Dear Parent/ Carer,
I hope that you are all well and have been able to make the most of the summer break. For many, I was able to offer some provision for students prior to the end of the Summer term but I am also acutely aware that for some families it has been some time now since your child was last in school.
As we plan for the Autumn term it is paramount that appropriate controls are in place to minimize risks within school. To this end Tuke school has been considering implications and necessary procedures that we will put in place. I am hopeful that this will help any anxiety you have about your child returning to school.
The bubbles at Tuke School will include your child’s classroom bubble. This is where they will spend the majority of the time. At lunchtime this bubbles will be organized according to key stage and those students with complex and high medical needs. Classroom bubbles will work towards mainlining social distance as far is practically possible.
The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are a high temperature, a new, continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste. If a child in school has COVID 19 symptoms, they will be isolated and supervised by staff wearing PPE in a designated area. You will need to ensure the that you are available to collect your child immediately should they begin to show any signs of COVID 19.
It will be useful for you to consider a safe way for you and your child to travel from school to home. It will be necessary for your child to be tested for COVID 19 and you can find out how to do this by accessing https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-getting-tested or https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing-for-coronavirus/ask-for-a-test-to-checkif-you-have-coronavirus/ It is important that you share the test result with school. School will have a responsibility to contact all other students who have been in the same bubble and there will be a need for all to quarantine until the test results are known. Government advice regarding periods for quarantine change according to scientific evidence and we will ensure that the correct information is provided in any eventuality.
We will stagger students on entry to school from buses and main reception. We anticipate that this will take a longer period of time and have considered student needs and their ability to wait on buses or outside of the school. On entry, your child temperature will be taken and they will be required to hand sanitize before entering the main building. If you bring your child to school daily, please be advised that you will need to wait outside of the school where social distancing markers will be displayed. Your patience will be appreciated.
It is important that teachers can maintain daily or weekly contact with you, especially at the start of a new term. Each students will have a home school diary. These will be stored in a tray in the classroom after being cleaned with an antibacterial wipe when they arrive in school. We aim to send all correspondence to you by email or text. Please ensure we have the correct contact details for you.
Please limit the personal items that your child brings to school each day. It is preferable that they do not bring a school bag with them. Any personal bags will be disinfectant sprayed and kept outside of the classroom on your child’s allocated storage hook. It would be useful if your child could bring in a disposable water bottle. If this is not possible then an allocated cup/bottle will be provided.
Physical and social distancing
Staff will, as much as is practically possible maintain a 1 metre distance. However due to the nature of our students cohort, this may not always be possible. Staff will maintain regular hand hygiene and will hand wahs or sanitize before working with different students.
We will avoid mixing staff from the different bubbles to minimize any potential cross infection risks. I have taken the decision not to employ agency staff for staff sickness and absence cover on a day to day basis as this adds a further track and trace complication. However, the implication for this is that if regular staffing levels fall drastically and it is unsafe to have all students in school, it will be necessary to rotate student attendance. If this is necessary, further information will be provided for you. As a preventative measure, I will be assessing the possibility of employing additional staff for each key stage so that there is some staffing flexibility.
Hand washing and supporting handwashing throughout the period of time at school is essential and will be included as part of lessons. Handwashing remains the key to reducing the risk. Students will be taught as full a curriculum as possible. Specialist teaching areas will be timetables and time factored in for rooms to be cleaned before being used by another class group. Teacher will continue to consider the individual learning needs for each student and plan and deliver learning accordingly. We will continue to use the outdoor areas of our school where possible for learning activities. Clutter free learning environments will be maintained.
We are in the fortune position of having an onsite all day cleaner who has worked marvelously to ensure our school is cleaned throughout the day. A schedule has been devised to maintain this level of cleaning.
I understand that the transport service will be making contact with you directly to inform you of the protocols that they have in place, written according to the most recent government guidelines. As we enter a unique and challenging academic year I would urge you to contact me to discuss any concerns or fears that you may have. I would be more than happy to have a conversation with you and answer your questions in the best may that I can. We will start back at school on Thursday 3rd September.
I look forward to welcoming our new students and their families to our school and look forward to seeing returning students.
Stay safe and well