St Joseph’s RC Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All staff, governors and volunteers are expected to share this commitment. For more information please see our safeguarding policy which can be found under Key Information > Policies & Statements > Safeguarding Policy.
Parent Visits to see the new areas of school
on Monday 27th September and Wednesday 29th September we would like to invite parents in to school at 2.45pm to come and have a look around at our new kitchen, our new Learning Resource Centre, our hall extension and also our fabulous new outdoor area.
So that we are keeping numbers down, we are asking that parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 visit on Monday 27th and parents of children in Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 visit on Wednesday 29th. If you have children in different year groups, please just choose one of the visit days and attend just once.
During the visit we will walk you around our fabulous new facilities and you will have the opportunity to ask questions and explore these fantastic additions to our school building.
Also during the visit our school meals providers will be tempting you with some tasters and providing materials to promote their service. We already have many pupils enjoying a school meal every day, but we would love for more to join them. The school meals are a cheaper alternative to packed lunches, they are healthy and balanced in line with national nutritional guidance, they save parents lots of time and most importantly they are extremely tasty! Now that we have a new kitchen, we have lots more space and so we can provide many more meals easily and we would like our pupils to benefit from this.
If you would like to come and visit the school on the days above, please come to the hall doors at 2.45pm and we will meet you there to start the tour!
We look forward to showing it all off to you.
Wednesday 1st September 2021
Beginning of the new school year newsletter
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that this first newsletter of the year finds you all well, having enjoyed the summer break with your children. I hope too that the children are as excited and eager to get the new term started as I am, with the hope that this school year will be somewhere near ‘back to normal’ compared to the previous two!
I am so pleased to inform you that the building works have now been completed and we have a fabulous new school kitchen, an enormous school hall and a learning resource centre which I hope will blow you away when you see it! It has been a mammoth task and took far longer than expected and certainly took its toll on the workings of the school day during the final few weeks of the term, but I can now reflect back and see that it was definitely worth it. We hope to have some open afternoons in the comings weeks where we can welcome parents in to school to see the changes and improvements made. This and the next generation of St Joseph’s pupils will certainly have a building that they can enjoy and be proud of.
The Early Years outdoor learning area has also been completed. We are thrilled with the results and we are busy working out how we can open this area up to all pupils in the school so they too can enjoy some outdoor learning in this incredible setting. We cannot wait to show this off to you too!
School Uniform - I wrote to all of you during the final term and provided all families with the school uniform policy. Please can I remind you that it is very important that the children present at school in full school uniform or full school p.e. kit, ready to learn every day. Please encourage your child/ren to be proud of their uniform and proud of being a super smart pupil at St Joseph’s. Remember p.e. kits are to be worn on p.e. days. We will share the children’s p.e. days with them on their first day (Monday 6th) so ALL children are to attend in school uniform on their first day back.
School bags - from 6th September, we will be allowing the children to bring a book bag to school. Please note though we do not want any child to come with a rucksack. We simply do not have the space around school to store these, they are far too big for what primary children require and they actually create a safety concern in classrooms because of their size. So please do not buy one for your child or send them to school with one. A book bag is perfect for what our pupils need.
Drop off in the morning - we are going to continue with our drop off zone in the morning. This will continue to be the middle gate for the children in Years 1 to 6.
Reception age children will start the year being brought up to their classroom by their parents, but as the year progresses, they too will then be dropped off here.
All children must now be dropped off between 8.30 and 8.40 a.m., so all children must be at the middle gate by 8.40 a.m. at the latest.
First few days arrangements - for the first two days class teachers and TAs will meet their children on the drive, we will allocate a spot for teachers to stand and greet the children from 8.30 - 8.40 and at 8.40 they will all head to class together going in the doors allocated to them. Then on the Wednesday, just the TA will meet them and bring them up. Then from the Thursday we will start a rota of TAs around the site and on the doors at this time and children will head up independently and go in through their door.
New home time / pick up arrangements - from Monday 6th September, we will be reverting back to all children finishing at the same time each day, at 3.15p.m. Parents will come up to the school site to collect their children from different exit points.
Reception - classroom doors
Class 4 classroom door
Class 3 KS1 fire doors
Class 6 fire doors near their classroom
Class 5 main school entrance
Class 10 classroom door
KS2 Classes 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 14 will exit via the first aid doors on to the back playground. Teachers will walk their class outside to an area (the same each day). The children will stay with their teacher until their parents or whoever is collecting them arrives. If you are happy for your child to walk home, or walk down the drive to meet you then please send an email to the school office informing us of this. Children will not be allowed to leave the school site alone unless we have permission in writing from a parent.
We will have lots of staff around at home time during the first few days to signpost parents to their pick up door / area so don’t worry, just come and ask if you are unsure.
At home time on the drive, we will have to keep the barrier up so parents and children can use the pavement and the road. We will have a staff member at the barrier to stop cars coming up the drive during this period. Please do not try to access the school drive and car park between the times of 8.20 to 8.50 and 2.55 to 3.35.
School meals - please remember to order your child/rens meals in advance via the app. You can order for the week or for the next few weeks and even up to half term. Now that we have our wonderful new kitchen, we want to try and encourage all of our children to enjoy a delicious school meal each day. For children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 the school meals are free. If you need any information about school meals, please contact the school office on Thursday 2nd or Friday 3rd September.
Outbreak Management Plan and new risk assessment for Covid-19 - now that many restrictions have been lifted nationwide we have created a new risk assessment for the management of the pandemic in school. This has been developed in line with the government’s latest guidance and includes an Outbreak Management Plan, which will inform all parties of what will happen should an outbreak of Covid-19 occur within school.
In brief, we will be doing all we can to keep as many children as we can in school; however should 3 or more children test positive from within one class (or from within an after school club or Cool Cats) then we may have to re-introduce some enhanced measures for that group of pupils and staff in school. If Public Health England felt that the outbreak was not being controlled effectively through enhanced measures then the children may be asked to switch to remote education for a short period - but this will be the very last measure taken and it will not be taken unless absolutely necessary.
As you will know, under 18s and fully vaccinated adults, no longer have to isolate if they are a contact of a positive case - even if it is a household member. However, for anyone with symptoms then the advice remains the same - book a pcr test and isolate until the result is known. If a child displays symptoms at school then we will continue to follow the same procedures as before - they will be isolated in school with a first aider and a parent will be asked to collect them and take them for a pcr test. The Outbreak Management Plan and the new Risk Assessment for Covid-19 can be found on the school website here https://www.stjosephsrcprimary.rochdale.sch.uk/school-arrangements-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/
If you have any questions about this, please contact the school office via email and we will endeavour to reply to your query as soon as possible.
Handwashing, good ventilation and enhanced cleaning measures will all continue at school as prevention measures.
Attendance and punctuality - all pupils are expected to attend school as normal from Monday 6th September. It is very important, now more than ever following the disruption of the past two academic years, that all children attend school when they are fit and well to do so. Please do not allow your child to have days off school for any reason other than illness - holidays, day trips or just days off for no reason have a significant impact on a child’s education. Attendance will be tracked regularly and parents will be written to and invited in to school should a child’s attendance become a concern.
We very much look forward to seeing you all return and welcoming out new families and children on Monday 6th September and thank you again for the support you have given throughout the last academic year. Let us all hope and pray for better times ahead for all.
Mrs C Dunne
Wednesday 21st July 2021
End of year newsletter
Dear Parents and Carers,
We have reached the end of the school year and I cannot quite believe that we are ending it with more Covid cases and more disruption than we have had at any point during the pandemic! I would never have imagined that this would have been the case when we started the year in September.
Firstly, I must thank you all for your patience, support, kindness and understanding in what I can only describe as a rollercoaster year (another one!). Your support with the home learning, your quick response to classes closing and your quick collection and testing of your children when they have been unwell has made a big difference to our ability to keep the school safe and - with the exception of some classes - open throughout this year. As I end my seventh year as the Headteacher at St Joseph’s, I have never been more grateful to work within such a wonderful community. Thank you.
Following on from the government announcement last week, we are still awaiting guidance from the Department for Education with regards to any measures that will be required to be in place from September, therefore it is difficult to give you any information with confidence. I will be writing to you over the summer holiday period with full details so please check your emails.
I can however inform you of a few decisions that we have already taken. From September, we will be allowing the children to bring a book bag to school. Please note though we do not want any child to come with a rucksack. We simply do not have the space around school to store these, they are far too big for what primary children require and they actually create a safety concern in classrooms because of their size. So please do not buy one for your child or send them to school with one. A book bag is perfect for what our pupils need.
Another decision already taken is to continue to ask the children to come to school on their P.E. days in their P.E. kit. You will have received a letter already about what uniform and p.e. kit uniform is, so please comply with this policy.
We are also going to continue with our drop off zone in the morning. This will continue to be the middle gate for the children in Years 1 to 6. Reception age children will start the year being brought up to their classroom by their parents, but as the year progress, they too will then be dropped off here. This has worked so well this year and we think benefits both school and our families. The only change with dropping off will be that all children must be dropped off between 8.30 and 8.40 a.m., so all children must be at the middle gate for 8.40 a.m. at the latest.
A change though is going to be the end of the school day. We will be reverting to all children finishing at the same time each day, at 3.15p.m. We will also be reverting back to children be collected by their parents / carers up at the school building and not in the pick up zones that we have been using. Further details about where each class will be collected from will be circulated during the summer holidays. On the first few days back in September staff will be present to help you out at this time.
During the pandemic children have been asked not to bring pencil cases, pencils etc from home. From September, if your child is in Year 3 to Year 6 and wishes to bring items such as this then that is absolutely fine, but please make sure that whatever they bring is an item required in a classroom and supports their learning. It would also be useful if they had their names on these items. Please do not send these items with the young children (Reception, Year 1 or Year 2).
I am pleased to report that the buildings work will be complete by the time the children return in the new term. We will have a new kitchen, a newly extended hall and a new Learning Resource Centre. Hopefully during the autumn term we will be able to welcome parents in to school to see the fabulous new facilities. We have also started a development of our Early Years outdoor area. This too will be completed in time for the new school year. It has taken us four years to secure the funding for this development and we are so excited to see the end result. Although it is predominantly for our Early Years children, we are hoping that all of our children will be able to enjoy some time exploring and playing in this area.
As some of you will be aware Mrs Chamley, our administrative assistant in the office, is retiring after over twenty years working at St Joseph’s. She will be sadly missed by us all and we wish her all of the happiness in the world as she starts this new phase of her life. We also thank her for all of her hard work over the years and her commitment to our children and their families. Good luck Mrs Chamley!
New staff for September
Due to Mrs Chamley’s retirement, we will be welcoming a new staff member in to our office. Mrs Gregory will be starting with us in September and I am sure that you will give her the fabulous warm welcome that you always give to all of our new staff members. You will need to extend this welcome also to another new member of staff, Miss Clowes, who is a teaching assistant who will be working initially in our Reception classes from September.
Staff name changes
During the summer two of our staff are going to be married, Miss Thomas and Miss Lonergan. We wish them all of the best for a wonderful day and a happy marriage. When they return in September they will have new names! Miss Thomas will be known as Mrs Bellett and Miss Lonergan will be known as Mrs Robinson.
Finally, I just want to say that we are going to do the best we can to try and get the school back up and running in a ‘normal’ way from September. We are looking forward to setting back up our extra curricular activities after school, our school trips and our enrichment activities across the school day. We know that the children have missed out on so many opportunities and I will be making it my mission to try to address this and give them as many experiences as we can in their time left with us.
I would like to wish all of our families a safe and happy summer and thank you again for making St Joseph’s such a wonderful place to learn and work!
Mrs C Dunne
Thursday 8th July 2021
One day School Closure - Friday 9th July 2021
Dear Parents / Carers,
This morning following further positive cases of Covid in school and discussions with the Local Authority and Public Health colleagues, I have taken the decision to close school tomorrow (Friday 9th July 2021) to all pupils. This closure is taking place in order for the school to be deep cleaned and plan for Monday to ensure I have the correct level of staffing across all classes.
There will be a handful of staff in school to support families who need us via email or telephone.
Since returning from half term, it has been apparent that Covid is impacting on more and more families in our community, so unfortunately it is not surprising that this is the situation we find ourselves in.
I understand your frustration when your child’s class is closed and they are healthy and well, but what we know about the new variant of Covid is that it transmits much more quickly and the impact of this has been seen in Rochdale and other neighbouring boroughs as well as across the country as positive cases of Covid have increased.
Children who are currently at home isolating - Class 10, Class 13 and Class 14 - will continue to receive online support from their teachers as already communicated with parents for Friday 9th July. Tomorrow, all children will be expected to access home learning if they are able to. The home learning is available on Google Classrooms for Year 2 to Year 6 and for children in Reception and Year 1, it is on the school website.
I understand this period of school closure will impact on working parents and I can only apologise, but I am hoping that a short-term inconvenience will support us in keeping school open to the end of term.
Closing St. Joseph’s has been one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make as Head teacher but I know it is the right one for our children, staff, families and community.
Now, I need your help. I encourage you all to use lateral flow devices at home to test yourselves and your children, particularly if you are feeling unwell or just not feeling like your usual self. They are widely available from chemists, health centres etc. Please wear a mask when you should, continue to distance when you should and keep up with good hand hygiene. If family members are unwell, take additional precautions to protect yourselves and please do not let your children out of the house if they are supposed to be isolating. Public Health England are working very closely with me to identify how the virus is transmitting in our community and I know that some of our families are not following the guidance, which puts us all at risk.
I expect to open school to all pupils in Reception, Year 1, Year 2, Year 3, Class 9 and Year 5 as normal on Monday 12th July 2021. Class 10 will continue with their home learning on Monday 12th July and return to school on Tuesday 13th July and Classes 13 and 14 will be home learning all week and returning to school on Monday 19th July.
I would like to take the opportunity to wish well all of the families in our community who are currently affected by Covid, I hope that you get well soon and we hope that everyone stays safe and keeps healthy. I also thank you in anticipation for your support with this closure and your ongoing support of school during the pandemic.
Mrs C Dunne
PARENT INFORMATION ABOUT NEW BUILDING PROJECT AT SCHOOL
Friday 9th April 2021
I wrote to you quite a long time ago about a possible building project to extend our school hall and I am writing today to inform you that after a very long period of consultation, we have secured the funding and the contractors started on site on Tuesday 6th April 2021.
The final arrangements for this were very last minute and so I apologise for not writing sooner, but I had to prioritised preparing the school site and making plans for the running of the school during this 14 week project.
It is an exciting project and the final step towards us ensuring that we have a school building, which is fit for purpose for a two form entry school. As you are aware, we have gradually increased in number over the past six years and from September 2021 we will be fully two form entry from Reception to Year 6 - which is a growth from 303 pupils when I started in September 2014 to a potential 420 pupils from September 2021. Hence the need for this building project!
This project will increase the size of the school hall, making it a more appropriate space for P.E. sessions, lunch times but most importantly for whole school worship. The project also includes the development of a Learning Resource Centre. This will sit right at the heart of the school and will be a multi-purpose area for the whole school community. The school kitchen is being relocated into what was our Cool Cats provision and so it will be the correct size kitchen for a school of our size. Cool Cats will eventually be run from the new Learning Resource Centre.
Below are a number of important pieces of information for yourselves and your children for when we open following the Easter break on Monday 12th April 2021. Please read this information carefully and make sure that you discuss any relevant changes with your child. The teachers will also be going through this information with the children on Monday. Changes during the building project are -
Cool Cats - the hall will be used for all Cool Cats sessions throughout this term. Drop off and pick up for Cool Cats each day will now be via the hall doors. Staff will be visible on Monday to help you in finding this entrance and exit point.
Car Park - the contractors have set up their site cabins on what we refer to as our ‘over flow’ car park. This cannot be used by staff or parents during the period of the project. The area outside Cool Cats has also been cordoned off and so parents will no longer be able to pull up here and will have to park in the main car park when dropping off and collecting children.
Pick Up Zone changes - as the overflow car park is now in use by PLP (the contractors on site), a new pick up zone is required for Classes 9 and 14 and Class 2 will need to alter things slightly.
Class 9 - will use the area just to the right (facing up towards school) of the main car park.
Class 14 will use the area outside the main school entrance.
Class 2’s pick up should be ok, but the area where parents wait outside Cool Cats is now greatly restricted so the staff will move up towards the car park slightly and handover from near to PLP’s barriers, so please can parents wait beyond this area.
We will have a staff member present on Monday to explain and help parents locate these new areas.
The project is due to finish mid-July and prior to the school finishing for the summer. I will keep you informed of its progress and look forward to (once Covid restrictions have been lifted) welcoming you in to school to see our new facilities.
Mrs C Dunne
P.E. Days from Monday 12th April 2021
Below are the new P.E. days for next term. Some of the classes have remained the same as last term but some have had to change.
Please send your child to school on the days that their class have P.E. in their P.E. kit with a warm top and trainers. If your child cannot tie laces then please sent them in trainers which have Velcro.
If you have any questions about P.E. kit then please contact the school office.
P.E. days Summer Term 2021.
Class 3 Tuesday and Wednesday
Class 4 Tuesday and Thursday
Class 5 Monday and Wednesday
Class 6 Monday and Friday
Class 7 Wednesday and Thursday
Class 8 Tuesday and Friday
Class 9 Wednesday and swimming on Thursday
Class 10 Monday and Thursday
Class 11 Tuesday and Friday
Class 12 Wednesday and Friday
Class 13 Wednesday and Thursday
Class 14 Monday and Thursday
Pick Up Zones September 2020
As you have all been made aware the children will be brought out of school to a pick up zone at the front of the school grounds. This is where you will collect them at the end of the school day.
Reception and Year 1 finish at 3pm, Years 2, 3 and 4 finish at 3.10pm and Years 5 and 6 at 3.15pm.
Staff will be out and around to guide you to your child's class. If you have more than one child you will need to move from one pick up zone to the next please.
A - Middle vehicle gate on drive
B - Middle pedestrian gate
C - Electricity building
D - Electricity Building
E - Overflow carpark (top of drive)
F - Outside Cool Cats
Please see the map, which marks out the pickup zones visually for you.
3pm - Reception and Year 1
A - Class 1 Miss Clews
B - Class 2 Mrs Hale
C - Class 3 Mrs Hamer / Mrs Burgess
D - Class 4 Mrs Sutcliffe / Mrs Hastewell
3.10pm - Years 2, 3 and 4
A - Class 5 Miss McQuaid
B - Class 6 Miss Martin
C - Class 7 Miss Mitchell
D - Class 8 Mr Callghan
E - Class 9 Mr Jarvis
F - Class 10 Mrs Loraine
3.15pm - Years 5 and 6
C - Class 11 Mr Parsonage
D - Class 12 Miss Farrelly
E - Class 13 Mrs Gore
F - Class 14 Mr Green
SEPTEMBER OPENING PLANS.
Please see below the letter for all parents and children about September. We hope that it answers all of your questions and queries and helps to alleviate any worries that you may have about your children returning to school in September.
Please share this information with your children so that also know what to expect when they return to school.
Thursday 15th July 2020
School Re-opening for all pupils September 2020
Dear Parents / Carers,
I am writing to you at the end of a very strange and difficult academic year and a year that certainly none of us could have predicted when we set out in September 2019.
For some of you your child will have been accessing school regularly throughout the period since March, for some your child will have been back with us since June, for some your child will have been accessing short sessions since July and for some of you your child will not have accessed school at all since Friday 20th March. As a head teacher I could never have even considered that this would or could ever have been a possibility, yet somehow we have all pulled together and made the best of a challenging situation.
You will all by now be aware that your child is expected to start back with us in September and I would like to take this opportunity now to ask anyone who has concerns about this, after reading this letter in full, to contact me here at school. We want to work with all parents to ensure that you all feel confident and happy about the measures in place to keep everyone within our school community as safe as possible.
The plans that I am writing to share with you for September are provisional and subject to change and dependent upon government guidance. At the time of writing however, it does seem as though we will be moving forwards and implementing them from September - which I for one am thrilled about. We have missed seeing all of our wonderful children every day, I am proud and delighted to say that we have regularly seen 200 of our 388 children during this period, but it will be a great relief and pleasure to see everyone back together again (even if distanced and in class sets!).
We have worked hard looking at the beginning to the end of a school day here at St Joseph’s and we have risk assessed each element and come up with a plan to limit the risk as much as possible. No amount of planning and risk assessing can eliminate the risk entirely, but our aim is to control the infection as much as possible by following all guidance received from Public Health England, the government and the local authority. Many of the plans for September were implemented in June when we opened more widely, as many of you will know and have experienced, but due to the larger numbers in September and some guidance changes, a number of measures are new and so it is important that all parents read the information thoroughly.
This information below is a brief outline of the detailed planning that has taken place; the full risk assessment will be available for you to view on our school website from Tuesday 21st July 2020.
If you have any further questions or queries, please do get in touch. The best way to ensure the safety or our school community is by working together at this time and offering support to one another.
We are delighted to be able to welcome back all of the children in September. It has been a very challenging period for everyone and getting back to some normality will be a big relief I am sure. It is very important that you go through this information with your child so that they know what to expect on their return and if they have any concerns or questions, then encourage them to ask you or together you can contact us here at school. Enquiries should be emailed through to email@example.com
Mrs C Dunne
Will all children start back at school on 3rd September 2020
Yes. The government has announced that all children in all year groups are to return to full time education in September. Attendance will be compulsory.
What will social distancing look like at St Joseph’s?
There are a number of things that we will be doing to try our very best to observe social distancing in school and within the school site. These are detailed below.
Beginning and end of the school day -
1. Staggered start time for each of the groups. These will be as follows -
8.30 Year 1 and Year 2
8.40 Reception and Year 3
8.50 Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6
If you have more than one child then please drop them all off at the earliest time.
2. Staggered end of the school day for each group. These will be as follows -
3pm Reception and Year 1
3.10pm Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4
3.15pm Year 5 and Year 6
By staggering start and end times we can control the numbers on the school site and reduce the risk of transmission, as we will all have more space to stick to the 2m social distancing rule.
I will be sending out an electronic form on 1st September to the parents of all children in Year 5 and Year 6, asking about whether or not their child can walk down the drive alone, can walk home alone or must wait at school for an adult to collect them. Please watch out for this form and complete it in good time for us to share the information with class teachers.
3. One parent drop off rule. We will be asking that only one parent / carer comes to school to drop off and also to pick up each child every day. This is really important if we are to keep the numbers on the school site down to a minimum.
4. One-way walking system on the drive for parents and children. You will be asked to walk up towards school using the road and walk down away from school using the pavement. You will be asked to maintain a 2m gap between each family. Vehicles will be prevented from coming under the bridge from 8.25 - 9.00 and 2.25 - 3.25 each day.
5. Morning drop off zone. Parents of children in Years 1 to Years 6 will drop off their children at the middle gate (half way up the drive). A staff member will be at the drop off point and other staff members will line the walkway up to school guiding the children and helping them on their way. The children will all enter the building through the main entrance and be guided to their classroom.
6. Home time pick up zones. Parents will collect children from an area near the top of the drive (the wide areas including the school car park). Children will be in lines with their class teacher and parents will be asked to wait in lines (2m apart). The same one way system for parents will be in place so up the road and down the pavement. When you get to the front of the queue for your child’s class, the teacher will dismiss them to you. We will be asking for your patience so that we can do this carefully and calmly. Staff will be on the drive and around the pick up zones to direct you to the correct place. We will write soon with full details of pick up zones.
7. Parent communication with school. If parents need to speak to a staff member at either the start or end of the day, they will be asked to phone the school office and provide the information that way. Only in exceptional circumstances will parents be authorised to go to the school office and speak to staff in person. All meetings with parents will be pre-arranged via the school office and all social distancing measures will be followed throughout.
Classes and Classrooms -
1. Class sizes. Classes will be back to normal. One teacher and where possible one teaching assistant will be allocated to work with each class.
2. Classroom organised to promote social distancing. All children will remain in their own classroom or own allocated indoor area for all lessons, with the exception of P.E. lessons and any outdoor learning. All unnecessary equipment will be removed and stored elsewhere during this period, in particular soft furnishings or difficult to clean toys/equipment. All individual pupils must have their own water bottle labelled with their name. Cloakrooms will be used by no more than 2 at a time and children’s belongings will be spread out as much as possible. Social distancing and hygiene posters will be displayed on doors and at the front of each classroom.
Y2 to Y6 classrooms will be set up so that children are seated in pairs with their desks facing the front of the room. Where the classrooms are big enough, a carpet area will be left clear so that children can still participate in carpet time learning at the front of the room. During carpet time the children will be spaced out and not facing each other, they will be side by side and as far apart as possible. The children will be provided with their own equipment packs for use throughout the day. This will kept on their desks at all times and they will be responsible for cleaning their equipment at the end of each day.
Y1 children will have both seated areas and also provision areas. When seated there will be two children to a desk and facing the front. When at tables the children will be provided with their own equipment packs. Provision areas will be limited and only 3 children permitted in to each area at any one time. During carpet time the children will be spaced out and not facing each other, they will be side by side and as far apart as possible.
Reception classes will continue to be taught through continuous provision, plus our normal phonics, maths and religion sessions. Every class will have access to the outdoors for the majority of the school day. Provision areas in the indoor classrooms will be separated in to three areas with one indoor room for Class 1 and one for Class 2 and then a shared room which will be used by both classes - the use of this will be timetabled. During carpet time the children will be spaced out and not facing each other, they will be sat side by side and as far apart as possible.
Break and lunch times:
1. Playground zones. We are lucky to have quite a large playground area. We have created 4 zones for children to access during their break times. Each day the children will be allocated a zone and they will use this zone for outdoor learning and break time. The zone will change each day so that they have the opportunity throughout the week to access all areas of the school playground and therefore a variety of equipment and resources. The fixed equipment and resources will be cleaned down each day. Each class will have their own equipment bag to take outside and use during break times. This equipment will be cleaned down each day.
2. Staggered first play time. All year groups will have different times for their play time so that there are only small numbers accessing the outdoors at once. The children will be accompanied by the same adults at these times as they are with during their learning time.
3. Staggered lunch times.
Reception and Year 1 - each class will have a 30 minute eating time and a 30 minute play time. The children will have a set time to be in the hall with their class group to eat their lunch. All children will eat in the hall. They will also have a set time for their outdoor lunch play. They will stay in their class groups throughout and have an allocated lunchtime supervisor.
Years 2 to 6 - each class will have a 30 minute eating time and a 30 minute play time. The children who have a school meal will eat in the hall and the children who have packed lunches from home will eat their lunches at their desks in the classroom.
Other social distancing measures -
P.E. will be taught in Years 1 to 6 by Mr Riley in a timetabled slot, where possible the lesson will be outside. All planned activities will avoid contact games and sports. Equipment will be wiped down at the end of each session and sometimes during sessions, where necessary. All P.E. equipment will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of the school day. No two classes will use the same equipment within a school day. Mr Riley is working between the groups and so will be keeping a 2m distance at all times. The class TA will always be present in the lessons to provide support to the children.
Corridors and stairwells. All classes will have a route planned out for them to follow to access the playground, the hall etc and these will be planned so that there is little or no chance of children having to pass one another in corridors. The classes upstairs will have an allocated stairwell for use at all times.
What hygiene measures are being put in place at St Joseph’s?
Handwashing. This is a very important part of hygiene control as I am sure you know. We will have regular handwashing throughout the school day. The first being at the start of the day as children enter school, then again before and after eating and also after any P.E. sessions, outdoor play or outdoor learning. A handwashing routine for adults is also in place.
Ventilation. We will be keeping windows and doors open as much as possible where safe to do so, in order to have fresh air circulating around school at all times.
Uniform. Children will be asked to wear their school uniform to school. We ask that parents insist on their child changing out of their uniform as soon as they get home from school and where possible providing clean uniform as often as possible. We have lots of spare uniform at school if you require it, please contact the school office to access this. On the days that your child has p.e. in school, they must come to school in their p.e. kit (please see the uniform letter which describes the suitable kit). They can wear trainers (Velcro please if they cannot tie laces) with their p.e. kit. This means that p.e. kits won’t be left in school and it also means that staff will not have to have lots of close contact to support children changing. We have been doing this since June and parents have reported how well this works and the teachers agree too!
Cleaning. Throughout the pandemic we have increased our cleaning of the school environment. This will continue once more children begin to access school again. Communal areas are cleaned twice a day, as are door handles and light switches within every classroom. All surfaces in classrooms are cleaned thoroughly each day and more if needed. Every class will have their own cleaning equipment for use throughout the day, they will also have their own supply of tissues, hand sanitiser, soap and paper towels. Cleaning of outdoor equipment will be on a daily basis.
How are St Joseph’s putting infection control measures in place?
School office. Only one person will be admitted to the main entrance waiting area at any one time. The glass window will remain shut at all times and only those who need to be admitted to the school building and are deemed safe to do so, will enter.
Visitors. Very few visitors will be permitted entry to school and only by prior arrangement and this will include parents. All visitors will be asked to use the hand sanitiser prior to entering and then asked to wash their hands with soap in the facilities provided before moving in to the wider school building. All visitors will be asked on entry whether they have symptoms of Covid-19 and if possible all visitors will have been sent an information leaflet prior to coming to site advising them to stay at home if they do have symptoms.
Mixing of pupils. Pupils will remain in their class sets and not mix. A detailed letter about Cool Cats will be sent out shortly.
Personal Protective Equipment. This will be provided to staff members if there is a need, such as if they need to get close to a child to support them with toileting. First aiders will also be provided with PPE for when they are administering first aid.
Staff / Pupils / Parents presenting with symptoms. Any adult presenting on the school site with symptoms of Covid-19 will be asked to leave immediately and advised to self-isolate for 7 days themselves and have their household members isolate for 14 days. The adult will be advised to arrange to be tested for Covid-19.
If a child presents with symptoms, parents will be called immediately and asked to collect their child as soon as possible. They will be asked to follow government guidelines around self-isolation. School will advise parents to take their child for testing if they have symptoms. Schools will be provided with a small sample of testing kits, which may be given if parents are unable to take their child to a testing centre. If a member of the school community was to test positive then further action would be taken by the school to protect the wider school community. In short this would result in the full class plus staff being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. If this was to occur then remote education would be provided to all pupils. Full guidance on school’s response to this situation can be found via this link -
Go to sections 7 and 8 of the following online documents -
Stay at home guidance can be found here:
What will be provided for my child’s education if they have to self-isolate or if their teacher has to?
Individual pupils self-isolating - a paper pack will be provided to complete at home, one week at a time. This will be based, as much as possible on the work being completed at school by the rest of the class. A phone call or Zoom chat will be organised each week with the class teacher if possible, or our Pastoral Office, Mrs Vernon. You will be asked to use Oak Aacdemy, My Maths and Study Ladder for online resources with you child, this will all be detailed in the pack provided.
One isolating teacher - a supply will be used, or internal cover if this can be arranged.
Whole class plus staff self-isolating: we will then work in the same way as we have for this period of closure. Our website will be used to share weekly learning. Tasks will be broken down into days of the week to provide structure for the children. We will use My Maths, Oak Academy and Study Ladder and we will also provide a paper pack each week if parents request it.
Class teachers will arrange to meet via Zoom with each pupil once during each week of isolation. (If the teacher is well and not ill). The school’s Zoom policy will be sent home for parents to read prior to the meetings. Both the class TA and teacher will be present in the meetings so that two staff members are always present at all times.
Whole school closure or local lockdown - if this happens then we will revert back to the way we have worked throughout the period of closure. We will include weekly Zoom calls or phone call to all pupils.
What if my child has special educational needs? The SENCO (Mrs Russell) will be responsible for considering all pupils who are self-isolating on the SEN register. She will organise for individual home learning plans to be created where needed - this will be a mixture of online learning using the resources named above, but chosen specifically for the needs of your child and printed packs will also be available and they can be personalised again to the child’s learning needs and current attainment.
In school use of resources. Any resources that will be shared amongst the school community will be disinfected daily. They will only be used by any one class during one school day, so that they are always cleaned before being handled by a wider group. Only those resources that are easy to clean will be kept in classrooms or used outdoors during this period.
Limits on bags and equipment / uniform. Children will only be required to bring a water bottle (labelled with their name), their reading book which will be sent home in a plastic wallet and, if they have one, their packed lunch each day. Please do not allow your child to bring anything more with them. If they bring a bag, pencil cases etc, they will all be sent back home with you when you drop them off at the school gate. Please save your money and do not buy new rucksacks / bags etc. This is a key way of reducing the risk of infection within the school community.
After school activities/sports - there will not be any after school activities until restrictions around distancing and the mixing of class sets has been reduced. The only after school club provision will be for working parents via Cool Cats.
Cool Cats (before and after school club) - full information will be sent out later this week. It has been very difficult to organise and has required a significant increase in staffing. Luckily we have many staff who are willing to support with this so that we can provide this vital service to working parents. The morning session will remain the same and run from 7.30 until the start of the school day. The evening session will initially be from the end of the school day until 4.30pm. We will be reviewing this at October half term, when we hope to be able to extend the evening session back to our normal times. Cool Cats will only be available to those parents who book in advance. You will not be able to phone school on the day, or just turn up in the morning. It will be a strictly pre-book service. Parents will be sent a form by the end of the week to complete to indicate when they require the provision. If you need to discuss this service, please contact me at school.
Cool Cats Letter - September Opening 2020
Thursday 16th July 2020
Cool Cats Information for September 2020
Dear Parents / Carers,
As you are aware, during the period since 20th March 2020 until the end of the summer term, we have only been able to offer Cool Cats Before and After School Care Provision for the children of key workers. I would like to thank all families for your understanding and support throughout this time with regards to this decision. I know how difficult it has been for families and your support has been very much appreciated.
From September, Cool Cats will once again be open for all our children. The governors and I recognise that this is a vital service for working parents and it is important that we do what is necessary in order to be able to open safely for all who need it.
Breakfast Club will remain the same time, it will open daily at 7.30 a.m. and run up until the start of the school day.
After School Club has had to change its hours. These changes will be reviewed regularly and as soon as restrictions around distancing and the mixing of pupils are relaxed, we will look to moving back to our normal times. The changes are due to us having to triple the number of staff that we will require to run the service and therefore the additional costs this entails. We do not want to pass these costs on to families and so the best decision for all was to reduce the service slightly. After school club will therefore run from the end of the school day until 4.30p.m. daily.
Booking a place - Parents will now have to book their children in for sessions. Children cannot just turn up at Breakfast Club unannounced and parents cannot phone during the day and ask if their child can attend Cool Cats that night. We will be strictly adhering to bookings only, so please do not put staff in difficult situations by not doing so.
How do I book in? A link to an electronic form will be sent out later today via text message to all parents for completion. This form will ask you to let us know if you need the service, if you have fixed days that you need and if you do have fixed days then you can identify them on the form. If you have fixed days then you will only have to let us know this once and your child will be added to the register for the days and times requested.
Those parents who work different days each week or work shifts will be asked to complete the first three questions on the form and then to email the office (firstname.lastname@example.org) and let us know about your working hours and how far in advance you will be able to inform us of your needs. We will require you to send through your booking each week for the following week and we will then add your child to the registers for the days requested.
The children will be separated out in to their class sets whilst in Cool Cats so that we are not mixing groups. We will be using the hall and classrooms for the provision, so in September we will let you know where to pick up your child from. Drop off at in the morning will always be at the Cool Cats door. Where possible the children will be cared for and supervised by an adult from within their own class during their time in Cool Cats - again to limit the mixing of groups. This means that we have had to ask many of our teaching assistants to work overtime and I am so grateful to them for agreeing to this.
Please check your emails and text messages regularly for updates about Cool Cats and contact the school office if you wish to discuss any of this further.
Mrs C Dunne