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Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Primary School Love, Live and Learn as Jesus taught us

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COVID-19 NEWS

Friday 5th June 2020

 

Dear Parents,

PLANS FOR OPENING SCHOOL TO MORE GROUPS IN WEEK 2 - Monday 8th June 2020

 

At Our Lady of Lourdes our approach will be to start…….SAFE……...SMALL……...SLOW……….FAIR…….

 

With 1st June indicating the beginning of phase 2 of the Government’s initiative to get more children returning to school, Our Lady of Lourdes saw an increase in numbers of children of key workers or vulnerable families attending in this first week. Earlier this week, we sent a message via ParentPay to all parents asking you to indicate if you classified yourself as a key worker and sought a place for your child(ren) in week 2.  The deadline for these responses was midday yesterday, Thursday 4th June.  Whilst this indication did not confirm a place, these total figures would then help us to determine the capacity of the school to take on more children.

 

Before opening the school up to a wider group of children, we have had to risk assess the size and safety of learning spaces and the adapted wider school environment, staffing capacity, timetables and routines, as well as our ability to regularly deep clean the school grounds.

 

To that end, we can confirm that in week 2, week beginning Monday 8th June, in addition to our usual groups, we will also be welcoming

children from our Reception class on Monday 8th to Thursday 11th.  Reception parents will have already indicated their wish to send

 

their child back, and will have been contacted by us yesterday, via ParentPay, to confirm their place in a new bubble next week.

 

 

 

Unfortunately, unless contacted by the school office, other children will not be able to come back to school next week.

 

CHANGES TO ARRANGEMENTS SINCE TERM 5

 

We now ask parents of key worker children or vulnerable families to indicate their wish to book places for EACH NEW WEEK by the previous Wednesday at noon.  After this deadline, the school will be able to review risk assessments, staff capacity, school environment and the ability for us to maintain a regular deep cleaning regime.

Please be clear that, unlike Term 5, parents may not drop children into school on a casual basis without having booked a place the week before, as this will compromise the integrity of our bubble groups.  If the school does not have a record of your child’s name on the register for that day, then they will not be permitted to attend school.

 

Conversely, if your child is expected to attend school, but they are unwell, please do keep them off school.  It is important that you contact the school as soon as possible to inform us of your child’s absence, as well as the reason for absence, symptoms etc.  This is an important part of the school’s daily register to the Department for Education and South Gloucestershire Council, and informs the Government Track and Trace system.

 

Therefore, parents of key workers wishing to book their child a place in school for week 3, must email admin@olol.org.uk by noon on

Wednesday 10th June.

 

 

The safety of our whole school community is paramount and any phased return must be managed with extreme caution and care, with all necessary protective measures in place.  Having now fully prepared the school environment and daily timetable, it is important to point out that our children’s experience of the school day will be different to their ‘normal’ experience, as we uphold social distancing measures and rigorous levels of hygiene and cleanliness.

 

This means that:

  • All children will be taught in ‘Bubbles’ – smaller groups than normal, allocated with one teacher and TA – not necessarily the usual class teacher
  • Indoor and outdoor learning and play spaces will be zoned, with each ‘Bubble’ based in its own zone
  • Children will be allowed to work and play together (observing social distancing) within their own ‘Bubble’, but not mix with children in other groups.

 

  • Equipment and resources cannot be shared and will be thoroughly cleaned between each use
  • Start and end of day times must be adapted, as will breaktime and lunchtimes for ‘Bubble’ groups
  • An adapted curriculum will be taught - with a strong focus on mental wellbeing, PSHE, social and communication skills etc.

 

We have uploaded a video onto the new COVID-19 information page of the school website. The intention is to reassure families and make children aware of new routines and changes to the environment ahead of their return.

 

DROP OFF AND PICK UP ARRANGEMENTS

  • At present, all children returning to school will start at 9am and finish at 3pm.  This may change as the number of pupils continue to increase.
  • Parents are asked to adhere to the social distancing 2m markers and signage in the school grounds.
  • Only one adult per family is permitted onto school grounds to minimise traffic and footfall.
  • When picking up children, parents are asked to wait behind the designated pick-up points - the teacher will send your child to you.
  • The car park will be closed to all visitors.

 

COMMUNICATION WITH THE SCHOOL

  • Parents are discouraged from conversations with staff at the gate as this interferes with the social distancing routines.
  • Parents can of course, phone the school, or email admin@olol.org.uk  if you have any queries or would like a member of staff to get back to you.
  • Members of the SLT and office team may be ‘loitering’ at the start and end of the day - you can obviously approach any member of staff who is not directly supervising children.

 

OTHER 

  • All KS2 children attending school must bring a picnic lunch, with the exception of those who qualify for free school meals.  All KS1 children will be provided with a lunch. Children will need to bring in a water bottle daily. 
  • Children should wear their school uniform (Public Health advice recommends that children wear clean clothes daily, as far as possible).
  • With this very warm weather, children should bring in a sun hat for breaktimes.  Please apply suncream in the morning.  Whilst staff are not permitted to apply cream during the day, we will certainly supervise your children topping up their cream if you wish to send it in to school - labelled please!
  • If your child has sensitive skin, you may wish to send in hand lotion which we can encourage your child to use - label please!

 

TO THOSE FAMILIES CONTINUING HOME LEARNING

  • Teachers will continue to produce Home Learning packs weekly.  If you require a hard copy, these will be available for collection from 10am each Monday - to avoid the morning rush. Please note that the car park will be closed.
  • Teachers will upload a video or blog weekly, to keep children connected.
  • A weekly newsletter for children will be uploaded on to the website each Wednesday.
  • Please do not hesitate to contact the school if you have any queries or worries. Keep up the good work!!

 

Attached to this letter is a booklet for children called ‘Coming Back to School in a Bubble’ which may be helpful to read with your child.

 

Welcome to this very different Term 6.  Stay safe.  Stay in touch.  Stay positive!

 

 

R.E. McLoughlin                              Mrs. J. Curran

Executive Headteacher                     Chair of Governors

 

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Thursday 21st May 2020

 

Dear Parents,

 

PLAN TO IMPLEMENT A PARTIAL AND GRADUAL RE-OPENING TO ADDITIONAL YEAR GROUPS – TERM 6

 

‘In step 2 (of the easing of lockdown) – at the earliest June 1st – after half term – we believe we may

be in a position to begin the phased re-opening of shops and to get primary pupils back in schools

beginning with Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.’                          

Prime Minister – Sunday 10th May 2020

 

In the days following this announcement, the Government provided numerous (and ever changing) documentation and guidelines, which, in turn were interpreted further by South Glos. Local Authority.  As a result, we have spent the last 10 days planning (in consultation with cluster schools, the LA and Diocese) what this would look like for our school.

 

Whilst we do have an approved plan in place, it is worthwhile acknowledging that over the half term break, the Government decision to re-open schools might still change, as scientific evidence is examined further.  Government briefing messages and news headlines change on a frequent basis.  Professional associations such as the British Medical Association and Teaching Unions still query if scientific evidence shows that re-opening schools is safe for children, their families and school staff.   The availability of Track and Trace technology still remains uncertain. 

At Our Lady of Lourdes, our approach will be to start…….SAFE……...SMALL……...SLOW……….FAIR…….

 

The safety of our whole school community is paramount and any phased return must be managed with extreme caution and care, with all necessary protective measures in place.  As we endeavour to introduce our partial reopening, it is important to point out that our children’s experience of the school day will be different to their ‘normal’ experience, as we uphold social distancing measures and rigorous levels of hygiene and cleanliness.

 

This means that:

 

  • All children will be taught in ‘Bubbles’ – smaller groups than normal, allocated with one teacher and TA – not necessarily the usual class teacher
  • Indoor and outdoor learning and play spaces will be zoned, with each ‘Bubble’ based in its own zone
  • Children will be allowed to work and play together (observing social distancing) within their own ‘Bubble’, but not mix with children in other groups
  • Equipment and resources cannot be shared and will be thoroughly cleaned between each use
  • Start and end of day times must be staggered, as will breaktime and lunchtimes for ‘Bubble’ groups

 

At present, the Leadership Team and myself are establishing the capacity of our school staff (managing self shielding or illness).  We are risk assessing appropriately sized learning spaces, plans to adapt the wider school environment, timetables and routines, as well as our ability to regularly deep clean the wider school - so we can calculate exactly how many children we can support at any one time.

 

Based on the Government and LA guidance and our own specific circumstances, our phased reopening plans are as follows:

 

  • Children of key workers or vulnerable ONLY will return to school on Monday 1st June (week 1) – giving our staff time to deep clean the entire school, prepare zones, plan learning and prepare group spaces fully. 

Mrs. Western will have had regular contact with these families in term 5.

  • Reception children will return to school week beginning  8th June (week 2) from Monday to Thursday.
  • School will be closed to all pupils, other than key worker / vulnerable, each Friday;  to allow staff to complete an additional deep clean.

 

 

 

The Leadership team and Chair of Governors will review provision weekly in order to make decisions for the following week.  By the end of the second week of partial re-opening we would be in a position to inform you if there is capacity for Year 1 groups to return for Week 3.  Similarly, by the end of week 3, we would be making decisions about Year 6 groups potentially returning in week 4.

 

To help us finalise the first stage our plans, we need a clear idea of how many key worker children will be returning for week beginning  1st June – and on which specific days.  Mrs. Western has requested earlier this week that these families contact her by noon today.

 

We appreciate the challenge that you all face in managing home learning, juggling child care and managing working from home, managing shifts or now going out to work.  Of course, we would prefer to be in a position to provide you with details of longer term plans, but hopefully you will recognise that this is impossible at this time.  Rest assured, we will stay in touch with you weekly and keep you informed of governmental changes as well as potential adjustments to our plans.

 

Headteachers of the LA Emmaus Cluster and Camino Partnership of schools are united in the belief that schools  should re-open as soon as it is safe for us to do so. 

We miss your children immensely, and look forward to a time we can welcome them all back to school.

 

I’d like to finish by paying tribute to Mrs. Western, Mr. Bell and Mr. Poulson for their support and commitment, as well as the office team who have worked vigilantly to assist me in decision making and communication – in addition to the mountain of other Government / LA introduced tasks.  Sincere thanks also go to the teaching staff for the care and effort which as gone into preparing weekly Home Learning packs, videos, messages, phonecalls and emails.  In addition to staff teaching next term, they will continue to provide online Home Learning packs for those children who remain at home.

 

Thank you for your continued support and understanding – it means the world to us in these unprecedented times.

 

Have a good half term break.  Stay safe.  Stay positive!

 

 

R.E. McLoughlin                Mrs. J. Curran

Executive Headteacher                                        Chair of Governors

 

 

 

 

 

 

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