You can view our risk assessment related to the re-opening of the school using the link below:
Please note this is a live document and is being constantly updated.
Advice to Parents/Carers re COVID-19 - 09/11/2020
Dear Parents and Carers
I am writing to let you know that there has been a confirmed case of Covid-19 within our community: a child has tested positive.
The family in question have been in isolation since before half term when another family member tested positive. We are sure that the child has not been in school since contracting the virus. Therefore we are reassured by the Department for Education that there is no further action needed at this time.
Obviously knowing that the virus is now very clearly in the town and community is uncomfortable, but it is probably inevitable. In school we have very robust systems to help reduce the chances of the virus spreading in school, but we cannot do anything about what happens outside the school gates.
Please ensure that you are vigilant for any symptoms of Covid-19 within your household, and follow rules of self-isolation if you are aware that you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. I also ask politely, again, that parents/carers respect social distancing on drop off and collection times. I have seen far too many people standing close and talking. If you find it impossible to stand two metres apart, I advise that you wear a mask.
If you are ever unsure about what you should or should not be doing, please feel free to contact us.
Hopefully, the new lockdown restrictions will have the desired effect and reduce the prevalence of the virus in our area enough to enable us to keep schools open and maybe have a Christmas celebration.
Take care, and look out for each other.
Update from Mr Alexander - 09/10/2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
Firstly, I hope that this email finds you well and sane; it seems an awful long time ago that I first wrote to you like this to inform you of measures I’d put in place as the very first cases of Covid-19 appeared on these shores in February. What a year it has been, and continues to be.
Covid-19 system review:
I said that I would be reviewing the systems and restrictions that I put in place from September for term 2, and now I am ready to do that.
Unfortunately, the country is clearly heading into a second peak of the virus with cases nationwide at more than 17,000 cases. Experts tell us that the number of infections is doubling every seven days, meaning that by the beginning of Term 2 we are likely to have 100,000+ cases a day nationwide. This is more than is thought to have been the case in April.
Therefore, now is not the time to reduce our restrictions. There will be no changes to systems and procedures for Term 2.
We have managed to maintain our standards of cleanliness and ‘bubble integrity’ throughout the term and are fully complying with the requirements. As I have said many times, I know that the restrictions make things more challenging for parents, as they do for our staff. I am sorry for making life more difficult. However, the only way to loosen up the restrictions, including opening after school childcare, would be to make our bubbles larger or mixed.
Although we haven’t had a positive test result for anyone in our community yet, it is important to know that it is still highly likely that we will. Many local schools have had to close bubbles for two weeks, with one having to close the entire school and another closing the entirety of Key Stage 1. If I increase bubble size, then there is a far greater chance of your child’s class being shut for at least two weeks. If I allow mixing, then there is a far greater chance of there being several cases in different bubbles, which will lead to a full school closure. I do not want that to happen to us and therefore will not compromise on our safety measures.
I know a number of you would like the childcare until 5.30pm facility we have provided in the past. Unfortunately this is impossible. I have thought and thought about how I can make this happen and if there is one thing I am good at it is system planning and problem solving. However, I cannot solve this issue without compromising one or more of our protective measures and for that I apologise. I take my responsibility to keep people safe very seriously, and lose sleep about getting things right for as many as possible.
Early Bird Club
There have been an average of 15 children a day using the service this term. As you’ll be aware, the service requires a much greater staffing ratio than the old breakfast club, due to the need to keep children in their bubbles. Over the past 4 weeks the service has cost the school £700, and is predicted to cost the school around £1200 by the end of the term. With budgets as tight as they are, I cannot keep subsidising this service. Therefore, the cost of Early Bird Club will rise to £8 a day from Term 2, which will reduce the burden on the schools finances and be closer to breaking even. We will not make a profit from this service, and if numbers increase over the term we will be able to reduce the cost again.
In more positive news, every year group is now set up for online learning should we need to close a bubble, or even if a child needs to isolate but is well. Just like we did during the school closure, each child has an email address (email@example.com – password battlelangton123). To access the online classroom, go to www.classroom.google.com and sign in with the above details. Your child should then see their Year group title on the page, which they can click to enter. Teachers will be putting up the resources used in class for each lesson taught each day. If the bubble ever had to close, the teacher would also record the lesson and upload a video as they did during the lockdown. If your child is off school because you need to isolate, they can access the work online during the day.
Learning loss during the school closure
Another really positive thing is that we have now completed the assessments of children in English and Maths, and although there are some rustiness in the handwriting department, actual learning loss is really minimal. Obviously some children have regressed more than others but the vast majority of children have actually made progress! I think this is a real testament to the support you provided children at home during the school closures, and you should be really proud of the way you adapted so quickly to the home schooling arrangements.
Thank you all once again for the support you have shown me and my staff during this incredibly challenging year. Only one more term until Mr Hughes returns and ruins everything takes back the reigns.
Take care of yourselves, and each other.
A few final notes for next week and PE information
School Meal Price increase
The price of a school meal has increased by 5p over the holidays to £2.10 per meal.
Year 3 – no longer entitled to Universal Free School Meals
Once pupils move to year 3 they no longer automatically qualify for free school meals. If you think you qualify for free school meals under the entitlement criteria, please go online at https://www.eastsussex.gov.uk/educationandlearning/schools/school-life/meals/free/ to make an application. You need to apply even if you already have an older child who is already in receipt of free meals.
PE - days when your child should come in to school wearing their PE kit
Early Bird Club
If you need to use the Early Bird Club please ensure you book in advance. Further details can be obtained by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Items to bring to school
Only essential items should be brought in to school, e.g. lunchbox, water-bottle, book bag, coat etc. If older children wish to bring a bag to carry lunch boxes, bottles etc they can – all junior children have a locker where they will be stored.
We are currently experiencing problems with Parentmail and are aware that your child may still be showing in their old class. East Sussex County Council’s IT team are working on this issue at the moment.
We are all looking forward to welcoming the children back into school next week.
Letter from Mr Alexander 28th August
Dear Parents and Carers,
I hope that you have all enjoyed the strangest summer ever known. I have had a few weeks at home with my family, relaxing in the garden and indulging in the excuse to not take my daughter to an overpriced adventure park because of the risk of infection.
The school is virtually ready for the imminent return of children, and we can’t wait to have them all back. Although things will be more difficult and strange for a while yet, we will do our best to ensure that the children are happy and settled in their bubbles as soon as possible.
Coming in on September 7th:
On the first day, as you arrive (at your allotted time), you will see some posts marking the lining up point along the path running up Market road. The posts will have the name of a class on it. When your child’s class is indicated, you go and line up there. There are yellow markings on the floor to help maintain some distances (particularly between parents). It is important that children don’t mix with the other classes. At your allotted time, the class teacher will appear at the small front gate and lead the children to the classroom (after a week or so, this will not be needed as the children will know where to go). KS1 parents can follow the path with their children and drop them at the classrooms, KS2 parents will need to remain outside the school gates.
Thank you to those of you that have already paid for your hat on ParentMail. We have purchased the hats and will give them to the children on the first day, even if you haven’t yet paid. After that, they will be a crucial part of the uniform. You will see the benefit when they come out of school in the afternoon, you’ll soon be spotting your child’s hat colour making their way to the gate, and you will know it is time to approach the gate. In the mornings, if you forget the hat, I will ask that you go home and get it. We will let the children in, but you will need to return with the hat ASAP. The hats are crucial to our ability to keep the children apart and reduce the risk of transmission.
You’ll remember that I said PE will be exclusively outside in the Autumn, as risk of transmission is lowered outside. Therefore we ask that children be provided with a tracksuit so they don’t get cold. Preferably it will be black, but if this is not possible initially, then another unbranded tracksuit will be ok. We also recommend black trainers rather than plimsolls as the ground will not always be dry.
In order to ease the logistics of children getting changed, we will ask that you send your children into school in their PE kits, on the day they have PE. They can stay in the kit all day. We will send out information on PE times next week.
I hope that is all as clear as it can be! I know this is going to be challenging for all of us, and I feel bad for making your lives even more difficult. Hopefully we will see the benefit and there won’t be a spike of Covid-19 in our community, which would lead to the full closure of everything again.
Enjoy the last few days of having your children at home. I look forward to seeing your smiling faces as you skip off, free from little people, on Monday 7th of September.
Until then, take care of yourselves.
September 2020 Information
Please see below, Parent Information Booklets, giving details for when the children return to school on September 7th.