Registration for children to attend from Monday 22nd June to Friday 17th July is closed.
We will be in touch with more information about our opening in September.
Thank you again for your support.
We have reopened school to children whose parents have registered. These are children of key workers, and those in Reception, Y1 and Y6. For a while, this is not going to be 'school as we know it', and as you have probably seen on the news, that is going to be the same for everyone across the country. Please be aware that any of the points covered below could change at a moment's notice. As a Local Authority maintained school, we have to follow guidance from the government and Derbyshire County Council (DCC).
Can I see pictures of the site?
Please select the link below.
Will school definitely be able to remain open for children who have been registered?
We're hoping so - but this is by no means definite, as new guidance and rules are coming in regularly from various directions which is causing schools to have to change their plans on the fly. If we don't think it's safe enough to open, then we can't. We know you must find this frustrating - and we're with you on that one. Schools across the country are in the same boat.
How will I know whether school is opening?
This will be on the front page of our website, and may change from day to day (e.g. if we had a staff shortage, we wouldn't be able to open). We will give you as much notice as possible within a fast-changing situation.
Does my child have to attend school?
No. This is up to you. The government has made it clear that parents will not be fined if their children do not attend.
I have more than one child. If I choose to send one in, do I have to send all of them in?
Not at all. As we mentioned before, this is up to you.
Will home-learning packs still be available?
We are hoping to put together a final learning pack which will take us up to the end of the school year. They can be collected in the usual way. We will also maintain the list of online activities on our website.
Will school be starting 'blended learning'?
Blended learning involves children splitting their learning time between school, home and online. It very much depends on the situation as we approach September. We also need to consider households who do not have the necessary hardware and internet connection to make this work. The government have said that they want all children back in September, so blended learning could be a good way to do it if we can't have all of our children in school at once.
Is it safe for children, and how much of a risk is it to send my child back?
We have been working hard to reduce the risks. The government is basing their decision to reopen schools in this way on scientific advice, but the virus is highly contagious so there is a risk.
We have put measures in place to help social distancing to work, but as you know, the very nature of children means we cannot guarantee they will always maintain the recommended distance. If you decide to send your child into school, you must acknowledge that and recognise that the risk is not zero.
We have planned for thorough cleaning of the whole school daily; regular disinfection of surfaces; and soap dispensers and hand sanitisers have been installed around the site. We are following government guidance regarding layout of classrooms and furnishings. Children will have their own equipment.
Will school be checking children's temperature?
The government says:
"Parents, carers and settings do not need to take children's temperatures every morning. Routine testing of an individual's temperature is not a reliable method for identifying coronavirus. Educational and childcare settings should reiterate to parents the need to follow the standard national advice on the kind of symptoms to look out for that might be due to coronavirus, and where to get further advice. If anyone in the household develops a fever, or a new continuous cough, or a loss of, or change in, their normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia), they are advised to follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance (which states that the ill person should remain in isolation for 7 days and the rest of the household in isolation for 14 days)."
What will be the school’s working hours?
The government have been clear that they want to see a phased return. School’s working hours for children will depend on whether their parents choose to register their child as a key-worker child.
Key-worker children will be in school from 8.45AM to 3.25PM to allow parents to do their jobs.
Non-key-worker children will be in school from approximately 8.45AM to approximately 1.30PM (see the information below on the start and end of the school day).
The shortened times for non-key-worker children is to comply with the government's request for a phased return, and to give cleaning staff time to deep clean the site. This is a big job and takes some doing.
What will the children be learning?
The vast majority of learning will take place in the morning so that non-key-worker children do not miss out as they begin to leave from 1.30PM.
For all children, the priority will be their wellbeing. Initially, staff will run activities designed to get children talking about their experiences, and to help them through any difficulties. Staff will then move onto reinforcing good learning behaviours and teaching academic subjects.
For the Y6s, an additional priority will be preparing and supporting them in their transition to secondary school. This will include skills such as reading lesson timetables, which will be useful in Y7. Alongside this, pupils will be working on PSHCE lessons as a focus, prioritising wellbeing and good mental health, supporting any anxieties they may have linked to transition, and RSE (Relationships and Sex Education) which is part of the curriculum usually taught towards the end of Y6. Further information about this will follow.
How will classes be organised?
We are adhering to the government’s guidelines which state that children should be taught in groups, and that those groups must not mix. This has been termed the ‘bubble’ approach. Children working in the same group are known as a bubble. Government guidance stipulates that there should be no more than 15 children in each bubble. Unfortunately, this will mean that not all friendship groups can work or play together. Our staff will be working to put children into the most-suitable bubble, taking into consideration all known factors.
Key-worker children will be taught together (see below). They will be spread over several classrooms if numbers are higher.
Non-key-worker children will be taught in their current class groups. They will be spread over several classrooms if numbers are higher.
This means that children will not necessarily be taught by their own class teacher, but we will do our best to ensure that children are taught by someone they already know.
We have agreed to adopt this approach because it is the safest way to contain any potential outbreak of the virus.
Why can't key-worker children be taught with their own class?
That wouldn’t work because it would not allow key-worker children to be maintained in their bubble. Their finishing times are different, so they would have to re-group after 1.30PM in another classroom to allow their own classrooms to be deep cleaned.
I am a key worker, but I would like my child taught with their own class. Could that work?
We would be happy to do that (we’re trying our best to be flexible here), but that would mean that the child would have to leave at around 1.30PM with the rest of their bubble.
How will social distancing work in EYFS?
Normally, there are elements of free flow in EYFS, where children move between activities and then work on specific activities at tables with adults. For social distancing to work as per government advice, EYFS children will have to work at tables for quite a lot of the time, although we will take them outside while maintaining the recommended distance as much as possible. They will work on activities appropriate to their age. This is quite different to the way EYFS normally operates and we will keep this under review. If we can return to some form of free flow and continuous provision while keeping risks under control, we will. This decision will largely be based on the number of children attending.
What is the procedure for registering children?
Registration is now closed. We've had to put a time scale and limit on this because we need to know precisely how many children will be coming back. We need this information to help us reopen in the best and safest way possible which will work throughout the whole school day. We can only fit a certain number of children in each bubble. If you are a key worker and need a school place for your child before the end of term, we would be happy to call on our neighbouring schools to see if they could help.
Regarding the new school year in September, we'll be in touch about that as soon as we can. We are waiting on guidance from the government and DCC.
Once I've registered, can I change my mind?
You can withdraw your child at any time by contacting the office, but once you have said no, then that will have to be your answer for the following three weeks (Monday 22nd June to Friday 17th July) so you are committing to that. It would be impossible for us to plan for safety if extra children came in indiscriminately.
Can my child come in for part of the week?
Following government guidelines, key-worker children can still attend part time, although we do recommend full time. For other children, it has to be all or nothing. One advantage to returning for the whole week is that children would quickly become used to the routine, and children like consistency. Also, part time is difficult to manage in school – especially if teachers are to plan meaningful activities which build on a child's previous learning, and some children had only attended for part of the week. We will shortly be moving towards teaching more academic subjects. As usual, from a safeguarding perspective, the school office needs to be informed if registered children cannot attend.
What will the start of the school day be like?
For social-distancing purposes, each bubble will be given a starting time and a specific school entrance. These will begin from 8.45AM. The entrance and timing will help to ensure that groups of children from other bubbles do not cross. If you choose to send your child into school, please try your best to stick to the starting time.
To reduce the number of people on site, we are asking for just one adult to bring their child to school, and without bringing non-attending siblings if it is possible for them to be looked after at home. We would appreciate adults wearing face coverings if this is possible. Adults also need to ensure that they socially distance themselves from other adults and children. This will mean queuing in a similar way to a supermarket. 2 metre intervals will be marked. Some children walk to school on their own, and this is fine. They can join the queue.
What will the end of the school day be like?
For social-distancing purposes, each bubble will be given a finishing time and a specific school entrance. Finishing times will begin from 1.30PM, and key-worker bubbles will begin to leave from 3.25PM. The entrance and timing will help to ensure that groups of children from other bubbles do not cross.
To reduce the number of people on site, we are asking for just one adult to collect their child from school, and without bringing non-attending siblings if it is possible for them to be looked after at home. We would appreciate adults wearing face coverings if this is possible. While waiting for their children, adults need to use the markers to keep themselves separate from other adults and children. Some children walk home from school on their own, and this is fine.
When will I know what bubble my child is in, and timing/entrance arrangements?
Parents who have registered should receive an email before the weekend. Please contact the office if your has not come through.
What equipment/clothing will children need?
The government's guidance states that children should come to school in clean clothing every day. For that reason, we have suspended the need for school uniform temporarily; and children will not need a PE kit. Children should be dressed appropriately for the weather. They must not bring their own stationery, books or toys. They must bring a water bottle, as water fountains will be switched off, although we will of course provide drinks. As usual, children in KS2 may bring a healthy snack; EYFS and KS1 children will get a piece of fruit as a snack during morning break.
Can parents/carers come into school?
Unfortunately not, and we sincerely regret that, as we're all about our community. We will be trying our utmost to ensure that the areas inside school remain sanitised as thoroughly as possible, and having other people in school risks compromising that. If you need to contact school staff, you can do so by phone or email using our contact details.
What if my child needs medicine during the day?
We are asking parents to give their child any medicine before they come to school and stagger the dosage times, so they are able to do this. Please do call the school office if you have further queries regarding medicine.
Will staff be wearing PPE (e.g. facemasks, visors, etc.)?
On a day-to-day basis, that is up to the member of staff. We need to support our staff if they are worried about their own health and safety, or that of a member of their household. Please help your child to understand that people sometimes wear masks, so that this does not come as a surprise. Teachers will talk to children sensitively about people in school and the community wearing PPE. If a situation arises where an adult does need to get within 2m of a child (e.g. an accident), then the member of staff who deals with it will be wearing PPE (facemask/visor, gloves, sleeve protectors, and apron).
Can my child wear PPE?
That is not recommended by the DfE, and could be quite problematic for younger children especially; but that is parents' choice.
Will the school kitchen be open?
Yes. The children will receive meals as usual. Children in Reception, Y1 and Y2 will still get their Universal Free School Meal, and children who are eligible for Free School Meals will get those as usual. Children can also bring packed lunches, if this is preferred.
Will parents eligible for Free School Meals still get vouchers?
Parents who have registered for vouchers will still receive them if their children are not attending school. If their children are attending school, then their children will receive their school meal as usual. Eligible families will now receive vouchers over the summer holiday.
How will I pay for school dinners?
Dinner money should be sent in with your child as normal at the beginning of each week. Following the government's social-distancing rules, please do not enter school to give this into the office personally.
What if I need to drop something else off at school?
Please ensure your child has everything they need when you send them in. Due to the virus' ability to persist on surfaces, there is an increased risk of the virus being passed on if belongings are dropped off and passed along to children during the school day.
What if I need to buy some school uniform?
We are currently not selling uniform to parents from school, but you can order this directly from our supplier Andrew Hyde. You can do this in three ways:
The order will be delivered directly to you. As mentioned above, we are suspending the need for school uniform, as children need to arrive in clean clothes each morning. It would be too much to ask parents to wash, dry and iron a school uniform each evening.
What will happen if a child becomes symptomatic while in school?
As per the government guidelines, the child will be calmly taken to a well-ventilated room. Their parents will be contacted and asked to take them home, and book a test using the government’s website. The household should then self-isolate. Following this, if a child's test returns positive, their bubble and staff members will be required to self-isolate and not attend school. Similarly, if a staff member tests positive, their bubble will be required to self-isolate and not attend school.
Will specialist agencies be visiting schools?
We have many agencies who provide extra services to school to help pupils who have specific needs, e.g. Educational Psychology, Speech and Language Therapy. At the moment, they are working remotely, and we do not have any information about when they will be able to visit schools again. We’ll let you know when we know more.
Will summer events be taking place?
We're really sorry, but these can’t go ahead. These include the Y6 residential, the Y6 play, school discos, and movie nights. If we do sports day, it will be in a limited fashion, and families will not be able to attend. This is all so sad, and the opposite of the way we like to do things at our school. But unfortunately it is necessary in the current climate. Parents will receive refunds for the Y6 residential, and we’ll be in touch with more information about that.
How do I get more information?
You can use our email@example.com email address to ask questions as well as register your decision. We might not have all the answers, but we'll try.
How long is this going to go on for?
We have no idea. As a school, we're following the guidance from the government and DCC. Also be aware that we cannot guarantee that school will be able to remain open before the end of term. The guidance may change, we may suffer a staff shortage, etc. We can only stay open while we consider that the risk is low enough, and while we have enough staff to make the situation workable.
We know this is far from an ideal model of children’s education – and it isn't going to be, while this situation persists. There are going to be some of you who disagree with certain aspects of our plans or think that we are going over-the-top about safety; but we have been handed this situation, a myriad of guidance from all over the place (some of it which conflicts), and we have had to re-order and change everything to make school as safe as possible for everyone. Please bear with us. We will keep these plans under review, and alter them if we need to. We hope you understand that we are doing our best here in a complex, challenging, and worrying situation. The safety of our children, staff and parents is our over-riding priority, and we have to follow government guidance.
Best wishes to you all.