Newsletter 39 – 10th July 2020

Dear Parents

Please remember that all children in the Foundation Stage, Year 1 and Year 6 will finish their term on Friday 17th July. The coming week is the last week for children in these year groups.

Returning to school in September We are very much looking forward to having everyone back in school in September. It will not be as “normal” school was before the Covid crisis but we will establish the new routines, great learning will continue to take place and children will have fun.

Your children will be given a warm welcome and will be helped to settle in properly as the very first priority. They will need time to adjust to being back in school, especially those who have not been in school since March. Each of our classes is one, self-contained Bubble. They have their own teacher, their own dinner lady and their own TA. Each Bubble has its own start and finish times, its own lunch and playtimes – please make sure you stick rigorously to your own time slot, this is essential to keep everyone as safe as possible. No Bubble will interact with any other Bubble so that if one Bubble has infection, only the people in that Bubble need to isolate. The rest of the school can continue to operate as usual.

No sick children will be allowed in school. If they fall ill at school, especially if they have Covid symptoms, they will be isolated until you can pick them up. This is a really essential part of keeping everyone safe in school.

The government has made it clear that the youngest children, as long as they stay within their Bubble and do not have contact with other children outside the Bubble, do not have to practise social distancing and can play together which is really lovely for them. Older children will try to maintain distance wherever possible – but the main way we are keeping them safe is by:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
    • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
    • regular cleaning of settings and good ventilation of all spaces
    • minimising contact and mixing with children from other Bubbles

All children will be sitting in seats that face forwards in the classroom so that they do not face each other. Ventilation will be a priority in all classrooms – even through the depths of winter, if necessary! So it will be cold in the classrooms. Please bear this in mind as you buy school uniform. Thick socks and tights, warm shirts and jumpers, and thermal underwear may be necessary if your child is very sensitive to the cold. Our priority has to be to reduce the chance of infection.

Each Bubble will be using only one toilet block – so we no longer have boys’ and girls’ toilets, but rather toilets for Bubble 4, toilets for Bubble 5 and so on. These are cleaned regularly throughout the school day. Only one child at a time may go to the toilets. The system works well at present and we expect that it will continue to be a good way to prevent infection in this high risk area.

Please only allow essential items to move between school and home. No book bags, no PE kits (children must come to school in school uniform but wearing trainers), no toys, no other equipment. Every child will have their own equipment, pens and pencils, scissors, glue etc. with their name on, to that no personal equipment needs to be shared.

PE will take place outside. There will be no singing indoors, no shouting indoors, no wind instruments indoors.

We are not allowed to have gatherings of the whole school – so Collective Worship and assemblies take place within each classroom. No adults except staff are allowed onsite. If you need to meet with your child’s teacher, please do phone in – we want to continue to keep in touch with you! But it will have to be by phone or email, or, if absolutely essential, an outdoor meeting.

Lunches are eaten within the classrooms, each Bubble has their own part of the school field to use if other Bubbles are out there at the same time.

If you want your child to have a Lataca dinner, they will also be a packed lunches, because they will be eaten in the classrooms. Please remember to order through Lataca’s Parentmail as usual – the menu for September will be available over the summer holidays.

Please do not send in treats for birthdays at the moment. We will return to all these things once we are through the crisis and are allowed to relax our vigilance.

School Bus The Government has asked us, if at all possible, to avoid using school buses as they present a risk to our Covid safety measures. So we are asking our families who usually use the school bus whether they could make arrangements to bring their children into school and to pick them up by car. The school bus cannot be separated into Bubbles, and the children will arrive at school at times that do not correspond with their Bubble arrival and pick up. It will be very complex to keep everyone safe under these circumstances. Please let us know your arrangements as soon as possible so that we can formulate our next steps.

Work that you have done at home We would love to see the work that you and your child have done over these months so please send their books back into school. We shall have to keep hold of them for the year, because Ofsted will want to see them if they come, but we will return them to you at the end of the academic year in July so that you have these precious books forever.

Welcome Meetings As you know, we usually have welcome meetings for parents at the end of the summer term or start of autumn term but we are not allowed to do that at present. So each teacher will send out a letter telling you about the daily routines, expectations and systems in their classroom. Please do phone in or email in if you have any questions. We are only too delighted to help in any way we can.

Valedictory events It is a huge sadness to us that we cannot invite parents in to the Leavers’ assembly and other valedictory events we usually have at this time of year. The class community has completed the Year Books which are lovely, and will go home at the end of term. We will have our Speech Day and prize giving but just with the children themselves. The two Year 6 Bubbles will sit separated by a wide corridor, outdoors, facing forward, so that the presentation can be done as whole group. The children will each have a turn to stand up and share some of their memories of primary school with their peers and teachers. They will have a very special picnic, each packed in its own box, as their end of primary party on the last day, 17th July. They will not need lunch on this day. We cannot let them sign each other’s shirts in school, obviously, and we ask that you do not send in books and items from home either as this is against our risk assessment to keep people safe from infection.

The Year 6 children are re-doing the graphics on the bridge into the outdoor reflection area – they have designed each panel and are now sanding and painting the new designs onto the panels. We will have this as a permanent reminder of this amazing year group when they leave our school. We are living through difficult times and sacrifices have had to be made. This is a Year 6 “end of year” that we will never forget! It will go down in history.

Summer holiday clubs Please find attached to the newsletter a list of the summer holiday club provision in Wiltshire for those parents who need care for their children at this time. School Holiday Activity Provision Directory.pdf

40th Anniversary of our school! Thank you for your handprints! Please keep sending them in. We will send out a photo of the tree of life next week.

We look forward to welcoming all the children in Years 2, 3, 4, and 5 in for one day each on Monday 20th July and Tuesday 21st July as part of our transition programme. You will have received your letter of invitation with the precise time for your child’s drop off and pick up.

Moodle Even once everyone is back at school, we will continue to keep Moodle ticking over in some form so that, in the event that a Bubble has to close for 14 days, education for those children can continue through the platform. We are also hoping to use it as a way of sharing learning since we cannot have Sharing Assembly at the moment.

E-safety Please continue to monitor your child’s online activity rigorously – ensure that you have filters and time limits installed on their devices and make sure that you can always see what they are doing online. Children are very much at risk in the online world as they are tech savvy but very naïve.

BBC Bitesize Please do have a look at the BBC Bitesize resources if you are still educating your child at home – they have great projects and interactive lessons that you might like to do once you have finished the work set by your class teacher. They will also have activities for the summer holidays which you might enjoy.

Best wishes,

Mercedes Henning

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