6th November 2020
Dear Parents, Carers, and Families,
It was wonderful to start the half term together as we welcomed back all pupils on Monday. The Prime Minister confirmed a second national lockdown which started yesterday. The national lockdown takes into account the benefit for pupils to be in school. This means there is no change to the status of Swiss Cottage School.
We want to assure you that the safety measures remain in place for a safe school environment.
– Multiple bubble zones
– Visual markings on the floor to promote social distancing for hallways, dining areas, cooridors and one-way system for staircases;
– Antibacterial gel station at school entry and communal areas;
– Antibacterial gel in all classrooms and offices;
– Sinks in all classrooms for regular handwashing throughout the school day;
– PPE available (face masks, visors, gloves, aprons, lanyard antibac gel) for all staff for use during the school day;
– Face coverings worn by all staff in all communal area;
– Redesigned classroom environments to limit sharing of resources and promote social distancing for learning;
– Specific class and bubble allocated times for play and lunch in designated areas.
– No visitors on site apart from multi-agency professionals that are unable to support via a virtual meeting.
Parent / Carer Engagement
The pandemic has changed the design of schools. Thank you for your support as we transitioned over the first half term. Starting this half term with a second lockdown has emphasised the need for us to adapt our planning with parent and community partnerships for this academic year.
We are going to introduce four new options for families to keep that sense of connectivity and partnership. These are in addition to your communication and discussions with the class teacher.
Virtual ‘Coffee’ Mornings: These will take place with the Family Inclusion Team and will support our families to stay connected to the school community. This will be at least once per half term. Information will follow with Zoom links to join.
Virtual ‘Learning Session’: The class teacher will organise a learning session so that our traditional ‘Family Learning’ session can still carry on via zoom. This will give parents the opportunity to join a focused session with the class and class team. The session may
involve a singalong, morning circle time, or art/music activity so that you can join in from home. This will be once a half term.
This will be from 23rd November to 27th November during this half term. The teacher will confirm your date and time directly with you.
Virtual ‘Parent Progress Meeting’. We will organise a timetable for families to receive a 1:1 session with the class teacher to discuss the progress of your child. This will give parents the opportunity to discuss the ‘Evidence for Learning’ highlights and any next steps with the class teacher. This will be once a term.
The meetings will take place between 7th December to 11th December for the Autumn Term progress meeting.
Virtual 15 minute ‘Drop-In’ Session with the Principal and Vice Principal: We are adding an option on Friday so that you can discuss any priorities, concerns, issues, or successes directly with us. The drop-in session will be via Zoom and needs to be booked in advance so that you receive the link. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org call reception to book a time slot. This will take place every alternate week.
During this half term it will take place on:
Friday, 13th November 10:00-11:00 am
Friday, 27th November 2:00-3:00 pm
Friday, 11th December 10:00-11:00 am
We also started planning with key community organisations to integrate virtual sessions with the school curriculum for our connectivity with community learning. The planning will be paused during the national lockdown because of the impact that is having on each of those organisations.
Governing Body: Parent Governor Vacancies
The term of office (4 years) is ending for both of our Parent Governors on the school’s Governing Body. The school will be holding an election process. A newsletter will be shared next week outlining the role of the Governing Body, what the Parent Governor does, and details on the election process. We will send this via email and text.
90 minute COVID Testing Machine
The school charity has led the fundraising for the 90 minute COVID-19 testing machine and test kits. We are excited to confirm that the 90 minute COVID testing machine and first set of test kits has arrived at the school. We have worked with Public Health England and the test machine company to complete training and establish procedures. The machine will be in use from next week if any staff or pupils had symptoms of COVID-19. Please read the attached form. It outlines the process we would follow and what you are consenting to for testing on-site. Please return the form next week in the attached envelope. If you have any questions – please use the home school book to share them so that we can get your questions answered quickly.
40 other schools now have this machine on site as well and we are looking forward to working closely with a group of them. Having our own solution on site for fast and effective testing help us to keep our community safe. Thank you for the support.
We wish each of you a safe weekend during this national lockdown.
Monitor for COVID-19 Symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste