Arrangements for returning to school in August
Re-opening of Rattray Primary School
We are looking forward to welcoming back our children and young people from the start of the new term on 11 August 2020.
We recognise the many challenges you have been facing as you juggle childcare, supporting home learning and working from home and would thank you for your support with online and at home learning since schools were closed in March.
Planning for the re-opening of schools has focused on maximising the amount of time children and young people will spend in school, as frequently as possible, as safely as possible. This has been guided by the key principles identified by the Scottish Government as well as consultation with professional associations, staff and feedback from parents and carers through the Council’s informal poll on social media.
Our framework for the re-opening of schools was outlined recently by Sheena Devlin, Executive Director of Education and Children’s Services on the Council’s website: www.pkc.gov.uk/coronavirus/schools.
As we approach the end of term, we are now in a position to share further arrangements for our school and your child:
Schools have drawn up revised timetables that will ensure almost all pupils spend a minimum of 40% of the school week in class. Our school and class capacity only allow us to accommodate 50% of our pupils at any one time. Please check your Paren Pay account for communication about which attendance pattern your child will follow.
If your child currently receives free home to school transport, your transport arrangements for August cannot be confirmed at this time. The Public Transport Unit is looking at all transport options to support the attendance patterns of pupils who require free home to school transport. This may include larger vehicles, additional vehicles, multiple journeys and alternative transport providers.
The Scottish Government’s current guidance on physical distancing means that the number of seats available on both public transport and school transport vehicles will be greatly reduced. It will not be possible for pupils to travel on school transport services in the same numbers as pre COVID-19.
Education and Children’s Services and the Public Transport Unit are currently working through the implications for free home to school transport requirements for entitled pupils in August. It is anticipated that some parents of pupils who normally would travel on school transport may wish to transport their own children to school, and we would actively encourage parents/carers more widely to consider this option, where possible.
We are working closely with the Public Transport Unit regarding home to school transport arrangements for our schools and the details of this will be notified directly to parents of children who use home to school transport by the Public Transport Unit in early August.
Health and Safety
Schools have been working hard on their health and safety assessments and staff, pupils and parents will see some changes when they come to school. On arrival and departure from school, there will be provision for sanitising hands. Everyone in school will wash their hands frequently throughout the day and pupils will be reminded of the importance of hand and respiratory hygiene.
Classrooms will be laid out in line with physical distancing guidelines, and resources for learning will be selected to ensure they can be easily cleaned. It is planned that we will limit the number of times equipment and resources are physically passed between home and school, however, where this is necessary, we will look at ways of limiting the number of people in contact with equipment or how we can maintain clean resources. Your child’s class teacher will be able to provide more information on how this will be done.
The frequency of the formal cleaning in school will be increased, and in addition, staff will be carrying out spot cleaning throughout the day.
If staff have to administer personal care for a pupil, or if a pupil requires first aid, the appropriate PPE will be worn. However, the focus for everyone in school will be practicing good hand and respiratory hygiene, frequent cleaning and physical distancing.
All pupils will receive high-quality teaching in school complemented by home learning which is not solely dependent on digital access. Teachers will have time available to support home learning remotely, and there will be a clear focus on well-being and literacy and numeracy while pupils are in school. The Council’s Remote Learning Hub is also available for parents, pupils and staff to access key information and guidance whilst working and learning from home.
There will be an expectation that all Rattray pupils will wear their school uniform on return to school in August. Children can wear a school jumper/cardigan (Maroon or grey) and a white polo shirt alongside trousers/leggings/joggers/shorts.
Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) Provision
All children accessing local authority early learning and childcare can access 600 hours or more of ELC provision in most settings. In parallel with the school plan we have created a revised attendance for ELC. Our school and nursery capacity only allow us to accommodate 50% of our pupils at any one time.
The ELC Service are currently working with Partner Provider Nurseries to finalise plans for the reopening of early learning and childcare in August. Further information will be available during July.
As part of the Scottish Government Guidance released on 15 June, children are not able to attend more than one setting so if this had been your intention for childcare, this is no longer possible. It would be helpful to know if you still plan to take up the offer with us or go to the other provider where they may be able to offer a full-time placement.
As we are currently offering a reduced attendance pattern, you may wish to delay your attendance with us and approach a partner provider who may be able to offer a full-time place. Please let us know in advance if this is your plan.
Critical Childcare for Key Workers
The school will provide childcare from 11 August during school opening hours for those families who have been approved as having key worker status in PKC. We are working in the partnership with our PKC partners to plan for the reopening of our breakfast club and further information will come as soon as possible.
Structure of the School Day
Attached is a further document which contains important information regarding our school’s procedures. It contains information regarding entrance and exit to the school grounds, staggered starts and finishes alongside lunch arrangements. Please read this document carefully. If you have questions or concerns regarding this document or any other matter, please do not hesitate to get in touch using the email address above.
We have previously sent out information regarding your child’s class teacher for next session alongside their school report. If you have not received either of these documents, please get in touch using the email address above.
We look forward to welcoming all children back into our school and would assure you we are taking every precaution to ensure they, and our staff, are as safe as can be when they return.