Re-connection Plan - September 2020
The Government guidance released on 7th September 2020 provided us with a context for their decision to request all schools to open to all children from September and issued guidance for schools to adhere to and manage when opening. The guidance issued can be found in full here.
At St Paul’s Primary we have been working hard on our plans for a full reopening ensuring that we:
• fulfil the expectations required of us
• ensure that the safety of everyone is paramount in all our decisions and actions
• continue to provide a high quality, well balanced curriculum to best support our pupils in their education.
Keeping children and staff safe
All schools must comply with health and safety law, which requires them to assess risks and put in place proportionate control measures. Essential measures include:
- a requirement that people who are ill stay at home
- robust hand and respiratory hygiene
- enhanced cleaning arrangements
- active engagement with NHS Test and Trace
- formal consideration of how to reduce contacts and maximise distancing between those in school, wherever possible, and minimise potential for contamination so far as is reasonably practicable
All schools have been provided with a set of actions to ‘prevent’ and ‘respond to infection’ which are summarised below:
- minimise contact with individuals who are unwell
- clean hands thoroughly and more often than usual
- ensure good respiratory hygiene - ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’
- enhanced cleaning
- minimise contact between individuals and maintain social distancing wherever possible
- where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
Response to any infection:
- engage with the NHS Test and Trace process
- manage confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) amongst the school community
- contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice
Class and phase ‘bubbles’
We will group each class (Y1 – Y6) into ‘bubbles’ which will remain consistent and separate from other ‘bubbles’. EYFS (Nursery & Reception) will create their own phase bubble.
For the majority of their time in school the children will be in their own class bubble with their own teacher and support staff. Each class will be allocated their own dinner supervisor to avoid cross contamination.
This will ‘make it quicker and easier in the event of a positive case to identify those who may need to self-isolate, and keep that number as small as possible’.
All children will be welcomed back to St Paul’s Primary School from Thursday 3rd September and attendance is mandatory. EYFS will join on Monday 7th September and Nursery on Monday 14th September.
We support the government here which notes:
- parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
- schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence;
- the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct.
Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August. Where a pupil is unable to attend school because they are complying with clinical and/or public health advice, please contact a member of the SLT team and we will work with you to support your child the best possible way we can.
Before Your Child Leaves Home in The Morning
Please check for any of the following symptoms
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to the sense of smell or taste
If any of these symptoms are evident do not send them to school, contact our school office on 0121 4641546 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Government advice must be followed, it can be found here.
Travel to and from school
In accordance with our current risk assessment we encourage parents, staff and pupils to walk, use a scooter or cycle to school if at all possible. Children and families should ensure they are following social distancing guidelines whilst travelling to and from school. Face coverings are required at all times on public transport (including for children, over the age of 11)
Morning Drop Offs
First day back – Thursday 3rd September
Children in Reception – Year 6 will be given an allocated time between 8:30 and 9:00 to arrive on Thursday 3rd September to meet their new class teacher, show the children their new entrance to their classroom, how they will come into school and where to sanitise their hands.
One the children are familiar with their entry door and way to their classroom; they will be able to enter the door without a member of staff and take themselves to their classroom. There will always be at least two members so SLT on the playground at the beginning and end of the school day.
To ease congestion, we will continue to have staggered start and finish times, until further government guidance is given. It is important that we do not have parents congregating at the school gates and that we limit the number of interactions across bubbles.
We would encourage only 1 parent/adult to drop off and collect to help minimise the number of adults on site.
We have introduced a one-way system both in school and across the playground. All parents/carers will enter through the main blue gates at the front of the school and exit via the side gates next to the EYFS outdoor area.
Morning - Drop Off Times & End of the day – Collection
Please see below the start and end times of the school day for each class in September. Please also note the location of drop-off and collection points for each class. There will still be systems in place for September (see below).
We will still have a one-way system in place across the school site, which all families will need to adhere to. Entrance through main gate and exit through playground gate only.
Siblings will arrive and leave together at the earliest and latest times based on your children’s year groups
- e.g. if you have a child in Y1 and a child in Y4, you will drop both children at 8.40am and collect both children at 3.30pm. This is because Y1 start at 9am and Y4 start at 8.40am so 8.40am is the earliest time out of the two and therefore the time you drop both children. Year 1 home time is 3.30pm and Y4 is 3.10pm, so you select the latest collection time, which is 3.30pm and that is when you collect both children.
All families need to be punctual – no early or late for drop off/collections. As we will have many more children in school, we need everyone to keep to their timings please. Our fining policy will be in place for late collections.
Parents will still not be permitted to enter the school building (this includes EYFS) and must continue with correspondence via telephone and email.
**Please note we will review the collection arrangements regularly in September to ensure they are working effectively, and we are happy with the safety precautions in place. Please be aware we will make amendments to timings if we feel it is necessary.
Nursery and Reception
Nursery and Foundation children will create one EYFS bubble as we work in a foundation unit rather than two separate classes.
Reception children who are new to school and did not attend St Paul’s nursery will start school on Thursday 3rd September along with the rest of the school. Those children who attended our nursery last year will start on Monday 7th September.
As always, we will have 3 intakes for out nursery children: September, January and April. Those children who are eligible to start in September 2020 will do so on Monday 14th September 2020.
Reception children will start school on a full-time basis from day one. Their school times will be Monday to Friday 8.50am – 3.20pm.
We operate a morning only nursery at St Pauls. Again, it will run Monday to Friday 9am-12pm.
At drop off time please line up with your child in the yellow boxes on the playground, keeping a social distance from the other families. The class teachers will meet you there. At collection time please wait in the yellow boxes on the playground and your child will be brought out to you by their class teacher.
On arrival at school, children in Nursery & Reception will have to enter the building on their own, saying goodbye to their parent at the external door to the EYFS unit where they will be greeted by someone from the EYFS team. Where possible, please limit the number of adults accompanying a child to school or collecting them at home time to one per child.
Arrangements in school
Children in EYFS (and Year One in the Autumn term) will be following a free flow, play based curriculum. Whole class teaching sessions will be no longer than 15 minutes and all classrooms will be well ventilated. It will not be possible, nor is it required, to enforce social distancing measures with children in EYFS. This means that children will come into contact with all the children in their class and they are likely to come into contact with all the children in the year group during outside free flow and lunchtimes. Children will wash their hands often and surfaces and equipment regularly sanitised.
For individual and very frequently used equipment, such as pencils and pens, staff and pupils will have their own items that are not shared. Classroom based resources, such as books and games, can be used and shared within the class bubble; these will be cleaned regularly, along with all frequently touched surfaces. In KS1 and KS2 resources that are shared between classes or bubbles, such as sports, art and science equipment will be cleaned frequently and meticulously and always between bubbles, or rotated to allow them to be left unused and out of reach for a period of 48 hours (72 hours for plastics) between use by different bubbles.
Class masses will start week beginning 28th October. These will take place in the school hall and the only people that will be allowed to attend are the class bubble, the staff who work within that bubble and Fr Barry. To comply with Diocesan guidance there will be no altar servers, singing or hymns as well as no offertory procession. Children will not be able to read the prayers of the faithful and should one child be asked to read from the Lectionary they will have to wear single use gloves or sanitise their hands both before and after reading. We will also be refraining from giving the sign of peace.
There will be no traditional whole school or key stage assemblies during the first part of the autumn term. Collective worship will continue to take place weekly in the children’s classrooms.
We are keeping an open mind about Christmas nativities but all should be aware that, even at this early stage, full-scale productions look unlikely in the autumn term.
Reading books can still be brought home, however on their return to school they will be placed in a box and left for 72 hours before returning to the shelves. If your child has a reading book at home, please return on the first day back in September.
Enhanced cleaning regimes
Since lock down and opening for key worker children our school has had enhanced cleaning systems in place and has also been regularly deep cleaned. We have adjusted our cleaning rotas with our site team to ensure that much more cleaning goes on during the school day – with particular attention paid to those surfaces that are frequently touched like door handles. School staff not normally involved in these duties like teachers and support staff have also been helpful in keeping their own classrooms clean and extra materials have been provided for this purpose. We anticipate these arrangements will stay in place until further notice.
Coats and bags
As children have their own cloakroom facilities outside their individual classrooms coats and bags can be left in their normal places. Please keep items brought into school to a minimum as much as possible.
The importance of fresh air
Windows and doors will be left open as much as possible to aid ventilation. Teachers will plan many outdoor learning activities and therefore it is essential that the children come suitably dressed for all weather possibilities.
There will be no outside providers for activity clubs in the autumn term (e.g. gymnastics, football, multi sports, gardening etc.) . We are planning to take part in class virtual competitions MAC wide such as skipping etc. These are likely to take part during your child’s PE lesson.
The School office will remain closed to personal visitors. Parents should do all they can to ensure that children have all that they need for the day (e.g. packed lunches) at the start of the day and if there is an instance where their child needs to be collected at a different time, they should telephone the school to make arrangements. Senior staff will then arrange to meet parents with their child in the open air.
All other communication should be done by telephone or e-mail as far as possible.
Communication with parents is really important to us. Due to the current restrictions we would request that meetings with members of staff are by prior arrangement only so that social distancing and safety precautions can be put in place. Our preference is that all meeting take place in the form of a telephone conversation. If you would like a phone conversation with your child’s class teacher please email email@example.com or telephone the office 0121 4641546 to support making these arrangements.
Please keep face to face conversations to a minimum at the school gates
An addendum to our behaviour policy was formulated in June 2020 when the first groups of children returned to school and remains in place. In the addendum we have had to change some of our expectations around pupils' behaviour and make these clear to all. In these times of heightened risk to our health, it is important that children and staff are aware that unhygienic behaviour is taken very seriously.
Our St Paul’s values, and ethos remain unchanged, and children are expected to aim to uphold them.
In addition to our St Paul’s school rules children must be aware of the new requirements in the addendum namely that they must:
- Stay at least 1+ metres apart from each other wherever possible (with a common sense approach taken to EYFS and younger pupils);
- Use their own specific equipment (including resources) and not share any of these.
- Not share any food, drinks, cups, or water bottles.
- Work, eat and play in our designated group, and minimise contact with children from other groups (including in the playground, anywhere on the school site and on our way to and from school)
- Move around school as instructed by our teacher/adult and avoiding other people
- Never cough, sneeze, or spit towards another person; catch all coughs and sneezes in a tissue and throw it away (catch it, bin it, kill it), then wash our hands
- Wash hands frequently (including whenever we are asked to), with soap and water for 20 seconds (e.g. by singing happy birthday twice) or with hand sanitiser if soap and water are not available.
It is essential that the children always listen to and follow instructions whilst adhering to the guidelines set by the government and the school. This is required inside school and outside during breaks and lunches. Any child who is unable to do this is risking the safety of themselves, other children and staff and we will ask parents to collect them immediately.
A risk assessment will then be completed to determine whether is it safe to have the child back in school. If we deem a child to be unsafe to have in school, we will work with parents to arrange provision the child can access safely.
We intend to have a full school offer for hot lunches again from the 3rd September provided by our school kitchen staff with a return to the normal payment arrangements via our Parent Pay Booking System.
Year 3 parents should be aware that universal free school dinners do not apply in KS2 and that payment for meals booked will be required.
If parents are unsure about whether they are entitled to free school meals and need to pay or not they should contact the school office. We are aware that many families’ situations have changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and therefore if you could now be entitled to free school meals and the pupil premium funding please contact the school office and we will support you with this.
We have arrangements in place to ensure that during lunch time separation between ‘bubbles’ is maintained. Children will always have the chance to wash their hands within the classroom before eating.
Please ensure your child has all the cutlery they need and their meal is easy for them to manage on their own.
Availability of water on site
All pupils should have their own water bottle that is untouched by other children or staff. Water fountains are available to all children at school. It is important that children wash/sanitise their hands before and after using them. To minimise the amount of time children are using them please send your child in with a full bottle of water each morning.
It is an expectation that all children will wear the approved school uniform. We expect our children to take great pride in their school and this is reflected in the way they dress for school.
As we are an active school, we encourage the children to come in their PE uniform on the days they have PE lessons so they can join in all the physical activities in practical and comfortable clothing. This information should be available on your child’s class page on the school website.
Dark grey or black trousers
Light blue or white shirt
Light blue or white polo shirt
Navy Blue Sweater or St. Paul's sweatshirt
Navy blue/black/grey trousers
Navy blue/grey skirt
Light blue or white blouse
Light blue or white polo shirt
Navy cardigan, jumper or St. Paul's sweatshirt
Blue checked or plain dress for summer
Black shoes, white socks
Children wear a plain white top, black or navy shorts and PE pumps.
St Paul’s Curriculum for reconnection
Whilst we are confident that many children will quickly ‘bounce back’ after the lockdown we are aware that there will be some children returning who have experienced bereavements amongst friends or family or who have experienced anxiety or stress during this time.
Collective positive mindset – contextualising the lockdown
Our staff do not feel that it is helpful to focus on what has been ‘lost’ during the shutdown. A young person’s school career is typically 468 weeks long and most children have been out of school for 14 weeks, which represents below 3% of their total school career. Moreover, during that time many of our children have been working hard and producing good work and have benefited from time spent with their families, exploring and experiencing different opportunities to grow, learn and achieve in different contexts.
Our staff will remain calm and measured in September knowing that whatever the situation we have the staff with the best knowledge and experience of how to teach, support and help our children in ‘closing the gap’ where required. We will not make our children worry unnecessarily or make them think that things are worse than they are and where issues present themselves our language will reflect our established philosophy – ‘you just can’t do it yet’.
Broad and balanced curriculum
Although there are some restrictions in place (eg singing in large groups) we fully intend to continue with our normal ambitious and broad curriculum in all subjects from the start of the autumn term. We will make use of existing flexibility to begin at appropriate starting points for all our children and this may mean that not all subjects are taught every term.
Mental Health and Wellbeing
At St. Paul’s Catholic Primary School, we aim to promote positive mental health and well being for our whole school community. This includes the positive mental health and well-being for our children, staff, parents and carers.
Positive mental health and well-being is vital for all and impacts directly on our every day lives and our capacity to realise and celebrate our abilities, our ability to achieve and our ability to thrive as productive members of the communities in which we live in and serve.
At St. Paul’s we recognise that children’s positive mental health and well-being are key components which promote learning, achievement and a positive sense of self.We recognise that everyone will experience highs and lows in life and that some will experience significant life events and challenges.We aim to help our children to build resilience, develop strategies for helping to recognise and take positive action where ill mental health and well-being is experienced.
We strive to be an inclusive school where all children, staff, parents and carers feel:
- A sense of value
- Feel safe and have a secure and well developed sense of belonging
- Confidence to talk openly with trusted adults
- Reassured that mental ill health happens to all – there is no stigma
- Positive mental health and well-being is at the core of everything we do
- Positive mental health and well-being is valued and actively promoted
- That all feelings should be recognised and supported to promote positive outcomes
At St. Paul’s our Mental Health response to the Covid 19 crisis will focus on giving the children and staff time to reflect upon their experiences during lock down and opportunities in each day to develop mindfulness strategies. By developing simple techniques such as breathing exercises, body scanning and other mindfulness strategies we hope to ‘arm’ the children with self-help techniques to help them to cope in situations that could cause anxiety.
English Curriculum Writing
We will continue to plan our English units using CLPE. All staff will choose a text which children will engage with well. When choosing a text staff will consider current topical issues such as COVID, Black Lives Matter etc.
Assessment in English will be ongoing. At the end of autumn 1 children’s writing will be assessed against the summer term targets from the previous year group. From this, staff will be able to identify what the gaps in learning are and create a checklist so they can plan based on this up until Christmas.
Phonics and Reading
At St Paul’s we will be continuing with our EYFS and KS1 early reading model. Details of this can be found on our school website under reading.
A Phonics recovery curriculum will be taught alongside our school scheme of work for phonics. This scheme of work is unique to St Paul’s and has been drawn up alongside an English consultant who has worked with the school for 3 years. And children who are not at the expected phase for their year group will undergo targeted intervention sessions.
Our early years teachers will teach phase 3 phonics to a small KS2 group at 2:30pm each day to help close the gaps.
Our dinner supervisors have been trained to 1:1 interventions either before or after their lunchtime duty. They will focus on high frequency and common exception words with KS1 children and those who still need it in year 3. Their focus in KS2 will be on those children who are not heard read regularly at home as an extra reading session.
At the end of autumn one the children will undertake the previous years summer term PIRA (reading) assessment. Any gaps identified from class teachers analysis will be an area of focus for autumn 2.
Grammar, Spelling, Handwriting
We will continue to use No Nonsense Grammar. 5 CPD sessions have been planned for all staff and will be delivered by our English lead during the first 5 staff meetings at start of year: they will focus on components of sentences, coordination, subordination, adverbials, tense. Each KS2 class will then deliver these series of 5 lessons to ensure that all gaps are plugged before moving onto their current year groups scheme of work.
Spellings will be a big focus and No-Nonsense Spelling will be taught for 20mins per day.
English lead will deliver some spelling CPD during our autumn term Inset day to ensure that all staff are clear on expectations and gaps in children’s learning.
As always, the expectation is that we will continue with daily handwriting lessons.
We will continue with White Rose Hub planning which has been adapted since COVID. There will be a greater emphasis on times tables in Y4 to ensure that they are ready for the Multiplication Check next year. Maths lead will deliver training to all staff on Inset day ensuring that all teachers are familiar with the updated planning from White Rose Hub and that they are following it.
At the end of autumn one the children will undertake the previous year’s summer term PUMA (maths) assessment. Any gaps identified from class teacher’s analysis will be an area of focus for autumn 2.
Each teacher will plan a daily retrieval session before each Maths lesson, lasting approximately half an hour. This should plug any gaps from the previous summer term.
Baseline assessments will be complete within the first two weeks of school. During the autumn term Year 1 will look like EYFS in term of continuous provision in order to allow for smaller more focused teaching groups that are specific to the needs of the children. As many of the year 1 children are not reading fluently flashcards will be used initially to develop fluency and consolidate what is being taught. A covering letter and video will be produced to share with parents so that they can continue with the children’s whilst at home. The phase 3 structure will be used to teach phase 2 phonics. Phase 3 interventions will be run with those children who are secure and confident with phase 2.
Year 1 will not focus on foundation subject for the autumn 1 to allow for more ‘catch up’ lessons in core subjects.
All year groups with the exception of year 1, are currently able to deliver our new knowledge-based curriculum, covering all subjects. At present all objectives set out in the year overviews are being covered. However, this is under constant review and a need may arise for extra lessons for recovery of English and Maths. If this is the case, certain lesson objectives may be omitted but still ensuring National Curriculum objectives are covered. A whole term topic may be merged into half a terms objectives. For example, Ancient Greece and Greek Philosophers, Life in Ancient Rome and The Rise and Fall of Rome, North and South America can be condensed to half a term topic ensuring National Curriculum objectives are covered.
We have been through out knowledge based curriculum and chosen units that can be missed in each year group should they need to be in order to fulfil a more thorough catch up curriculum. Units have been carefully chosen so that if they are left out this year they are picked up in a year group further up the school. Our knowledge based curriculum was originally designed on this model.
Our teachers will make adaptations establishing ‘what has to be learned’ rather than sticking rigidly to our usual long term plans. A thorough handover had taken place between your child’s class teacher last year and their new class teacher. Each staff member has written a ‘curriculum gaps’ document so that your class teacher knows exactly what may not have been covered from March 2020. Class teachers will also use their own expertise to establish starting points for each class in the autumn term and will likely have to take ‘a step back’ in order to help children then move forward with confidence but each child and class will be different. In schools this way of assessing what should be taught next is known as ‘formative assessment’, that is the judgements teachers make on a day to day basis during class work which allow them to assess attainment and progress. To strengthen routines, relationships and resilience it is important that, in a measured supportive way, teachers and children get back to established ways of working rather than spending too long on a formal testing regime, especially when children’s confidence will be low.
Pupils with additional needs
We are aware that for some children with additional needs, returning to school after lock down may cause additional anxiety or stress. Children with additional needs will be supported by the school staff under the guidance of the schools inclusion manager Mrs Mantle to ensure a smooth transition when returning to school. In some cases, children with additional needs may require a risk assessment to be completed.
Staff will continue to be responsive to the needs of individual pupils and additional support will be provided where necessary. Small group or 1:1 support may take a different form in the autumn term so that adults and children remain safe, for example, sitting side by side, staff and pupils working at a greater distance from each other, and working in different parts of the school building. Staff who are in close contact with individual children may wear PPE.
Children or staff suspected of having COVID-19
In line with DfE guidance in the case of a suspected infection the school will:
- engage with the NHS Test and Trace process. We ask that parents and staff inform the school immediately of the outcome of any test;
- manage confirmed cases of corona virus (COVID-19) amongst the school community. The school will text or e-mail parents with a notification of a confirmed infection including which ‘bubble’ this may affect. We will not share the names or details of people suspected of having or conformed to have coronavirus;
- contain any outbreak by following local health protection team advice. For the avoidance of doubt the new advice says that we ‘must send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious.
‘Close contact’ now means:
- face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin);
- proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual;
- travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person.
- When a case is suspected in school the child will be immediately isolated from other pupils and staff. Staff supervising these children should also try to ensure they remain two metres away while still aiming to provide the reassurance and care particularly young children will need. Enhanced PPE is available for these staff and older children may be offered a mask. The school will contact parents and request they collect their child from the school immediately.
- We ask that parents whose child has been identified as having a suspected case of COVID-19 should seek immediate medical advice.
The guidance says ‘Anyone who displays symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can and should get a test.’
If no test is undertaken then we expect children to self isolate according to the Public Health England guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance/stay-at-home-guidance-for-households-with-possible-coronavirus-covid-19-infection
Households with a confirmed case of Coronavirus should follow the advice laid out by Public Health England here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance regarding isolation and should keep their school informed about their planned date of return following isolation.
In the event of a local authority (Birmingham) wide lockdown the school would revert to an enhanced version of the arrangements which were in place during the nationwide lockdown.
Wrap around care
We will be offering breakfast and after school club to those families that need it because of work commitments from Monday 7th September. All sessions must be pre-booked (by the Thursday of the week before) and pre-paid via Parent Pay in advance, to ensure a place for your child and adequate staffing levels. We will not be taking any on the day bookings.
Wherever possible we will try to keep children within their own bubbles. However, this cannot be guaranteed and parents should be aware that children are likely to mix with a limited number of children outside their ‘bubble’ in our wrap around. We have made the decision that this was justifiable given that the alternative is no provision at all for working parents. The children will sanitise their hands regularly and additional cleaning measures will be in place.