Dane Bank Avenue, Crewe, Cheshire CW2 8AD

01270 661526

admin@vinetree.cheshire.sch.uk

Vine Tree Primary School

Learn, Included, Respect, Enjoy, Treated Fairly

COVID-19 Information for Parents and Carers

Information For Parents and Carers
Information For Parents and Carers

As I am sure you are aware, schools began to reopen more widely on June 1st depending on their own circumstances and capacity. This followed considerable guidance from the DfE concerning necessary safety measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission.

With so many restrictions in place, schools are operating in a very different way to how they looked and felt prior to the lockdown situation. Unfortunately, it has not been possible to begin any of our transition arrangements that we would have normally done and despite remaining optimistic over recent weeks, we can now confirm we will be unable to do this prior to breaking up for the summer holiday on 17th July.

 You will also be aware from current media coverage that schools have been instructed to fully reopen in September to all year groups, and we have received some guidance from the Department for Education detailing the arrangements and practical changes that will be needed to make this possible.

 Therefore, we have needed to reflect deeply on these unprecedented challenges and consider a different approach to ensure that your child has the most secure, and relaxed start to the new academic year as possible. We also have to consider that the vast majority of children at our school will have had over 5 month’s absence. I believe that the children will need careful reintegration into school life and a period of readjustment. The school very much needs to build in a period of recovery for all our community.

Prevention

The following actions will need to be put into place:-

  • minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school
  • clean hands thoroughly and more often than usual
  • ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
  • introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products such as detergents and bleach
  • minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible

 

How will we endeavour to keep the children apart?

Each class will have their own ‘bubble’. Teachers should stay at the front of the class, and away from each other where possible.  All adults should maintain 2m distance from each other, and from children. We will still need to make small adaptations to the classroom to support distancing where possible. These will include seating pupils side by side and facing forwards, rather than face-to-face or side-on, and might include moving unnecessary furniture out of classrooms to make more space. Movement around the school will be kept to a minimum. We will be encouraging children to maintain distance as far as possible, however expecting children to be 2m apart at all times will be a challenge and we cannot guarantee it, this is an unreasonable expectation

 

Keeping the children in their class bubbles will attempt to ensure we can keep track of the potential spread of the virus and reduce the amount of mixing of larger groups of individuals. Class bubbles will have their own area of the playground, equipment and classroom. No other children will be allowed to mix with different bubbles other than their own.

What will school be like for my child?

School will be open between 8.45am and 3.00pm. We will stagger drop-off and collection times which means that some children will start later and finish earlier than they are used to. When dropping off parents must leave their children at the front gate, a member of staff will be on hand to watch them into school. On collection parents must wait in their allocated zones and the class will be brought out to you by their class teacher.

 

Drop off and collection times and zones for each class bubble will be as follows:-

Entrance / Exit

Year Group

Drop off time

 

Drop off

 

Collection time

Collection Point

Playground

Reception

8:45am

Playground – follow the one way system to exit

2:45pm

Playground Zone 1 (balloons flag)

Year 4

8:45am

2:45pm

Playground Zone 2 (stars flag)

Year 6

8:45am

2:45pm

Playground Zone 3 (apples flag)

Year 2

9:00am

Playground – follow the one way system to exit

3:00pm

Playground Zone 1 (balloons flag)

Year 3

9:00am

3:00pm

Playground Zone 2 (stars flag)

Year 5

9:00am

3:00pm

Playground Zone 3 (apples flag)

Tree House

Year 1

8:45am

Tree house rainbow gate

2:45pm

Tree house gate

Parents must keep to the above times. Being early or late will result in unnecessary risks being placed on our school community. Adhering to the specified times will also help to reduce congestion and queueing on Dane Bank Avenue. We also ask that only one parent drops off and picks up to avoid more numbers of adults coming to school. Finally, parents should not enter the building nor congregate outside the school gates.

We are sure you are all aware of the changes made by the Government on 9 September 2020 relating to the number of people who can meet together with effect from Monday, 14 September. In light of this change and to minimise the risk to individuals we feel that it is the right time for us to strongly request that all adults wear a face covering when dropping off or picking up children from school.

 

All children must remain with their parents at all times at drop off and collection and we ask that parents at drop off (children and parents at pick up) leave the school premises immediately in a socially distanced manner. Members of staff will be on duty outside at drop off and pick up times. Please be aware, staff are not available for face to face meetings with parents at this time. Staff will also keep a 2m distance from you and your child during this time.

 

The school office will be open for essential business only. Parents will not be able to use any of the school facilities, the school carpark (unless you are a blue badge holder) or enter the school building. If you need to speak to someone, please email admin@vinetree.cheshire.sch.uk and we will endeavour to ring you back as soon as possible.

 

The ‘Tree House’ breakfast and after school club will remain closed at this time, due to government guidance and due to the potential risk this would pose by mixing bubbles. We will constantly be assessing the risk associated with operating the Tree House and will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.

School uniform and PE kit

The guidance states that all schools should return to their usual uniform policies in the autumn term. Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal. Children are now allowed to take part in physical activity therefore PE will resume. However we are asking that all children come to school in their PE kit on their allocated day. The children will remain in their kit all day, therefore school uniform will not be required.

Lunchtimes

Lunch is to be eaten at the children’s desks in the classroom area. Lunch can be ordered from the school but at present we will not be able to serve the full hot lunch option. A modified hot and cold lunch menu is being devised and will be emailed out to you as soon as we have it. At present we will not be able to offer a snack at break and we ask you to send something with your child if they want a break time snack.

 

If your child is bringing their own packed lunch from home, please ensure all cartons and utensils are disposable. A lunch box is allowed, although a disposable bag is preferable, and your child must be able to open and access all the wrappings and seals.

 

Children are not to access the main building during lunch time and movement of the children will be tightly controlled so they remain in their bubbles throughout the lunchtime period either in their class or outside on the playground at their allocated time or on the field in their bubble zones.

 

The cost of a school lunches will rise in September to £2:30 per day / £11:50 per week. If you do not have the log in details for our online payment system please contact the office on admin@vinetree.cheshire.sch.uk

Additional steps to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission.

  • All desks are forward facing where children can sit side by side
  • All children with have their own pencil case with equipment in
  • All furniture not being used has been stored, including soft furnishings which cannot be cleaned.
  • Doors to be propped open to allow for ventilation and limit the use of door handles (where safe to do so bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding)
  • Windows will be opened across the school as soon as the school is open
  • Cloak rooms to be left empty and children to keep their coats on the back of chairs.
  • KS2 lockers will be out of bounds until the guidance changes on high congestion areas around school.
  • Children are discouraged from bringing anything from home that is unnecessary. Only their own individual water bottle, rinsed and refilled on a daily basis and coat will be required with a lunch box if they are not having a school meal.
  • NO Bags, Rucksacks, Book Bags, pencil cases, toys, show and tell allowed to be brought into school for now (everything that your child needs for learning will be provided including their very own individual set of stationery).
  • Classroom spaces will be accessed from a singular entrance and directly from outside
  • Children will not be allowed to use the corridors unaccompanied
  • Wedges to be used to keep doors open.
  • We are purchasing A4 wallets that the children can use to transport their reading book and reading journal to and from school.
  • PE kit does not need to be brought in as children will come to school in their PE kit on their PE days.
  • Children can bring a snacks to school, in disposable wrapping, which they can open on their own.
  • Playtimes will be staggered with each class bubble having their own zone on the playground – there will be no contact or coming together with any other pupils.
  • Unnecessary furniture will have to be removed from the learning environment to make more space.
  • We will be unable to: sing, have assembly, access the trim trail, gather (other than with the children in the designated ‘bubble’) or have any events.
  • Classroom-based resources, such as books and games, can be used and shared within the bubble; these will be cleaned regularly, along with all frequently touched surfaces.

What else will we be doing in school in an attempt to reduce the risk of spreading the virus?

The government do not expect staff to wear PPE. Despite this, all school staff will be provided with face masks, face shields, gloves and aprons. However, there are times where they will not need to wear PPE if they can maintain a safe distance of 2m. We will only require children to wear PPE such as a face mask if they present symptoms whilst we wait for a parent to collect them. Children will be supported with handwashing at regular intervals throughout the day. Individual hand sanitisers and sanitising wipes will also be available in all bubbles and throughout school.

Do I have to send my child into school?

The guidance states: “In March, when the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak was increasing, we made it clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school.”

Now the circumstances have changed and parents may be issued sanctions from September, including fines.

The guidance adds: “Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus. This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding."

However, it states: “A small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus."

 

What if my child is ill/shows symptoms at school?

The key message I need everyone to understand and adhere to in the school community is that if your child is under the weather or feeling poorly you should NOT (UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES) dose them up with Calpol or any other medicine and send them into school. Children should be kept off school if they are showing any signs of being under the weather or poorly with any COVID or non-COVID symptoms. If we all play our part over the course of the autumn period when germs and bugs can be at their most prevalent, we can help to make the school reopening plan be a successful one.

 

Please do not send your child to school if they have coronavirus symptoms or have tested positive in the last 7 days. (Coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms)

 

If anyone in the school becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, or has a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they will be sent home. Whilst, a child is awaiting collection, they will be moved, to our first aid room where they can be isolated with adult supervision from 2 meters away. Full PPE will be worn by the member of staff caring for the child while they await collection.

 

Any child sent home will be advised to follow ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’, which sets out that they must self-isolate for at least 7 days and should arrange to have a test to see if they have coronavirus (COVID-19). At this point an alert letter will be sent out to the bubble and any other contacts they may have had in school. Any child displaying symptoms should remain off school until the test results have been received. We ask that all parents inform us immediately of the results of a test so that any appropriate action can be taken. If the test is negative the child’s bubble will be informed that there is not a case in school.

 

If someone tests positive, they should follow the ‘stay at home: guidance for households with possible or confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) infection’ and must continue to self-isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of their symptoms and then return to school only if they do not have symptoms other than cough or loss of sense of smell/taste. This is because a cough or anosmia can last for several weeks once the infection has gone. The 7-day period starts from the day when they first became ill. If they still have a high temperature, they should keep self-isolating until their temperature returns to normal. Other members of their household should continue self-isolating for the full 14 days. At this point school will contact the local health protection team who will work with the school to guide them through the actions which will need to be taken. The health protection team will provide definitive advice on whom must be sent home.

Home Learning

With Covid 19 still circulating in the community there may be a time when I will need to either close a bubble or close the whole school. Bubbles will only be closed if there is a confirmed case and the school maybe closed if there was an outbreak. An outbreak is confirmed as 2 or more positive cases within 14 days. At this point the school would work with our local health protection team.

 

Any bubble or school closure would result in home learning re-ignited for those pupils affected and immediate remote education would be offered. This would take the form of the planning we have been using since June 1st. Every class teacher would provide a detailed weekly plan to support the children at home.

 

We understand that some of you and your children will be anxious about returning in September, after some months out of school. Please be reassured that we are taking exceptional measures to make our schools as safe as can be. We will be providing additional emotional and wellbeing support for any pupils that need it, and will also be providing additional opportunities to support learning where this is required.

 

Although it feels like this situation has lasted forever, in fact pupils will have lost by the end of term, at worst, only 70 school days of learning. And very many of them have worked hard using online resources provided by our hardworking and dedicated teachers. We are all determined that they will absolutely not be ‘a lost generation’ and we’re adapting our curriculum to make sure that they get the learning and knowledge that they need to achieve success in the future.

 

Your children deserve a great, and safe education – we will not let them down.

Name
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