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Reception and Year 1 Returning to School Information

St Matthew’s School.

Reception and Year 1 – Returning to School Information


This week staff have worked incredibly hard to build our class ‘bubbles’ and we have been developing our routines and procedures. Hopefully these will provide you with much of the information you need to plan for the return to school. Once you have read this there may be further questions. Please contact the school office and we will do our best to answer your question.

The staff are really keen to stress that whilst there will be new routines it is important that children feel happy to return to school. Please make sure that your child does not worry about not knowing something and they will never be ‘in trouble’ or  ‘told off’ if they forget something. We are all learning together.

Many Thanks

Mrs Ryding

When do I have to decide about returning to school ?Everyone with a child in Reception and Year 1 has been sent a link to a survey. If you wish your child to attend school on the 8th June you must complete this survey. If they are not on the list they will not be allowed into school. Feel free to contact the school office if you want to check. This survey closes on Friday 5th June at 10:00am. After this time if you wish your child to return to school they will be added to the list for the following week. From the 8th June if you wish your child to start back at school please contact the school office.
What do I need to do before my child returns to school ?Before returning to school please take time to talk to your child about how they are feeling. Remind them that whilst they may not be able to see their friends or be with their teacher there will be lots that is familiar about school.   On Thursday 4th June look out on the class blog for pictures and information for your child about what school will be like. Mrs Berry is working hard to put this together at the moment. Please talk to your child about social distancing. They will be very familiar with this now, so this should not be an issue. In school we will play games and do activities to reinforce this. Children will NOT be ‘told off; or ‘get in trouble’ if they forget, so please reassure them of this.   Some children might worry about not knowing what will happen, some will be excited. So, above all else make sure that returning to school is not seen as something to worry about.  We will talk to the children about the new expectations but we will all be learning together.      And finally, I am sure that good handwashing is now part of daily life but if your child needs a reminder find an age appropriate handwashing video to watch together. This link may be useful    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9VjeIWLnEg   Make sure you know the name of the Bubble your child is in.
Should I send my child to school if they are a little unwell.No . Do not send your child to school – even if they are only mildly unwell. Usually we encourage children to come to school even if they are unwell and we will send them home. However, at this time it is important that everyone in school is well and a mild illness could show the same symptoms as the coronavirus. If a child presents as unwell when they register on arrival they will be sent home.
Will I be told if someone in school has the Coronavirus ?If there is a suspected case in school then the child or member of staff will be sent home. They will not be able to return to school for 7 days and will be advised to follow all government guidance. Parents will be informed by text if it is someone within their child’s bubble. The area will be cleaned thoroughly but will not close.   If there is a confirmed case in school then parents will be informed, initially by text, and then by letter. The bubble will close for 14 days and children and staff from that bubble will not return to school in that time.   This procedure is subject to change and parents will be informed if there are changes.    
What will happen when we arrive ?Please enter by the Infant Gate. The back gate will not be open. Please do not bring any scooters or bikes. Only 1 adult should bring a child to school.   When you arrive at the gate you will be met by a member of staff that will check you have arrived at the right time. If you are early they will ask you to ‘walk round the block’ and come back at the right time. Please don’t worry about this. It will take all of us a while to get used to the new system.   Arrival times have been staggered . This is recommended in the Government Guidance. The time of arrival is when you should come to the school gate. It is not the time you are expected in your classroom.   Arrival times for your bubble. Times in brackets are finishing times. Wonderland with Miss Magill  8:55am  ( 3:10pm) Genies with Miss Nuttall 9:00am    (3:15pm) Parrots with Mrs Phillips 9:05am  (3:20pm) Giraffes with Miss Barnes 9:10am  (3:25pm)   Once inside the gate, just like you do at the supermarket , you will need to join the queue standing on the white lines that are marked 2 metres apart. If the queue is quite long this will extend into the car park.   At the bottom of the Infant  path there will be a gazebo. Here you will meet Mr Fletcher and someone from the school office. Please wait behind the line until Mr Fletcher asks your child to step forward so he can take your child’s temperature using the Infra Red thermometer. We have done this with our key workers and staff  since school closed and it quickly becomes part of the daily routine. Mrs Berry has taken photos of this which you will be able to see on the school blog from Thursday.  If the temperature is above 37.8 C You will be asked to take your child home. A high temperature is one of the possible  indicators of the Coronavirus and so someone from school will ring you to talk about the actions you might take.   Whilst your child is having their temperature taken you will have the opportunity to share any information with the member of the office staff that you want to pass onto the teacher.

Once you have done this you will be directed to walk round the school to the classroom that displays the logo for your child’s bubble.

Parents will need to stay behind the marked lines and children will go into their classrooms.   Parents will then continue to walk round the school and leave by the ‘Junior Entrance’.   The school office will not be open to visitors at this time.  
What will the classroom be like ?On Thursday we will be able to show you some photographs of the classrooms. Like some of the pictures you may have seen on the television the classrooms will be emptier than usual. For Reception and Year 1 we have made sure there is plenty of carpet space as well as a table to sit at. We have not been able to give the children a table each . Instead, they will be seated at opposite ends of the table, but will not usually work at the table at the same time as another child. It is recognised that children in Reception and Year 1 will not be able to stay 2 meters away from each other at all times. We will, however, maintain social distancing the best we can. Each child will have a clear plastic wallet with all their resources in. There are some things in the classroom that the children will share. These will be cleaned at the end of each day. They will not be shared with another bubble in the same day. The children will spend lots of time outside and a rota has been drawn up so that the bubbles do not mix.   Each child will put their coat on the back of their chair and anything they have brought to school will go on their table. The children will get used to the adults cleaning the tables regularly.     Water bottles will be cleaned and filled up at the start of the day and topped up as needed. Children will be encouraged to drink plenty in the day.  
What will the children be learning ? Will they be reading ?The teachers have lots of things planned.   Alongside their maths and English the children will have PE most days. They do not need to bring their PE Kit. They will also go over good handwashing and play some games to help them learn about social distancing.   All children will read on a Tuesday and Friday. Please only bring books and book bags on these days. This will give us the opportunity to ‘quarantine’ returned books and ensure that books are cleaned before they are sent home.   
What will happen at playtimes and lunchtimes ?Children will play out with other children in their bubble. Staff will work with the children to understand what kind of games they are able to play. Children from other bubbles will be outside at the same time in other areas of the playground. We will work with the children to help them understand that they cannot go to the other groups. 
In the first week we are not providing school snacks. You  can send a snack if you wish. Please remember we are a Peanut free school.  We will provide a cordial drink in the first week. After this we will be in touch about snacks. The children on school lunches will have school packed lunch, Packed lunch children will continue to bring their lunch as usual. We suggest adding an ice block to the packed lunch box to keep it cool.
The children will eat their lunch in the classroom at their table. The lunchtime break is going to be a little shorter and the morning and afternoon breaks will be a little longer to balance this out.
Can my child go to the toilet ?Yes. Your child can go to the toilet any time they want to. Only two children will be able to go to the toilet at the same time and they will not be able to go in if children from another bubble are in. In the toilet the cubicles and sinks that the children are to use will have their bubble picture on. There will be an adult who will help with all of this.
As the Year 1 children are moving into the Juniors we have provided ‘steps’ so the children can reach the sinks and the toilets.
What will happen at the end of the day ?At the end of the day parents should arrive at the time stated in brackets next to the arrival time. Children will be handed over at the same door they were dropped off at and just like in the morning , adults and children will leave by walking round the school past the ‘junior entrance’ and then up the steps.
How will I share information with the teacher ?The member of the office staff who is at the Gazebo is the best person to leave your message with. You can also ring the school office any time the school is open or you can call in from 10:00am – 2pm each day.
Do the children have to wear uniform ?No. The children should wear their own clothes that they are able to do PE in. They should wear clean clothes each day.

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