Full school reopening autumn term
Welcome back to the start of the autumn term. We are all pleased to be planning for our full school reopening and for welcoming all children back to all year groups from Thursday 3 September.
It seems a long time since some of our children were in school in July and of course this is much longer for those children who were last in school before lockdown. We understand that it is likely that some children may be feeling anxious about returning following such a long break from school and I would like to reassure parents that staff are very mindful of this and all of our planning is to support a gentle reintroduction back to school aiming to settle the children back into routines.
Government guidance has changed and from September school attendance will become mandatory again. We will continue to work with families to ensure a smooth return again to school but children will be expected to be in school every day. Whilst there may be some anxieties we also hope children are excited to be returning to their classes and friends once again. All staff are prepared to offer support for our children and please do talk to us if we can support you and your child in any way.
In order to accommodate all children returning to school we have needed to make some changes and this letter is a reminder of some key information as that we can safely manage this as best as we can. Much of this information has already been shared with parents in my letter in July and I hope this will be a helpful reminder because the start of this term will be different to previous years.
We welcome some new staff to Ravensmere this term, both Mrs Howard and Mrs Elbaz will be joining our staff team, giving support to a child joining our Reception class.
Managing the Full Reopening Safely
In order to achieve all children returning to our school once again, we are making some changes. The following information which will be in place from Thursday:
At Ravensmere, we need to minimise the impact of all of our children and families arriving and leaving our school site at the same time together and in order to achieve this safely, we have decided to introduce a staggered start and end to the school day. We are trying to keep times as near as possible to the existing school day and also to consider families with siblings and families who have children at both The Albert Pye and at Ravensmere schools.
Therefore, from Thursday 3 September, the following arrangements will apply:
Afternoon class 2
8.35 – 8.45
Afternoon class 1
8.50 – 9.00
Families with siblings in both classes
Both gates at each end of the playground will continue to be locked from 9am.
For children joining Reception, there is a staggered start which you will have received a letter about.
All Reception children start full time from Wednesday 9 September.
We ask that strictly just 1 adult per family brings your child/ren to school as we need to reduce the numbers of adults on our site as far as we can. We are restricting adults coming in to school and any visits must be made by appointment only.
Children will use different doors to come into school - year 2 children will enter via the front door and will use these coat pegs; year 1 will enter via the lower door and will use these coat pegs; Reception children will enter via the double doors to their classroom and will use a new coat peg unit for storage which will be in the hall.
We will continue to use the one-way system introduced as part of our lockdown procedures, because this has worked well for those children who have returned. Parents please should enter via the main school gate and then leave via the lower end gate. This means all of our families will move around the site in the same direction. Signs are in place to remind you.
Children will be in their afternoon classes for lunchtimes. They will all have the opportunity to eat their lunch and have some time in the reading garden and the larger playground space.
Caterlink will provide all children at Ravensmere with a school packed lunch and we are working with them to ensure a wider choice, such as pizza and pasta pots. A lunch menu will be available and meals can be ordered each morning. If you prefer your child can still bring in a packed lunch from home.
Before and after school clubs (curriculum enrichment and sports clubs) will be on hold for the first half term to minimise the children and adults on site. We will review this from October half term in light of government guidance.
Morning and Afternoon Clubs
These will begin again from Monday 7 September and places can be booked on Parentmail. From this term we are making a change and the Morning Club will now be held at each school. At Ravensmere, this will be on the same basis which was in place before lockdown, and at Albert Pye we will use the middle area of the West Building. The Afternoon Club will continue to be based at Ravensmere and Mrs Norris will continue to run the walking bus as part of this.
We will be reinstating our uniform policy and from Thursday 3 September we ask that all children wear school uniform please. Guidance has changed and clothes no longer need to be washed every day but should be laundered as you usually would do.
Children should bring as little with them to school as possible. They may bring a bag and bookbag, water bottle, hat and coat. We will not be changing for PE so full kit is not needed but a change of footwear is essential please. This can be left in a bag on their peg. We will begin sharing reading books once again and children will be able to bring their reading book home. This is a welcome update, but we will keep items going between home and school to a minimum.
In the system of controls there are a set of actions which schools must take to reduce risks. The prevention controls state the following:
We are all looking forward to welcoming all of our children back to school and we will work with you to make the transition back into school as successful as we can. We look forward to seeing you and your child on Thursday.
Mrs M. Mills