Letter to all families 2020-05-26

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26th May 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

Further to Mr Flowers’ letter you will be aware that Carr Manor Community School has been open for the last 10 weeks and is currently open to a priority group of children and young people, children of critical workers and vulnerable children.
The government has announced plans that schools may open from 1st June, when they are able to do so safely. This is still dependent on the further information from the Government expected on Thursday.

We are very much looking forward to restoring our school community and welcoming our children to learning. However, for the safety of everyone we feel it is important to take a careful and considered approach and, as such, pupils’ return to school will be phased, with constant reviews of the systems in place to ensure we do not compromise on the safeguarding practices that will be embedded.

The phased reopening of Carr Manor Community School for all other children will be undertaken with due regard to the latest scientific and government advice available to us at the time. This advice is likely to change as the process of re-opening schools progresses and our plans will be amended in light of such changes as soon as it is reasonably practicable to do so.
In planning a measured response to the government’s plans to encourage children to return to school, we have decided to invite the oldest Primary Phase children, in Year 6, back into school from 3rd June, Year 1 from 8th June and Reception from 10th June. Children will join small ‘pods’ of up to ten children, depending on age, with dedicated staff who they will remain with throughout the day.

In order to manage this new approach to school effectively we will stagger the start of the ‘pods’ over a few days.

  • Year 6 pods will be introduced on 3rd, 4th and 5th June so that by 5th June all Year 6 children that parents wish to come to school can so do.
  • Year 1 pods will be restored to school on 8th, 9th and 10th June, so that by 10th June all Year 1 children that parents wish to come to school can so do.
  • Reception pods will be restored to school on 10th, 11th and 12th June, so that by 12th June all Reception children that parents wish to come to school can so do.
  • Again, to help the transition to this new way of working, we will stagger the start and finish times of the day initially. These details will be shared along with further information at a later date. Attendance in this last term will be agreed in advance to enable us to plan these initial transitions back into a school environment. Please contact the school office on 0113 336 8401 to let us know whether your child in Year 6, Year 1 or Reception will be in school in this next half term, either as we open for each year group or at a future date. It is important that we know in advance who the children are so that we can plan support for children’s emotional health and well-being. Equally, please let us know if you do not want your child to return as yet. That is your choice based on a number of considerations for you as a family.

    Please note our plans for restoring school observes social distancing and safety measures to the best of our ability. We will do everything within our power to ensure that pupils who attend school are kept as safe as possible however, please know that social distancing in primary schools is not something that can ever be guaranteed; it may not be possible for pupils and staff in our schools to remain two metres apart from each other at all times – the school buildings and the nature of primary education prevents this. For this reason, children will be grouped in small ‘pods’ of up to ten children with two staff members, in a set location in school. Your child may not be taught by their teacher, friendship groupings cannot be guaranteed and they may be taught in a classroom other than their own.

    Maintaining the safety of our children and staff will be paramount at all times and the organisation, restrictions and routines will be subject to regular review.

    We pride ourselves on our ability to live out our mission to know our children well, be partners in learning, develop character for learning and for our community to enjoy and achieve and we hope to see this for all of our children as soon as safely possible.
    Kind regards,

    Mrs J Harkness,
    Vice Principal

    Please see below some frequently asked questions and answers.

    What if I have a child who is eligible, but siblings are not?
    Unfortunately, the current guidance only includes the priority year groups and key worker/vulnerable children. This means siblings not in one of the priority groups will not be eligible to attend.

    Will you still be providing care for key worker children?
    Currently yes – and this group of children will be kept separate from the other pupils, if the children are not in the returning year groups.

    If my child is eligible, will I be fined if my child does not attend?
    Parents and carers will not be fined for non-attendance at this time.

    What will my child be doing in school?
    The children will be greeted by their ‘pod’ adults and stay with them for the duration of the day in their own locations. Across the morning, children will participate in circle time (similar to coaching) and will follow the home learning programme to ensure that all pupils are receiving the same learning, whether at school or at home. They will also participate in non-contact PE lessons/outdoor activity, as well as other creative learning provision, such as art and work around transition into high school for Year 6. (This will also be part of home learning, so that no children miss out).

    There will be a strong focus on PHSCE and well-being. Initially, we will be teaching children the necessary routines – hand hygiene and social distancing as two examples. Break times will be staggered to avoid pod to pod contact. If children are unable to cope in the school environment safely, they will have to be collected from school; if there are ongoing concerns we may need to assess the risk of attendance

    Children with underlying health conditions or living with someone with underlying health conditions
    Children who are considered clinically vulnerable should continue to shield and should not attend school. Medical advice should be followed.
    Children who live in a household with someone who is extremely vulnerable should not attend because stringent social distancing cannot be guaranteed to be followed and there is an understanding that children may not be able to follow these instructions.
    Children who live with someone who is clinically vulnerable but not extremely vulnerable can attend.

    What happens if there is a possible case of coronavirus in school?
    Children must not attend if they, or a member of their household, has any of the symptoms of Covid-19 and should therefore be self-isolating.
    If a child develops symptoms whilst in our care, we will adopt isolation measures and call you for immediate collection. In this instance, staff will be wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
    If a member of staff develops symptoms they will be sent home to self-isolate until they have been able to take a test confirming negative results.
    Staff and pupils who are attending will be able to have a test if they display symptoms of coronavirus and are encouraged to get tested.
    If staff or a pupil test negative they can return to school but only if a test has been carried out and results received. The school may ask for evidence of this.
    If staff or a pupil test positive the rest of their group (and the staff) will be sent home and will need to self-isolate for 14 days. Other members of households will not need to self-isolate unless the pupil or staff member they live with develop symptoms.
    Should you decide to return your child to school, we will inform you as to start date and time, and provide more detailed guidance for you, so that you will know what expectations we have for you and your child, as well as any further detail.