15th June 2020
Dear Parents/ Carers,
As you are now all aware Kirsty Williams the Welsh Education Minister announced that schools will reopen to pupils for “Check in, Catch Up and Prepare” sessions on June 29th for 4 weeks until the summer holidays start on 27th July (a week later than normal).
I know that this is a worrying time for you all and want you to know that at Oaklands Primary we have been carefully reviewing and scrutinising all Welsh Government and Local Authority guidance to ensure we have appropriate plans in place to safeguard the safety of staff, pupils and families. May I take this opportunity to thank those who have responded to our initial survey, your thoughtful comments are both useful and uplifting.
As you all know not all children will be in school at the same time. In fact, the advice communicated to schools is that only up to a third (maximum) of the whole school will be able to attend school at any one time so online learning will continue for pupils who are not physically attending school. It has also been stated by the Local Authority that Nursery children will not attending school until September (further details to follow from WG and LA)
When pupils return to school, they will have to adhere to the 2m distancing rule, that means across our school we are only able to cater for a very limited number of pupils per classroom; we must note that they may not always be with their class teacher, however wherever possible we will try to accommodate this.
On the numbers you have provided to us about your children returning to school we would be able to offer each child 1 day per week for 4 weeks which is above the Welsh Government and Local Authority target of each child attending their school at least 3 times before July. I and senior leaders will be in touch with you to let you know by Monday 22nd June which day your child will be attending when exact figures have been received.
When children return to school they will have to adhere to certain health and safety parameters:
When children return to school, you as adults will have to adhere to certain health and safety parameters and guidelines:
Our school will not look or feel the same as before lockdown. Classrooms will be cleared of soft furnishings making them easy to clean throughout the day. We must be prepared that some children may find this upsetting and as adults we must do our best to reassure and support them.
I am sure that many of you will have questions you would like answered so please feel free to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
With that in mind, I have attempted to put together some questions and answers that you may have about your child returning to school based on the Welsh Government guidance posted on June 10th 2020.
Will staff be wearing PPE?
It is important to remember that physical distancing; hand hygiene and respiratory hygiene (catching a cough or sneeze in a tissue or covering the mouth and nose with an elbow or sleeve) remain strongly evidenced to be the most effective ways to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Hand hygiene is critical before and after all direct contact with a child or young person, and after cleaning equipment and the environment.
There is therefore no need to use personal protective equipment (PPE) when undertaking routine educational activities in classroom/school settings.
Will my child be back in class with their friends?
Rooms will be large enough to ensure social distancing in line with guidance. Numbers in each will reflect staff availability and be kept as small as possible that means we may not always be able to accommodate friendship groups.
Seating arrangements and activities have been planned to ensure appropriate distancing in order to minimise physical contact as well as staggered break and lunch times.
Does my child have to wear school uniform?
We would like to reassure all our families that we do not expect pupils to wear uniform when we return to school, so please do not go to any expense for these 4 weeks and just send them into school in their own clothes on the days they attend that can be easily washed daily.
(Please ensure that clothing and footwear is comfortable and appropriate e.g. no strappy or crop tops, no high heels, flip-flops or open toed sandals)
Will school start and finish at the same time?
We will seek to stagger arrival and departure times as well as breaks to ensure that movement and concentration of staff and learners is minimised.
We will be ensuring that safety and social distancing measures will be in place during arrival and collection times, all parents/carers will need to understand, observe and agree to social distancing when dropping off and collecting their children. Cwmaman Road gate will be used as the entrance to the site and Cardiff Road will be an exit to avoid people passing through the narrow gates. Maes y deri can be used as an entrance and exit point as it is wide enough to remain socially distanced.
Do I have to send my child to school for the last 4 weeks? If I do not will I be fined?
There is no expectation to send your child / children back to school at the end of June. Parents will not be fined for keeping their child / children at home and will not affect your child’s attendance. Your children will continue to be supported by their class teacher in different ways.
Will my child be provided with a lunch if they stay the full day?
Dinners will only be made available to free school meals pupils on the day they are attending school. This will be in the form of a grab and go bag.
Will my child still be able to access emergency child care provision as I am a keyworker?
From Monday 29th June Keyworker children will access emergency childcare at their own school. The hours of this provision will be 8-5pm. Applications will be made weekly to email@example.com
As I explained earlier staff will be in contact with parents this week who indicated that they were unsure about their child returning to school in order that I can put together a timetable as to when your child/ children will be attending school.
I will endeavour to get this done as quickly as possible but as I am sure you will all appreciate this is going to take some time to ensure that we are adhering to all statutory guidelines and policies.
This is going to be a challenging time and we know it will take some time to get used to this way of learning and working but I am confident that in working Together Everyone will Achieve More!
Mrs C Wright: Pennaeth