September Arrangements - (translatable using the Google Translate button above)

Friday 28th August 2020

Parent Letter

Dear Parents

I hope you have all enjoyed a summer break.

I am delighted to be able to confirm that St Mary’s will be opening for children as planned on Wednesday September 2ndPlease note as advised by the Local Authority we are still continuing with our phased opening and staggered starts for year groups. These details were sent to you at the end of last term but I have included them again as a separate document, along with some important attendance information. All the other information provided to you at the end of the summer term is still relevant so please do take time to re read the letter if you have any further questions.

Children’s mental well-being:

It has been 5 months since many of your children have been in school and we are welcoming new children to our school. I am sure that the majority of children are excited and keen to return next week. However some of your children may also be feeling anxious and uncertain as to what to expect. In order to prepare them for school please see attached a letter I would like you to read to your children and some photos which will show the procedures which have been put into place to keep our school community safe.

Current research suggests that the Covid 19 Pandemic has had (in varying degrees)  an impact on children’s social, mental and emotional well-being and it would be naive of us to expect children to return to school without acknowledging this or providing support.

Please see below some areas which may cause concern to your child/ children and what we will do to address them:

Separation Anxiety

Your child may need some time to readjust to being away from the family unit. This anxiety may present itself as your child becoming more emotional, agitated and tearful or withdrawn and sullen. In school we will provide time for children to talk about their feelings using structured conversations and activities. Older children may benefit from keeping a journal either in home or in school.  Plenty of staff will be available to support your child with saying goodbye at the school gate. We understand some children may feel worried about leaving their parents and will do everything we can to ensure that this goes as smoothly as possible.

Attention and Focus

Some children may find it difficult to concentrate for longer periods of time as they may have been used to a more fluid structure to their day. They may also be used to having more autonomy over their learning and deciding what subject they do and when they do it. Adjusting to a more structured time table may initially cause some difficulties. In school we will ensure the day is chunked into manageable sections with plenty of learning breaks if needed. Independent learning skills will be promoted and fostered.

Social Skills

Returning to friendship groups may be causing your child some anxiety, particularly if they have been unable to see their friends for a while.  In school we will ensure that structured team building sessions are built into the day and social skills will be explicitly taught when necessary.

Teaching and learning 

Many children will have thrived under the one to one teaching and support they have had from their parents during the pandemic. However some children may be feeling anxious about being behind in their learning, particularly in areas where they feel less confident. Please be reassured that any gaps in learning will be addressed in a sensitive manner. Staff will continue to work together with parents to ensure that the best possible learning experiences and outcomes will be provided for your child/ children.

Sleep

Sleep patterns in your child/ children during the last 5 months may have changed and getting back to a bedtime / start to day routine may initially be difficult. It may take a few weeks for your child to adjust to the new school day routine and they will understandably feel more tired as the days progress.

In school we will support your child/ children with all of the above concerns when necessary. However we will also be delivering PSHE / Jigsaw lessons, virtual assemblies and mindful sessions which will address these areas. Short burst learning, plenty of fresh air and exercise, additional adult support and regular communication with parents will also be important.

Over the next two weeks we will be looking at how best we can facilitate meetings with parents to ensure that you can share any concerns you have with school staff and that staff can feed back on how your child/ children are settling back.

Please complete the online form that will be sent to you shortly to indicate any impact the pandemic has had on your family. This will enable us to know what additional support we may need to give pupils.

Parents are encouraged to visit www.gov.uk/backtoschool for information and practical guidance to help them plan for their children’s return to school. This includes the latest update to the guidance for parents and carers on what they need to know about early years providers, schools and colleges in the autumn term.  Further information can also be found on the South Gloucestershire Council website – https://beta.southglos.gov.uk/returning-to-school-in-september/

 

During the pandemic it became even more apparent how much the parents and staff of St Mary’s work together to ensure best possible outcomes for the children. We look forward to continuing to work collaboratively with you all so that any negative impact of Covid19 on your child/ children’s education is reduced as much as possible.

Phased Entry and other Information

Information for the return to school in September

Covid-19 secure measures will remain in place to reduce the risk of transmission. Schools are being asked to keep children in class or year group sized ‘bubbles’ of up to 30 children and encourage children to keep their distance from each other and staff where possible. This is alongside protective measures such as regular (enhanced) cleaning and handwashing.

 Following LA advice we will be introducing all year groups in a phased approach using staggered start and end times. This is to ensure all years are phased into school in a safe and manageable manner.

Please see schedule below:

Day

Year Group

Start time

Finish time

Wednesday 2nd September

 St Francis Class

Year 6

8:55am

 3:30pm

St Martin’s Class

Year 5

9:10 am

3:30pm

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday 3rd September

St Francis Class

Year 6

8:55am

3:30pm

St Martin’s Class

Year 5

9:10 am

3:30pm

St Bernadette’s Class

Year 4

8:55am

3:30pm

St Augustine’s Class

Year 3

9:10am

 

3:30pm

 

 

 

 

Friday 4th September

 

St Francis Class

Year 6

8:55am

3:30pm

 

St Martin’s Class

Year 5

9:10 am

3:30pm

 

St Bernadette’s Class

Year 4

8:55am

3:30pm

 

St Augustine’s Class

Year 3

9:10am

3:30pm

 

St Elizabeth’s class

Year 2

 

8:45am

3:15pm

 

St Nicholas Class

 Year 1

8:45am

3:15pm

 

Please note:

  • Siblings can arrive together at the start time for the earliest child and be collected at the end time of the latest sibling.
  • Staggered start and finish times will continue until further notice.
  • Break times / Lunch times will be adjusted if necessary in order to ensure there is not a reduction in teaching time.

 

Year Group

Start of day

End of day

St Francis Class  Yr 6

 

8:55am

3:30pm

Collect from St Joseph’s entrance

St Martin’s Class Yr 5

 

9:10am

3:30pm

Collect from office entrance

St Bernadette’s Class Yr 4           

8:55am

3:30pm

Collect from main playground gate

St Augustine’s Class Yr 3

 

9:10 am

3:30pm

Collect from main playground gate

St Elizabeth’s Class Yr 2

 

 

8:45am

3:15pm

Collect from office entrance

St Nicholas Class Yr 1

8:45am

3:15pm

Collect from main playground gate

 

St George Rec

Details to be provided as part of Reception transition

 

 

Bubbles

Each year group will be treated as a self – contained Bubble. There will be no movement between the bubbles during the school day. Each bubble will remain together and separate from other bubbles at break and lunch time. This means there will need to be staggered start times to the beginning and end of day, staggered break and lunch times. 

Having this many pupils into school and parents dropping off and collecting under the current circumstances means that it is important all procedures and guidelines are understood by pupils, staff and parents, in order to ensure everyone’s safety and prevent germs spreading.

Social Distancing

Throughout this pandemic, the Government has clearly stated that we need to stay 2 metres away from each other to avoid spreading the virus. The Government has recently changed their advice to state ‘maintain social distancing where possible’.  We will endeavour to maintain this on school premises and ask that all parents do so as well by following the signs which have been put up.

Drop off and Pick-up

Please ensure you check your child’s temperature and wash their hands before leaving for school.

Please do not send your child to school if they have a temperature above normal, a new and continuous cough or a loss of taste or smell. Please also note, if any member of your household is currently displaying Covid-19 symptoms, your child should not be brought into school.

Please drop off your child at your designated time at the front entrance to the playground and leave the site immediately by the route marked out. Please do not arrive any earlier than five minutes before the time your child starts. Please follow the one way system in and out of the school site. At pick up, please come at your allotted time, to the allotted area and stand 2 metres distance from others. Once your child is brought to you, please leave the site straight away. Only one parent should drop off or pick up. Year 6 pupils who normally walk home by themselves can continue to do so. As we have been asked by the government  to keep children in separate bubbles during the school day,  we ask that you support us with this and only drop off and collect your own children and if pre-arranged, children from the same bubble as your child.  Please notify the school if another parent is collecting your child.  

 Parking

Unfortunately, even while we have been open to a reduced number of children, parking has continued to be an issue and raised complaints from neighbours. As we start a new school year, we ask that you are extra vigilant and considerate when parking. As mentioned before, this issue takes up a considerable amount of staff time and damages the good relationship that we try to maintain with the local community.

Cleaning and Toilet

Cleaning will take place by the staff throughout the school day. This will involve thoroughly wiping down surfaces, resources and cleaning toilet and sink areas etc. If possible children will be encouraged to clean their desk area at set points throughout the day.

Toilets will be allocated to a key stage and children will be supervised when walking to the toilet in order to avoid children from other bubbles mixing. Children will be asked to wash their hands both before they leave their class to use the toilet and on coming back into the class. This is to avoid spreading germs from the class to the toilet.  

Handwashing and hygiene

Staff and pupils will be asked to wash their hands at regular intervals throughout the day – at least 8 times. We will also maintain our procedures around coughing, sneezing and disposing of tissues in the special ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ – snuffle bins in every classroom.

Uniform

Pupils are expected to wear full school uniform. Guidance states that ‘uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal’. In September pupils have the option to wear the summer uniform (summer dresses for girls and shorts for boys) if they wish.

Classrooms and use of resources

Classrooms have been re-arranged so that tables are at the appropriate distance apart. All pupils will have their own allocated table and chair which they will use every day, including at lunch time. Government guidance states that pupils need to be seated side by side, facing forwards. Each pupil will have their own individual tray of resources (pencils etc.) which they will use; these will be cleaned each day. They will record their work in their normal school books or on paper. Other shared resources etc will be cleaned regularly throughout the school day. Children will be able to bring home reading books and return them to school. The books will then be isolated for 3 days before being used by other children.   Please do not send your child in with their own pencil case or reading books. Pupils should only bring their lunch, water bottle, coat and sun hat (if weather still warm). Forest Friday clothes are not yet required for Reception children. Please do not let your child bring in any toys or other objects. Pupils in Year 6 who walk home alone may bring in a mobile phone. Their phones will be stored in a secure drawer in their classroom.

Lunches and snacks

Lunches will be eaten in classrooms and outside play will be staggered and in designated areas, so bubbles do not mix.  Children will need a packed lunch unless they are Free School Meals or KS1, as a packed lunch will be provided for them. Parents will be able purchase packed lunches for KS2 children. It is hoped that we will move towards hot meals as Term 1 progresses. Pupils should bring their own water bottles and snacks - it is suggested that each child brings in two bottles, plus a drink in their lunchbox. Children will keep their lunch boxes under their chairs and place their water bottles on their desk. Any wrappers and food uneaten will remain in their lunchbox and sent home to dispose of.

Please note that we will no longer be providing a morning snack for Reception pupils, so parents should send in a small healthy snack for their child if they wish for break time.  

Priorities for Teaching

The Local Authority are supporting a ‘Recovery Curriculum’ model and encourage schools to adopt this so that there is a ‘compassionate approach to school return’.  Therefore the priority in terms of teaching and learning will initially be focussed on mental health, emotional and social needs. Children will need to share and have time to process their experiences at home and any anxieties they may have. There will also be time provided for children to cover any gaps in their learning in maths, reading and writing. 

There will be no school Masses, assemblies or group events planned for the pupils during school time. We will endeavour to carry out Masses and assemblies through an online platform into the classes as the term progresses.

PE

Sports that involve limited numbers of pupils in close contact such as tennis, dance, gymnastics classes, athletics etc will be carried out.  Any equipment used will be disinfected or quarantined for 72 hours between sessions.  The LA recommend with PE that all schools ask pupils to come in their PE kits on the days they have lessons for this subject – we will advise you in due course what day of the week this should be for each child. Please do not send in their PE kits separately.

Behaviour

Normal school rules apply; we will continue to use our Good to be Green Behaviour policy. This has been amended with a few additional new rules added in order to maintain social distancing and good hand washing hygiene. These will be clearly explained to children and shared with parents. 

Communication

We will continue to update you with the latest news and information through ParentMail. Please also check our News sections on the website. We ask that all communication into school is carried out by telephoning the school (01454 866390), emailing (admin@stmarysbs.org.uk) or by Class Dojo if it is a question for your child’s teacher. The school office reception window will not be open for queries – if it is urgent please knock on the office exterior window and wait for someone to arrive.

 Attendance

It is expected that attendance and punctuality procedures will be followed in line with our current attendance policy. This will mean that all children should arrive at school on time, according to their year group staggered start time. Parents should collect children at the stated times at the end of the day on time too. Children will be expected to attend school every day. Should your child not be able to attend on one of these days, then you should contact the school office by 9.30am, and advise the reason for absence. If you do not contact school before 9.30am we will follow up your child’s absence via our usual safeguarding and attendance procedures.

Please note, from September it is no longer parental choice to send your child back to school; the government intend to reintroduce penalty/fine if your child does not attend school with good reason.

Class Dojo

This will be switched off over the summer holidays. Online work will not be provided however we will make available summer challenges on our website which your child may like to do.

Class Dojo will be reinstated in September. It will be used in a slightly different way in the new term; its use will be explained in later communications.

First Aid

In the event of first aid being needed, a member of staff from the bubble the child is in will administer first aid wearing PPE equipment.

In the event of a serious injury, parents will be called and the child will be kept at a distance from others.  First aid accidents will be logged in accident log books. Each Bubble will have their own log book.

Masks

Public Health England’s advice is that pupils in primary schools are not required or advised to wear masks and their misuse is more likely to increase the risk of transmission. Staff may choose to wear masks or visors in line with recent Government advice.

Pupils and staff that become unwell

Pupils and staff that display symptoms are Covid-19 should not attend school and those that experience symptoms during the school day will be isolated immediately. Any staff member with symptoms will be sent home immediately and the class covered for the remainder of the day by the remaining bubble staff. Parents will be notified of the situation and what will happen to the bubble. Pupils with symptoms will be moved to an isolation room, parents contacted and asked to collect immediately.

It is important that should anyone display symptoms, that they are tested as soon as possible. The guidance says that should a person have symptoms of Covid-19, all members of their household should self-isolate and stay at home for 14 days.  A test would determine whether the person has the virus – if they haven’t, then the person and household can return to work/school. If the test is positive, school need to be notified immediately. All members of that particular bubble will then also need to self-isolate for 14 days (although not other members of their household unless the pupil/staff member starts to show symptoms). Anyone who has another member of their household showing symptoms should also self-isolate for 14 days and should not attend school.

In the event of a positive Covid-19case we will have to provide contact details of all children and staff in the bubble to Public Health England under the track and trace scheme. 

Children's Letter

Dear Children

I hope you have had a lovely summer break and are now excited about returning to school. We look forward to welcoming you all back in September and catching up with all that you have been doing.

 I would like to share some information and photos with you so that you can see some of the changes we have had to make in order to keep us all safe.

In order to allow as much space (social distancing) for parents and children coming to school each class has a start time for school and a finish time for school. Some classes are starting school earlier and finishing earlier. Some classes are starting school later. If you are in a class that starts later you will have slightly shorter break times and lunch times so that you don’t miss out on any teaching and learning time.

Arrival at school

When you arrive at school you will need to line up outside the school gates using the social distance markers. When it is time for your class to come into school you will need to say good bye to your parents at the gate and then line up in the playground, using the social distance markers, in your class line. School staff will be there to support you with this.

Going into your class

After hanging your bag and coat up you will need to wash your hands in the way that your teacher shows you. There will be posters up around the school reminding you of good handwashing techniques.

Arrangement of your classroom

All desks will be facing forwards so that you face the board and your teacher. You will have your own pencil, ruler, rubber and sharpener which you will have to look after. These will be kept in your trays. Other classroom equipment will be shared. At certain points throughout the day you will need to wipe down your desks to make sure they are kept clean.

Teaching and Learning

We know that last year you all worked hard on your home learning – or in school, if you were able to come into school. We realise that there may be areas of your learning that we need to go over to make sure you fully understand. Please do not worry about this as we have planned in time to go over certain areas of the curriculum. We will be teaching you all the subjects that you would normally do in school. You will be able to take library books home to read and you will be having homework. When possible teaching and learning will happen outside. You will mainly be taught by your class teacher and TA, however you may have other members of staff who will cover class teachers’ PPA.

Break time

Classes will have separate break times and designated areas of the field or playground that you can play in. Each class will have a certain amount of equipment that they can use to play with. The large play equipment around the field will be used on a weekly rota system. Each class will have an allocated week. During your week you will be able to use the equipment from Monday – Thursday.

You will be able to have your healthy snack as normal – however the Tuck shop will not be open yet.

Lunch time

Every class will eat their lunch in their class room at their desk. If it is warm and dry you may be able to eat lunch in the outdoor area immediately outside your classroom. Initially all lunches will be packed lunches, either one you bring in from home or one provided by school. Your lunch time play will be in your designated area. Lunch time will be supervised by a Lunch Break Supervisor.

PE

On the days that you will be doing your PE you will be expected to come to school in your PE kit. On colder days it will be sensible to wear jogging bottoms so that you stay warm. Your class teachers will tell you which days will be your PE days. PE will take mainly take place outside.

Hygiene

There will be lots of hand washing throughout the day. You will need to ensure you sanatise your hands before you leave the classroom to go anywhere, for example to the toilets. Each class has a special snuffle bin. This is for tissues, and cleaning tissues to go into. It is really important to remember that if you need to cough or sneeze you need to try and do this into your elbow.

The End of the day

Each class will have their own separate area to leave school. Your parents will pick you up from these areas.

Assemblies Masses and Reflections

Assemblies and reflections will take place by using Microsoft teams. We will continue to have Gospel assemblies, Value assemblies and Class assemblies in a virtual manner. Fr Eugene will continue to celebrate Mass for us either as an outdoor Mass or by using his virtual platform.

 

We look forward to seeing you all when you return to school, please remember that all the staff will do everything they can to make you feel safe, secure and supported.

Enjoy the last few days of the summer holidays.

Mrs Burden and St Mary’s staff.