Update 17th July 2020
17 July 2020 (by Vicky)
Dear Parents/Carers Friday July 17th
First of all, I would like to say that I have never had a time like this in school and hope never to again. I am hoping that September will mean a more normal world and that all children will be back with us. That’s the plan! Plan A anyway. School will close for the Summer on July 17th and during this time work will not be set on the year group pages. The links to all website will stay but there will be no new grids added.
Transition was very successful in that the children have now been in the building and hopefully won’t be as anxious in September. Thank you for supporting us in that.
School reopens to Year 1, Year 3 and Year 6 on Wednesday 2nd September and to Year 2, Year 4 and Year 5 on Thursday 3rd September. Reception and Nursery have their own arrangements, which have been sent by Mrs McCormack via an individual letter.
Please ensure you look on the website in the new “September News” section to look at your year group times and other important information you will need for your children when they return in September.
I would like to thank everyone for supporting the decisions that were made during this time, it has meant such a lot to myself and to the staff.
Please be assured that we will do everything we can to ensure our children are given the very best care when they come back to us, both emotionally and academically and we will work very closely with parents/carers and keep you updated regularly.
I have already mentioned that life in school will not be as it was and that we have created a Sugar Hill ”new normal”. This will mean staggered start times and finish times, playtimes and lunchtimes.
We have followed very closely the DfE guidance in what should be in place. It is important to remember the virus has not gone away.
All of the measures in place will be reviewed weekly and may be subject to change. My main priority is still the safety of our children, staff and parents/carers.
First of all, the children will be wearing school uniform and this will be exactly as last year, no large bows or extreme haircuts. In EYs and KS1 the children will be allowed to come in their PE kits, so that staff do not have to change them. In KS2 the children will bring their kits as normal. PE days will be allocated in September.
The children will come back and be in a class bubble for the majority of the time and in year groups only where necessary.
At the moment we will have 2m distancing as you come to school, as the children move around school and at pick up time.
Each year group will have specific drop off and pick up times and I ask that these are strictly adhered to. If you are going to be late you must ring the office and be given a time to arrive. The children must not just be brought to the office.
Parents/carers will not be allowed into the building unless by appointment. All questions and queries need to be emailed to school or by phone call.
If you have any questions for teachers these must be written in planners and if you want to speak to staff an appointment must be made. Staff may not be approached at the doors.
The children will not bring anything into school except their packed lunch, if needed, and a water bottle. These must be taken home every day to be washed. There must be no bags. On their first day all children will be given a plastic case to bring planners and reading books only into school each day.
There will be no bikes and scooters for at least the first term. The bike shed will be closed not only as a result of COVID, but also, we are having windows replaced and the worker’s cabins will be placed on the boiler yard.
In class the children will sit facing the front of the classroom and staff will remain at the front as much as possible. With 30 children at least in each class the children will only be 1 m apart in class. The classrooms will look very different. The children will have their own equipment as much as possible and where they share, equipment will be wiped and kept sterile. Every classroom will have wipes and disinfectant to be used between sessions.
There will be very stringent hand washing and sanitisation in place throughout the day.
There will be no breakfast club or after school clubs for at least the first half term. This will be under regular review.
In KS2 there will be no morning break, so the children can bring their own snack- fruit only- for playtime. This will be reviewed regularly.
I have spent the last four months looking after the safety of our children, staff and parents/carers and that will not stop in September. This is so important. New risk assessments are written and plans are in place for all eventualities, including if we find ourselves in this position again, which I sincerely hope we do not!
We have also purchased a new Online Learning Platform called DB Primary. This is an online community created just for our school where staff and children can communicate very safely. More information will follow in September.
I know you may have many questions and we have tried to cover all that you need to know before September.
During the Summer please remember that the virus is still out there.
We want to encourage all of our families to have fun together during the holidays, in the (hopefully) warmer weather. But please remember you should still be:
- Washing your hands for 20 seconds regularly – it’s one of the best ways to protect yourself and encourage your children too
- Using hand sanitiser (at least 60% alcohol) if soap and water aren’t available
- Staying 2m apart where possible or 1m with additional measures such as, wearing a face covering, being behind a screen, not talking face-to-face. When you are in businesses/public premises follow the advice on site
- Trying not to touch your face (mouth, nose, eyes) with your hands
- Using a tissue if you cough or sneeze, then bin it and wash your hands. If you don’t have a tissue use the crook of your arm. Catch it, Bin it, Kill it!
We know that there is still some confusion around Coronavirus so we thought the following points might be helpful:
What are the main symptoms?
- A temperature
- A new and persistent cough
- Loss of sense of taste or smell
What should you do if you have symptoms?
- Self-isolate immediately
- Get tested – you must do this within the first five days of having symptoms
How do I get tested?
- You can book a test online at https://www.nhs.uk/ask-for-a-coronavirus-test
- Or you can call 119 and book over the phone
What is self-isolation?
If you are self-isolating because you have symptoms/have been diagnosed, someone in your household or support bubble has symptoms/has been diagnosed or you have been asked to by the NHS Test &Trace team, then you should stay at home.
- Don’t go out to work / school / public places (if you can work from home that is ok)
- Don’t go shopping even for food/medicine
- Don’t use public transport or taxis
- Don’t have visitors
- Don’t go out to exercise (you can do this in your home or garden)
The County Durham Together Community Hub is there to help you with everything from getting food or medication as well as advice about managing financially and ways to continue looking after your physical and mental health while in isolation. You can find out more details here: http://www.durham.gov.uk/covid19help
Following these simple steps will help stop the spread of Coronavirus. Remember your symptoms can be mild, so you could be spreading the virus without knowing it. You have the power to help keep your family, friends and loved ones safe.
School will be closed from Friday July 17th. If you have any questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Have a great summer and we will see you in September.
Mrs Paula O’Rourke