Beginning of Year Letter and updated information
As a staff we really appreciate the support and encouragement of all our parents this week with our first week back in school. School has been very calm and quieter than usual but routines and planned changes are working well. The most exciting and rewarding part of the whole week has, without a doubt been the smiling faces and enthusiasm shown by our pupils this week - without exception they have been beaming form ear to ear. It is clear we are all glad to be back in school.
Over the coming weeks as we settle, while access to the building in limited, please feel free to make contact by email or telephone with questions or queries - there are no silly questions!
On Tuesday 2nd September we will be welcoming everyone into school together for the first time which we are very much looking forward to.
The children will be bringing home the usual batch of annual forms for parents to complete - Data Collection Form, Photograph Permission form etc. In addition to these this year an Internet Survey has been added to inform our planning for homework. Please return this survey as soon as you can and by 4th September if possible.
It is particularly important this year that the school office has a current mobile number to contact a family member during the school day. Please keep us updated regarding this information.
Please find below a copy of the beginning of year letter which will go home next week. I hope this will provide further details regarding our provision for staggered finishing times. The option of older children leaving earlier with younger siblings is currently being offered - it is not compulsory. It would be appreciated if parents could inform class teachers with a little note or email if they would like older siblings out earlier.
(It will take a little while to settle into this which is very different to what we have been used to but hopefully by the end of the week we will have it working.)
Windsor Hill Primary School - Restart Arrangements - for the convenience of newcomer parents the contents of the principal's letter is pasted below and should therefore be available for translation using the link on the front page of the website.
Restarting Arrangements – August 2020
I trust you have had a chance to enjoy some of the good weather over the holidays. We are now in a position to provide some further updates and arrangements for returning to school. As a school staff we are very much looking forward to welcoming children back. We fully appreciate that there continues to be a lot of challenges for families and we remain available to support parents and families with this return to schools – please do not hesitate to email / call with specific questions or concerns. We would also encourage you to prepare your children for their return, discuss coming back into school positively and assist us by sharing the arrangements listed below with your children. (Possibly a little at a time!) All of this information will be walked through with the children on their ‘induction morning’ when time and care will be taken to ensure they are as comfortable and confident with our arrangements as possible.
As we plan for the implementation of the Department of Education guidance and put procedures in place to ensure everyone’s safety we would appreciate co-operation with the following arrangements which are intended to minimize movement in and out of school. Each class will be viewed as a ‘class bubble’. In school movement between bubbles will be kept to a minimum. At the beginning of the year we will not have school assemblies or large gatherings of children. The playground is zoned and play times etc. will be timetabled for each class.
Children are asked, as far as possible, to wear a fresh uniform to school each day – this can be done by alternating between PE tracksuit and uniform if this is easier for parents. To start off with, children should not bring school bags, personal toys or pencil cases into school. (All stationery will be provided and this will be reviewed in the light of updated guidance).
Packed lunches can be brought in disposable packaging or a lunch box, clearly labeled which can be cleaned daily. Children are also encouraged to bring their own clearly labelled water bottle into school.
Arrangements for homework, which will not resume during the first week or two, will be shared at a later date.
As we establish and endeavor to maintain ‘class bubbles’ in school, we very much regret that at present, we are unable to resume normal after school activities, including 2-3 Club. This will however be kept under review in the coming weeks.
1. RETURN DATES
All P7 pupils return to school on Monday 24th August @ 9:15 am. P7 pupil attend 9:15am – 2:00pm. Everyone should bring packed lunches as no school dinners will be available until Tuesday 1st September.
INDUCTION MORNINGS – 9:15 am – 12:15 pm
To provide the children will a chance to become familiar with their new classroom, with their break / play areas and routines e.g. hand washing etc. an induction morning has been planned for each class as detailed below:
TUESDAY 25th August Mrs. Jennet’s P2 class
TUESDAY 25th August Miss Nesbitt’s P6 class
WEDNESDAY 26th August Mrs. Magill’s P5 class
WEDNESDAY 26th August Mrs. Loney’s P5 class
WEDNESDAY 26th August Miss McKeown’s P4 class
THURSDAY 27th August Miss Henning’s P3 class
THURSDAY 27th August Mrs Chapman’s P3/4 class
THURSDAY 27th August Mr Morrow’s P6 pupils to join P7
2. ACCESS TO SCHOOL
Parents, other than P1 Parents, are asked not to accompany their children into school. Please leave pupils at the footpath inside the school gate. We would appreciate it if parents would try not to gather around the gate and move quickly from the school premises both in the morning and afternoon while maintain social distancing. Everyone coming in to the school building will be required to sanitise their hands on entry and a one-way system will be operated around the school.
3. ARRIVAL AT SCHOOL
It is felt that it is not practical to enforce a ‘staggered start’ that everyone can adhere to first thing in the morning. Rather than designating a specific ‘arrival time’ for classes / family groups, which could potentially increase pressure in the morning, a ‘Trickle Arrival’ Approach will be trialled – and will be reviewed and updated if necessary. The School door will be open from 8:45 am – 9:15am each morning for children to come into school. On entry the children will go straight to their own class and should not accompany younger siblings to their classes. As a protective measure, we would ask parents to exercise wise judgement upon arrival at school and simply wait in the car for a few moments if there should happen to be a larger number of families arriving at the same time. Please do not, if at all possible, allow your children to gather at the school door before 8:45am.
4. STAGGERED DISMISSAL TIMES
P1 – P3 children we will trial the following staggered leaving times. (with siblings)
P1 1:30pm (From 21st September)
P4 – P7 – IN CLASSES (with siblings)
2:30pm P4 Miss McKeown & P4 Mrs. Chapman
2:40pm P5 Mrs. Magill & P5 Mrs. Loney
2:50pm P6 Miss Nesbitt
3:00pm P6/7 Mr. Morrow
3:10pm P7 Mrs. Kerrigan
We would appreciate it if the office is informed in advance if your child needs to leave school early for medical appointments so that we can, as far as possible have the children ready to go on time. Parents are asked to notify us in advance of pupils needing to leave early for medical appointments etc.
5. SCHOOL MEALS
School dinners will begin again on Tuesday 1st September with arrangements being made for meals to be eaten in bubbles either in classroom or in staggered lunch breaks at ‘bubble tables’ in the assembly hall. (Arrangements will be confirmed when the catering staff return to school.)
FREE SCHOOL MEALS AND UNIFORM GRANT
Please ensure that those who may be eligible for free school meals and uniform grant have made a new application for this school year as soon as possible if you have not already done so. Free meals cannot be provided until clearance is given by the EA. For your convenience a form can be downloaded from the school website, is available from the office and from EA Website. (Further details are available at EA: https://www.eani.org.uk/financial-help/free-school-meals-uniform-grants).
Menus will be made available from the beginning of term and this year in particular we request that payment for dinners in only sent to school on Monday morning in a sealed envelope with the pupil’s name and dates dinner is required written on the front. (Cheques can be made payable to 'Education Authority'. Cash can be sent but the exact money would be very much appreciated.)
6. FAMILIES WITH EXISTING MEDICAL CONDITIONS
There may be families with existing health concerns or medical conditions which require further consideration / shielding. Please email/ telephone the principal directly to make arrangements for your child’s learning which fits in with your situation.
7. FAMILIES IN QUARANTINE
If your family has been effected by the Government guidance on quarantine, particularly if returning from abroad, please email / phone the principal to inform us that your child’s return will be delayed.
8. FAMILY MEMBERS WITH COVID SYMPTOMS
Do not send your child to school if your child or anyone you live with has any of the following symptoms, or has been in contact with anyone with these symptoms:
· a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature);
· a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);
· a loss of or change in sense of smell or taste.
The links to the latest Government guidance may be accessed through the Education Minister’s letter which is on the school website above and also at: https://www.windsorhillps.co.uk/useful-links/
Please inform the office immediately if your child or immediate family member they live with are suspected to have Covid.
The classrooms may need to be protective bubbles for a while at least, but our school will still have life and fun as we resume our learning together. Please try to keep the conversations about returning as positive as possible. Tell your children how much we are looking forward to welcoming them back. If they feel like they have forgotten lots of things, tell them not to worry; it’s our job to help each of them to get back on track with their learning and to keep school a happy but busy place where they can grow together. Despite the challenges and restrictions, we are confident that we can do that. It is so important that the children know that, along with you, we all want the best for them.
It will certainly go against the grain for us to have to control parental entry into the school more robustly than before, but this does not mean that we are unavailable; just available in a different way. Feel free to call or email me and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Staff are committed to support the learning and well-being of the children as they return and we want to work with you all on this. Staff emails were also distributed during lockdown and we very much appreciated the feedback so many gave using email – this can be continued as needed.
Sammy, with other staff, have worked extremely hard all summer cleaning, sanitising and putting up additional signage to help our pupils. Procedures are in place for handwashing, enhanced cleaning etc. to protect us all as much as possible. I assure you, that as a whole staff we will do all we can to nurture our pupils all back into school as sensitively as possible, but with a sense of getting on with it and moving forward as positively and productively as possible together. Our procedures and routines will be reviewed and updated regularly as we strive to work as effectively and efficiently as possible and try to minimise inconvenience for parents.
Your patience, co-operation and suggestions working on this together in these extraordinary circumstances will be very much appreciated. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions or concerns.