Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Full reopening of School and Nursery in September 2020
As the prevalence of COVID-19 has decreased significantly in recent weeks and schools have managed the wider opening to a number of pupils during the summer term, the government has set out a plan for all pupils to return to school in September.
Thames has been open to around 40% of our total number of pupils during the lockdown period and we have therefore already successfully implemented all the protective measures described above. The wider opening to all pupils will require us to scale up the measures we have already established and we are confident that we are well placed to do this with relative ease.
We are absolutely delighted to say that Thames is ready to welcome ALL pupils from Reception to Year 6 on Wednesday 2nd September. Due to the full refurbishment of the Nursery over the summer holiday our Nursery will reopen again on Monday 7th September.
To ensure the safety of all our staff and children the following arrangements will be in place in September and will be reviewed in October, in line with government guidance.
Hygiene and protective measures
- No pupil or adult will be allowed on the school site if they are displaying COVID-19 symptoms.
- Pupils and adults will be expected to wash their hands thoroughly and often.
- Ensure good respiratory hygiene by promoting ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’ approach.
- We will continue with an enhanced cleaning regime which includes regular cleaning of frequently touched surfaces and resources throughout the day.
- Children will be allocated their own pencil case with resources that only they will use.
Reducing contacts between children and staff
- Pupils will operate in Year Group ‘Bubbles’ and children within these bubbles will be kept separate from children in other bubbles.
- Adults will be allocated to work with a specific year group bubble, with the exception of the PE/ Music teachers who will work across the year groups but will be expected to maintain social distance from pupils at all times.
- There will be staggered starts, breaks, lunch times and finishing times to limit contact with children and adults from other year group bubbles. ( Details to follow)
- The bubble groups will be kept apart and therefore we will not be having assemblies or larger gatherings of children. They will have playtimes and lunchtimes separately also.
- Our oldest children will be encouraged to maintain a social distance but for younger children this is not expected. Classrooms for children from years 2-6 have been adapted to support social distancing so that pupils will sit side by side and will all face forwards.
- The start and end of the school day has been extended to help to reduce congestion and support social distancing between pupils and parents at busy times and different entry and exit gates have been designated for each year group bubble.
- Visitors to the site, including parents and carers, will be kept to an absolute minimum to prevent the spread of any possible infection.
Changes to the timings of the school day from September
- Dropping off: ONE parent or carer with your child, should enter via the designated entrance between 8.40am – 8.55am.
- Collection: ONE Parent and carer should collect at the same gate used in the morning between 3.20pm – 3.30pm.
- Members of staff will be present in order to assist children, parents and carers both at the start and end of the school day and will be able to take and pass on messages if necessary.
Early closure on Friday only
School will close on Friday each week at 1.20pm for pupils in Reception, Year 1, 2 and 3 and at 1.30pm for pupils in Year 4,5 and 6. This will not apply to Reception for the first week back as they have already been allocated either morning or afternoon sessions (9-11am or 1-3pm). This is to allow the cleaning contractors to conduct a deep clean of the school site and for the equipment and resources in classrooms to be disinfected thoroughly. Children who currently have a place booked at After School Club will be transferred to this provision at 1.30pm. This will be reviewed at the end of the Autumn term in light of the circumstances and the need to continue with the deep cleaning required currently.
In March when the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was increasing, we made clear no parent would be penalised or sanctioned for their child’s non-attendance at school. Now the circumstances have changed and it is vital for all children to return to school to minimise as far as possible the longer-term impact of the pandemic on children’s education, wellbeing and wider development.
School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from September. 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
School uniform, bags and water bottles
Pupils will be expected to attend in full winter school uniform in September. This includes white shirt, tie, school jumper or cardigan, grey trousers or skirt and strong black school shoes for all pupils. PE will continue as usual and pupils will be required to attend on their PE day in PE kit which includes white t-shirt, navy blue shorts, blue school tracksuit and trainers. Children should bring in their own named water bottle and a Thames school book bag.
Parents and Carers will receive a further letter with specific details of the entry and exit points for your child, PE days and curriculum information for September from your child’s new class teacher. We are also hoping to schedule meetings ( telephone/ virtual) with new year group teachers and parents/ carers in September to give you the opportunity to discuss your child’s progress and attainment and any pastoral concerns you may have.
However if you have any particular concerns that you would like to discuss then please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be very happy to help reassure you and answer any questions you may have.
Mrs Julie Allison
The government has produced detailed guidance which we have used to plan for the safe reopening to all pupils. You can read the full guidance here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools
We have also undertaken a comprehensive Risk Assessment which can be viewed here.
The most important thing individuals can do to protect themselves is to wash their hands more often, for at least 20 seconds, with soap and water. Public Health England recommends that in addition to handwashing before eating, and after coughing and sneezing, everyone should also wash hands after using toilets and travelling on public transport.
Department for Education coronavirus helpline
The Department for Education coronavirus helpline is available to answer questions about COVID-19 relating to education and children’s social care. Staff, parents and young people can contact this helpline as follows:
Phone: 0800 046 8687
Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday), 10am to 4pm (Saturday to Sunday)
Please note, we are currently experiencing high volumes of calls. We appreciate your patience at this time and apologise for any wait that you may experience. To ensure that we answer your calls as quickly as possible, we have now extended our opening hours to cover weekends and are increasing the number of call handlers available to answer your calls.
If you work in a school, please have your unique reference number (URN or UK PRN) available when calling the hotline.
Where to find the latest information
Updates on COVID-19:
Guidance for educational settings:
Guidance for social or community care and residential settings:
Travel advice for those travelling and living overseas:
Latest Department for Education information: