Learning For Life
Our return to school date for the children is Friday 4th September 2020.
No. We have temporarily suspended our school uniform rules (and will review them towards the end of the Christmas term) as we recognise that washing and drying school uniform is harder in the Autumn and Winter. We require all pupils to wear a completely new, clean outfit each day. This outfit should be appropriate for wearing to school, not be too short, too tight or contain any rude slogans. Pupils wearing designer clothing do so at their own risk, we will be running Art/Food Tech/Forest School etc and they will be expected to participate in these.
However, we recognise that a lot of our pupils will want and will need to continue to wear school uniform for their own well-being. It is what they expect to do when they come to school. This is fine as well provided it is a completely new and clean outfit each day.
Your child should wear shoes which are appropriate for school use. They should be flat and ideally closed toe.
On PE days your child will need to wear PE kit to school. This should be their school PE kit provided there are enough days between each PE session for you to wash their clothes. If not, sporty own clothes will be fine until Christmas. We will not be using school changing rooms or showers for PE lessons for the time being.
Your child will need to bring a pencil case with them. Their pencil case will need writing pencils and for our children who use pen, handwriting pens (KS4 may bring biros), colouring pencils, a glue stick, a rubber, a 30cm ruler, a 15 cm ruler and for children in year 6 and above a protractor. Please do not send in pencil sharpeners, scissors or compasses (any bladed items) - we will give these out as needed and disinfect after use.
All children will need a water bottle with them each day.
For the immediate future, all children who are not in receipt of Free School Meals will need to bring a packed lunch with them.
Our kitchens will be opening in a limited capacity and we will only be serving school meals to children who are in receipt of Free School Meals. All other children (and staff) will need to bring a packed lunch with them. All meals will be eaten in classrooms for the immediate future.
The guidance from the Government is that school is a safe place to be and that all children should return to school for September. We will continue to work with families where this is going to be a problem but expect to see all of our pupils back.
If your child or anyone in the family displays COVID-19 symptoms, they will need to self isolate for 14 days or until they have a negative test result. If your child displays symptoms whilst in school we will ask you to come and collect them, they will be kept in isolation within school until you do. Please do not believe what you have seen on Social Media - no school would take your child directly to a testing centre or refuse to tell you where they were!
We will be running staggered start and finishing times. Children will be arriving on school transport between 9 and 9:30 and will be leaving between 2:30 and 3, we are working with the taxi firm to ensure the children who are first in are the first out so that the children who are last in get the full amount of time possible in school.
Children who are being dropped off by parents should be dropped off between 9:15 and 9:30 at the main school reception. They should be picked up between 2:30 and 2:45 at the same place. Between 9 and 9:30 and 2:30-3, all children will be working on their EHCP targets in personalised learning provision.
We have reviewed our behaviour policy for September onwards. This was not directly part of COVID-19, we were always scheduled to do this, but we have been mindful of it whilst writing the policy. Any child who may display challenging behaviours which would be risky during this pandemic have an individualised risk assessment. A copy of our behaviour policy can be found here. This is awaiting ratification from the Local Governing Body.
The advice from the Government is that face coverings do not need to be worn in school settings. However, we recognise that some of our children - and indeed, some of our staff, may feel more comfortable wearing one. Our view is pragmatic, if attendance at school is the difference between being able to wear a face mask or not, children (and staff) are more than welcome to wear one if they want. We will not be enforcing it across the school however unless it becomes Government policy.
If children do wear a face mask, they will need to be able to take it off and put it on independently and will need a small bag to keep it in if they change their mind during the day.
Our school transport provider has a list of all our school bubbles. Where possible, children will be coming into school in these bubbles. However, this will not be possible in all cases - for example, where siblings are in different classes but would travel in on the same transport. The number of children coming in on each minibus has been reduced to allow for social distancing. All drivers and passenger escort assistants will be wearing PPE, we would encourage children who are older than 11 to wear masks if possible.
Our school risk assessment can be found below.
Swimming is postponed for now but we await further guidance from Colchester Leisure World on this. Once they reinstate their swimming lessons we will look to book in and reinstate as soon as possible.
Horse Riding is likely to be postponed indefinitely but we are hopeful that it will return at some point in the future - but this may not be until 2021-22.
Other trips will be risk assessed on a trip by trip basis. It is unlikely that we will take a whole class on a life skills trip to the supermarket for the time being but we may take individual students as part of their EHCP provision. Forest School/Beach school trips are very likely to be going ahead.
At the moment, we are unsure. The Department for Education are conducting consultation exercises regarding the content of exams for 2021 and we hope to have some guidance to share soon.
Transition Days were very different this year and it is understandable that a lot of you (and your children) are anxious about starting with us. We are starting on a Friday deliberately to allow them a taster day before we start properly the following week. Our teachers will be on hand to offer lots of reassurance and will make this transition period as easy as possible. For children who are joining in year 7 or above, they don't need to worry about having lots of different teachers to start with. 99% of our classes will only have their form tutor and LSA teams for all lessons until December.
September is going to be different for all of us this year. We have a lot of staff who haven't set foot in school for this time either because they have been shielding. We always refer to ourselves as a Market Field family. Families look out for each other and support each other, we will all support each other more than ever for the first few weeks. We will have expectations around behaviour/effort etc but we will also be understanding that things are very different for everyone.