CHESTNUTS PRIMARY SCHOOL

wider reopening of schools

Dear Families,

I am writing to further update you about our plans for wider opening of the school. As you can imagine this is a very complex situation which involves many risk assessments and a lot of care. As always my main job is to ensure that all members of the community remain safe on site. I am currently pulling together plans to ensure we can safely welcome children back to school in a controlled, phased and safe way whilst following the government guidelines. As well as ensuring that children not planned to return to school imminently continue to be provided for. 

As you may know, the government has indicated that Year 6, Year 1 and Reception children may be able to begin returning to school from 1 June depending on infection rates being sufficiently low and the government’s other tests having been met. The government hasn’t yet confirmed whether these tests have been met. The government also has an ambition for the other year groups to return to school before the Summer, but hasn’t yet set out when or how that might happen.

On the basis that the government will give the go-ahead to return from 1 June, we have carefully considered how best to bring Year 6, Year 1 and Reception back in accordance with the government’s guidelines. 

We will be conducting a deep clean of the school during half term. Following that, it is anticipated that staff will have been briefed and trained adequately and the school site will be ready to welcome back the oldest children (Year 6) from the week beginning June 8th. The week beginning 1st June will be dedicated to ensuring that all risk assessments are able to be followed, all staff are trained and that the school site is prepared. 

We believe that bringing the oldest children back to school first will allow us to learn some lessons about what works and what we need to adjust, with children that are most able to adhere to new rules we may put in place. For example, how the beginning and end of the school days work, how playtimes work, how lunch will work etc. 

After a successful week with Year 6 we hope that a week later we will be ready to welcome back Year 1 (week beginning 15th June) and Reception a week after that (week beginning 22nd June).

Having carefully considered the staffing we have and the space our school allows we have decided that at the current time we can create bubbles that include no more than 15 children (often less) with at least 1 teacher. With this in mind we can welcome back children for 2 days a week per bubble. This will allow us to keep children and staff in their own bubbles (or families as the government like to call them) without anyone crossing the groups. We will confirm more details about each bubble, including who is in each bubble and the days they will be in school after half term. 

The provision for key worker children will remain in place, meaning that they can continue to attend school full time.

We will continue to provide home learning for all children for the days when they are not in school. 

As Headteacher of the school it is imperative to me that the safety of everyone comes first. The government has repeatedly called this a slow, steady and phased return to school and implementing it in this way, we believe we can be successful. Any return to school remains subject to the government’s go-ahead.

Further details will follow next week. As ever, thank you for all your support. 

Mrs Horwood

To summarise:

  • We will not be open to children, other than our current critical key worker children, on June 1st   
  • Our start date for reopening to other children will be Monday, June 8th and will begin with Year 6 children 
  • We will be staggering the reopening of year R, 1 and 6 over a period time 
  • Children are likely to be taught in smaller groups than their usual classes; this means they may not be with their usual teacher  
  • There will be on site catering which will be based on a ‘packed lunch’ model; sandwiches, snacks, fruit etc.  
  • There will be no breakfast club, or after school club provision, during June, or July