On the 14th May, we wrote to inform you that we were in the process of planning for potential reopening for certain year groups soon after half-term. Since that time, we have been assessing risks and preparing for a smooth phased reopening.
We are fully aware that some parents and staff will be anxious about the wider opening of schools but, as always, the health, safety and wellbeing of our children and staff is paramount in all of our planning. We know there are members of staff and some children who, because of their own health needs or those of a household member, will need to remain at home at the present time. To be clear, there is no pressure for you to send your child back to school this term if you do not feel that it is the right time.
Reopening phased return at Battling Brook: (still subject to further Government Guidelines and their 5 key safety tests, as well as our own individual capacity depending numbers in school)
We have made the decision to take a thoughtful and measured approach to our reopening. The initial plan for phased reopening at Battling Brook will be as follows:
Week beginning 1st June: only key worker children and those deemed as vulnerable, are welcome to continue to attend school as they have been.
Week beginning 8th June: Years 1 and 6 are welcome to return (in addition to Key worker and vulnerable children)
Week beginning 15th June: Reception children are welcome to return (in addition to Years 1, 6 and the key worker and vulnerable groups)
Week beginning 22nd June: We may be able to welcome back another year group at this point (in addition to Reception, Years 1, 6 and the key worker and vulnerable groups)
*Please note that once you have decided to send your child back to school we would appreciate attendance on a full time basis as this will minimise disruption.
If this plan needs to change, we will communicate this at the earliest opportunity.
Below is a summary of some key decisions we have made regarding reopening:
● Smaller class sizes with a maximum of 15 children
● Consistent room used for each group of children
● Consistent adults for each group of children (unless a change in staff is necessary)
● Consistent groups avoid mixing together – staggered timings e.g. start time, break times, lunchtimes, use of outdoor areas and finish times. There will be no larger gatherings e.g. for assemblies.
● Specified external door for each group to use for drop off and pick up.
● Movement around the school will be minimised and age appropriate instructional and directional signage will be in place.
● Only 1 parent/carer should escort their child/children to school.
● Children not to bring anything to school from home other than a coat, a water bottle and a packed lunch (if required).
● School Meal arrangements will run as usual i.e. hot meal options available or bring a packed lunch.
● Only essential visitors e.g. contractors and deliveries will be allowed on site.
● Strict cleaning, hygiene and hand-washing protocols will be adhered to throughout the day.
● Children will be guided to wash hands thoroughly at key times of the day.
● Hand sanitiser will be available in each room.
● Furniture layouts will facilitate social distancing.
● We know from our experiences of running the provisions for vulnerable children and children of critical workers, stringent social distancing is difficult to achieve with younger children. However, we plan to minimise contact as much as possible.
● The DfE does not recommend face masks in schools for staff or pupils but we will have them available for wear if intimate care is needed or if someone becomes ill. We will also have disposable gloves and aprons available for when needed.
● Rooms will be ventilated.
We will endeavour to reduce contact between people as much as possible (see above) however, the Government have acknowledged that primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff.
Important: Please complete the form (link found in email)
Taking the above information into account, we would like all parents/carers (in Years Reception, 1 and 6) to complete the attached form by Sunday 31st May, indicating whether or not you intend to send your child/children back to school.
If and when we are able to reopen to Years 2, 3, 4 and 5 we will send you a survey in due course.
The survey is key in order for us to plan more specifically based on known numbers.
As we have stated before, it is entirely your decision as to whether your child returns to school and those parents who choose to keep their children at home will not be penalised in any way.
Once we have approximate numbers for each of the above year groups, we will send through another letter with some more specific detail relating to times, organisation, uniform etc.
Please note, that if your child is currently attending school through the critical worker and vulnerable group priority scheme, this will continue alongside any additional intake of children.
We anticipate that we would also continue to provide remote learning, although there may be some changes for certain year groups, based on staff availability.
We know we have shared a lot of information and we hope it supports your decision making. As a school, we would like nothing more than to open our doors to all of you. However, at this time we believe it is right to move cautiously and safely in the knowledge that the situation could change at any point.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for your excellent support, flexibility and understanding at this time.
Best wishes and kind regards,
Mr Marsden and Mrs Mathie