Start of the new Autumn Term / Covid changes
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome to the start of a new school year! I hope that you have all had a brilliant summer and managed to enjoy the weather and made some amazing memories as a family. We are excited to see the children back to school after the holidays and cannot wait for them to meet their new Teachers properly and start working with them again. I am writing to update you of the changes that we will have in place in light of the updated Government guidance for the new school year.
We look forward to welcoming all children back on Wednesday 8th September. The school hours will return to normal from 8.45am to 3pm for all. The school gate will close at 9am and anyone who arrives after this time will be marked as late and will need to sign in through the office. There will no longer be a one-way system in place but I would please ask you to be respectful to each other and maintain social distancing where possible. It is no longer necessary to wear a mask unless you wish to. All pupils from Years 1-6 will enter through the main school gate and can enter into their new classroom with their new teacher and TA through the outside door. Parents are able to walk pupils to the outside door of their classrooms but I would ask that you do not enter the school building unless by a pre-arranged appointment. Reception and Nursery pupils will enter to the same left-hand side of the building as before with parents also dropping off at the door. Collection will also be the same for all from the classroom, except Year 5 and 6 will be from the school hall and Kingfisher’s from the side entrance as before. If your child is in Years 4-6 and you wish them to walk home, please write a letter/e-mail to your class teacher to state this. Please can I ask that you do not congregate at the school gate and that only one parent or carer drops off and picks up where possible to reduce the amount of people everyone will come into contact with. If you have a message for the class teacher, please try and e-mail them or pass it on via a member of the Senior Leadership Team on the main gate. At the end of the day, staff will be focusing on safely handing over children to their parents so if you have a message for them, please try and do so for now, via the above channels.
Attendance is compulsory unless children are unwell or there are other exceptional circumstances for your child not to come to school. Please let the school office know if your child is going to be absent on 01626 772320 as soon as possible.
Pupils will no longer be in ‘bubbles’ and we will be returning to lunches as usual in the hall. Pupils will continue to sit with their class mates but will now be able to play with their friends in other classes on the playground at break and lunch. We will be ensuring good hygiene between groups in the hall. We will continue to keep the school well ventilated throughout. Good hygiene and regular handwashing will continue.
You will have seen in the press over the weekend that due to the high rates of COVID-19 infection being seen currently the Devon, Plymouth, Torbay, and Cornwall areas have been moved to an Enhanced Response Area (ERA) by central Government. This will be in place for 5 weeks initially but will be reviewed after 4 weeks. This move enables the area to receive additional national support for testing and vaccination and to put in place additional measures to try to reduce transmission locally. As a result of this, staff will continue to wear masks in all communal areas, but this is not required in classrooms unless they wish to. Staff will also be encouraged to continue twice weekly testing.
As we were not able to do our transition sessions before the summer holidays, the first 3 days of term will be based on transition where staff have planned getting to know you activities, class expectations etc. A full curriculum will commence the following week. Due to the constraints that we have had over the past 18 months, we will be enriching pupil’s curriculum as much as possible to make up for missed opportunities with trips, residentials, visitors in etc. Look out for more information on this from your child’s class teacher. Assemblies will start again in person but these will be limited to Key Stages at this stage rather than whole school.
Our breakfast and after school club (Kites) will commence. Rebecca Boorer has been appointed as our new After School Club Co-ordinator and has some great ideas for improving the activities and snacks for pupils. Please book via the normal channels. Cash will not be accepted. Children can be dropped off at breakfast club from 8am. Kites will be open until 6pm. These are for children from Reception-Year 6.
- Children who are unwell should not attend the setting and should remain at home until their acute symptoms resolve (+24 hours for a fever).
- IF these symptoms develop into cough, temperature, changes to taste and smell, should isolate and test.
- IF test negative to COVID-19, still need to remain at home until at least 24 fever free and acute symptoms resolved.
- Parents and settings should not try and ‘second guess’ diagnosis – if have the key symptoms, isolate and test.
Examples of acute symptoms with which children should not attend school/nursery include fever, muscle aches, hacking cough.
Follow public health advice on managing confirmed cases of COVID-19 see Schools COVID-19 operational guidance – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Ensure the case isolates for 10 days
- Household of the case isolates for 10 days (unless fully vaccinated or aged under 18 years and 6 months)
- If positive case came from an LFD test, case should take a confirmatory PCR test within 48hrs of the LFD
- Following a pupil PCR positive NHS Test and Trace will speak to the case (or parent/carer) to identify close contacts and advice on isolation as required and to get a PCR test
- Staff and pupils who do not need to isolate should continue to attend school as normal
- Case and any isolating contacts can return once isolation period is completed, as long as they are well
Please be assured, we are planning this as safely and carefully as possible and we very much appreciate your support with this. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Wednesday 8th September at 8.45am.
Mrs Annabelle Thomas