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St John's C of E Primary School

School Re-opening Part 3

Dear Parents and Children,

I hope you are all safe and well.

TODAY’S TOPIC: "SOCIAL DISTANCING"

So far this week I have explained “bubbles” and “pinch points”. Another big issue facing schools is social distancing.

What is “Social Distancing”?

  • Social distancing is something that we are all supposed to be doing, apart from with people that we live with.
  • It means not touching someone else, (no hand shakes, hugs, etc) or getting close to them.
  • We are advised to stay 2 metres away from everybody that we don’t live with.

What does this look like in school?

Here are some of the ways that we are going to try and keep children 2 metres apart:

  • Staggering drop off and pick up times to avoid queues
  • Asking children to line up outside using markers that are 2 metres apart and wait to be collected by staff
  • Different bubbles using different entrances and exits to the building
  • Keeping the main doors locked
  • Staggering playtimes so that only 15 children are outside at once and encouraging them not to play games where they touch each other.
  • Eating lunch in the classroom at our desks
  • Sitting children at individual desks which are spaced 2 metres apart
  • Going to designated toilets one at a time
  • Stopping children using the hall e.g. collective worship will be virtual over Teams.
  • Asking parents to stay outside of the school building
  • Giving children individual equipment that they do not share with others.

What’s the problem?

  • Indoor Space:

Our classrooms are small and will not fit 15 desks spaced 2 metres apart. We are solving this by putting Year 6 in the hall which has been split in half. Obviously when other classes return, we won’t be able to do this.

One class will need at least two classrooms, and we will run out of rooms very quickly.

  • Outdoor Space:

We have limited access to private outdoor space. We can use the park, but it is public and covered in litter and dog mess. Our playgrounds are only exclusively for school use during the school day. They are concrete and have no shade. It is difficult to find safe, outdoor spaces for our children.

  • Staff:

If every class is split into two bubbles, we will need double the teachers.

Can you promise my child will always be 2 metres away from others?

The short and truthful answer is: No.

  • The government does not expect young children to be able to stay apart which is why they have suggested “bubbles” of 15 or less.
  • We have reorganised the school building and the timetable to avoid children coming into contact with other groups.
  • However, we must all be realistic: we can promise to set up systems to keep children socially distanced but we cannot guarantee that they won’t forget.
  • Please talk to your children about social distancing. We will teach them all about it when they are in school, but if they don't see it happening in real-life, they won't take it seriously.

Best wishes,

Mrs Seymour

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