Dear Parents and Carers,

 

I hope you are all remaining safe and you are keeping well. The past few weeks have been challenging for us all and we have been trying to find a safe way forward so that the children can begin to return to school. We miss them so much and desperately want them back in school; however, their safety is of the upmost importance.

 

At school, we have been working through the ever changing guidance and advice offered by the government, local authority and Salford diocese in order to help us assess the risks of bringing more children back to school and take action to reduce the risk as much as possible.

 

Included in this letter is the timetable for phase 1 of the wider reopening of the school. Any plans we make may have to change pending any new developments with the Covid-19 crisis or any new guidance. The first phase of the wider reopening plan only includes year 1 children. The reason we are not yet ready to invite other year groups back to school is that, when we assessed the risks, they were deemed too high. I have attached our detailed risk assessment of phase 1 to help you make an informed decision about whether you should send your year 1 child back to school this term or not.

 

You will not be pressured to send your child back to school this term and the government have said that there will be no fines issued to parents of children not attending school.

 

I am sorry that I cannot yet provide parents with children from other year groups a detailed plan on how your child will return to school. When we have completed this first phase of wider reopening, we will review the whole situation with a view to setting dates for increasing the classes returning to school. It is likely that many children will not return until September but if we can get them back to school sooner, safely, we will.

 

Phase 1.  Return of year 1 children beginning June 15th

 

I need to make it clear that if your year 1 child does return to school in June, it will be a very different experience than they are used to. The changes that we must make are purely to try to reduce the risk of anybody catching or spreading Covid-19. We can’t guarantee that this will not happen but we will try to eliminate the risk as much as possible. I have tried to list below some of the changes that your child will experience.

 

  • Children will be encouraged to keep 2 metres distance from others at all times but this cannot be guaranteed – children will find it very difficult.
  • Children may be supported by a different teacher and teaching assistant than they are used to.
  • Children will be taught in groups or ‘bubbles’ of no more than 8.
  • Each group or ‘bubble’ of 8 children will spend all day every day as a self-contained unit. They will not mix with other children.
  • Children will remain in their ‘bubbles’ until the end of the term.
  • The start and finish of the school day will be staggered, along with lunch and break times.
  • The school day will be shorter to allow for staggered start and finish times and to allow teachers to continue to plan their distance teaching for those still at home.
  • There will be no gathering of any more than 8 children. This means that there will be no usual assemblies or such events.
  • Children will not be allowed to bring resources into school or share resources they are given.
  • Parents, carers and visitors will not be allowed in the school building
  • No tactile games will be allowed at playtime

 

Please take some time to consider the phase 1 timetable and read the risk assessment. You can email me at admin@st-francis.manchester.sch.uk  with any comments or questions you may have and I will respond as soon as I can. The date we expect to begin phase 1 is June 15th.

 

Following on from this letter, I will be writing again to parents of year 1 children to ask if they intend to send their child back to school during our first phase of wider reopening. After I receive responses, I will then prepare a timetable for start dates for those year 1 children returning.

 

I will continue to update all parents each fortnight on any additional plans with regard to the wider reopening of the school.

 

Once again, I want to assure you that you and your children are continuously in my thoughts and prayers. Your support and patience during this difficult time has helped us immensely, so thank you.

 

God bless,

 

Mrs. L Frize

Headteacher