Silverhill School News

Letter regarding the return to school - September 2020

Published on 28 August 2020

Hello Silverhill,

We are ready and excited to welcome your children back to school!

I hope the summer break has left you rested and your family is ready for the new normal!

There will be mixed feelings for sure and that is only normal. I hope we reassured many of you by the success of Silverhill's opening, for certain groups, during June and July. We intend to operate in a very similar fashion for this term, just with larger numbers.  We are ready and looking forward to embracing the new academic year on Thursday 3rd September (7th for the new Reception classes) and get back to teaching and celebrating your children's successes.

The measures Silverhill has in place to reduce risk to staff, pupils and parents focuses on these four areas in line with the Department for Education's latest guidance:

grouping children together in consistent groups

▪ limiting contact between groups

▪ promoting good hygiene practices, such as regular handwashing

▪ putting enhanced cleaning in place

We support the full reopening of schools, as it is vital that every child achieves educational success and returns to a regular routine.

Each class will be a 'bubble' and not interact with other classes/bubbles inside the school building. Outside the building, where the risk is less,  the bubbles will consist of one year group (two classes) and be allocated a designated space outside where they will not mix with other year groups.

Please be mindful if your child walks to school or interacts with other Silverhill children out of school that are not in their year group. If this is the case, they must adhere to social distancing when they enter the school site.

We will need to use the entire Silverhill site during break times and lunchtimes so please could you ensure your child has a change of footwear to protect their school shoes and be suitable for playing on the school field, which could be wet and muddy. Children will also need a coat (water proof preferably) as we will still be taking outdoor breaks in the vast majority of weather conditions.

Outdoor shoes/boots/wellies can be left at school each evening.

If you need to come to the school office please can you queue outside if there is already somebody in the office vestibule.

Silverhill's ethos focuses on mental and physical wellbeing, nurturing both personal identity and social development. These are the areas some children could struggle with when returning to school. We are prepared for this but expect the majority of children will benefit from our usual approach to school life. We intend to 'keep calm and carry on' in the usual positive and celebratory Silverhill fashion.

We will however pay particular attention to the identification and assessment of every child's needs as they return to school in September. We will work with you to address any anxiety that your child may encounter on their return. If you do have immediate concerns then please arrange to speak to the class teacher and they will liaise with our Wellbeing team to decide what support is necessary.

It is mandatory that all children attend school. There is an expectation on all schools that pupil absence will be rigorously monitored and challenged. It is every child's right to 'catch-up' if school closures have affected how much they have remembered.

We will continue to operate a one-way system on the school site. The entrance for all pupils and parents will be the front pedestrian entrance and everyone will exit by the back gate. You may drop your child at the front gate (not entering the one way system) but if you do come on the site, the only exit is by the back gate.

On Thursday 3rd September, we are holding a 'transition day'. Children will start the day in their 'old class' and have an official handover to their new teacher in the afternoon. This will support children in settling in and allow the teacher, who taught them last year and knows them best, to assess how they are on returning to school.

Although there is no expectation for children to social distance within their bubbles during school hours, can I please reinforce the need for parents and children to adhere to normal distancing expectations walking to and from school and during drop off & pick up times.

To facilitate this we will operate staggered start and end times to the school day.

Year group

Start of the school day

End of the school day

Reception

8.45am

3.15pm

Y1

8.50am

3.20pm

Y2

8.55am

3.25pm

Y3

9.00am

3.30pm

Y4

9.05am

3.35pm

Y5

9.10am

3.40pm

Y6

9.15am

3.45pm

 

Only one adult should enter the site from each household at any one time. Please be punctual for your time slot even if you have children in different year groups. All children should be collected from their external classroom door, unless you have informed their class teacher that they are able to walk home alone. Children cannot be collected earlier than their allotted collection time.

Breakfast club and After School Club will adapt its hours to accommodate the staggered start and end to each school day. Mrs Caborn and her team will organize the children accordingly to adhere to the most up to date goverment guidance.

On the first day back for years 1-6, Thursday 3rd September, please bring your child at the time allocated for their new year group, even though they will be dropped off and enter school through the outside door of their 'old class'. You will also collect from their old class at the end of the first day but at the new collection times.

From Friday 4th September, the children will be dropped off and collected from their new class.

Our new Reception children starting in Lions & Tigers have been contacted separately by Mrs Allen outlining the process for our new school starters. They will start on Monday 7th September.

Children and staff do not need to wear masks at any point during the school day. If masks are worn travelling to school they must be removed before entering the building and hands washed immediately. The school has PPE in case of a suspected case of COVID-19 and all intervention, protection and support for children and staff has been risk assessed and plans put in place.

We will also continue with our no visitors policy. In certain circumstances, non-staff adults may need to enter the school building. If this is the case, this permission can only be granted by the Head or Deputy and a face mask will always be worn by the visitor when moving around the site.

Although the risk of COVID-19 has decreased since schools closed initially in March it is still important that if your child (or anyone in their household) has any coronavirus symptoms, they do not attend school and stay at home. You should arrange for them to get a test and tell us the test results. This will help the NHS Test and Trace process. If you have a positive test result, your household should remain at home and follow the Test and Trace self-isolation guidance.

I have also shared with you government guidance for parents (see additional document in our Letters from School section) which includes guidance on household members who may have been deemed to be vulnerable or previously shielded.

There may seem a lot to take on board initially but myself and Mr Burley will be available to chat over email, Dojo or the phone if you have any further concerns.

Your children need to be back in school and I expect the vast majority will be ready for it and looking forward to the start of a new term... including some parents!

Enjoy the last few days of the holidays and we look forward to seeing you all soon.

 

Many thanks,


Mr Gallagher & Mr Burley