Friday 22nd May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

As you will be aware, the Government have asked schools to start planning for a phased return for pupils in EYFS, Y1 and Y6 and that this was due to take place from 1st June and based upon the 5 point test which is due to be evaluated on 28th May.

Many of you will have read the Hull Daily Mail article about the delay in the re-opening of schools in the East Riding. We are a Local Authority School and work within the guidelines and policies of the East Riding. The Local Authority has taken the decision that 8th June is now the earliest date that schools may open but this is not definite. This will depend on whether they feel that it can be done safely for staff and children.

I would like to take this opportunity to give more details about how we can try and keep your child as safe as possible if the school is to re-open and increase its numbers. School will not be able to be run as it was before lockdown due to the Government and LA guidance that we are trying to follow to enable staff children to return to school as safely as possible.

SCHOOL ORGANISATION

Our plans aim to reopen school to EYFS pupils from Monday 8th June. The EYFS school day will be from 9.15am until 2.45pm.

School will be open to YEAR 1 from Monday 15th June. The YEAR 1 school day will be from 9.00am until 3.00pm .

School will be open to YEAR 6 from Monday 22th June. The YEAR 6 school day will be from 9.00am until 3.00pm.

In terms of Years 2, 3, 4 and 5, we will continue to follow guidance when deciding when these children can come back to school. However, if you do have a child in these year groups then they will not be able to attend school even if their sibling is in either EYFS, Y1 or Y6. We will still, however, continue to support their home learning as we have done over the past few weeks.

Children will be taught in ‘bubbles’ or groups of no more than 15. Each bubble will be staffed by at least one teacher and a member of support staff. Pupils will remain in their ‘bubble’ for the full day. Pupils will have separate breaks and lunches will be eaten in classrooms. At break times, children will be split further in to two groups to play. Every effort will be made for children to play with a friend in the small group but this cannot be guaranteed and it is also not guaranteed that children will be taught by their usual class teacher. Whilst the Government has accepted that social distancing in a primary school is difficult, we will make every effort to do so at the 2 metre distance. We may be doing most of our learning outside and hopefully the weather will support this.

The school will close to all children (with the exception of key worker children) on a Friday to allow for a deep clean of the school and equipment. I am sure you will agree that this will be important so that we can be ready for the next week. Key worker children can still attend for normal school hours of 8.45am until 3.30pm on a Friday.

We are asking key workers to decide whether they would like their children in the key worker group or their actual year group. If key workers would like their child to be with their year group they will not be able to attend school on a Friday. This helps prevent cross contamination of bubbles.

CHILDREN WHO ARE WORKING IN THEIR YEAR GROUPS WILL BE EXPECTED TO WEAR SCHOOL UNIFORM BUT KEY WORKER CHILDREN MAY COME IN NON-UNIFORM. THE GUIDANCE STATES THAT CHILDREN’S CLOTHES MUST BE WASHED ON AN EVENING IF THEY NEED THEM THE NEXT DAY.

NEW KEY WORKERS MUST PROVIDE A LETTER FROM THEIR EMPLOYER OR ID AS PREVIOUSLY ASKED FOR

HYGIENE

Children will be told to wash their hands on entering school, before and after breaks and before they go home AND desks, handles etc. will be cleaned throughout the day. Hand sanitizer and tissues are in each classroom so that they are readily available. Desks and any equipment will be washed after the children go home ready for the next day and children will be given their own stationary to use. This may operate a little differently with EYFS as it has to be manageable for the staff. Therefore there will be changes to timings of the school day to accommodate an effective cleaning schedule.

Please continue to support us with these hygiene practices so that we have the best chance of keeping the children and staff safe.

PARENTAL CONTACT

Timings of the school day have been staggered to allow less parents to be on site to collect their children and to enforce the social distancing rule. Parents will not be able to congregate on the playground and children will be brought to the gate in their groups to meet parents next to the shelters. Please stand back from the gate to allow staff to see children are collected safely. To again aid the implementation of the social distancing rule, only ONE parent or carer is permitted to come on to the school site to collect their children.

In terms of visiting the Reception, there will only be one adult allowed in the area at a time, so if you have any concerns please try and contact your class teacher via the seesaw app, see a member of staff who may be outside or telephone/ email the school. I understand that, during this difficult time, you may have a few concerns and I/we will do everything we can to alleviate these.

LEARNING

Children whose parents do not feel that it is safe enough to return to school or whose year group is not in school will still have work provided as it has been over the past few weeks. Every effort will be made to ensure it mirrors, if possible, what is being covered at school. However, if this is not possible we will still provide work to be completed at home.

Please do not worry if your child is resistant to some tasks but praise them for any small tasks that they do complete.

UNIVERSAL FREE SCHOOL MEALS

Children in EYFS and Year 1 are entitled to free school meals and will be booked on the day. Please note that there may be changes to the menu because of deliveries but every effort will be made to keep this as normal as possible. Children who have been using vouchers will continue to receive these. Children may still have packed lunch if this is their preference.

SAFEGUARDING

Risk assessments for the staff and children on site and procedures continue to be put in place with the support of the Local Authority. Child Protection procedures carry on as normal.

PASTORAL SUPPORT

Mrs Hutchins, Mrs Clark and myself will be available to support any children who are finding the transition difficult and will look to support you, as parents, too. So, please don’t bottle up any concerns or worries that you might have and share them with us, if you can. We are here for you too.

Please keep an eye on our social media, Facebook and Twitter, as well as the website for updates and information. We will try and keep you as updated as possible and endeavor to ensure this is done in a timely manner.

I hope this letter outlines and answers any questions that you have had over the past weeks. However, now is the time to make your decision based on what you have read about whether your child/ren will come back to school with the timelines stated above. If a parent decides that they do not wish for their child to attend school due to safety concerns then we will explore this with you to see if we can reassure you but no fines will be issued for non-attendance at this time.

If you do or even don’t want your son/daughter to come back to school please inform your child’s class teacher either via seesaw/tapestry or through the school email which is thorngumbald.primary@eastriding.gov.uk by 12.00 pm on Friday 29th May. If you do not reply with a yes or a no then I will assume that your child is NOT coming back to school at this time.

If you wish to discuss anything further then please email the school or leave a message and a member of the team will get back to you. Please remember that these times are uncertain for us all but rest assured we are doing everything we can to make sure school is as safe as it can be under these extreme circumstances.

Yours sincerely,

Mrs J. Carroll

Head Teacher