Update for Parents:
GEMS Twickenham Primary Academy
Principal: Mr John Smith
Twickenham Primary Academy – updated October 2020
I hope that you are all well and that all our families are healthy and safe.
The below letter provides the detail about how Twickenham Primary Academy will be building upon our Autumn Term opening where we continue to proivide a full time compulsory education for all pupils.
The school continues to update its risk assessment in light of the new guidance, and this will be shared on our school website under the risk assessment tab, and updated frequently in line with government guidelines.
Pupils are expected to attend school. Pupils will be taught in a class of 30, and they will not need to socially distance within their bubble.
Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
· parents’ duty to secure that their child attends regularly at school where the child is a registered pupil at school and they are of compulsory school age;
· schools’ responsibilities to record attendance and follow up absence
· the availability to issue sanctions, including fixed penalty notices in line with local authorities’ codes of conduct
Pupils who are shielding or self-isolating:
· a small number of pupils will still be unable to attend in line with public health advice because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19)
· Shielding advice for all adults and children will pause on 1 August, subject to a continued decline in the rates of community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). This means that even the small number of pupils who will remain on the shielded patient list can also return to school, as can those who have family members who are shielding. Read the current advice on shielding
· if rates of the disease rise in local areas, children (or family members) from that area, and that area only, will be advised to shield during the period where rates remain high and therefore they may be temporarily absent
· some pupils no longer required to shield but who generally remain under the care of a specialist health professional may need to discuss their care with their health professional before returning to school in September (usually at their next planned clinical appointment). You can find more advice from the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health.
Where children do not attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised, and high quality home learning will be provided via google classroom building upon the current system within the school.
Grouping and Teaching:
The children will be kept in their classes as much as possible and will mix with their year group at play time and lunchtime only (outdoors)
The same staff will be in class where possible unless the teacher is having their PPA (planning, preparation and assessment) time away from the class where they will be covered by the PPA teacher. Any new adults in the classroom will adhere to the school guidelines and social distancing measures.
· The tables in the classroom will be organised into rows with two children per table, and they will face the front of the class at all times (Year 1 - Year 5). However, pupils in Reception will sit at group tables from November 2020
· Pupils will continue to have their own stationary, and any curriculum resources that may need to be shared between pupils within the bubbles will be cleaned regularly.
Curriculum and Lost Learning:
The pupils will receive a broad and ambitious curriculum offer however there will be emphasis on ensuring that the school catches up with the learning pupils have missed particularly in the core subjects - English and Mathematics.
Teachers have now undertaken assessments since the pupils returned to school full time in September 2020 and have identified the specific gaps in the pupil’s achievement and progress as well as the interventions that are required within school because of this.
The school's curriculum currently focuses on:
- High quality classroom teaching which is derived on addressing the gaps in the pupils knowledge and skills
- Identified support for those pupils who need this through intervention and booster groups
- A Core Subject Curriculum that is sharp and focused so that pupils quickly catch up in English and Mathematics
- Foundation Subjects that are delivered through learning concepts which are linked to English and Mathematics
Those pupils who have significant gaps in their learning solely due to the school closure have been identified through the teachers’ assessment.
You will have been informed if your child is taking part in 1:1 tuition
There is currently no setting of the core subjects in key stage two until year group classes can mix again, however the teachers ensure that there is differentiation within all lessons including those pupils who require further support and those who need to be challenged.
There continue to be key changes to some specific subject areas, please read below:
P.E No contact sports will take place until restrictions are lifted P.E will be taught once a week outside or in the big hall, depending on the weather.
Music No music/singing will take place due to increased risk of transmission
Spanish This won’t be taught in key stage 1 due to the setup of the early language teaching strategies e.g. singing and chanting
RSHE All pupils will be taught the mental health and well-being unit of the new Relationship and Health Education in the first half of autumn term
The Department for Education recognises that pupils will have missed a critical period of their education due to lockdown in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. The Department for Education is planning that statutory primary assessments will take place in summer 2021. The early year’s foundation stage profile, and all existing statutory key stage 1 and 2 assessments, should return in 2020 to 2021 in accordance with their usual timetables. This includes:
· the phonics screening check
· key stage 1 tests and teacher assessment
· the Year 4 multiplication tables check
· key stage 2 tests and teacher assessment
The statutory rollout of the reception baseline assessment has been postponed until September 2021.
The school will continue to follow strict hygiene measures and will be following the guidance issued below:
1) Minimise contact with individuals who are unwell by ensuring that those who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, or who have someone in their household who does, do not attend school
2) Clean hands thoroughly more often than usual
3) Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting the ‘catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach
4) Continuing with enhanced cleaning regime, including cleaning frequently touched surfaces often, using standard products
5) Minimise contact between individuals outside their bubbles and maintain social distancing wherever possible
6) Where necessary, wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)
Toilets do not need to be allocated and wash bags in the classroom will no longer be required, the resources will go back into the toilets and usual practice will resume.
Symptoms of COVID – 19:
If your child displays symptoms of COVID – 19 whilst they are at school, they will be isolated in the finance office away from the other pupils until a member of the family can pick the child up.
In the instance that your child is seriously ill, a member of staff will remain with the child in the finance office until that child can be collected. As aforementioned, this member of staff will wear PPE (A mask, gloves, googles and apron). Again, if the child is stable, they will be observed through the glass panel until collection can take place. There will be some reading books and toys in the room to support them and ensure they feel safe.
Once you have collected your child, you will need to go and have your child and family tested for COVID – 19 as soon as an appointment is available. If the test is positive, then your child will need to remain in isolation for 10 days before returning to school. Other family members in the household are required to isolate for 14 days therefore at present your child cannot return to the school until household members have finished their period of isolation (14 days).
Please inform the school in the first instance about the outcome as if they test positive the remaining pupils and staff for their group may need to self-isolate for 14 days. This includes all family members as well. If the test is negative, the child can return to school once they are feeling well enough to attend Twickenham Primary Academy as would be normal practice within the school.
Managing an Outbreak:
The school will take swift action when they become aware that someone who has attended has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19). Twickenham Primary Academy will contact the local health protection team. This team will also contact schools directly if they become aware that someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) attended the school – as identified by NHS Test and Trace.
The health protection team will carry out a rapid risk assessment to confirm who has been in close contact with the person during the period that they were infectious, and ensure they are asked to self-isolate.
The health protection team will work with schools in this situation to guide them through the actions they need to take. Based on the advice from the health protection team, Twickenham Primary Academy will send home those people who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive, advising them to self-isolate for 14 days since they were last in close contact with that person when they were infectious. Close contact means:
· direct close contacts - face to face contact with an infected individual for any length of time, within 1 metre, including being coughed on, a face to face conversation, or unprotected physical contact (skin-to-skin)
· proximity contacts - extended close contact (within 1 to 2 metres for more than 15 minutes) with an infected individual
· travelling in a small vehicle, like a car, with an infected person
The health protection team will provide definitive advice on who must be sent home. To support them in doing so, we will keep a record of pupils and staff in each group, and any close contact that takes places between children and staff in different group.
The school will follow the Richmond Local Lock Down Outbreak Control Plan regarding a school closure and the process around this can be found here:
Breakfast club operates from 08:00 am and pupils are grouped by year group in identified spaces across the school; the two classes within the year group are socially distanced.
· The price of Breakfast club is £2.50 until we can offer a full service.
After School Clubs:
We have assessed each after school club on its own merit, and at this point no clubs will operate until at least January 2020
· If we are able to start afterschool clubs earlier we will, and we will update you accordingly
Energy Kidz is currently in operation and are ensuring the below:
· Activities – we have adapted our themes, games and activities to increase distancing as much as possible but also ensuring children can still have as much fun, as well as reducing the need to share equipment with staggered snack times and utilising outdoor areas as much as possible.
· Limiting Group Size – group sizes will be limited (based on indoor area/s & outdoor/s areas available) allowing for space to accommodate social distancing requirements
· Bubbles – it has been well documented that the retaining the current bubbles within the school environment would be challenging in an out of school setting, in line with the guidance we will ensure where possible that children stay in specific groups within the clubs (subject to demand & space we propose this grouping could be key stages if relevant however the guidance states that there can be separate bubbles for wraparound care upon agreement with the school)
· Consistent staffing – we will assign consistent teams to our schools to ensure minimal changes in staffing throughout the term
· Increased cleaning measures throughout the session for areas & equipment
Drop off and Pick up:
We will be continuing with our socially distanced one way method when dropping pupils off for the remainder of the Autumn Term. Please ensure that you drop off and pick up at the correct time.
· Please ignore our standard drop off and pick up times for now – we will put these back in place when we are able to
Two year groups will use the playground at play time. However, there will orange cones down the centre so that pupils from both classes do not mix.
Those pupils that are in Reception will use the Reception Garden in their classes of 30 separately. This is because the Reception Garden is much smaller.
All pupils receive a hot lunch; the children will be sat in classes in either the dining hall or the school hall. We are commissioning the use of both spaces in order for each class to occupy a space. The tables and chairs will be wiped down between each sitting so that it is clean for the next class of pupils.
Your child/children will need to wear their full school uniform. Uniforms do not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods that are different to usual.
The children will be allowed to use their pegs again. Please note the below:
· Your child will need to bring their book bag, coat, water bottle and a small packet of tissues.
· If your child has a packed lunch, this can be brought in their usual packed lunch bag/box.
· Any personal items, toys etc. should not be brought into school, unless requested.
Thank you for taking the time to read the information; we do hope that you find this document helpful; will continue to be updated regularly by the school particularly as we are able to offer more extended provision across the school.
Please remember these three key actions:
1. Drop off and collect your children on time- not early, not late. This is very important.
2. If anyone in your family shows signs of illness- get tested immediately and keep children at home until results are known
3. Read the detailed information carefully and regularly
Further information about what parents need to know for September 2020, can be found in this link here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-during-the-coronavirus-covid-19-outbreak/what-parents-and-carers-need-to-know-about-early-years-providers-schools-and-colleges-in-the-autumn-term