Dear Parents / Carers,
Following the email I sent out to all parents on Monday 18th May, I now write to parents of pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, with more specific guidance on how the wider opening of Denbigh Primary School will be managed.
I would like to assure parents that our plans are centred around keeping the children, adults and staff members as safe as possible. I understand that the proposed school day will be different for the children and that some of you may find this daunting. However, I assure you that we will endeavour to make the experience as positive as possible.
Critically, it should be recognised that, whilst the school will follow all recommended guidelines in order to minimise pupil contact, it is not practical for younger children to remain ‘socially distant’ from each other at all times.
I will once again contact parents w/c Monday 1st June seeking definite confirmation on which pupils are going to come to school.
At this stage, only pupils whose parents have confirmed attendance will be permitted to attend for the remainder of that school week. Where parents change their minds and would then like their child to come into school after the start date, school will require up to 7 day’s notice in order revise the risk assessment.
It should be noted that key-worker children who have been in attendance during lockdown will be continuing to attend.
Subject to further recommendations, we plan to welcome pupils back to school on a full-time basis as follows:
Reception Pupils: From Thursday 4th June 2020 = 8:45am – 2:30pm
Year 1 Pupils: From Monday 8th June 2020 = 9:15am – 3:00pm
Year 6 Pupils: From Wednesday 10th June 2020 = 9:30am – 3:15pm
In line with government recommendations, classroom bubbles of 8-12 have been created; and the two school halls will be employed for a larger pupil group. All measurements of classrooms have been completed to ensure that these comply with recommendations. Specific pick-up, drop-off, break and lunch arrangements are planned for each ‘bubble group’
Reception: The 90 children will be split into 8 bubbles which will take up the Reception and Year 1 classrooms. There will be two members of staff for each group. The staff in each bubble will remain in the same bubble throughout the period of reopening until further guidelines are released. Pupils may not necessarily be in the same bubble as their regular class teacher.
Year 1: The 90 Year 1 children will be split into 7 bubbles and will use the Year 2 classrooms, the Rocket Room, the Reading Room and the lower school hall. There will be two members of staff for each group. Pupils may not necessarily be in the same bubble as their regular class teacher.
Year 6: The 90 Year 6 pupils will be split into 7 bubbles and will use the Year 6 classrooms, the Year 5 classrooms and the upper school hall. There will be two members of staff for each group. Pupils may not necessarily be in the same bubble as their regular class teacher.
Every Friday, from Friday 5th June until further notice, Denbigh Primary will close at the end of the pupil’s lunch break and for the remainder of the afternoon.
All pupil groups will have staggered break times and lunch times. Specific entrances and exits have been identified to ensure that groups do not mix. All pupils will have a morning break, a lunch break and an afternoon break.
All pupils will remain in their classroom / area whilst eating their lunch. The catering staff have been asked to prepare packed lunches which can be brought over to the classrooms and can be easily disposed of. Classrooms will all have one area of disposal which will be used for all rubbish collected each day. External blue bins will be placed near to the entrances for the Year 1, 2, 5 and 6 classes. Internal lidded bins will be provided for those classrooms without direct access to the playground.
There will be a maximum of two ‘bubbles’ on the playground at any one time. These bubbles must keep apart at all times and will not be permitted to play games which require close contact.
Children will not be able to go home for dinners.
Pupils will not be able to bring packed lunches in from home. Only meals supplied by our catering services will be provided at this stage. Parents will not be allowed to bring packed lunches in to drop off for their child at any time.
Parents will be informed of the specific entrances and times for pupil drop off and collection. Routes have been planned around the perimeter of the school to maintain distancing. Signage will be placed across the school premises informing parents on where to go, where to wait and to maintain social distancing.
Only a parent of the child will be permitted to collect at the end of the school day. Older pupils will not be permitted to collect younger siblings. Year 6 pupils must also be collected by a parent to ensure that social distancing is maintained on the journey home. Wherever possible, pupils should walk to school.
Parents will not be able to collect their child during the school day unless their child is ill and the parent has been contacted by the school medical team. There will be no admission into the main Reception area for parents. Any requirements to meet with family workers / medical staff should be done over the phone. Pupils who arrive late for school will be escorted by members of the SLT around school premises to the bubbles they belong to. If pupils are continuously late, or parents are late collecting their child, the school may be unable to continue allowing the child to attend.
Pupils will only be able access the resources and the materials available in each bubble. Pupils in each bubble will be provided with the equipment they will use on an individual basis whilst they are in school. There will be no outdoor play equipment available for children during lunch times and break times.
The bubble system removes requirements for pupils to travel through the school building. Where groups are transitioning from one area of the school to another, pupils must keep to the left-hand side of the corridors. All main corridors are 2 meters wide, and therefore, pupil groups will be able to pass each other safely. Where funnelled areas exist, such as doorways, one group must wait for the other to pass before proceeding.
Children will use the toilet and hygiene facilities nearest to their ‘bubble’. They will not be permitted to bring in items to store in the cloak rooms: therefore, cloakrooms will only be used by the Year 6 pupils to access the toilet areas.
Where pupils are demonstrating signs of illness, parents will be contacted to collect the child and to take them home.
Denbigh Primary staff are preparing for adapted learning opportunities under this system, with a focus on health and safety (hand-washing; social distancing) and wellbeing (expressing thoughts and feelings). We will be unable to continue with cooperative learning activities as children will be required to work independently on tasks set by the lead member of staff in each bubble. Whilst there will be regular curriculum content: mathematics, English, IPC, art and design; these tasks will be set in a way for children to work independently on them with staff members providing support from a safe distance.
Upon arrival at school, pupils will be taught why school needs to be different at this time and will be encouraged to express their worries and feelings.
We are aware that some pupils will struggle to manage with these parameters in place. Members of the school inclusion team will be contacting parents of these identified pupils after the half-term break to share guidelines provided by the local authority.
As stated previously, I will write to all parents of Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils separately w/c Monday 1st June, asking for definitive confirmation on pupil attendance on the dates indicated. Specific guidance will then be sent to parents on how and when children should be brought to school.
Parents are under no obligation to send their children back into school at this time; and the local authority will not be requiring schools to submit attendance records. School attendance is solely at the discretion of the parents.
I remain available for contact via the details on the school website should parents have any further questions or concerns. This link will take you to the latest DfE guidance on homeschooling and the reopening of primary schools.