Thank you to those parents who completed the survey. Only 15 out of 60 parents in Reception and 14 out 60 in year 1 said that they would send their child back in June. A number of things have to happen before then. The guidance is stringent and detailed. It concerns me how this will affect children’s social and emotional wellbeing.
I feel that I need to be completely transparent and honest with you about what school will look like, and how it will be run, as this is very important for you to relay this to your child before they come back.
You are your child’s parent and therefore you make the choice. The government has stated this:
For a few families, it has been essential school has remained open. I cannot imagine how difficult it has been for these parents, how worried they must have been leaving their child at school so they can go and continue to do the key jobs, like caring for our vulnerable and carrying out critical worker roles. We believe it was right providing school and childcare for these pupils and families.
Some of the other staff and I have been into school to start to map out classrooms and see what it should look like in order to keep children safe. Schools in France returned last week and you may have seen pictures of what their classrooms and schools look like.
Some of the parents who want their children to return have stated this is for their mental health and well-being and to socialise with their friends. This worries me more as I do feel some of the measures that we have to take completely work against this. Children will not be able to socialise with their friends, they may not even be in the same bubble. They may not have the same teaching staff.
Below are some bullet point summaries of the measures and actions in place to ensure safety for all which have been taken directly from the DFE guidance we received last week.
How school will run
• Children will be with one teacher, in one group (known as a ‘bubble’), not necessarily with the same group of children they were with when we went into lockdown in March. They may not be with the teacher or classroom they had in March.
• They will have to remain in that classroom or outside in their small group for the duration of the day. They cannot mix with the groups of children in the other classrooms.
• Only one child will be allowed to use the toilet at a time.
• They will sit singly at desks 2m apart. This includes the children in Reception. Children will work at their desks. They will not sit on the carpet.
• Their classrooms will have all unnecessary furniture and equipment removed and all soft furnishings removed.
• The classrooms will be deep cleaned at the end of every day.
• They will not be able to bring equipment from home, including reading books and pencil cases. They will need to bring in a lunch box and water bottle. Both clearly named please. In addition, they will not be able to take any equipment home - this includes reading books.
• They will be provided with a see-through wallet and equipment which will only be used by them. These will be cleaned at the end of the day.
• When any other equipment is used (ipads, laptops etc) they will only be used by that child and cleaned at the end of the day.
• Outside play equipment, such as the climbing frame, slide and bikes will not be able to be used unless they are cleaned down at the end of the day. This will be up to individual staff.
• They will have some lessons that involve a lot of independent learning as the teacher will not be able to go side by side or sit next to them to give them targeted support needed. The teacher needs to keep social distance when teaching.
• It is also recommended that as many lessons take place outside as possible. Children will be carrying out the same work set to the rest of the year group who are not in school, so as not to disadvantage any child. Children will not be learning anything new - it will be recapping learning as they have been doing the last few weeks at home.
• Only one parent is allowed to drop off their child.
• Parents are NOT allowed to enter the school building. You will need to drop off at a specified time at the top of the playground (more details to follow later).
• They will eat lunches in their classroom at their individual desks. During their lunchtime they will have a staggered play and only be mixing with the children in their group.
• If they fall over or have a toileting accident teachers need to wear PPE (masks, gloves, aprons). If we can not treat or clean your child safely you will be asked to come and collect your child. If your child becomes ill during the day they will be placed in a separate room supervised by one member of staff and you will be expected to collect them immediately - therefore you must be contactable all day.
• The corridors will be one way only to save children having to walk past others without a social distance.
• Year 6 will not be able to have a leaver’s assembly, a reward trip or the usual end of year events.
• There will be no sports day
• No assemblies
I do not want to alarm parents by sharing this information but I do think parents need to understand and know what school will look like in June with increased numbers. These measures are what is needed to keep everyone safe and so I can try as much as possible to prevent the risk of illness.
I want to share with you the truth of it rather than the simple information that schools would resume. I am having regular online meetings with the other heads in our Multi Academy Trust and these measures above are similar to what the other primary schools will look like too.
What I will say to you is we absolutely want normality; we absolutely care for and miss your children and we absolutely want things to return to normal, welcoming children back with open arms. Your child’s mental health and well-being is our number one priority.
We will be planning on opening our doors to pupils in Reception, year 1 and year 6 on 1st June alongside the key worker children we have had throughout. I want to do this with you being aware of exactly what this will be like. As yet the plans for the timings of the day and how drop offs and picks up will look etc have not been finalised and I am working on that this week.
You can help me by letting me know by Wednesday who is planning to send their child back in June.
Please text the school mobile number (07943186536) stating your child’s name, year group and colour if you are definitely sending your child back to school on Monday 1st June:
E.g Tony Jones Year 1 Blue.
This is very important as we have to set up new registers and individual equipment for each child, as well as label the desks.
All the staff feel lucky to be blessed to work in a place supported by amazing parents, staff and children. We will all get through this, and hopefully the school we know and love will come back stronger and have an even bigger sense of community than before.
Take care – Be safe
Head of School
Please find below the link for the return to school survey. This questionnaire explains our intial plans on welcoming some of the children back to school. Your responses will help to shape our plans, as well as the directives from the Local Authority, Department for Education and Multi Academy Trust. Please fill this questionnaire in, as it allows your voice to be heard.
The whole school received a visit from Ruffle the Rail Dog! We heard a story and learnt about how to stay safe near rail lines.
Our Year 1 and Year 2 pupils have had a special visit from our local firefighters! They have learnt all about fire safety and what it is like to be a firefighter.
On Thursday 29th November our Year 5 pupils helped kick off the Christmas season in King's Lynn! They took part in a parade through down with fantastic lanterns they had created, and then sang some Christmas carols live on Tuesday Market Place before the Christmas lights switch on. They even got to meet Britain's Got Talent stars Twist and Pulse!
Our Year 6 pupils have spent a rather wet and chilly day exploring the River Glaven! They have investigated how a river changes from source to mouth.
Well done to our Year 6 class for a fantastic performance of 'High School Musical'!
Year 4 have been learning all about our local Hanseatic history!
Congratulation to the 'Girls Kwik Cricket West Norfolk Champions 2019'!
Year 2 have been to the cinema! They have been learning all about Disney, and were lucky enough to have a tour backstage at the cinema and even watch a film!
Congratulations to our Year 3 and Year 4 tennis teams, who have finished 1st and 3rd in the Schools Sports Cluster tennis competition!
Congratulations to our Year 4 pupils who achieved their 10m and 25m swimming certificates!
Reception have been making the most of our wonderful British weather!
We are very pleased to announce that our annual sponsored read event has raised an incredible £1906 !
Thank you to all those who participated in helping us to raise money and inspire our pupils to become life-long readers.
Year 6 have recently returned from their residential trip to Kingswood. All the children have challenged themselves, overcome their fears and worked together fantastically as a team.
Our Year 4 classes have had a fantastic time on their trip to Lynn Museum, where they have learnt all about the Bronze Age to the Iron Age.
Today St Martha's celebrated World Book Day! The children were invited to dress up, they took part in a book swap and the older children read to the younger children.
Reception have been busy making things work!