Firstly, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to you for the tremendous support we have received since we were asked to close the school to all pupils except for the children of key workers. In addition, your generous donations for the local food bank have been fantastic and much appreciated. The kindness and care for our community that has been shown in so many ways is really special and has brought great comfort in these challenging times.
We would also like to thank you for your patience in waiting for our response to the Prime Minister’s announcement that, if it is safe to do so, schools should start to return from 1st June. There will be further information from the Government at the end of the half term holiday about whether schools should proceed.
During the last week we have consulted with schools in our LTE, other local schools and taken account of the guidance from the Department of Education (DfE) and the Birmingham Authority, in seeking the best approach for Little Sutton Primary School. The guidance from the DfE has included information on group sizes, social distancing and health and safety measures, and this week we have received a comprehensive risk assessment to complete from the Local Authority.
As you will be aware the year groups which the Government have specified to return are Reception, Year 1 and Year 6. Our absolute priority in putting our plan together has been the health and safety of our pupils, families and staff. At Little Sutton we will operate a proposed phased return as follows:
Phase 1: 1st June
There will be an Increase in the number of children of key workers returning to school.
Preparation of the school site and staff training in the complex procedures necessary for the safe reopening of school. A deep clean of the school will take place.
Phase 2: Proposed date 8th June
Return of Reception and Year 6 pupils.
Phase 3: Proposed date 10th June
Return of Year 1 pupils.
This phased return will allow for the year groups to be settled back into school, giving time for Reception and Year 6 to understand the routines for hygiene and social distancing. It will also allow us to establish effective drop off and collection of pupils, helping to facilitate the smooth transition for Year 1.
Each Reception and Year 1 class will be divided into 2 groups, with a maximum of 15 pupils each. There will be a teacher with each class and a teaching assistant for at least every morning. Inevitably some of the children will have a different teacher to their usual one. Where this is the case, we will arrange for a teaching assistant familiar to them to be with the class. We have a fantastic staff team who always strive for the best for our children and I know they will give them the best possible care.
Year 6 will be divided into 4 groups with a maximum of 15 in each group. Each group of children will become a ‘family group’, with their designated teacher and teaching assistant. Once in place the family group will not change. The groups will not mix with each other in their year group, other year groups or the children of key workers. We will have staggered break times and lunchtimes to prevent family groups coming into contact with each other.
The staggered drop off and collection times will be as follows:
- 8.45am and 3.00pm
- 9.00am and 3.15pm
- 9.15am and 3.30pm
We will send you a personalised letter with further details of the times for your child and the class teacher they will be with.
There will be markings on the site to help with social distancing. It is essential that when you do drop off and collect your child, that you do not stop to socialise with other parents. That seems really harsh with our warm, friendly school family, but unfortunately it is a necessary measure during this period of time.
Friday afternoons – school closed
On Friday afternoons the school will close to all apart from the children of key workers to enable a deep clean. During this time the teachers will be planning work for the year groups not currently returning including Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 ready for the following week.
A detailed risk assessment will be in place with training for all staff so that this is rigorously adhered to. Social distancing of 2 metres is one of our biggest challenges. The children will find this really difficult, particularly our youngest children. By creating a ‘family group’ and keeping each group in a ‘bubble’ with minimum contact with other staff, not coming into contact with other children outside their group and strict hygiene measures, this will help to minimise risk.
We will be teaching the Early Years Curriculum in Reception and the National Curriculum for the rest of the children with catch up where needed. Therefore it is important that the children complete each full week, in line with Government guidance to avoid missing out on essential learning.
During half term we will not be setting any work for the children because the children need a rest and parents do too! However I would like to encourage children in Reception and Year 1 to watch and join in with our phonic videos on YouTube. Our teachers will be back doing the lessons that week. Work will be uploaded to the website ready for the first week back after half term for all year groups. By then we will have received further information from the Government and we will be in a position to confirm the arrangements for our school.
It will be lovely to see the children back at school and we will continue to keep in contact with the year groups and children not yet returning. We look forward to the future when we can put this difficult time behind us and our school family are back together.
Mrs R Davis Mr M Griffiths
Headteacher Chair of Governors