Rookwood Reopening on 1st June

Friday May 29, 2020

We are pleased to confirm that we will be reopening on 1st June.

Which children can return to school?

  • Little Rooks Nursery (some spaces available, please contact Mrs Osmond)
  • Reception
  • Year 1
  • Year 6
  • Children of Key Workers and Vulnerable Children (some spaces available, please contact Mr Kirk-Burgess)

Which children must not return to school?

Even if your child is in one of the above categories, they must not attend school if:

  • They, or anyone in their household, has any symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature; new, continuous cough; loss or change to sense of smell or taste)
  • They are self-isolating due to Covid-19
  • They are classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’

The following groups of children may be able to attend, subject to individual risk assessments, in which case please contact the school immediately for further advice:

  • Children classed as ‘clinically vulnerable’
  • Children who live with someone who is classed as ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’

Please note that the Government advice is that children who live with someone who is ‘clinically vulnerable’ (but not ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’) are able to attend school.

What if my child becomes ill at school?

If your child develops any of the Covid-19 symptoms in school, they will be isolated immediately and parents contacted. We do have full personal protective equipment for the staff who will look after your child whilst waiting; however, you will be expected to collect your child without delay.

You are strongly advised to then obtain a coronavirus test. If your child tests positive, you must inform the school, as we are required to take additional action including closing the school to that year group for 14 days.

Must I send my child to school?

No. Although the Government is strongly encouraging all children who are eligible to return to school to do so, it is acknowledged that some families may prefer to keep their children at home at this time. Therefore, the legislation regarding compulsory school attendance has been relaxed accordingly.

Rookwood’s position is that the school environment is the best place for children to learn and develop. Furthermore, we have taken significant measures to protect children and staff whilst on site in order to make it safe to reopen. You must inform us if you decide not to send your child to school, following the usual protocols.

We will provide a remote education for children who do not return to school. Teachers will upload their lessons to Teams. Please note that there may be a delay of upto 24 hours for this information to be uploaded.

Timings of the school day

The school day has been restructured in order to limit the interactions between different classes. Therefore, at least initially, there will be no breakfast club, assemblies, lunch-time activities or after school activities, including supervised prep. Additionally, each class will have their own break and lunch times, as well as staggered arrival and departure times (see below). Therefore, the school day will be shorter than normal (although the total amount of teaching time has not changed).

  • Nursery (morning session): 8.30-12.30
  • Nursery (afternoon session): 12.45-3.30
  • Reception: 8.35-3.05
  • Year 1: 8.40-3.10
  • Key worker/vulnerable children: 8.45-3.15
  • Year 6: 8.50-3.20

We appreciate that these new timings may be inconvenient and we appreciate your patience and understanding. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will review our wraparound provision.

School transport

Please note that school minibuses will not be running for the foreseeable future due to the need to ensure appropriate social distancing measures. As soon as it is safe to do so, we will review our transport provision.

Procedure for arriving at school

Nursery

  • Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before the scheduled start time (i.e. 8.25 or 12.40). If you do arrive earlier, please remain in your car. If walking, please do not enter the school grounds until 5 minutes before the scheduled start time.
  • Please queue along the footpath between the Rookery building and the garden wall, observing the 2-metre separation markers. This footpath will be one-way and only used for nursery drop-off/collection.
  • A member of staff will collect your child from the gate. Please note the staff member will be wearing a face shield. Your child will be asked to wash their hands as soon as they enter the nursery.
  • Parents will not be allowed into the nursery. If, for exceptional reasons, you are required to enter the building you must wear a face mask or shield (we will provide these).
  • Please follow the route around the side and front of the Rookery building to return to your car.

Reception, Year 1, Year 6, Key worker/vulnerable children

  • Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before the scheduled start time. If you do arrive earlier, please remain in your car. If walking, please do not enter the school grounds until 5 minutes before the scheduled start time.
  • Please wait until the form tutor/supervising teacher arrives at the main playground.
  • If your child is responsible enough, they should be sent to the playground whilst you remain in/by your car.
  • If you need to accompany your child to the playground, please maintain 2-metre separation from other families.
  • Please refrain from entering the playground yourself. However, if in exceptional circumstances, you need to do so please wear a face covering when on the playground.
  • Please be mindful that tutors are under time pressure to collect their form and vacate the playground to allow the next group to arrive on time.
  • Children on the playground are welcome to play and run around, but should maintain a 2-metre distance from each other.
  • In poor weather, please follow the above procedure but with children meeting in the main hall where there are individual tables and chairs spaced 2-metre apart.

Multiple children in different groups

  • If you have children attending different groups, please follow the above procedure for each child. If this is likely to cause a significant problem, please contact the school for advice.

End of day procedure

Nursery

  • Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before the scheduled leaving time (i.e. 12.25 or 3.25). If you do arrive earlier, please remain in your car. If walking, please do not enter the school grounds until 5 minutes before the
  • Please queue along the footpath between the Rookery building and the garden wall, observing the 2-metre separation markers. This footpath will be one-way and only used for nursery drop-off/collection.
  • A member of staff will return your child to you at the gate. Please note the staff member will be wearing a face shield.
  • Parents will not be allowed into the nursery. If, for exceptional reasons, you are required to enter the building you must wear a face mask or shield (we will provide these).
  • Please follow the route around the side and front of the Rookery building to return to your car.

Reception, Year 1, Year 6, Key worker/vulnerable children

  • Please arrive no earlier than 5 minutes before the scheduled leaving time. If you do arrive earlier, please remain in your car. If walking, please do not enter the school grounds until 5 minutes before the scheduled leaving time.
  • Please wait until the form tutor/supervising teacher brings the class to the main playground.
  • If your child is responsible enough, they will be sent to you whilst you remain in/by your car. Please email the school to confirm that you are happy for this to happen.
  • Otherwise, please wait at the playground gate, maintaining 2-metre separation from other families.
  • Please refrain from entering the playground yourself. However, if in exceptional circumstances, you need to do so please wear a face covering when on the playground.
  • Please be mindful that tutors are under time pressure to return their form and vacate the playground to allow the next group to leave on time.

Multiple children in different groups

  • If you have children attending different groups, please follow the above procedure for each child. If this is likely to cause a significant problem, please contact the school for advice.

Clothing

Children should not wear school uniform. Instead, they should wear comfortable clothing in which they can do light physical exercise without needing to change. Once home, the recommendation is that children change into other clothes and their school clothes set aside for washing.

Lockers/personal belongings/mobile phones

Children should bring to and from school their belongings required for that day. They should not use their lockers (due to the close proximity of each locker). Mobile phones should be left at home, unless absolutely essential in order to travel to and from school, in which case they should be switched off and kept in bags.

All children should bring their own suntan lotion, sun hat (especially younger children) and full water bottle to school.

Lunch and snacks

A packed school lunch will be provided. There will be designated outside areas for lunch. In poor weather, groups will have lunch in their classrooms. Nursery parents may provide their own packed lunch, as normal.

Snacks will be provided for early years children, as normal. Older children are welcome to bring in their own snack (no products containing pineapple or nuts). Please note there will be no tuck shop running.

Toilets and hand-washing facilities

In order to limit the interactions between groups, each group will be designated their own hand-washing/sanitising and toilet facilities. Frequent hand-washing/sanitising is a critical measure in order to keep the children and staff safe. This will be actively encouraged throughout the day, especially when joining or leaving a classroom activity.

Physical distancing and classroom equipment

All classrooms have been set up so that there is 2-metre separation between spaces. It is acknowledged that maintaining such separation is very difficult, if not impossible, for the youngest children. This is why frequent handwashing is also essential.

Steps have been taken to limit the interaction that different children have with classroom equipment, these include:

  • In Reception and the Nursery, higher risk soft toys have been removed.
  • Shared reading books will be rotated from use so that there is at least 72 hours between usage.
  • When classes need access to computers, children will have their own designated computer which will not be used by others without a thorough clean of keyboards and mice.
  • Practical subjects will not use equipment which requires close proximity of individuals or presents a hygiene risk.
  • Where it is safe to do so, doors will be left open so that children do not need to touch door handles.
  • The ‘Pirate Ship’ will only ever be used by one group in a day and will be thoroughly cleaned at the end of each day.
  • In the Nursery, staff will wear additional personal protective equipment (e.g. face masks and gloves) if they need to be in intimate contact with children (i.e. nappy changing and toileting).

Timetables and rooms

The timetable has been rewritten in order to minimise the number of different adults each child interacts with during the course of the day, whilst also trying to provide as full a variety of lessons as possible. This follows the principle of ‘social bubbles’, where everyone stays within the same small group with minimal and controlled crossovers between groups. Also, many of the new lessons will be held outdoors, if the weather is good, in order to further minimise the risk to children and staff. Individual year group timetables are available on Teams.

Rooms have been chosen so that each group remains separate from others. For example, Reception Class will be based on the Year 2 classroom as this allows us to keep Reception and Nursery separate. Also, Year 6 will be based in the Rookery maths rooms, with their own dedicated classroom and separate computer room. There will also be one-way systems in place in order to avoid groups crossing in corridors.

Learning Support lessons

We are looking to restart 1:1 learning support lessons remotely, using Microsoft Teams. Mr Pearson will be contacting parents after half-term to discuss their child’s specific needs and the feasibility of them accessing this provision. As soon as it safe to do so, we will review our ‘in-person’ 1:1 provision.

Emergency evacuation

The emergency evacuation procedure has been rewritten in order to minimise large groups congregating in the same location. The new procedure will be explained to teachers and children after half-term and there will be a fire drill within the first week to ensure that the procedure works effectively and safely.

Boarding

We are welcoming a small number of boarders back into the boarding house. If you have any questions about the systems in place in Boarding, please contact Mrs Dwyer.

Further information

The full risk assessment is available on request by emailing estatesmanager@rookwoodschool.org