Letters to Families
School Re-opening Information & Resources
As lockdown measures begin to ease and the school is now reopening to specific year groups, we wanted to give the children an opportunity to describe their experience over the last few months, as well as communicate how they are feeling, so we can take this into account, when planning ahead.
We will also be publishing further detail in the next newsletter.
Why aren't all the children coming back?
The DfE have based this on the need to reduce the rate of transmission of the virus. So have taken account of the need to reduce numbers returning as a gradual process and smaller groupings in classes can be maintained.
If one of my children is eligible to return can’t their sibling come back too?
Sadly, the answer to this is ‘no’. Siblings cannot attend unless they are in another of the selected year groups. This would raise the number of pupils attending the school.
I am worried that my child is vulnerable or that a family member is, should I send them back to school?
Children and young people who are considered extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should continue to shield and should not be expected to attend.
Clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) people are those considered to be at a higher risk of severe illness from coronavirus. A minority of children will fall into this category, and parents should follow medical advice if their child is in this category.
Children and young people who live in a household with someone who is extremely clinically vulnerable and shielding should only attend if stringent social distancing can be adhered to and the child or young person is able to understand and follow those instructions.
Children and young people who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not extremely clinically vulnerable) as defined in the social distancing guidance and including those who are pregnant, can attend. DFE May 2020
How do I know the school is going to be clean?
Deep cleans have already taken place over the past 9 weeks and another deep clean of the whole school will take place during half-term before more pupils return. We have increased our number of cleaners and they will continue to clean the school each morning and evening. At lunch time cleaners will now clean high-traffic areas such as toilets, handrails and keyboards, classroom surfaces throughout the day. Along with other extra sanitation products, we have purchased additional lidded bins for each classroom and these will be emptied at break time, lunch time and at the end of each day. Each classroom will have additional cleaning materials such as wipes should the adult feel a mid-session clean is necessary. All staff have been trained on hygiene awareness over the past week.
All windows and doors will be opened at 7am each day. Doors will be propped open to reduce contact with door handles.
How will you ensure increased safety?
Staff give regular reminders on when and how to wash hands. Staff currently supervise and insist on handwashing at key points of the day and this will continue. Hand washing is non-negotiable when entering the classroom; before and after leaving the classroom; after using the toilet; before breaks; at the end of breaks; before lunchtime and at the end of day. In every classroom there is a sink and soap dispensers throughout the school. If your child is sensitive to the soap, you may wish them to bring their own soap, moisturiser or hand sanitiser. Staff will remind children not to touch their eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands. Over the half term break, playground water fountains are being changed to hand washing stations. Children will be expected to wash their hands on entry to the school and prior to leaving.
Children will be reminded to cover their mouth and nose with a bent elbow, or use a tissue, when coughing or sneezing. If children sneeze or cough, they must wash their hands and use wipes to clean any equipment before handling again. There are posters around the school to remind pupils of expectations also.
What arrangements will be in place if a child or adult is unwell/showing symptoms of fever/cough?
If a child is unwell or needs First Aid, the Medical Room is not in use for non-Covid related sickness to reduce transmission. Instead staff will call the School Office, or if outside, an adult will go to the School Office to alert a First Aider. First Aiders will have available full PPE for when they are administering first aid. If the child or adult has suspected symptoms of the virus they will be isolated in the Medical Room until they go home. The family will need to have a test and self-isolate. If the test is positive, Public Health England will be notified and additional deep cleaning of the school will take place. If a member of staff or pupil is confirmed as having COVID-19, the school will follow Public Health Guidance and notify families.
We have supplies of PPE for first aiders and any staff coming into close contact with pupils. We have sanitiser, gloves, aprons, masks and eye protection available for any staff who wish to use PPE. As well as our own 2 month supply of PPE, Redbridge council have established a warehouse of extra PPE if needed by schools.
Does my child need to wear a uniform?
We would like all children to wear fresh school uniform each day. If you do not have a fresh white blouse or fresh pair of grey trousers for instance, please use your judgement. Children may wear a plain alternative that is similar to school uniform. Children should not wear a blazer as these cannot be washed each day. Both staff and children should trim nails short, remove rings, bracelets and watches. Arms should be bare below the elbow and long hair tied up.
What will happen if I don’t send my children back to school?
The Government’s guidance for parents makes clear that parents are strongly encouraged to send their child to school if they are eligible to attend. School is the best place for children to learn and for their mental wellbeing to have social interactions with their peers and teachers. However, no parent will be fined for non-attendance. Non-attendance will not be marked as absence. If a child has said they will be attending and then are ill or no longer wish to attend, they should inform the School Office via email or telephone.
What will the arrangements for the start and end of the day be?
Start of the day
Children and their parents are expected to try and maintain social distancing from those from other households while travelling to and from school. Children in years 5 (of critical workers) and 6 should be encouraged to walk to and from school on their own or with an adult from their household. If adults do bring children to school, only one parent should bring them and queue 2m apart along the path outside of school.
We plan to introduce a staggered start to minimise children and parents congregating around the school. It is important that pupils try to arrive punctually. Parents collecting a child should aim to avoid arriving at school early or staying late.
Only children will be allowed to enter the school grounds and only through the allocated entry point for each class. Children should arrive at the time allocated. This will be detailed over the coming days.
Staff will be available to show the children where to go in the first few days.
End of the day
Please come alone as far as possible, and wait 2m apart from other people, at the time and the area outlined in your letter detailing your entry and exit points.
What happens if I arrive late to collect my child?
If your child cannot walk home and is not collected by 3.40, they will wait in the playground 2m apart from other people. A member of staff will, at a distance supervise any child not collected. Please ensure that you collect your child on time.
How will parents be able to ask staff questions?
Parents are expected to phone and email rather than visit. Any visit to the school must be made via an appointment. Appointments will not be made at the start and end of the day to maximise social distancing. When visiting the School Office for an appointment, parents and visitors are to use the sanitiser and should remain within the marked out box in the reception area. The reception area can only accommodate one person at a time. If someone is already in the main office, parents should wait outside where it is clearly marked.
There will not be any face-to-face meetings with teachers.
How will you ensure children social distance?
Children, and staff where possible, will only mix in a small, consistent group and that small groups or ‘bubble’ will stay away from other people and groups. Brief, transitory contact, such as passing in a corridor, is considered a low risk however the school has adopted a one way system to reduce the likelihood of this further.
Each year group will be taught separately with up to 10 children per group – a social ‘bubble’.
Will my child be taught by their class teacher?
As bubbles will have only 10 children and some staff members are shielded, it is not possible for all children to be taught by their usual class teacher. The children will stay in the same group with the same staff. When groups move around the school, go to break or lunch, they will be accompanied by the same staff and each group will not mix with children from any other group. It is possible that a class teacher falls ill, in these circumstances, when children arrive at school, they will be told which new teacher they are working with for that week based on staffing levels.
Are before and after school clubs possible?
It will not be possible to offer Breakfast Club or any other before or after school clubs. All club’s money is in the process of being refunded.
How will you help children and staff adjust?
Live zoom meetings are being held the week before re-entry to school to support this process. When returned, teachers will explain routines and expectations. All staff will reassure children that they are safe, and we are there to keep them safe as well as teach them. We will focus on Personal, Social, Health Education and encourage open discussions around worries and feelings of being in school and away from families. We will structure the day – initially focussing on previous learning and retrieval in English and Maths in the mornings whilst ensuring our children have physical activity during the day. We will not be able to provide specialist teaching as it would mean staff would move from group to group and would involve sharing of resources and spaces.
What will the school do if children do not follow social distancing or otherwise breach hygiene or safety guidance?
Expectations of behaviour and rules will be clearly explained to children, along with reminders and highlighting models of good hygiene and attitude. Our Behaviour Expectations will also be shared with families. Children who, despite help and reminders, cannot follow safety guidance will be sent home.
How will we ensure safe access to fresh air outside of the classroom whilst ensuring pupils are a safe distance at break time?
We will have staggered break times and staggered PE sessions led by the teacher. The limited equipment that will be used by individuals will be thoroughly cleaned after use. Pupils will not share equipment. Children will not be allowed to play football. There will be no contact games and no celebratory contact made.
All windows and doors will be opened at 7am each day. Doors will be propped open to reduce contact with door handles.
How will my child be fed during the day?
Our caterers, ISS, are able to offer school dinners. We would like as many children as possible to have a school lunch, to provide healthy meals and keep our school meal service operating in the future. The servery area has 2m markings, the tables have been spaced out across the hall to allow more space between tables. Children will be spaced apart and only allowed to sit at a table with other children from their bubble. Tables and stools will be cleaned after each sitting. Table cloths have been removed to make cleaning easier. If you would prefer to send your child with a packed lunch, please ensure that food can be easily accessed as staff will not be able to support with the opening of packages.
Will my child need to bring their own water bottle each day?
The drinking fountains will be out of use. Every child should bring their own, named, bottle of water to be kept on their desk in the classroom. At the end of each day, water bottles must be taken home, otherwise they will be disposed of. Water at lunchtime will be provided for all children in a plastic cup that will be washed after they have used it.
How will classrooms be set up?
We have removed some furniture and desks are as far from each other as possible with only one child per desk. Each child will be provided with their own school stationery (pencil cases must not be brought to school) and exercise books. These will be kept in a tray on their desk. Children will stay in the same seat each day. Children can store lunchboxes under their tables and coats on the back of their chairs. No bags, belongings or reading books from home can be brought to school.
Videos Explaining Social Distancing
Please see video clips below that help explain social distancing for children.
Time to Come In, Bear: A Children's Story About Social Distancing
Written by Kim St. Lawrence Read by Ryan St. Lawrence Note from the author: No children's story should be written in a weekend, but I wanted to get this out ...
How to Explain Social Distancing to Kids
Check out more at-home resources for kids (and their grownups): https://www.kiwico.com/kids-at-home Missing out on normal activities is hard, but it's very i...
Grover and Social Distancing
As long time fans of Sesame Street, we thought that there would be no better way to spread some educational truth about staying safe during the COVID-19 outb...
“Stopping the spread of the coronavirus is everyone’s responsibility. Social distancing, washing hands and limiting time outside are all things we can do to protect ourselves and others. We also need to make sure our friends and family take this guidance seriously. The virus can live for 72 hours on metal and plastic surfaces. Taking exercise once a day is important. Walking, jogging or cycling, while ensuring you are 2-metres away from others, is good, but sitting in parks and meeting friends is not safe.
“Coronavirus has affected hundreds of people in Redbridge. Sadly no one is safe from the virus. Even young, healthy people have died as a result of it. Please follow the guidelines, urge families and friends to do the same, and stay safe.”
Update for parents: April 2020
22 April 2020 12:29
Help and support is always available for anyone suffering from domestic abuse during isolation in Redbridge. Find support at www.redbridge.gov.uk/reachout or call 999 if you are in immediate danger. ReachOut
Are you struggling to manage your behaviour and hurting a loved one? Learn how you can stop the abuse from happening by contacting ReachOut or find support in Redbridge at www.redbridge.gov.uk/reachout
Covid-19 Response – New Wellbeing Service for the most vulnerable people in Redbridge
Our community response
Following recent announcements by Government, London Borough of Redbridge have set up a new wellbeing service to help and support people at greatest risk from coronavirus in the borough.
The people who are at very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus (Covid-19) are those with an underlying health condition, and their family, friends and carers and those told to self-isolate,
Redbridge Local Authority Coronavirus Update to Schools - March 20th 2020
Thank you once again for your support during what is a highly unusual and unsettling period; thank you for your emails offering support to the school.
Unfortunately, the school cannot remain fully open, as the staffing levels would be neither sustainable nor adequate. As of 19/03/20, we have no alternative but to close the school for:
Please note, the school is likely to remain closed for the year groups for the foreseeable future. Please look at our website for on-going updates.
Please be assured that at the time of writing there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the Trust.
If you are an emergency worker - ie in the police, fire or work for the NHS and do not have alternative arrangements in the short term for your children, please notify the school and we will do our best to supervise them on 19/03/20.
There will be no sanctions applied to any families who decide to keep their Y 3, 4, 5 or 6 children at home during this unprecedented situation. We are following the revised guidance on attendance from the DfE.
Coronavirus Update 18/03/2020
We know that government are considering school closures. If this decision is made by the Government we will update you. We are currently trying to stay open because we fully understand the vital role our school plays in keeping you in work.
If you are in a position to have your children at home, we strongly urge you to do so.
Please see below the current guidance from the Local Authority regarding attendance:
- Where pupils are at home for self-isolation because they have symptoms or because they have family members at home with symptoms, this will be recorded as an authorised absence
- Where pupils are at home as a precautionary move from parents and where there is no evidence that this is related to symptoms for self-isolation, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence. Please note however that there will be no penalties/sanctions applied during these uncertain times.
If any pupil shows symptoms of persistent cough or temperature at school they should be in self isolation. Please note that this self-isolation period applies to all members of the household, for 14 days. If a child returns to school having been absent due to one the symptoms related to coronavirus, we will contact parents to take them home immediately.
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8 am to 6 pm (Monday to Friday)
Please note, they are currently experiencing high volumes of calls and apologise for any wait that you may experience. Your call will join a queue and we will answer as soon as possible.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information: