Update 24/02/21 - 8th March return

Dear parents and carers, 

 

All pupils return to School on 8th March 2021

 

You will have seen on the news that the Government has announced that all schools will reopen to all pupils on 8th March 2021.

 

We are looking forward to welcoming all pupils back to their usual school sites/classrooms. If your child has been remote learning from home, in the next week or so, we will be contacting you individually to discuss your child’s return. In the light of this, I wanted to update you on the precautions we are taking at school to keep the environment as safe as possible.

 

As a special school as you know, we have been open for pupils during lockdown for those parents who wanted or needed provision. We have had up to 38 pupils from across the sites attending school in bubbles. These bubbles have been a similar size to your child’s usual class group (or smaller) and we have maintained our risk assessed precautions, including:

 

  1. Anyone who has symptoms or possible symptoms (or lives with someone who has) NOT attending school and getting tested
  2. Keeping bubbles separate to avoid too many close contacts
  3. Washing hands regularly and at key times during the day
  4. Adults wearing face coverings in shared spaces and corridors, as well as in class if appropriate / if social distancing is difficult
  5. All adults, and children who can, maintaining 2m distance as much as possible in class
  6. All adults keeping 2m distance from anyone not in their bubble
  7. Regular ventilation of rooms and extra cleaning throughout the day
  8. Adults use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) used for intimate care and close work with pupils
  9. Careful timetabling of outside playtimes, lunch in bubbles, use of zoom for larger gatherings

 

In addition, we have introduced further measures, to further mitigate risks.

 

  1. Lateral flow tests - We have rolled out twice weekly staff lateral flow testing – these are rapid tests for people who have no symptoms. Staff who have been in school have had regular tests, which has supported the overall safety of everyone on site.
  2. Option for secondary students to take rapid tests if appropriate (letter to follow)
  3. In line with the national vaccination programme, vaccination of staff is underway
  4. Regular reminders to parents and staff about staying at home if anyone in households have any symptoms.

 

We will continue to follow these precautions and review any other measures we can take. Once updated, I will post the new risk assessment on the website.

 

Pupils with complex medical needs/ shielding

There may be some pupils who will take longer to transition back or into school and we are building in flexibility to work with medical professionals and parents to carefully plan this where necessary.

If you have been shielding with your child, please seek advice from your consultant if you are unclear, or speak to School Nurse Meriem Chakal on 07702 523 552 who can support with this.  You can also contact Dr Bolland, the school doctor, directly by email  Whh-tr.compaed-har@nhs.net

 

Arrangements

We will return to start and finish times from last term, which avoid mainstream times (particularly at primary) -

Vale primary 9:05 – 3:15

Vale secondary 8:45 – 3:10

Vale Belmont will follow the Belmont Infant and Junior School arrangements.

 

Parents who bring in and collect their child, are asked to remain outside the school building.

 

Track and Trace 

We will, of course, also need your help and support to keep school safe as we return to school. If your child, or somebody else in your household, has coronavirus symptoms please all stay at home, let us know and get a test. If there is a problem, we have a small number of PCR tests available.

 

Likewise, the government guidance says that if there is a confirmed case at school, then we should work with the relevant health authorities to ensure that everyone who was in close contact with them when they were infectious is notified and self-isolates for 10 days – in reality, this is likely to be the pupils and staff in the class bubble.  

 

Thank you

Thank you for your support during this time, particularly with the remote learning when your child has not been in school. We know that the lockdown is difficult for everyone and you have been fantastic in supporting your child to access our live lessons and learning activities. If your child is not able to attend or has to self-isolate at any point we will contact you about our remote learning. We look forward to supporting your child in settling back again into the school routine.

 

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

Yours faithfully,

 

Sarah McLay

Headteacher