Dear Parents and families,
Re: All children returning to school on Thursday, 3rd September.
We are glad to say that the current plan is that all children will return to school in our school on Thursday, 3rd September. Nursery and Reception class return dates may differ slightly – those teachers will be in touch with you directly.
We look forward to welcoming all children and families back to school, including those families and children new to the school.
Below is a summary of procedures which will be in place when we re-open. We will be in touch again if there is any change to these procedures.
These procedures are based on Government guidance for full opening in September and our school risk assessment with the aim being to keep children in small groups or ‘bubbles’ isolated from other groups while in school. The idea is that children stay in those bubbles all day and work with the same small number of adults, including teacher, teaching assistant and break supervision staff. Children will be mixing with children in their own group but not with children from other groups. This includes during their break times and lunch times. In our school, bubbles will be based on year groups so your child will spend their time during the school day only with children from their year group.
There is no expectation that children effectively social distance from others within their bubbles which is why it is important that we keep these bubbles and those who work with them apart to lessen the probability of transmission of COVID 19 between
groups and so we know who is in each group if any issue arises.
How do I drop off my child in the morning?
We will have lots of staff out in the morning to direct you child into class once they arrive. Due to delay in our building works which are now due to be completed on Wednesday 9th September, Year 3 (Miss Cosstick) will be in the former Reception class of Miss Carman and Year 4 classes will be in the hall and annex for the first five school days back. We will notify parents when there is a change to the arrangements below for those Year 3 and Year 4 classes.
Where you drop your child off will depend on which year class and year group they are in in September.
Parents using Gate 1 to drop off from cars can drive through gates and around the drop off circle as usual.
All children not in Nursery will go straight into class from 8.30am so please drop your children off between 8.30am and 8.50am.
Please can only one adult from each family drop your children off at school.
How do I pick my child up at the end of the day?
Nursery – Come to Gate 3 (up the walkway by the dentist’s) – the usual Nursery Gate – where you dropped your children off in the morning.
Children in Reception class (Miss Carman) and Year 3 (Mrs Cosstick) – Come through Gate 1 (the main gate) and round to the Reception playground where staff will meet you with your child. Please exit through Gate 2 (across the Reception playground and into the walkway by the dentist’s). Please follow staff instructions about which gates to exit.
Children in Class Reception/Year 1 (Mrs Patel), Year 1 (Miss Collins), Year 2 (Miss Shannon), Year 2 (Mrs Foster) and Year 3 (Mrs Read/Miss Shanahan) – Come through Gate 1 – the main gate. (This is not the gate you dropped the children off at in the morning) Walk up around to your children’s classroom exits and exit through Gate 4 (the gate at which you dropped your child off in the morning).
Children in all other classes – Both Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 classes – Come through Gate 1 (the main gate), pick your child up and then out through Gate 1. Please follow staff instructions about which gates to exit.
Please be patient with us for the first few days as children and parents get used to children’s new classes, entrances and exits. There will be any staff on hand to help.
Please can only one adult from each family pick your children up from school.
All children not in Nursery will be let out of class at 3.15pm.
Please leave more time than usual to drop off and pick up your child as these procedures may make it take longer than usual. Please be patient with us as there will be a time period before all parents and children are used to their new classes and drop off/pick up arrangements. Please observe social distancing when you are dropping off and picking up children.
Will lessons be back to normal?
Yes. Children will be working a full timetable with their teachers. At the beginning, teachers will be spending time on informally assessing where children are as many children will have had differing educational experiences during partial school closure. Teachers will be able to plan effectively for your child when they know where they are. The focus will be on Reading, Writing and Maths initially.
A certain amount of time will be spent on re-establishing routines so children know what is expected and to enable them to settle in and feel secure. There will also be time spent on new procedures including handwashing and hygiene.
It is possible that some children will feel anxious returning to school where they have been off for a long time. We have found with the children who have returned that they have settled in well and started working effectively after a week or two. Provision and support will be in place for those children who need it on their return to school.
If you wish to provide us with any information on your child’s time off school which may be relevant to their return, please email their new teacher for September (who will email you so you have their email) or to this email address giving your child’s name and new class teacher’s name.
What if I need to speak to a teacher?
Please do not approach classroom doors. Please email the teacher. Your child’s new teacher(s) will email you before Thursday, 3rd, so you will have their email(s). They can then mail or phone you as necessary.
What about drinks, snacks and lunch?
Your child will need to bring with them all drinks and snacks that they will need for the day, including water.
If you want your child to have a packed lunch, they should bring it in the morning.
Kingswood will be providing hot and cold dinners from 3rd September. Please register and/or order online at https://www.kingswoodcatering.co.uk/ which is the usual web link.
This includes for children from Reception to Year 2 who are entitled to Universal free school meals. If your child is entitled to Free School Meals and they are not in Reception to Year 2, you must also book with Kingswood.
Kingswood will send the meals (including hot meals which will come in trays) into school packed in boxes for each year group bubble and the children will have their meals in classroom with the packed lunch children. There will not be whole school lunch in the hall. If you have any queries regarding Kingswood, please contact them via their website or phone 01536 201203.
I attach to this email a document with further information on Kingswood and our school lunches.
What else should my child bring from home?
Please do not send your child in with any stationery, including pencil cases. They will be provided with their own set of everything they need.
What about uniform?
Your child must wear school uniform.
Please see our website at https://st-monicas.co.uk/information/uniform-and-dress-code/ for a list of uniform.
Our uniform suppliers are taking orders online at https://uniformcity.co.uk/st-monicas-catholic-primary-school-en-3/
Can my child bring their mobile phone and drop it off at the office as usual?
What if I need to speak to somebody in the office?
Please do not visit the office in person. Please email the office on firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 01908 606966.
What about PE kit?
Children should bring their PE kits into school as they will need them. They will be doing mainly outside PE in September so please ensure they have outside kit.
Please see our website at https://st-monicas.co.uk/information/uniform-and-dress-code/ for a full list of PE kit.
What about Rainbow Club – wrap around care?
Rainbow Club will re-open on Thursday, 3rd September, and will run during its usual hours i.e. from 7.30am before school and until 6.00pm after school.
There will be some amendment to their procedures. Mrs Murphy, who runs the club, will has emailed all registered parents over the holidays with updated procedures, including how to drop off and pick up your children.
You can see our website at https://st-monicas.co.uk/information/wrap-around-care-rainbow-club-school-sports-club/ for more information on Rainbow Club wrap around care.
You can register and/or make bookings from now for your child at https://stmonicascatholicprimaryschool.schoolipal.co.uk/
Will there be sports clubs after school?
No. There will not be sports clubs after school for at least the first half term. If you need care for your child after school, please consider using Rainbow Club as above.
Will there be peripatetic music teachers in school?
No. There will not for at least the first half term. Mrs Cockerill has contacted parents directly who may be affected by this.
Should I keep my child at home if they have an underlying health condition?
The vast majority of pupils will be able to return to school. Normal attendance rules are to apply.
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 has paused. 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. Please read the current advice on shielding
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). There is more advice on this from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health at COVID-19 – ‘shielding’ guidance for children and young people
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.
Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, we will offer them access to remote education, including work to do at home.
Please let us know as soon as possible by email to this email address if you think your child may fall within this.
What happens if you think your or your child may have symptoms of COVID?
Do not come into school or send your child in please if you believe the above applies.
For more details on this, please see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/nhs-test-and-trace-how-it-works#people-who-develop-symptoms-of-coronavirus
Please let the school know if there is a positive test.
What happens if somebody becomes unwell at school with symptoms of COVID?
Children will be sent home and advised to follow ‘Stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance while
Public Health England is clear that routinely taking the temperature of pupils is not recommended.
Where the school becomes aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), we must contact the local health protection team who will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.
What if my child wears a face covering on their journey to school?
Please have your child remove the face covering and take it away with you.
Schools have to have a process for removing face coverings when pupils and staff who use them arrive at school with one on. Pupils must be instructed not to touch the front of their face covering during use or when removing it. They must wash their hands immediately on arrival (as is the case for all pupils), dispose of temporary face coverings in a covered bin or place reusable face coverings in a plastic bag they can take home with them, and then wash their hands again before heading to their classroom. This can be avoided by your removing the face covering before the child enters the school.
Is there any Government guidance for parents on the re-opening of schools?
Yes, including at:-
I also attach to this email a Government document on what parents need to know about their children returning to primary school.
How can I prepare my child for return to school?
Please go over handwashing procedures with them as often as possible e.g. https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/best-way-to-wash-your-hands/
I have been on holiday outside the United Kingdom – does my family need to
We have had a few queries from parents on this. Quarantine rules are Government rules not school rules.
Government advice on returning from countries outside the UK (including for those of you returning by ferry from France having travelled from other countries) is at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors Please look at the advice there.
Government advice on how to self-isolate is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk Please look at the advice there.
You can look at the Government advice on the links above and/or contact your ferry/Channel tunnel/airline company (including their website) for further information on your particular circumstances.
If your children are not returning to school on 3rd September due to quarantining, please email this email address and let us know the likely date of their return.
Will school definitely re-open to all children on 3rd September and do I have to send my child in?
It is looking very likely that they will. We will let you know in the unlikely event of any change.
You are expected to send your child to school from 3rd September unless they are isolating due to COVID or have underlying health issues as above.
In any event, please let the school know if your child will not be returning on 3rd September as all children are expected to be here and normal attendance rules apply.
Please let us know if we can be of any further assistance at this time and please be patient as we get used to our new arrangements from September, including those for dropping off and collecting children.
If you have any questions, please contact me on this email address or your child’s teacher by email.