Burston - Opening Update

Posted on 3rd Sep 2020

Dear families,

As many of you will know, we were able to open the school before the summer break to a high percentage of our total school population. The success of this over the few weeks preceding the holidays has given us confidence in the measures that we have put in place to keep school as safe as possible. As we open for all pupils for the 2020-2021 academic year, I thought it would be helpful to highlight some of the main systems and processes that we have in place. As always, these have been designed with the support of the Health & Safety team at Sapientia Education Trust and have been scrutinised in detail.

  • We will be running two bubbles – one for Class 1 and one for Class 2
  • The Class 1 bubble will use the main gate and enter via the ‘cupboard’ door into class one
  • The Class 2 bubble will use the big gate on the playground to enter and exit the school site and will enter the school building via the door at the back of the Class 2’s classroom
  • Particularly for the younger children, there may be times when your child may be a little upset leaving you. Staff may be unable to separate your child from you in the way that they would normally do, so instead please could you perhaps go for a little walk for a few minutes, calm them down and then try again. Perhaps at this point there will be fewer people about and it may facilitate a smoother transition into school
  • When children arrive at school from 8.35am they are to go straight into the classroom. We have made some timetable changes this year and we are looking to start lessons as close to 8.45am as possible, so please could you ensure that your child arrives at school promptly. The end of the school day is still 3.15pm. Prior to the summer holidays we were closing at 1pm on a Friday – this is not carrying on this term.
  • At all main movement points eg start and end of the day, breaktimes, lunchtimes etc all children will be required to wash their hands. They will also be required to do this at other times during the day
  • There are rigorous cleaning systems in place, both during the school day and also after school. High contact points, such as door handles and regular-use surfaces are cleaned using high quality anti-bacterial sprays or wipes
  • The two bubbles will be segregated during the school day. Playtimes will happen at the same time but there will be clearly designated areas for the children to play in. Contact games such as football are suspended for the time being. At lunchtime, Class 1 will eat in the mobile and Class 2 in their classroom.
  • Parents are not allowed on the school site, unless they have an appointment with a member of staff. Please could Class 1 parents wait by the red gate and Class 2 parents by the big gate that leads onto the playground. If you need to speak to Mrs Hull, the school secretary, she will be in school on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday morning for the time being. You can speak to her in the office reception area (only one person at a time in this area)
  • All parents need to have signed the home school agreement (which will be sent out separately), which includes key information concerning school opening and protocols should a member of the bubble feel ill. Please could this be returned to school by Friday 11th September.
  • Classrooms have been set up to ensure that there is distance between groups of children where possible. It is recognised however that for younger children it is not possible to maintain distances
  • In class, children will have their own personal items of stationery, such as pens, pencils etc, which will not be shared with other children
  • We have thought carefully about the teaching and learning resources that we have in the classes. Wherever possible these will be cleaned regularly, or rotated to allow for a period of time when they won’t be used
  • Spaces in and around the school will be well-ventilated, with doors and windows open where possible. Please could children have jumpers and cardigans, as it will feel colder in the classrooms as a result.
  • Norse, our catering provider are providing hot meals as well as packed lunches. These meals will be given to the children in containers, rather than being served from the hatch at the back of Class 2
  • Children are allowed to bring in school bags. However, it is a sensible precaution to minimise the amount of things they bring into school, so please think carefully about what they need to have with them
  • On days when the children have PE, they need to come to school in their PE kits. Your child’s class teacher will let you know what days your child has PE
  • For the time being there won’t be whole school activities, such as assemblies. Instead these will be conducted within each classroom
  • Until further notice we will not be able to host cafes or events that parents can come along to. We will be using our school website and other media platforms to let you know what the children are doing in school, so please access these
  • Our risk assessments and protocols are scrutinised by the Trust on a regular basis. They also support us in terms of the health and safety equipment that we have in school, such as hand sanitising equipment, PPE etc. Being part of a wider school community means that we can learn from our colleagues in terms of best practice going on in other schools

All of these measures are designed to make the school as safe as possible for the children and staff. It is worth saying however that sitting alongside this is a commitment to ensuring the best possible educational experience for the children. I will be writing to you all soon with an overview of the main school improvement priorities this year, together with an update on some of the changes we have made to the way we deliver the curriculum, especially in key stage 1 and 2 (years 1-6).

If you have any questions regarding our systems and processes then do please let me know. In the meantime, we look forward to welcoming back the children on Monday 7th September.

Best wishes

Mark Carlyle

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