Our Back to School Guide for September - Updated
Please note – this is based on the current government guidance (most recently on Friday 28th August)
When does school return?
School will reopen for all children on Wednesday 2nd September.
Does my child need to wear uniform?
- Yes. The government guidance is clear that where schools normally have a uniform then children should return to school wearing that uniform.
- If you do want to purchase uniform with the logo on, Emblematic will only take orders directly from you due to the pandemic (we shared this information on our website on 2nd June). This link will take you to the website:
- Please note the school uniform policy is as listed below:
- School uniform is grey or black skirt/trousers, white polo top and burgundy jumper/cardigan (these can be bought from any supermarket, you do not have to buy them from the uniform supplier).
- Wearing leggings is not permitted apart from in Nursery and pre-school
- Footwear: plain black shoes or trainers (trainers would be great for returning to school so children can enjoy physical activity daily)
- No jewellery apart from a watch. No earrings for boys or girls for safety reasons.
- Long hair must be tied back to help avoid the spread of head lice
What can my child bring to school and take home?
- Children will be able to bring a water bottle, a coat and a bag (to carry their packed lunch if needed, their reading book and any letters). They can also bring their own hand gel and hand cream if preferred.
- Children will take their water bottle home with them every day as this will stay on their tables during the day (we would recommend they are washed when they are brought home to prevent spread of the virus, we will be wiping them when they come in to school
- Children will not need to bring pencil cases as we will provide individual stationery kits for all children
- Nothing else must be brought to school (no toys or any extra items for any reason
What about medication?
- If your child needs to take medication in school, please contact us directly on firstname.lastname@example.org about this and we will advise you further
Does my child need to wear a face mask?
- Current government guidance advises that children in primary schools do not need to wear a face mask.
- Wearing of a face mask is only effective if the wearer can put it on and take it off correctly and this could be a challenge for younger children
- Should this advice change, we will inform you immediately
When will my child do PE?
- For the first week back we ask that children come to school in their trainers or bring their trainers with them
- They will then bring a letter home stating which days they will do PE. This will have to be outdoors for the first half term.
- On the days children do PE we will be asking them to come to school in their PE kit (including tracksuit bottoms and school jumper for warmth) so that they do not need to get changed in school. Changing rooms will not be used for the first half term at least to prevent cross contamination
- PE kit is white T-shirt and black shorts
Will my child go swimming?
- As swimming pools are not yet open, I expect further guidance around this during the summer holidays
- When we can resume swimming, Y4 will go on a Tuesday afternoon instead of Y3. This is because they did not get to complete their swimming lessons because of the pandemic.
Will my child have to attend school?
- The government are very clear that all children are expected to attend school in September
- We are here to support you and help you overcome any anxieties and worries you may have. We have had over 100 children back to school since 1st June and it has worked brilliantly. We can’t wait to welcome everyone back!
- If your child has a specific medical need that may put them on the vulnerable or highly vulnerable list, we will discuss this with you to ensure we can put everything possible in place to make sure they do not miss out on any more of their learning
What will the start of the school day look like?
- All gates (apart from the main car park gates) will be open and children can come into the school yard from any of them.
- Children (Reception-Y6) can arrive at school between 8:30 and 8:50am (this is to prevent any families and children waiting on the yard as children will not be lining up)
- Please note: Reception parents should follow the information in your letters about the first two weeks of term (sessions and timings)
- Children will need to go to their allocated drop off points (see map below)
- Reception will go to the Reception decking area
- Y1 and Y2 will enter via the KS1 main door
- Y3-Y6 will enter via the KS2 gates (adults will be available to guide children in the right direction, especially Y3 who are new to KS2)
- Adults will then need to leave the school premises promptly. No parents should be lingering on the yard for a chat with each other or outside of the school gates as this will block other children and parents trying to come into school and will not support the continued need for social distancing where possible
- A limited breakfast will be available for children, should they want it, between 8:30-8:45
- Calm activities will be available in classrooms until the official start of the school day at 8:50am
- Mr Maule (Deputy Head) and I will be on the yard to support and guide you throughout this drop off time, along with other school adults to encourage your child into school if they are worried. Please remember we are all looking forward to welcoming the children back and helping them to feel as safe and settled as possible.
What will the end of the school day look like?
- All gates (apart from the main car park gates) will be open and parents/carers will need to come and collect their child from their allocated collection point (see map)
- Again I will be on the yard to support you
- Children (Reception-Y2) can be collected between 3:00pm and 3:20pm from their classroom doors (this is again to limit the number of families on the premises at any one time)
- KS2 children (Y3-Y6) will be collected from the KS2 yard at these times:
- 3/4BC – 3:00pm
- 3/4KC – 3:05pm
- 3/4NT – 3:10pm
- All 5/6 – 3:15pm
- This is because KS2 are all upstairs and cannot be collected from their classroom doors
- These times allow for siblings in different Key Stages to be collected at the same time
- If you have children in different KS2 classes you will have to wait on the yard but it is possible to do this in a socially distanced way (you will have a maximum of 15 minutes wait)
- Year 6 children – they will be able to walk home without an adult but we must receive an email from you stating you give permission for this. Email email@example.com
Before School and Afterschool Childcare
- I will communicate via email with parents/carers who have requested a place at this provision from September
- If you have been in contact, via the school email address, I will send you a separate letter with all the information you need for this provision
Will the school timetable change?
Because most children will have been away from school for so long, our timetable for the first few weeks will have shorter sessions with lots of physical activity and mental health and wellbeing. This is because coming back to school may be a challenge, they will have missed out on lots of social interaction and they may not be able to focus for long periods of time. We will review this after the first few weeks, once we feel they have settled back in.
Breaktimes will be at different times for different year groups to allow for more space to play and also to prevent mixing of consistent groups therefore reducing the potential spread of the virus.
What will happen at lunchtime?
- We will not be able to use the hall for lunches in the autumn term (apart from Reception children and classes where we know children have food allergies) so children will have their lunch in their classroom
- We have done this over the last half term and it has meant for a lovely calm lunch before the children go out to play, so we know it works
- Children can bring their own packed lunch or they can have a hot school lunch – a picture of the menu can be found below
- If your child has a food allergy that we are not aware of, get in touch and we will have a chat with Catering Services about how to support your child
- Please remember we are a ‘nut free’ school and there should be no items with nuts in packed lunches
- If your child does not like the menu for a specific day, they can bring in a packed lunch. The limited menu reflects the social distancing that needs to happen in the school kitchen and also what can practically be delivered to classrooms
Missed Learning and a Recovery Curriculum
- We know children will be returning to us at various different stages of their learning. Some will have practiced lots of skills, some may have enjoyed new learning and some may not have been able to do much at home. Do not worry. We will get to know where your child is in their learning very quickly and plan learning to meet their needs which they will also enjoy.
- We will be starting with a whole school project based on a book all about developing children’s understanding of community and their place in the world alongside helping them to understand the pandemic they have lived through.
- We will focus on your child’s reading, writing and maths but we also will make sure they get access to all subjects and don’t end up with a boring, narrow curriculum.
- There will be lots of additional support for all children who have lost confidence in their learning.
Rewards and Celebrations
- Children will have the opportunity to earn Star of the Week and all the other achievements we normally do weekly, however we won’t be able to have whole school assemblies for a while
- I will visit classes weekly to celebrate their successes as this is very important to do, even more so to rebuild children’s confidence in themselves
Fordley Flyers, Nursery and Reception
- If you have not had a phone call from Miss Gilfillan or Mrs McArdle with your start date, please email school and they will contact you. We must have an up to date phone number
- There will be staggered entries as normal as it is so important that we get to know your child very well and help them to settle in before we bring more children into their classroom
Communication with Parents and Carers
You know how much we value our Fordley Family and the relationships we have with you all as part of our school community. At this present time the government is still telling us that parents and carers cannot be allowed into the school building. Until we are told otherwise, we have to follow this guidance.
If you do need to speak to your child’s class teacher, or need a message passed to them, please email school at firstname.lastname@example.org or ring the school office on our new number 0191 2502207
The message will be emailed to the class teacher and they will contact you that day if you need to speak to them directly.
I will also be on the yard if it is just a quick query.
How will you keep my child safe?
- We have a very detailed risk assessment which has been completed in line with health and safety expectations and the government guidance to schools (a summary copy of this will be shared on the school website)
- We have additional handwashing procedures and resources
- We have extra cleaning materials in every classroom
- Groups in school will not mix and resources will only be used by one consistent group at a time
- Children will be able to go to the toilet whenever they need to, but will be reminded to wash their hands
- Additional cleaning of toilets and all common surfaces will take place throughout the school day
- Should any child or adult display symptoms and have a positive test result, Public Health England will support school directly to manage this swiftly for everyone’s safety
- Fixed outdoor equipment will still be out of bounds for the first half term (we will then review this)
- Staff may wear PPE to deal with any injuries or illness in school. This is to keep both staff and your child safe
What happens if my child shows symptoms?
- If your child shows symptoms, we will take them to a quieter part of school (just as we would do with any poorly child) where they will be accompanied by a member of school staff
- We will contact you directly so we must have correct and up to date contact numbers
- We will ask you to come and collect your child and take them to be tested
- If your child has a positive test they will need to stay at home for 10 days and we will inform Public Health and they will advise us on the next steps to take. This could involve closing part of the school to allow for any child or adult within the consistent group to isolate at home for 14 days. However we will communicate with you immediately should this need to happen.
- We, like all establishments, have to follow test, track and trace procedures
How can you help us in September?
- It would be great if you could help your child to learn how to put their coat and shoes on independently. We will still help them if they are stuck but adults in schools are still expected by the government to maintain a social distance from the children as much as possible
- Please avoid parking on Dudley Drive where possible (North Tyneside Council are asking ALL SCHOOLS to avoid parking outside of school gates) – too many cars cause dangerous issues for children and families and will make social distancing impossible. If you live within walking distance, please walk with your child to school as this is a much healthier option.
- Please do not loiter on the yard or outside the school gates – again to help prevent possible spread of the virus
- Do not bring dogs onto the school yard, or tie them up next to school gates (as much as I love dogs, not everyone does and many people are scared of them)
- Packed lunches – as we will be working to help all children’s physical and mental health we ask that any packed lunches are as healthy as possible (e.g. do not just contain sweets or chocolate bars)
A Huge Thank You!
We know September will be a little strange for everyone as we get used to a different way of working and operating as a school. Your support over the last few months has been fantastic and we are utterly proud to be at the heart of such an amazing community. All we ask is that you continue to work with us and understand that all the measures we have had to put in place are for the safety of your children, yourselves and the fantastic team here at Fordley. We are the Fordley Family and we will continue to keep each other safe.
On behalf of the staff team and governors here, I hope everyone has a happy and healthy summer holiday and we cannot wait to welcome you all back in September.