Monday 4th January 2021
Closure of Whole School from Tuesday 5th January with the intention that all children will return on Monday 18th January 2021
You will be aware of the worrying escalation of COVID-19 cases across the United Kingdom and within our local area, and the concerns this has raised in educational settings such as ours, where our priority has always been the health, safety and happiness of the children and staff within our school.
As you have heard in the press, some teachers and support staff have been advised by their Unions not to
return to work in these unsafe circumstances. The rationale behind this advice is clear, considered and has
the safety and well being of everyone at its heart. As a result, a significant number of staff have informed us that they will follow this advice. Therefore, insufficient staffing levels combined with a worrying increase in local rates of infection mean that our risk assessment shows we are currently unable to safely open our school to all children and staff. I would advise you that this decision made by staff has been extremely difficult and one that they have given careful consideration to.
We will open for key worker and other identified children on Wednesday 6th January when the necessary arrangements have been put into place. If you are a key worker and need support from the school, please contact the school office by Tuesday 5th January.
If your child or any member of your household develops any symptoms during this period, please ensure you get this household member tested and contact the school with the results.
Remote learning will begin for all children on Tuesday 5th January.
Please accept our apologies for this very short notice, but we have found ourselves working within a very
narrow time frame and rapidly changing circumstances. The Governors and SLT have a duty of care to
provide a safe working environment for children and staff and I know you will understand that this decision
has not been taken lightly. Paper packs will be available from Tuesday 5th January as well as online learning through Dojo, Purple Mash and J2E.
Keep in touch
If you have any worries or questions or need support with anything, please contact us by phone, e-mail or
Free School Meals
Those children entitled to free school meals (not Infant Universal School Meals) will receive a food parcel. You will be notified when these are available for collection.
I understand that this is an anxious time for everyone and we will continue to keep you updated with any
developments. I apologise profusely for the short notice but this closure cannot be avoided. I thank everyone for your continued support and goodwill as we work together to keep everyone in our community safe. The best of every wish for a happier, healthier, safer 2021.
Mrs Janet Edwards
19th October 2020
Please read the following letter from Mrs Edwards with advice to parents regarding Single Cases of Covid-19.
29th September 2020
Please remember that in Birmingham, we are under local lockdown restrictions. This means that NO-ONE, adults or children, can visit your home or garden. If you have formed a support bubble with ONE other household because one of the households have only one adult living in it, you are then able to visit each other.
Children are very honest at school and tell us about their friends playing with them in their home or garden; attending birthday parties at people's homes; neighbours popping round for a cup of tea, etc. These are NOT allowed at the moment. The restrictions are making life very difficult but they have been brought in to try and control the spread of Coronavirus. If rule-breaking is reported to the police, the police can visit homes and issue fines to any adult who is breaking them.
Please follow these rules and be a good example to your children. To those of you who are following them, a big THANK YOU! We are doing our best to keep your children and our staff safe at school by following all of the rules that we have to follow. You must do the same. We still see parents standing together chatting in the playground. Again, this is NOT allowed. These restrictions will be in place until the spread of the virus decreases. ALL of us have a part to play in making sure that we follow the rules.
Deputy Head Teacher
22nd September 2020
The government has now said that family members can help with childcare. This was banned when Birmingham was put under the new restrictions last week. If someone other than you usually brings/collects your children, they can now do this as long as you let your children's teachers know. However, please be aware that 'the rule of 6' still applies. For example, a parent of 3 children who collects their own children as well as their friend's 3 children, will not be able to do this as there will be 7 in the group. (The 6 children from 2 different families plus the parent collecting them.) Babies and children are included in 'the rule of 6' so please be mindful of this. If you take children home, you are NOT allowed to let them into your house, or you go into theirs, as households are still banned from visiting other households in Birmingham. (Unless you are in a support bubble where one household only has one adult living in it.)
We know it is very difficult at the moment but please remember that these restrictions are in place to try and beat Coronavirus and keep us all safe.
Please also remember to not mix in the playground. Parents are still chatting to each other, less than 2m apart, which does not follow social distancing rules. Your children see this and are aware that some parents are ignoring the rules. As soon as a member of staff comes out, your children are safe to leave so we are asking that you leave the school premises.
Finally, we are aware that there have been a few parents visiting the school office. This is strictly by appointment only in exceptional circumstances. Some of these parents have said their children's hands are sore through the handwashing that is taking place and the use of hand sanitiser. Unfortunately, there is nothing we can do about this as this instruction has come through from the Department for Education, as well a global instruction about washing hands for at least 20 seconds frequently. If your children's hands are sore, then you may wish to buy them some hand cream they can use at home. Children may bring a small hand cream into school for their own use, this must be clearly labelled with their name and class. Regular handwashing and hand sanitising will continue for many months ahead and the children will get used to it, just as we all do when we visit shops, restaurants etc and have to sanitise our hands as we enter each building.
Mrs Edwards and Mrs Brewer
15th September 2020
A few of you were asking questions last night about the new Rule of 6 and the Birmingham restrictions. Please find below some of the answers you wanted to know. We hope you find this useful. You may wish to visit https://www.gov.uk/guidance/birmingham-sandwell-and-solihull-local-restrictions for further information.
Can my child invite their friends to play in my house or garden?
Can I invite by sister/brother into my home because they only live next door?
Can I provide assistance or care for an elderly/vulnerable person?
I live in a different house to my children’s other parent. Can we both still have access to the children?
Can we meet with friends or family in the park?
My friend/family member takes my children to school every day and brings them home. Can they still do this?
Some of the children have asked their teachers why parents are standing in the playground/by the shelter chatting to other parents and in groups larger than six! Your children are very perceptive to what is going on around them! Please do not do this. If you wish to stay with your children until their teachers collect them, that is fine, but you MUST stay 2m away from other parents. We have also asked that only one parent collects the children so that we limit the number of parents waiting outside.
Finally, please ensure that you follow these new rules. They are making life very difficult for all of us and as staff, we understand this as we have family members and friends that we are not allowed to see either. However, we have had children return to school stating that they visited friends and family during lockdown and did not realise that this was not allowed. The government have now asked people to report anyone not following these new laws which, as horrible as they seem, have been put in place to try and stop Coronavirus from spreading. Please do not put your own family’s health at risk by ignoring these rules and do not risk being issued with a fine by the police if someone reports you for breaking them.
If we all follow the rules, however difficult we find them, we will hopefully help to stop the virus from spreading and have these restrictions lifted.
Mrs Sharon Brewer
Deputy Head Teacher
14th September 2020
Thank you for your support since children returned to school on the 3rd September. It has been very challenging considering all of the changes that have taken place. However, thank you for your efforts to bring your children to school on time, and collecting them on time. It is very much appreciated.
This is a reminder of the new changes that start in England today, as well as the Birmingham restrictions which start tomorrow. There are a very small number of families who, due to transporting older children to secondary schools, have arranged with us to have a friend or family member bring/collect children to and from Deykin Avenue School. Unfortunately, due to the new restrictions, we WILL NOT be able to allow children to go home with someone other than their parent. This is because households in Birmingham CANNOT mix with other households for at least two weeks unless they are in a support bubble. As we do not know who these support bubbles are made up of, we cannot let children go home with friends, neighbours or family members outside of the household. If this causes you serious concerns regarding bringing your children to school or taking them home, please contact myself as soon as possible.
Please read below the key points of the new restrictions. If anyone is found to break them, the police can issues fines so please take care to follow them appropriately.
The Rule of 6
From Tuesday 15th September, Birmingham residents are not allowed to visit other households, unless you are in a support bubble as explained on the previous page. This means that children CANNOT play with their relatives or friends who live in a different household. People are NOT allowed to meet in gardens either. Family friends and relatives CANNOT support with childcare, although registered childminders can.
We understand how difficult this will be for many families. However, if we are to contain the spread of Coronavirus, it is vital that we follow the rules. Police do have the powers to fine anybody breaking them.
If you will have difficulty bringing your children to school, or collecting them at home time, please tell me and I will see what we can do to help you.
Mrs Sharon Brewer
Deputy Head Teacher
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