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Coronavirus update

29th May 2020

This letter will be emailed to parents today.

Re: Wider opening of school

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

I am writing to keep you informed about our plans for opening school for more children.

We have completed a detailed risk assessment based on information provided by the Health and Safety team at Leeds City Council. Following this, we have taken lots of measures to make school as safe as possible for children and staff. This has included measuring rooms to calculate how many people can be based in each classroom. For most of the classrooms, this is approximately 11 children plus staff. This means that we have fewer spaces to use and more staff are needed to support the different groups. Obviously, this will have an impact on the number of year groups we can welcome back.

At the moment, we are able to stick to our original plan to open school for Year 6, as well as the children of key workers from Monday 1st June.

We are still planning on opening for Reception on Monday 8th June. If this goes well, then Year 1 should be able to start the following week – Monday 15th June.

Unfortunately, we have had to make the difficult decision not to open for Nursery children – unless their parents are key workers. In order to accommodate all the groups returning to school, Reception will be taught in the Nursery building and Children’s Centre crèche. This decision has not been taken lightly, but in order to make school as safe as possible, we feel we have no choice.

Put simply, we do not have the space or staff in school to safely fulfil all the requirements needed for Nursery children, or any of the other year groups (Years 2, 3, 4 & 5), to return to school under the current guidance.

We will carefully monitor the number of children who attend, and any future changes to the guidance, and will re-assess to see if we can open for more children in the coming weeks.

If your child is continuing their learning at home, the staff members setting and responding to your child’s work may change. This is because some teachers will be in school, whilst others will be working from home.

If you think you may be entitled to a key worker place for your child, and you have not needed it so far, please email info@swinnowprimary.com. We will send you a short form to complete and a member of the leadership team will get back to you. These spaces are limited, so we are encouraging parents to only take a space if absolutely necessary, and for the shortest amount of time.

 

Many thanks for your continued support,

 

With best wishes,

BNaylor

Mrs B Naylor - Headteacher

21st May 2020 

Opening school to more children – frequently asked questions

How will school be kept safe for my child?

No-one will be allowed to enter the building if they are showing any symptoms of COVID-19. Staff in school will clean throughout the day – with a particular focus on surfaces that are frequently touched.

What are ‘bubbles’?

We have been asked to put children into groups – or bubbles - of no more than 15, with the same staff. These bubbles will not mix with any other bubbles. This means your child may not be in a group with their friends or with their usual teachers, or be in their usual classroom. Not all bubbles will be led by teachers – many children will be taught by teaching assistants. Different groups will start and finish at different times of day. Lunchtimes and playtimes will be at different times. When children play outside, they will only be allowed to play with children from their bubble. If any child or staff member from that bubble tests positive for COVID-19, then the rest of the bubble would be sent home to self-isolate for 14 days – or until they test negative.

What will the classrooms be like?

For older children, desks will be spread out, with one child on each. Children will have their own stationery. In all classes, we will remove items that cannot be easily cleaned – such as soft toys. For younger children, we will keep as many resources and toys as possible – but most things will be packed away. Wherever possible, children will not share resources. There will be regular opportunities to wash hands throughout the day.

What about social distancing?

We have measured all the rooms that the children will use, so we know how many people can theoretically be in the room and remain 2m away from others. We will stick to these numbers, however we accept that children – particularly the younger ones – do not understand social distancing and are highly unlikely to stay 2m away from one another. Where-ever possible, children will be 2m away from anyone from the other bubbles.

Will breakfast, after school care club or after school activities be available?

We cannot offer breakfast, after school care club or after school activities as this would mean children from different bubbles would mix. The children of key workers could either be in their class bubble or the key worker bubble. The arrangements we have in place for key worker children will not change – however there will inevitably be fewer opportunities to play outside and a greater focus on academic learning.

What will the children be learning?

As far as possible, the children will continue with their learning in English and maths. Other areas of the curriculum will not be taught if they involve close contact or sharing resources. Y6 will do work relating to their transition to secondary schools.  There will be a focus on PSHE (personal, social and health education). There will be no trips during the summer term.

Does my child need to wear uniform?

Where possible – yes. We have been advised that staff and children should wear clean clothes each day, so if you do not have enough uniform, this will not be a big issue. Children can wear other appropriate clothes.

What happens at lunchtime?

Children can either bring a packed lunch or have a school dinner. They will eat with the others in their bubble. There will be 2 bubbles in the hall at a time, with at least 2m distance between.

What if I choose not to send my child to school?

There will be no consequences in terms of your child’s attendance. We will continue to post home learning activities on Class Dojo and the website.

What if I need to speak to my child’s teacher?

You will not be able to enter school at the beginning or end of the day. If you need to speak to a member of staff, you will need to telephone. Only in exceptional circumstances are we allowed to invite parents into school for a meeting. This would be done following strict social distancing protocols.

Which children will be able to come?

In order to make school as safe as possible, we have to prioritise which children can attend. Following advice from the local authority, we are doing this in a slow, staggered way.

From 1st June, school will be open for children of key workers and Y6.

From 8th June, school will be open for children of key workers, Y6 and Reception.

From 15th June, school will be open for children of key workers, Y6, Reception and Y1.

We will then review to see if we can extend our offer to children in other year groups.

What happens next?

If you wish your child to return to school and they are in the groups above, you must let us know – if you haven’t done so already. When we have finalised numbers, we will contact you again to tell you where your child should be dropped off, at what time and how this should be done.

Many thanks for your patience and understanding through this extremely difficult time.

 Please CLICK HERE to read a letter from Sal Tariq - the Director of Children and Families for Leeds

15th May 2020

Today, you will receive this letter via email.

Dear Parents and Carers,

As I am sure you know, the government is asking schools to prepare for Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 to return to school from 1st June. We have been given advice about how we can make this as safe as possible for children and staff. We have been asked to organise children into smaller groups, consider different start times for different children as well as a range of different actions within the school day.

Any plans we make to return children to school will need to be done extremely carefully to ensure school will be as safe as it possibly can be. We will carry out a detailed risk assessment to consider whether it is possible to increase the numbers of children in school. The safety of children, staff and families is of utmost importance.

Obviously, this will be a very complex task, but I wanted to begin by finding out how many children we need to plan for. Today, parents of children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 will receive a text message asking if they would be likely to send their child to school if we open on 1st June.

Some children are already attending as their parents are key workers – this will not change. We will still make provision for those children.

If you receive the text, please respond to it with yes or no. That way, we will know how many children would be in school, so we can begin planning how to implement the necessary safety measures. It will also help us to plan for the next phase – to decide if we are able to open for more year groups. There will be a separate survey for children in those year groups at a later date.

If you wish to give your feedback in more detail, then you can email info@swinnowprimary.com.

If you change your mind in the future, and decide to send your child to school, that is absolutely fine – you are not making a long-term commitment. We are looking for an early indication of numbers.

Obviously, opening from 1st June is dependent on the government’s policy at the time.

Many thanks,

BNaylor

Mrs B Naylor - Headteacher  

 

2nd April 2020

FREE SCHOOL MEALS

We have had a number of enquiries about applying for free school meals.

During the school closure, those people who receive means tested free school meals will receive a voucher - worth £15 - each week for every child who is entitled. These can be spent at supermarkets that you select. Our office team were working incredibly hard yesterday setting this up.  

Many people do not apply for free school meals because they receive universal free school meals. The government pays for ALL children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 to have a free dinner each day.

This does not mean you will receive the voucher. 

Your children are entitled to free school meals if you receive:

  • Income Support, or
  • income-based Job Seeker's Allowance, or
  • income-related Employment and Support Allowance, or
  • the guaranteed element of Pension Credit
  • Universal Credit, if you apply on or after 1 April 2018 your household income must be less than £7,400 a year (after tax and not including any benefits you get)
  • support under part V1 of the Immigration and Asylum Act 1999, or
  • Child Tax Credit, if you have an annual taxable income (as assessed by H M Revenue and Customs) which does not exceed £16,190
  • if your child is awarded free school meals, they’ll continue to receive them until they are above school age

You can apply at any time. CLICK HERE to download the application form. You can either print it, complete it and post it to the address on the form; complete it electronically and email to info@swinnowprimary.com and we will send it on or contact school and we will get a paper copy to you. 

If you think you are entitled, please apply. This benefits you and school; we receive extra funding for every child we have who receives free school meals, which means we can make extra provision to support your child's learning. 

If you need any help or advice about this, then please get in touch. 

Many thanks!

 

 

26th March 2020

Do you have enough food?

If not, please get in touch and let us know. CLICK HERE to see a poster about support that is available. 

If your child is entitled to means tested free school meals, you can collected a lunch from the downstairs hall between 11:00 and 12:00. We are hoping to start rolling out a voucher scheme next week - please look out for emails.

 

23rd March 2020

Thank-you to everyone who has kept their child at home today. To those parents who have needed to send their children in, we really appreciate how you have kept this to a minimum. 

CLICK HERE to read a letter from the Leeds Children and Families Directorate.

If your circumstances change and you NEED to send your child to school, then please ring or email and we'll get back to you.

0113 3783100

info@swinnowprimary.com 

 

20th March 2020

Re: Coronavirus update – Key workers and free school meals

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

Thank-you for your patience over the past few days.

Key Workers

I am sure you know that late last night, the government published its list of key workers. You can see the document by clicking here.

We are absolutely committed to supporting our families and community through this very difficult time. With that in mind, we are intending to be open between 8am and 5pm each day – only for the children of key workers or other vulnerable children. However, I would like to draw your attention to the first key principle the government states:

If it is at all possible for children to be at home, then they should be.

The aim of the school closures is to minimise contact between people to slow the spread of the virus. This means we expect you to send your child to school for the minimum amount of time. If you work for 3 hours a day – then your children should only be in school for the time you need. If you work 2 days, then they should be here for 2 days. If you are a key worker, but your partner is working from home, I would ask that you seriously consider whether it is appropriate for you to send your child to school. Children can be dropped or collected at any time. If arriving at 8am, please enter via the downstairs hall doors in the children’s centre car park. After that, please come to the school office. Children should be collected from the school office.

We need to know which days your child will attend and approximately what times they will attend.

If you asked yesterday if you were eligible, we will telephone you today. If your situation changes over the coming weeks, and you feel you would qualify for this service, then please email info@swinnowprimary.com or telephone the office.

As long as we have enough staff, we will remain open, providing this service.

Free school meals

If your child is entitled to a means tested free school meal – not universal free school meals for all children in reception, Y1 and Y2 – then we will be providing a cooked meal each day. These can be collected from the downstairs hall door between 11:00am and 12:00pm. Obviously, this does not apply if your child will be in school. 

I am sure you appreciate that things are changing quickly, but we will do whatever we can to keep you informed. Please bear with us if things are not as timely as we would all like.

These are very difficult times for all of us. If your child will be at home, please get in touch with us if you need anything. Take care of them, yourselves and your community.

 

With best wishes – Mrs B Naylor - Headteacher

 

Re: Coronavirus update – school closure to most pupils

 

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

Following on from my last update, I’m now writing to let you know that we have now been instructed to close the school to almost all children after this Friday until further notice.

As advised by the government, we will do all we can to stay open for the children of key workers (e.g. NHS staff, police, delivery drivers and others in frontline services) as well as children with certain needs.

We are waiting for the government to publish more information on what this means, but it would help us in the meantime if you could let us know if you think your child may fall into one of these categories. Please could you either:

  • Email info@swinnowprimary.com with details of your job
  • Speak to a member of staff with a clip board around school this morning
  • Telephone the office.

We’ll be in touch again as soon as we are sure who this does apply to.

All other children will need to stay at home, so we ask that you do not send your child into school from Monday onwards.

Please note that this is a national closure – as you may have heard in the news – so while it is a challenging situation, we are not alone. We’ll re-open fully as soon as we can and will let you know when this is via the website and text message.  

What we’ll continue doing while your child is at home

  • Your child’s learning is of course important to us, so we’ll continue to help your child to learn.
  • Your child will bring a resource pack home today with ideas of activities they can do.
  • The home learning tab on the website home page will be up-dated with links to useful websites.

Wherever possible, the teachers will up-date the class blogs with ideas and activities.

If your child usually receives free school meals we will also be in touch with more information about how we will continue to provide this, with support from a scheme that the government has just announced.

This is as much as we know right now and we appreciate your continued patience with as we deal with this ever-changing situation. We understand that this latest news will have an impact on you and your family and it’s far from ideal, but we’ll continue to keep in touch with any updates as the situation develops.

If you want to get in touch to share any concerns, please don’t hesitate to do so via our school email – info@swinnowprimary.com. This will be checked throughout the day. If we have further up-dates, I will up-date via the website and a text message will be sent to alert you.

And remember: if you or your child feels ill and you want to know what to do next, please use NHS 111 online.

Thank you again for your continued support, and we will be in touch with more information when we can.

 

With best wishes – Mrs B Naylor - Headteacher

 

 

 

17th March 2020

Dear Parents/Carers,

 

I know you will be aware that the situation regarding coronavirus is rapidly changing.  There is a possibility that schools will close. We are following all government advice.

 

Firstly, we have some members of staff who have been advised to self-isolate because they have under-lying health conditions. At the moment, we feel it is safe to keep school open, but if over the coming days we do not have enough staff, we may consider a full or partial closure. Please be assured that we will do everything we can to keep school open for as long as possible. If a closure is necessary, we will let you know by text message, the school website and through the Leeds City Council website. As soon as we have enough staff, we will re-open and will let you know through the same channels.

 

Additional school activities – such as before and after school activities – have been cancelled until further notice. Breakfast Club and After School Care Club will continue as normal for the time being.

 

Parents’ evening next week will not go ahead.

 

The Y3 and Y4 trip to the Royal Armouries has been cancelled; we will arrange a refund through ParentPay.

 

In the event that the government instructs schools to close for a longer period of time, we will send work home. Depending on the age of your child, this will be a mixture of formal work and ideas for them to learn and play in different ways. Wherever possible, the teachers will be up-dating the class blogs with links to activities and tutorials to support learning at home.

 

Our school email address: info@swinnowprimary.com will be checked every week day, so if you need to get in touch, please do so. If you have a specific request for a specific member of staff, mark it in the subject box and it will be forwarded to the correct person.

 

If your child develops a temperature or persistent cough they will need to stay at home. The latest advice is that your whole family will need to self-isolate for 14 days. At school we are doing whatever we can to stop the spread of the infection. If a child appears unwell at school, with the symptoms described above, we are contacting parents immediately. Our cleaning schedule has been stepped up – all hard surfaces such as door handles and toilets are being cleaned twice daily. Children wash their hands several times a day.

 

Please keep in mind that the vast majority of people who contract this virus have mild symptoms. Children seem least affected. I know this is a very difficult time. We will continue to do whatever we are able to support your children and you. Please take care and let us know if there is anything you need. If we can help, we will.

 

With best wishes,

 

Mrs B Naylor - Headteacher