Full school reopening autumn term
Welcome back to the start of the autumn term. We are all pleased to be planning for our full school reopening and for welcoming all children back to all year groups from Thursday 3 September.
It seems a long time since the returning year groups and Key Worker children were in school and of course this is much longer for those children who were last in school before lockdown. We understand that it is likely that some children may be feeling anxious about returning following such a long break from school and I would like to reassure parents that staff are very mindful of this and all of our planning is to support a gentle reintroduction back to school aiming to settle the children back into routines.
Government guidance has changed and from September school attendance will become mandatory again. We will continue to work with families to ensure a smooth return again to school but children will be expected to be in school every day. Whilst there may be some anxieties we also hope children are excited to be returning to their classes and friends once again. All staff are prepared to offer support for our children and please do talk to us if we can support you and your child in any way.
In order to accommodate all children in all year groups we have needed to make some changes and this letter is a reminder of some key information as that we can safely manage this as best as we can. Much of this information has already been shared with parents in my letter in July and I hope this will be a helpful reminder because the start of this term will be different to previous years.
We welcome some new staff to Albert Pye for September. Mrs Gregson-Cross will be giving some extra support to Reception (RB); Mrs Crawley will join us as a Teaching Assistant in years 3 and 4; Ms Hurren will join our Nursery team, working Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings to support the larger numbers attending at these times; Ms Thomson joins 1/2B whilst Mrs Berry remains on maternity leave.
Managing the Full Reopening Safely
In order to achieve all children returning to our school once again, we are making some changes. The following information which will be in place from Thursday:
At Albert Pye, we need to minimise the impact of 400 children and families arriving and leaving our school site at the same time and in order to achieve this safely, we have decided to introduce a staggered start and end to the school day. We are trying to keep times as near as possible to the existing school day and also to consider families with siblings and families who have children at both The Albert Pye and at Ravensmere schools.
Therefore, from Thursday 3 September, we would like you to bring your children according to your surname:
Families with a surname of A-J
8.40 – 8.50
Families with a surname of K-Z, and families with siblings at Ravensmere.
8.50 – 9.00
This does mean that for all classes (Reception to year 6) children will arrive or depart within the 20 minute window (mornings) or 10 minute window (afternoons).
Nursery session times will remain the same and your offer letter will tell you the sessions and days your child will attend. For parents who have siblings in other classes in the school, please drop your child to Nursery first at the start of the day and collect your child from Nursery first at the end of the day, so that the one way system is maintained. For families who only have a child at our Nursery, then usual Nursery times will apply (8.45am and 3.30pm).
For children joining Reception, there is a staggered start which you will have received a letter about. For children arriving for a morning session, please follow the staggered times listed above. For children arriving for an afternoon session, please bring your child at 1pm via the front entrance (Frederick’s Road) and walk round to the five bar gate. Staff will be on site to help you.
Reception children start full time from Wednesday 9 September.
We will continue with the one-way system around the school site, because we still need to minimise contact between our adults. Please come to school via the entrance on Peddar’s Lane, down the side of Durrants’ Auction Rooms. We ask that parents walk round the outside of the school building to drop children off at the classroom door and then leave site via the Frederick’s Road entrance. This one way system worked well in the summer term and ensures all adults move in the same direction around our site as far as possible. Signs are in place to remind you and staff will be on the paths to help you.
Children in RB and in R1VM will continue to come into school via the five bar gate in their outdoor area and staff will take your child from there.
Nursery will continue to use the small gate for handover and collection and parents are asked to wait in the social area at the end of the day, please do remember to use the seats so that the pathway is kept clear.
Years 1 and 2 (Miss Batt and Miss Day) will use their outside doors via the KS1 playground, years 3 – 6 should use their outside classroom doors.
We ask that strictly just 1 adult per family brings your child/ren to school as we need to reduce the numbers of adults on our site as far as we can. We are restricting adults coming in to school and any visits must be made by appointment only.
We will not be using the locker room for years 5 and 6 so that movement around the site is kept to a minimum.
We will reduce the lunch hour to 45 minutes and this will be staggered so that we reduce the children who are using the outdoors and keep year groups in separate areas. Break times will be staggered too.
We have agreed a menu with Caterlink and there will be a daily hot option, cold option as well as baked potato choice. Menus will be around school and in all classrooms for children to select from. For all children in Reception, year 1 and year 2 this is provided free and also for children in years 3-6 who are eligible for a free school meal. For other children it can be purchased daily as previously.
Our youngest children will use the dining hall to eat but children in years 3 – 6 will eat either outside as a picnic lunch or in classrooms if wet. This is because we have to ensure cleaning between different lunch sittings and there are 400 children to feed in one hour. We will trial this to begin with and keep this under review and in light of changing government guidance.
Before and after school clubs (curriculum enrichment and sports clubs) will be on hold for the first half term to minimise the children and adults on site. We will review this from October half term in light of government guidance.
Morning and Afternoon Clubs
These will begin again from Monday 7 September and places can be booked on Parentmail. From this term we are making a change and the Morning Club will now be held at each school. At Ravensmere, this will be on the same basis which was in place before lockdown, and at Albert Pye we will use the middle area of the West Building. The Afternoon Club will continue to be based at Ravensmere and Mrs Norris will continue to run the walking bus as part of this.
We will be reinstating our uniform policy and from Thursday 3 September we ask that all children wear school uniform please. Guidance has changed and clothes no longer need to be washed every day but should be laundered as you usually would do.
Children should bring as little with them to school as possible. They may bring a bag and bookbag, water bottle, hat and coat. We will not be changing for PE so full kit is not needed but a change of footwear is essential please. This can be left in a bag on their peg. We will begin sharing reading books once again and children will be able to bring their reading book home. This is a welcome update, but we will keep items going between home and school to a minimum.
In the system of controls there are a set of actions which schools must take to reduce risks. The prevention controls state the following:
We are all looking forward to welcoming all of our children back to school and we will work with you to make the transition back into school as successful as we can. We look forward to seeing you and your child on Thursday.
Mrs M. Mills