Guidance for a September re-opening at Uplands
Following the release of the Government guidance for a full re-opening of school in September I am now in a position to outline the arrangements for Uplands.
Before I start to outline our plans I wish to say that your child is important to me and I will do all I can do ensure that they are safe moving forward from September but can also enjoy a full education in our building
All children in all year groups 3-6 will return to school in September-the first day of term for pupils at Uplands is Wednesday 2nd September . The Government have directed that attendance at school from September is mandatory for all pupils.
There is a lot of information here to read and digest and so I am presenting it in bullet points under headings for ease of reading.
How will school reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and keep my child safe?
· Children are going to be in their class “bubbles” for the bulk of the school day and they will be encouraged to stay in these bubbles at all times
· Frequent handwashing and good hand hygiene will be encouraged. There will be opportunities given throughout the day for pupils to wash their hands including as soon as they arrive at school, before and after lunch and before they leave
· Children will be encouraged to socially distance from each other and from their teacher
· Children will use the Catch it, kill it, bin it rules for good respiratory hygiene and these will be reinforced by staff. Posters will be displayed around school
· Staff will socially distance themselves from each other. We will not all gather in our staff room and our staff meetings will be held via Teams
· There will be regular cleaning especially of frequently touched surfaces
· Bubble rules for both lunchtime and in the classroom will be displayed around school-these will be shared with you so that you can discuss them with your child before term begins. Staff will frequently discuss and refer to these
· Visitors to our site will be kept to a minimum. Professional colleagues who need to support children will be allowed but will be made fully aware of our safety measures
· Our school Risk assessment will be fully revised and will be published on our website on the Homepage before the end of this term (July 17th) You are welcome to read this
· There are a set of procedures for us to follow if anyone develops symptoms of Covid-19 or tests positively for the virus-you will be informed immediately if you are required to do anything
What are the arrangements for my child’s arrival at school?
· Both the front gate and the back gate will be open as normal from September
· I will be on duty each day at front gate and Mrs Walker at back gate
· We will operate a flexible drop-off whereby children can enter the school site anytime from 8:30am until 8:50am when the bell for the start of the day will ring
· We ask parents to leave their child at the front or back gate and to not come on to the school site without an appointment.
NB There will be slightly different arrangements for our new Year 3 for the first 3 days which will be published separately
· Children will not gather on the playground as normal but go straight into their classrooms. This time prior to registration will be for children to wash their hands, chat to each other and their teacher and to re-socialise
· Please do not use our school car park for dropping children off-this is for staff only. In addition please do not drop children in the “bell” area at the front of school for the safety of everyone
What will my child’s classroom look like?
· Tables will be arranged so that they are forward facing –all children with therefore initially sit in rows
· The teacher will be positioned at the front of the classroom 2m apart from the children where possible
· Regularly used equipment such as pencils, pens and rulers will be kept by pupils in their individual drawers
· Any equipment that is shared will be washed/cleaned between different “bubbles” using it
· There will be “Bubble” rules for the classroom which will be explained and also shared with you
What will my child be taught?
· Your child will be taught the full range of National Curriculum subjects to form a broad and balance curriculum as we always pride ourselves on at Uplands
· The first week (comprising of 3 days) will be a re-settling time, revision of routines and our ethos and a time for children to enjoy being with their friends again
· Mental and emotional well-being will be very important. We will continue our work with The Art of Brilliance and introduce a new scheme called “Trick Box”. In addition we will use resources from Thumbs Up education to support the return to school-you have been sent a link to these videos via a text
· We have adapted all of our planning so that we can revisit skills and knowledge that may have been missed over the Summer term. All Creative Curriculum plans have been revised and can be found on our website. Maths teaching has also been changed and you will receive information about this from our Maths lead Mrs Roberts as well as details of some homework books that can be purchased to aid any catch up
· We will start to identify any gaps in learning for individual pupils and address these through a range of interventions. At present I am researching a number of options and also the government will be giving further direction here over the next few months. I will keep you informed of my plans in this area
· PE lessons will be taught as normal but we ask that Year 5 and Year 6 come to school in their PE kit or an appropriate tracksuit (plain and dark coloured) with their PE top on for their Soccer 2000 lesson day (Tuesday’s for Year 5 and Wednesday’s for Year 6). This is to avoid pupils mixing class bubbles to change from their uniform. They will remain in their kit for the full day
What can my child bring into school?
· We still recommend that pupils limit the amount of equipment that they bring into school each day to essential items only as follows: lunch box, water bottle, coat, 1 bag, reading book, reading journal and diary
· Until we have further information please can you keep any borrowed musical instruments at home
· I am happy if you wish to send your child with hand gel which must be kept in their drawer in their classroom
How will my child be dismissed at the end of the day?
· We will operate a staggered exit for each year group at the end of the day
· Staff will accompany their year group bubbles to either the front or the back gate
· We ask that where possible just 1 adult comes to collect and that social distancing is maintained at the gate areas
Year 3 will be dismissed at 3:00pm
Year 4 will be dismissed at 3:05pm
Year 5 will be dismissed at 3:10pm
Year 6 will be dismissed at 3:15pm
· Please arrive promptly to collect your child and move away from the gate area as soon as you can
· Westacres are also operating a staggered exit and myself and Mr Edmunds are aware that some parents will need to collect from both sites-your child will be kept safe if you are a few minutes late in arriving due to this
· We again ask that parents do not come on to the school site without an appointment
· Please do not park on the school car park for collection at the end of the day-this is a car park for staff only
What will lunchtime look like?
· Lower school (Years 3 and 4) lunch will be as normal from 12:00 -1:00
· Upper school (Years 5 and 6) lunch will be as normal from 12:30-1:30
· Children who have a hot meal will eat in the dining room in Year group bubbles whilst those who bring a packed lunch will eat in the hall (tables and chairs will be put out each day) again in Year group “bubbles”
· Children will be taken outside once they have eaten their lunch and will play in Year group “bubbles” on a divided playground
What will playtime look like?
· Children will have their 15minute morning break as usual. This will be 10:45-11:00 for Years 3 and 4 and 11:15-11:30 for Years 5 and 6
· The playground will be separated in half and a Year group play on each side creating Year group “bubbles”
Will there be extra-curricular activities?
· Over the Autumn term any Uplands staff led extra-curricular clubs will not take place. We will assess the situation and possibly resume these in early 2021
· Soccer 2000 are planning to run some sport/football clubs following our “bubble” rules and safety. Further details will come out in the Autumn term
Will there be Toast club and After school club facilities?
· There will be both of these facilities available
· Toast club will open from 8am as normal and children will be grouped in Year group “bubbles”. Children will enter via the front entrance and through the pedestrian gate close to the school building. We ask that parents do not enter the school site please
· After school club will run from the end of school until 6pm as normal and again children will be grouped in Year group “bubbles”
· For collection from After school club please come up the drive and ring the bell on the pedestrian gate. A member of staff will come to assist you and dismiss your child. We ask that at this time parents do not come on to the school site please
· It will help us with our planning if you can ring in before July 17th to book places for the first week back so we have some idea of possible numbers
Will my child go on a trip in the Autumn term?
· Initially we will not plan for any trips during the Autumn term. This may change as we assess the on-going situation
· We are aware that children in current Years 3, 4 and 5 paid for trips due to run in the Summer term. We have a record of all monies paid and this will either be refunded next term or carried over to a new trip. Thank you for your patience regarding this-no one will lose any monies
What other adaptations will be made over the Autumn term?
· Any large gatherings of people will not take place in school. This means that daily whole school assemblies cannot take place along with class assemblies, our annual fancy dress disco, Macmillan coffee afternoon, Christmas fair and concerts etc (unless the guidance changes going forward)
· We will look at how we can conduct virtual assemblies around school as these form an important part of our school ethos
· Ofsted continue to suspend their routine inspections until 2021. They may visit some school sites to look at the return to education procedures and we will inform you if we are one of these
· We will look at a safe way for our October Parents’ evenings to operate so that you get feedback on how your child has settled back into school life and how they are attaining academically
· We are awaiting finalisation of the Music school offer for the Autumn term but this is looking like it will be a “virtual” offer only-further information will follow from Mr O’Donnell (Head of Music services) and myself
· We are not initially allowed to sing in school and so this will not take place until further advice given
· Our school library will remain closed initially
· We as yet do not know what the situation will be regarding swimming lessons for Year 4-I will contact you as soon as I have information
I know that this is a lot of information to take in but I hope that you find it helpful and reassuring. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us before the end of term and we will assist you.
Things will continue to develop once we re-open and I will ensure that I communicate any changes with you as soon as I am able. One thing that has not changed is our ethos of “Respect for All” and our Art of Brilliance underlying principles-never have resilience and “bouncebackability” been more needed! Our continued commitment to your children and our desire to give them the very best education and pastoral care will be as it always has.
These last few months have been difficult and challenging for every one of us. At Uplands we have tried our very best to support you and your families over lockdown. I wish to thank my staff who have supported me wholeheartedly –coming in to school to enable key worker children to be cared for, worked from home on a range of directed tasks, planned home learning, continued with planned curriculum developments for their subjects, taken shortened holidays and helped me to get through one of the most challenging times of my Headship. Thank you to you our parents/carers for the positive emails, messages, phone calls, face to face chats and Facebook posts that we have received. We have been inundated and we so appreciate knowing that we got things right for most of you during lockdown.
I wish you all a happy and healthy summer break and I cannot say how much I am looking forward to welcoming back your children and our school being the happy place it usually is again in September