Dear Parents/ carers,
I do sincerely hope that you and your families remain well and that you are unaffected by this terrible virus. Covid 19 has affected our staff in a number of ways and we extend our condolences to anyone within our school community who has suffered a loss over recent weeks.
As you are aware, the Government, in their announcement on Sunday 10th May, stated that they would like to get all children back into education as soon as the scientific advice allows this to be done safely, starting with specific year groups returning to school from June 1st.
We have thought very hard about this proposal. Following consultations with local Head Teachers, the local authority and taking into consideration the most recent data regarding infections within the TS5 and TS1 areas, where the majority of our children live, we believe that it is advisable to delay the opening of our school until Monday 8th June. Hopefully, this will allow time for us to mirror the downward trend in infections that have been seen in similar areas of the country. We, in conjunction with the governors, have not taken this decision lightly and have the safety of our Kader family at the forefront.
Vulnerable and Key Workers’ Children
We have been providing childcare for vulnerable and children of key workers who have no alternative arrangements and will continue to do so. This provision is not altered by the recent announcement and this group of children will continue to be cared for in school together, even if their year group returns.
Phased year group return
- From 8th June, we are aiming to open for Year 6 pupils in small ‘bubble’ classes ( max 9 children)
- From June 15th, we are aiming to open for Year 1 pupils (max 8 children), alongside the existing Year 6 pupils, again within ‘bubble classes’.
- It is our intention that Reception will return from 22nd June if it is safe to do so.
- We do not have the staffing or teaching areas to extend this offer to Nursery children at this time.
We are asking parents to think carefully about their decision as each child will be in the same ‘bubble’ class each day and we will not have the capacity to alter ‘ bubbles’ until the end of June when our phased return has been implemented and reviewed.
School will only be open for children in phased year groups on a Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. On a Wednesday, the school site will be deep cleaned. The only children who will be permitted in school on a Wednesday are our vulnerable and key workers’ children . There will be no before or after school care or afterschool activities during this time.
Parents have already asked about the ability to socially distance in schools. We have to be honest and say that, from our many years of experience in teaching, social distancing in a primary school is extremely difficult, we cannot guarantee we can achieve social distancing in school, but all staff will try their very best. Please be aware that some of our staff may be using PPE while working with your children.
As a school, we are working very hard to put plans in place to create a safe environment for all, but school will look very different from what your children are used to. It is also important to note that the children will be taught by a Kader Academy member of staff but not necessarily their current class teacher or in their current classroom. Their school experience will be very different. Can we please ask, that all parents talk to your children about some of the changes they will find in order to prepare them fully. Some of the measures we are following include:
– Reduced ‘bubble’ class sizes (Max 9) with one member of staff
– Potentially staggering drop off and pick up times to limit adult contact
– Limiting parents to one adult per drop off
– Different entrance and exit points
– Staggering break-times so ‘bubbles’ of children do not mix
– Not mixing ‘bubbles’ of children during break-times, lunchtimes or activities
– Increased sanitation in all areas
– Regular hand washing
– Regular cleaning within classrooms
– Resources limited, allowing only items that can be thoroughly washed after use.
– Not following our usual teaching styles or timetables due to the need to social distance as much as possible.
– No sharing of resources
– Children will only be permitted to bring in a packed lunch with disposable packaging (NO LUNCH BOXES or WATER BOTTLES) if they do not wish to purchase one from school. Free school meal allocation will also be provided by way of a packed lunch.
– Eating a packed lunch in their classrooms to reduce movement around school.
– Water will be provided. Water bottles will not be permitted.
– School uniform will not be required throughout this Summer term, but please ensure children wear fresh, clean clothing daily, that is suitable for the children to undertake physical activities without having to change. An outdoor coat will be a must and a jumper or cardigan for the classroom, as all windows will be open.
– We would like parents/ carers to walk or drive their children to school wherever possible, in order to minimise the use of public transport.
Further guidance can be found in the following Government document: Closure of Educational Settings – Information for Parents and Carers which may answer many more of your questions.
Taking into account all of these changes many families may decide not to send their Year 6, Year 1 or Reception children back to school. Home schooling will remain unchanged for all children remaining at home.
Registers will be taken as usual, however, please be aware that at this moment it is still parent and carer choice and families will not be penalised for their children not attending school at this time.
Following our school’s recent risk assessment, for safety reasons, the number of pupils and staff allowed in the building at any one time must be capped. Due to our decision to delay opening until June 8th, we are extending our deadline and now need a definitive number by Friday 22nd May by 12.00pm to finalise numbers and allocate the bubbles. If you have not responded by then, we will assume a place is not required.
The wellbeing of our children and staff is our first priority. Consequently, it is important to note that we are asking parents and carers to stick by their initial decision, as we need to make very detailed and specific plans to safeguard all. Unless self-isolating, we need to have the same children in the same class ‘bubble’ each day. To clarify, we will not be taking additional children from these year groups once the classes have been organised on Friday 22nd May.
Risk assessments will be ongoing during this time and changes may be necessary if and when situations arise. We will of course endeavour to keep you fully informed as always. Government guidelines still need to be adhered to regarding pupils and staff showing symptoms. Anybody displaying symptoms must still self-isolate alongside family members and the child must not come into school.
As we stand, we await further Government guidance on reopening for the remaining Year Groups (Year 2, Year 3, Year 4 and Year 5). We will only do this, if we feel that we can safeguard the increased numbers on our school premises.
We understand that school is operating in a very different way but please be assured that we are putting you and your child’s safety first. Thank you for your continued support.
We miss you all, both children and their families very much and look forward to the day when we can all be together again in our Kader family.
Take care, keep safe and keep smiling,
Paul Leadbitter and Alison Mitchinson
Chair of Governors and Principal