School during the COVID-19 pandemic
We have so enjoyed welcoming the children back to Thorogate School: new and old. It has been amazing how quickly everyone has settled back into the new routines.
Handwashing, which is so important to good hygiene, seems to dominate. It takes time to wash so many hands but we are getting both better and quicker at doing this.
This website will be updated on a regular basis and we recommend that you return to see what has changed.
We will be ensuring that everything is as safe as possible and we want you to feel confident that this is the case.
Together, pupils, parents and staff, we are #TeamThorogate.
Children who display any COVID symptoms (temperature or persistent cough or reduced taste) should not be brought to school.
If a member of their household is unwell, please keep them off school until you are sure this is not COVID related.
There are currently many ways that 'the lockdown' is being relaxed, please stay alert!
These are symptoms a child will have that indicate that they may have COVID-19.
Seasonal colds are upon us and it can be worrying.
If they are unwell, keep them off school and monitor.
Only if they display the specific COVID symptoms do they need to have a test. Please keep school informed.
The ‘Hands. Face. Space’ public information campaign urges the public to continue to wash their hands, cover their face and make space to control infection rates and avoid a second peak.
What time do we start and finish?
Start of the day
There is no breakfast club as it would mix pupils from different classes.
08:30 - class doors open.
09:00 - class doors close (late arrivals please use main school door).
Pick up time:
15:00 - FS2
15:10 - Y1 & Y2
15:15 - Y3 & Y4
15:20 - Y5 & Y6
The aim of staggered pick up times is to reduce the crowding on the school yard, making social distancing easier for everyone. This is a temporary measure and will be amended back to normal (15:20 for everyone) as soon as it is appropriate.
Where parents have siblings in more than one class, we will work with you to minimise waiting time e.g. letting the older sibling out first or early - we really are not trying to make you stand in the rain longer than needed!
Please remember all parents and carers should wear a face covering on the school yard when dropping off or picking up.
What is the routine for entering the school yard?
Please would you:
Walk to school if possible. If that is not possible, park well away from school (not just opposite school please). Ensure your child maintains social distancing.
Cross the road with the Lollipop Lady.
Ony have one adult per family group (siblings and prams welcome). Please limit the amount of time on the school yard.
- All parents and carers must wear a facecovering on the school yard (pick up and drop off times).
Use the one way system at the school gate.
Maintain social distancing on the school yard.
Take home any face coverings your child may be wearing.
Wait for your child's teacher to welcome your child into class (unfortunately parents will not be able to come into school).
Do the pupils wear uniform and need a PE kit?
Pupils should wear a school uniform as usual.
Pupils should bring a PE kit which they will change into on PE days.
What happens if my child needs First Aid or is unwell?
We are here to look after your children as well as teach them!
If your child requires it, we will comfort your child and apply First Aid - but we will make every effort to maintain social distancing where possible.
Where a pupil needs more serious First Aid (such as a cut) or is displaying COVID like symtoms (temperature, cough), the First Aider may wear PPE.
If a pupil displays COVID like symptoms, we will ask parents to collect them. We are not medics and may need to err on the side of caution.
What is different in school?
We will minimise the contact between classes. This will include:
There are new routines that the pupils will need to get used to. Handwashing, no contact games, social distancing. We will need all pupils to help us with this. Where individual pupils struggle with this, we will need parents to support us.
There will be no breakfast club (this will be reviewed on an ongoing basis).
There will be no whole school assemblies.
Staggered playtimes, where children will not be able to mix with other classes. They will have to play in specific zones.
Staggered lunch time, to minimise the contact with other classes.
Packed lunches will be eaten in the classrooms.
Classrooms will have tables facing the front to reduce face to face talking. This will be adjusted during the school day to enable specific activities.
Mr Bedford will teach PE outside with all year groups, keeping a 2 metre distance. If the weather is inclement, class teachers will teach PE indoors.
How will my child catch up with their learning?
To start with, we need to get them back into the routine of learning. We will be trying to address any anxieties, focus on well-being activities and ensuring they understand new routines.
During the first three weeks we will be reviewing previous learning, reminding pupils what had previously been second nature for them. Maths, reading and writing will be central to this, but so will other areas of the curriculum.
After three weeks the pupils will be taking formal assessments, which will allow us to baseline where they are at. These will be shared with parents. This will also inform us what areas we need to focus on.
You may have heard announcements about a 'catch up program'. We are still waiting for details to be announced on this.
We will need your help in supporting your children in 'catching up'. Plenty of sleep and being school-ready will be important, as well as home reading and other home activities. Together we will make it work for your child.
What can you do now?
Read with your child, read to your child, encourage your child to read independently, discuss what is being read.
If your child is currently in Y3, Y4, Y5 and Y6, they can access Bedrock and ReadTheory. Little and often is our tip. It really does help with their reading comprehension and vocabulary development. Even better, do it with them! We can always tell those children who has been doing some of these activities over the summer.
Do some number games. Knowing your number bonds (which numbers add up to X) and practising how to work it out is essential. How well do they know their number bonds to 20? Adding and subtracting. Times tables challenges (parents can be challenged too!). Make it fun, not a chore.
Y1 and Y2 have access to Numbots (this is quite new).
Y2, Y3, Y4, Y5 have access to TT Rockstars for times tables (wow the children become so fast at this!).
Y5 & Y6 have access to IXL maths.
Why is there no breakfast club or after school childcare?
We are aware that for some parents not having a breakfast club or after school childcare will cause stresses.
The government guidance says breakfast clubs can resume - but they also ask us not to mix pupils between classes.
We are trying to stay as close as possible to the guidance not to mix classes, so we have decided to start the term with no breakfast club. This will be reviewed.
The after school childcare providers who pick up children from our school are also struggling to meet the guidance. At this point in time, they are unable to confirm if they are going to be operational in September.
School cannot set up their own after school childcare as it would again result in classes being mixed.
Parent Questionnaire - feedback
Thank you very much to all the parents that completed the questionnaire to give us feedback about how we supported our pupils and your anxieties for the months ahead.
Overwhelmingly the feedback was positive and we are very pleased you feel that way. A small number of respondents did not feel as if we supported their children well and we will reflect on the feedback that was given.
Below is a summary of the outcomes.