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Corona Virus updates and correspondence

E-mail sent out on Saturday 30th May

Dear Parents,

Following the announcement of the government yesterday that the five tests were ‘being met’ and approval of the measures we have planned by the county council, I can confirm that we will be open on Monday morning for reception and year 1 children as well as key working parents and vulnerable pupils.

Reception and year one parents, please drop your children off in the small courtyard by the bike lock up from 9am. Collection will be from 3.15pm in the same location. Please follow social distancing guidance during these times. Unless it is an emergency parents should not come into school or the school grounds. Where at all possible, please call or e-mail if you need to communicate with us. Children will need to bring a packed lunch for Monday and ongoing, unless you have ordered a packed lunch from Red Hen.

Key working and vulnerable pupils may arrive from 8:30am by prior arrangement. They should be dropped off at the front gate (also from 9.00am without prior arrangement) and make their way to Merlins classroom terrace.

I will be adding a welcome back to learning assembly on Monday into the thought for the day section from school website and hope all children are able to go online and watch it throughout the day. It will be available from 10:30am. We continue to miss all of the children and members of our community and hope that this is a step in the right direction on the journey back to normality.

Please could all parents continue to follow the guidance and be extra vigilant with regards to how your child is feeling when sending them into school (see below).

I look forward to seeing you.

E-mail sent out on the 27th May

Dear Parents,

From Monday we anticipate that we will be open for children in Wrens class (reception and year 1). This is pending approval from Worcester County Council and the final confirmation from the government, which we should hear tomorrow. However, I very much expect the outcome to be that schools will return and so please prepare on this basis. I understand that many people will have differing opinions on whether t

Whilst the survey did not commit parents regarding whether they will or will not bring their children, we have used this information to anticipate the number of pupils we expect in school. If you indicated unlikely or certainly not with regards to your child attending, but are now planning to send your child, please let me know.

If all goes to plan next week, I anticipate that year 6 will be able to return to school from Monday 8th June. I will confirm this by the morning of Thursday 4th June.

Please be aware of this and try to explain the need to wash hands and use tissues with your children. We will be reinforcing this in school.

Points of information

  • All pupils in school will need a packed lunch and snack on Monday 1st June. From tomorrow parents will be able to order a packed lunch from Red Hen cookery which is available from Tuesday 2nd June if you order promptly.
  • Children may continue to bring pack lunches, but please ensure they can independently open and eat all items in their packed lunch.
  • Children will be required to put food waste and packaging from home back in their lunch box to bring home.
  • Children should arrive at school from 9am and should be collected from 3:15.
  • Abberley Acorns is available after school from 3.15pm to 4.30pm. However, there will not be formal clubs. The children will do outside activities where the weather allows. Please e-mail [email protected] to book the dates that you require this provision.
  • Parents of children in Wrens class will be required to drop their children in the courtyard area through the wider gate of the school (by the bike cover) where they will be greeted by Mr Turvey or Mrs Shelley and can walk around to their bubble space. Where, next week, they will be greeted by Miss Hughes and Mrs Lench.
  • Reception children will be based in Wrens classroom. Year 1 children will be based in Skylarks classroom.
  • Children who are vulnerable or of key working parents will need to be dropped off at the first metal gate (normal entrance) where they can make their way to Merlins classroom. Next week, they will be greeted and work alongside Mrs Gregory. Please arrange attendance with me by e-mailing [email protected]
  • Please bring in minimal items from home. Whilst the weather and forecast remains clear and sunny, children do not need jumpers or coats. Children do not need to bring book bags, as books will not be sent home. Both Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree have a wide range of staged ebooks available free to parents.
  • Drinks bottles and lunch boxes will remain at the children’s allocated base throughout the day.
  • If a child displays of the above symptoms in school they will need to be picked up promptly from the front office.

We have set up the classrooms to allow for social distancing as can be seen below. We will try to keep things as normal as possible for the children. Learning will be set online and this will also be used for the children in the classrooms so that those at home will continue to get the same learning available.  

Many thanks for your on-going support and patience.

E-mail sent out on the 19th May

Dear Parents,

Thank you for your patience and ongoing support. The governors, staff and I have been seeking ways to best support your children throughout this period and it continues to be an absolute delight to receive all of the wonderful photos you have sent in of learning and exploring. We are grateful for all of your efforts.

Since the announcement that schools should re-open on the 1st June, we have been striving to make the best preparations that we possibly can and these plans are on-going. We remain hopeful that we can be ready for the 1st June, but must do everything to ensure that the school is as safe as can be. This will depend on anticipated numbers to some extent. We have been advised that we must prepare as if all children in reception, year 1 and year 6 will be returning and to strongly encourage parents of those eligible to take up their places. However, as things stand, there is little evidence available to rely on to ensure safety and strategies outlined in government guidance, whilst they make sense in terms of the science for limiting the spread of a virus, have not been modelled to determine how effective they might be and whether they can be achieved. We have carefully planned and considered measures, assessed the risks and sought to minimise those risks in line with government guidance, but we cannot make any guarantee as to how children will behave and therefore those measures will only be as effective as we can collectively achieve within our capacity and with unpredictable behaviour of children, particularly those who are younger. Many of these measures go against the principles of early years education and may prove difficult to enforce.

Children of key working parents and vulnerable children will continue to be welcome in school and will be allocated to a bubble with children of a similar age either with Wrens or year 6. Our hope is that after school provision will be available until 4.30pm. Obviously, if demand for this is significant, we may have to reconsider as staffing will not permit us to have lots of separate bubbles for this period. We will begin charging for this at the Abberley Acorns rate of £3.00 for those who stay on in school.

Our risk assessment has been planned on the basis that we will have up to forty children in school; four groups of ten bubbles. Provision may have to be reduced or alternative arrangements made, if staff are required to self-isolate or become ill. At any point, if demand for places goes above the capacity, priority for places will be allocated in the following order: Vulnerable pupils - children of key workers – reception pupils – year 1 pupils – year 6 pupils.

Initially Abberley Acorns will be able to accommodate up to ten pupils. However, we will need to ensure that these pupils come from the same in school bubble. This might prove a significant challenge if we have large demand from parents with pupils of a wide range of ages. Therefore Acorns provision will follow the same priority order if demand goes beyond the capacity of the provision: Vulnerable pupils - children of key workers – reception pupils  – year 1 pupils – year 6 pupils.

Summary of measures to be adopted

  • Pupils will be grouped in small bubbles (in the first two week block, bubbles will be a maximum of ten pupils).
  • Each pupil will have an allocated classroom which they will be based in with the same member of staff for the week. It is unlikely that this will be their usual class teacher.
  • Each bubble will have an allocated toilet area and bubbles will not socially mix.
  • Outdoor learning will be encouraged and each bubble will have an allocated outdoor space and field space.
  • Packed lunches will be provided for Wrens (you may choose to send in your own lunch if preferred). Year 6 will need to bring in their own sealed packed lunch box which will be stored in a clean, allocated space. Where possible, pupils should not bring coats into school.
  • Children will be allocated a plastic wallet which contains required stationery. Wrens children will have an allocated tray on their desk, which will contain other items for learning such as counters and phonics/word/number cards. They may also have a small set of construction objects or something of this sort. Resources will not be shared between pupils within a week period including any hard toys.
  • Hand washing will take place at regular intervals and certainly before and after break periods and lunch periods. This will be overseen by a member of staff.
  • Children will be expected to maintain social distancing where possible.
  • Each work space will be thoroughly cleaned every evening. Touch points will be minimised and regularly cleaned.
  • Hand sanitiser and tissues will be readily available and disposed of in a way that minimises the spread of any germs.
  • All children over five are now eligible for a test if any symptoms are displayed, including a loss of taste and smell.
  • Entrance routes to school will be adapted and drops off points for children. Children will not be required to move through the school building whatsoever (being based in the KS1 classrooms, mobile and Merlins).
  • Parents and carers will not be permitted onto the school grounds unless absolutely essential. The office is unlikely to be staffed at all points throughout the day.
  • We will ask parents to be incredibly vigilant with regards to identifying symptoms. Children displaying any symptoms should not be in school until they have received a negative test result or have self-isolated for the correct period.

The government have talked in briefings about children returning to classes. However, I want to make it clear that children will not be in classes and we do not have the staffing capacity whilst running these measures to teach, plan activities and events, hold clubs and a wide range of activities in the same way as we did before the lockdown came into place. Children will not be mixing beyond their allocated bubble and teachers will do their best to support learning whilst maintaining as much social distancing as possible. However, these increased measures increase the workload and demand on all staff, so the support available for learning will also be less than was in place prior to the lockdown. The learning that is followed in school, will be exactly the same as the learning we continue to set on the website. Whilst we recognise some parents need the childcare and others are keen for children to return, we do not yet understand the detrimental impact that some of these measures may have on children’s well-being. For those that do return to school, we will seek to minimise these where possible and make returning to school a positive experience. We have missed being with your children and helping them learn and grow on a daily basis.

To help us further prepare, please could all parents of children in reception, year 1 and year 6 and those parents who are key workers who require child care, complete the survey for their child before Midday on Friday 22nd May. Please could parents complete this once per child, so that we get an accurate picture of numbers. The survey relates purely to the first two weeks running from 1st June to 15th June. My intention is to survey parents again leading up to the 15th June as I am very aware that this is a rapidly changing situation and circumstances may have changed by this date.

E-mail sent out Thursday 19th March 13:05

Dear Parents,

We are prepared to keep school open and provide provision for the children of key workers (those who are required to work to keep the country functioning) and those whose children have an EHCP. Government recommendations are that the majority of children will and should isolate.

We have a plan to open school from 8.30am until 4.30pm Monday to Friday through the next four weeks, including what would have been the Easter holiday period, excluding Good Friday and Easter Monday, if there is a need from key working parents.

Children, who come to school, will be expected to complete work set on the website during the mornings with some support from a member of staff. We plan to have two members of staff on site, one of which will be first aid trained. Following this, children spend as much time as possible outside exploring, reading, artwork and playing games which require as little close contact as possible. Pupils in school will require a packed lunch, snack and drink. School uniform will not be required. Work will not be set during what would have been the Easter holidays.

Should staffing challenges increase due to sickness or the need to self-isolate we will have to adapt this provision. Before the 20th April we will evaluate the situation and communicate updates to this provision.

If you require this provision please respond to this e-mail outlining whether it is sufficient, what your requirements are and why it is required by 12pm tomorrow (Friday 20th March). If we do not hear from you, we will assume that childcare provision is not required for your child/children.