Arrangements for September 2020
Wednesday 15th July 2020
We have now been open to more than just vulnerable children and the children of key workers for 5 weeks. We are up to 81 of our usual 158 children in school and the safety measures have worked very well so far. There have been no instances of children, parents or staff contracting the virus and school has been a calm and safe place with the structure of a normal school day bringing some stability, routine and smiles.
In September we are looking forward to welcoming everyone back. New Covid-19 infections in Stockport have been consistently below 10 per week for a little while now but the virus has not been eradicated and there will have to be continuing measures in place to reduce risk and keep everyone safe and some new arrangements. These include:
- School will return on Monday 7th September, not Thursday 3rd as originally stated. Stockport LA have granted all Stockport schools a couple of additional days to prepare beforehand. Year 6 pupils and all pupils in years 1-5 who did not return before the summer AND are at all anxious about returning can come in on Friday 4th September when school will be quieter. Please let us know if you feel that your child is anxious about returning and we will arrange for them to come in on this quiet transition day to ease them back in. There will also be 20 minute appointments on the 3rd and 4th for children in years 1 and 2 for phonics checks with Mrs Greenaway so they can be allocated to the correct group before restarting.
- Children will have ‘bubbles’ in which they must stay. These are increasing in size though. For the vast majority of the time, children will stay in their class groups. However the bubbles relate to key stages rather than classes. So a child in reception may be in the same room or play area as a child in year 1 or 2 but not with children from KS2. Similarly children in years 3-6 will not mix with KS1 children. The only mixing between classes will be in Breakfast Club (where we will have tables for different classes but one room for KS2 and one room for KS1/Reception) and for the daily phonics lesson (in which key stages will be separate but within these bubbles there will be some mixing). There will be no after-school clubs initially.
- While the youngest children are not expected to strictly adhere to social distancing, we will still expect children to keep apart and avoid touching one another. Social distancing (2m where at all possible) will remain vital for adults, for staff in school, parents at the gate and staff-parent interactions.
- Staggered start and finish times. KS2 (Classes 5/6, 4/5 & 3/4) will start at 8.50 and finish at 3.15. Classes 5/6 and 4/5 will enter and exit school via the gate to the playground from the car park. Class 3/4 will enter and exit via the front door. There are yellow lines marked outside to ensure social distancing. Only the front gate will be open and a member of staff will help keep everyone 2 metres apart and ensure no additional people enter the school grounds (one adult per family only). KS1 and Reception will start at 9.00am and finish at 3.00pm. Reception will enter and exit via the Reception door, Class 1 via the front door and Class 2 via the gate to the playground from the car park. At home-time parents will wait in the front car park and we will release the children into your care in a safe, managed way. If you have children in both key stages they can be dropped off together at the later of the times and collected together at the earlier of the times. It is essential that everyone is punctual to allow us to safely enforce this measure. School will be open for full days 5 days a week – no more early closing on Wednesdays.
- Staggered play and dinner times. Children will receive a hot meal in the hall twice a week. 3 days a week they will eat a packed lunch (provided by school for children on school meals) in their classroom. This measure stops children mixing with those from other classes in the hall.
- Regular (at least hourly) compulsory supervised hand-washing. Extra hand-washing as and when needed.
- Pairs of children will have their own desk and pens etc that only they can use. Other equipment including electronic devices will not be shared unless it can be wiped down.
- Children will only be allowed to visit the toilet two at a time.
- School uniform will be back for September (available via the office with payment by our new cashless system). Regular washing of clothes and PE kits is still good practice. Jewellery is not allowed.
- Reading & Library books will be sent home on a given day of the week, collected in on another and quarantined for 48 hours in between. More info from the class teacher in September.
- We will be using the SeeSaw app and email to communicate as much as possible, thus reducing the need for paper letters. Please ensure we have your email address.
- There will be no assemblies to begin with though we may move to smaller key stage assemblies after the first few weeks provided we enjoy a safe start. For similar reasons it will not be possible to have other communal events like Macmillan Coffee Morning or the Green Room Brew Club. It is vital though that we maintain the sense of community and ways of communicating with parents if we are to be able to meet families’ needs and look after one another so all ideas as to how this can continue safely will be gratefully received.
We understand that for some children returning to school after such a long break may cause some anxiety. Please get in touch if you feel that this may be the case for your child. We can help. The experience for the vast majority of children who have already returned has been that they didn’t know quite what to expect but then found that it felt pretty much like normal school. They have been happy and parents have reported that the structure of the school day has made home-life and sleeping patterns return to normal too.
If you have any questions in the meantime, please email or phone school (email@example.com 0161 480 6295). For advice or guidance from the local authority you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org. The Parent Carer Forum (PACTS) are also available to support individual families, email info@PACTStockport.co.uk.
As more children and families have returned it has been lovely to see familiar faces. September’s return to something close to normal with everyone back will be great for those children who have seen little of their friends and for those parents who have had to play teacher for much longer than is ideal. Through all of this the families of Lark Hill have been remarkable. Please keep on looking out for one another and letting us know if anyone needs help with food, money, the learning or mental health of their children or anything else. We break up for summer on Friday 24th July. If there is anything you want to ask, please get in touch before then. Have a great summer break.
Mr S Kelly