Dear parents/carers,

We were over the moon on Monday night when we heard the news that all of our children can return to school again on Monday 8th March.  We simply cannot wait!  Please tell all of your children how very excited we all are!  

All children in all year groups can return as normal on Monday 8th!  OOSC will also be open as usual from 7.30am – 5.30pm.

 

How school will be organised

We will be returning to the systems and COVID safety controls which we had in school from September until December, as these were working well.  This will continue to include rigorous onsite cleaning throughout the school day, class and year group bubbles, OOSC bubbles, closing at lunchtime on a Friday afternoon, the soft start to the school day, the staggered finishes and the very complicated lunchtime arrangements!  All staff now also have a COVID lateral flow tests twice a week to detect any non-symptomatic case of COVID.  

 

Mental health and well-being

We absolutely agree that the time is right for all of our children to return to school.  We know that for many, they will simply slot back into school routines and their established friendships, as children overall are extremely resilient.  However we know that lockdown will have been hard in a number of ways for many of our children and families and that whilst coming back is a positive thing, some children may need more support to recover and to build resilience, friendships and confidence.  This will be a priority for us, so that our children are all happy in school.

If you have any concerns or worries at all about your child returning to school, please can you let your child’s teacher know by Thursday next week, either by email or by contacting the school office.  Or alternatively contact myself or Berni Miller in the same way.  Then we can be ready for your children returning to school on Monday 8th.

 

Attendance

Attendance for all children is compulsory.  Remote learning will stop.  Please contact me before Monday 8th March if you have any concerns about your child attending school.  Public Health England updates us with our local infection rates weekly and the infection rates have plummeted in both North Tyneside and the North East which is a very reassuring position for us all to be in.

 

Remote Learning

I’d just like to take an opportunity to say the most enormous well done to both you and your children for all of the amazing hard work you have all put into home-schooling.  We know how hard juggling school work, work and home life is as staff have all been dealing with these challenges as well.  So thank you for working with us to make sure our children have had the best chance of this latest lockdown not having a lasting impact.  You may have some concerns about any learning time they may have lost, but can I assure you that we already have plans in place to support any child who may need support moving forward.

 

Access to the buildings

Unfortunately, there will continue to be no parents allowed into our school buildings.  This includes the main school office which will be used as an entrance and exit for Year 6 children.  It will therefore not be possible to ‘quickly’ drop things into the school entrance.  This is non negotiable.  If your child forgets any of their belongings, you will not be able to bring them into school at drop off or during the day.  Children should come to school with a coat suitable for the weather and anything else they require such as bag, packed lunch, named water bottle. 

If you need to speak to a member of staff, please call the main school office on 0191 8141455.  If the matter cannot be dealt with over the phone, the office will seek to make an appointment for you to come into school.  

The only exception to this will be to hand in medication for your child which will still need to be done in person by a parent/carer.  If you know your child will need medication, please ring the school office to make arrangements to drop this off. 

 

Access to the site

All parents and carers MUST wear a mask when on the school site.

We know that families used to enjoy socialising in the school yard and we are sad that this is not going to be possible.  But the DfE guidance is clear that we must actively discourage this.

Reception to Year 4 – Parents are welcome to come on to the school site, for drop off and pick up only but should come only at the appropriate time.  Parents should maintain social distancing from other families and staff and wait in their designated areas.  

Year 5 and Year 6 – Parents are not allowed on to the school site.  This reduces the need for up to 120 parents to be onsite.  Year 5  and Year 6 children are more than capable of saying goodbye at the school gate in the morning and meeting parents outside the gate after school as they were used to doing in the previous term.  

 

Entrance gates and doorways 

We will be continuing to use the entrance gates and doorways your children were using in the Autumn term.  These match our in school bubble arrangements and spread out year groups leaving school at the end of the day.  This helps us to make sure that children of different phases and where possible year groups, can be kept apart. 

A reminder of the yard and doorways your child has to use are shown in the table below.  And you can click here to see our site map with designated entrances. 

If your child rides a bike or scooter to school, there is a bike rack in each yard near to the entrance for them to use.  Children must not use their bikes and scooters in the school yards.  They must push them from when they enter the school site.      

 

The start of the school day

We are continuing our ‘soft’ start time for Reception to Year 5.  Children should come into school between 8.45am and 9.00am.  This worked well last term to minmise mixing of families in the yards. 

But Year 6 children will have a ‘hard’ start time of 8.45am.   Learning will be set up and ready for all of our children as soon as they enter the building.  

 Nursery and KEEP start times remain unchanged.  

Staff will be stationed at the doorway your child enters and their teacher will be waiting in the classroom ready for them to arrive and start their learning.  The learning from 8.45am-9.00am is deliberately structured to enable children to arrive, sit down and get straight on independently.  All parents should leave the yard area immediately after drop off and should move away from the school gates to allow others access to the site.  

 

The end of the school day

There is no safe way to dismiss children without the need for a staggered pick up.  Please see the summary information below for your child’s finish time.  Year 3 now finish at the earlier time of 3.20pm.  Parents will need to arrive promptly at their designated time and wait in the designated area.  

Children in Year 5 and Year 6 will be dismissed from their school doorway.  Staff will not be responsible for your child once they have left staff at the doorway.  It is your responsibility to meet your child as they leave the school grounds.  It will be important that you agree on a place to meet your child.  For example, that could be next to the gate or on the path next to the staff car park.  Children will of course be reminded that if you are not there, to come back to the entrance they were dismissed from.  But it will be your responsibility to be on time.  

Summary of arrangements 

Year group Start time Finish time Specific arrangements
Nursery Nursery and children in the KEEP have received separate information
Reception class 8.45am – 9.00am 3.15pm Reception porch entrance as usual.  Families will have a designated waiting area in the KS1 yard and should enter and exit using the double gates.
Year 1 8.45am – 9.00am 3.20pm Y1 ramp entrance as usual.  Families will have a designated waiting area in the KS1 yard and should enter and exit using the double gates.
Year 2 8.45am – 9.00am 3.15pm Y2 to use the doorway next to the school garden, at the bottom of the KS2 yard.  Families will have a designated waiting area in the KS2 yard and should enter and exit using the double gates.
Year 3 8.45am – 9.00am 3.20pm Y3 to use the doorway next to the school garden, at the bottom of the KS2 yard.  Families will have a designated waiting area in the KS2 yard and should enter and exit using the double gates.
Year 4 8.45am – 9.00am 3.25pm Y4 to use the doorway at the bottom of the KS1 yard beside the sliding doors.  Children should enter and exit using the bike shed yard on Blanchland Terrace.  Parents do not come on site and arrange a place to meet just outside the site or children may walk home if allowed.
Year 5 8.45am – 9.00am 3.20pm Y5 to use the first doorway on the right when entering the KS2 yard.  Children leave via the KS2 yard. Parents do not come on site and arrange a place to meet just outside the site or children may walk home if allowed.
Year 6 8.45am 3.15pm Y6 to use the main entrance sliding doors.  Children leave via the KS1 yard.  Parents do not come on site and arrange a place to meet just outside the site or children may walk home if allowed.

 

If you have more than one child in school, please collect the child who finishes first before the others.  If you have siblings who finish at the same time, please meet or collect your youngest child first.  

Should families not actively socially distance and arrive and leave the site promptly, then we will have to review the start and finish arrangement.  This could lead to having seven different start and finish times across school. 

 

Friday afternoons

School will continue to close on a Friday afternoon to all children.  The changes we made in September to our timetabled teaching week work extremely well in school.  Our children have as much teaching time as during a traditional teaching week and are not losing any learning time as a result of school closing at lunchtime. Children who previously had a childcare place on a Friday afternoon will be able to stay for childcare.  If you no longer need your child’s Friday afternoon childcare place, please email school to let us know.  We will continue to review this arrangement and will update you of any changes.

Click here to see staggered finish times for each year group.

Year 2 and Year 4 teaching staff

Sadly Mr Routledge and Miss Osueke remain off work and will be for the forseeable future.  Therefore Mrs Mason will be continuing to teach Y2Ro.  Mrs Stobbs will be teaching Y4F and Mrs Imray will have Y4I as usual.

 

Lunchtimes

School lunch arrangements will be in place exactly as they were before Christmas, with hot food served across school from Monday 8th March.

 

Uniform

All children in school must be in full school uniform as usual, including black shoes.  There will be an opportunity for parents to come and buy school uniform on Monday 1st March between 4.00pm and 5.00pm at the school office.  Uniform sales are every Monday at this time only.  If you are unable to come to school, you can send your child into school with money in a clearly marked envelope detailing the uniform you would like and the uniform will be sent home with your child.  Children should still come to school on their PE day in their full school PE kit.  

If you find your child’s shoes do not fit, please let us know and we may allow a grace period until after the Easter holidays to allow shops to open, enabling them to be replaced.

 

Thank you in advance for your continued support and understanding with everything.  By working together, we can achieve a safe return for all of our children.  

Thank you

Miss Byrne

Headteacher

 

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