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St. Joseph's Catholic Primary School, Hillcrest Road, Dudley

Snippets of News Blog

Returning to school for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and 6.

Dear Parents,

You should have received a letter through the post from us about the
arrangements we have made in case schools reopen to some year groups
in June.

It’s your choice!

We know you will want to think about what to do and so we will get in touch
after half term to find out if you wish to send your child to school or not. As a school we can’t wait to get back to some kind of normal when it’s deemed safe enough to do so but we absolutely respect everyone’s right to decide what is best for their child/ren and family.

Please remember at all times it’s your choice and you certainly don’t have to send your child to school if you choose not to. You won’t be challenged in any way if you choose not to send your child back to school and we will continue to support you with regular calls and online activities.

School will be very different to normal

We are busy changing the school layout and systems in order to comply fully with the government guidance. Before we reopen we will publish all of our risk assessments and organisational arrangements on our website for you to read.

It is important to remember that if and when we reopen, the school will be a very different experience for everyone. We will do our very best to make school as stimulating and enjoyable as we can but the safety guidance in place means there are big restrictions on what it will be possible for the children to do. We will do all we can to make school as nice as we can but it will be very different and the way we work and play will be very restricted.

Opportunities for playing normal playtime games will be greatly limited as close contact and proximity between children won’t be allowed. Whilst schools are not expected to maintain social distancing of 2m between pupils, we will be doing all we can to keep everyone as far apart from others as possible. This will become a new ‘school rule’ that we will have to reinforce. If you are considering sending your child back to school please speak to them about this.

For our very youngest children in Nursery and Reception class, school at this time will seem very different and may be difficult for them to get used to at first. There won’t be any play equipment or climbing equipment and again the children will need to be kept apart as much as possible. They will be seated at individual desks.

There will be a strict one-way system in place for parents to follow

Parents and carers will need to allow extra time for dropping off and picking up as 2m social distancing for adults will be very important. There will be a strict one-way system in place whereby parents have to enter the school through the front gate, drop off their child/ren and exit school through the back gate.

Times of day will be different and we will finish at lunchtimes on Friday

As you know the times of the day will be different to stagger the number of people dropping off and picking up. We will finish straight after lunch on Friday and the children will go home earlier than before. The children will have to sit at separate desks and will only be with half of their class as a maximum. The children won’t be able to mix with other groups of children and will have separate playtimes spent only with their group of up to 15 children.

We will need to ask you to ‘book’ your child’s place in class each week

It’s vitally important we know from one week to the next who is expected in school and who isn’t. This can be done by phone or email and we’ll explain what to do when we call you after half term. Please note that we have places for everyone – nobody will miss out on a place if they need one.

Please also remember that the Prime Minister is yet to give the final go ahead for schools to reopen. An announcement is expected on Thursday 28th May. We will contact you by no later than Tuesday 2nd June either way to confirm if our plans are going ahead. We’ll also call you week beginning 1st June whatever happens. The Board of Directors will not go ahead with the reopening if there are any safety concerns or staff shortages. We will keep you fully updated and at the moment none of the plans are confirmed.

Thanks so much for reading this letter. We’ll continue to prepare the school and we will be in touch after the half term holiday. Please make the best decision for your family and be assured we will support you as best we can whatever you decide. Please also bear in mind you will be able to book your child in and book them out a week at a time – we don’t expect you to make a decision that binds you for the whole half term – there will be the flexibility to book a week at a time.

Our very kindest regards to you and your entire family,

Mrs S Chapman
Head of School

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