24th February 2021

Dear parents carers

Return to school

 I am pleased to let you know that after the Prime Minister’s announcement of a roadmap to recover from the impact of coronavirus, all pupils in all year groups will be welcomed back to school from Monday the 8th of March.

The systems and routines for school will be the same as at the start of the autumn term, with classes entering and exiting at the same times.

Class Entry Exit
Blossom Tree Nursery 8:30am 12:00pm 11:45am 2:45pm
Nursery 8:30am 12:30pm 11:30am 3:30pm
Reception 8:30am 2:45pm
Year 1 8:50am 3:05pm
Year 2 8:50am 3:05pm
Year 3 9:00am 3:15pm
Year 4 9:00am 3:15pm
Year 5 8:40am 2:55pm
Year 6 8:40am 2:55pm

As there are still a number of coronavirus restrictions in place, including the need to continue with social distancing, I do think these entry and exit times will be in place until at least July. As we approach the end of the summer term we will look at changing our entry and exit times back to 8:45 am and 3:15 pm.

Please can we remind parents to stick to their specific entrance and exit times, avoid gathering in groups in the playground and prevent their children running around or mixing mix with other classes.

In line with government guidance, from the 8th of March attendance is now compulsory with only those children who are shielding or isolating due to contracting coronavirus, or someone having symptoms within the household, being absent from school.

Within our nurseries, it is expected that all pupils will return to the sessions they had prior to Christmas.

Working in class
As a school we have not underestimated the impact this third lockdown has had on all of our pupils, particularly our remote learning pupils. We know that while some pupils will be desperate to get back into school, some pupils will be anxious and apprehensive about returning. Class teachers are very much aware of this and over the next eight days will be working with pupils remotely and in class on activities to address some of these concerns.

In addition to this, there will be two headteacher Zoom assemblies on Friday the 26th of February and Friday the 5th of March where pupils will be shown how school is preparing for their return.

When school entered this lockdown, it was decided that all of the routines and systems would stay in place as they were before Christmas so that when pupils returned, they would enter the same class, with the same classmates and the same playtimes and activities. We hope this consistency will ensure that when pupils do enter their class and see their friends, they will quickly return to the way they did things before.

School transition closure
So the school can prepare for the full return on the 8th of March, school will close after pupils have had their lunch on Friday the 5th of March. This will allow staff to prepare school for the full return; rearranging classrooms and setting up teaching areas that had to be rearranged for this period of school closure. This will also mean that on Friday the 5th of March there will be no afternoon Nursery.

Class Pick up time
Reception 12:15pm
Year 1 12:30pm
Year 2 12:30pm
Year 3 1:00pm
Year 4 12:45pm
Year 5 1:15pm
Year 6 1:00pm

Precautions in school

Even though we are all preparing for a full return of pupils and some restrictions are slowly being lifted nationally, we must be aware that the risk of coronavirus is still in our community. To help prevent transmission, all staff within school are tested twice a week. The lateral flow tests are used to help prevent asymptomatic transmission of the virus. This testing, as well as the testing of brothers and sister who attend secondary schools will be another step in helping prevent further infections in school.

Even though these steps will help, there will still be a risk of pupils and staff catching coronavirus and this leading to pupils being sent home or classes being closed. If this does happen, the school will take the same steps it took from September and will contact the Department for Education and Public Health England for advice on how to deal with the illness.

Illness within school
As there is a risk of increased rate of coronavirus in the community after school returns, it will be very important to stick to the advice regarding illness.

  • If a child is unwell keep them away from school.
  • If a child has symptoms of a new and persistent cough, the temperature above 37.8° or any issues to do with taste or smell, they will need to stay off school, and the household isolate for 10 days. If the test comes back negative, they can return to school when they are feeling better.
  • If anyone in the household has a new and persistent cough, a temperature above 37.8° or any issues to do with taste or smell they need to book a test and any children in the household cannot attend school until the results come back and the person is negative. If the results are positive, the household must isolate for 10 days.

Remote learning
Even though all pupils will be in school there will still be provision for pupils who are absent from school if they are isolating, but not ill with coronavirus. Remote learning will not be provided for pupils who are absent from school with general illness.

School meals
Since this lockdown started, school meals have been provided by external kitchens. From the 8th of March, the school will be providing school meals as it did prior to Christmas. This means that if your child has a school meal, whether it be free school meals, universal free school meals in reception, year one or year two or a paid meal, they can have the option again. If your child brings in a packed lunch they should bring in a packed lunch as usual.

If parents wish to change their school meal option, please contact the school office on office@newmaskeprimary.co.uk before 12pm on the 5th of March. The same email address can be used for more information about qualify for free school meals.

As all pupils will be in school, the Edenred voucher scheme will not continue after the 8th of March.

Finally, I would like to thank all of our pupils, parents and staff for the resilience they have shown over the past two months. From the remote learners at home, logging in to take part in lessons; the pupils who were in school some days and working at home other days and the pupils who have been in school all of the time. I know this time has been challenging for everyone and I look forward to getting out pupils back into school so that we can start to recover from the disruption of the past year.

Yours faithfully

Mr Dooris

Head Teacher