Dear Parents and Carers,
I am writing to confirm the education arrangements which will stay the same, and those that will change, following the Prime Minister’s announcement regarding steps in easing of restrictions.
Schools, colleges and early years settings are still required to follow guidance from the Department of Education, the Local Authority and Public Health England to minimise the risk of transmission of COVID19 in their school or setting and through the community.
Please do read our risk assessments for further details.
What is staying the same
The protective measures which remain in place, and important, include regular hand washing, consistent groupings (known as bubbles), keeping pupils and staff apart as much as possible, and enhanced cleaning routines.
Regular asymptomatic and symptomatic testing remains a vital part of the approach to suppress the virus. It is imperative that if anyone displays symptoms of COVID19 they self-isolate, along with other members of their household, and organise a PCR test. It is not appropriate to use lateral flow tests when individuals have symptoms of COVID19.
Schools remain responsible for contact tracing following a positive case within the school. Any individual identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID19 has a legal obligation to self-isolate as advised. Financial support is available should this happen and can be found here:
School staff have access to twice weekly asymptomatic COVID19 testing. Households of staff, children and young people attending schools or settings also have access to twice weekly testing. We strongly encourage staff, and households to take part in the regular testing programme to reduce the risk of the virus entering the school community.
Face coverings will no longer be required for students in classrooms or communal areas in schools. Face coverings will also no longer be recommended for staff in classrooms. Face coverings should still be worn by staff and visitors in situations outside of classrooms where social distancing is not possible (for example, when moving around in corridors and communal areas). This may include parents and carers entering the school grounds to collect/ drop-off pupils.
Schools will be permitted to take domestic residential education visits. However, if these go ahead there will be a risk assessment prepared, which identifies the additional protective measures in place. This will include protocols for responding to a case of COVID19.
Limits to the sizes of groups for wraparound care and clubs/activities are being lifted. Pupils and students must still remain in consistent groups and adhere to the risk assessment for that provision.
We ask that you continue to adhere to our preventative measures, to support us in remaining a safe place to learn and work and support us in our prevention measures.
School attendance became mandatory again from 8th March, this means it’s your legal duty to send your child (if they are of compulsory school age).
A small number of pupils may still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they:
Attending school is vital for pupils’ and students’ educational progress, for their wellbeing, and for their wider development. It is important that pupils attend school every day, in order to get the greatest benefit from their education.
There will be new green, amber and red lists of countries and territories. When visiting places on the green list all travellers must take a COVID19 test on their return and then will not need to quarantine unless the test result is positive. However if you travel to, or through, an amber or red list country, any travellers are required to quarantine on their return. This includes school pupils. If a holiday or quarantine period coincides with term time – this absence may be unauthorised and could lead to a penalty notice. Schools are not required to provide remote learning for students who are quarantining following travel abroad. Please consider this information when arranging holidays over the half term and summer break.
Permission for leave during term time can only be given by the Headteacher and parents can be fined for taking their children on holiday during term-term without the school’s permission. A request for leave during term time may be made in writing to the school and will be considered by the Headteacher. To be able to grant leave, the Headteacher must receive the request for leave in advance and, be satisfied that there are exceptional circumstances relating to the application.
I appreciate that now restrictions are being lifted or reduced and many of us are enjoying more freedom in our social lives. This increased mixing makes it even more crucial that we all continue to follow the Government guidance and the school risk assessment. The protective measures continue to remain in place so that we are able to keep schools open for the benefit of all children.
I thank you for all your support to keep school a safe place to learn and work.
We will continue to provide an ambitious, nurturing environment for all our pupils. We are determined to continue the excellent progress our school improvement strategies over the last few years have delivered, which have led to our attainment levels being above national and the Bucks average, as shown through our reported data. We have worked to establish an ethos where we strive for high academic standards while ensuring that children are offered a balanced, stimulating and ambitious curriculum. We pride ourselves on putting the child at the centre of our educational vision with a clear shared ethos, supporting all children to be successful. We will continue to ensure your child is given every opportunity to thrive and will manage Covid disruptions to minimise any further loss of learning. Thank you for everyone who completed the parent survey the results can be found on the home learning page of our website.
All schools have been asked to follow a set of actions known as ‘Systems of Control’, the main objective of which is prevention, these are the measures we had in place in Autumn term. For you and your children, this means the following:
Pick up and collection
We will open the gate at 8.30am – please do not gather at the gate, try to maintain distance waiting along the path. The pupils will walk straight into school, then into their classrooms. They will be met by an adult and instructed to wash their hands. The gates will remain open until 8.50am, thus allowing 20 minutes for pupils to arrive. Parents will need to walk back up the driveway keeping to the left please. Please do not wait on the playground.
Please be reminded that the church car park is out of action for the foreseeable future and please do not drive into the school. We would request that parents park in the recreation ground or by the library.
We have changed dismissal times to reduce playground congestion. Please try and arrive at your allocated time to avoid waiting on the playground. Parents and carers are encouraged to wear face coverings at both drop off and collection. Please keep to the left on the driveway path allowing for some distancing. Children will be dismissed at the following times:
3.00pm Rec & Year 1
3.10pm year 5 & 4
3.15pm year 6, 3 & 2
For siblings please come at the last collection time eg a child in Rec and year 3, please collect both at 3.15pm, thus avoiding waiting on the playground. Please remember to social distance and respect each others space.
School lunches will be available to order, hot meals every Tuesday and Thursday and the other days a packed lunch. We will let you know of menu changes in advance. Please place your order via Parentpay as per normal, even if you are entitled to FSM. If you’d prefer to provide a packed lunch, please ensure it is a healthy balanced lunch and nut free. No Sweets or fizzy drinks please.
Please ensure your child has a named water bottle, a school bag with tissues, hand sanitiser, a bag for their face-covering (if required), hand cream (if required), and a sun hat (if required.) as always please ensure everything (all uniform) is labelled clearly.
Visitors in school
As you would no doubt expect, we will continue to restrict visitors into school. If you wish to relay a message to your class teacher, please either phone or email the school office.
Let us all work together to minimise the risk of transmission and to ensure levels keep dropping and that we keep each other safe.
We believe that every child has a talent and can experience success as they grow and develop through the supportive and caring environment we provide. Thank you for your continued support.
New guidance added following the government announcement on the 10th May:
Actions for educational and childcare settings to prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020 - Latest guidance on how educational and childcare settings should prepare for wider opening from 1 June 2020,
Coronavirus (COVID-19): implementing protective measures in education and childcare settings - GOV.UK - Guidance for education and childcare settings on how to implement protective measures.
Safe working in education, childcare and children’s social care Preventing and controlling infection, including the use of PPE, in education, childcare and children’s social care settings during the coronavirus outbreak
What parents and carers need to know about schools and other education settings during the coronavirus outbreak - Information for parents and carers about the wider opening of nurseries, schools and colleges, transport, attendance, free school meals and remote education
Staying safe outside your home - GOV.UK - This guidance sets out the principles you should follow to ensure that time spent with others outside your home is as safe as possible
Our plan to rebuild: The UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy - The Government’s roadmap for how and when the UK will adjust its response to the COVID-19 crisis
Please also see the below existing DfE guidance to support education providers during this period
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note: opening hours have been extended to cover weekends and the DfE are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
How do I explain social distancing to my child?
Be open and honest, using language they will understand. Explain that they are helping others by their actions. Use drawings if needed and use a positive tone. Try to make the children feel safe.
For younger children, you and your child can find out how the Gruffalo handles social distancing .
There are some great stories and simple explanations to help:
Time to Come In, Bear: A Children's Story About Social Distancing
Written by Kim St. Lawrence Read by Ryan St. Lawrence.
How to Explain Social Distancing to Kids
For very young children who may not understand the concept of viruses and germs, this video from
Sesame Street's Grover is a great way to show them the “good” and “bad” of being far away and too
close up to someone.
Grover and Social Distancing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOrt8WMwVEo&feature=emb_logo
What hygiene measures will be in place to keep my child safe?
• follow the COVID-19: cleaning of non-healthcare settings guidance.
• ensure that sufficient handwashing facilities are available. Hand sanitiser is in classrooms and other learning environments.
• clean surfaces that children and young people are touching, such as tables, chairs, toys, books, desks, chairs, doors, sinks, toilets, light switches, bannisters, more regularly than normal.
Ensure that all adults and children:
• frequently wash their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and dry thoroughly and/or use hand sanitiser
• clean their hands-on arrival at the setting, before and after eating, and after sneezing or coughing, are encouraged not to touch their mouth, eyes and nose.
• Promote good respiratory and hand hygiene become the normal school culture, promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
• ensure that help is available for children and young people who have trouble cleaning their hands independently.
• consider how to encourage young children to learn and practise these habits through games, songs and repetition.
• ensure that bins for tissues are emptied throughout the day.
• where possible, all spaces should be well ventilated using natural ventilation e.g. opening windows and doors (bearing in mind fire safety and safeguarding).