A quick outline of the arrangements for the return to school. The important points are as follows:
First and foremost, don’t worry if you are missing anything or can’t get everything in place before the children start back. In these extraordinary times we have not been able to link with parents as well as we would want to and so you are highly unlikely to be the only one who does not have everything in place. With a relatively large Reception year and a quite a number of children moving into the village we have a high proportion of new pupils in school (nearly half of the school!) so we are playing catch-up at this end of the holiday and for the first week or so if you haven’t got uniform or are not set up for the school meals payments it doesn’t matter, you are unlikely to be the only one and we can sort things out as we go along.
The Welsh Government requires all pupils to return to school in the Autumn Term unless there is a statutory reason for absence. From September 1st absence will need to be applied for at least two weeks in advance and will be authorised in accordance with the school attendance policy.
Powys have designated Tuesday 1st and Wednesday 2nd September as non pupil days for staff preparation. The Welsh Assembly have then allowed a gradual return to school to allow groups of pupils to be eased into the arrangements for a safe return. Their guidance states that all pupils in Wales must return full time by Monday 14th September, but as a small school we will be fully back well before then. We have divided the school into 2 bubbles (each class is a bubble) and each of these bubbles into two groups. Due to pupil numbers we have been able to keep each year group in the same group with the exception of Year 4 which we have had to split between the two groups.
Thursday 3rd September is the return day for Infant Group 1 (Reception pupils) and Junior Group 1 (Year 3 and Harvey, Libby, Ross, Chloe and Olivia from Year 4)
Friday 4th September is the return day for Infant Group 2 (Year 1 and 2) and Junior Group 2 (the remainder of Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6.)
School uniform will be worn from 1st September. The exception will be PE days (Friday each week, starting on Friday 11th September) when children should come to school in PE kit to avoid the need for changing. P.E., lessons and playtimes will be outdoors as much as possible unless the weather is particularly bad, please ensure that clothing is appropriate.
Breakfast Club will restart from 8 a.m. on Thursday 3rd September. This should provide a naturally staggered start to the school day and so avoid any social distancing problems during arrival at the start of the day and avoiding the need for formally staggered start times. This will be kept under review and if necessary staggered start and finish times will be introduced.
Parents should drop pupils off to class cloakroom doors rather than the main entrance. For the benefit of new parents, routes will be signposted.
Parents must not come into the school building unless by prior arrangement and with an appointment. Please communicate with school by e mail if at all possible. However at the start of the school day Wendy will be available in reception for the ordering or purchase of school uniform etc.
All pupils will need to wash their hands on entering school.
Learners should limit the equipment they bring in to school to the essentials such as lunch boxes, bags, hats, coats, books, fruit snack and drinks bottles. Fruit snack and any packed lunches should contain only items which the children can deal with themselves. Powys Catering will once again be providing lunches and parents will need to ensure that their ParentPay accounts are in credit. If you are new to Powys and do not yet have a ParentPay account please speak to Wendy in Reception who can give you details and can arrange for school lunches whilst Parent Pay is set up.
Payment for school dinners is cashless and needs to be done via a system called ParentPay, and we will need to set that up for Powys Catering for all new pupils. Forms and details will come out as soon as possible and once the system is set up you can put money into your account either online or via PayPoints in local shops. Until things are sorted out we can include new pupils as guests on the system and sort out payment later.
Snacks and drinks
We are asking all of the children to bring a drink in a suitable bottle in order to avoid having to use the classroom taps for drinking water at the moment. Bottles should be marked with your child’s name.
Fruit snack is optional, but a lot of the children find it a long time from breakfast to lunch so a suitable healthy snack for playtime helps. Again, at the moment we can’t peel apples for the children so we are asking for something which they can manage to sort out for themselves.
The school uniform options grey skirt or pinafore, grey trousers, white blouse or white polo shirt, school sweatshirt or cardigan, or plain royal blue cardigan/sweatshirt, black shoes or plain black trainers.
In summer and early autumn the alternatives are blue and white check dresses or plain grey shorts, plain white polo shirt and school sweatshirt.
Some suppliers now stock blue check skirts and tops separately and also blue check skirt/polo combinations. These are an acceptable alternative and are in keeping with our school uniform ethos. Also acceptable are plain grey divided skirts.
School sweatshirts are available from the school at a cost of £8.50. In addition we have a supply of book bags bearing the school name and logo which the children are encouraged to use to transport and protect their reading books. These may be viewed and purchased in school at a cost of £4.50 each.
We have a uniform for P.E./Movement etc. which consists of navy shorts (not cycling shorts), powder blue T shirt/polo shirt and pumps. The most suitable footwear for P.E. in the infant classes is Velcro trainers, not black elasticated pumps or those tied with laces.
At the end of the day please come onto the relevant yard when collecting children and please maintain social distancing.
Under no circumstances should children or staff attend if the feel unwell in any way.
The Welsh Government Trace, Test and Protect procedure will be followed in all cases where Coronavirus infection is suspected.
The situation with regard to face coverings has been clarified by the Welsh Government this week. Their advice is that “There appears to be little additional value of face coverings in children under age 11, as the evidence points to low rates of symptomatic infection and transmission in this age group.” The most important controls continue to be hand and surface hygiene, maintaining separate cohorts of students, avoiding close face to face conversations, and careful 2m distancing between adults (between staff, and between staff and visitors) at all times.
It follows that in Wales face coverings are currently neither compulsory nor banned for pupils under 11, but they are not advised for this age group. Guidance suggests that face coverings if worn by under 11s should be removed on arrival at school and placed into a plastic bag until the end of the day, but the school will be supportive of any staff or pupils who wish to use masks provided that they are used independently, correctly and safely. As with swimming goggles, it is the responsibility of parents to ensure that the children know how to safely fit and remove their face coverings if used, and they must be able to do so independently.
Please follow the links below for the most recent school prospectus and a copy of the booklet supplied to parents and carers of new reception pupils. The prospectus is due for updating but most of the contents is still applicable. However there have been changes to routine due to Coronavirus which render some of the content out of date at the moment but any immediate matters have hopefully been covered by the e mail sent out this week.
Again, above all do not worry if things are not absolutely in place for the first day, we can work around any problems and sort things out as we go. Please get in touch if you have any queries, either by e mail or by ringing school on Tuesday or Wednesday, when staff will be in preparing for the start of term.
Churchstoke Prospectus 2019.7
May 2020 Parent-Carer Booklet