01204 333692

Norris Street

Little Lever, Bolton BL3 1BQ

Arrangements for School Opening

St. Matthew’s CE School ( Little Lever ) Arrangements for school reopening

Dear Parent/Carer,

Following the Government’s announcement that schools may open for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children after half term (and for our school this means 8th June) schools have been asked to plan on the basis that the Government’s 5 key tests are met, including the rate of infection decreasing (the R rating). Since the announcement was made Headteachers across the cluster have been working together to create solutions to implementing the Government’s guidance.

We are writing to share with you the protective measures we have been working on implementing to ensure the safety of all staff, pupils and visitors to our schools. These measures are being put into place following a robust risk assessment process in each setting based on the most recent Government guidance.  

We recognise that you may have some concerns about your child returning to school and that for some children another change will be unsettling for them. We also understand that the past weeks will have been challenging for many families.

St Matthew’s will be a very different place when the children return. This is necessary in order to be able to implement the Government’s measures.

A range of approaches and actions will be employed across all schools to minimise the spread of the virus. These include:

  • avoiding contact with anyone with symptoms
  • frequent hand cleaning and good respiratory hygiene practices
  • regular cleaning
  • minimising contact and mixing with others

Government guidance acknowledges that, unlike older children and adults, early years and primary age children cannot be expected to remain 2 metres apart from each other and staff. Considering this, please be aware that, whilst endeavouring to enforce social distancing, we cannot make this happen or guarantee that this will happen 100% of the time. This becomes more applicable the younger the age-range of the children.

What will the new, temporary provision look like at St. Matthew’s?

  • Children will be assigned to a group of up to 15 pupils and 2 adults. This group will then stay together throughout each day creating a bubble, avoiding other groups. Please note that in order to split the class your child may not be with their current teacher, or in their current classroom. Groups will not mix at any point during the school day.
  • Older children will have their own stationery, equipment and an allocated desk. Desks will be spaced as far apart as possible. Please be aware that at St. Matthew’s spacing desks 2m apart is impossible due to the physical size of the classrooms. Guidance has been provided on the use and cleaning of resources and some activities and items, particularly those that are shared, will not be used.
  • Sadly, classrooms and the curriculum will look and feel very different as there are limitations to what we can deliver whilst keeping protective measures in place
  • Start and finish times will be staggered. If your child needs to be accompanied to school, only one parent should attend. Your child will be allocated a drop off and collection time and we will inform you of the process for this.
  • School meals will be eaten in your child’s allocated classroom- initially this is likely to be a packed lunch as school will not be able to provide hot meals.
  • There will be no before or after school provision due to the limitations placed on children mixing between groups
  • Visitors without prior appointment will not be allowed access to the school building. All parental communication should be either by telephone or email.
  • School is likely to be closed to children on  Wednesday afternoons
  • Provision for Key Worker Children will continue – although timings may be shortened. Key worker children in these classes may join their class but will not then be able to rejoin the key worker group.
  • In order to plan staffing, rooms and timetables for the proposed return please complete the short survey that will follow via our text messaging titled ‘Proposed return to school’. Please complete this by Wednesday 20th  May and indicate whether you would or would not want your child to return to school on the proposed date of June 8th if the government state their 5 tests have been met.

Any parent who decides that they do not want their child to return to school during this period of time will not be fined.  

We understand that this is a challenging time and parents are faced with a very difficult decision to make. As individual schools, we are here to support you and if you require any further guidance then please contact the school office by telephone or email.

We are looking forward to seeing all the children once again, but we would like to reassure you that the safety of our school community is our priority. Schools will continue to review the protective measures they have implemented at this stage and Headteachers will update you with any changes as and when they make them.

We have been truly overwhelmed by the wonderful messages of support and have loved seeing all the great things you have been doing at home. St. Matthew’s is a wonderful community which stretches far beyond our school gates.

Yours sincerely

Mrs Georgina Ryding

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