This is to inform you COVID-19 Headquarters announced that we will reopen school to resume offline education from Tuesday the 6th of October for grade 2-6, in addition to grades 0 and 1. Although we did not receive the official letter from the ministry of education, yet we are getting ready to prepare for offline education taking all the necessary precautions to the pandemic situation.
Each class would become their own ‘bubble’ with the same children and staff staying in the same room. We will have staggered start and finish times and different arrangements for lunchtimes and playtimes. We also need to be prepared to change our plans at short notice, as we can see from the news today about the possibility of going back into a stricter lockdown and schools closing, this is an ever-changing situation so we do need to be prepared for different scenarios.
- All the children will be kept in contained pods, where they come into contact with as few adults and other children as possible.
- The children would not be able to interact with any adult or child outside their contained group.
- As our corridor is not 2m in width we will have to employ stringent restrictions regarding moving around school.
- They will eat morning snacks in their designated classroom and each pod will have staggered lunch time.
- They will play only with the children in their group, but they will not be able to use the play equipment they are used to.
- Their time on the playground will be timetabled.
- The youngest children will no longer be able to access their play-based curriculum, so it would be a completely alien experience.
- Each student must bring his own study material, drinking bottles etc. as sharing will not be permitted.
- A packet of disposable face masks of 10 pieces must be an essential item of each school bag.
- There is an expectation that fresh – washed clothes or uniforms are worn each day therefore, uniforms are not compulsory.
- Strict hand washing and cleanliness protocols will be in place.
Details about the daily schedule and staggered arrival time will be sent by the respective coordinators at the weekend.
We would have to change the way we currently operate with our key workers and vulnerable children, mirroring the stringent procedures in place for other classes as footfall in school increases. We would robustly encourage everyone on site to maintain secure social distancing, however even the oldest child in our school is still very young in real terms.
Please be under no illusion, social distancing in all schools, including ours, will be practically impossible to achieve. During the phased re-opening of school we plan to continue to provide learning at home; our plan is that the work in school will be the same as what is on offer at home. The government has made clear that the decision on whether or not to send your child to school is totally yours therefore we understand the families who choose not to send their children to school during the phased re-opening.
We are very lucky at Cambridge school SRIS to have a caring and supportive community; I understand that many of you want your children to return to school in order for them to have some normality. There is nothing that the staff and I want more to have our happy, vibrant school back together. However, we are not at the end of this crisis, and thus I would be remiss in my overarching responsibility to our children, parents, my team and our wider community if I did not carefully consider every single issue and option in order to safely admit children back into school.
All through this time I have lived by a simple idea – where lives are at stake, there is no such thing as being too cautious. I care too much about all of you and your children to take my responsibilities lightly. I hope you understand this. Best wishes to all of you.
At Cambridge school SRIS, we have a child-centered approach and look forward to when we can welcome all the children back to school safely.
If any parents are struggling with the current situation and need any extra support, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
I hope all our families are safe and well.