SCHOOL UPDATE - 01/09/2020
I hope that this letter finds you and your families well. The last few months really have proven to be a very difficult and testing time for all of us, but I hope that during the Summer break you and your children managed to spend some quality and enjoyable time together.
As you will know, the Government have made it clear that they feel it is now safe enough for schools to reopen to all pupils in September. This means that education is once again compulsory and that parents and carers will be expected to send their children to school.
- The main change under the new guidance relates to how contact between individuals is to be limited in schools.
- Therefore, children will remain in consistent groups – their 'class bubbles'. We will not be mixing children from different classes, thereby minimising the number of contacts between different children to prevent the spread of any possible infection across groups.
BREAK TIMES AND LUNCH TIMES
- Break times and lunch times will be staggered for different bubbles.
- Playgrounds will be divided into zones and there will be restrictions on the types of equipment children can use and the games they can play, following hygiene and social distancing guidance.
- For the first 2 weeks in September, unfortunately there will not be the capacity to provide any hot meals at lunchtime. Instead, a packed lunch will be offered until the kitchen is up and running and we all get used to new changes to the school day (Further details of arrangements, parent pay and Free School Meal entitlement will follow separately).
- Children will eat their packed lunch in their classroom with an allocated member of dinner supervisory team who will join their bubble.
- Children should bring a named water bottle each day that returns home each day to be thoroughly washed.
- Where possible, the use of toilet facilities will be restricted to certain times to avoid children using the toilet at the same time
- The Department for Education has recognised that strict social distancing will not always be possible, especially with primary-aged pupils.
- However, every classroom will be organised to try to ensure children are kept socially distanced.
- Where possible and appropriate, children will sit in rows facing the front of the classroom.
- We will avoid any large gatherings of different groups together so whole-school assemblies will not take place. They will be replaced by smaller class assemblies within their own classroom.
- Older pupils will be encouraged to respect 1m+ distance guidelines.
- Learning activities will be carefully planned to allow for distancing both inside your child’s classroom and outside.
- Children will be given their own stationery, and resources and classroom equipment will be cleaned by staff during the day and again thoroughly at the end of the day by the cleaning team.
- Children should try and limit the amount of equipment they bring into school each day to essentials, such as lunch boxes, hats, coats and books.
- Strict hygiene measures will be adhered to throughout the day, including regular hand washing/sanitising.
All of the above measures are being taken to ensure the safest possible environment for your child. We will of course work very hard to continue to provide a happy, comforting and secure environment to limit any anxiety and fears you or your child may be having. To help us do that we would really appreciate it if you were able to explain to your child that school will be running differently but all the staff will be there to take good care of them.
Thank you for your cooperation, understanding and support at this time. We are all really excited about seeing all of our children and welcoming them back to school once again. If you do have any questions or concerns please contact the school office.
Starting the Phased Re-opening of Schools you will be aware from the news that the Government has announced the phased reopening for schools from 1 June 2020. In Sandwell, we have been looking at how this will be achieved and have worked with our schools and academies to agree a common approach. Schools have reviewed the requirements for social distancing, hygiene and cleaning required daily as well as organisational changes they may need to make to the school day to open.
June 1st is the start of a process for reopening and, initially, not all children will be able to start on a full-time basis. The number of children in a school at any one time will be dictated by the size of the classrooms and the availability of staff. To maintain social distancing normal sized classrooms can only hold 6 - 10 pupils at a time. If your child is in Secondary school then the Government has requested that only those in Year 10 and Year 12 are invited individually or in small groups to begin face to face meetings with staff to assist them with their learning. Each school or academy will devise a rota for children to attend and will contact you to tell you when this will be. In the main, all children will continue to do most of their work from home.
Primary schools have been asked by Government to open to a number of year groups, Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. However, due to the space available in each Primary school, it is not possible to accommodate all children from these year groups at the same time. Therefore, Primary schools will prioritise pupils in the following order:
• Vulnerable children
• Key Worker Children
• Year 1
• Year 6
Primary schools will inform you of the arrangements they are making and will let you know which days your children can attend school from 1st June. Children in Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 will need to continue to remain at home until Government guidance changes.
Director of Education, Skills and Employment
Which years groups can start to return to school from 1 June 2020?
The Government has asked that schools start the phased return of Y12, Y10, Y6, Y1, Reception and Nursery children. Schools will manage this gradually and not all children will be in school full time as they are limited by space and staffing availability. Schools will write to parents to let them know what the arrangements are.
What about Key Worker children and vulnerable children?
Schools will continue to prioritise these children ahead of all others. This may limit the spaces available to children in some year groups.
Which additional children will be prioritised first?
Secondary schools will manage a timetabled rota for Year 10 and Year 12 pupils to attend. Primary schools will prioritise children in this order:-
• Vulnerable children
• Key Worker Children
• Year 1
• Year 6
Will my child be in school full time?
Key Worker children and vulnerable children will continue to be offered full time places in both Primary and Secondary schools. All other year groups will be on a phased return. In many Primary schools this is unlikely to be a full-time place due to space and staffing availability and schools will offer places for priority year groups first. Schools may have to operate a rota system for children to accommodate them across the course of a school week.
What happens if I do not want to take up the school place?
Your school will write out to you to ask you if you would like to take a school place from 1 June. You do not have to accept the place. If you do not accept the place it will be offered to a pupil in another priority year group. If you change your mind then you must give your school at least one week’s notice as they may have to make staffing changes to accommodate extra children.
Will I get fined for not sending my child to school?
You do not have to send your child to school during this pandemic. There are no plans to fine parents of children who do not attend at the present time.
How will schools keep children safe?
Schools are following National Guidance produced by the Department for Education and Public Health England. They will operate social distancing (where possible), keep children in small groups throughout the day, increase cleaning schedules and ask children to follow more stringent hygiene routines. Schools may also stagger the start and finish of the school day to reduce the number of adults arriving and departing at the same time.
Is it possible to manage the youngest children to follow social distancing rules?
The Government accepts this is very difficult. Young children naturally want to play and work together. Initially, and for as long as is necessary, children will only be able to interact with a small group of other children. Schools will do their best given the space and resources they have available to manage children.
What happens if my child has special needs?
Schools will have completed an individual risk assessment for each child. This will be used to make a decision on whether it is safe for your child to return to school or whether they will be safer at home. Schools will talk with you directly to discuss your child’s needs.
Will teachers and staff have to use PPE?
If social distancing can be managed then staff will not generally use PPE. If a child becomes unwell and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19, staff will have to isolate that child from others and use PPE to protect themselves. In some circumstances, for example where a child needs personal care or has specific additional needs, staff may use PPE whilst they support a child.
My child is worried about coming back to school, how can I help them?
Talk to your child in a positive way about school, seeing friends and teachers again. Help them understand how social distancing works and make sure that they can wash their hands properly by themselves.
Will schools be teaching the National Curriculum when children return?
No. Schools will initially focus on ensuring children feel safe and anxiety free. They will deliver a curriculum designed to support children back into school routines and classroom learning. Teachers will use this time to work out what learning support children need and how they can support them further.
Will schools continue to set work or activities for children at home?
Schools will continue to provide some remote learning or activities for children to do at home. This will vary from school to school depending on whether they operate, for example, an online learning platform or have a website with suggested learning activities.
A very warm welcome to all website users!
At Lyng Primary School our vision is to provide a nurturing, happy and safe environment. Surrounded by caring adults children will be provided with opportunities to become the best that they can be. We will strive to ensure that every child leaves Lyng Primary feeling confident, self-motivated and independent so that they are ready for the next stage in their lives.
Both in and outside the classroom a Lyng child should:
- Be engaged, excited and inspired & love to learn
- Be challenged
- Learn to use their imagination and develop curiosity
- Learn to take risks, try new experiences & not give up
- Learn to work alongside each other
- Celebrate their uniqueness and embrace each other's differences
- Not be afraid to make mistakes
- Be successful
- Have fun!
On behalf of the governors and staff we look forward to working in partnership with yourselves and your children to ensure they reach their full potential.
For information on our new Reception starters 2020-2021 please CLICK HERE
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