21st May 2020
Dear Parents / Carers,
Upon the recent Government guidelines, we have been very busy preparing for the potential extension of opening of school to include Daycare, Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 pupils. Our academy trust has agreed that it is appropriate for Stoneydelph staff to have a training day on Monday June 1st to ensure that all staff are clear on the procedures, measures and risk assessments that will be in place to ensure we reduce risks in school. School will therefore be closed to all pupils on that day. If the Government therefore continue with their plan to extend the opening of schools from June 1st, our school will be ready to open to the above pupils on Tuesday 2nd June.
Please note: under DfE guidance we are not able to accept any siblings from other year groups. Whilst we have had limited opening for Key Worker / vulnerable learners, children have engaged in relaxed, childcare style activities, with the wider opening, formal learning will be resumed.
We have considered all guidance in order to ensure we make it the safest possible return for your child(ren). Ahead of their return, we felt it was essential to keep parents up to date with all of our plans, to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to keep everyone safe.
We are aware that many children will be excited at the prospect of coming back to school in order to ‘play with their friends’. It is important that you support your child’s return to school by managing their expectations – children will be taught and encouraged to socially distance from each other – they will not be playing with their friends as they were previously able to do. It is very important that you read and share all the information below.
It is hoped that this letter will answer many of your questions, but we understand the importance of continuing to work with our families at this difficult time to help ensure everyone’s’ safety and the confidence to return to school.
Groups (not classes)
Groups are to be of no more than 15 children. To allow for this we are grouping children within their year group / phase. It is important to note that, in adhering to the DfE guidance, your child may not be taught by their class teacher. Group structures needs to remain as static as possible, meaning that children will not be swapping between groups for lessons.
Timings of the school day – arrival and collection
In line with DfE guidance, we will be staggering the timings of your child’s school day on entrance and exit from an allotted school gate. This will be detailed in a separate letter. DfE guidance is also that just one parent / carer should be bringing / collecting your child from school. These measures are to allow for social distancing and to reduce the number of parents and carers at the school gates at any one time.
Children will need to be delivered and collected promptly at the time allocated to you. We will organise for families to arrive and leave at the same time. Please realise that staff will be unable to have conversations with you at the gate – any enquiries will need to be emailed to the school office. If you are late for your allotted time, you will need to phone the school office from the Crowden Road pedestrian entrance (next to the vehicle entrance) and wait for a member of staff to come to collect your child.
Break time and Lunchtime
Break time snack will not be for sale from the kitchen (toast, juice, etc) but children are welcome to bring in their own which they will eat at their table. Lunch will need to be sandwiches from school or home. Universal free school meals and Free School Meals will be eligible for sandwiches from the school kitchen. They will be eaten at their individual tables with the opportunity to chat to their peers. There will not be free playtime at morning break and lunchtime as we usually have but there will be lots of structured outdoor learning opportunities throughout the day to ensure that children gain lots of fresh air and physical activity – this is to support the children with social distancing.
Free school meal hampers will still be delivered to children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Classrooms and learning
Classrooms have had unnecessary furniture and equipment removed to allow for tables to be spaced individually out in rows. There will be regular cleaning throughout the day as well as at the end of the day. The school will be closed to all pupils on a Wednesday afternoon for a deep clean each week. Children will, in the main, stay at their desk/activity and not sit on the carpet as a group. There will be no paired or group learning activities In order to adhere to protective factors, and high levels of hygiene, we ask that children come to school prepared with:
No bags, pencil cases or other items are to be brought into school.
Children will be required to wear school uniform. If this is a problem, please contact school for further guidance.
In line with DfE guidance, children should wear trainers so that they can join in with outdoor activities safely and children will not need PE kit – they will remain in uniform for all activities. Please can suntan lotion be applied before the children come to school – we are unable to support children to apply any during the day.
Lessons will involve a lot of independent learning as the teacher will not be able to go side by side or sit next to children to give them targeted support. The teacher needs to keep social distancing when teaching. There will be no assemblies, visits out of school or unscheduled visitors in school. There will be no sports day or leavers celebrations. There will be no PTA events.
As parents will not be allowed on site, please e-mail school with any queries, questions or information you need to share. Please only call in the event of an emergency. If your child has a medical appointment, please call the office and agree a time to collect your child from the Crowden Road pedestrian gate (next to the vehicle gate). Please ensure you are prompt for this collection. Please note the school office will be closed during half term so email will not be responded to.
In order to continue supporting our Key Worker families, our Key worker pupils will be merged into their phase / year based groups or as a separate group. We will be open Tuesday to Friday during half-term, as normal.
Before and after school club
In line with DfE guidance, this facility will not be available until further notice.
This will continue as before on the school website (not Dojo) class pages for children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5. As all staff will be teaching groups during the school day, learning for the week will be uploaded once a week. Well-being phone calls will continue for these children from a member of staff.
For children who are unable to attend school in Years N, R, 1 and 6, some home learning activities will still be available through the school website (not Dojo), again this will be uploaded once per week.
Please be mindful that all teachers will be teaching throughout the school day and will be unable to respond to you by email or via Dojo.
We hope you find all of the above information has answered some your questions and concerns. The staff at Stoneydelph are looking forward to seeing the children return and we hope you understand that we will do our upmost to support their physical and mental wellbeing.
A personalised short e-mail will follow later identifying your start and finish times, your gate and the member of staff leading your child’s group.
Thank you everyone for your continued support during this difficult time. Take care and stay safe.