Below is the letter sent to families on 21st May 2020 regarding the reopening of the school. A pdf version of the letter can be viewed and downloaded here.
RE: Potential Reopening of the Wider School from the 1st June
I am writing to update you on our plans for the potential reopening of the wider school to key year groups should we be asked to do so on the 1st June. It is likely that the Government will be making a final statement towards the end of the half term holiday and as such, our plans may need to be reviewed.
Safety of our Community
In order to reopen the school and to ensure the safety of all children, staff and parents we have conducted a comprehensive risk assessment covering all aspects and logistics of school life. From this, we have made the decision to open firstly for Year 1 and Year 6 children commencing from 1 st June and will look to open for Nursery and Reception children later in the term.
The rationale for this phased reopening is because of safety and that alone. With the best will in the world, it would be difficult to ensure, with the current levels of staffing available to us and the size of our classrooms, that the children can be spaced at least 2 metres apart in the classroom spaces. This has always been my main concern and by implementing a phased opening model this allows us to ensure that there are no more than 10 children per group and that they can be seated at the recommended distance of 2 metres. In addition, with less year groups returning, this allows us to leave empty classrooms between each group to further ensure good social distancing.
Please note, we have tried to match the available staff to familiar year groups but there is a strong possibility that your child will not be in their usual classroom or that they will be with the teacher they were with before the closure of the school. Once the children have been grouped it is anticipated that they will remain in these same groups, with the same adult, until the end of the term.
If your child is clinically extremely vulnerable, or living with someone who is in this group, they should not come back to school and should continue home learning. If your child is clinically vulnerable (but not clinically extremely vulnerable), you should follow medical advice to decide if they should come back to school. Please refer to the government guidance below for further details of these groups.
This decision has been taken after much discussion with the Local Authority, consultation with the Government’s latest advice and guidance and ongoing consultation with the Teaching and Support staff unions who are rightly concerned for their members’ safety. We have also consulted parents in these key year groups to gauge potential numbers of children who may be returning on the 1st June. All of this has helped us to make this decision and to get the school ready to receive many more children and adults from that date.
You may be aware of other schools’ decisions in Redbridge and surrounding boroughs, and it may appear that there are differences in approach to the reopening on 1st June. Decisions around reopening will be based on each individual school context depending largely on staff availability, number of learning spaces, size of rooms and the numbers of children who may be returning, all of which will vary vastly from school to school.
I feel that the only way we can ensure the social distancing measures are implemented correctly and to ensure that everybody can be kept as safe as possible, is by reopening as detailed above. As I have said all the way through this crisis the safety and well-being of this whole school community is my main and most pressing priority and I will not compromise on this now.
Key Worker Provision – Separate letter to be sent to families later today.
You will see that we have attached a set of parent safety protocols for families who will be sending their children back to school these have been devised with the safety of the whole community in mind. Measures will include changes to how and when children will be dropped off and collected. In addition, we are going to create ‘safe zones’ similar to those you may see at supermarkets which will be to ensure that the 2-metre distancing guidance can be applied, and these must not be compromised at any time. I must stress that you have a responsibility for observing these non-negotiable protocols and for ensuring that you observe the social distancing that we as a school have implemented.
On the first morning back the Leadership Team will be in the playground to welcome the children back and assist parents to follow the safety protocols and to ensure that all of the school community are kept safe at all times during the drop-off and collection times. Failure to comply with the safety protocols and the social distancing measures may result in us asking you not to send your children into school.
Protective Personal Equipment (PPE)
All school staff will be wearing PPE such as gloves and masks at the beginning and end of the school day, and some have asked to wear this during the school day, so please do not be alarmed or put off by this, and perhaps prepare the children (especially the youngest ones) for them to see their teachers dressed in this way. In turn, we will not be alarmed should you choose to wear this to drop off or collect your children and would support you doing this also.
Supporting Children Not Returning to School
As the school will be opening more widely, larger numbers of staff will be needed to provide face-to-face teaching at school. This means that from the 1st June we will be reviewing the way in which the remote learning is provided for children in the year groups who are not eligible to attend, and for those children in year groups who are eligible to attend but who themselves cannot. Further information will follow separately regarding this.
Children with an EHCP in Years 1 and 6 will also be permitted to attend school, however the safety and welfare of our children and staff must come first. For many of our children with an EHCP (in Year 1 and 6) we have made the decision to use the rainbow hub all day as we appreciate that they have missed a high level of learning over the lockdown period. It is our priority to ensure learning gaps are narrowed and teaching is adapted to the needs of the child, which can be done in the hub. However, although we strive to meet the needs of all children it is important to note the safety of our children and staffs is our priority. Therefore;
- Your child will be likely to work in a small group with one adult as opposed to working on a 1-1 basis with adult.
- Your child may spend their day in the Rainbow Hub with other children with additional needs to ensure there is higher staff to child ratio.
- Your child may not be working with their familiar adult.
- As government guidance states we endeavour to keep children 2m apart.
- Your child’s specialised programme (OT, SALT etc) may be not delivered in the way described EHCP
- If your child soils themselves, you will be asked to come in and change them
Next Steps for Families
I appreciate that this letter contains a great deal of information and you will need time to read and discuss together as a family. It would help us enormously if you were able to complete and return the google form to indicate your current decision around your child returning to school. (a link will be sent today to Year 1 and Year 6 families ONLY).
It is clear that the decision to reopen schools has been met with mixed feelings from parents and indeed the education community. As a Headteacher and parent, I fully appreciate these concerns and acknowledge that the decision to send your child back to school at this time is a decision that must be taken by each individual family with thought and care. We will respect all decisions made by our families. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your support, cooperation and patience at this very difficult time for all of us. I would also like to thank my staff who have all come in on a regular basis not only to keep the key worker group going but also to assist the leadership of the school to get the school ready to open on 1st June. Their dedication as well as those of my staff who have had to shield and work from home, knows no bounds and I am very proud to lead such a committed bunch of people.
If anything should change in the meantime, in relation to either Local or Central government guidance, I will endeavour to share this with families.
Mr Steve Davies
At Redbridge Primary School the safety of our children, staff and parent community is of paramount importance .We have been working hard to create a strategic plan therefore, we will use a range of protective measures to create a safer environment for us all. We strongly advise that parents must adhere to the following protocols to ensure that the safety of children, staff and parent community is maintained. Should any parents fail to comply with these protocols we reserve the right to ask you not to send your child in to school.
- Parents and children are to enter the premises through one designated gate (KS1) (Ridgway Gardens entrance) and exit through another designated gate (KS2) in College Gardens. We are staggering the start and end times of the school day to avoid large amounts of people on the school premises at a given time.
- At the start of the day and end of day, children in Year 1 will enter and leave the school through the patio doors within KS1 and parents will be expected to wait at the marked boundary on the patio.
- At the start of the day, children in Year 6 will enter the school building through the current external Year 6 doors (next to the Year 2 patios and KS2 Playground). All classes will have very clear signage to show where they enter.
- At the end of the day children in Year 6 will be dismissed through the KS2 Playground. The children will be given a designated exit door at the end of the day to maintain social distancing. The children will line up on their set line as demarcated on the playground. Children will stand on the marker approximately 2m apart. The teacher will then dismiss the children to the parents. Parents must not approach the line of children.
- We ask you to think carefully about your journey into school, if possible avoid using public transport.
- Your child is to wear full uniform and we request that they wear trainers to school each day.
- Your child will not be permitted to bring in a book bag or PE kit to avoid transmission. Contact with your child/s teacher should be limited. If a conversation should take place, we ask this is at a safe distance of 2 metres, as advised by the government.
- To ensure you stay behind marked lines within the playground and patio areas in order to maintain social distance at all times.
- Communication with fellow parents within the school grounds should only be essential and should take place at a safe distance of 2m, as advised by the government.
- We would only arrange meetings if it is deemed as ‘necessary’, if you wish to meet with a member of staff please communicate this via the main office and a member of the senior leadership team will make arrangements.
- There will be no parent workshops held on school site during the second half of the summer term.
- There will be no parent consultation meetings this term and your child will receive their end of year report in July.
- No clubs including the breakfast and after school club will operate during this period.
- Children will not be allowed to be taken home for home dinners and we request that parents choose either packed lunch or school dinner for whole week. This is to ensure that we have very clear and consistent numbers to protect both the children and the kitchen staff.
- Parents must ensure packed lunch boxes are wiped clean on a daily basis.
- There will be no summer fate this year or any other PTA activities until further notice.
IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ALL PARENTS TO ENSURE THAT THEY ARE FOLLOWING SOCIAL DISTANCING GUIDELINES WHILST ON SCHOOL GROUNDS.