Silverhill School News

Letter regarding the potential opening on 1st June

Published on 15 May 2020

Dear Parents and Carers,

The Government has announced an ambition for a measured return to school for pupils in certain year groups from 1st June. This will only happen if the government's 5 key test criteria are met by this date. To control this potential phased return, we would like to gather information on whether you would send your child to school, if eligible. Numbers of children coming to school will dictate if and how we can operate.

You can apply for a place if your child is:

  1. In Reception, Year 1 or Year 6
  2. A child identified by school as vulnerable or the child of key workers as set out by government guidance.

To support you in making a decision on whether to send your child to school, please see below a summary of the actions we would implement.

  • We would operate 4 mini-schools - one in each wing.
  • Each wing would be self-sufficient. Each wing will consist of four groups (pods) taught by one designated adult. (maximum of 15 children and 1 adult per pod – a second adult would only be used for special education needs if a pupil normally receives that support)
  • No other children or adults, that are not assigned to the wing, will be allowed to enter.
  • The children will be taught in their pods in a designated space that will not be shared with other pods of children.
  • They will not mix with other children or adults inside the building but will mix with other children in their own year group outside with social distancing advice.
  • Classrooms will be reorganised to facilitate space and social distancing. Teaching approaches will be focused on individual learning.
  • There will be staggered playtimes and lunchtimes for year groups. Staff will be vigilant around social distancing outside.
  • If there is a confirmed case of coronavirus, all children and adults in that group will be told to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Only 1 parent/carer will be allowed to enter the site to pick up or drop off their child.
  • Year 6 pupils should enter the site on their own.
  • Staggered starts and ends of the day will be used to enable safer drop offs and collections
  • The school will operate from Monday – Thursday, to allow for a weekly deep clean on Fridays.
  • There will only be Breakfast club available for children of Key Workers. There will be no After School Club.
  • If we cannot open the school safely for the three year groups. We are advised to prioritise Reception and then Year 1.
  • Brothers and sisters of reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children will only be admitted if they meet the vulnerable/key worker classification.
  • Movement around the site would be in an anti-clockwise direction. Enter by the front gate (Draycott Drive) and exit by the back gate. This will be the same for the children during school hours to ensure one direction of flow.

We will endeavour to keep children apart and socially distance as much as we can. However, these are children; many of which are very young and learn by wanting to interact. We cannot 100% guarantee that your child isn't going to breach our guidance. Although breaches of social distancing within children would appear, according to the science, to be of very low risk.

However, we would only open if we felt we could operate safely. We will only open if we feel the risk to the children, staff and parents on site is very low. There will always be some level of risk, like there is every day at school or in life!

If I don't believe we can operate safely we will not open or we will open on a reduced capacity e.g. only Reception and Year 1.

School will be open for staff the week beginning 25th May (scheduled half term holiday) for a deep clean and to prepare for the potential opening on 1st June. It would be really helpful if Key Workers could find alternative care for their children that week as we are going to find it difficult to support them.

It's been a rollercoaster of emotions since the end of march and despite the current challenges I still believe the future is bright and in harmony with our school's vision we want to open the school; we want to be there for the Silverhill children and continue to be a supportive and inspiration learning family.

But only if we can do it safely.

We will text all Reception, Year 1 & Year 6 parents to see if you want to send your child to school on 1st June. Please respond simply with a 'Yes' or 'No'.

If you know or think that your child is eligible for a Key worker place, then please email me;

At the moment this information is a 'proposal' which I will share with governors on Tuesday and discuss the finer detail of the risk assessment taken place.  If the plan is ratified I will contact parents of eligible pupils with more detail.

If we do open, please support us by following the guidelines to the letter as any breaches could potentially put children and other adults at risk.

Despite the challenges, I believe with all the key factors, your support and adherence to the new routines, we can make it safe to open and we will make a success of it.

Best wishes

Mr Gallagher