Following the announcement from the Prime Minister on 10th May, and the subsequent guidance published by the Department for Education, Dartmouth Academy will be reopening to pupils in Primary as a gradual and phased response.
At the heart of these decisions will be one core principle:
To maximise the effectiveness of teaching and care for our pupils, whilst safeguarding the health and well-being of everyone onsite.
The guidance is clear that, although the target year groups are Reception, Year One and Year Six, schools must work within their staffing constraints to bring back whole year groups where possible, beginning with Reception, before extending to another year group.
Dartmouth Academy will be following this guidance, beginning with a reopening for pupils in Reception. Our intent is to support pupils and teachers to safely return to school by learning how to be in school under social-distancing measures.
Timeline of Reopening
From Tuesday 2nd June: school will begin for children in Reception. They will be able to attend school all week for a full school day.
From Monday 8th June: school will begin for children in Year One and Year Six. Pupils in Year One will be able to attend school all week. Pupils in Year Six will be in two separate groups, each group attending for two days per week (either Monday and Tuesday or Wednesday and Thursday)
Fridays: for all pupils, the school will close earlier at 12pm.
The School Day and Learning Environment
Groups or ‘Educational Bubbles’: Following the published guidance, pupils will be interacting and working only within groups or ‘educational bubbles’ of maximum fifteen pupils with one or two members of staff. Each ‘bubble’ will have a separate learning area, pick-up and drop-off times and zones (see below). Our intention is to restrict the number of interactions between groups.
Lunches: Children will be offered a limited catering option or you may choose to send them with a packed lunch.
Equipment: Children can only bring their coat and, if applicable, their lunchbox with them to school. All other equipment (e.g. stationary) will be provided through individual packs.
Hygiene: a detailed cleaning protocol and schedule will be implemented for all zones of the school site which are used, following the published guidance.
Uniform: pupils will be expected to wear school uniform though those in Year Six will not need to wear their blazer. It is recommended that uniform is washed regularly.
Social Distancing Code of Conduct
As part of the ‘Next Steps’, you will receive a copy of an updated Code of Conduct for behaviour in school which will outline how we will help children to practise social distancing and the instructions that need to be followed. If this is not followed, then pupils will not be permitted to return to school until a meeting has been arranged between parents/carers and a member of the Senior Leadership Team. There is a second attachment for you to read, from Dawn Stabb, and would like to draw your attention to the paragraph in which she states: It may not be possible for very young children and older children without capacity to follow instructions on social distancing and in this situation, we do not expect those individuals to attend.
Further information from school: before 1st June, you will receive detailed information and instructions for the gradual and phased reopening. This will include:
- Which group your child will be in (these will be named by colour)
- For pupils in Year Six only, what days your child will be in school
- Which staff members your child will be with
- Which learning space and zone your child will be using
- Instructions for drop-off and pick-up, including timings and zones
Action for parents: please complete this questionnaire (follow this link) by Monday 25th May to confirm whether you intend to send your child to school. If there are changes to your response after you have submitted and from 1st June, you will need to email email@example.com with at least 24 hours’ notice.
It is important to note that clinically vulnerable or shielded children will not be expected to attend, and those children who live with someone who is medically certified as clinically extremely vulnerable should attend only if they can follow social distancing. Children who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable) may attend.
The following link is for parents and contains further information about these categories: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-of-educational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers/reopening-schools-and-other-educational-settings-from-1-june#should-i-keep-my-child-at-home-if-they-have-an-underlying-health-condition-or-live-with-someone-in-a-clinically-vulnerable-group
How can I help my child prepare to return to school: we know that children will be feeling a range of emotions about returning to school, from excited to nervous. It will be helpful for them to hear about the information in this letter and be able to talk about it with you. It is especially important that children understand four key parts of the return to school:
- Practising regular, thorough handwashing (tunes like ‘Happy Birthday’ two times to help check the time spent!) after every activity or after coughing or sneezing
- Practising ‘Catch It, Kill It, Bin It’ when needing to cough or sneeze
- Being within one group and not interacting with other groups
- Practising social-distancing from other children and adults, staying 2m apart
If children come to school already familiar with these, this will help them with a confident return.
We hope to send out a video with greetings from the staff who will be working with the groups in school. Please watch this with your child. When you receive information about
which colour group your child will be in, please share this with them and help them begin to feel part of this ‘educational bubble’.
Thank you in advance for your support as we begin the gradual and phased reopening of the Academy. Please don’t hesitate to be in touch if we can help.