Monday 13th July 2020
I write to you as we enter the final week of the 2019-20 academic year! This year has most definitely not been the year that any of us were expecting with some of our young learners being absent from school for over 3 months. Through the support of Leger Education Trust, we have been able to support some of our most vulnerable learners throughout this time, as well as the children of key workers, by providing childcare provision, initially at Campsmount Academy and finally back at Spa. It has also been fabulous to have some of our Year 5 and Year 6 pupils return to school so that our staff can help them transition into the next stage of their education, whether that be with us here at Spa or moving on to secondary school. We could not have done this so successfully without your support and cooperation.
As we get ready to break up from school for the summer holidays, I wanted to share with you our plans for the return to school in September. We intend to keep things as ‘normal’ as possible whilst maintaining the strict health and safety restrictions that we have implemented over the past few weeks. Pupils will be in the allocated classes that have already been communicated to you by your child’s teacher. All pupils in that class will be based in their own classroom with their class teacher(s). Teaching Assistants will also support the learners in those classes. As much as possible pupils will then be kept in year group ‘bubbles’ to minimise the number of pupils mixing together, as the DfE guidance recommends. They will have allocated entrances and exits, playgrounds, lunchtime sittings and toilets. They will also have specific allocated time slots to access communal areas such as the computer room, sports hall for PE and school library. There will be additional cleaning to ensure that facilities and resources are cleaned in between groups.
What will the school day look like?
The school gates will open at 8.30am, allowing pupils to enter the school playgrounds and begin lining up in their classes
Teachers will collect classes to begin entering school at 8.35am
Teachers will walk classes out onto their allocated playground and dismiss them at 3.00pm
Arriving and leaving school
To maintain social distancing, school gates will open at 8.30 and staff will be on duty to encourage this. Children should not arrive before this time. Groups will be allocated a specific playground, entrance and exit (see table below). Pupils should go straight to their line as they enter their playground and wait for their teacher to take them into school safely and calmly. Parents will not be permitted to enter the school grounds, however parents of Year 3 pupils may wait with their child on the playground.
Children will exit school at their allocated time using the entrances detailed below. Parents will not be permitted to enter the school building but there will be areas marked out on the school playground to show where you can wait for your child. If your child usually walks home they will be allowed to do so. Gates will be opened on both Alfred Road and Sutton Road to avoid congestion in a morning. All gates will be opened at home time to allow pupils to exit quickly and safely.
Year 3 classes
Year 3 Playground,
Sutton Road Entrance (main school entrance)
Year 3/4 doors
Year 4 classes
Year 4 Playground,
Sutton Road Entrance (main school entrance)
Year 3/4 doors
Year 5 classes
Year 5 Playground (the old Y6 playground),
Sutton Road Entrance (near the bus stop)
Year 5 doors (the old Y6 doors)
Year 6 classes
Year 6 playground (the old Y5 playground),
Alfred Road Entrance
Year 6 doors (the old Y5 doors)
What do I need to bring?
How are we making school safe?
Following guidance from the Department for Education as well as our own risk assessments, you will notice the following changes to ensure contact is minimised:
Information on how to order school uniform is available on the school website. This is now ordered and paid for online through SWI Schoolwear. You will need to create an account which will then allow you to browse the site and search for Spa Academy uniform. The address is www.swischoolwear.co.uk/
In March when the coronavirus outbreak was increasing, the Government made it clear that 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.
Missing out on more time in the classroom risks pupils falling further behind. Those with higher overall absence tend to achieve less well in both primary and secondary school. School attendance will therefore be mandatory again from the beginning of the autumn term. This means from that point, the usual rules on school attendance will apply, including:
The Government has recognised that some pupils will not be able to attend because they are self-isolating and have had symptoms or a positive test result themselves; or because they are a close contact of someone who has coronavirus (COVID-19). Where children are not able to attend school as parents are following clinical and/or public health advice, absence will not be penalised. If you or your child are anxious about returning to school, please get in touch so that we can support you.
We are currently looking at running a booked in provision for breakfast club. This would operate as paid for wraparound care rather than a drop-in breakfast service. We will aim to have this set up towards the end of September. More information will be sent out early in September.
Arriva buses may still have restrictions on the number of people on a bus at any time. We are therefore encouraging both staff and pupils to find an alternative method of travel. We are currently following the Government’s advice and considering using a ‘walking bus’ where staff would supervise children, wearing school high visibility vests, leaving school and walking along the bus route into Askern. We would hope to get this running by the second week of the Autumn Term.
We will be posting updates on the school website and sending out links over the Summer Holidays. If your contact details change please email us at email@example.com or telephone and leave a message on 01302 700332.
I hope that you all have a relaxing and enjoyable summer whilst still keeping safe and healthy,