As from Tuesday 8th September Year 5 and 6 children may arrive in school without a parent to Check In (confirm they have no symptoms) if parents complete a quick online questionnaire. The questionnaire will be sent to your primary contact number each morning and needs to be completed by 8.20am. So, for children in year 5 and 6 you need to either;
- Accompany them to school
- Use the Online Check In
Breakfast Club will start again from Monday 14th September. While we work things out under the new restrictions we will need to limit numbers.You will need to BOOK YOUR CHILDREN IN by 3pm on Thursday each week.For the first week we would like to invite the following families to attend;
- Children who are entitled to Free School Meals
- Children of parents who both need to get to work
Children will need to be kept in their contact groups (classes) throughout Breakfast Club and this will mean less movement around the room. I understand that the menu will be limited to toast, fruit and bottled water.
As before, there will be a charge of £1 for children arriving before 8.20am.
September 2020 Opening!
I am writing to you to give you further information on our full school reopening from 2nd September. We have listened to your comments and concerns and I hope we can provide some further clarity and reassurance. We had an excellent governors’ meeting during the holiday and your parent governors represented you very well!
Are all children required to attend?
The expectation is that all children will return to school unless you have had medical advice that they should stay at home. Also if your child or anyone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, new persistent cough, loss of taste or smell) your child should not attend.
If your child has anxieties about returning to school, we will work closely with you as a family to address any worries.
How will I know when and at what time my child should attend?
This information is in my previous communication which you will find on the website. For the first two days only half of each mainstream class in Year 1 – 6 will attend, after which they will attend full time every day (from Friday). You should have received a text to tell you whether your children are attending on Wednesday or Thursday in this first week. If you haven’t received the text please contact school directly or your child’s previous or new class teacher.
Nursery, Reception and STF parents should have had a communication from your child’s class teacher to tell you when they will attend.
If in doubt please phone school this week and someone should be able to help you.
How will the children and staff be kept safe in school?
While there is a strict 2m social distancing requirement between adults, the guidance we have is that we do not need to socially distance between children. However, we must try to keep them from very close face to face contact. We must also keep them in class groups, with no direct contact with other classes. They will be mainly taught and supervised by the same adults throughout the day.
- Children will be seated side by side rather than face to face.
- They will not be allowed to hug each other or their teachers.
- They will be spread out at lunch times between the hall and the gym and times will be staggered
- There is a one-way system in corridors and visits to the toilets will be monitored to ensure there are never too many children using these areas at the same time.
- Lots of time will be spent outside as this is good for your child’s health and well-being and we have plenty of space to spread children out.
- Playtimes will be staggered so that each class can play in one large outdoor area without contact with other classes.
- As staff are required to try to keep 2m away from children where possible, they will need to wear aprons, gloves and masks or visors when administering first aid or if they need to help with toileting.
How will we monitor strict hand cleanliness?
- On their first day back in school your child’s class teacher will show your children how to wash hands correctly and thoroughly. This will be supervised as much as possible throughout the day, particularly with younger children.
- There is plenty of anti-bacterial hand soap available in toilets and in classrooms.
- As the children enter the building they will use hand sanitiser. Once children are in the building and have deposited their coats and lunche boxes they will each be sent to wash their hands, maintaining social distancing all the time.
- Additional hand sanitiser units have been bought ready for the new term.
- Although the most important thing is hand washing, hand sanitiser will also be available at the entrances to eating areas and frequent touch points such as toilet block doors.
Does my child need to wear school uniform?
Yes we would rather your child wore school uniform as this will help to make school feel more ‘normal’ and to make children feel part of a community of equals. They should wear clean uniform each day if possible.
Most importantly your child needs to wear footwear which they can run around in as there will be plenty of outdoor activities and we won’t be getting the children changed for these.
We will let you know when your child will be having PE lessons and we will ask you to send in children already in their gym kits with their school jumper over the top.
What about Face Masks?
- The wearing of face masks for children of primary school age is not recommended as they have a tendency to touch them frequently, risking poor hygiene.
- It is possible that children will need to wear masks in taxis but they should remove these on entry to school and place them in a plastic bag until the end of the day.
- However if any child’s family feels that wearing a mask is essential in order to be safe in the school environment they will not be stopped from doing so. Well-being and a feeling of safety is of paramount importance.
What should my child bring to school?
We provide all the stationary and equipment your child needs and your child will now have a washable see-through zip wallet with all their own pens, pencils, rubbers etc or a tidy, clean tray. These items will never be shared. If you have bought lovely new stationary for your child for the new term please keep this at home and use it for homework tasks.
Your child won’t need a book bag this term as we intend to give them each a washable zip wallet to transport reading books and homework to and from school. Apologies if you have already bought a new book bag but we feel this is a safer option in the short term. Please keep any new book bags safe, ready for when things are ‘normal’ once again!
So all you child needs to carry to school is…
- Zip wallet with reading book (and homework once a week)
- A drinks bottle
- Snack and Lunch
Which gate shall I bring my children in through?
You can bring your children in through either the main front gate, or the St David’s Close gate. There will be a one way system in place so that you can leave the infant yard through the large gates or the field gates. Would parents with just junior children please enter through the main gates.
We are working closely with the Local Authority to get the North Rd entrance re-opened as this route has now been declared safe. This would help to ease congestion around the main car park and would help with social distancing. I will let you know if there are any developments on this.
ISTF, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2
Enter through the main front gate and leave through the yard double gates
Enter through St David’s Close gate and leave through the side field gate
JSTF, Year 3 – 6
Children (without parents, if possible)
Enter through main gates and hand your child over to a member of staff who will direct them to the junior yard to wait
Children with parents or escorts
Enter through main gates, bring children into junior yard, leave through junior yard gate
There will be clear directional arrows to help you so don’t worry about this. It’s not as confusing as it sounds!!
A member of staff will be near the gate to welcome you and your child and to monitor social distancing. They will also ask you to confirm that your child does not have COVID 19 symptoms and that no one in your family is self-isolating due to symptoms or a confirmed case.
Where does my child wait to enter the school building?
There will be markings on the yards to show where each family should wait before children are invited into school. In the junior yard children will also be spread out around the new 100m track with no more than 3 children per 10m section. Staff will be available to show children what to do.
Please arrive with your child only at the time you have been given as this staggered start is an important part of social distancing. If you have two children starting at different times you may need to wait in your car or in the designated place in the yard. If this is causing you difficulties staff will be on hand to help you out.
If you arrive at the times you have been given and not too much before there will be very little waiting and your child will be taken into school pretty quickly. This is especially important if it is raining so we can take children straight into class without delay.
Can parents come on to the premises?
- We know that parents of infant children and escorts will want to bring their children into the yard and this is fine as long as you stay with your child at all times. We would rather junior children, except those with escorts, were dropped off at the main gate, to avoid congestion in the yards. We will of course be sensitive about this if for any reason children are anxious. Please ensure you have spoken to a member of staff at the gate to confirm your child and your family are well.
- Please arrive to collect your children only at the time you have been given and wait a good distance from others on the yard.
- Year 5 and 6 children who normally walk home unaccompanied will be allowed to do so and will be monitored as they leave the yard through the junior side gate. It is up to you to decide whether your child can be relied upon to socially distance on their walk home. If you need to collect your child from the junior yard before or after collecting your younger child please follow the one way system (which may take you on a bit of a roundabout route!) and wait for your child at a safe distance from others. If both your children are in the same phase please either wait in your car or on a marked out spot in the yard.
- Parents will not be able to have long conversations with teachers when dropping off or picking up children. If you need to discuss something at length please phone school to make an appointment. Preferably the conversation could take place by phone
- Parents must not congregate outside school or in the yards as we need to maintain social distancing within our whole community in order to keep everyone safe.
Will there be Breakfast Club and Kids’ Club?
I’m sorry but breakfast club will not be available until at least 14th September in Swansea schools. I will let you know as soon as possible what the arrangements will be. It is possible that numbers will be limited to allow for class groups to be kept apart.
We are planning for Kids’ Club to be open from 14th September.
There will be no other after school clubs until 14th September at the very earliest. I’m afraid some might not be able to run this term.
Will my child have a normal school day?
- We aim to make school as enjoyable, welcoming and positive as possible but to keep risks low a few things will be different;
- Your child’s relationship with staff will be just the same as before but please warm them that hugging will not be allowed!
- The curriculum will be just the same as before but we realise that some children may need to do some catching up before they move on to new learning.
- Everyone will have their own personal resources but if equipment has to be shared it will be disinfected frequently
- No soft toys, furnishings or dressing up clothes will be used but if children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 would like to bring a small, soft, washable ‘cuddle toy’ in case they are feeling sad, they may do so. This will never be shared with other children and must be taken home to wash weekly.
- Role play areas will be used but the children will only use these areas with a small set group of children
- There will be a staggered timetable throughout the day which will not allow classes to mix.
- Computers, Chrome Books and iPads will still be used but will be disinfected between uses.
- There won’t be assemblies until we have worked out how to do this safely!
- There will be Interest Groups on Friday afternoons but children will always be in a group just with members of their own class.
What happens if a child or member of staff shows symptoms of COVID 19?
- If a child or member of staff becomes symptomatic (eg persistent cough, temperature, loss of taste and smell) they will be taken to one of our designated isolation rooms away from other people and will need to be collected immediately.
- The child’s temperature will be taken, using a remote device. The isolation room will then be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before it is used again.
- If a child or staff member in your child’s class group has shown symptoms we will let you know so that you can be vigilant in checking for any symptoms in your child. We would ask you not to panic if this happens as it’s more than likely that the symptoms have a different cause.
- If a positive test confirms a case of COVID 19 in the school children and staff within the class group only will take part in Test and Trace procedures and the Local Authority will be informed.
- In the unlikely event of an outbreak in the school (two or more cases) Public Health Wales will take over and decide how to proceed.
What about lunch and snacks?
- All children will need to bring a packed lunch, a fruit snack and a drink in a plastic bottle for the first two weeks as no meals or snacks can be provided in school. All lunch bags and bottles should be very clean, clearly named and where possible children will need to refill their own water bottles throughout the day.
- Families entitled to free school meals will have received either a BACs payment for meals or a food parcel. This enables you to either buy ingredients for packed lunches or to use the ingredients you have been given.
- For younger children, please send in items which they can open themselves so that we can avoid close contacts between staff and children.
- Children will eat their lunch in the hall or the gym as we have large tables which are easy to clean and make social distancing possible. Use of the hall and gym for lunches will be staggered so there will only be a few children in there at any one time. Hygiene will be closely monitored by staff.
- It is likely that cooked meals will resume from 14th September and I will confirm this nearer the time.
We are really looking forward to finally welcoming the children back to school and I hope they are looking forward to it! May I assure you we are working hard to prepare as thoroughly as possible for a safe return next week. The information I have given you here is only a summary so if you have other specific questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to call school.
C M Hewitt
SEPTEMBER ARRANGEMENTS for SCHOOL OPENING to ALL PUPILS
Return to School Plans for September
As promised I am setting out our plans for returning all children to school in September, giving you plenty of notice to make any necessary arrangements. Our plans have been made in the light of current advice and safety recommendations and we realise that advice might change between now and September! However we would really like to go ahead and return your children to school as quickly as possible with the following in mind.
- Children have already missed so much school and really need to be back to school routines as soon as it is safe
- The advice we have is that COVID 19 transmission rates are low amongst children
- Parents need to go out to work and having children in school makes this easier
- We will still need to minimise contacts between classes, between staff and between parents.
- Good hygiene and other measures will still be very important when children return
Tuesday 1st September will be a preparation day for staff in school so school will be closed to children.
Years 1 – 6
Wednesday 2nd September and Thursday 3rd September
Half of each class in Year 1 – Year 6 will return on each day so that we can establish new safety routines with reduced numbers over these first two days. We will let you know which day your children will be attending by text very soon and we will be keeping siblings together, for the convenience of families.
Friday 4th September onwards
Full classes in Year 1 – 6 will return.
All STF children from y1 to 6 will start back on Wednesday 2nd September. Our STF teacher Miss Evans will contact you about your nursery and reception children.
Existing Nursery children who will be remaining in Nursery in September will all attend from Wednesday 2nd September. New nursery children will start to be be phased in from Tuesday 8th September and you will soon receive a start date for your child from the Nursery teacher Mrs Hall.
Reception children will start in two phases. The first half of the class will start on Wednesday 2nd September and the other half will join them from Monday 7th September. For your convenience, Reception children will remain in school for the whole day from the start. The Reception teacher Miss Trotman will let you know which phase your child will join.
Start and Finish Times
In order to minimise contacts between parents and between classes we will be staggering start and finish times, as well as playtimes and lunch times. These time changes will not be permanent.
|Class||Start time||Finish time|
Breakfast Club will not begin until Monday 14th September.
All children will need to bring a packed lunch until 14th September
as there will be no school dinners
We hope this is enough information for you for now. Many of the procedures which we put in place for the July return will remain in place for September.
Before the children return I will send out other useful information about how we will be working to keep everyone as safe as possible in and around school.
In the meantime, we hope you and your children have an enjoyable summer.
C M Hewitt
Friday 26th June – Mrs Hewitt’s Return to School Video:
Watch the video below from Mrs Hewitt showing some exciting updates around school! 🙂
Parent questionnaire-12th June 2020
Head Teacher’s Half Term Update May 26th 2020
I hope you and your families are safe and well during the continued school closure.
Well done to all our children who have been completing Home Learning tasks. As it’s now Half Term no Home Learning will be set until Monday 1st June so you can all have a little break, unless of course you have some catching up to do!
If you need to contact us urgently there will be someone in school every day, so please contact school directly this week, rather than your class teacher.
If your child is entitled to free school meals you should have received an email from the Local Authority asking you whether you would like to continue to receive a food parcel or receive a direct payment into your bank account. If you missed last week’s deadline for requesting a payment, don’t worry as you will still receive a food parcel today and you can register for the payment by 3pm on Wednesday 27th May. Click on the link below for instructions on how to do this, or contact the Local Authority on FSMpayments@swansea.gov.uk.
I am still hoping that at least some children will have some time in school before the end of term. However, Wales is taking a more cautious approach than England so I am awaiting guidance on this. As soon as we have some definite information I will give you plenty of notice on how and when we can re-open to children.
May I remind you that we are here for you and that you should contact us if you have any concerns, questions or worries.
Head Teacher’s Update May 12th 2020
Many thanks to all of you who completed our online questionnaire and for all your positive comments and brilliant suggestions! We have had 164 responses so far and it’s not too late to respond if you haven’t already! We will continue to try to meet the needs of every single child and I would like to assure you that every teacher is working hard to try to do the right thing in these very unusual circumstances.
Some of you have asked for live video calls from staff and we understand why this is good for your children, particularly if they are feeling ‘cut off’ and missing school. However, we have now been told that this is not allowed. Sorry about this but I have asked if exceptions could be made for certain children with Additional Learning Needs.
You will no doubt be wondering when and how your children will be returning to school. The only advice I can give just now is that the Education Minister Kirsty Williams has stated that there will at least three weeks notice of any planned return for schools in Wales. As soon as we receive this notice we will inform you of our plans for welcoming your children back gradually and safely. We will spend the three weeks notice time working out procedures to ensure the children are safe and to decide what learning is most important at this time. If at all possible, there will be transition time in the Comprehensive School for our Year 6 children.
I would like to remind the front line worker parents who need emergency childcare to book their children in each week by Friday morning the week before at the latest.
Please remember that we are always here for you from Monday to Friday. Please stay in touch and contact us by email, DoJo or by phone if you have any questions or worries.
We are missing your children and can’t wait to get back to normal. How ever long it takes, we will be celebrating once they are all back safely with us!!
May 4th 2020