September Opening - details and arrangements: Important Information
Please read the information below about school opening from Monday 7th September. Below is a link to the letter being sent to all parents.
We are delighted that we are allowed to open to all pupils for the start of the new term. We will not be returning to a normal situation though and some of the changes that you'll see and need to be aware of are below.
Guidelines from the Department for Education (DfE) are:
- Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school.
- Ensure that everyone cleans their hands thoroughly more often than normal.
- Promote the 'catch it, bin it, kill it' approach to promote good respiratory hygiene.
- Introduce enhanced cleaning, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces more often.
- Minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible. (Class bubbles/staggered start and finish of days and playtimes/lunchtimes.)
- Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Engage fully with the NHS Test and Trace service.
- Manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community.
- Contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice.
The following is important information about how school will work.
What time can my child come to school?
There will be separate drop off and collection times for all year groups. These are:
- Year 3 arrive 8:50-9:00 and finish school at 3:05
- Year 4 arrive 9:00-9:10 and finish school at 3:15
- Year 5 arrive 8:55 - 9:05 and finish school at 3:10
- Year 6 arrive 9:05 and finish school at 3:20
Children can arrive at any time within their 10 minute slot and should go straight into their classrooms. There is no congregating anywhere on site.
Siblings may be dropped off and collected at the same time.
Can I drop my child off at / collect my child from school?
On the first day parents will be able to drop off at classroom external doors. After that, where possible, parents should drop off at one of the main gates.
In the afternoon parents may wait on site to collect children but must wait at least 2 metres away from other adults, children and classrooms.
What are the rules for parents when they are on site?
Our school looks very different and much of this will remain the same. We will do all we can to be welcoming but we cannot return to 'normal'. The government acknowledge that social distancing is more challenging but the following guidelines must be kept:
- Parents must follow signs and staff guidance when on site and must not loiter in school grounds.
- All communication should be made via email and no parents are allowed into the school building (unless it is an emergency).
- Cash must not be used to pay for dinners/events. A cashless system, using scopay, is in place and must be used.
What are the routines for playtime and lunchtime?
Breaktimes are staggered for each year group and the playground will be separated into areas for classes of children to play in. There will be no tuck trolley so children should bring a healthy snack with them.
Lunchtimes are also staggered and each year group has a separate slot. Children will have a reduced lunchtime and will eat lunch in their classrooms. Pupils may bring in a packed lunch but hot dinners will be provided by our kitchen; there will be a reduced menu.
What will it be like in school?
Pupils will remain in their own classrooms with their own teacher. We will aim to reduce pupils mixing with other children and staff when in class but there may be times when this is unavoidable.
Children will have a specific place to sit and movement around the room will be reduced. Following DfE guidelines, children will be sitting next to each other and will be facing forwards.
There will be no use of lockers and children will need to keep essential items with them. All pupils will be provided with a pen, pencil, ruler etc for their use only.
What items can my child bring to school with them?
Storage space will be very limited and children will keep their items with them, therefore the following essential items are the only ones children should bring to school:
- Packed lunch
- Water bottle
- Home/School diary
- Packet of disposable tissues
What are the rules about school uniform?
As we recognise that PE will be more important than ever, we have decided not to reintroduce full uniform for the autumn term. Changing for PE will be very challenging and we need to make this as easy as possible.
The temporary rules are:
- School jumper and t-shirt or polo shirt in the school colours (with the school logo or plain)
- Dark blue or black jogging bottoms, tracksuit bottoms or leggings.
- Plimsolls or trainers that are suitable for PE. Fashion trainers with heels, lights or glitter should not be worn.
- Be smart. School is not a fashion parade. Jeans, brightly coloured tops, make up and jewellery are not allowed.
Happy Fish and Mapac supply our uniform. Orders should be placed online by 5:30pm on Friday 7th August to ensure delivery for September 7th. Links are below.
What is happening about handwashing in school?
There will be a BIG focus on regular and thorough handwashing and hygiene in school; children will be reminded regularly not to touch faces - these measures significantly reduce the risk of catching or spreading the virus.
Common areas in the school such as door handles, toilets etc will be given special attention throughout the day. Each class has a sink and hand sanitiser to ensure that children have opportunities for regular and thorough hand cleaning.
The 'catch it, bin it, kill it' approach will be encouraged at all times. There will be tissues in the classroom and it would be really helpful if children could bring disposable tissues with them.
What happens if my child is ill or starts to show coronavirus symptoms?
All pupils will be monitored carefully and we ask that all parents remain incredibly vigilant regarding the symptoms of COVID-19 and keep their child at home if they have any suspicions that their child is not well.
Any pupil who becomes unwell in school will be sent home immediately. They will be isolated within the school building, accompanied by a member of staff in PPE, until they can be collected. We ask that all parents get to us as soon as possible should we need to send their child home.
Any test results which are positive for coronavirus cases should be reported to school and advice from Public Health England will be followed. Parents will be informed if this is the case. It is our duty to do all we can to help prevent a second spike of the virus in the autumn.
What will happen if my child does not return to school?
The DfE have confirmed that the parents' duty for their child to attend school will be reinstated in September so we are expecting all children to return. The DfE guidance explains that, from the beginning of the school year, the usual rules on school attendance will apply.
Will there be any clubs or trips?
There will be no clubs run during the autumn term; we are hopeful that we can change this for the spring term.
There are unlikely to be any trips during the autumn term but this will be kept under review. A decision about the Y4 residential visit will be made in September and we will update all parents.
There is a separate letter about PortwayPlus+ and Breakfast Club. These can be found in the section called 'Important Information about September for Parents'.
What are the school rules about behaviour?
The three key words in our Portway Code are 'ready', 'respectful' and 'safe' and these choices will be taught in school as usual. Obviously we have to protect pupils and staff from the possibility of catching the virus, therefore we will be very strict with any child who deliberately does anything to put another child or adult at greater risk.
What happens on the first day of term in September?
All children should go straight to their classrooms on the first day. Year 3 children will follow the same routine. There will be staff around the site to help guide anyone who is not sure where to go. There is also a video for new Y3 pupils and parents who may be unsure of the layout of our site. It is in the 'Welcome to our School' section for Y3s but you can also click the link below.
We are really looking forward to seeing everyone in September and have been glad to catch up with so many pupils before we broke up officially for the summer holiday.
Thank you for your support - it is much appreciated.