Millfield Primary School

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Autumn Term 2020

7 July 2020 (by admin)

A further update for parents / carers about the arrangements we are making to welcome pupils back to our school in September 2020.

As a school we are currently preparing for all pupils to return to school in September.

From the Department for Education (updated 2nd July 2020):

The prevalence of coronavirus (COVID-19) has decreased since schools and colleges restricted their opening to most pupils in March, the NHS Test and Trace system is up and running and we understand more about the measures that need to be in place to create safer environments in schools. As a result, the government has asked schools and colleges to plan for all children and young people to return from the start of the new academic year.

The scientific evidence shows that coronavirus (COVID-19) presents a much lower risk to children than adults of becoming severely ill, and there is no evidence that children transmit the disease any more than adults. Of course, there will still be risks while coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, and that is why schools and colleges will be asked to put in place a range of protective measures

As stated above in order to reopen to pupils the government has instructed us to put in place a range of protective measures in order to effectively manage the risks of COVID-19 that remain.  This will mean that school will be different when pupils return for the new academic year.

The restricted size of our school site and building will make it particularly challenging for us to introduce and manage some of these protective measures and we will require your support in helping us implement and follow these approaches as well as by asking you to follow the advice of the wider public health advice and guidance.

We will need to introduce staggered start and finish times across the school in order to reduce congestion at the school gates in order to minimise contact and maintain distance.

We will also have to insist that parents / carers do not enter the school building to speak to office staff unless it is urgent – this again will be to reduce congestion and allow the maintaining of distance between individuals.

One of our biggest challenges will be to manage lunchtimes to ensure that year group ‘bubbles’ are kept apart as much as possible. We envisage for the first half term at least we will not be serving cooked school meals and instead our school kitchen will offer a range of packed school lunches to pupils.

Pupils will eat lunches in their classrooms rather than in the hall (apart from our EYFS children) and their time on the playground will need to be adapted and monitored.

In order to reduce contact within our school community we will not be able to hold assemblies for the foreseeable future and, until guidance changes, school events such as Harvest Festival celebrations will need to be adapted or put on hold.

We will also be ensuring everyone at the school cleans their hands more often than usual, including when they arrive at school, when they return from breaks, and before and after eating - this will be done with soap and running water or hand sanitiser.

We will also need in line with government guidance – to make changes to our classroom organisation. Pupils will need to sit in rows facing the front in order to reduce face to face contact with each other and they will need where possible to maintain distance from the adults in their classrooms and vice versa.

As soon as we have confirmed arrangements for September for our school we will inform parents / carers.

The school pupils and parents / carers return to in September will be different from the school that most pupils left in March – but in many ways it will be the same as we continue to focus on teaching and learning and ensuring that all our pupils make the best possible progress and achieve at the highest possible level.