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St John's C of E Primary School

School Re-opening Part 1

Dear Parents and Children,

I hope you are all safe and well.

I want to talk to you about how school might be looking for the rest of the term.

We are putting lots of procedures in place which will help us to minimise the risk of disease transmission.

I am aware that I write long emails and my husband tells me that when he gets long emails, he doesn’t read them so I'm going to try to keep it short. The trouble is, there is SO MUCH to tell you about. I’m going to try and split the information up and tell you a bit each day so that you can build up a picture of the changes over the week.

TODAY’S TOPIC: "BUBBLES"

What’s all this talk about “Bubbles”?

The government’s plans for re-opening schools revolves around a simple idea:

  • children will be put into small groups (called “bubbles”)
  • the bubble should be no larger than 15 children, and for younger children this number should be smaller if possible.
  • There is a Teacher/Teaching Assistant in each bubble.
  • This bubble does everything together: play time, lessons, lunch, etc
  • Bubbles cannot mix- a child can only be in one bubble, and so can an adult.

The idea is that if a child or their teacher is ill, it is only one bubble who will run the risk of being infected.

Children who come back this term will be put into a bubble with other children from their class, and an adult-who might be their teacher, but might be a member of staff from another part of the school.

As it stands: each bubble will attend school for two days a week: either a Monday/Tuesday or a Thursday/Friday.

What does this look like in real life?

Imagine a Year 6 class of 30.

This will be split into two bubbles of 15.

Each bubble will have a teacher.

These two bubbles cannot mix: they have different classrooms, staggered playtimes, use different toilets, have lunch in their own classroom, use separate entrances/exits to school, use different hand washing facilities, etc.

What’s the problem?

One of the difficulties for schools is that this doubles the number of classrooms needed, and doubles the number of teachers. One class now needs two teachers in two classrooms- the same teacher cannot be mixed with two bubbles-otherwise there is a risk of cross-contamination.

Another problem for us at St John’s is that our classrooms are not big enough to fit 15 children in with 2 metres spacing. Year 6 are going to be put in the hall initially because of this.

The other obvious problem is that children will not be with their whole class, and might not be with their friends or their teacher. We want children to be happy and feel safe, so we will do our best to make sure they are with people that they know and are friendly with, but we can’t guarantee it.

What else is different?

Lots! I will email tomorrow with information about other changes that we are making to the building to try and allow children and staff to return to school safely.

Best wishes,

Mrs Seymour

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