Sent 22 Jul 2020 15:37

Dear Parents/Carers,

Apologies for the length of this letter but we want to make sure that you have all the information you need before we break up for the summer holidays.

We are delighted that we will be reopening fully in September and look forward to welcoming your children back into school. Please have a look at the welcome videos that teachers have created for their new class; these are on Google Classroom or Tapestry and also on our school website https://kingsoak.kingston.sch.uk/info-september-2020/

Since lockdown, we have followed Government guidance and will continue to do so, to ensure the safety of our school community. We have been open every day for the last 4 months, to increasing numbers of pupils and staff, and believe that we have made our school day as safe as possible as we have had no confirmed cases in that time.

Autumn Term Routines

The first day of the Autumn Term is Monday 7th September (except for children in Pre-School, Nursery and Reception who will start on different days and be notified of these very soon). Aside from social distancing measures (as outlined throughout the remainder of this letter), our expectations are that learning and school routines will continue as usual.

All children are expected to be in school and our usual attendance policy will apply. As we are in a pandemic, it is vital that we know why children are absent if they are unwell so please phone us (not email) as soon as possible on each day of absence. All children (and staff) who are absent with COVID-19 symptoms (as below) will need to be tested and must stay at home during this time. We will be able to advise when children should return. Children who are at home during periods of self-isolation will be expected to continue their learning on Google Classroom so that they do not fall behind.

Children will learn in their own classrooms in ‘Year Group Bubbles’ (which have separate arrival and collection times, separate break and lunch times and separate Bubble resources and outside spaces) and desks in classrooms will all face forwards to minimise potential transmission of the virus. Drop off and pick up times (detailed below) must be strictly observed to support social distancing. This will ensure everyone’s safety.

All children and adults are expected to wash their hands as they arrive in school, before and after play and before and after lunch. This will be done at the sinks in their classrooms. Handwashing will also be repeated several times throughout the day.

All children will have packed lunches until at least October half term and these can be ordered from our school caterer, ISS, via their website from Monday 24th August – more details about the menu will follow during the holidays. If your child brings a packed lunch, please ensure that this is in a disposable bag which can be put straight in the bin once they have finished eating.

Tissues and pedal bins with lids will be available in classrooms. This will help us to support the NHS message of ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’.

As much as possible, we will be encouraging children to keep 2 metres apart and will be keeping doors and windows open and learning outside as often as we can in separate areas of the grounds. Adults will be socially distancing as much as they can.

Large gatherings (such as assemblies) will not take place in the hall but will be shared in school online. Sports will be limited to those that can be done safely (such as non-contact sports) and lunches will be eaten outside or in classrooms (except Reception and Year 1 who will eat in the hall).

After school activity clubs will not be running during September or October due to the logistics of staggered start and finish times. We are awaiting information about the arrangements for SCL Breakfast Club and After School Care and will send out information via ParentMail as soon as we have received this from the company.

All spaces will be thoroughly cleaned after use by each Bubble and all resources will stay with that Bubble as well as being thoroughly cleaned (as far as possible) or ‘bagged’ for 48 hours, between use. We will carry out enhanced cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, as we have been doing since lockdown began.

For September, please ensure that:

  • Your child has a water bottle, clearly labelled with their name.
  • All school uniform is clearly labelled with your child’s name. Children will need to wear full uniform (no hoodies or trainers) – please see our website for the contact details and ordering processes of our school uniform supplier.
  • Daily sun screen is applied before school.
  • Your child brings a sun hat clearly labelled with their name.
  • If your child suffers from hay fever, they take any medication before coming to school in the morning.
  • A coat is only worn if it is cold or raining.
  • All public transport is avoided and walking is encouraged. We have limited storage for bikes or scooters at school so please only use this method of transport if you usually use public transport and cannot walk. We take no responsibility for bikes and scooters that are on our school site.
  • Your child understands that they will be asked to remove face masks at school (they will bring these home in a plastic bag).

If you need to drive to school, we have previously been advised that parents/carers are welcome to use the Aldi/Matalan car park (which has free parking for up to three hours) at drop-off and collection times. If you want to take advantage of this generous offer, please be mindful of correctly positioning your car so that it is within the lines of the parking bay as parking attendants may issue parking tickets if car tyres are slightly over the bay markings.

Reporting COVID-19 symptoms and staying at home

If your child has any of the COVID-19 symptoms (as below from the NHS website), you MUST NOT bring them to school. Your child also must not come to school if any member of the household has COVID-19 symptoms. Please phone our School Office and inform us immediately if your child or household have COVID-19 symptoms.

All children (and staff) who are absent with COVID-19 symptoms (as below) will need to be tested and must stay at home during this time. We will be able to advise when children should return.

  • high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • 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)
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

If a member of our school community has a positive test result, Bubbles may need to close; we will aim to text you before 8:00 a.m. to inform you of this. Any further communications will be sent by ParentMail later that day. Children who are at home during periods of self-isolation will be expected to continue their learning on Google Classroom so that they do not fall behind.

If, during the school day, your child develops COVID-19 symptoms, they will be removed from their Bubble immediately by a member of staff wearing personal protective equipment (PPE). They will be taken to our Medical Room and you will be called immediately. Your child will be isolated while we wait for your arrival.

Drop off and collection arrangements and visiting the school site

Parents/carers are only able to come onto our school site if they have a pre-arranged appointment and only on their own (unless an interpreter is needed). If you need to contact staff, please email admin@kop.rbksch.org or email your year group email address if your enquiry is related to learning.

Each Bubble will have a set time for arrival and pick up, as below. Although this will mean that siblings have different arrival and collection arrangements, we are confident that the timings will work for our families and children will not lose any learning time as a result of the revised timings.

We ask that only one parent/carer per family drops their child(ren) off at the school gate and does not enter the school site. We have therefore put 2 metre marks outside the main school gate and the red Nursery gate (in the same way that the supermarkets do). Parents/carers will wait (and socially distance) until it is their turn to drop off or pick up their child(ren) at the designated gate (please see below) where they will be met by staff. At the end of the arrival time slot (please see below), the children will move to their classrooms. Parents/carers who drop off at the main gate or red Nursery gate will then be encouraged to cross the road on the zebra crossing outside school to move away from the school. Pick up will be at the same place. Children will wait for their parent/carer inside the gate and parents/carers will queue to collect their child.

Anyone who is late must buzz at the main school gate and wait there to be met by a member of staff.

Pre-School Bubble: Arrive at the main school gate and queue towards the shop. Drop off: 8:15 a.m. (12:25 p.m.); pick up: 11:15 a.m. (3:25 p.m.)

Nursery Bubble: Arrive at the red gate which leads to Nursery and queue towards the bridge. Drop off: 8:15 a.m. (12:35 p.m.); pick up: 11:15 a.m. (3:35 p.m.)

Reception Bubble: Arrive at the red gate which leads to Nursery and queue towards the bridge. Drop off: 9:00 a.m.; pick up: 3:25 p.m.

Year 1 Bubble: Arrive at the main school gate and queue towards the shop. Drop off: 8:30 a.m.; pick up: 2:55 p.m.

Year 2 Bubble: Arrive at the main school gate and queue towards the shop. Drop off: 8:45 a.m.; pick up: 3:10 p.m.

Year 3 Bubble: Arrive at the red gate which leads to Nursery and queue towards the bridge. Drop off: 8:45 a.m.; pick up: 3:10 p.m.

Year 4 Bubble: Arrive at the red gate which leads to Nursery and queue towards the bridge. Drop off: 8:30 a.m.; pick up: 2:55 p.m.

Year 5 Bubble: Arrive at the entrance to the alley in Norbiton Common Road where members of staff will escort children along the alley and into school. Drop off: 8:30 a.m.; pick up: 2:55 p.m. (from the end of the alley in Norbiton Common Road).

Year 6 Bubble: Arrive at the entrance to the alley in Norbiton Common Road where members of staff will escort children along the alley and into school. Drop off: 8:45 a.m.; pick up: 3:10 p.m. (from the end of the alley in Norbiton Common Road).

Blossom Bubble: Arrive at the main school gate and queue towards the shop. Drop off: 9:00 a.m.; pick up: 3:20 p.m.

Due to the systems that we are having to adopt at pick up and drop off, there will not be time for staff to talk to individual parents/carers. Any queries related to learning can be made through the Year Group email system. Once on our school site, children will move around the outside of the building (except Blossom) and enter their learning spaces via an external door. This is the only space that children will access beside the toilets and their designated outdoor area for break/lunch times and for exercise. All gates will be locked at 9:05 a.m. In order for this system to work and for everyone to be kept as safe as they can, children MUST arrive on time and be collected on time.

Have a wonderful break, staffing changes and see you in September

Having read through all of this information, we hope that you feel confident that your child will be as safe as possible at school. We are sure that you will appreciate that a lot of thought and attention to detail has gone into our plans to ensure that child/ren, staff and parents/carers are as safe as possible. We ask that you strictly adhere to what we are asking so that we can ensure our school community can return to a ‘new normal’ as safely and as quickly as possible.

School closes for the holidays today (Wednesday 22nd July) and our school office will also be closed; the Year Group, SENCo and Admin email addresses are not monitored during the holidays but we will pick up emails when we can. We will also be updating our school website in response to any queries so that all information relating to new routines for September is in one place https://kingsoak.kingston.sch.uk/info-september-2020/

All teachers will be making phone contact towards the end of the summer holidays – if you receive a call from a blocked number, this is likely to be your child’s teacher and they would love to speak to you.

Finally, we are sadly saying goodbye to two of our much loved and valued Teaching and Learning Support Assistants today: Mrs Hall who has been a member of our team for 20 years is retiring and Miss Nicholls will be taking up a new post after almost 5 years working at our school. Both have contributed massively to the education of hundreds of children during their time at our school and although we will miss them, we wish them both the very best for the future.

On a happier note, we are pleased to welcome Ms Haynes (who joins us as a HLTA) and to let you know that Ms Stodart has agreed to stay on in her role of Deputy Headteacher for the Autumn Term to support the capacity of our Senior Leadership Team during what we anticipate will be a very busy term.

Thank you for your support during the last year, particularly your support of your child’s home learning.

Have a lovely summer break.

Best wishes,

Katie Bentham