Information About Returning to School
Monday 6th September 2021
I do hope you have had a lovely Summer holiday and have enjoyed quality time with your children, families and friends. Hopefully you have also all remained well and managed to benefit from the lifting of restrictions and additional opportunities now available to us.
Many of you will be aware of the government’s intent to publish new guidance from 16th August. Indeed we have referred closely to the guidance for schools which has been produced from this date onwards in order to update our Operational Risk Assessment and other vital documentation.
The key document which references much of the information is entitled: Schools COVID-19 Operational Guidance:
One of the key messages from the guidance is as follows: As COVID-19 becomes a virus that we learn to live with, there is now an imperative to reduce the disruption to children and young people’s education. The priority for all schools is to deliver face-to-face, high-quality education to all pupils.
It is for this reason that schools are asked to lift many of the key measures which in part limited the delivery of education whilst complying with health and safety law and maintaining proportionate control measures. Measures which have been lifted now, in the main, form part of the school’s contingency planning which clarifies measures to be re-introduced in the event of an outbreak.
However, to help you understand how this will look when your child starts their new school year here at Fairfield Infant School, I have summarised the key points for you below specific to our setting:
Start of the Day Arrangements
- Drop off times are between 8.35am and 8.50am.
- We are keeping our one-way site system in operation as we recognise the beginning and end of the school day are our busiest times and this will continue to allow children and adults to be able to remain a safe distance from those with whom they do not usually come into contact.
- Please follow the one-way arrows keeping to the left side of the playground and dropping off at your child’s marked entrance. As this will be a new entrance for the majority of you, we will re-publish a map at the end of this week so you are clear about where to drop and collect your child.
- Once you have dropped your child, continue to follow the route to the trim trail but turning off at the gate near to the hall exit. You will be able to leave via the school driveway. Please note the drive will not be accessible to any vehicles between 8.30am and 9.00am. At all times the car park is for staff use only.
- One member of staff from each class will be on the playground to meet your child with another member of staff in the classroom to supervise from 8.35am. I and other non-class based members of the team will also be on hand daily before and after school to greet you and support you with any immediate queries you may have.
End of the Day Arrangements
- The end of the school day for all children has now reverted to 3.05pm. (Please note that previous staggered end of the days times were introduced as a COVID measure and are only to be introduced if required as part of our contingency plan).
- You will be able to enter the playground area at around 3.00pm. Please do not arrive early to avoid crowding at the front gates. Follow the one-way system as above and collect your child from the same entrance. The drive will be not be accessible to any vehicles between 2.50pm and 3.20pm.
Key Organisation and day-to-day control measures
- In line with government recommendations, the children will no longer be taught in bubbles. This will provide greater flexibility for children to work across classes, to play and eat together and to attend assemblies and other enrichment activities together.
- Frequent and thorough hand cleaning will remain regular practice throughout the day. Children may bring in their own soap/ hand-sanitiser and hand cream but must not share this with others. If children do bring these in, please could they be labelled with the child’s name and handed to the class teacher.
- Please support us in promoting the “catch it, bin it, kill it” approach
- Children should bring in their own water bottle. These will be sent home daily for cleaning.
- We will be maintaining enhanced cleaning measures including more regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, additional cleaning of toilets in the middle of the day and the quarantining or additional cleaning of resources shared across multiple classes and year groups
- Classroom doors and windows will be opened regularly for ventilation/air flow and outdoor learning will continue to be considered as a regular feature of our provision. Please ensure your child has their school jumper and a suitable coat in school every day.
Additional Uniform and Equipment
- All children are expected to wear school uniform.
- PE and Meadow Days will be published at the end of this week. On meadow days children may come to school suitably dressed. As we recognise that for most children a PE kit comprises a t-shirt, shorts and plimsoles /trainers we ask children to bring a PE kit to keep in school, which your child can change into on their PE day. We are not asking for PE kits to be washed weekly. However, if your child is sent home as a result of being unwell we will send home their full kit and ask that this is washed before their return. If you wish for your child’s kit to be sent home more regularly please just let the class teacher know.
- Send your child with their book bag daily but please avoid large bags as the space in our cloakrooms is limited.
- Please take into account that some of the learning may take place outside. Ensure your child is well-equipped to be able to learn outside. If the weather is hot please send your child with a sun hat and apply a high factor sun cream at the start of the day.
- It is helpful if your child can bring their own art shirt into school. This can stay on their peg.
- If you have any difficulties in providing your child with any of the above equipment and uniform, please speak to your child’s class teacher or our Child and Family Support Worker, Mrs Chambers. In current times especially it is safest for all children to have their own uniform which only they wear. If we need to loan a lot of additional items this necessitates clothing being washed between uses, which is difficult for us to manage on a regular basis.
Travel to and from school
- We strongly recommend walking, scooting or cycling to school. In the past year the commitment of our families to sustainable and healthy travel secured us two new scooter pods and a bike rack. These, together with our other racks, are located at the front of our school, close to the main entrance.
- If you have no alternative but to drive your child to school, we would urge you to use our Park and Stride approach:
We are very pleased to have been able to secure the following options for this:
- Bulbeck Road (West Street) Car Park,
- Prince Georges Street Car Park,
- East Pallant Car Park,
- Town End House Car Park (HBC spaces only – not LiveLink Private car park spaces - limited availability)
The above car parks are available FREE to Fairfield and Bosmere parents/carers between the times:
- 8.20am to 9.05am (for morning school run)
- 2.50pm to 4pm (for afternoon collection)
This is TERM TIME ONLY and does not apply during school holidays and school closure days.
You do not need to display any notices or signage on your windscreen.
- The school car park is for staff only.
The government has removed the requirement to wear face coverings in law and no longer requires that they are worn in schools in classrooms or communal areas. However, there remains a recommendation that they are worn in enclosed and crowded spaces where you may come into contact with people who you do not normally meet. This also includes when using public transport.
We recognise that at the start and end of the school day even with our one-way system fully in operation our site can feel crowded and busy at times. We therefore respect the choice of any adults (staff, parents or other family members) who choose to wear a face-covering at these times.
However at present the decision to wear a face covering remains a personal choice rather than a specific recommendation.
School attendance is a requirement for all children, providing they are well enough to attend, do not have COVID symptoms and have not tested positive for COVID-19.
Following Public Health Advice on Testing, Self-Isolation and Managing Confirmed Cases of COVID-19
- Children / staff will be asked to remain at home / leave school to return home if they have COVID-19 symptoms or test positive using a lateral flow device and seek a PCR test.
- If the result of the test is negative they may return to school. A negative PCR test result also overrides a self-test LFD positive result, providing the individual does not have COVID-19 symptoms and the PCR test is taken within 2 days of the lateral flow test
- If the result of the test is positive they must stay at home and isolate for 10 clear days following the start of the symptoms / the positive test.
- Pupils with symptoms waiting to be collected will wait in a designated isolation room
- Staff and volunteers / regular visitors to the school will be encouraged to take part in twice weekly LFD testing (to be reviewed at the end of September).
- Parents should be aware that if there is a positive case in the school their child must continue to attend school as there is now no need to isolate unless their child develops symptoms. They will only be directly informed if through NHS Test and Trace they have been identified as a close contact.
- Parents will also be informed in the event of any significant stepping up measures being taken to mitigate the risk of spread and or where there is a substantial increase in the number of positive cases in our setting.
- Please ensure you inform us if your child develops symptoms and or tests positive for COVID-19.
Helping your child prepare for returning to school in September
The following tips have proved useful advice according to families that we have worked with:
- Re-establish a routine. During the holiday period for many of us our routines will have changed. Some of us will have been waking up later and going to bed later. To help your child prepare, it would be beneficial to re-establish the routine of getting up at the right time for school as we get closer to their return in September.
- Discuss any concerns and anxieties. It would be completely normal for any child to have mixed emotions about starting the new school year. Young minds have created a page with tips on ‘starting a conversation with your child https://youngminds.org.uk/starting-a-conversation-with-your-child/
- Be prepared. Encourage your child to find their uniform, PE kit, bag, etc. so that this is not left to the last minute, creating anxiety.
- Share information. Please discuss the information in this letter with your child so they can visualise the arrangements and re-visit the postcard we sent home sharing your child’s new class and the grown-ups who will be there to support them. You can also find photos of us all on the school website under Our School, Who’s Who. You child may also enjoy listening again to their new teacher’s story video. These are on our website under the “Children” tab. Look for “Class Videos 2021”.