Updated information - 04/09/20
Dear parents and carers
Plans for the full reopening of Blackpool CE Primary School in September 2020
Thank you for all of your support during the lockdown period. In response to Government guidance, we are looking forward to inviting all of our children back to full time education and we are busy planning the full reopening of the school in September.
I would like to share some important information about the school systems and routines and what this will look like for your children. Many of these systems are working successfully during our current partial opening phase and are being upscaled or adjusted to suit the higher numbers of pupils on site. We will continuously review our systems and update you of any changes to improve our ways of working.
The following information is detailed, but important to ensure you have a good understanding of the measures we are implementing to keep everyone in the school community safe during this time.
It is vital for all of our children that we minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the Covid pandemic on their education, wellbeing and wider development. We understand that some families will be feeling anxious about their children returning to school and I hope that detail below will help to allay any concerns.
The DfE have advised all schools that normal attendance is statutory. Your child will need to attend school every day and arrive in school at the right time.
The start of term for all children will be on Monday 7th September and they will need to attend the staggered times outlined further on in this letter. EYFS have a phased return planned and are expected to attend full time from the third week of term. Just to clarify that you only need to attend the sessions that you have been invited to for these children.
Please contact the school if you have any concerns so that we can best support your child to return to school with confidence.
Bubble Groups and play times
From September, each class will be treated as a separate ‘bubble’. All pupils in the EYFS cohort will work as one bubble.
Bubbles will be kept separated at staggered play times and will use designated areas of the playground and use their own equipment box for playtime resources. We will support the children to play socially distanced games.
Classrooms and resources
Classroom layouts have been adjusted to maximise the distance between pupils and adults. All classroom doors will be open and while the weather allows, all outside doors and windows are open to provide good ventilation. Pupils sitting at tables will sit side-by-side, facing the front of the classroom and will sit in the same seat every day.
Children will be given their own ‘tool kits’ to avoid sharing of pencils, pens and other resources as much as possible. There is no need to bring a pencil case from home, as all resources will be provided, including individual packs of colouring pencils and glue sticks etc. Please do not bring in any additional items from home such as toys, bracelets, show and tell items or things to play with at play time. Resources such as books and games can be used and shared within a bubble, but will be cleaned regularly.
Children can bring a coat, water bottle, packed lunch (if applicable) and snack as normal. They will use cloakrooms and/or classrooms to store their items from home.
There will be no access to water fountains so please ensure your child brings a named water bottle (no juice or squash).
Children will be able to bring home reading books and when these are returned to school, they will be left for 72 hours before being reissued to another child.
The beginning and end of the school day
We will continue with a staggered start and end to the day to reduce the risk of parents and children gathering on the playground, car park and in the school corridors. We will ask all parents to adhere strictly to these drop off and pick up windows to ensure your child is met by the teachers in their Unit and a safe handover happens at the end of the school day. We have created a window of time rather than a fixed time, to allow parents to arrive at any time during the 10 or 15 minutes and allow a flow of movement around the school playground, outside of the school gates and also to allow the first round of parents to exit the car park swiftly.
To support this, please do not arrive earlier or later than your allocated slot and do not congregate as parent or family groups. We appreciate that if you have siblings in different year groups, this can be challenging, so we suggest that you arrive at 8:50am and 3:30pm so that you can hand over/pick up children in the first slot and be ready for the second slot without having to wait and create gatherings – the very thing we are aiming to avoid during the pandemic.
You must not congregate in our staff car park outside the school gates. This is dangerous as cars are regularly coming and going and our crossing patrol and school staff cannot ensure your safety. We will also ask that you and your children do not wait in the school wooded area as this area may not have been checked for safety eg. Tree branches or other hazards, and lessons may have been set up for the day, which we do not wish to be disturbed.
There are markings on the pavements on the opposite side to the school gate as well as down into the car park. Please be considerate and do not arrive earlier than your allocated slot, to avoid congestion and if you do need to wait, please leave space for people to pass you and your child/children on the paths.
Unit and year group
Entrance and exit points
EYFS (from week 3)
Unit 2 (Year 3 and 4)
8:35am – 8:50am
3:20pm – 3:30pm
EYFS – Main entrance
Unit 2 – through the side gate at Unit 2 and the outside classroom doors
Unit 1 (Year 1 and 2)
Unit 3 (Year 5 and 6)
Unit 1 – Main entrance
Unit 3 – Shakespeare and Bronte – outside playground doors
Dickens – Unit 3 entrance
Parents will not be able to enter the building, so please email the school admin address or telephone the school office. The class email addresses that were created during the period of home learning will not be used from the end of this term.
Only one parent/carer to drop off and pick up a pupil. Please remember that we cannot hand over pupils to anybody unless we have had prior notification by you. If siblings accompany you to drop off and collect your children, they will have to stay with you and cannot use play equipment or move freely around our school playground.
Parents will enter the playground through a signed front gate and a carousel system will be in place for you to walk your child to their entrance to the school, allowing a 2 metre gap between you and the next child or family, where a member of staff will meet them to guide to their allocated entrance. This allows you to continue on the one-way carousel and out through another of the entrance gates. This will all be signposted and guided with floor arrows. Children will go straight to classrooms or toilets to wash their hands before being able to be seated in their classroom. Staff will be available to assist with these routines.
Parents/carers and children must ensure they keep 2 metres apart during the start and end of the day. Please leave the site immediately once you have dropped off or collected your child.
We would like to encourage walking and cycling to school wherever possible, not only to promote a healthy lifestyle, but also to minimise your congestion, and therefore risk, when car parking. The children can leave bikes and scooters in our bike shed. They will need to dismount their chosen mode of transport and walk it to the bike shed using the carousel one-way system on the playground. Alternatively, to further reduce numbers in the playground, you can bring a lock and secure your bike to the fencing on the school field.
Teachers will phone or email you to inform you of anything from the day that is vital to be passed on, as we want to ensure a flow of people on the playground.
Should you need to speak to someone in the school office regarding medication or need a form, the external window to the school office can be used and is clearly signed.
The School Day
Children will stay in their bubbles for all lessons and will only use their allocated room.
We will not congregate in shared spaces for assemblies and these will be class based and delivered virtually if shared across the school.
PE lessons will still happen and we will aim to deliver these outside wherever possible. The main hall can be used in poor weather.
Lunch will be eaten in the dinner hall in staggered sittings and all children will be organised in bubbles, with no direct face-to-face seating. The usual systems for payments apply on Parent Pay. Children in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 are still entitled to a Universal Free School meal. Children who are entitled to a free school lunch will also be able to order a school lunch.
The first week will have a set menu with no choices, unless we know of a food allergy or intolerance that your child may have. The rest of the term there will be a meat, vegetarian, jacket potato or sandwich choice. There will be no pick and mix on offer until further notice. We will send you the menus separately.
There will be no option to purchase a snack at school. If you want your child to have a snack, they can bring a clearly named healthy snack. Please see the school website for guidance about suitable snacks (no chocolates, sweets or crisps). Please remember that we have a NO NUTS policy in our school, due to a number of pupils with allergies, so no nuts or nut products in snacks or packed lunches.
EYFS and Unit 1 will have the choice to have free fruit and milk. We will serve this individually to minimise contact with food handling by the children.
In line with the government guidance, First Federation Trust and the school have updated the Behaviour Policy. Please see this on the school website. A new code of conduct to outline expectations about behaviour and protocols around social distancing, hygiene and keeping ourselves and others safe will be discussed with all children.
There will be no clubs for the first half term to provide rigorous cleaning time at the end of each school day. We hope to operate a system of clubs for bubbles after half-term and will send out further information nearer the time.
Our first week back will be a Values and Wellbeing Week, with a focus on re-establishing routines and settling children back to school routines. There will be lots of opportunities for the children to talk about the last few months and the changes that they may have experienced. Some children will receive additional targeted support where this is appropriate. We have planned a broad and balanced curriculum and the focus in the first few weeks will be to assess the children’s levels of knowledge and identify strengths and gaps in core subjects of phonics, reading, writing and maths. The aim of our recovery curriculum is to provide the essential elements that will allow our children to ‘catch-up’ with academic knowledge and skills, while supporting their mental welfare and well-being. This will not be a quick-fix approach and we have planned for key learning to be embedded over the course of the next year. Having fun, being with their friends and being ready to learn is a big part of the recovery plan.
The government have made announcements about funding to support catch-up, but have not yet released any detail about who this will be for and how the funding can be spent. We will update you as we learn the detail of their intentions.
From September, we expect all children to wear the full school uniform. Please see the school website if you are unsure.
We will expect the school uniform policy to be fully adhered to from the first day back at school, so please check the link below to ensure you are fully aware of the expectations. One key area to point out is that no trainers, boots or open-toed shoes are to be worn.
Uniforms do not now need to be washed any more often than normal or with cleaning methods that are different to normal.
PE kits do not need to be brought back to school. There will be no PE in the first week of term – classes can take part in physical movement in their uniform. We will send a timetable in the first week to let you know a day of the week that your child will attend school in their uniform for PE for the rest of the term, with further details about kit.
EYFS will not need to wear or bring a PE kit for the first half term.
Social Gatherings and events
DfE guidance recommends that bubbles are to be kept apart, which means that whole school gatherings and invitations to assemblies, parent meetings and workshops and opportunities to spend time with your children in school cannot be planned. We will let you know how we can provide these opportunities via online/virtual/video platforms.
Many of the exciting events that our PTA, FABS organise will not be able to go ahead in the Autumn Term and we will let you know of other exciting ideas for fundraising and community events in September.
Updated protocols for visitors to the school site are in place. All necessary visitors (school nurse, educational psychologists, speech therapists etc) to the school will be required to use hand sanitiser and leave contact details to support the Track and Trace procedures introduced by the government. No parents will be able to enter the school building unless there are exceptional circumstances.
‘Catch it, bin-it, kill-it’ approach and hand washing
We will be promoting good respiratory hygiene at all times. Children are encouraged to use tissues to cough and sneeze into, all classrooms have lidded bins to dispose of tissues and hand towels safely. Children wash their hands after using tissues and they are reminded of this regularly.
Thorough hand washing routines will be implemented throughout the school day. Each classroom and main entrance has an anti-virus hand sanitiser dispenser. Pupils will wash their hands on arriving at school, before and after playtimes and lunch times and at the end of the day before leaving to go home.
In line with Public Health England current advice, children and staff will be asked not to wear face coverings in school. This is because staff and children are being organised into protective bubbles in school, adhering to stringent handwashing routines and have hand sanitiser readily available in every classroom. Also, the misuse of face coverings can actually increase the risk of transmission. If you choose for your child to wear a face covering on their way to and from school, they must be removed on arrival. If you bring your child, please take your face covering home with you. If your child makes their own way to school, a disposable face covering must be placed in a bag brought in and placed in a covered bin in the classroom. Reusable ones will need to be placed in a plastic bag brought with them and kept in their school bag or book bag until the end of the day, when the covering can be re-worn. The mask cannot be taken out of the bag at any time during the school day as this puts others at risk of transmission of the virus. We will update you if this guidance changes.
Covid-19 Signs and Symptoms
If someone in the household has Covid-19, YOUR CHILD MUST NOT COME TO SCHOOL. Here is the exact DfE guidance in relation to this;
• Parents must be clear about the need to inform school if their child is tested positive for COVID-19
• Parents will need to check daily that their pupils are not displaying any symptoms before they leave home for school.
• Ensure that pupils, staff and other adults do not come into the school if they have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or have tested positive in the last 7 days, and ensuring anyone developing those symptoms during the school day is sent home, are essential actions to reduce the risk in schools and further drive down transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). All schools must follow this process and ensure all staff are aware of it.
• If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell(anosmia), they must be sent home and advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). Other members of their household (including any siblings) should self-isolate for 14 days from when the symptomatic person first had symptoms.
NHS testing is now available to anyone in the UK that is showing COVID-19 symptoms, including under 12s. If a child displays symptoms, they will be required to take a test and you will be required to share the outcome of the tests with the school.
Possible Bubble closure
If school has two or more confirmed Covid-19 cases within 14 days, or an overall rise in sickness absence where coronavirus (COVID-19) is suspected, we may have an outbreak, and the school must continue to work with their local health protection team who will be able to advise if additional action is required. In some cases, health protection teams may recommend that a larger number of other pupils self-isolate at home as a precautionary measure –perhaps the whole site or year group. If we are implementing controls, addressing the risks we have identified and therefore reducing transmission risks, whole school closure based on cases within the school will not generally be necessary, and should not be considered except on the advice of health protection teams.
If a bubble is asked to remain at home for any period of time, we will provide daily learning in line with our planned curriculum, with some online learning to support the bubble or bubbles at home and there will be an expectation that children are learning for approximately 5 hours each day during a period of closure. We will send further details regarding this in the new term.
FISH – Breakfast and After School Club
FISH will be operating a breakfast and after school club. Please log on to their website for booking information and to book places. They will provide you with guidance about their Health and Safety routines and procedures and how they will ensure social distancing of your children when attending.
The email contact is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your continued support during the last term, through some challenging times and for the amazing job that you have done with your children.
I wish you all a safe, fun and fantastic summer and I look forward to seeing you all in September.
Mrs Tania Cox
Head of Teaching and Learning