Important letter regarding the wider opening of school from 29th June
Category : Events
12th June 2020
I would like to begin by thanking you for your patience and understanding regarding the reopening of the school for students.
As you are aware, the Government recently announced plans for the return to school of all students from 29th June, if it is deemed safe to do so, with strict guidelines controlling the number of students allowed on site at any one time, up to a 1/3 of the student population.
Given the importance of ensuring that we keep the children and staff as safe as we possibly can, all decisions around the wider opening of the school have been based on Welsh Government guidance, Public Health Wales guidance, Local Authority guidance and our risk assessments.
In the interest of minimising risk and in line with Government guidance, individual year groups will return to school for one day of the week only. Details of this arrangement are set out below
All decisions regarding our provision have been and will continue to be made with the best interests of everyone in mind and based on the best and most up to date information we have. Additionally, we expect guidance from the Government to continue to be issued over the coming weeks and we will constantly be reviewing our approach, implementing changes where necessary and ensuring you are kept up to date. Bearing this in mind our planned provision will be subject to change, including the need to close the site, and this may be at short notice for reasons such as staff and/or student absence from school, site provision or a change to Government advice. As always, we will aim to give you as much notice as we possibly can about any changes as we are aware of the different situations our families are working under at this time.
On the following pages I have outlined the plans we have put in place for the reopening of the school. I would like to ask that you read this carefully and hope that it addresses all the questions asked through the initial survey, about your child’s return to school.
It has been made clear that schools should have no more than one third of the students in at any one time. This includes the Keyworker group that provision has previously been arranged for. This, along with social distancing, will limit class sizes and therefore the amount of time your child will have in school. It is extremely likely that your child will only have 3 or 4 days of schooling prior to the end of the summer term.
Please be aware there is no expectation to attend and hopefully the information included here will help you make an informed decision.
In order to plan the timetable for students to return and the logistics of student numbers and classrooms we do now need to ask you to let us know if you wish your child to be allocated a place prior to the Summer break. We require this information by Wednesday 17th June 3pm via this survey; https://forms.gle/YQRRkessofuX966a9 . The link is also available on the school website and social media. Please be aware that if the answer is no or we do not get a response, we will not be able to allocate a place to your child for the four-week period through July. Once plans are finalised, we will not be able to allocate a place to your child until September.
We will be providing videos via YouTube towards the end of June so that your child can see what the school will look like and what can be expected when they return. I would be happy to answer any other questions you may have, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr M Vickery, Headteacher
For the protection of all members of our community, it will be important for everyone to adhere to a number of guidelines over the coming weeks, especially the following:
The three rules we have had on site since March 23rd will continue:
Stay 2m apart
Wash your hands regularly
Stay at home if you feel ill
Under no circumstances should learners or staff attend schools/setting if they:
- feel unwell, have any of the three identified COVID-19 symptoms or they have tested positive to COVID-19 in the past 14 days
- live in a household with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive to COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
As a reminder, these include:
- A High Temperature: this means you feel hot to touch and, if you are able to measure your temperature, a reading of 37.8°C or above is a high temperature. We will take the temperature of the students before allowing them to go into the buildings using a non-contact thermometer.
- A New, Continuous Cough
- A loss of Taste and/or Smell
Drop off and pick up times and procedures
When you arrive at the school you will be directed to drive onto the site via the front entrance (not the Bryn Offa entrance). You will be asked to first stop in the bus bay car park to complete a temperature check, then proceed to your designated drop off point in the bus bay car park. Please do not park and get out of your car but wait in line until you reach your allocated point where a member of staff will be waiting to receive your child. To assist with flow of traffic around the site, please leave the car park via the exit gate. Only one parent should attend at any time to drop off or collect your child.
At the end of the day students will wait in the same car park to be collected.
Please remember all Welsh government social distancing rules should be adhered to when travelling to and from school and only arrive at the designated time.
It is vital that parents are contactable by the school at all times. If we feel any member of the school is showing symptoms of the virus, they must be collected from school as soon as possible. (more details can be found below). With this in mind, please let us know if we do not have the latest contact information.
Return to school – dates and timings
It is our intention to begin to reopen the school for students from Monday 29 June 2020 as outlined below.
In accordance with government guidelines, the students need to be split into small groups. Students will therefore attend school in their Tutor groups. Each year group will attend school for one day a week, as set out in the table below:
|Drop off time
We request that all students returning to school are dropped off and collected by one family member at this time. In order to minimise risk, only essential school transport will currently be available.
Building and classrooms
Having assessed the school site in line with Government advice and recommendations, we have concluded that the site provides us with sufficient space, both indoors and out, to enable us to maintain social distance as far as possible whilst ensuring we have provision for break times and lunch times in any weather.
The areas we intend to use will all be cleaned; desks will be spaced out and 2 metre markings will be outlined to guide students. Each student will be allocated their own space in which to work. The students will be split into their tutor groups and will use their form zones as their base.
After students have been dropped off, a member of staff will direct the students into the building where they will wash their hands before beginning sessions.
The students may also use outdoor spaces as appropriate, with all areas being cleaned thoroughly before they are next used.
Timetable and staffing
While in school the students will be with their form tutor for that day (where possible). Students will not be following the usual timetable nor curriculum, with the focus being on wellbeing of the children and supporting the children in distance learning and preparing for a potential of a mixed blend of learning from September. Key worker’s children who are currently accessing school will be able to join their form groups for their Check-In, Catch-up and prepare sessions on days that their year group is attending.
Students will continue to access their curriculum lessons via Google Classrooms when not in school. In this way, the remote provision of all subjects can continue as planned, with the addition of face to face time to support wellbeing and distance learning skills.
Uniform, equipment and lunch
In order to assist with the recommendation that clothing is washed regularly, the students are not required to wear school uniform. We request that the children come to school in freshly laundered clothes – please ensure clothes are appropriate for school. It is recommended that all clothes worn to school should be laundered at the end of the day.
Students will be provided with pens and an exercise book, which will be left in school. They should bring as little as possible to school to avoid contamination. Each student will be allocated a desk in the form room for the day which will not be used by any other student. All school equipment will be thoroughly cleaned before it is next used.
As our kitchens are closed at the moment, we request that students bring in their own morning snack and packed lunch. The students must also bring in their own water bottles (labelled) that must be taken home and washed thoroughly. We are very fortunate at Ysgol Clywedog to have such spacious grounds and we intend to make full use of these for break and lunch times whenever possible. Each group will have their own allocated outside area and will be supervised to maintain social distancing as far as possible. Due to the outdoor space we have, we feel it is not necessary for us to stagger break and lunch times for the students and this will also enable the students to communicate with each other at a safe distance. In the event of bad weather, we will use indoor areas such as the sports hall and gym for breaks and lunch. Students will be required to maintain a 2-metre distance from each other at all times.
Health and Hygiene
The following information outlines everything the school has done to minimise risk of infection and sets out vital procedures that must be followed at all times.
In order to support us, we ask parents to adhere to the following routines and practices:
- Please do not bring your child to school if they are unwell under any circumstances.
- Please adhere to the drop off and pick up arrangements outlined above and avoid getting out of your car if at all possible.
- Please do not call into reception – phone or email reception if you have any enquiries or messages. 01978 346800 or email@example.com
- Please ensure your child is sent to school in freshly laundered clothes.
- Please ensure all items sent into school are clean and keep these to a minimum.
- Please ensure you send in any medication your child requires and usually has onsite. This must remain in the student’s bag and we ask you to inform staff of this.
As an extra precaution during these uncertain times, we feel it is important to take each child’s temperature on arrival. Any child whose temperature is above 37.8°C will need to be taken home and parents should seek medical advice. The temperature check only tests for one of the symptoms of COVID-19 and ensuring that children have a normal temperature is just one of the health and safety precautions we will be implementing. Parents should pull up into the bus bay car park where a member of staff will check the child’s temperature. A record of temperatures will not be kept unless it is recorded above 37.8°C then this will be noted along with advice and actions. Please note that the member of staff carrying out the checks will need to wear PPE and it would be helpful if you could speak to your child about this prior to their first day back.
Hand washing and respiratory hygiene
There are multiple hand washing facilities throughout the school and areas have been designated for each year group. Staff will ensure the children know where their area is. We have purchased stocks of soap and sanitiser and these will be checked throughout the day. Strict rules and routines will be put in place by the staff to ensure hand washing takes place throughout the day. Tissues and wipes will also be provided in every classroom and students instructed to use these.
It is well documented that keeping children 2 metres apart from each other and staff at all times is extremely difficult if not impossible. We will be taking all possible measures, such as socially distancing seating, 2m markings, designated outdoor areas etc., to maintain as much distancing as we possibly can at all times.
We will be implementing additional steps to further protect staff and students by:
- keeping classrooms well ventilated
- using our outdoor spaces
- avoiding contact with anyone with potential symptoms
- frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
- regular cleaning
Site and Equipment
The site has been cleaned in preparation for reopening. The areas being used by students and staff will be cleaned between each use and children be reminded to minimise contact with surfaces such as doors, banisters etc. Where possible and safe, doors will remain open and rooms kept ventilated. Soap, sanitiser and tissues will be replenished throughout the day. Toilet areas have been allocated for use by different year groups and will be cleaned throughout the day.
Although the Welsh Government has said that it is not necessary for staff to use PPE, we do have a stock of face masks, visors, gloves and aprons and staff will use this as needed e.g. when administering first aid, some staff or students wearing disposable masks.
If your child would like to wear a non-disposable face covering when arriving to school, they will be expected to bring a plastic bag to keep these in during the school day.
Hand, respiratory hygiene and the regular cleaning of surfaces and minimizing of contact remains the main form of protection for staff and students. Staff will use PPE when treating a student who requires any type of first aid and when completing temperature checks.
Illness in school
There will be trained first aid staff on site as during normal school days. If a child is ill or requires first aid, the student will be assessed and treated accordingly.
Suspected case of COVID-19
If a student presents with any symptoms of COVID-19, the child will be isolated (but still looked after) and parents will be called to arrange immediate collection and should seek medical advice.
All staff and students will have access to a test if they display symptoms of COVID-19. Please note that if a test is negative, the guidance states that they may return to school. If a child or member of staff tests positive for COVID-19, the school will contact Public Health Wales and follow current guidance.
Adhering to requirements
It is vitally important that all members of the Ysgol Clywedog community adhere to the guidelines and rules set out. Anyone not following these will be spoken to individually to reinforce the key messages and importance of these. We will, if necessary, issue sanctions in line with our behaviour policy. All our usual expectations around behaviour will still be in place.
It is of utmost importance to point out that, whilst we have done everything possible to protect all members of the school community and put social distancing measures in place, we are unable to guarantee that your child will remain a distance of 2 metres from others or will be completely shielded from risk at all times.
As stated in the introduction of this information, the opening of the school for students is subject to the Government’s recommendations and our own assessment of the situation at that time.