Friday 17th July 2020
RE: The return to school for all pupils at the beginning of the Autumn term following the school’s partial closure due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
I am writing to inform you of the steps Christ the King will be taking to fully re-open to all pupils this September and share what you need to know to help your child prepare for their return to school in the new academic year.
We understand that the return to school is vital for your child’s education and wellbeing; therefore, we will ensure that all pupils can return in the Autumn term and do so as safely as possible. That said, we are still not at the point where we can guarantee this. While the risk to children becoming severely unwell due to coronavirus is considered to be low, we will continue to put social distancing and infection control measures in place, as much as practically possible, to help keep all members of our school community safe. However, any localised spike or other COVID-19 related issues may stall a return to school in the way outlined in this letter. If this is the case, you will be informed as possible.
When the school will reopen
At the point in writing this, the school will re-open fully to pupils in Year 1 to 6 on Thursday 3rd September. Any previous arrangements to limit school places during the coronavirus pandemic will no longer be in effect. Nursery/Reception children will return at a later date, as indicated in the recent letters sent home to parents/carers.
Attendance for all pupils is mandatory from the beginning of the Autumn term, so ALL children in Years 1-6 will be expected to return, including pupils who have, up to this point, been advised to shield at home. Parents should contact us as soon as possible if there are any concerns about this.
Getting to school
The school will be making alterations to the start and end of day routines until further notice, to allow for effective social distancing and infection control. We ask that only one parent drops/picks up to reduce congestion, and does not congregate in groups outside of school. (This practice has been operating very successfully with the returning pupils/key worker children in recent weeks). At afternoon dismissal, please pick up your child(ren) on time at the relevant collection point and leave immediately to minimise contact with others. Staff will not be able to stand and chat – but can receive urgent messages/questions and get back to you as soon as possible.
Please see below for information on when we expect groups of pupils to arrive at school and when they should be picked up.
All pupils in Years 1-6 return to school between 8.30-8.40am through main car park entrance OR lower entrance on Danesbury Crescent.
School finish times:
KS1 (Years 1 and 2) – finish at 2.55pm – pick up from main car park entrance/exit
KS2 (Years 3-6) – finish at 3.05pm – pick up from main car park entrance/exit gate
Please ensure your child(ren) is not late, to avoid unnecessary ‘bubble’ mixing and to ensure lessons start promptly and with minimal interruptions- this is absolutely necessary for children to ‘catch up’ on missed learning.
Infection control and social distancing measures as of September
It is important that we maintain proportionate infection control and social distancing measures when we welcome back all pupils and staff from the start of the autumn term. To ensure everyone’s safety, we will be enforcing the following as part of our risk management plan:
Should any of the above protective measures change at any time, including the need to close the school due to a local lockdown, we will contact you via email as soon as possible.
If your child becomes unwell
If your child becomes unwell at school and develops a new, continuous cough, a high temperature, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of smell or taste, they will be sent home immediately. They will be told to self-isolate within the school and supervised, as necessary, until they can be collected. The school will contact you via telephone as soon as possible should your child need to go home.
If we do not have your up-to-date contact details, please contact the school office as soon as possible to notify us of any changes-it is imperative that we can contact you at all times.
If your child becomes unwell at home and is presenting with symptoms of coronavirus (listed above), we ask that your child does not attend school and instead stays at home for the next seven days or until they test negative for coronavirus. We encourage all parents whose child is presenting with coronavirus symptoms to get their child tested and, where required, their family.
Please contact the school office via telephone before 8:30am to notify us that your child will not be attending. We also ask that you notify the school office as soon as possible with the results of any coronavirus tests your child has undertaken.
If teachers get sick with COVID, classes will close for 7 – 14 days, so it is in everyone’s interest to keep the staff as healthy as possible!
How pupils will be grouped
Consistent groups will be enforced when pupils return to school at the start of the autumn term. We aim for this arrangement to help reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission by limiting the number of people pupils encounter throughout the school day. Enforcing strict group arrangements will also help us reduce the number of people who will be asked to self-isolate should a member of the group become ill with coronavirus.
From September, pupils will be grouped using year groups until further notice. Groups will not be permitted to mix any other year groups at this time, including during breaktimes and lunchtimes. We will continually review the effectiveness of enforcing these groups, as we understand this arrangement may present educational and logistical challenges.
Should any of the above group arrangements change at any time, the school will notify you via email as soon as possible, as this may affect your child’s arrival and departure times.
We understand that some pupils may find this transition back into school and a new routine challenging or stressful; however, we are committed to supporting each individual pupil fully as they return to school and will spend dedicated time to assess and identify any need for additional support for those that need it. Please be assured that we are committed to helping all pupils settle back and stay safe as best we can and will be working with your child to help encourage good hand and respiratory hygiene and social distancing practices.
As usual, behaviour at Christ the King is expected to be nothing short of outstanding. Should this, for any reason, turn out not to be the case, the school reserves the right to sanction all pupils (up to exclusion if necessary) for any deliberate attempt to spread COVID-19 to staff or pupils or to intimidate staff with the threat of the spread of COVID-19 through touching, biting, coughing or any other attempt at wilful bodily fluid exchange. We trust we will have parents/carers support in this matter.
Upon returning to school, the first two weeks will be used to ease pupils back into a routine, along with addressing any worries/issues that have arisen as a result of the current situation. We will also assess the children in order to put a plan in place to begin to narrow the gaps created as a result of them being unable to attend school.
We will continue to teach a broad curriculum with all National Curriculum subjects and a fairly normal timetable – we do not believe that pupils will benefit from a reduced scope curriculum that deprives them of the subjects they enjoy or have talents in.
If and when we receive any additional funding from central government we will use this to maximise learning opportunities for all children.
As usual, we seek your support in all matters concerning your child(ren)'s education and ask that you continue the excellent role you have exhibited as your child(ren)'s principle teacher throughout this pandemic – ensuring that they access a set amount of learning on a daily basis. Please continue with this throughout the summer – and again when we return in September…your hard work will be rewarded.
The school kitchen will be fully open from the start of the autumn term and will serve both hot and cold food. Free school meals (FSM) will be provided as normal.
Pupils will be asked to remain in their designated year groups at lunchtime and will eat their lunches in the school canteen, although routines will be slightly changed, to include infection control and enforcement of social distancing measures and we ask that pupils do not share food, utensils, or cups at this time.
From the start of the autumn term, the school will resume any non-residential educational visits within the locality that do not require transport; however, overnight visits will not take place until further notice. Protective measures will apply to all permitted educational visits, e.g. pupils will remain in their groups.
School after school clubs
Please note that all after school clubs have been suspended for the first half term – to be reviewed in autumn 2 alongside government advice.
Before/after school club
From September we are hopeful that there will continue to be before/after school provision, provided by Mrs Barr (guidelines allowing - to be confirmed).
If you are interested in securing a place for your child(ren) please contact Mrs J Barr
firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07984546772.
Places will be given on a first come, first serve basis along with a monthly payment upfront.
Please note: any outstanding monies owing to Mrs Hollinsworth from this year must be paid in order to qualify for a place in September.
The school expects all pupils to wear school uniform from the beginning of the autumn term – pupils’ compliance will be managed in line with the School Uniform Policy.
Pupils are expected to wear their full PE kit on their allocated PE days.
Bags and Water Bottles
Large bags/rucksacks are no longer allowed. All pupils will need a Christ the King Reading Book Bag, clearly named.
Lunch is to be brought to school in a plastic wipe-able lunch bag, clearly named.
Pupils in all classes need a water bottle every day, clearly named and containing fresh water only – no squash/juice/fizzy drinks. Bottles must be taken home every night and washed and then brought back, filled with fresh water, each day. We will not have disposable cups available.
As is usual practice, in order to safeguard them as much as possible, pupils are discouraged from bringing mobile phones into school until the summer term of Year 6 - when they are preparing for the transition to secondary school. If it is absolutely necessary for them to walk home alone from September, they must have a letter from their parent/carer giving consent for this to take place and taking responsibility.
These pupils are allowed to bring a mobile phone to school to allow contact with a family member as they walk home. Parents should consider the risks associated with carrying and using phones. These phones must have internet switched off and not be used by the pupil from the time they arrive at the school gate. Phones will be switched off and handed to a member of staff on the gate on arrival, to be stored safely in the school office. Phones can be collected at the end of the school day.
I would like to thank you for your continued hard work and co-operation during the coronavirus pandemic, and assure you, that although we cannot guarantee anything, we are committed to supporting you and your child as they transition back into a familiar school routine in September. But as with anything we ask for your total support.
As always, you are all in our prayers - we hope you and your family remain safe and well and look forward to seeing you again in September.