I hope you have all had a lovely summer break.
We look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday 2 September 2021 when school reopens for the new school year. Having reviewed our risk assessment in light of the most recent government and local authority guidance, I am pleased to be able to let you know that we are aiming to return to some semblance of normality this academic year. Please note the following points:
DROP OFF AND PICK UP
We will no longer have staggered start and finish times. All children are to arrive at school between 8:45am and 8:55am, entering via the side gate. We request that parents of children in Classes 3 and 4 leave the children at the pedestrian gate in order to reduce congestion on site. Class teachers will be waiting to greet the children and they will filter directly into classrooms to wash their hands. At the end of the day, the side gate will be opened at 3:15pm and parents will be able to walk round to the playground at the rear of building and collect their children directly from their classrooms. If more than one child is being collected, please collect the younger child/children first.
MIXING AND ‘BUBBLES’
It will no longer be necessary to keep the children in consistent groups (‘bubbles’). This means that children from different classes can play together at playtimes and there will be no need for staggered lunchtimes. We will also be able to return to having whole school assemblies once again.
TRACING CLOSE CONTACTS AND ISOLATION
Close contacts will now be identified via NHS Test and Trace and education settings will no longer be expected to undertake contact tracing.
As with positive cases in any other setting, NHS Test and Trace will work with the positive case and/or their parent to identify close contacts. Contacts from a school setting will only be traced by NHS Test and Trace where the positive case and/or their parent specifically identifies the individual as being a close contact. This is likely to be a small number of individuals who would be most at risk of contracting COVID-19 due to the nature of the close contact. Schools may be contacted in exceptional cases to help with identifying close contacts, as currently happens in managing other infectious diseases.
Individuals are not required to self-isolate if they live in the same household as someone with COVID-19, or are a close contact of someone with COVID-19, and any of the following apply:
- they are fully vaccinated
- they are below the age of 18 years and 6 months
- they have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
- they are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons
Instead, they will be contacted by NHS Test and Trace, informed they have been in close contact with a positive case and advised to take a PCR test. We would encourage all individuals to take a PCR test if advised to do so.
Staff who do not need to isolate, and children and young people aged under 18 years 6 months who usually attend school, and have been identified as a close contact, should continue to attend school as normal.
The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law but expects and recommends that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people you don’t normally meet.
We will ensure that the following control measures continue to be in place:
- Ensuring good hygiene for everyone.
- Maintaining appropriate cleaning regimes.
- Keeping occupied spaces well ventilated.
- Following public health advice on testing, self-isolation and managing confirmed cases of COVID-19.
STEPPING MEASURES UP AND DOWN
Our contingency plans (sometimes called outbreak management plans) cover the possibility that in some local areas it may become necessary to reintroduce ‘bubbles’ for a temporary period, to reduce mixing between groups.
Breakfast club will start again on Thursday 2 September 2021 at 8:00am. It is open to all children from YR-Y6 at a cost of £2 per day (discounts are available for families) – there is no need to book in advance.
No PE lessons will be taking place this week. More information will be provided by class teachers in their forthcoming class newsletters.
Take care and stay safe.
Mr Kirtley (Headteacher)