aware of the following:
Nursery children will enter and exit school at their usual times 8.45am – 12.45pm Morning Nursery
12.30pm – 3.30pm Afternoon Nursery
Changes have been made to times for the following classes:
Reception Turquoise and Reception White Classes will enter school at the same time 8.50am and exit at 3.05pm
Yellow Class: Entry 9.05am Exit 3.15pm
Purple Class: Entry 9.05am Exit 3.15pm
Blue Class: Entry 8.55am Exit 3.10pm
Green Class: Entry 8.55am Exit 3.10pm
Orange Class: Entry 8.55am Exit 3.10pm
Red Class: Entry: 9.05am Exit 3.15pm
To support those parents who drop off children to Nursery at 8.45am and Reception at 8.50am, with siblings in other years, siblings will be able to enter school earlier than their class allotted time via the main playground door, after the Nursery/Reception drop off. They will be directed to their classroom.
In addition, those parents who have children in afternoon Nursery will be able to pick them up earlier at 3.20pm, should they wish to do so. However, if you intend to do this, please can you inform the school office by 12th October.
I ask that you continue to support us by adhering strictly to the times stated for entry and exit. The staggering of classes continues throughout the school day with different times for playtimes and lunchtimes. This obviously has a huge impact on timetabling and staffing and we are under immense pressure to maintain these systems to avoid outbreaks. If children are continually late this will be compromised.
Likewise, once you have picked up your child please can you leave the playground as quickly as possible. An exception will be made for those parent/carers who have to wait an additional five minutes for siblings exiting at 3.15pm. However, we ask that social distance rules are observed and that children remain next to adults at all times.
I hope that the above trial arrangement will prove successful and that we can continue to respond to this unprecedented event in as positive a way as possible. We may need to alter timings again in response to this but we will keep you informed.
Mrs Fiona Lutman