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COVID-19

Latest Letter to Parents/Carers 

17 July 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am sure you will have heard the government announcement that schools will be open for all pupils’ full-time education from September 2020. We are delighted that we can now look forward to seeing all our pupils back in the Autumn Term. So before the summer break, we wanted to update to you of our plans following the publication of the new government guidance for the full opening of schools in September.

The Government has stated: ‘Given the improved position, the balance of risk is now overwhelmingly in favour of children returning to school. For the vast majority of children, the benefits of being back in school far outweigh the very low risk from coronavirus (COVID-19)’.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools

We of course will approach this, as we did the partial return, with great caution, and will review all the scientific advice to ensure that we can be as safe as possible. We will be very busy in the next few weeks planning, completing new and detailed risk assessments, and working out exactly what school will look like and feel like when your child returns. The return of Year 6 has gone extremely well, as our safety measures and risk assessments were excellent and well implemented. Thank you to all those parents who sent your children back into school; it has been lovely to see them.

We are currently working hard to consider how we will manage the school day to ensure that we reduce contact between different bubbles of pupils, and keep the stringent cleaning and disinfecting processes we already have in place. In order to keep all pupils and staff safe, there are some changes that have been in place since June 2020 that will need to remain, along with some new procedures.

In preparation, there are some key points that you need to be aware of to ensure that your child is safe. Please be aware some details may change and some will be provided later in more detail; we will keep you updated via the school website and by Parentmail towards the end of the summer break. Our initial plans are;

Social Distancing

  • Pupils will be kept in year group bubbles throughout the school day.
  • All children will be expected to come back on Thursday 3rd September in full school uniform, with their normal bags and PE kits.
  • Pupils will remain within their year group bubbles but are not expected to socially distance from each other however, they are still required to socially distance from all staff where possible.
  • Class teacher social distancing zones in classrooms will remain place.
  • Start times will be staggered between 8.30am and 8.50. Finish times will be between 2.50 and 3.10.
  • There will be no whole school assemblies the hall, however staff will run some assemblies virtually using Microsoft Teams.
  • There will be no assemblies/events etc. where parents are required to attend.
  • Parents are not to come on site but to drop and leave using the one way systems.
  • Year 3 will use a one way system that runs outside the Year 3 classrooms. For all other year groups the current one way entrance system for drop off and pick will remain. (Details to follow w/c 24th August).
  • No parents to enter the school reception - any meetings required need to be by appointment only. Forgotten items may not be dropped off during the day.
  • Parents are expected to adhere to year group bubbles when travelling to school and to support the school in adhering to social distancing both on and off site.
  • If your child is walking or cycling to and from school independently, they must follow the above guidance and not mix with children from outside their group.

Cleaning and Hygiene

  • There will be additional cleaning in place to ensure that high standards of hygiene are evident.
  • Pupils will be expected to wash their hands on entering the school building and will be encouraged to wash their hands/ sanitise their hands at regular points during the school day.
  • Any parents with appointments will also be expected to use hand sanitiser on entry into the school office.

School Dinners / Break and lunch times

  • Break and lunch times will be staggered and children will remain in their bubbles.
  • Some classes will be asked to remain in their classes to each their lunch.
  • School Meals will be available from September the 3rd but will initially be packed lunches only and hot dinners will not be available.
  • Further details regarding school dinners will be sent out via Parentmail towards the end of the summer break.

Curriculum

  • When pupils return to school, we will analyse where the pupils starting points are and plan a suitable curriculum taking these into account.
  • We will ensure that appropriate well-being provision is planned for and in place ready for the children’s return.
  • Pupils’ tables will not be grouped as previously but instead all tables will face the front of the classroom.
  • Initially there will be no clubs either during lunchtime or after school due to the staggered start and break times.
  • Children must bring a full PE kit (which will be sent home each Friday for washing), named water bottle and writing equipment in a named plastic bag to be left in school (no pencil cases please).

Please be assured that if there are any changes to government guidelines over the summer break, we will write to you to update you of our plans before the beginning of term.

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over these challenging times and we are very much looking forward to seeing you all in September

Mrs McDowall and Miss Williams

 

12th June 2020

Dear Parents/Carers

I am writing to you following the government's announcement on 10th June 2020 that they are not proceeding with their ambition to bring back all primary pupils at least for some weeks before the summer holidays. This is due to the rate of infection not being low enough.  We appreciate that this news is disappointing for all. 

All Trust schools will be following this guidance and as such, will continue to provide home learning until the end of term as we have done since school closures in March. Our staff will continue to keep in regular contact with your children and will organise work to prepare the children for coming back into a new year group with a new teacher. We are carefully considering our transition plans for all year groups and will publish further information once these have been finalised.

We have not yet received any guidance about how schools will return in September but as soon as we do, we will write to inform you of our plans.

The school closes on 22nd July 2020 and at this time, the provision for key worker children within school will cease. In previous years ‘Chillout of School’ have offered summer holiday club, any parents wanting a place should contact Annette Light on annette@chilloutofschool.co.uk.

We thank you for your continued support in these challenging times.

Kind regards

Mandy McDowall
Headteacher

 

15th May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I am sure you have been following the Government’s announcements regarding the re-opening of schools. Over the course of this week the guidance is changing rapidly, and high-level meetings are taking place between the trades unions and the Government to try and agree a common way forward. This leaves us in a difficult position as we cannot inform you of our plans with any certainty now.

However, I want to reassure you that both the school and the Bourne Education Trust is planning how we can manage the return to school, when it happens. Underpinning our plans are the following principles:

  1. We will abide by the framework published by the Government and organise for the named year groups (Early Years , Year 1 and Year 6) to return to school.
  2. We will follow the trades unions’ guidance to support both pupils and staff.
  3. We do not believe that it is possible for the school to re-open on the 1st June and see the week commencing the 8th June as more achievable so that the site can be made ready.
  4. The return of each of the named year groups will be staggered so do not expect all of them to come back to school at the same time; dates for each one will be issued in due course.
  5. Health, safety and well-being will be our primary considerations for all pupils and staff.
  6. We will attempt to mitigate the key risks associated with the Coronavirus by adopting strict social distancing measures.
  7. Normal class sizes will not be possible, and we cannot guarantee that your child will have his or her regular teacher; classes may be taken by a teaching assistant under the direction of a teacher.
  8. Not all our staff are able to return to work at present.
  9. We are unlikely to be able to offer the normal school day; start and end times will be staggered and changed.
  10. To maintain social distancing, we may be unable to offer catering facilities, in which case school will end at lunchtime for all except children of key workers and those that are vulnerable; packed lunches or vouchers for those in receipt of free school meals will continue to offered.
  11. Support for home learning will continue for those year groups not in school.

You can see that these principles will mean that school will look very different from what your children left in late March. I want to thank you in advance for your support and understanding. These are exceptional times and we need to work together in order to navigate our way through them.

I will write to you again with more details once the national framework has been agreed.

Yours sincerely

Mandy McDowall

Headteacher

 

11th May 2020

      Dear Parents/Carers,

      In light of the Prime Minister’s address to the nation on Sunday night and the further guidance that we         have received today in ‘The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy’, I wanted to provide our                assessment of what it means for parents, carers, children and schools.

      The document specifically refers to education within phase 2 of the recovery strategy and states that we       should be planning for a phased return for schools. Specifically, it says that:

  • Schools should prepare to begin to open for more children from 1st June
  • The Government expects children in early years’ settings, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to be back in school in smaller sizes, from this point
  • Secondary schools should also prepare to begin some face to face contact with Year 10 and 12 pupils who have key exams next year, in support of their continued remote, home learning
  • The Government’s ambition is for all primary school children to return to school before the summer for a month if feasible, though this will be kept under review.

      We are already planning for this partial reopening but it will not be a simply return to pre-lockdown               schooling. The safety of staff and children will be paramount and social distancing will be strictly                     enforced. This explains the Government’s reference to a return for identified year groups in small sizes.       We will not be able to manage three classes at once so please expect a rotation for your child’s                       attendance. They will not be in school all day, every day between the 1st June and the end of term.                 Details of how this will work will be issued shortly.

      With regard to a return for all primary children later on in the summer term, we will be guided by the             Government and professional associations as to when and how this will happen. It is clear that we will           need to assess the success of the staggered return of Year 6 before any decision is made.

      Rest assured that safety and well-being are key elements of our reopening planning. Prior to any pupil           returning we will outline what measures we have in place to minimise the risks of being in school.

      Prior to the 1st June our status is as it has been since the 23rd March – we are only open for those                   children of critical workers who need to be cared for while their parent(s) are at work and for those               children deemed ‘vulnerable’.

      Thank you for all the support we have received so far; it has made a huge difference.

      Yours sincerely,

      Mandy McDowall

      Headteacher

 

16 April 2020

Dear Parents and Carers

I hope that you and your family have had a safe and restful half term.

As per our previous communication, schools are still expecting to provide care for children of key workers and those that are vulnerable, who absolutely need to attend. If your child falls under these categories please let me know as soon as possible which days you require for the next two weeks. Email head@auriol.surrey.sch.uk

Please can I ask that you make every consideration before sending your children in. My staff have been amazing and all are willing to support the community but based on all the scientific research and government advice we are putting them and their families at risk.

Further considerations to make are:

  • Only send your child in on days when you are actually working
  • Wherever possible keep your child at home in the care of a non-key worker parent/carer

We do not have the capacity to accommodate children of key workers just so that the non- key worker can carry on with their employment.

If you or your child have been isolated in the last week, or have become ill overnight, even if you have a registered place, you may not bring in your child without confirming with me first.

I believe the spirit of the offer is to allow absolute frontline staff to continue fighting the Coronavirus but I am keen to keep the group of children at school as small as possible, to maintain the health of each individual child and to try to keep my own staff well for as long as possible.

I have a duty of care to each member of my staff and I am not willing to put my own staff’s health at risk (or the health of their children/family) to provide a childcare facility to allow non-frontline staff to continue to work.

Once again, I appreciate that there is a serious tone in this letter, but these are unprecedented circumstances and the burden of acting in the safest interests of everyone is a heavy one and rests on the shoulders of all of us.

We can’t thank you enough for your support and encouragement over the past few weeks, it has helped to keep up the morale of all the staff. Thank you!

Yours sincerely

Mandy McDowall