Reopening of St. Gabriel’s


Dear Parent/Carer,

Thank you for your patience in awaiting our plans for the reopening of school to all pupils. Following the guidance shared last week by the Welsh Minister for Education Kirsty Williams regarding national plans for the return of children to schools in Wales, we are now in a position to share with parents our plans for offering children the opportunity to attend school to ‘Check-in, Catch-up and Prepare for September’.

The Education Minister instructed that schools must plan to have no more than one-third of children in school at any given time in order to conform to social distancing guidelines. Therefore, each pupil will be able to attend school on one day a week, and all pupils will be in small groups, in their own class, with their own class teacher where possible. We have allocated places for pupils with siblings in school on the same days to help families with childcare arrangements. Please note that the arrangements for the last week of term, week commencing Monday 20th July have yet to be confirmed, and will be outlined at a later date.

Each group of pupils will contain no more than 8 pupils in order to address the need for social distancing. Each pupil will be given a specific table and a wallet in which to keep all of the resources they will need. These resources will be used by the named child only, and will stored until the following week.

Plans to support the safety of staff and pupils:
• Small group teaching in one classroom per group.
• Siblings will be in on the same day (unless parents request otherwise.)
• 2 metre social distancing as far as possible in all areas of the school.
• Regular hand washing; including when changing activities and before and after accessing outside areas.
• Staggered arrival and leaving times.
• Reduced contact with large numbers of pupils.
• No bringing in of equipment, pencil cases, etc.
(Children will only be allowed to bring a lunch box and drinks bottle – no other bags.)
• Extensive use of outdoor learning and good ventilation.
• Increased cleaning of equipment and focused cleaning.
• All pupils to bring packed lunches. Lunch to be eaten in classrooms or outside.
• Uniform is optional as we understand that your children will have grown a lot over the past three months, and as the pupils will be spending time outdoors we recommend that they wear trainers.

In order to reduce risk to all who are accessing the school site we will arrange for parents to drop off and pick up children at different times in the morning and afternoon. We would ask that parents / carers stick to these allocated points each time they pick up and drop off during these 4 weeks, observing social distancing at all times. Children will be collected and taken to these pick up points at the beginning and end of session by school staff at their allocated time slot.

Parents will not be able to access school or approach entry or exit points to the building at any time. Any parent who wishes to speak to school staff with an urgent matter will need to ring the school office and we will arrange for that parent to be called back as soon as possible. We also ask that you don’t turn up for drop-off and collection too early as to minimise the number of parents waiting outside.

A designated space will be allocated for any child or member of staff to be isolated should anybody show symptoms related to COVID 19. We will contact a relative to make arrangements to collect any child showing symptoms and refer to medical practitioners for advice. Please ensure we have your up-to-date contact details.

The Education Minister stated that those families that do not wish to send their child back to school will not be fined or penalised in any way. Children who are shielding should not return to school. Please note that home learning will continue throughout this time, and your child’s class teacher will still be in contact with them and providing them feedback on their work.

It is important for you as parents to remember that we can only minimise the risks to your child, we will do our very best to make sure that social distancing rules are adhered to but, inevitably there could be times when your child is less than 2 metres from another child or staff member. Please also be assured that your child will not be told off if they forget and come close to staff or children, they will be gently reminded. Also, please be assured that teachers are confident that school, even with social distancing, can be made a fun and rewarding experience, and the activities undertaken will build on their home learning menus. It is important to state that your children’s well-being during their time in school will be our central focus.

We are extremely sorry that we cannot cater for more pupils more often, however I am sure that you will understand that we are doing everything possible to manage risk for all those accessing school, as well as following national guidelines on the reopening of schools. We will continue to set work for on-going home learning to support pupils when they do not have the opportunity to access school itself.

We will be sending you a text telling you what day your child will be in school and what times they will need to be dropped off and collected, and will send out further information later in the week regarding the exact nature of the measures we will be taking to ensure your child’s experience of school is as safe and rewarding as possible.

Thank you, best wishes and take care of yourself and your family.

Mr J. Llewellyn
Interim Headteacher

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