21st May 2020 -Executive Headteacher Update

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21st May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

Weekly Covid-19 update – Week Five Summer Term

I hope you and your families are all well and safe as we continue to face the lockdown and social distancing.

At the start of the last week, the Prime Minister said that a phased return to school would begin in June with pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, if infection rates and the Government's other tests at the time allow it.

I want to reassure everyone that what we do as a school will be in the best interests of the children, parents and the staff.  

May Half Term – School is Closed

To prepare for any changes to the school environment and working practices including conducting a thorough deep clean on both sites, the school will be CLOSED from 25th May – 29th May during the May half-term holiday.

The school office will also be closed.

Please send your enquiries to our email address: enquiries@claycots.com

Key Worker Children, Vulnerable Children and EHCP Children

(Town Hall Campus open and Britwell Campus open)

From the 1st of June, Key Worker children, Vulnerable children and EHCP children will be able to attend their own campus on a daily basis from 8.30am to 3.00pm for the REST of the Summer Term.

Town Hall - Those Town Hall Campus parents who wish to send their children (either Key Worker, Vulnerable or EHCP) to the Town Hall site should email the school enquiries@claycots.com  or phone on 01753 531415 stating which days they would like their children to attend for the week beginning the 1st -5th June. Parents should now drop off their children at 8.30am and enter the school site from the Bath Road and proceed to the grey side door. The children will be dismissed from the grey doors at 3.00pm.

Britwell - Those Britwell Campus parents who wish to send their children (either Key Worker, Vulnerable or EHCP) should email the school enquiries@claycots.com  or phone 01753 521215 stating which days they would like their children to attend the Britwell for the week beginning the 1st -5th June. Parents should now drop off their children at 8.30am and enter the school site from the main gate and proceed to the hall. The children will be dismissed from the main hall at 3.00pm.

All children should now wear their school uniform, bring a packed lunch (from the 1st June to 5th June) and a large water bottle as drink fountains are out of use.

What about other children returning to school? When will they return?

At this moment in time, it is still unclear whether all schools will be re-opening for children in Year N, R, 1 and 6 on the 1st June. The school and parents await further updates from the Government. It is likely that we may get further guidance and clarity during the half term holidays about whether it is safe to reopen the school for large groups of children based on the Government’s five tests.

Please note that the plans outlined below are subject to change and we may need to change these plans based on Government guidance or requirements. The school would like to reassure parents that we have looked at the DfE guidance, and believe that our approach will give confidence to our staff, parents and children to return.

The school needs to be totally confident that re-opening for different year groups is the right thing and the safe thing to do. The decision-making process should not be rushed or be reckless.

In the week beginning the 1st June we will contact parents in Years N, R and 1 on Monday 1st June and Tuesday 2nd June, and Year 6 parents on Thursday 4th June to establish which parents will be happy to send their children back to school either in the week beginning the 8th or 15th June.

When the office staff phone you during this week we ask that you register your child and indicate that they are definitely coming back when the school re-opens for this year group. Only parents who say, ’Yes’ for their child returning will have their child accepted to the register. Once again, we need to be absolutely sure of numbers to ensure we can accommodate the children.

If you do not say, ‘Yes’ then we ask that you consider when you believe your child will return BUT please do not turn up at school without registering your child first giving the school a week’s notice. Each and every week we will continue to contact parents of children in N, R, 1 and 6 who are not attending school and ask whether they will return for the following week. This will help plan for each and every week on the phased re-opening.

This will help the school plan effectively and ensure that the Key Worker Groups and the year N, R, 1 and 6 cohorts can be accommodated safely.

The school is planning to include the following Health and Safety measures into our risk assessment based on the DfE guidance:

  • Small size classes (no more than 15 in a group)
  • The same staff will stay with the group or bubble
  • Staggered times for entry into school
  • Staggered time for play
  • Only one or two year groups on site in any one day- Children will attend for 2 days a week only
  • A thorough deep clean will take place on Wednesday and Friday afternoon.
  • Children will be provided with a hot dinner from the 8th June, and therefore should not bring a packed lunch to school or other items such as a pencil case.
  • Key Worker Children will be accommodated in another area of the school.
  • Parents will be dropping the children off at the gates.
  • Temperatures checks for all children as children enter the school

Year N and Year 6 children

The school is making plans to re-open the school for some year groups from the week beginning 8th June. At this stage the school is LIKELY to reopen the school for the Nursery children and the Year 6 children.

In the week beginning the 8th June, if leaders are confident then we plan to reopen the school as follows:

Nursery children will attend on Monday 8th June and Tuesday 9th June. (9.15am-2.15pm)

Year 6 children will attend on Thursday 11th June and Friday 12th June. (9.30am -2.30pm)

Further details and updates will be given out in the week beginning the 1st June for the Nursery and Year 6 parents.

Year R and Year 1 children

If we believe that we can accommodate more year groups i.e. Year R and Year 1 in the following week (week beginning 15th June) we will communicate this to parents as soon as practicably possible.

Other Year groups

At this stage priority will be given to Years N, R, 1 and 6.

Based on the current guidance, it is difficult to anticipate when the Years 2, 3, 4 & 5 can return to school.

We will take small steps each week and re-evaluate the situation on a weekly basis.

I understand how difficult this must be for parents with so much uncertainty around when your child will return, but I want all the facts and I want to explore the options before making the right decision for our loved ones and our community. These are difficult decisions and I hope parents will understand the seriousness and importance of the situation if we do not get this right.

Contact with families and children

Study packs will be updated for all Year Groups on Monday 1st June. There will be no study packs over half term holiday. Study packs will continue to be updated every week from the 1st June.

Twitter updates can be found at @ClaycotsSchool and general email enquiries should be sent to: enquiries@claycots.com

Free School Meal Vouchers – Edenred Vouchers

All families who are entitled to Free School Meal Edenred vouchers will receive their voucher next week or the following week. The £30 voucher for every FSM child covers the weeks beginning the 25th May and 1st June

Wishing all of our members of the Claycots community the very best at this difficult time.

Best wishes and take care,

Andrew Griffin

Executive Headteacher