Here at South Lee our priority during such a difficult and unusual time, is the wellbeing, health and safety of our students, staff and parents. As a school, we have been following government guidance throughout the coronavirus pandemic and will continue to do so.
The Government are keen for all children to return to school as fully as possible and as such, attendance is now mandatory. We want to reassure you that the arrangements we have put in place have been thoroughly assessed to consider how we can minimise any risks from COVID-19 by maximising the control measures we are taking.
At the core of everything we are doing in this regard is putting into place layers of protection that ensure that while mixing of groups is kept to a minimum, it will be possible for us to run after school clubs etc. and to operate a normal school day. Our one-way systems, hygiene precautions and management of movement of the children around the site will all continue as part of these measures.
Parents are welcome to send children to school in PE kits until half term, when we will revert to full school uniform. The guidance from the government has now changed and it is no longer advised that children’s clothes are washed at the end of every school day.
As before the summer, drop off and pick up will happen via the green gate onto the lower playground.
Parents are asked to remain in their cars (wherever possible) and children will have their temperatures taken before being directed to enter the school site.
The only exceptions to this will be for those arriving on foot, or from the Victory Ground car park, when parents will need to escort the children to have their temperatures taken. For children in Nursery, or who may be anxious about separation initially, please do accompany your child to the green gate, but we cannot allow any parents on site. If you have any concerns, please speak to your child’s form tutor so that we can make arrangements for them to be met at the gate.
Breakfast club will operate from 7.30am and this must be booked prior to attendance through the Engage portal. Breakfast club staff will check temperatures on arrival at the green gate, so for this drop off, please accompany your child to the gate.
For the majority of children (those not attending breakfast club) drop off will be between 8.00 and 8.25. Children will go straight to the playground on arrival at school and will be sent to their classrooms at 8.25. School starts promptly at 8.30, so any latecomers after 8.25 will need to be accompanied to the office to be signed in.
Nursery drop off will be from 8.30-9.00am. This will give staff time to come out to meet children and collect them from parents where necessary. If you need to drop your child off earlier, then please book them into Breakfast Club.
Throughout the school day, the Government guidance is that we operate as normal a timetable as possible. We will therefore be operating our full timetable with children moving between classrooms and having specialist teachers as indicated by their timetable (available via the Engage portal).
We have a number of measures in place to minimise the risk this movement may introduce, including cleaning down teaching spaces and any shared equipment, as well as handwashing or sanitising between lessons. In class, children will be facing forward wherever possible and for the older children, social distancing will be maintained and encouraged as much as possible. The Government acknowledge that social distancing is more challenging with our younger children and will not be required in our lower year groups.
The only exception to the normal curriculum operation at the moment is that, in line with other schools locally, and in accordance with IAPs practice, we will not be playing in any fixtures until at least October half term. We are hopeful that we will be able to put fixtures into the calendar as the term progresses and Mr James is already working hard to pencil some in, so we will keep you updated.
We will continue to distance the children at lunchtimes, with them sitting with their year groups. We will also be staggering the sittings. Where possible, children will be asked to remain within their year groups when playing outside.
We will be offering a full programme of before school, lunchtime and after school clubs. Please contact the office if you are unable to access the Engage Portal.
While we are in a position to offer these clubs, the children attending these sessions must be kept as consistent as possible. We therefore ask that you go through the bookings with your child and that once they are registered, they consistently attend clubs. The same applies for after school care.
Our new timetable and the clubs programme lends itself to a natural staggering of pick up times as follows:
Nursery and Reception
3.40pm (unless booked into after school care).
For nursery sessions ending before 3.40, parents should go to the green gate and use the intercom as previously.
Year 1 & 2
3.40pm – if not attending clubs
4.10pm – after clubs
4.30pm – if not attending clubs
5.30pm – after clubs
6.00pm – if you have booked late-stay
For timings outside of those listed above, please contact your child’s form tutor
Children are now permitted to bring school bags in, but we ask that they minimise transfer of objects between home and school as much as possible. Children should bring in a pencil case, reading books, device (Y3-8) etc, but please avoid any soft toys.
Snacks should be brought in daily (except in Nursery and Reception), but please remember our no nuts policy.
All children from Reception to Year 8 will need to bring a water bottle in and take it home for cleaning every day. Children in the nursery will need to bring in a water bottle to be left at school.
Children will be discouraged from sharing equipment and snacks. Spare equipment will be provided in class if necessary, so that any risk can be managed.
After following the Government guidelines carefully, we currently feel the wearing of face coverings is not appropriate in school. We will monitor this closely. The exceptions are for EYFS practitioners whilst doing intimate care/nappy changes and in the case of a child suspected of having Coronavirus symptoms where staff cannot distance. We understand parents may want their child to wear a mask, so do please contact Mrs MacFarlane if you have a worry, or you feel there is a reason for your child to wear a mask.
ID sessions, small group work, sessions with visiting therapists and peripatetic teachers are all now able to resume with appropriate measure in place.
Following government advice, we are still adhering to the social distancing guidelines in regards to visitors coming to South Lee. We encourage prospective parents to visit our Virtual Tour page to gain an insight to our school. We are allowing parents to tour in person, however we have closed off sections of the school for deep cleaning.
If you are interested in a place at South Lee School for your child(ren), we would be delighted to hear from you. Please contact the School Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss the possibilities of visiting South Lee and speaking to the Headmistress.
As part of our preparations, we have a plan in place in case another school closure is required. We all hope this won’t be the case, but if it is, we will continue to teach a full timetable online via Teams. While we hope this scenario is unlikely, the more plausible cause of pupil absence will be due to the requirement for self-isolation.
Webcams have been set up in each classroom and the timetable set up on Teams so that in the event of individual pupil absence, children will still be able to join lessons, but remotely from home with any work uploaded onto Teams and submitted to teachers via Assignments. Obviously, physical attendance is preferable, but where this is not possible, and has been prearranged with the school, this should mean that those children will not have to miss out on too much curriculum content.