Updates for Covid-19

Coronavirus Update 18/06/2020

Welcoming children back to School :

I am delighted to be able to welcome children back to School in accordance with the directives from the Government and in stages as and when I can create capacity safely. 

A School without the sound of children’s voices in it is a sad and barren place to be, so it has been as if St. Michael’s is reawakening with the children who have returned and I look forward to becoming fully open in the not too distant future. 

Whilst we cannot at this time admit visitors, I have met ‘virtually’ with new parents who wish to choose St. Michael’s for their child’s education and I am pleased to continue to do so. We have exciting plans ahead for the years to come and I look forward to sharing these with you all soon.

In the meantime, I trust the information below will answer any questions you may have.

Mr James Mobbs
Headmaster

Which year groups are returning to school?

A phased return to school for pupils in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 began on Monday 8th June, alongside a continued provision for children of key workers. Plans for our Year 5 pupils to have time in school from Monday, 22nd June are also underway and we will announce further details as soon as possible.

How will you maintain social distancing?

The Government guidelines state that unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2m apart from each other and staff. Parents should be aware that we cannot guarantee social distancing at all times, however, there is a framework of strategies to reduce contact for our younger pupils, and central to our approach is the ‘bubble’ model.

  • The ‘bubble’ model is the contact reducing method recommended by the Government of a maximum of 15 children. A ‘bubble’ will not be able to mix with other ‘bubbles’, or with other staff members
  • Each bubble will be assigned designated members of staff and area to learn.

Other measures to aid social distancing will include:

  • Markings to indicate safe distances and pathways, helping children move safely through the school when required.
  • One-way systems in any communal spaces (toilets, entry and exit points etc.)
  • Staggered drop off and pick up times to minimise parents’ contact with other adults and to help protect pupils and staff.

Will hygiene measures be increased?

We have introduced several additional measures to increase hygiene for children, staff and the spaces they occupy. These include:-

  • Stringent hand washing and use of hand sanitiser for all children and staff – each ‘bubble’ has its own wash station.
  • Frequent cleaning of surfaces, rooms and equipment throughout the day and at the end of each day.
  • Increased time spent outside, as the risk of spreading infection is reduced in open spaces.
  • Removal of certain types of toys and soft furnishings together with reduced access to certain classroom resources.

Will staff and children be required to wear PPE?

No, as the Government’s guidance does not recommend wearing face coverings or masks in schools for children or adults. The only exception to this would be if a child’s care typically involves PPE, or where a distance of 2m cannot be maintained from a child that is unwell with the symptoms of Coronavirus. The advice warns that face-masks and face coverings could create a greater risk of transmission. Staff have access to PPE, which they can choose to use if and when they feel it is appropriate.

Risk Assessment

A whole school Risk Assessment is available on the school website which outlines the protocols currently in place during this current phase. This will be reviewed regularly and updated as required.

Am I obliged by law to send my child back to school?

The Department for Education is encouraging families to send their children back into school unless the child or a family member is vulnerable or shielding. Government guidelines have made it clear that parents and guardians will not be penalised should they decide not to send their children back to school. Parents should feel free to decide for themselves and we will respect parents’ decisions and continue to support a home learning provision for those families that choose to keep their children at home.

Remote Learning During School Closure

It is our intention that all children are set work via Google Classroom by 9.00am every morning:

  • Prep pupils will have their work set to follow their timetables
  • Pre-Prep will be given work on a more flexible level
  • Foundation Stage will be given comparable home learning tasks.

For Foundation Stage pupils, Tapestry can be used to evidence what has been learnt from home; if you have not already activated your account, an email will be resent today. Unique login and password details for Nursery to Year 2 pupils to access Google Classroom have been put in their Home/School Link books and a letter containing this information will be emailed to parents and posted on EduLink One under the Reports & Personalised Letters section.

Where you can find out more:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/wuhan-novel-coronavirus-information-for-the-public

We have been overwhelmed by the support of the staff and parents over the last few days in dealing with this incredibly challenging situation. We are working through this together in true St Michael’s style and I am deeply grateful to you all for your understanding and co-operation.