22 May 2020
Thank you to parents in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 who responded to our questionnaire last week; this has been really helpful in guiding our thinking.
Summary of key dates below:
May 25 - 29 School closed to all for half term break
June 1-2. Childcare half term provision for existing keyworkers only
June 3-5. School closed to all for deep cleaning and reorganisation
June 8. Phased reopening for keyworker children under new arrangements
June 10. Governors meeting to agree next phase
June 15. Earliest date for Year 6 return
June 22. Earliest date for EYFS return
In more detail:
We have been working extremely hard to take note of the huge amount of government guidance produced on a daily basis this week and begin to formulate a plan for the phased return of more children.
The Government position
The current government position is that they believe it will be safe for children to return to school in half-class sized “bubbles” of no more than 15 after half term. They acknowledge that social distancing is not possible with young children. Instead, keeping bubbles separated at all times combined with frequent hand washing is recommended, along with keeping tables as far apart as possible.
Schools are asked to offer full-time places for children in these year groups as well as children of key workers. However it is the responsibility of each school’s headteacher and governing board to determine how this can be implemented safely in their school by risk assessing the building and available staffing.
We have around 80 children in these groups, and we have determined that we cannot safely open for all these children on a full time basis starting on June 8th. Keeping our tables at 2m distance we can only accommodate 10 per bubble, not 15. We also have fewer staff available due to 4 being in vulnerable groups; therefore with our remaining staff we can operate a maximum of 4 bubbles.
We have remained open throughout the closure providing childcare for at most 4 children.
The phased return
Week commencing June 8th we will re-open for the keyworker group only, which we expect to increase. All parents who indicated they are currently keyworkers and intend to take up a place will be contacted prior to this with revised arrangements and expectations, and a new home school agreement to sign. Children will only be able to attend from June 8th if the forms are returned and their place has been confirmed - please note this also applies to those who have been attending prior to half term.
Opening just for key worker children initially will enable us to test the systems we are putting in place before extending to further groups of children.
On June 10th, governors will review the risk assessment and initial implementation and decide whether further groups can be accommodated. If it is deemed safe to do so, we will bring in a Year 6 group on June 15th and a EYFS group on June 22nd. The final group will depend on demand up to this point, and we may not be able to offer places for Year 1 other than key workers.
Thank you for your ongoing patience and support in these challenging times.
Joy Headley. Geoff Woods
Headteacher Chair of Governors