Monday 1st March 2021

We are absolutely delighted to be welcoming ALL our children back from Monday 8th March. 

In line with government guidance and to ensure the safety of all our staff and children, the following arrangements will remain in place:

Hygiene and protective measures

  • No pupil or adult will be allowed on the school site if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Pupils and adults will be expected to wash their hands thoroughly and often.
  • We will ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach. 
  • We will continue with an enhanced cleaning regime which includes regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces, bathrooms and resources throughout the day.
  • Children will be allocated their own pencil case with resources that only they will use. 
  • Adults in school will be wearing face coverings when they are not able to maintain a social distance.
  • Classroom and office spaces will be well ventilated at all times 

 

Reducing contacts between children and staff

 

  • We will operate in Year Group ‘Bubbles’ and children within these bubbles will be kept separate from children in other bubbles.
  • Adults will be allocated to work with a specific year group bubble,  with the exception of the PE and Music staff and Pupil Engagement Officers, who will work across the year groups but will be expected to maintain social distance from pupils at all times. 
  • There will be staggered starts, breaks, lunch times and finishing times to limit contact with children and adults from other year group bubbles. 
  • The bubble groups will be kept apart and therefore we will not be having assemblies or larger gatherings of children.  
  • Children will have playtimes and lunchtimes with their bubble group only.
  • Our oldest children will be encouraged to maintain a social distance but for younger children this is not expected. Classrooms for children from years 2-6 have been adapted to support social distancing so that pupils will sit side by side and will all face forwards. 
  • Visitors to the site, including parents and carers, will be kept to an absolute minimum to prevent the spread of any possible infection. 
  • All parents and carers will be required to wear a face covering when they are dropping off and collecting their child at school and must maintain a social distance from others. 

 

Staggered start/ end of the school day- timings:

  • Dropping off: ONE parent or carer with your child, should enter via the designated entrance between 8.40am – 8.55am for all year groups.
  • Collection: ONE Parent and carer should collect at the same gate used in the morning between 3.10pm – 3.25pm for Reception, Y1 and Y2 and 3.20pm-3.30pm for Y3,4,5 & 6.  

Early closure on Friday only:

  • 1.10pm – 1.25pm for Reception, Y1 and Y2 
  • 1.20pm-1.30pm for Y3,4,5 & 6.  

 

Attendance

It is vital that we minimise, as far as possible, the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and their wider development. 

Therefore the government has made school attendance mandatory again from 8th March 2021.  This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:

  • parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
  • schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
  • the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.

 

School uniform, bags and water bottles

Pupils will be expected to attend in full school uniform with strong black school shoes or their Thames PE tracksuit. Please also send your child with a named water bottle.  

 

The vaccination programme is forging ahead at pace and the rates of infection have decreased significantly during the period of national lockdown.  However, we must all proceed with extreme caution and whilst schools will be open from the 8th March, the national restrictions will remain until 29th March at the earliest. This will include no mixing with other households and continuing to limit social contact and distance from households you don’t live with. 

If you have any particular concerns or queries  that you would like to discuss then please contact me by email at julie.allison@thames.blackpool.sch.uk and I will be very happy to help reassure you and answer any questions you may have. 

For more details you can read our full opening Risk Assessment here and our Operating Policy here.

I am very much looking  forward to welcoming the whole school community back on Monday 8th March. 

 

Kind regards,

Mrs Julie Allison

Headteacher

The government has produced detailed guidance which we have used to plan for the safe reopening to all pupils. You can read the full guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools 

Government & NHS Info & Advice

 

Handwashing advice

The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.

Department for Education coronavirus helpline

The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:

Phone: 0800 046 8687

Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)

Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.

If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.

 

Where to find the latest information

Updates on COVID-19:

Guidance for educational settings:

Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:

Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:

Educational resources:

Latest Department for Education information: