Please find below all the key information you need to allow your children to return to school safely next week. We are REALLY looking forward to having everyone back!
As you will know, the situation is continuously changing and the government have recently asked schools to consider the use of facemasks for pupils in Year 7 and above, in communal areas of the school, but not in classrooms. We will be operating in Year group bubbles, where pupils will mix within their year groups, but not with pupils from other year groups. The school is effectively split into 4 separate self-contained sections, which contain 4 or 5 classrooms, toilets, lockers etc. Movement outside of these areas will be minimal, except for the lunch hall, where staggered sittings will keep each bubble apart.
We have carried out further risk assessment and concluded that we would like Year 7 and 8 pupils to wear face masks on entry and exit from school. Ideally these will be reuseable facemasks, they will be removed on entry to school and stored in a plastic bag in the child’s locker until the end of the day, when they will be worn again to leave school. Year 7 and 8 pupils are expected to provide their own mask and storage bag where possible. Year 5 and 6 pupils are not required to follow the same rules, but we expect many of these children will choose to wear face masks when arriving and leaving school also. As there will be very little opportunity for pupils from different bubbles to use communal areas together, face masks will not be required at other times. Some staff may be wearing face masks or visors, this will depend on their personal circumstances and their job role. We would appreciate you informing your children that this may be the case. Final risk assessments will be available to view on our website on Tuesday, in advance of pupils returning to school.
Year 5’s will start with us on Wednesday 2nd September.
Year 6, 7 and 8 will return on Thursday 3rd September.
School will begin school as usual at 8:55am every day, for all pupils.
Year 5 pupils will be met by their teachers at the school entrance on the first day, so they do not need to worry about where to go. Parents and pupils are advised to observe social distancing and not
block the entrance.
Slight staggering of home time will avoid crowding at the end of the day. Y5 and Y7 will leave at 3:35pm, Y6 and Y8 at 3:30pm (in term 1).
From Thursday 3 rd Sept, all pupils will make their way to their designated outdoor zone each morning, observing social distancing (see attached diagram).
Staggered lunchtimes will ensure safety in the dining hall for those taking a school lunch. Pupils who choose to bring a packed lunch will eat this in their classroom. Initially, Year 8 will get their lunch last, at 1pm, so a break time snack may be advisable. The school break time snack bar will not be available in week 1.
Week 1 learning will consist of settling back in to school routines, learning new expectations to keep everyone safe, wellbeing activities and having fun.
A broad curriculum of timetabled lessons will begin on Monday 7th September.
Anyone who is ill, should stay at home and follow school’s usual absence procedures to alert school to the absence before 9am, stating clearly the reason for absence, including whether this is due to a suspected COVID infection. Pupils who show symptoms of COVID-19 at school will be quarantined until they can be collected. Parents will need to arrange a COVID test as soon as possible and report the results back to school.
Robust hand and respiratory hygiene and enhanced cleaning schedules will be in place.
Pupils are expected to be wear full school uniform, in line with our updated expectations, including ‘proper’ school shoes (see website for further details). However, on days when your child has PE we would like them to come to school dressed in their kit, along with a school jumper, and stay in it all day. This will stop the need for pupils sharing the changing rooms. Pupils will receive their timetables in week 1.
We ask that children wash their hands thoroughly before they leave the house for school, and on arrival back home. There will be regular opportunities for handwashing throughout the school day.
If you intend to collect your child at the end of the day, please wait outside the school grounds and ensure you observe social distancing from other parents/ carers.
If your child has any medical appointments during the school day, please phone the office and let us know prior to their appointment. Children can be collected from the main entrance. Please note, we cannot accept parents into the building without a prior appointment.
All children need their own water bottle. These will be sent home every night to be cleaned and should be brought back into school every day. They will also require their own set of coloured pencils. All other stationery items will be provided by school and will stay in the child’s classroom, to avoid the need for sharing. A reading book, brought from home is also advisable for the first 2 weeks, until our library provision is fully operational. Pupils should limit the items that are transported between school and home to these essential items.
No clubs will be running in the first few weeks back at school. Once we are established in our new routines, we hope that clubs can be made available within each year group bubble.
We know there will be some nerves about returning to school, from parents and children alike. However, I firmly believe that it is right to reopen Highfield to all pupils next week. We have worked hard to make school safe and have designed the first week so that your children can settle in calmly and have all their fears put to rest.
See you next week, we cannot wait for the school to be full of fun, friendship and learning again!