Please follow the link below to find out what the new lockdown rules in Flintshire mean for us as a school and for the wider community.
Just a few messages as we come to the end of our third week back.
Many thanks to you for observing the social distancing rules when dropping off and picking up. And thanks also for your vigilance with any colds your children have. We appreciate you understanding our need to be extra cautious about what the tickly cough your child has might be.
Can I politely remind you that the children will need their coats with them everyday and as the weather gets colder it might be as well thinking about making sure the children are dressed in layer and have appropriate leg coverings to ensure that they stay warm in class (remember doors and windows are to be kept open as much as possible to allow for good ventilation in the classes).
Please remember to dress you child appropriately for PE and Forest Schools (if your child is attending this half term). If you are unsure about the days for PE, please contact your class teacher by email.
On the subject of emailing staff, can I please remind you not to expect a reply from staff, to emails sent at the weekend and in the evenings? Staff will reply at their earliest convenience within school hours. Please do not become frustrated if staff members do not reply. If you need an instant response please contact me via Twitter DM or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Dates for your diary
20th October Flu immunisations - please return your form by next Friday at the latest
21st October Virtual Harvest - Video will be available of our celebrations more details to follow. Donations of tinned and dried goods can be made on the day and will be donated to local food banks.
22nd October Autumn reports will be emailed to parents in lieu of a Parents' Evening
23rd October Break up for the half term
HabWell we are at the end of our second week back and this is beginning to feel normal. We just have a few things to share with you as we move forward.
Drop off times – From 21st September we will not have specified times for each year group coming in. We have all our systems in place in class now to ensure the children have clean hands once they arrive in class and we can now be more flexible. We will open the gate into school at 8.45 and we will remain open until 9.05. We would ask that you come within that time frame but are mindful of dropping and going (not standing and chatting) and that we don’t have everybody arrive all at once. If this happens, we will have to revert to time slots.
Picking Up – This remains our biggest problem as parents are hanging around in the waiting area as they wait to pick up more than 1 child. Can I ask that you avoid gathering in groups, that you observe social distancing and that you leave the premises as soon as you have all the children you are picking up. From Monday we will come out of class at the following times Rec 2.55, Year1/2 3.00, year 3 /4 3.05, year 5/6 3.10. Please use Gaynor at the crossing rather than crossing directly from the school gates to set a good example for those children who are not accompanied by adults.
Reading – As you will have seen from our email earlier this week, we are adopting an online reding scheme so that we can limit the number of physical books that are sent to and from home and so limit the risks of cross contamination or the need for quarantining books. Please make sure you have completed the questionnaire so that we can get the home school reading system up and running as soon as possible. If you have not received the email with this link please email your child’s teacher directly so that it can be sent to you.
Bringing items into school – Just a reminder that ‘less is more’ please do not bring anything in other that lunch/snack/water and a coat. We are finding some children are bringing a bag to carry a lunch bag!
Lunches – Please check your child can open their own food packaging to minimise that number of things staff need to handle during the day.
Contact with staff – It has been really difficult, for us, limiting the interaction between staff and parents at the school gate but we appreciate the space you have given us when needing to talk. Staff are available on Twitter and by email. I would just like to add a little reminder to this that staff are entitled to a weekend away from work and to have a cutoff point at the end of the working day too. So please do not get frustrated if staff do not respond to a message you send after 5pm at night or at the weekend. Most people are understanding that they won't get an immediate answer to questions asked outside work hours and are happy to wait, but occasionally we do get parents who are unhappy they have not been responded to. If you need something after work hours and it requires an urgent response from us contact me via dm on Twitter or through the email rather than the staff member please.
For your information here are the email and twitter addresses for each class
email@example.com Ysgol Maesglas@ysgolmaesglas
firstname.lastname@example.org YMG NurseryClass@mrshiller2
email@example.com Dosbarth Onnen @WhughesMlloyd
firstname.lastname@example.org Dosbarth FfawyddY1/2 CP @mrscpearce
email@example.com Dosbarth Bedw @MissKJonesYMG
firstname.lastname@example.org Dosbarth Helyg Blywyddyn 3&4 @MissWilliamsYMG
email@example.com Dosbarth Masarn @mrsroberts1
firstname.lastname@example.org Dosbarth Gwern Blwyddyn 5/6 @mrwoodcock13
email@example.com Dosbarth Llwyfen – Ysgol Maesglas @mroldfieldymg
firstname.lastname@example.org Dosbarth Ywen @class912
Have a good weekend all
The hardest question we have had to deal with in the past two weeks has been to do with children who are unwell. Parents are phoning and saying 'Well they are a bit hot and they have a runny nose and a cough, but it is probably just...Can they still come in?'
We are in an impossible situation here as you can imagine. It IS probably just...but unfortunately without a test coming back negative for Covid-19, we will not know that it wasn't anything worse.
The guidelines we have are to send home any child with a temperature, a persistent, continuous cough or who is reporting a change to taste and smell. Unfortunately by the time they have come in it may already be too late for the wider school community.
The situation has been made worse for you, and us, by documents and flow charts circulating on social media that have not come from Public Health Wales and also by media reports of difficulties obtaining tests. Our understanding however, is that tests are available, but you might have to persevere more than usual to get one.
I thank those of you who have are taking the cautious approach and I can only apologise if we seem hyper vigilant or difficult. As the normal cold and flu season kicks in we will find ourselves in this situation over and over again but it is worth checking as 'It is probably just...' could have severe consequences if it isn't 'just...' Please help us to keep the whole of our school and village community safe by not bringing your child into school if they have a persistent, continuous cough and or a temperature and or a loss/change to taste or smell (however mild the symptoms may be) and instead follow the advice on Wales.gov regarding testing and isolation for your household.
Many thanks for your cooperation with this and your patience and understanding as we all try to keep the children safe.
The one way system we have in place continues to work well but there are still a few issues!
When dropping off please arrive at the correct time.
Our systems in class are now in place so if you have more than one child you can drop them both off at the same time (earlier or later, whichever is more convenient for you).
Please maintain your distance from other families when you are moving through the one way system and please do not block the walkway by chatting in groups or waiting to see your child cross the yard.
After school, please watch for you child's class teacher and be ready to receive your child and leave immediately if you are not collecting another child. Please do not gather together in large groups (even if you have formed a bubble with other families) as this is stopping other parents moving through the system efficiently and safely and is preventing others from keeping a 2m distance.
Thank you for your cooperation
Thanks to all for your support as we reopen. One of the themes that keeps coming up in conversation with parents is what to do if your child is ill.
We have to contact you to collect your child if they develop a fever, a continuous cough or report a change to their ability to taste or smell. You then need to follow the current rules regarding testing and isolation for your self and your family.
If you child develops the above symptoms at home, please do not send them into school as we will just have to ask you to collect them. We appreciate, at this time of year, children often get minor colds and we know it is difficult to make a decision but for the sake of the whole school community we ask you to be more cautious than you might normally be and seek medical advice, as necessary, if your child develops a temperature, cough or changes to taste/smell, rather than sending them straight in.
We appreciate your cooperation
As we prepare to open and have all our practical questions answered and situations prepared for there is another very important message we need to share...In all cases we would ask you to share the information with us as soon as possible so that we can keep or records up to date and can engage with the government Track and Trace procedures to keep the whole school and wider community safe..
If your child is ill
If your child develops symptoms of Covid-19, please do not send them into school. Follow Welsh Government advice regarding testing and self isolation for your child and the rest of your household. Up to date information can be found at gov.wales
If you have symptoms of Covid-19 please do not bring your child to school but follow the current advice regarding isolation and testing.
If your child becomes ill in school
If your child develops a continuous cough and/or a fever and/or complains about changes in their ability to taste and or smell while they are in school, we will contact you immediately and ask you to collect your child and follow the government advice regarding testing and isolation. We would ask you do not return the child to school until you have been advised it is safe to do so. While we are waiting for you, or someone you have arranged, to collect your child they will be looked after in our isolation room.
Self Isolation following travel abroad
Some of you may well have been lucky enough to have been able to fly to somewhere sunny for the summer, but unlucky enough to have fallen within the 'quarantine' period that is recommended for those returning from travel. If this is the case, please let us know what date your child will be free to return to school.
It is going to be a very difficult time as we all come back together and we hope you will understand our need for vigilance with ANY of the symptoms. Any calls we make and advice we give will be based on our need to be very cautious and protect the whole school community as best we can.
Arrival at school
All children, other than those arriving at before school provision, are to arrive and enter through the top double gates at the appointed time. Please be prompt as we have a very tight schedule to get pupils in safely and not too many at a time. Adults are not allowed on to the yard and must leave their child at the double gates that lead from the carpark onto the yard. Adults must then leave via the middle double gates from the car park. Adults are encouraged to social distance both outside the school gates and when on school premises. Children will be met by a member of staff from their class and will be sent into class through the external door into class. They will then wash their hands and store their coats and lunch bag in class. Reception children will enter the building through the nursery doors for the next few weeks and we ask that parents wait with their child in the fenced area and at a distance from other parents and children.
Children will eat their lunch in class with the classroom staff. If you choose for your child to have a school packed lunch or hot meal, that will be brought to your child in fully disposable packaging with disposable utensils. It will be taken to class by a member of the classroom staff, observing hygiene requirements. Children will wash their hands before and after eating. The room they have eaten in will be cleaned once they have finished. If your child is having a drink other than water with their lunch that will need to be kept in their lunch bag and they will need water for all other times.
The children will have shorter and more frequent breaks to allow for cleaning of the classrooms and equipment during the school day. Please provide healthy snack of fruit/vegetables only.
Children do not need to bring anything into school other than their lunch snack and a water bottle, with their name on it. They will need to bring a coat at all times as we will need to leave the class to ensure that it can be cleaned throughout the day, even if the weather is not good! Doors and windows will be open in class even on cold days so please make sure they have suitable layers on (for example vest, tee shirt and jumper). Please do not allow your child to bring any items from home such as games or items to show the class. We are advised to keep transit of items between home and school to an absolute minimum.
Next week we will send out a questionnaire regarding your ability to access books online. We will then make our online reading scheme books available to all those who are able to use them. This will mean that we can use our hard copy reading books to be sent home to those who have no access and we can then clean and quarantine these books on return safely for the smaller number of those who need them. Books will be sent home in plastic wallets rather than book bags to allow us to clean and quarantine items that have to come into school from home.
PE will start as part of our teaching from Year 1-6 in the week beginning 21st September. All PE sessions will be outside as the hall cannot be used and cleaned for the next group as would be necessary. You will be advised of your PE days by the class teacher in due course. On PE days we would like you to send your child into school in suitable kit (leggings or jogging bottoms, T-Shirt and Jumper and suitable PE trainers or pumps). This will mean that changing rooms will not need to be accessed and cleaned between use. Reception class and Nursery will take part in outdoor PE activities during the course of the week and at this stage of the term will not need to change or have PE kit in order to do their lessons.
We would like pupils to wear their uniform as we come back into school and get some normality back. However, it is more important that clothes coming into school are fresh. If this means that a child does not wear full uniform every day because you are waiting for uniform to dry then that will be no problem. We would advise against pupils wearing watches and jewelry that might hamper correct hand washing. We also suggest hair is kept tied back if it is long.
Before school provision
Breakfast club, as was, is not permissible under the new guidelines which require us to keep class groups separate from each other. We are not able to supervise children in their class bubbles from 8.10 as we do not have the staff capacity. Children should only attend our before school provision if they need a breakfast or parents need children to be looked after prior to normal school hours. Children must be registered for this provision and cannot turn up on the day. Children will enter via the double doors by the kitchen and parents must observe distancing when they are dropped off. Children will be sent to allocated class zones within the hall and must wait at the table at that location until they can be taken to class via the external doors once classes are open. As there are no handwashing facilities in the hall, children will use a hand sanitizer on entry and exit. Children will not have access to play equipment at this time but children’s programmes will be on the big screen.
Please do not send payment for anything in with your child. Payments can be made through the School Gateway app online. If you need to pay for something with cash please see the school office either before or after school.
Contact with staff
We are eager to maintain close contact with parents, however dur to the current situation we are unable to do that as we have previously done. You will be provided with email addresses for your child’s teacher and they can be reached during normal working hours. We can then make arrangements for an appointment for a face to face meeting if that is appropriate. Alternatively, you can contact me at email@example.com or call the office.
Mr Cass, Headteacher