School closure update

Update from Somerville Federation: 26th February 2021.

 

 

Dear Parents and Carers,

 

This update follows on from my update earlier this week. I wish to confirm again that we will be reopening for all pupils from Monday 8th March. We are all keen to see the children back in school but for some of you we know that this may cause some anxiety.

 

In both schools, our disinfecting and hygiene regime will continue as before with lots of handwashing and use of hand sanitiser. A new risk assessment will be created and will be available on the Federation website. The children will continue to work in their class or year group bubbles and not mix with others. This will ensure that if there is an infection only a class and children attached to that class for interventions will need to be isolated. The majority of children will have their lunch in their own classroom to reduce mixing and having to move throughout the school building.

 

Our staff will sanitise high contact areas on a regular basis such as door handles to toilet areas etc.

 

We will continue with our start and finish times which were in place prior to Christmas at the Primary School. Gates will open from 8.45am until 8.55am please use the gates nearest to your child’s classroom for picking up and dropping off. Children can enter the classroom from the playground as soon as they arrive. Please do not congregate at the gates or on the playground, maintain SPACE and keep your distance from others, remember also to wear a mask if you coming onto school grounds or entering the office area.

 

Try to ensure that your child is not late for school otherwise they will have to enter one at a time through the main office area. It is really important that the children arrive promptly to ensure that we get back into a routine and ease children into their learning. Last term we experienced long queues for those children who were late arriving at school. This was extremely disruptive for the children as well as for their class. We are keen for the children to have as much learning time in school whilst ensuring your safety for collecting the children. Gates at the end of the school day will be open from 3.10pm. Please collect your youngest child first with older children being collected afterwards.

 

If your child has a place in breakfast or after school OTIS club, your child’s place is still secure from before Christmas. Please continue to use this service as you did previously, continuing to pay using ParentPay for any sessions you require.

 

Everyone has faced so many challenges over the last few months and it has been a really difficult time. Our thanks to those who tackled remote learning at home, your support is hugely appreciated.

 

Our top priorities for the children when they return will be to ensure first and foremost that they are safe and happy, then settling them into a routine, ensuring their mental health and wellbeing is supported, enabling them to be with their friends and then assessing their learning so that we can best support them moving forward and catching up, if and where needed. There has been lots of talk in the media about how children will catch up, but to reassure parents, in the autumn term we were amazed by the progress the children made. They returned with new enthusiasm for all things school related.

 

Procedures for track, trace and isolate remain in place. We therefore ask that if a child is unwell that they should remain at home until they feel better. If a family member, in the household, has a COVID test the child should remain at home until the test result is known. We have become very experienced in the last 12 months of track and tracing and have found that if a family member has COVID it is highly likely that the child also tests positive but the child is usually not showing any of the symptoms.

 

As we take tentative steps back to ‘normal’, it is important that we take time to reflect on what has been lost to date. We must all play our part and take responsibility in supporting our community for a safer future without lockdown and without restrictions.

 

We will be coordinating the return of iPads and Chromebooks from 8th March so that we can start using these in school, we will be in touch to let you know when we would like them returning. We will be keeping a small stock of these handy should a class need to isolate.

 

Free School meal vouchers will be issued for the last time on Monday 1st March. Please ensure that you have used the 16 digit code for your vouchers as soon as possible. The 16 digit code only lasts for one month. Once the codes expire we will not be able to reissue them. 10 families from the Primary School have missed out in using their code last week and one family from the Nursery School. £165 back to the government, last week, in expired vouchers. 22 codes expire in the next 7 days – a further £330 not to be used by our Parents. We have tried every method of contacting those affected again and again but with no success.

 

Staff at both schools have worked tirelessly since September and we look forward to seeing the children together again in just over a week’s time. We are most looking forward to seeing some of them on Thursday for World Book Day. Remember we are inviting the children to transform themselves into their favourite book character for the day, but we do not want you to make non-essential visits to buy costumes.  You may have an old costume at home to wear, or create your own costume e.g. you could make a cape out of a blanket or a pillow case.  You could use face paint to transform into the character or make a hat or mask.  Each class will be choosing their most creative character so please send your photos into school on Seesaw or Evidence Me. 

 

The weather is looking brighter and there are lots of things for all of us to look forward to in the weeks ahead.

 

Keep safe everyone and play your part!

 

 

Mr M J Forber

Executive Headteacher

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