Dear Parents and Carers,
We hope that you are having an enjoyable holiday and continue to be safe and well.
This letter has been produced to aid the full re-opening of Cwmbach Community Primary School in September 2020. The plan is based on the current available guidance and advice from Welsh Government, Local Authority and has been written following onsite Health and Safety planning. This plan is in conjunction with the FAQ on the school website and the letter sent to parents at the end of the summer term, outlining the initial details of the reopening plan.
This plan has been produced to ultimately enable a safe return to school for staff, pupils and all members of the school community. It has been written following discussions with the Senior Leadership Team, Chair of Governors, Health and Safety Governors and Staff, as well as taking account of parent questions and views. This plan is to be ratified by the Governing Body and shared with the Local Authority.
The school will re-open, to staff only, on Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2ndof September 2020 to plan and prepare. On Thursday 2nd and Friday 3rd of September we look forward to welcoming back those pupils who were in Nursery, Year 2 and our Complex Learning Classes, when the school closed in March 2020. All other pupils will return on Monday 7thSeptember 2020. As previously mentioned, in the letter sent to parents at the end of the summer term, all pupils will return to the class and teacher they were with when the school closed in March for a period of transition. All pupils will move to their new class and teacher, for this academic year, from Monday 14th September. New nursery pupils will also begin their staggered start from Monday 14th September.
School drop off / pick up
We ask that only one parent or carer is on-site with their child/children. Pupils and parents will enter the site via the main footpath gate, at the front of the site. The main vehicle gates will be closed to all traffic from 8.30am to 4.00pm. Parents and pupils will be asked to make their way to their child’s class through the usual walkway entrance between the main reception area and Key Stage 2 building. This will be an entry point only. Parents are expected to accompany their child/children to their classroom door, starting with their youngest child as they walk around the external area of the building, following a one way system. Once children have entered their classrooms parents/carers are expected to exit via the gates on the far side of the Key Stage 2 yard, by the Year 6 classroom. Compliance with this plan will promote a one way system from the entry walkway to the exit gate by the Year 6 class, therefore encouraging parents and children to maintain safe social distancing and ensuring no adults or children cross one another’s path. Once through the exit gates, on the Junior yard, parents will find themselves in the car park. We will be asking parents/carers to cross the zebra crossing, by the junior yard and follow the path to the small exit gate near the car park. Staff and signage will be in place to support parents/carers with this. We will also be posting a video on our school YouTube account, next week, modelling and reinforcing this one way system.
Start and end times of the day will be staggered to reduce the number of people on site at any one time. The school has taken into consideration the statutory teaching time and the ratio of pupils who have siblings or not, to determine the start and end times. We respectfully ask parents to comply with the designated time slot to ensure the number of people on-site is reduced and again to support social distancing.
Children with siblings in the school will need to come to school between 8.45am and 9.00am
Children with siblings in the school will need to be collected between 2.45pm and 3.00pm
Children without siblings will need to come to school between 9.00am and 9.30am
Children without siblings will need to be collected between 3.00pm and 3.30pm
All children must be dropped to school by an adult and collected by an adult. No pupil will be permitted to walk home on their own or meet their parent/carer by the shop etc. Parents/carers will be encouraged to exit the school site promptly once their children have gone into class and will not be permitted to gather in groups.
Parents will not be permitted to enter the cloakroom or classroom when dropping or collecting the children. Members of staff will greet the children at the classroom door to support them in organising their belongings in the cloakroom. Any non-emergency communication, with the staff, will be expected to take place via phone, email or a planned appointment. Any early collections or later drop offs need to be arranged with sufficient notice and cannot be guaranteed. Pupils arriving at school via taxi will follow the School Traffic Management Plan, being dropped off and collected in the top car park where they will be escorted and supervised by a member of staff.
All children will be instructed to wash their hands/sanitise their hands when they enter the building and before going into class. Temperature checks will no longer take place as the children come into school, unless there is a cause for concern about the child’s health. Hand sanitiser stations are located throughout the building and within the classrooms.
From the 1st of September all children are expected to wear full school uniform. We will be asking that the children be dressed appropriately for the weather, including a suitable coat and shoes for the wetter and colder months and sun cream and a hat on warmer days. We highly recommend that children also have a pair of wellies and separate waterproof trousers and jackets, that stay in school each week, as we will be engaging in a greater amount of outdoor learning to reduce the risk of transmission and take advantage of the school’s learning environment. There will be an expectation that parents maintain good hygiene routines for pupil uniform to reduce the risk of transmission and that all items of pupil clothing is labelled. Pupils will not currently need a PE kit for school as they will not be getting changed. Pupils will be discouraged from bring excess bags/personal belongings or unnecessary items from home into school, we ask that parents support the school with this by checking what your child is bringing to school each day to ensure it is the absolute minimum they need. Pupils will not be permitted to bring their own pencil cases all resources will be provided on an individual basis.
Once the main entrance doors and gates are closed and locked all internal doors will be wedged open to reduce the amount of contact points and increase ventilation throughout the building. The school will adopt a one-way system internally throughout the building to reduce the risk of class contact groups crossing one another’s path. Access to the all outdoor areas will only be via the external classroom doors and outdoor paths.
Each class contact group will have designated times to access each of the outdoors areas for outdoor exercise, learning and recreation. Contact groups will not be mixing during outdoor times with one another.
Classroom / Teaching Environment
The children will be organised into their class contact groups. The school will be planning and preparing to reduce the number of contacts between learners and staff be keeping groups separate and maintaining distance between adults.
In Foundation Phase classrooms the space has been organised to maximise movement around the class and within the learning areas. At times, pupils may be sat around tables side to side but not face to face. All Foundation Phase rooms have additional designated outdoor areas, the use of which will be maximised in all weathers.
In Key Stage 2 each pupils will have their own table, chair and any resources needed placed, on their table. Again, pupils will sit side by side with all desks facing the front of the room rather than face to face in group tables.
No pupil intervention groups will take place until further notice, as this would require pupils from different contact groups to be mixed.
The school will be adopting a zero tolerance to pupil behaviour, especially if behaviour risks the safety and health of themselves, other pupils, staff or the building. We respectfully ask that parents fully support the school with this to ensure the safety and good health of all.
Statemented pupils will have their entitlement of one to one hours and one to one staff will work within school policies, risk assessments and social distancing guidelines. Where possible, Annual Statement Reviews will go ahead according to the planned timetable and meetings will be held following social distance guidance.
Staff will spend time teaching, modelling and promoting handwashing at regular intervals throughout the day. Particularly around key times, e.g. eating, moving from outside to inside or due to an activity or close pupil interaction.
Toilets will be cleaned regularly throughout the day by the cleaning staff. Additional cleaning materials are available in each classroom if needed. Additional cleaning resources are clearly labelled for those to be used within the toilet areas and those to be used within the classrooms. Hand dryers will remain turned off and paper towels made available to reduce the risk of water splashing.
Spread of COVID -19/Social Distancing
The Minister has recently announced that children under 11 no longer need to comply with social distancing rules although all adults are continued to be expected to comply with 2m social distancing. Along with the organisation of the building and timetable, staff will be regularly promoting good social distancing and supporting the children with this where appropriate. The school cannot elevate all risk of children not socially distancing, only support them in understanding how important this is at times. Promoting social distancing will only be instructed, modelled and promoted though positive language and positive reinforcement.
The school will ensure, where possible, classroom and corridor doors can remain open to ensure good ventilation.
All staff have received training in the symptoms of COVID-19, safe use of PPE, the school Risk Assessment and planning/delivering a balanced curriculum of learning experiences.
Hand washing will be fully adhered to before and after lunch. All pupils will eat their lunch either in the classroom or a suitable outdoor area (weather permitting). It is recommended that pupils bring their packed lunch in packaging that is fully disposable, e.g. a carrier bag similar to when pupils go on a school trip. The school kitchen will be providing school dinners, which will also be served in the child’s classroom. We continue to await further information from Catering Direct about the menu and choices for September. The school will continue to expect all payments of dinner monies to be made via the RCT online system.
Pupils/Staff displaying symptoms whilst at school
Under no circumstances should learners, parents or staff attend schools/setting if they:
- feel unwell, have any of the three identified COVID-19 symptoms (a new continuous cough, a high temperature or loss of taste or smell) or they have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
- live in a household with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19; or
- has tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days.
Anyone displaying symptoms should stay at home for the required number of days as stated by PHW and should arrange to be tested. Anyone who lives with someone displaying symptoms but remains well should stay at home for the required number of days, as stated by PHW, from the day the first person became ill.
As a general rule, the normal temperature in children (3 to 10 years old) is between 36.1C and 37.8C. Higher than this would be deemed a fever. In 11 to 65 year olds the normal temperature is between 35.9C and 37.6C. Higher than this would be deemed a fever. Any child displaying a temperature higher than the normal, will not be allowed to attend school.
The school has clear procedures if learners or staff member begin to show symptoms on site. These need to be fully understood by both staff and parents/carers:
Actions Following Confirmed Case of COVID-19
Following a confirmed case, all areas known to have been accessed should be quarantined until it can be confirmed that a deep clean has been completed.
Cleaning/ Waste Disposal
An additional 6 hours of cleaning is to be staffed by the school cleaning staff to ensure a cleaner is on-site throughout the whole school day. The focus and priority for cleaning during this time will be high contact areas, toilets and class rooms. The school is very well stocked in cleaning materials and is exceeding the compliance expectations in this area. Additional cleaning materials have been supplied by the school in each room, the staffroom, toilets and office areas. The school has a robust cleaning or quarantining plan for resources that are shared between contact groups.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Easy access to PPE and first aid equipment will be adopted by developing PPE/first aid stations throughout the Foundation Phase, Key Stage 2, the main office and outside the isolation room. The school is led by and fully complaint with RCT guidance on the use of PPE. All staff have received training in correct use of PPE. Further information about PPE can be found on the RCT FAQ page of the website.
Parents and carers are discouraged from attending the main office and should communicate with the school via email, telephone or a pre-booked appointment. The office and school will be closed to all non-essential/emergency visitors.
Hand sanitiser is provided on entry and throughout the building. All staff and visitors will be expected to wash their hands on entry.
We appreciate that this document as well as the information on the FAQ on both the RCT and School website can be a great deal to take in and will take you time to consider all of the information carefully. However, the school believes in open and honest communication with you and the children about how the school intends to fully reopen in the safest way possible. We will be sending a video out via Schoop and our school YouTube channel to show you and the children how the school has been reorganised and how to follow the one way system to drop off and collect the children.
We also understand that this may be a daunting and anxious time for some families, in sending their children back to school. Which is why, we ask that you read the information carefully and do not hesitate to contact the school, by email, if you require further clarification or support:
Thank you for your continued support and we look forward to seeing you all in a few weeks.
Mrs Sarah Jones