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Whitefield Schools – arrangements for returning on Sept 7th

Dear parents,

As Elaine Colquhoun wrote to you last week, we are looking forward to welcoming back all children for the autumn term in line with government guidance that it is now safe for schools to reopen fully.

The first day of term for children is Monday 7th September.

There will still be risks while coronavirus (COVID-19) remains in the community, and therefore we will be taking additional measures to keep children and staff as safe as we can. 

We will:

  • ask adults and children to wash their hands more often than usual, using soap or sanitiser
  • expect adults and children to use tissues when they sneeze or cough and throw them away in a bin 
  • clean surfaces and equipment after use and make sure that children don’t share equipment

To reduce contact with other people we will, like many schools, divide our classes into ‘bubbles’ with one ‘bubble’ in each building. These groups will not mix with one another and children will work, play and eat lunch with other classes from their ‘bubble’. 

Children and young people at Whitefield do not find it easy to keep at a distance from one another and most children need adults to work closely with them to care for them and support them in their learning. We will continue to work closely with the children where this is necessary but encourage them to work at a greater distance where possible. 

To further reduce the chance of infection, adults will wear basic PPA (aprons, gloves and in some cases facemasks) when working with the children. Some adults may wear face shields when working very closely with children. 

If your child uses home-school transport the company will be in touch to explain their arrangements for keeping children safe. 

We will continue to provide our usual curriculum in all subjects and help your child to work towards their targets as agreed at their PCR. We may need to make changes to some subjects - such as PE and music – to deliver them more safely. We will keep educational visits close to school at first and not use public transport.

If any children are distressed when they return to school, or find school life difficult, we will give them time and support to adjust. We will review all children’s PPSPs and sensory profiles and send a copy home for you to sign.

How can parents help?

  • Please do not send your child to school if they, or anyone else in the household, has coronavirus or is showing symptoms. We will take children’s temperatures when they arrive in school and be alert for other symptoms and we will contact you straight away if we have any concerns.

  • If you bring your child to school by car, please wait in the car until a member of staff comes to meet them. We will let you know which entrance to use.

  • If you walk into school with your child, please use the pedestrian gate in Hale End Road for children in Margaret Brearley School or the Niels Chapman Building and the gate in Macdonald Road for children in the Rebecca Goodman Centre. There will be a place to wait until a member of staff comes to meet your child.

  • Please talk positively to them about school and encourage them to share any worries with an adult. At the botton of this page we have attached sheets with some pictures and symbols which may help you to prepare your child for returning to school and explain what may be different.

  • Please keep in touch with us and let your child’s class teacher know if you have any concerns once they have returned to school.

If any children or adults in school has a confirmed case of coronavirus we will follow the public health guidance. We may need to close all or part of the school for a short period and your child may be asked to stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days. 

I recognise that some children will have been advised by their doctors not to attend school. If this is the case for your child, or if your family is self-isolating, please let the school know. In these circumstances we will support you and your child to learn at home.

The government is clear that other children should attend school as normal and that it is perfectly safe for them to do so. If you have any concerns, please contact school now or at the beginning of September.

The Family Support Team will be available by phone from 9-12 during the holidays. Please use their new numbers

  • Gill Wadeson (available Monday, Wednesday and Friday) – 07874 635725
  • Lesley Middleton (available Tuesday and Thursday) – 07874 635728

Gill will be retiring at the end of August and our new Family Support Teacher, Steph Earle, will take up her post at the beginning of September.

In summary, we are very pleased to think that children will be back in school from September. Some things will be different but I am confident that children will still recognise school and will enjoy being back alongside their friends and the adults who teach and care for them.

With best wishes

Laura Pease
Principal, Whitefield Schools

'Welcome bac'k visual sheets for each school are attached below