We are all looking forward to welcoming the children back after such a long absence. Although cases of covid are falling across much of the country, including Slough, we are still seeing cases higher than the national average and the more transmissible variant of the virus remains the prevalent strain currently circulating. We are therefore being particularly cautious with our arrangements for a full return to school and would appreciate your support with these measures, at least until Easter when we will review the situation. I have outlined below the main changes to the arrangements and risk mitigation measures we had in place in the Autumn term.
Wherever possible bubbles will be by class. Year groups will remain the overall bubble but there will be no setting and minimal cross over of staff
Drop off and collection
We are setting up drop and go points for the mornings (see the site plan below). We would like you to drop your child/ren at one of these points. Please note that YR and Y1 MUST be dropped at the Dennis Way point. These points will be staffed from 8:35am to 8:55am and parents are not to come on site in the mornings unless this is pre-arranged with a senior member of staff. You should select the drop and go point closest to you’re the youngest year group of your family. Please note that Y2 will enter the building using entrances facing Elmshott Lane so will not have to go around the corner.
The pedestrian gate outside the front office is also now a drop and go point. The office will not be open at drop off or collection times. Parents should use telephone or email and only visit in person if absolutely necessary during the times 9am to 3pm.
We recognise that this is significant change so please talk to your child before Monday and explain how this will work. There will be staff to greet them and to help them and they will get used to it. It is important that this is done quickly to avoid congestion at the drop and go points. If you are particularly worried about this please email email@example.com and somebody will get back to you.
YR to Y4 may be collected in the afternoons from the collection points shown on the attached map. The main change to this is that Y4 will now be collected from the front car park area outside the office on Elmshott Lane. We have made arrangements for no cars to use this entrance between 3pm and 3:30pm. This will ease congestion on the Y3/4 playground. Y3 can still exit via the front office.
Y5 and Y6 should make arrangements to meet their parents or walk home. To help with this we are providing 6 meeting points around the school site where our older children can wait safely for the parents to walk by and collect them. Please note these designated areas are marked with a red triangle and are not staffed.
Only one adult per family on site for collection please and all adults and children at secondary school must wear a face covering.
10 minute windows for drop off and collection remain. Please use these windows and avoid coming onto site too early for collection.
All our staff will be strongly encouraged to take two self tests each week to identify any early virus onset. Families of primary school children are also able to order tests to administer themselves twice a week and we would strongly encourage you to do this. Details of how to do this will be in the bulletin going out on 2nd March to parents.
We expect all our staff to take up the offer of a vaccine unless they are advised not to for medical reasons. We would urge all those in our community to also have the vaccine when offered and help protect each other from the more severe impact of contracting this awful virus.
In order to get classrooms ready for new bubbles, re organise all resources and set up learning walls and also to arrange deep cleaning of all areas we are closing skeleton provision on Friday 5th March. Teachers will be on site getting things ready and will not be available for live lessons and interactive teaching although all children will be able to engage in blended learning which will be set by teachers and completed by children independently.
Please see the risk assessment below for more detail.
All arrangements will be reviewed at Easter. We are so grateful for your support and know that, if we work together, we can welcome the children back safely and happily and get them settled quickly.
Following advice from the Government, we will move to remote learning for the majority of pupils from Wednesday 6th January 2020 and a letter has been circulated to parents detailing how this will run.
A form is available on our website for critical workers who may require a school place during this period:
If you are unsure if you are classified as a critical worker the following link might help:
All children were expected to return to and remain in school from September. There will be no social distancing for children once they are in school but government advice is clear that we have to put in place measures which minimise the risk of one group spreading infection to another. Staff will still need to practice some level of distancing where possible.
We have considered a range of ways to maintain quality and richness of provision. Central to this is the weekly opportunity for teaching staff to come together, review the week and plan and prepare for the following week. This PPA time is not just a contractual and statutory obligation but is also the key way we ensure consistency and quality in year groups. Covid restrictions mean we are not able to continue to cover this in the same way so we are turning to blended learning (a combination of face to face and remote learning opportunities) on a Friday afternoon. This means we will be running a different day on a Friday with a shorter brunch break and children going home at 1:15pm.
We will be launching the Cippenham Independent Learning Diploma, which aims to encourage strategies for independent learning and which we will except children to work towards on Friday afternoons. The recent lock down has highlighted how important these skills are so they will also be integrated more generally into our curriculum. There are more details below about how this will work in practice.
Year Group Bubbles
As far as possible, year groups will stay together. It is not possible to ‘hermetically’ seal them but in order to minimise risk of cross infection class teachers and LSAs will stay within their year groups. Your child will still be in the same class with the same teacher and learning support assistants but there will be some changes to the way their timetable works
Cover for PPA is not possible to maintain in the current way of working so we will be maintaining some blended learning opportunities by promoting an independent learning diploma for children to complete on a Friday afternoon when the school will close at 1:15pm. Teachers and Lead LSAs in year groups will come together on a Friday afternoon to review the week and plan and prepare for the following week. Parents for whom this will cause considerable difficulty may apply to a skeleton service run by LSAs supporting the independent learning diploma. A form will be available on the website to apply for this service and priority will be given to those who are critical workers, have vulnerable children or for whom the early closure will cause insurmountable difficulties.
Cippenham Independent Learning Diploma
Research published through the Education Endowment Foundation presents a very strong case for improving children’s metacognition and self-regulation. Basically, this means giving children an understanding of how to plan, monitor and evaluate their work and giving them opportunities to develop these skills. There is very strong evidence that children who can study effectively achieve better outcomes. Even children as young as three can develop self-regulation strategies.
Friday afternoons will provide a time to develop these skills through our Independent Learning Diploma. Teachers will set an open ended and enquiry-based task, (eg What qualities do I need to be a superhero? Or why is there no other life on our solar system?) each half term and support children to plan, monitor and evaluate as they go. This is intended to be completed independently and will attract credits each half term based on how well they have achieved the task, not on the standard of the outcome. Every child will be able to complete the diploma.
We value a rich curriculum and feel this will be important for children returning to school after a prolonged absence. We will continue to provide specialist music lessons and sports lessons. Specialist teachers will work within a year group for a whole day which means they can follow hygiene and cleaning protocols before moving to a different year group the next day. The timetable will have one music lesson and one sports lesson each fortnight for children in Y1 - Y6. There will be no dance lessons in the Autumn term.
Special educational needs and disabilities (SEND)
The inclusion team, led by Mrs Lomax, will continue to provide support to children with SEND and to other vulnerable children. Our highly valued enhanced provision will run all day. Inclusion team members will follow mitigation measures when moving between groups, although timetabling will reduce this to a minimum.
Other staff members
Senior leaders, office staff, sickness cover staff and inclusion team members will need to work in all year groups across the school. Where possible they will limit contact to one year group within one day but where this is not possible they will aim to minimise the length of time they are in close contact with pupils.
Lunch will continue to be collected from the canteen and eaten in classrooms. For children not eligible for free school meals or universal infant free school meals, lunch will be chargeable via parent pay. Parents may send in a packed lunch if they wish.
Fridays will look slightly different with an early brunch of half an hour to accommodate as much teaching time as possible before the school closes at 1:15pm.
Senior leaders will take Monday SMSC assemblies in year groups so each year group will have a fortnightly Monday assembly based on the SMSC schedule. These will be limited to 15 minutes or less and there will be a reasonable time between assemblies.
Friday celebration assemblies will be taken by year team leaders in year groups.
Outside spaces and playtimes
Year groups will have a dedicated space available to them for playtimes and outdoor learning. These may well be separated by boundaries like cones but may also be separated by invisible boundaries which the children will need reminding of. A zonal drawing will be available for reference.
Entry and exit times
- YR and Y2 and Y3: entry at 8:45 – 9:00 exit at 3:15 – 3:30
- Y1 and Y4 – entry at 8:35 – 8:45 exit at 3:05 – 3:15
- Y5 and Y6: entry at 8:45 – 9:00 exit at 3:15 to 3:30
- One-way system remains in place
These times will be kept under review. We recognise that staggered times can cause parents with children in more than one year group issues so we will work with you to make sure this is as easy and safe as possible.
Hand washing should be frequent. Wash stations will remain at the school entrances and in playgrounds.
Please see our full risk assessment for further details of mitigations.
Our aim is to welcome our community back to a happy and vibrant school which places a high priority on safety and wellbeing as well as aspiration. Our values hold true: respect, aspiration, uniqueness, positivity and trust.
The government have also shared the below advice with regard to pupils return to school, please note the following videos for your reference: September return bubbles; September return guidance; September return transport