DPS' Road Map to Returning to School from 8th March 2021
Deanshanger Primary School
Opening our doors to all children across the school from Monday 8th March is a positive step forward; it is one that we are keen to do well to minimise risks and have as many happy children (and adults) as possible. The return of an extra 270 extra children (we have 364 in total) is very exciting but needs to be handled extremely carefully.
Please help us to manage this whole school reopening by reading our 'roadmap' carefully.
You have done such an amazing job supporting your children despite the additional pressures that have been put on you. Thank you for keeping your children well connected with the school and, even more important, safe and happy.
A massive round of applause to you all!
Thoughts, feelings and wellbeing
We appreciate that there will be mixed feeling about the return and there is no doubt that we have the same feelings as staff. We are committed to doing the very best that we can, and just as before, this is going to need a big team effort.
Well-being, care, and a gentle easing in are all part of our plans. Please don't worry unduly as we're ready to support all children whether they have struggled with home learning, feel anxious about their return, have gaps in their learning or need some extra support to rebuild friendships. Having supported the children with their return in September, we are getting experienced at supporting transition and a recovery-type curriculum.
All staff will be on standby to step in and provide the gentle encouragement or support needed. Please also be reminded that Mrs Mildren, our Learning Mentor, will continue to support numerous children to find their feet as quickly as possible. Wherever possible, try not to pass your worries on your children as they will pick up on these.
There is some really supportive information on The SchoolRun.com and the Childline page about returning to school that you might want to read including a section entitled '6 ways to cope with going back to school'.
You may have seen in the government's announcements that school attendance will be mandatory for all pupils from 8th March. The usual rules on school attendance will apply at this time, including
parents’/carers' duty to secure their child’s regular attendance at school
the ability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
Following the government's guidance, the exceptions will be for pupils (or a family member) who is clinically extremely vulnerable, self-isolating or shielding. We will continue to support children in this group learning from home although this will look a little different from the current remote learning. It is very important that you make contact with us if your child/ren will not be returning on the 8th so that we can put plans in place for their teaching and learning.
If you feel a part-time return would be in your child's best interest, please make contact with us. We are more than happy to accommodate this and recognise that this might be particularly appropriate with some of our younger learners.
As a reminder, your child should self-isolate and not come to school if they:
Have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive
Live with someone who has symptoms or have tested positive
Are a close contact of someone who has tested positive
If there is a positive case of coronavirus in one of our year group bubbles, you will immediately be notified, Public Health will be informed and their guidance actioned and all children and adults will need to self isolate for 10 days. Learning, where at all possible, will immediately revert to remote learning.
The smooth running of the school will be prioritised at all times, but staff absence may make cover very difficult for risk assessment reasons. As we have since March 2020, we will always try our hardest to keep everything as close to 'normal' as possible.
Our provision for wrap around care will resume with provision for all children from 8th March - risk assessment guidance will be followed. For more information, please contact Mrs Emilie Stevenson email@example.com
Wrap Club will be running in the first week of the Easter holiday.
We have taken the decision to delay the return of NMPAT and Rocksteady sessions, and all other external clubs, until after the Easter break. This is in line with our plans to reduce the number of adults on site.
The same will apply to all external lettings at the current time.
There will be a strong focus on social and emotional well-being and support as your children return. Our plans will be modified based on the children's needs.
The DfE's curriculum expectations haven't changed. Your children will still receive a broad and ambitious curriculum in all subjects. As with the period between September and December, we will not be delivering indoor PE or singing inside.
Although our initial priority will be settling the children back in and ensuring that they are happy and settled, we will be carrying our assessments in the 2nd week back ie, week beginning 15th March. These will enable us to pitch the work at the correct level and identify any gaps in learning.
Statutory KS1 and KS2 tests and teacher assessments have been cancelled this year.
We would like all children to wear their school uniform wherever possible from 8th March, the one concession to this is footwear. We appreciate that children learning from home have probably not been wearing their black school shoes each day so when they try them on, they may not fit! If this is the case, please send them to school in their trainers or similar ie, the footwear that they have most likely been wearing throughout lockdown and that fits them. Where school shoes do still fit though, please encourage your child/ren to wear them. Please keep any designer / expensive footwear at home - thank you.
When shoes or trainers have laces, it would be great if your child could tie these independently. This could be a good challenge for the week ahead!
Children should come dressed in PE clothes on their PE days and stay in their kit for the whole day.
Risk assessment routines
Rest assured that we’re doing everything we can to make sure our pupils can return to school safely. We’ll be taking the following protective measures to keep everyone safe:
The staggered timings at the beginning of the end of the day (and break and lunchtime) will continue. Please stick rigidly to these timings and try hard not to be too early or late.
As before, please ensure that only one adult brings in your child/ren and please wear face coverings at all times.
Please ensure that you socially distance from all other families. I know how hard this is, but it is really important that we always err on the side of caution and give each other ample space.
Every year group will continue to learn as a 'bubble' and this bubble will not come into close contact at any time with another.
Classrooms will be well ventilated.
Movement around the school will be largely via outside routes.
All children will be encouraged to wash their hands regularly and use hand sanitiser from fixed dispensers.
As previously, toilets will be allocated per bubble. We have 3 portaloos on site to ensure that there is no shared use between bubbles.
Visitors to the school will be kept to a minimum.
Limiting the amount of equipment that children bring to school to essentials like lunch boxes, bags and books.
Avoiding the unnecessary sharing of items.
Staff will wear masks when they are outside their teaching bubble. They have full access to PPE and may choose to use this at various times.
All door handles and frequently touches surfaces, will be cleaned several times each day. On top of the regular cleaning, there will be a weekly sanitising clean.
In the event of a positive case, the area will be deep cleaned.
Our full risk assessment will be updated and shared in the coming days.
Hot school lunches from Fresh Start will continue to be served from 8th March. Please ensure that you these are ordered next week in readiness.
Children will eat in the lunch hall in year group bubbles. Two year groups will be in the hall at the same time but with a large gap between them.
The lunch tables are sanitised between sittings.
If you or your child have any concerns about returning to school, or if you think your child might need extra support when they return, please get in touch with your child's teacher in the first instance. We’ll continue to keep in touch if we update our plans or if we need to make changes due to new government guidance.
If you have any questions about any of the above information and indeed any aspect of school life at any time, please make contact.