Final Summer Letter and Plans for Full Re – Opening on Wednesday 2nd September 2020

Dear Parent/Carers,

On Wednesday 2nd September, our intention is to be fully open for all year groups.

Currently, government guidance states that we will need to keep children in their class groups, socially distanced from other groupings.

Therefore, we will need to continue to adhere to staggered times for entry to and exit from school. This has worked extremely well for those children of key workers and for the children in Reception and Year One who have already returned to school. This practice will allow all children to be able to return to school on the first day of term.

The plan for staggered entry to and pick up from school, for all classes in the autumn term, from Wednesday 2nd September will be as follows:

*Please note that children in Nursery and Reception, as part of the induction process, have been given an individual start date and time.  Following this induction, the children in these year groups are asked to adhere to the times below.

Nursery

Children to enter the Nursery garden gate from the pathway and access Nursery directly through the classroom door at 8.45am for Morning Nursery children and 12.30pm for Afternoon Nursery children.

Children are to be collected directly from the Nursery classroom door at 11.45am for Morning Nursery and 3.30pm for Afternoon Nursery.

Reception White Class

Children access the classroom using the entrance that leads from the front playground next to the Nursery at 8.50am. Children to be picked up from this entrance at 3.00pm.

Reception Turquoise Class

Children access directly through the classroom door at 8.50am. Children to be picked up from this door at 3.00pm.

Year 1 Yellow Class

Children to enter through the main door from the front playground at 9.15am. Children to be picked up from this door at 3.15pm.

Year 1/2 Purple Class

Children to enter through classroom door at 9.15am and to be picked up from this door at 3.15pm.

Year 2 Blue Class

Children to enter through classroom door at 8.45am and to be picked up from this door at 2.45pm.

Year 3 Green Class

Children to enter through the main door from the front playground at 8.45am. Children to be picked up from this door at 2.45pm.

Year 3/4 Orange Class

Children to enter through the Rainbow Room door at 8.45am and to be picked up from this door at 2.45pm.

Year 4 Red Class

Children to enter through the Rainbow Room door at 9.15 am and to be picked up from this door at 3.15pm.

We do ask that you adhere strictly to these times. In addition, please avoid gathering at the gates or in the playground during drop off and pick up times. This will allow us to operate safely within the social distance restrictions imposed.

School office

Please can parents/carers make every attempt to ring or email the school office, before going in person. Please make sure that your child has everything they need when you deliver them to school each morning. This will help to minimise visits to the school office and avoid staff having to handle possessions. As the office entrance lobby is a confined space, there will be a one in one out policy – parents must self-manage this.

School Uniform

Children will be expected to wear school uniform as usual. However, during the autumn term, children will be allowed to wear trainers instead of their usual school shoes. Due to certain restrictions currently being placed on PE activities, we need to be able to use the outside space for PE as much as possible. In addition, we will be continuing our daily Mile challenge on our all – weather track. Suitable footwear is therefore essential.

However, if you would prefer your child to wear shoes, please can you provide your child with a pair of trainers that can be left in school for the activities described above.

We ask that PE bags be left at home, at least for the autumn term, whilst restrictions on the use of spaces in school are in place.

Home/School Resources

We need to limit the amount of equipment that children bring into school each day. The children will not be able to share the school cloakrooms so coats, hats etc. will need to be kept in individual classrooms. The children can bring in a packed lunch box and their individual reading folder but all other bags/equipment must remain at home.

School Lunches

All school and packed lunches will need to be eaten at cleaned tables in the classroom. To allow for this, Catering Services has informed us of a temporary change to their menu. Information with regard to this can be found via the following link:

https://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/category/1465/starting-school

However, please be aware that we as a school, have opted for the Cold Classroom Dining Menu, due to the logistics involved in serving food to individual classrooms on two levels.

Children will be given a full meal packaged for each child.  This will be served in disposable packaging, but standard cutlery, beakers and jugs of water will be provided. The collection of waste and cutlery will be made from outside each classroom by the catering team.

In addition to the above, the following information outlines the school routines that will remain in place to manage risks to children, staff and families.

To prevent the spread of coronavirus, we will use a range of protective measures to create a safer environment in which the risk of spreading the virus is substantially reduced. Our risk assessment has been reviewed and updated to ensure that the measures already in place continue to minimise risks for all.

Engage with the NHS Test and trace process.

We need to ensure that children and staff and other adults do not come into school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works#people-who-develop-symptoms-of-coronavirus), or have tested positive in the last 7 days, and ensuring that anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home, are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19).

If anyone in the 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 or smell (anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home:guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance)’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested) to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19).

Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test. Tests can be booked online through the NHS testing and tracing for coronavirus website (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/), or ordered by telephone via NHS119 for those without access to the internet.

Other members of the household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.

School must be informed immediately of the results of a test.

The local Health Protection Team will provide guidance to schools following any confirmed outbreak.

Key information on additional school routines:

  • regular hand washing for 20 seconds with running water and soap
  • children to clean their hands on arrival at the setting, before and after eating
  • hand sanitizers are situated at the entrance to each classroom and in additional areas throughout school
  • staff will do their best (given their very young age) to ensure that children are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose and to use a tissue or elbow to cough or sneeze and use bins for tissue waste. Staff will continue to promote the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
  • additional cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, such as door handles, tabletops
  • frequent cleaning of toilet areas
  • altering the layout of classrooms
  • thorough cleaning of all used areas at the end of each day
  • removal of soft furnishings, soft toys
  • play equipment appropriately cleaned between groups of children using it
  • seating plan for children to ensure they sit at the same table space every day (excluding early years where this is not possible)
  • reducing mixing between groups, through staggered drop-off and collection times
  • reducing mixing between groups – children will stay in their set group
  • reducing mixing between groups through – staggered break and lunch times
  • there will be no large group assemblies
  • cloakrooms not in use – children will leave coats in their allocated group room
  • where possible, all spaces will be well ventilated
  • we will be accessing classrooms directly from outside where possible

Finally, despite the restrictions we are looking forward to September!!

We have arranged for the installation of a ‘Sunken Pirate Ship’ play area in the front playground. This will take place during the summer holidays and the existing play ship will be removed. Hopefully, the children will be able to play on it in their class groups, as soon as we have held our launching ceremony in the new term!

Purchase of this exciting installation has been made possible due to the fantastic fundraising efforts of the ‘Friends of WLFS’ and of course, the generous support you have all given to events. So, a big thank you to everyone! It is hoped that next year we can resume fundraising activities and look to further improve the facilities at school.

We also wish to thank all of the parents/carers of our Year 4 children who have contributed to this. We are really sorry that we were not able to hold our usual leaver’s assembly, to say a big thank you in person. Your support over the years has been much appreciated and we hope that you all have some fond memories of the time you have spent with us.

Lastly, on behalf of all of the staff and governors of Whitley Lodge First School, thank you to all for your support with home learning during this very challenging time. It certainly wasn’t the year any of us had envisaged and we are so sorry that we were not able to welcome back all of our children before the end of term.

I do hope that you all enjoy the summer holiday and we will of course keep you informed of any changes to the above, via text messaging and the school website. We look forward to welcoming you back to school in September and a return to ‘almost business as usual’.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs F Lutman

Headteacher