Updates towards plans for opening school (projected for June 1st)
Opening of school to children requires much planning and adaptation as guidance is amended and we learn more about who will access the invites made. This is not a straight forward process for schools, Local Authorities or Government and I hope that you are patient and understanding of the need to take steps to keep children and the community safe.
We will review our plan and actions fortnightly or when guidance dictates. As a result, by the nature of the circumstances all measures are subject to alteration.
Plan outline (unchanged)
As already announced in previous notices, Ashgate Primary School is initially inviting access to school to all EYFS, Year 1 and Year 6 children in two groups. These are referred to as group A and B. This is the first step in readiness for a full reopening when directed by the Department of Education (DfE).
Working in this way has enabled us to plan for small 'bubbles' of pupils, which will allow as much social distancing between staff and pupils as possible.
Remember, the Department of Education have confirmed that it will not always be possible to ensure the 2 meter social distancing in primary school settings, and we cannot guarantee this either.
School will be closed to all but non key workers/vulnerable children on Wednesdays to allow a deep clean process. This is an important hygiene step designed to further reduce risk of contamination.
Parents are reminded that DfE have confirmed that families will not be penalised for non attendance during this period.
All children will continue to be provided online learning activities regardless of acceptance of invite, year group or days school is available to that individual.
Confirmation of actions due this week (updated)
Parents of children in invited groups will have their group confirmed on Friday 22ndby text message. If you do not receive a message by 3pm, you may contact the school office for confirmation (01332 343928).
You do not need to inform us or commit to attendance, however, if school is open on June 1st (government announcing pending) you must contact us if you DO NOT send your child. This is simply for enduring children are accounted for and safeguarded.
How long will access be restricted to two days as Group A and B? (new information)
Clearly, access to school on only some days presents a challenge for families, particularly those who cannot work at home. This is in place to keep children safe.
I can confirm that:
The first review of numbers will take place on June 8th. Should grouping allow a merge, steps to address this will be announced by June 12th. After this point, a fortnightly review will take place. I wish to be clear, this is not a guarantee and is subject to the demand. Likewise, if schools are later directed by the DfE to accept children in other year groups, grouping may be necessary across the school.
There are no plans at this time to remove the Wednesday deep clean.
My child currently attends school in the Key Worker/Vulnerable Children group. Can they attend in Group A or B and later in the week join the Key Worker group again? (Clarification)
No. Guidance requires that groups mix as little as possible to reduce the risk of cross contamination. Parents of Key and Vulnerable group entitlement need to make a decision.
You cannot switch between the two. Should your circumstance change or the offer made by school extended at a later date, a change in group needs planning and must be arranged in consultation with the school. An expected 5 working day notice is required and will require agreement by the Headteacher. Parents cannot swap and change at a whim.
If you feel that you are entitled to access to the school as both parents are key workers and there is no safe alternative, you must apply for access to this group. Those already accepted need not re apply.
Some updates on expectations if you send your child in
School uniform is preferable. However, I am acutely aware that it is more important that children attend school in clean clothing. If you have limited uniform, non uniform is acceptable if this increases hygiene standards.
Children should not bring book bags and the school library will remain closed. You can imagine that as educationalists, this is difficult for us to tell people. Clear guidance is available to say that contamination from the sharing of books is a high risk, as is bringing in items from home unless very necessary.
Children will need to bring their own water bottleand this should be clearly labelled.