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May 15

Phased Return to School Letter

Phased Return Letter

Re: Phased return to school from June 1st, 2020                                                                15th May, 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank you so much for your patience and support during this difficult time.  As you know, the government have asked schools to be open for certain groups of children from June 1st, 2020.  However, they have also issued strict rules regarding social distancing and hygiene.  For the past week, I have been in discussions with the school governors, staff and Headteachers from PEGS (Peak Edge Group of Schools).

Following these meetings, and with the safety of the children and staff in mind, we have drawn up a proposal for a staged return to school and a detailed risk assessment.  The governors have approved the documents and I am now able to share the decisions we have made, with you.

Firstly, I would like to tell you the rationale behind the decisions.  The government have said that children must be in groups with staff attached to them, and only them.  These groups must stay together, adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as possible and not socialise with children/adults from other groups.  We have worked out that with the rising number of key worker children we have 6 separate groups in school and each group needs to have 2 members of staff.  There has to be a maximum of 15 children in each group and the school has 4 classrooms. I must stress that the youngest children are not being expected to follow social distancing guidelines, they are allowed to mix and mingle with each other.  However, they will be kept separate from the rest of the groups.

Hygiene and cleanliness are also serious considerations for us; we have to keep the school as clean as possible throughout the day and must make sure all shiny surfaces are constantly cleaned.  We also have lots of rules for the children to follow, most based on handwashing and additional cleanliness measures – nothing for any of them to worry about!

Bearing all this in mind, school will be open for more children, but this must be a staged return.  For the first two weeks, we will accept nursery and Year 1 children on Mondays and Tuesdays, then Reception and Year 6 children on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Monday June 1st & 8th                       Nursery and Year 1

Tuesday June 2nd and 9th                   Nursery and Year 1

Wednesday June 3rd & 10th              Reception and Y6

Thursday June 4th and 11th               Reception and Y6

Only key workers children will be in on Fridays (they will be in on the other days in the same way they are at the moment) – this will give us chance to deep clean the school, especially the EYFS department.  Each group will be allocated two members of staff and, as far as possible, they will remain the same staff.  There will have to be some changes if staff are absent and it might not be possible to have groups of children in if staff are absent.  This whole process will be reviewed during the second week and a decision will be made about how to proceed during that time and shared with you.

Parents who are bringing their children in should do so by socially distancing from others as they enter the school grounds.  Staff from EYFS will be ready to collect children from 9.00 each day.  They will wait at the door and parents should sent their children in through the gate.  The gate will be open so that not all the parents need to touch it.  Once your child is with the member of staff, they will send them inside to the additional member of staff.  Children should be collected in a very similar manner at 3:15. Children in Year 1 and y6 should enter school through the door at the bottom, where a member of staff will be waiting at 8.55.  Again, children will make their way upstairs to the second member of staff.  Parents should collect at 3.20 in the same way.  We ask that parents of all children do not approach staff.  Teachers can still be contacted through Dojo if you have any messages to get to them.

Lastly, the office will only be managed part time.  You can still call school and leave a message.  At the moment, the office will be open on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday mornings.  As always, Mrs Daniels can be contacted on enquiries@furnessvale.derbyshire.sch.uk and I can be contacted on headteacher@furnessvale.derbyshire.sch.uk (please put your child’s name in the subject line so it doesn’t go to junk).

I know this is not the news that many of you are expecting and I cannot express deeply enough that none of these decisions have been taken lightly.  These are difficult times and we hope you appreciate that we are trying to do the best by everyone.

The government has stated that all children from these year groups should return to school.  However, we recognise that this will not be appropriate for some of you and ask that you make the right decision for your family at this time.  Families will not be fined or penalized in any way if children do not attend school. Should your child be unwell you should not send them to school, feeling sick, a slight temperature, etc.  normally we would say that we would keep an eye on them, under these circumstances it is safest if you do not send your child in.

I feel the frustration of everyone at this time, these are very trying and uncertain times.  I know that this letter will not be the news that many of you have been hoping for, but I am certain that a phased return is right for the staff and the children.  Thank you for your understanding.  Keep safe and well, and hopefully we will all be together soon.

Yours sincerely

 

Mrs Taylor

Headteacher

 

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