COVID-19

You can read our Coronavirus Blog from lockdown 1 here

https://stapleford.herts.sch.uk/coronavirus-blog/

Wednesday 3rd March 2021

Dear Parents and Carers

RE: COVID-19 Pandemic – 8th March Reopening of Stapleford Primary School

I am delighted to inform you that the school will be reopening to all pupils on Monday 8th March. To do this safely we will be following the School (COVID-19) Operational Guidance published by the Government.

You can read the full document here

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/schools-coronavirus-covid-19-operational-guidance

I apologise in advance for the length of this letter, but it is important that you are aware of our protective measures.

The following actions will be put in place.

Prevention

You must always:

1) Minimise contact with individuals who are required to self-isolate by ensuring they do not attend the school.

2) Ensure face coverings are used in recommended circumstances.

3) Ensure everyone is advised to clean their hands thoroughly and more often than usual.

4) Ensure good respiratory hygiene for everyone by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.

5) Maintain enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents.

6) Consider how to minimise contact across the site and maintain social distancing wherever possible.

7) Keep occupied spaces well ventilated.

In specific circumstances:

8) Ensure individuals wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) where necessary.

9) Promote and engage in asymptomatic testing, where available.

Response to any infection

You must always:

10) Promote and engage with the NHS Test and Trace process.

11) Manage and report confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community.

12) Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.

Stapleford bubbles:

  • Each class will become its’ own bubble with the exception of Class 4 and Pre-School who will be classed as one bubble.
  • Contact with other bubbles will be kept to a minimum.
  • Staff are permitted to move between bubbles to cover classes, provide interventions etc. This will be managed through good hygiene/hand washing/cleaning.
  • Staff are completing COVID-19 lateral flow device tests twice each week.
  • There is no need for siblings to be in the same bubble.
  • Staggered start times and leaving times will be used to minimise contact between bubbles.

Drop off and collection of pupils:

Staggered arrival and departure times
Class Bubble Start time Pick up time
Pre-school 8:45am 11:45pm
Class 4 Nursery 8:50am 11:45am
Class 4 Reception 8:50am 3:00pm
Class 3 (Cloakroom entrance) 8:40am 2:50pm
Class 2 (library corridor entrance) 8:50am 3:00pm
Class 1 (library corridor entrance) 8:40am 2:50pm
  • It is essential that pupils are dropped at school and collected on time.
  • Only one adult per family should drop their child/ren at school or collect them at the end of the day.
  • If dropping/collecting children from different bubbles, please wait in the playground whilst observing social distancing.
  • Children should line up on the yellow dots marked on the ground.
  • It is important that parents/carers leave the school site immediately after drop off/collection.
  • Gathering inside the school gates is not permitted.
  • Unfortunately, at the present time no parents/carers are permitted inside the building without an appointment.
  • Only one class at a time will be permitted into the cloakroom. Class 2 will use a temporary cloakroom in the library.
  • If masks are worn whilst travelling to school, staff and pupils must remove these before entering the building.
  • Pupils will be instructed not to touch their face as they remove their mask.
  • Everyone will wash their hands after removing and disposing of or storing their mask.
  • Disposable masks will be placed in a covered bin.
  • Reusable masks will be placed in a plastic bag ready to be taken home. Please provide your own bag.

Breakfast Club and After School Club:

Breakfast Club and After School Club will run from Monday 8th March 2021 and be based in the school hall.

Breakfast club will run from 7:45am – 8:50am (as Class Bubbles open children can leave Breakfast Club)

After School Club will run 3:00pm – 5:00pm and be based in the school hall. Due to staggered finishing times some children attending ASC will stay in their classes until ASC commences at 3pm.

To ensure we cover our staffing costs the prices for Breakfast Club and After School Club have been revised. Since the 3rd September 2020 the costs have been:

  • Breakfast Club: £6 per session
  • After School Club: 1st hour £6, Whole session £10.

*Please note, there is no longer a sibling discount.

Children and staff will be kept in their Class Bubbles for the day but will mix with children from other bubbles if they attend wraparound care.

Tables, chairs, resources etc. will be cleaned with antibacterial spray after each session.

Staff and children attending wraparound will practise social distancing as much as possible.

Regular hand washing will be an expectation.

Tables will be set up so that children are facing away from each other when eating.

Windows will be open to promote good ventilation.

Outdoor activities will be used where possible during wraparound care.

Breakfast Club and After School Club will each have a selection of balls, playground toys etc. that will not be shared with other bubbles.

Playtimes

During playtimes the children from each bubble will be contained within a designated area. The number of staff on duty at playtime has been increased to manage this. Each class will have their own selection of toys/equipment that they do not share with children from outside their own bubble. After playtime/lunchtime all classes will enter the building using different entrances. Everyone will be expected to wash their hands as they come back into school. Each class has been allocated their own sink to use for handwashing.

Lunchtimes

Children will eat lunch in their classroom.

  • Everyone will wash their hands before delivering food or eating.
  • Lunches will be delivered to classes
  • Lunches will be a school packed lunch or simple hot option. Alternatively, children can bring a packed lunch from home.
  • Lunch is 12:30pm – 1:30pm
  • Class 4 Nursery children can join pre-school lunch club at 11:45am if they wish to.
  • As soon as the whole group have finished eating a staff member will take them outside to their designated play area.
  • The school cleaner will wipe tables, sweep floors and empty bins after the children have eaten.
  • Joe Clemo (Sports Coach) will be leading lunchtime activities with a class Tues-Fri
  • Staff will move between bubbles if needed to manage behaviour, first aid etc.

Attendance

The Department for Education have made it clear that school attendance will be mandatory again from Monday 8th March 2021. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct

Holidays

Please do not book holidays during term time. After such an extended period of absence I would hate anyone to miss more of their education for something that can be avoided.

Volunteers

With the exception of school governors, no volunteers will be permitted on site until further notice. Governors are permitted on site but they will maintain a 2m social distancing gap from all pupils and staff.            

Curriculum

All subjects will be taught from when the children return to school.

Teaching time will be prioritised to address significant gaps in pupils’ knowledge with the aim of returning to the school’s normal curriculum content as soon as possible.

In the case of another lockdown we will provide home learning activities to complete.

For children in nursery settings, teachers will focus on the prime areas of learning, including: communication and language, personal, social and emotional development (PSED) and physical development.

For pupils in Reception Year, teachers will also assess and address gaps in language, early reading and mathematics, particularly ensuring children’s acquisition of phonic knowledge and extending their vocabulary.

For pupils in key stages 1 and 2, teachers will prioritise identifying gaps and re-establish good progress in the essentials (phonics and reading, increasing vocabulary, writing and mathematics), identifying opportunities across the curriculum so they read widely, and developing their knowledge and vocabulary. The curriculum will remain broad, so that pupils are taught a full range of subjects over the year, including sciences, humanities, the arts, PE/sport, RE etc.

Primary assessment

Following the cancellation of statutory national curriculum assessments due to be held in summer 2021 at key stage 1 and key stage 2, the Department for Education will not publish any national, regional, local or constituency statistics for any primary school assessments for the 2020 to 2021 academic year.

Pupil wellbeing and support

Pupils may be experiencing a variety of emotions in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, such as anxiety, stress or low mood. This may particularly be the case for vulnerable children, including those with a social worker and young carers. It is important to contextualise these feelings as normal responses to an abnormal situation. Some may need support to re-adjust to school; others may have enjoyed being at home and be reluctant to return; a few may be showing signs of more severe anxiety or depression. Others will not be experiencing any challenges and will be keen and ready to return to school.

Year 6 have been signed up for the “Positive Minds” 10-week programme to support their mental health, well-being and transition to Year 7. These one hour sessions will be being delivered outside of the school day to maximise teaching time for all subjects.

Year groups 1-5 will receive extra Philosophy for Children P4C sessions. They will be delivered virtually, using Google Classroom, to support the children’s mental health and well-being. This will provide an excellent opportunity for the children to talk about anything they are worried about. These sessions will be in addition to the normal timetabled P4C sessions. They are being delivered outside of the school day to maximise teaching time for all subjects.

P4C on line for Class 2 + Year 5 and Class 3 alternate Thursdays after school

P4C within school Class 2 and Class 3 will attend on alternate Thursdays.

P4C within school Class 4 will be on Friday morning

P4C within school Class 1 – will be on Wednesdays

All staff will:

  • support the rebuilding of friendships and social engagement
  • address and equip pupils to respond to issues linked to coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • support pupils with approaches to improving their physical and mental wellbeing

Please make the Class teacher and SENCO aware if your child is struggling so that the school can provide more focused pastoral support.

School nursing services are available to support the health and wellbeing of pupils. They offer a range of support including:

  • support for resilience, mental health and wellbeing including anxiety, bereavement and sleep issues
  • support for pupils with additional and complex health needs
  • supporting vulnerable children and keeping children safe

Behaviour expectations

When children return to school on Monday 8th March 2021 school rules will be communicated to pupils clearly detailing the consequences for poor behaviour or deliberately breaking the rules. Pupils will be told how the school will enforce those rules including any sanctions. This is particularly the case when considering restrictions on movement within school and new hygiene rules.

Physical activity in schools

Schools are able to work with external coaches. Joe Clemo (PE Coach) has been asked to work extra hours to support the fitness, mental health and wellbeing of our pupils.

Mr Clemo will run a daily mile activity for the children on the days he is on site.

For the remainder of the spring term Mr Clemo will provide a “Post Lockdown Fitness Club” for classes 1, 2 and 3. These sessions will be funded by the school and held on the school field after school.

  • 3:00pm-4:00pm Tuesday: Class 3
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm Wednesday: Class 1
  • 3:00pm-4:00pm Friday Class 2

Pupils will be kept in consistent groups and sports equipment thoroughly cleaned between each use by different individual groups.

Contact sports will be avoided and all PE sessions will be outdoors.

If it is raining the hall will not be used for PE.

Contingency plans for outbreaks

For individuals or groups of self-isolating pupils, remote education plans (home learning planning) will be put in place.

In the event of a local outbreak, the Public Health England (PHE) protection team or local authority may advise a school or number of schools to close temporarily to help control transmission. In this eventuality the school would close but remain open only for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers, whilst providing remote education for all other pupils.

Where a class, group or small number of pupils need to self-isolate, or there is another lockdown requiring pupils to remain at home, the school will immediately begin to offer remote education.

Day to day

  • There will be no large gatherings e.g. no whole school collective worship
  • It is accepted that young children struggle to maintain 2m social distancing. It is not a requirement but EVERYONE will be encouraged to observe social distancing as much as possible.
  • Desks will be in rows rather than group tables with children facing forward. Children will sit in the same place each day.
  • The teacher will teach from the front of the class where possible and minimise the time that they are close to pupils.
  • Pupils and staff will have their own set of frequently used equipment e.g. pencils, pens, etc.
  • Classroom based resources e.g. iPads, books, games can be shared within the bubble. They will be cleaned regularly.
  • Resources that are shared between bubbles e.g. pe equipment, science equipment will be cleaned thoroughly before AND after use.
  • Should we need one, supply teachers can be used.
  • Specialists e.g. Educational psychologists, Speech and Language specialists, Primary Behaviour Team staff etc. can work on site and move between bubbles. Guidance on our expectations regarding social distancing and hand washing/hygiene will be explained to visitors before they come on site.
  • A record of all visitors to school will be kept.
  • Children are expected to wear full school uniform. The only exception is on PE days when they can come to school in their PE kit.
  • Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.
  • Unfortunately, at the present time no parents/carers are permitted inside the building without an appointment.
  • All letters for the office are to come into school with the children.
  • Unnecessary items have been put in storage.
  • PPE equipment will be worn if dealing with intimate care.
  • PPE equipment will be worn if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 and staff cannot maintain a 2m gap
  • Windows will be open for ventilation
  • Water bottles will be left on each pupil’s table next to their frequently used resources.
  • The water fountain will remain closed.
  • Cleaning materials have been made available in every classroom.
  • Bins will be emptied during the day.
  • Only one class at a time will be permitted into the cloakroom. Class 2 will use a temporary cloakroom in the library.
  • Ride on toys can be used in Class 4 and Pre-school. They will be cleaned after use. Only one child per ride on.
  • Only pupils from one Class Bubble will be permitted into the toilets at any one time. Toilets, taps, door handles will be cleaned throughout the day. Children will use hand sanitiser as they return to their Class Bubble.
  • The only items children need to bring into school are: book bag, PE kit bag, water bottle, packed lunch (if required), coat.
  • Antibacterial hand gel is available on the front desk, by the back door, in the corridors and in every classroom.
  • All staff and pupils will use antibacterial hand gel as they enter the building.
  • Unfortunately, the climbing frames, table tennis, outdoor gym equipment and slide remain closed at this time.
  • Teachers/teaching assistants will change reading books and library books for children.
  • There will be no teacher run extra-curricular clubs during the spring term.
  • All shared spaces have been timetabled to allow 72 hours between Class Bubble visits.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for continuing to support your child’s learning at home during this period of closure. I know from personal experience that at times this has been extremely challenging and that both children and parents have their good days and bad in regards to home schooling. Thank you for persevering.

Finally, I would like to wish everyone the very best of health as we exit lockdown three. Hopefully you will all enjoy the respite from home learning. We are all looking forward to seeing the children next week.

Yours faithfully

James Shillito

Headteacher