Plans for the re-opening of Oasis Academy Foundry
Further to my message to you last week, survey and telephone calls to Nursery and Reception parents this week, I am writing to you today as a parent or carer with a child in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 or Year 6 with information about the preparations we are making for the gradual return of pupils to the Academy next month.
The Government would like children of your child’s age group to return to school from 1st June, after the half-term holiday. This is in addition to the children who are able to attend now (children of key workers and other eligible children). While our aim in writing to you is to provide you with as much clarity as possible about the reopening plans, of course, as things stand, we still do not know whether the Government will confirm its recommendation that schools should reopen from 1st June. This has always been dependent on the R factor but we have now been advised that this decision will be made next Thursday, 28th May. If you don’t hear from me, please assume that these arrangements stand. If however things change we will be in touch with you on Friday, 29th May.
We plan to open on Monday 1st June for your child in Nursery or Reception as discussed on the telephone. The re-opening will only happen if the Government and the medical experts say that it is safe to do so, and once we have made all the necessary arrangements to keep your child and our staff safe.
Our number one priority is the safety of your child, your family and of our staff. Since the lock down began, our colleagues at Oasis Academy’s across the country have remained open to provide childcare for the children of key workers and other eligible children. They have shown us that with care and sensible planning and strong teamwork the students in their care are as safe as can be at this time. Our plans will build on their successes.
The details below set out when we would like your child to attend the Academy together with the detailed arrangements we have put in place to ensure as high a degree of safety as possible. We will advise you individually of the entrance and time your child will be due to arrive at the school where we will take their temperature and it is in the normal range, they will be admitted to the premises. I would also like to remind you that there would be no school on Fridays to allow for thorough cleaning, and preparation.
We will only open the school on 1st June if the Government deems it as safe to do so and all our plans are in place. We will inform you if we are not opening on this date please keep an eye on our website.
Questions and feedback
I know that you will have many questions about returning to school and about how things will work in this ‘new normal’ environment. We understand that you will need to feel confident about the arrangements. To help address some of these questions I have provided a frequently asked questions document also over leaf along with this letter. If you have further questions or concerns you would like addressed, please email: email@example.com
We will keep all aspects of our school preparations under review and take feedback from staff, parents and carers.
What do I need to do now?
We have already spoken to you on the telephone and discussed many concerns. You have indicated that you want your child to return to school as soon as it is open. The following will help your child understand what is happening:
- Train your child (if you haven’t already done so) to wash their hands with soap for 20 seconds
- Help your child to understand what 2 metres looks like and why it is important to keep that distance from others
- Be prepared to send your child into school in clean clothes, daily
- Talk to your child about working in small groups when they return to school and the reasons for it
- Discuss with your child that they may not be with their own teachers, but all staff are there to look after them and help them to feel safe and cared for
- Explain to your child that they will not be with all of their friends
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can you guarantee my child’s safety – No, this is an invisible virus. We have put control measures in place and followed government guidance, but we cannot guarantee anyone’s safety
- Do I have to send my child to school – No that is your choice. You need to decide what is the safest thing for you and your family
- Will I be fined for not sending my child to school – No the government has suspended all fining for the foreseeable time
- I want my children to socialise with others as they are missing their friends – sadly this will not be possible as social distancing guidance states that they must stay away from others and would be in very small groups. They will be encouraged to practise social distancing from that small group
- Will my child be in their normal classroom – not necessarily, only 5 children will be in their normal classroom, the rest of the children will be split into rooms right across the school including year 6 rooms and halls
- My child wants to see their teacher – their teacher may or may not be in school and would be allocated one small group. As a result, the other children would not be with their teacher
- Will the children and staff be expected to wear face masks – current guidance is that face coverings are not required however some staff may well be wearing PPE. Your child needs to be aware of this
- What if my child hurts themselves – if your child hurts themselves, staff will then wear full PPE to treat them. Your child needs to be aware of this
- What if my child gets sick – if your child gets sick then you will be called to collect them immediately. They will be isolated from the rest of the children until your arrival. They will then have to quarantine for 14 days. If it is corona like symptoms, then the rest of their group will also be sent home to quarantine for 14 days that includes staff members
- How will we pick up and drop off our child – children will be brought to an allocated gate. Government guidance is that only one adult brings the child to school to minimise the risk to other families. They will have their temperature tested, if raised – you will take your child home. If the temperature is ok, they will be let into the premises and guided to their group by school staff. You will have allotted times. For collection, you will need to arrive at the premises at your allotted time. Your child will be released to you from your allocated place
- Can my child bring things into school like book bags and toys – no your child does not need to bring anything from home as this can increase the risk of infection and cross contamination
- Does my child need to wear uniform – your child needs to wear clothes that can be washed and changed daily to reduce cross contamination. If this is their uniform that is great. It may be that their uniform no longer fits them in which case, they need to wear sensible, comfortable clothing that is changed or washed daily
- Does my child need to bring a water bottle with them – a cup of water will be provided and sterilised each night
- Can my child play with their friends at playtime and lunchtime – no they will need to stay with their small group and play on their own. There will be limited play equipment outside due to cross contamination risks and the inability to decontaminate certain items
- Will my child be learning outside – we will use the outdoor spaces as much as possible however we cannot control the British weather
- What learning will they be doing – the teachers will not be able to deliver the full curriculum as in the early years the vast majority is regarding socialisation, cooperation, building relationships and good learning habits. Staff will do their best to keep your child learning, but school will look very different
- Will my child lose their FSM vouchers if they return to school - We believe that the Government will continue to provide vouchers at this point to those in school but we don’t not know how long for. Our catering company Sodexo will provide lunch at school. Your children in Reception would receive a universal FSM as normal and when they return Year 1 pupils.
- My child has SEN needs, will these be catered for – we will try our best to cater for their needs however we cannot stray from the government social distancing guidance. Your child would not receive 1:1 support and may not have their full EHC targets provided for due to the safety restrictions. We want to keep your child as safe as possible. School will be a very different place to the one they left so they will need to be made aware of this
- What if my child misbehaves – if your child misbehaves and is unable to follow the social distancing guidance and instructions given to them by the teacher, you will be asked to collect your child as we cannot compromise the safety of others
- Can my child wear a face mask – government guidance is that these are not needed in school for your children and can become a contamination hazard as the government thinks that children are more likely to touch their face with a mask on. The current guidance is that they will need to wear one on public transport but that this is not worn in school.
- Can I speak to the office staff – if you have any questions or concerns then you can call the school office. Entry to the school office will be very limited and used only in emergencies
- I have medication for my child – if your child has regular medication, check that it is safe for your child to return to school. If so, that medication can be passed on to the member of staff on the school gate. Please make sure it is labelled with your child’s name and class
- I have other children at home in the other year groups the government has mentioned, can I bring them in – Sadly no, we are following government guidance and starting with our youngest children first. We would not be able to accommodate your other children at this point
- I now have to return to work, so I need my children in school - sadly the critical key worker list and definition has not changed. If you were attending school as a keyworker or vulnerable family prior to our complete lockdown then your children would be able to return, if you were not then I am afraid that you would not be able to bring them
- Will the school hours remain the same – starts to the school day will be staggered with the first group arriving at 9am. The end of the day for that first group will be approximately 2.30. You will be allotted a time
- Will my child be able to attend every day – at present we will be opening to Nursery and Reception children from Monday to Thursday.
- If the children are outside will they need sun lotion – Please apply sun lotion at home as you normally would. the children would be responsible for topping this up themselves during the school day dependent on the weather
- Will my child need their packed lunch – school meals will be provided free of charge for all KS1 children as normal, packed lunches from home are not needed
- What if I change my phone number – please make sure that you keep the school office up to date with any change in number, email or address. We will not be able to have your child on site if we cannot contact you
There is a lot of information here, but I wanted you to have the full detail of what we are doing to make the Academy safe and welcoming for our pupils. While it will be a little different to normal, we will of course take as long as it takes to introduce the changes to the children and make sure they are calm and happy when we welcome them back.
Thank you for taking our telephone calls and discussing this together.
For those parents who have informed us that their child will be attending: If having considered this further, you decide not to bring your child to school when we reopen please can you let us know not to expect them.
For those parents who said that they would not be bring their children to school: We completely respect and understand your decision. We are not expecting your child to join us when we reopen and have staffed the school accordingly.
Having considered the information in this letter and the FAQs, if you have no further questions or concerns you’d like to ask, please let us know by emailing the school: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you as ever for your patience and understanding during this time, and the support you are showing the team who are working exceptionally hard to do all they can for the pupils.
Oasis Academy Foundry