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The Queen's C of E
Primary School

School Opening For September

In this section:

Introduction
Curriculum
Curriculum Welcome Talks
Parent Teacher Meetings
Online / Home Learning
Music
PE
Collective Worship
Lunchtime / morning / afternoon breaks
Uniform / bags/ resources
Drop off / Pick up
Sibling Drop off / pickup
Year 5 and 6 independent travel to school
Entrances / timings
Tinies  - after school provision
Breakfast club
Extra-curricular Clubs
Travelling to school
Attendance expectations
Pupils who are shielding or self-isolating
Communication and The School Office
Medication
Health and Wellbeing
Additional information

Introduction

Returning to school is vital for children’s education and for their wellbeing and now that the government have expanded the size of ‘bubbles’ for September, we look forward to all pupils returning to school safely.

While coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, we will use government advice as our ‘baseline’, but continue to make decisions at a leadership level, working closely with the school governors,  on balancing and minimising any risks from coronavirus (COVID-19), whilst providing a full educational experience for all our pupils, ensuring that they  receive a high quality education that enables them to thrive and progress.

There is an enormous amount of evolving government guidance and public health advice that all schools must consider in order to minimise the risks of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission. This will inform our planning and will mean that school may not be quite as it was before, but we are doing everything to make it feel and operate as near to normal as possible. The health, well-being and safety of both children and staff will remain at the forefront of all of our decision-making – a priority shared by the governing board.

To reduce the risk of transmission, the number of contacts that a pupil has during the school day needs to be minimised, whilst enabling the school to run effectively. Therefore, children will spend all their time in a bubble. A bubble is a group that learns and plays together and remains apart from other bubbles across the school. Maintaining distinct groups or ‘bubbles’ that do not mix makes it quicker and easier in the event of a positive COVID-19 case to identify those who may need to self-isolate, and keep that number as small as possible.

Children will continue to be taught in their classes and they will spend the vast majority of their time in their class group of 30 students (as is usual), but will share lunchtimes, playground space and some learning activities across the year group in their year group bubble, which will also encourage the cross-class friendships that the children enjoy.

We are choosing to put children in year group bubbles as opposed to class bubbles, as this allows us:

  • More resilience in staffing should a member of staff become ill;
  • Greater support from teaching assistants who can move between the two classes;
  • Safer management of the practical logistics within and around the school, for example concerning access to toilets, stairs and corridors; and
  • The potential to offer breakfast club, after school provision and clubs (which would be unworkable with smaller bubbles).  

Although government guidance states that staff may move across bubbles, we and the Governors, as employers, feel that should there be a case of Covid-19, the cross-contamination of bubbles would ultimately lead to more pupils and staff needing to self-isolate.  We are therefore going beyond the safety measures required to minimise further the risk of transmission and will be seeking additional funding to enable this to happen, by hiring additional TA support so that TAs do not need to cross bubbles.

We have attached a separate document outlining the health & safety protective factors which will be in place in school.  This includes details of what will happen in response to Covid symptoms or a confirmed case appearing in pupils or staff, and a flowchart explaining the process.

Below are details of how school will operate on the return in September and to help you prepare your children for some of the changes. If your child has already been in school, they will be familiar with many of these different ways of school life. Details are provided below on the following matters:

Curriculum:

Home learning can never be the same as learning in school alongside peers and we are aware that children may have missed aspects of learning and will have had very different experiences of learning during lockdown. 

The first few weeks in school will focus on a Restorative/Re-discovery Curriculum, enabling children to readjust to school, share experiences, value each other and build confidence and self-esteem with their peers and new teachers. This time will also enable teachers to gather information to assess a baseline for any gaps in learning, enabling any catch up to be individualised and purposeful. We will also be working on whole school writing, and a creative project to unify our Queen’s community. More information will follow in the Autumn Term.

End of key stage statutory assessments will be going ahead in 2021 and although there may be the need to re-teach and repeat previous learning, the aim is to progress with the current year’s curriculum, acknowledging and addressing the gaps while being flexible to speed up and slow down learning where needed, ensuring that all pupils continue to make progress and achieve high levels of attainment.

Curriculum Welcome Talks:

It is normal at the start of the year for us to welcome parents/carers into school for curriculum evenings and an opportunity to meet your child’s new teacher. This year we will be doing this online, during the week beginning 14th September, details will be sent out at the start of term.

Parent Teacher Meetings:

These meetings will take place online via Google Meet and are planned for Thursday 12th and Tuesday 17th November. Details for booking appointments will be sent out in the Autumn Term.

Online/Home Learning:

Google Classroom will remain in use for homework and projects and there will still be general learning suggestions and links to BBC Bitesize and Oak Academy learning. Google Classroom will also be ready in waiting, should there be any bubble or school closures. Please retain your child’s login details, as they will need these to access to their Google Classroom.

Music:

Music is an essential part of The Queen’s School curriculum and over this lockdown period, although we have been restricted and unable to sing in the classroom, we have adapted to include outdoor singing and drumming in the weekly timetable, which will continue in the Autumn Term. Although we will not be able to have the orchestra, choir or recorders (due to increased risk of contamination and mixing of groups), we will continue to be creative with our provision and ensure that every child has access to high quality music activities

PE

We are lucky to have so much outdoor space, which will enable all children to continue to participate in 2 hours of PE per week. Pleiades, our PE provider, will be continuing to teach 1 lesson a week for each class and class teachers will be teaching the other lesson. PE will, weather permitting, predominantly take place outside, where potential virus transmission is reduced. In addition, we will be timetabling every year group to complete a 15-minute daily exercise session, as part of the government initiative to increase daily physical activity. We will also be offering a range of lunchtime football development and coaching sessions for each year group bubble.

Collective Worship:

A core part of our school life is daily Collective Worship. Although we will not be able to gather together we will be unified in our worship through shared services, which will take place in classrooms and Father Nigel will continue to provide a weekly service via video.  

 

Lunchtime/morning /afternoon breaks

Children will eat lunch in their classrooms with their teaching assistants. This will ensure bubbles remain separate and make lunchtimes manageable. School lunch provision will still be available, although this will be a packed lunch option. We are in the process of agreeing the menu choices with ISS, our school caterers, and will inform parents as soon as a decision is reached. Free school meals will continue to be in place for all KS1 pupils and any other families who are entitled to this provision.

The playground, Playzone, Fitzone, Reflection Zone and 3G will be divided into play areas for each bubble and bubbles will rotate weekly to experience different play spaces. Break times and lunchtime play will be on a rota, to ensure adequate space for each bubble.

Uniform / bags/ resources:

We will be having a more flexible approach to uniform in order to reduce the number of bags and items in school and the need for changing. We would like all children to wear PE kit to school on their PE and after-school club days (we will send a timetable). We are also allowing all children to wear non-marking trainers/suitable footwear for PE, to school every day. If you prefer your child to wear school shoes and not trainers, then they will need to keep a pair of trainers in school. On non PE days, children will wear school uniform as normal.

We request that children bring only what they need into school in a small bag i.e. school book bag/rucksack:

  • reading book
  • reading diary
  • training shoes (if not wearing)
  • pen (if used), a small selection of: colour pencils (no smell pens/pencils)/ felt tips & a rubber
  • NO pencil cases (children in KS2 will be given a clear wallet for their stationery)
  • KS1 will have class resources, allocated to small groups for their sole use
  • lunch box, named (if having a packed lunch)
  • water bottle (named)

Any Y5/6 children who need a mobile phone for safety (walking to and from home) can place it safely in their classroom tray.

Drop off/ Pick up:

Our aim is to get all year groups in to school quickly and efficiently and as near as possible to normal school times. However, in order to minimise gatherings and enable social distancing, drop off and pickups have been staggered, within a 30 minute period (detailed below). We recognise that for parents with more than one child this may take a little longer, but following the guidance below, will ensure this operates as smoothly as possible:

  • arrive at the correct time 
  • one parent only to accompany their child/ children.
  • handovers will be at the gate, please be ready to say goodbye to your child and have their bags organised
  • children will park their own scooters and bikes
  • if you are late picking up/ dropping off your child, please join the queue for the relevant drop off/pick up point. If your gate is closed please come to the office and ring the bell.
  • do not gather around any entrance gates and respect social distancing guidelines at all times
  • follow the one way system as shown on the plan below
  • When travelling to and from school please reference government guidance to ensure your safety
  • Inform the teacher at the gate of any changes to pick up arrangements

Sibling Drop off / pickup:

If you are dropping off/picking up more than 1 child at different places and different times, we ask that you drop your first child at their allotted time and then join the relevant queue for your other children as we do not have staff available to supervise waiting children.

Year 5 and 6 independent travel to school:

Children in year 5 & 6 may, with parental permission, travel to and from school independently. Please email their class teacher via info with your permission and the subject header: ‘Permission to walk home alone’.

We are aware that this will all take longer and we appreciate your patience, as all of these protocols are in place to support the safety of you and your child.

Entrances/timings:

Group

Drop off time

Pick up time

Gate for lining up

Gate for entry / exit

EYFS

8:50

 

See EYFS info

By PSA shed /school hall

Delivery gates

Year 1

8:40

3:15

By the main school office

Delivery gates

Year 2

 

8.50

3:20

By the main school office

Delivery gates

 

Year 3

8:50

3:20

At the end of the yellow brick road (car park)

Delivery gates

Year 4

9.00

3.30

By the main school office

Delivery gates

Year 5

9.00

3:30

At the end of the yellow brick road (car park)

Pedestrian gate

Year 6

 

8.40

3:15

At the end of the yellow brick road (car park)

Pedestrian gate

Tinies  - after school provision:

After school provision is vital for many working parents and it is our intention to provide this. However, we still need to meet with the Tinies management to discuss operational details. The provision is run by an outside company, who will need to operate within our safety measures i.e. in year group bubbles, to ensure there is no compromise to health and safety. More information will follow, we will aim to have this with you as soon as is practically possible to enable you to make your arrangements.

Breakfast club:

Breakfast club will continue to be offered every day from 7.45 until the start of school. Children will be seated in year group bubbles, maintaining safe distance between different groups (there are 40 places). Details of booking and drop off arrangements will be sent out before the start of term.

Extra-curricular Clubs:

We intend to offer a programme of extra-curricular clubs. This is likely to be a reduced programme as these will need to be year group-based. We are currently talking with providers and looking at possibilities. More information will be provided at the start of term.

Travelling to school:

We are encouraging parents, staff and pupils to walk, cycle or scoot to school, if at all possible. The government advice is to minimise the use of public transport, by families, during peak hours. If you need to use public transport, please refer to safer travel guidance for passengers.

Attendance expectations:

It is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.

School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the availability to issue sanctions in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
  • no holidays to be taken during term time

Pupils who are shielding or self-isolating:

As much more about coronavirus (COVID-19) is now known there will be far fewer children and young people advised to shield whenever community transmission rates are high. Therefore, the majority of pupils will be able to return to school. Please note however that:

  • A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Read the current advice on shielding

If rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent (see below).

  • Some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at COVID-19 - ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people.

Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we will continue with our online learning via Google Classroom and absence will not be penalised.

Communication and The School Office:                                                                                                                

For reasons of health & safety, the school office and school grounds will remain closed to visitors and parents/carers, but we still want to maintain open channels of communication, that are so important to our school community.

  • If you need to contact the school please do so by phone or email to info@queens.richmond.sch.uk
  • If you need to drop anything off, there will be labelled boxes outside the school office where items can be left for the school or for your child.
  • If you need to speak with your child’s teacher, they will be at the gate to greet children and have a quick conversation. However, if you need to discuss anything in more detail, please send an email and the class teacher will contact you.

The Co-Headteachers and Assistant head are around at drop off and pick up, so please do chat to us (at a social distance) as you are waiting, or alternatively contact us via telephone or email.

Medication:

When the school  closed in March, we sent medication home with children.  If your child usually has medication in school, please can you ensure that this is brought into school, on the first day of term, and deposited in the labelled boxes, outside the school office. All medication must be labelled with:

  • Pupil name
  • Pupil class
  • Medication included in bag/box

Health and Wellbeing:

During this unusual time families will have experienced many different emotions and faced many varied challenges and situations. The pandemic is still ongoing and we expect this to continue as we start back at school and we recognise that this may be an anxiety for some families. In order for us to best support your child and your family we would like you to complete a questionnaire on wellbeing and provide us with information that may be pertinent to supporting your child’s return to school and emotional wellbeing in September. We will be sending this out just before term starts, so that the information is a reflection of your child’s well-being at that time. There will be options for you to choose how and with whom this information is shared.

Please ensure you read all the information attached and the further information sent out before term starts (see list below).

Please also be aware that if there are any changes to government advice that affects the re-opening of the school, you will be notified by ParentMail at the earliest opportunity.

Additional information

More detailed information to follow before the start of term:

  • Breakfast club booking /  drop off
  • Extra-curricular clubs
  • Tinies after school provision
  • School lunch options
  • PE timetable
  • Well-being questionnaire for parents and children

More detailed information to follow in the Autumn Term:

  • Curriculum talks – Welcome to year …
  • Parent teacher meetings – booking information

Please see updated Government guidance for parents/carers:

 What parents need to know for the autumn term

All letters and any updated guidance on COVID 19 will now be on the school website under the section  -  for parents – COVID 19