9th July 2020
Please read the letter below regarding the school opening arrangements for September 2020.
10th June 2020
As you will be aware, the Governing Board of Deykin Avenue School agreed that the school would implement a phased re-opening to children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 from 15th June 2020. As we now know how many children are expected to return to school, we have been able to finalise our plans.
We have already spoken to many parents and have discussed with you how different the school will look and how you can best prepare your child for their return. All parents and children will need to comply with all of the new procedures that we have had to put in place e.g. social distancing, no access to the school site and no resources from home allowed into school. All of this information is on the school website.
All of the procedures that we have put in place have been carefully considered and have been made with reference to DfE guidance and to the school’s extensive risk assessments, which are intended to minimise the risk to all of our school community –staff, children and parents.
We know that this is an extremely challenging time for everyone and we will continue to support our families in any way that we can whilst observing the guidance from the Department for Education.
Please find below frequently asked questions and our responses. This has been put together to support you and your families. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
On behalf of the staff and Governors, we thank you for your continued support during this difficult time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How will children be grouped?
The Government guidance is that children will be in ‘bubbles’ of up to 15 children. We are unable to accommodate 15 children in a classroom due to social distancing measures that we have to put in place. Some classrooms can accommodate up to nine children and some classrooms can only accommodate seven children. Children in the ‘bubbles’ will not be allowed to mix with other children or their siblings during the school day. Each class will have a separate start time and collection time. This is so that we can reduce the number of parents and children coming onto the school site.
Q. Will my child be in their usual classroom?
We will try our best to keep children in their usual classroom; however, this may not be possible and they may be with a different teacher. They will have their own resources but these will be limited. Resources will be cleaned regularly.
Classroom furniture has been rearranged to allow for 2m between each child and will allow for a smaller number of children in each class. Excess furniture will be removed from the classrooms. We have put photographs on the school website so that you can see what the classrooms look like.
Q. Can you tell me which staff will be in my child’s bubble before I make a decision on whether my child will return to school?
We are unable to confirm exact staffing at this stage but where possible staff will be from the key stage that your child is currently in but may not be their class teacher or TA. Similarly, your child will be in a classroom within their key stage but we cannot confirm which room at this stage.
Q. Will my Year 1/Reception child receive a school lunch?
Packed lunches will be provided each day for children in receipt of Free School meals or those attending from years 1, 2 and Reception similar to those provided for school trips. We will be unable to provide milk and have not yet received guidance on whether the free fruit scheme will be resuming. If your child is in Year 6 and entitled to a free school meal, they will receive a packed lunch. If your children brings their own packed lunch, they must take home their lunch bag every day and you must ensure that it is thoroughly washed. We would advise you to put their lunch in a disposable bag instead. If other year groups return to school, packed lunches will be available for those who are entitled to this provision.
Q. What if my child is upset during the day? Will you still be able to comfort them?
As always, we will provide appropriate care and sport and will respond to your child’s needs taking account the guidance we have been given.
Q. How will break and lunchtimes work?
These will be staggered where appropriate to keep each bubble separate and will be supervised by the staff in the bubble at playtimes and by lunchtime supervisors at lunchtimes. Lunches will be eaten in the classroom.
Q. Will home learning still be provided when my child’s year group has been invited to return to school?
Home learning will be provided on a ‘best endeavours’ basis following government guidance due to staffing restrictions. It is likely that we will be unable to sustain the current level of online learning if the number of children return to school increases.
Q. Can my child bring in their own resources e.g. books, pencil cases, toys or their school bag?
Children cannot bring in any resources from home. They can bring in a labelled water bottle, which will be returned at the end of the school day and must be thoroughly washed. This is so that there is no cross-contamination. Resources will be provided for each child and will only be used by them.
Q. What will happen if my child becomes ill whilst in school?
If your child shows Covid 19 symptoms or becomes unwell at school, they will be isolated from others. We have set up a designated room for isolation if needed. A first aid trained member of staff will wear protective clothing e.g. a facemask, visor, apron and gloves. They will stay with your child, maintaining social distancing wherever possible until you arrive at the school to collect them. It is important that if we contact you, that you come immediately to the school to collect your child. Please do not send your child to school if they are unwell, even if you think they have mild symptoms or it is not Covid 19 related. We have put a flowchart on our website that details the action you must take if you suspect that you, your child or a member of your household has Covid 19 symptoms.
Q. If I decide not to send my child to school, will I be penalised?
As previously stated, we will as far as possible provide online learning for children via the school website. There is no attendance consequence from school or the Local Authority if you choose not to send your child to school at this time. It is your parental decision.
If you have informed us that your child will not be attending school during this time and then you change your mind, you will need to contact the school office on 0212 464 4460 or through the school enquiry email email@example.com
Please do not turn up with your child unless you have been allocated a place. If you contact the school, we will arrange for your child to start school when we have an available place and when it is safe for them to do so.
If you have informed us that you wish your child to attend school, your child’s class teacher will have telephoned you to go through the arrangements for their return. We have also put a letter on the school website, which sets out the arrangements.
We would like to take the time to explain the procedures that we have in place to ensure that your children, yourselves, and our staff are kept safe when they return to school on Monday 15th June. We have already spoken to you on the telephone and this letter is just to remind you of the conversation we had. Please ensure that you speak to your child before they return to school so that they understand as fully as possible about how different school life will be.
As a school, we will do everything we can to protect the health and well-being of our children and staff. However, we cannot guarantee that your child will always be 2m apart from other children and adults - this is even less likely for those in Reception and Year 1. We will do our best to reinforce social distancing but if a child became ill, or distressed in school, we would comfort them as we normally would and obviously, this cannot be done 2m away from them.
Any questions, please do not hesitate to contact myself or Mrs Brewer and we will do our best to help you.
Mrs J. Edwards
18th May 2020
Please see below a very important letter regarding the potential re-opening of schools, and the arrangements and rules to be implemented.
Deykin Avenue Staff
20th March 2020
Dear parents and carers,
You will all be aware of the announcement made by government earlier this week that schools are to close from today t0 all but certain groups of pupils.
The government has updated its guidance today about school closures and this is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/closure-ofeducational-settings-information-for-parents-and-carers. If you're unsure about whether your child would be classed as vulnerable or if you are a key worker, please read the government guidance and speak to your child's school. If they are able to, schools will be opening on Monday for vulnerable children and those of key workers. In the days and weeks that follow, schools will be working in local areas to group together and make the best use of resources. Schools will keep in contact with you as arrangements are made.
The resilience shown by your children's schools over the last few weeks has been truly remarkable and I'm sure you share my heartfelt gratitude for how school staff have responded to this outbreak. Everyone has total commitment to ensuring that this unprecedented situation is handled as well as possible. Schools are working on innovative ways to make sure that children can access learning over the coming weeks and will be in touch with you about this.
I know that this will have been an extremely unsettling period for you and your children, especially those due to sit exams or leave school or move to new schools later this year. Please be assured that schools will continue to do everything they can to support pupils during this difficult time. Please also see the council's website for a range of other information about services at this time https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/news/article/560/covid-19 affected birmingham city council services.
Dr Tim O'Neill
Director for Education and Skills
Education and Skills Directorate (Birmingham City Council)
1 Lancaster Circus
PO Box 17550
19th March 2020
After schools close on Friday 20th March 2020, they will remain closed until further notice except for children of key workers and vulnerable children, as part of the country’s ongoing response to coronavirus.
We believe that examples of key workers include NHS staff, police, firefighters, supermarket staff and delivery drivers who need to be able to go to work to support the country’s fight to tackle coronavirus. However, this list may change.
Vulnerable children include those who have a social worker and those with an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP).
Children who do not fall into these groups should remain at home with appropriate care.
We need to identify the number of children likely to need emergency provision at our school during the extended school closure period. If you believe you are a key worker (we are unsure at the moment whether this means both parents are key workers or one if you are a single parent) and require emergency provision, please contact the school office and provide the following information;
Job title, place of work, work contact number
If your child is classed as vulnerable (has an EHCP or a social worker) and you require emergency provision, please contact the school office and ask to speak to Mrs Edwards or Mrs Brewer.
Please be aware that this emergency provision may change when the government provides us with further details.
Thank you for your support during this difficult time.
Wednesday 18th March 2020
I am writing to inform you that we have taken the decision to cancel our visit to Condover on Monday 20th April 2020. In light of the situation regarding Coronavirus, we know that this has concerned many of you, as it has also concerned the staff who would have been attending this residential.
We simply do not know what will happen regarding school closures or visits; it may be something we can rearrange before the children leave us in July. That is a conversation we will have with Condover if government advice makes this a possibility.
We have been waiting for Condover to cancel (which at the moment, they are not doing) or for schools to be forced to close. This is because we would be able to claim our money back. If we cancel and Condover are still open for business, we will lose all of our money. (Approximately £4500.) Obviously, this is not something we can afford to lose.
Parents who have paid for their child to attend Condover will be able to get a refund at the School Office during the afternoons. Please see Mrs Dargan and she will do this for you.
Any questions, please do not hesitate to ask myself or Mrs Brewer and we will do our best to help you. Many thanks for your support and co-operation.
Mrs Janet Edwards