Thursday 21st. May 2020
Phased reopening of school to more pupils in June
As a staffing team, we miss our Buckstones family immensely. We are looking forward to the day that we can all be back together. Your safety and that of our team is the utmost priority during this pandemic. It has been nine weeks since the announcement was made that schools across the United Kingdom would be closed for the majority of pupils. Staff have continued to work throughout this period, including over the Easter holidays to provide critical worker childcare, home learning opportunities and support; along with communication links with parents and children.
Over the past few weeks, numerous documents have been circulated by the Department for Education, the Local Authority and teaching unions. Each of these offers guidance to assist with the expectations and planning required for schools to consider if they are able to further extend the opening to more cohorts, specifically Year 6, Year 1 and Reception.
The Senior Leadership Team has consulted with the Full Governing Body and they have carefully considered all the advice that has been made available up to the time of writing. Leaders have carried out detailed risk assessments, surveyed the parents of the relevant year groups and have now made decisions on what we can and cannot achieve safely in our school.
The crucial advice we have received from Oldham Local Authority is that all schools considering a phased re-opening should take a slow and gradual approach, building from where they are now. This will mean and result in different schools taking different approaches based upon what is right for each individual setting. Please don’t compare our specific school actions with what is happening elsewhere.
As we have a large number of key worker and vulnerable children in school we feel that we can only safely have one additional class returning to school at the moment. Key worker and vulnerable children will return to school on Monday 1st June also during that day staff training will be taking place.
After discussion with staff and Governors, we have decided that the children in Year 6, whose parents have confirmed they wish their child to return to school, will be the first to return on 2nd. June. If your decision alters about whether you want your child to return or not it is essential that you inform the school as soon as possible.
This decision has been made because:
- This age will be better at social distancing.
- The children are old enough to understand and adapt to the changes that will be in school.
- The children are old enough to be dropped at the school gates.
- These children are used to working at a desk, whereas Year 1 and Reception have a curriculum which requires a lot more movement and play.
- It is important that Year 6 can be supported with their transition into Key Stage 3.
We will review when Reception and Year 1 can return safely to school once these new procedures have had time to become embedded and we will keep you informed.
What will school look like?
Buckstones school will look and feel very different to your school before the pandemic.
All children in school will be allocated to a classroom.
Your child will come into contact with only a limited number of adults and in most cases, these will be the same adults.
Children will be split into different ‘Bubbles’:
- Key worker/Vulnerable children in Reception and Year 1 are Bubble 1
- Key worker/Vulnerable children in Year 2, 3, 4 and 5 are Bubble 2
- Group A Year 6 children are Bubble 3
- Group B Year 6 children are Bubble 4
Can school guarantee social distancing?
We cannot fully guarantee social distancing measures will be adhered to at all times, but we have done everything we possibly can to strive towards achieving this. The Government has accepted that ‘social distancing measures (2 metre distancing) cannot be achieved throughout the school and at all times of the day.’ Signage has been placed in key areas of school.
Which entrances should we use and what time should we arrive?
Vulnerable and Key Worker children in Rec, and Y1
Reception will be taught by Mrs. Pearson in the Reception classroom
Year 1 will be taught by Miss Platt/Mrs. Tetlow in the Year 1 classroom
Entrance/ Exit through the Main Entrance.
Arrive 8:40am. Collect 2.55pm
Vulnerable and Key Worker children in Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5
Pupils in Years 2 and 3 will be taught by Mrs. Joyce in Year 2.
Pupils in Years 4 and 5 will be taught by Mrs. Charnley in Year 3.
Entrance/ Exit through the Main Entrance.
Arrive 9.00am. Collect 3:15pm
Vulnerable and Key Worker parents to continue with one parent only bringing pupils to the area outside the main entrance.
Group A Year 6 Pupils (Surnames A to M)
Pupils will be taught in the Year 6 classroom by Mrs. Adamson
Exit/Entrance through the Junior gate.
Arrive 8.50am. Collect 3.05 pm
Group B Year 6 Pupils (Surnames N to Z)
Pupils will be taught in the Year 5 classroom by Miss Rooney
Exit/Entrance through the Junior gate.
Arrive 9:10am. Collect 3.25 pm.
What do we ask of parents bringing pupils to school?
Only one parent to bring pupils to school.
All year 6 pupils to be left at the Junior gate and pupils enter on their own.
Please arrive promptly at the allocated time.
Please keep your own social distancing and avoid gathering.
Children from the same family but in different groups must be dropped off/picked up at the earlier time.
Vulnerable and Key Worker children from Year 6 will be joining the Year 6 classes.
Urgent messages only to be passed onto staff at drop off, please ring or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with anything non-urgent.
What will my classroom look like?
- Where possible desks are spaced 2m. distance with one pupil to each desk.
- Classrooms will be well ventilated and internal doors open.
- Each desk will have its own equipment to use which must remain there for the duration.
- Coats will remain on the back of chairs.
- All unnecessary resources will be out of use.
What hand washing is in place?
- Soap dispensers have been installed in all toilets in school and soap blocks removed.
- There will be a hand sanitiser in every classroom.
- Children will be washing their hands more than usual.
- We will aim to promote good respiratory hygiene and will be displaying ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ posters around school, as well as talking to the children.
- Each class will have its own supply of tissues and a lidded pedal bin to dispose of waste. If possible please send the children in with their own pack of tissues.
What will the curriculum look like?
- We will not be returning to a school timetable, curriculum or teaching style that was in a place prior to school closure.
- For Year 6, whether in school or continuing with home learning, there will be preparation for transition to secondary school.
- There will be no sharing of equipment. Each child will be allocated their own stationery.
- Outdoor learning will be incorporated where practical and possible, remaining in one single Bubble only.
- If your child is not attending, schoolwork will continue to be set on the class pages on the website and you can still communicate with us via Tapestry.
What should pupils wear?
- The children will need to come in their full school uniform and a hat for the sunny weather.
- Pupils should wear trainers instead of school shoes to facilitate outdoor learning and break times.
- No P.E. kit should be brought into school.
What will pupils need to bring with them?
- No book bags or equipment should be brought into school. Also no soft toys, toys books etc. nor any work you have done at home are to be brought into school.
- Reading books will not be changed.
- The children must bring a named water bottle and named bottle of suncream in from home. This will remain on the child’s work station. The water bottles will be sent home for washing every day, please ensure these bottles are clearly labelled. As the usual sun safe rules will apply.
- Pupils may bring their own packet of disposable tissues and hand sanitiser if they wish. Please label both.
Will my child need PPE?
- No children need to wear a face mask, as advised by the Government.
- Most staff will not be wearing PPE equipment unless completing first aid or advised differently by their own health professional, as per Government guidelines.
What cleaning measures are in place?
- All areas of school have been thoroughly cleaned.
- All used areas will be cleaned thoroughly at the end of each day.
- We will aim to clean frequently touched surfaces throughout the day.
- The Government has advised that there is no need for anything other than normal daily personal hygiene and washing of clothes following a day in school.
What will lunchtime and break times look and feel like?
- All pupils will eat a packed lunch, there will be no hot meals available.
- The school kitchen can provide these at the usual cost of £2.30 per day, if required.
- Free school meals, for those eligible, will continue to be provided with a school packed lunch.
- For those pupils bringing their own packed lunch, please bring this in a named disposable bag, which can be thrown away at the end of lunchtime or in a named lunchbox which will need to be cleaned thoroughly each night.
- Lunch and break times will be taken in their own Bubbles.
- Each group will play out in different zones, and the number of zones will be limited.
Will there be Before and After School Facility and Extra Curricular Activities?
- There will be no extra-curricular activities.
- Before and After school remains unavailable.
Does my child have to attend school and will I be penalised if I choose not to send them?
- Government advice is that ‘parents will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.’
- The decision as to whether your child returns to school lies with you as parents.
- It is a decision that many of our staff are having to make about their children too.
- It will be based upon the circumstances of your family: in terms of health, safety and employment.
- We fully respect the choices of our parents during these uncertain times.
Are there any groups of pupils who should not be attending school at this time?
- If your child is clinically extremely vulnerable or living with someone who is in this group, they should not come back to school but continue with their home learning.
- If your child is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), you should follow medical advice to decide if they should come back to school. Please refer to the Government guidance for further details of these groups.
What should you do if your child or someone in your household displays symptoms?
If your child or any family member displays any of the coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms listed below (taken from the latest Government advice)
- a new continuous cough
- a high temperature
- a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
If children display any of these symptoms during a school day we will ring for you to collect them immediately and they will be kept in isolation from other children. Please ensure we have your up to date contact details.
What if a member of my family or child displays any of the symptoms?
- You must inform school.
- Pupils showing symptoms should self-isolate for 7 days.
- Pupils living in the same household as someone showing symptoms should self-isolate for 14 days from the day the symptoms started.
- Please do not attend school under any circumstances.
- Where a child, or staff member tests positive, the rest of their class or group will be sent home and advised to self-isolate for 14 days. The other household members of that wider class or group do not need to self-isolate unless the child, young person or staff member they live with in that group subsequently develops symptoms.
All of the plans we have informed you of in this letter remain subject to change if the Government, Local Authority or Teaching Unions recommend a course of action, at which point we will change our plans accordingly and communicate with you all once we have considered the recommendation fully.
We would like to thank you for your continuous support in helping your child learn from home. Please continue to take care, follow the safety guidelines and look after yourselves and your family. We are missing you all dearly and look forward to seeing you in safer times.
Sent behalf of Buckstones Governing Body
At Buckstones School, we aim to promote the development of our children academically, physically, socially, morally and spiritually, by providing a high quality of teaching and varied learning experiences with-in a well-ordered and stimulating environment which supports equality of opportunity.
We teach the National Curriculum, planning for and presenting the children with challenges that support differentiation.
We aim to nurture individual skills and talents within an environment which values self-worth, confidence, independence, self-motivation and co-operation and in which our children have respect for each other’s differences.
We aim to give our children a love of life and learning.
- To be an inclusive school and to put into practice in all aspects of our work that ensures that all children are given equality of opportunity and treated fairly.
- To promote and achieve high standards for all by providing teaching and learning of the highest quality.
- To treat children as individuals and to differentiate teaching and learning to take account of their individual needs.
- To provide well for children’s physical, mental, personal, social, moral and cultural needs.
- To provide well for children’s care, health and safety.
- To ensure that all children benefit from a rich, broad, balanced curriculum presented in an interesting, exciting and imaginative manner with lots of opportunities for first-hand experience, practical work, investigation and learning through play.
- To teach basic skills and core subjects well and to give great emphasis to the foundation subject and R.E. as well.
- To make connections between subjects and to apply basic skills across the curriculum.
- To give responsibility to the children and to develop their self-confidence by contributing to the community.
- To make parents and the wider community equal partners with the school and to involve them in the evaluation of its success.
- To build an ethos marked by a welcoming, friendly, bright and lively happy place where learners feel secure. A school where good behaviour is expected and where children enjoy growing up.
- To make their school a place of enjoyment where success is encouraged, rewarded and celebrated.