Tuesday 16th June 2020
It has been wonderful to see so many of our Year 6 back in school today. They have been amazing at following the advice and have all left with a smile on their faces.
Just a polite reminder that uniforms need to be washed daily in order to reduce risks of transmission.
If staff suspect that this advice is not being followed, parent/ carers may be asked to collect their child and keep them at home until clean clothes can be worn. This is to keep each other and staff safe in school.
If it is not possible to wear uniform, a plain white t-shirt and dark bottoms can be worn.
Many thanks for your continued support,
12th June 2020 - returning to school information
We are now in a position to give further details of our return to school plans. Those parents/ carers who have confirmed that their child will be returning to school over the next 2 weeks, will receive an individual text message with details of their specific start and finish times.
• All children, including those of Key Workers, are expected to wear school uniform. Understandably children will have grown over the past few months - please do not go out and buy new items. If this is the case, a white t-shirt and plain shorts/ trousers/ skirt can be worn. As long as children wear sensible and appropriate shoes, these do not need to be black school shoes.
• It is advisable that clothes are washed daily where possible.
• Please ensure you bring your child to school at your allocated time. This will help us to limit the number of people on the premises and help to maintain the 2 metre social distancing rule.
• We ask that only 1 parent/ carer accompanies children to school. We understand that this may not be possible if you need to bring your other children to school with you.
• We ask that where possible you walk to school with your child. Unfortunately bikes and scooters will not be allowed on to school grounds as these cannot be stored safely.
• There will be markings on the paths as you enter school gates. Just like at supermarkets, please use these markings as they are there for everyone’s safety. Once you have dropped your child off, please exit school premises as quickly as possible.
• Parents/ carers will not be permitted to enter classrooms or the school building. Please phone school or send messages on Class Dojo if you wish to speak to your child's teacher.
• Could I also ask that you do not gather at the gates outside of school.
• The school kitchen will open from 16th June. They will offer the choice of 1 hot meal or a packed lunch. Children will make their choice during registration.
• Lunches will be eaten in classrooms. Teachers will supervise them during this time.
• If your child would prefer to bring his/ her own packed lunch, this should be brought in a small lunch box or plastic bag, which can be stored underneath their chair. Book Bags and rucksacks must not be brought into school.
• Children will not need their PE kits for the foreseeable future. PE and sporting lessons will be done in their uniform so please ensure your child wears suitable shoes.
• Children should bring their own water bottle to school, already filled with water. They will take these home every night to ensure they are cleaned regularly.
• Each class/ group of children has been allocated their own toilets. This will reduce the risk of transmission.
• If your child requires first aid whilst at school, staff will wear PPE whilst administering this.
• Just a reminder that school will close to all children, except those of Key Workers, after lunch every Wednesday. This will allow for regular deep cleaning to take place.
If at any time, your child displays symptoms of Covid 19, you must keep them at home and inform school as soon as possible. If a child becomes ill at school, we will contact the parent immediately and you will be expected to collect your child.
We are looking forward to welcoming children back to school. The leadership team, along with class teachers, will be on hand every morning and afternoon to ensure things run smoothly and safely. We ask that you respect the 2 metre social distancing guidelines at all times whilst you are on school premises.
11th June 2020
After the latest announcement today from Doncaster Council and Dr Rupert Suckling, Director of Public Health Doncaster, I have decided to follow their recommendations and begin to reopen Windhill Primary to a wider cohort of pupils. My decision has been based on several factors mentioned in Dr Suckling’s latest letter:
- The number of new hospital admissions from Covid-19 and deaths in Doncaster have fallen to pre-lockdown levels
- The launch of the Track & Trace system provides a better understanding of issues at a local level
- The school is well prepared, has the capacity for more children and has sufficient supplies of PPE.
I intend to reopen school gradually, initially welcoming back our Year 6 pupils, and will be carefully monitoring local data before reintroducing other year groups.
In line with the Government’s recommendations, pupils in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 will be the next cohorts of pupils to return to school. I must make it clear though, at this point I cannot confirm that we will have the capacity to accommodate other year groups before September. This is something that I will monitor very carefully and keep you updated with the situation.
In previous messages I have shared with you strategies that we have introduced to ensure pupils and staff are as safe as possible whilst at school. These include:
• Children will be in classes of no more than 12 pupils. They will remain with the same familiar member of staff all day, every day. There will be no contact between the groups therefore reducing the risk of transmission.
• Drop off and home times will be staggered and each group will use a different entry/ exit point. Break times and lunchtimes will also be staggered.
• Within classrooms, desks will be set 2 metres apart where possible. Each group will have their own resources which will be cleaned regularly.
• There will be an increase in the cleaning taking place throughout the day, particularly surfaces and equipment frequently used. Each class will have plenty of soap and hand sanitizer – staff will ensure regular hand washing takes place.
• To allow for regular deep cleaning of classrooms, school will close to all pupils at 1pm each Wednesday – this will start from the 17th June.
A copy of our full risk assessment is available on the school website.
We will also be sharing photographs of school to help put yours and your children’s mind at rest.
Staff will contact all Year 6 families tomorrow where you will be asked to accept or decline a place when school reopens. We hope to welcome these children back on Tuesday 16th June, with the aim that Reception children will return on Thursday 18th June.
These truly have been extraordinary times and I want to thank each and every one of you for your continued patience and support over the past 3-4 months. If you have any questions or queries, please do not hesitate to contact the school office on 01709 586949.
As you may have heard, Ros Jones, Mayor of Doncaster, has just announced that she is strongly recommending that schools across Doncaster should NOT be opening to a wider cohort of children on 1st June.
She has based her decision on 3 key areas:
- There is currently no access to data about community transmission at a local level. This means there is not enough of a critical understanding on how active the virus currently is in Doncaster to be confident about sending more children and staff into a school environment.
- Ensuring all schools have proper access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for teachers and sanitising equipment for both staff and children.
- There needs to be a proper understanding of capacity within schools
(see https://www.doncaster.gov.uk/ for her full report)
Leaders and staff at Windhill have worked extremely hard over the past 3 weeks developing plans for the reopening of school. As I have shared with you before, we have identified groups of no more than 8 pupils for each class, purchased sufficient supplies of cleaning and sanitising equipment, and have carried out a thorough risk assessment to ensure the safety of all pupils and staff in school.
However, on the recommendation of the Local Authority, I have made the decision NOT to reopen school to children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and 6 on 1st June. Children of Key Workers can continue to access provision as in previous weeks.
I recognise that this will upset many of the children who were excited about returning to school. As a staff we are gutted but the safety of all remains paramount. I am confident that our plans to reopen school will happen in the near future and will keep you updated.
As next week would have been half term, enjoy a break from home learning. Please keep sharing with us updates and photographs of your exciting activities.
Thank you all for your continued support.
Take care and Stay Safe.