CoVid-19 School update June 2020

I am sure we would all agree that past few months have been a challenging time for us all, and it feels like we are still some way from normality. Parents who are working from home are doing such a brilliant job of home schooling their children and we appreciate everything you are doing.

Home-schooling and contact from Teachers. Remember this – “you are doing a brilliant job”

All experiences during this time are valid and educational; an hour of maths, a walk in the countryside, jobs on the farm, lambing, baking a cake, writing a story or journal, painting a picture, playing a game, singing a song, learning to ride a bike, building a den, running a mile, having a conversation with granny and granddad via zoom, are all worthy “learning experiences”. Never underestimate what you are doing with your children.

Please do also continue to access remote learning for your children via BBC Bitesize (daily lessons), Twinkle and White Rose maths as well as other resources, which are posted by teachers on our website and Facebook pages and via Class Dojo. Perhaps this may be a good time to revisit the list of resources, which are updated regularly, to see what else there is. Have you used our Nature Curriculum (lots of nature based lessons through out the seasons) or the weekly resourced Picture News?

There is also a document, which breaks down what areas of study to do with your children based on their age/year group. You can refer to your latest snap shot from us which outlines where your child is at in terms of their age related expectations. For example – if your child is in year 3 but working at year 2 age related expectations then select activities appropriate for year 2 and so forth. If you need something in particular, or help and advice, then do let your teacher know when they make contact with you each week and they can organise this for you.

Both Classes 1 and 2 have been organising Zoom sessions and weekly Class Dojo activities. Class 3 have prepared an independent learning overview for children in years 5 and 6. Tiverton High School will be providing a virtual transition week for children moving to THS in September.

• Mrs Horrell will continue to make contact with parents in Class 1
• Miss Budden will continue to make contact with parents of children in years 2 and 3
• Miss Wotton and Mrs James will make contact with parents of children in years 4, 5 and 6.

Since lockdown we have been open for key worker and vulnerable children only but from the 1st June we opened to wider year groups (Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children).

At school we have children and teachers trying hard to make in-school life as normal as possible. We thought we’d share our view of how the coming weeks will look, both in and out of school, until the end of summer term.

Returning to school from 1st June 2020

Over half term, our staff were busily preparing the school in preparation for opening up to wider year groups from the 1st June. So what has changed?

• Our school day is a little different as children’s start and finish times are staggered.
• School is open from 9.00am – 3.30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. We are only open from 9.00 – 12.00 on a Wednesday.
• School lunches are available with a limited menu from what we are used to on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
• Our school classrooms look a little different and some of our routines have changed.
• Children and staff are in bubbles.
• Every child has their own ‘work and play station’ and set of equipment and resources.
• We are observing the recommended 2m social distancing in school. This will reduce the risk of infection of CoVid-19 but it also means that we therefore do not need to wear masks or PPE while we are together.
• All children can wear casual clothes, and please ensure it is a different set of clothes daily.
• For additional information please refer to the letter we sent on 29 May, which is shown below.

Please take a look at the videos for each bubble (links below)  as they give you a flavour of how we need to work moving forwards.

Our bubbles

We currently have 3 bubbles. Due to the size of the rooms and maintaining social distancing, these bubbles have a maximum of 8 children for bubbles 2 and 3 and 5 children for bubble 1.

Bubble 1: Children in Mrs Taylor/Mrs Rodgers’ bubble arrive at school for 9am using the back gate. They are in the MULA. The day finishes at 3.30 for Bubble 1.

Bubble 2: Children in Mrs Hagley/Mrs James’ bubble arrive at school for 9.15am using the side church gate. They are in classroom 1. The day finishes at 3.00 for bubble 2, leaving by the church gate. On a Friday Bubble 2 starts at 9.45 and finishes at 2.45.

Bubble 3: Children in Miss Budden’s bubble arrive at school for 9.30 using the front gate. They are in classroom 2. The day finishes at 3.15 for bubble 3, leaving by the front gate.

The bubbles do not mix and use different parts of the school. Each bubble has their own bathroom and playground. The bubbles eat their lunch at different times of the day.

The bubbles are supported by our fantastic and creative Teaching Assistants who are also safeguarding and first aid trained.

Mrs Ashdown supports bubble 2.
Mrs Perry and Mrs Chamberlain support bubble 3.
Alan Odell continues to lead our lunch times and Jane provides our lovely school meals.

Keeping the school clean

Richard Cliff, our Devon Norse cleaner, is still in school every day from 3.30 – 6.00.

Abi Mackie is in school full time ensuring that classrooms, surfaces, equipment, resources, etc, are cleaned regularly and are hygienic. The school is shiny and bright and ever so clean.

Moving forwards

As you will have heard the Government have decided that schools in England will not open to wider year groups at this current time and possibly not until till September or beyond.

I can appreciate that many of you will be disappointed by this news as you were hoping that your children could return to school before the summer holidays.

In reality as a small school we would have found this particularly difficult due to the physical constraints of the classrooms and numbers of staff available. We will therefore remain open only for children of essential key workers, vulnerable children, those children with EHCPs and children in Reception, Years 1 and 6.

Please be rest assured that we are planning carefully what a September return may look like.

Key workers with children in years 2, 3, 4 and 5

We are still being encouraged by the Government to stay at home if we can work from home. If there is someone at home to look after children in years 2, 3, 4, and 5 they should continue to do so.

As spaces in school are limited, please consider carefully before applying for a key worker place for your children. Consider if you qualify as a key worker, if there is someone at home to provide childcare or if you really need childcare so that you are able to go to work to provide a key role in the fight against CoVid-19.

Various documents and information

  • Letter to parents with children remaining at home here
  • Letter to parents with offer place here
  • Parents risk assessment here
  • Behaviour policy appendix CoVid-19 here
  • Safeguarding policy appendix CoVid-19 here
  • Lunch menu here

Video of each class and routines:

Bubble 1:  https://www.facebook.com/rackenfordprimary/videos/1288419978019692/?t=45

Bubble 2: https://www.facebook.com/rackenfordprimary/videos/206752826968612/?t=4

Bubble 3: https://www.facebook.com/rackenfordprimary/videos/272867217400510/?t=3

You may not have Facebook, so you can get a clear idea of the layouts from these photos.

Thank you for your patience, and we will continue to contact you with updates as we go along.

Warm regards and best wishes

 

Sarah & all the team

Statement from our Governing Board

Governors have been heavily involved throughout this process and provide support and challenge in equal measure to the leaders within the federation. We have and will continue to use Microsoft Teams to conduct meetings and to enable group briefings from school leaders, as well as regular one to one discussions between the Executive Head, Mrs Crook and our chair of governors. A “Covid Governor” has also been appointed to ensure all Governors have access to all the current guidance in the fast changing environment and in line with school leaders. Safeguarding during the Covid emergency remains a primary concern for our children and staff, and is a key focus as we plan for, and implement, the partial re-opening of schools for certain year groups.

The final decision on whether and when to re-open rests with the Executive Head, Sammy Crook, but this decision has been following discussions with other leaders within the Federation and Governors. Governors have had access to the views and concerns raised by staff and have carried out a robust review of the plans for re-opening, including the necessary formal risk assessments, for each of our schools. We accept that this is an ongoing and constantly evolving task and school leaders are reviewing risk assessments weekly, or more. School leaders and Governors are working together to try to make the right decisions and at the right time. Following our Prime Minister’s confirmation that schools should reopen from 1st June and supported by DCC we plan to start to welcome some additional children back to school week commencing 1st June 2020.