I hope that you and your families are safe and well.
I write to you on behalf of the school and trustees concerning the planned reopening of the school on Wednesday 2nd September 2020.
While we are excited to get all our children back to school in September, safety remains our ultimate priority.
COVID-19 continues to pose a threat and we will need to introduce new operating procedures across our school to minimise the risk of infection and enable our trained practitioners to continue supporting the educational and general well-being of our children.
This means that school will look diﬀerent upon our return and some of the structures and experiences your child is used to in a normal school environment will have changed.
Since the government announced that schools are to re-open in September to all children, we have been working hard to facilitate this and we really appreciate your patience and continued support as we work through it.
As we did when we re-opened to more children in June, we are writing a more detailed booklet which will be shortly shared with all parents and families.
The school is currently closed however and we do apologise for the delay in getting this important information to yourselves as we appreciate the necessity for families to plan ahead.
We can assure you that as it stands, we are opening all classes to all children as the government has requested with the exception of those children who may be seen as at ‘high risk’ of infection.
The booklet that you will shortly receive, will clarify a wide range of changes to the way we would normally operate and support you in preparing your child/ren for a successful to return to school. These changes have been informed by the DfE guidance issued to schools on 7th August 2020.
The measures set out in the DfE guidance provide a framework for school leaders to put in place proportionate protective measures for children and staﬀ, which also ensure that all pupils receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress. We have been asked to minimise the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day to reduce the risk of transmission.
It will provide you with a range of important information that clariﬁes how we will meet your expectations for supporting your child on their return to school as well as our expectations about how you can also help us maintain a safe environment with minimal disruption to children’s learning.
Some of the measures that will be put in place include:
• a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
• robust hand and respiratory hygiene
• enhanced cleaning arrangements
• active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
• formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school wherever possible and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable
As a school we will be ensuring that contact is minimal and here measures will include:
• grouping children together (classes kept as a ‘bubble’)
• avoiding contact between groups
• arranging classrooms with forward facing desks
• staﬀ maintaining distance from pupils and other staﬀ as much as possible
There will be a plan put in place for a staggered start and end of day with set times given for you to collect and drop oﬀ your children.
It is, perhaps, inevitable that children might feel anxious about their impending return to school, particularly if they are in years 2 – 5 and have been oﬀ since February. Please reassure your child that this is a perfectly normal emotion and to be expected. We will do all that we can to make their welcome back to school a warm and reassuring one as always.
Please rest assured that we are fully committed at St Mary’s to ensuring that we have the best possible environment in place to welcome back our students. It is of paramount importance to us that we take care of the well-being of all children and endeavor to oﬀer them a standard of education in keeping with the high expectations of all those associated with the school.
In the meantime, on behalf of the trust and myself, I wish you all well and look forward to meeting with yourselves and the children of St Mary’s very soon.