Letter – Further Details On Reopening School

Read the full letter – click here to download and view.

Thank you to those of you who have completed the surveys to indicate your intentions of returning your children to school if they are Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. It has been essential to have these numbers to begin to plan thoroughly to minimise risks.

Unfortunately, the gradual release of documents, including risk assessment documentation which must be the basis of a plan for the Governing Body and the Local Authority, plus the need for a deep clean of the entire building over half term has left us with limited time to prepare for the safe return of pupils.

The Government’s intention is to review the scientific evidence on 28th May, one working day before the proposed date for opening.

For these reasons we are working towards a potential date of 8th June for reopening Bells Farm for the children who are returning to school from Nursery, Reception, Y1 and Y6.

This does not impact provision for children of key workers who have already been coming into school, for week beginning 1st June, which will continue as usual.

The provision that we have to plan for will need to look different from what we have been able to provide for key workers for the last 8 weeks. As lockdown measures are lifted for the general population and the children mix more widely outside of school, we need to ensure that measures within school are tighter than we have had to implement previously.

A further letter will be going out next week to continue to keep you informed. For now, I would just like to address some of the questions which came up in the comments section of the survey.

Q: Can children bring their own packed lunch?
A: Yes. A sandwich/buffet lunch with dessert and drink will be provided for children if you wish the school to provide lunch. As all children except Year 6 are entitled to Universal Free School Meals, this will be provided free of charge. If you are parents/carers of Y6 children and they are not entitled to free school meals, this can be ordered and purchased as you did before.

Q: Can Year 6 children come to school and go home on their own?
A: Yes. If they did not do this before lockdown however, we will need written permission from you. You can do this via email to enquiry@bellsfrm.bham.sch.uk

Q: Can children come to school on bikes?
A: If they are Year 6 coming to school on their own then the answer is yes, as they are used to dealing with the bikes independently close to their classroom. However, we would like to avoid young children bringing bikes and scooters to school because it will be another set of equipment to deal with and store and the children will have to move unnecessarily through different parts of the school away from their groups.

Q: Do the children have to wear uniform?
A: No. There are no dress restrictions, and as we hope to be outdoors as much as the weather will allow, it will be best to dress comfortably for outdoor learning. We know you will want to wash the children’s clothes frequently so having uniform at this time is just not practical.

Q: Will the children know which member of staff will be looking after their group?
A: Yes. We will notify you of this once we have grouped the children. It may not necessarily be the staff they are used to, but we will plan wherever possible to keep to early years, key stage 1 and key stage 2 teachers and teaching assistants being with their usual age range of children.

Q: Can my child bring PPE with them – e.g., face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser?
A: The research says that face masks are only effective in helping to protect others rather than the person wearing them. However, it is your choice as parents/carers and we are providing masks for staff should they choose to wear them – it is an individual choice and staff will, for example, wear them if they are administering any first aid or standing at entrance and exit points.

Gloves: again, this is your choice, but not advisable as the children will need to take them off as they come in, and we will be focusing on hand washing and sanitising throughout the day.
Sanitiser: we will have plenty of effective sanitiser available for each group, so there will be no need to send any extra in.

Q: Will the children be able to bring bags to school?
A: Apart from lunch boxes or bags, and a single labelled water bottle, we do not want the children bringing anything into school. These will be more things to keep sanitized!

Q: How many children will be in a ‘bubble’?
A: We will keep all bubbles at 12 children or fewer. It will depend on the numbers coming in, and we are still awaiting responses. I would prefer to have bubble groups of 6 but again this depends on having sufficient staff to cover this. Social distancing will be our biggest challenge!

Q: What measures will be taken with consideration to asthma?
A: Any child with an underlying health condition will obviously need to have their medication with them and they will be closely monitored. You will receive a phone call from a member of staff ahead of us opening, if we have knowledge of any medical conditions. If you have not notified us, please do so now. This is a difficult subject because you must make the best decision for your child in the current situation. Members of staff with paediatric first aid training will deal with medical needs, as is our usual practice, and we will phone you if we have any concerns.

Q: What will the layout of the space be? Will children have to station themselves in their own area for example?
A: Bubble groups will have their own designated space and will not go into other areas. They will play outside in a designated space as well. There will be no mixing of groups, and toilets and corridors will be carefully monitored.

If you have any further questions, please email them and we will continue to answer as best we can. We will be producing further detail for you as the Risk Management Plan is completed.

Until the next time, stay safe and well.

Kind regards,

Barbara Butterworth

Tags: Coronavirus

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.