NEW ARRANGEMENTS TO IMPROVE BEGINNING AND END OF DAY ARRANGEMENTS
Thank you to everyone for helping us to make drop off and pick up times run smoothly. We feel things are improving but we're still experiencing some issues at the end of the day.
Please remember not to talk to staff. We know this seems unfriendly but we they are busy ensuring children arrive and leave safely. If you have concerns (or complaints), please come round to the office.
We're going to try putting in place the following measures to help - we need to develop a routine that's sustainable and keeps everyone safe.
I know all of this sounds autocratic and contrary to our usual culture, but these are unusual times and the safety of children, staff and parents has to be our first priority. Together we can make this work whilst also keeping everyone safe. This is a great opportunity to model to children how we work together and respect others during difficult times.
If children are absent because they are ill, we do not expect them to do any work.
In the event of a child self-isolating with mild COVID symptoms, or awaiting a COVID test result (Code X) we will be providing them with home learning.
Each week, on your child’s home learning page, a grid of activities will be published.
· These include one of the main activities from the lessons being done in your child’s class in school.
· It is presented as a timetable to help your child to organise their own learning each day. They have a blue Home Learning book to use to record their work when necessary, but some of the work will be done online.
· There will be a communication and logical activity each day along with activities from other subjects.
· There will also be a range of ongoing activities that can be done at any time.
· If your child has to be at home for two weeks, the teacher will give them a call at the beginning of the second week to introduce the week’s activities and check they are coping with the work.
You can email the teacher at any time on firstname.lastname@example.org putting the teacher’s name as the subject. (Don’t forget to put your child’s name at the beginning of the email.) Older children should be able to do this themselves. You may want to send a photo or scan of the child’s work if you feel they need some feedback on this.
The work on the home learning page is closely linked to the lessons going on in the classroom so your child should not fall behind. When they return to school, someone will spend some time checking their learning and providing support with anything they haven’t understood.
A few parents have asked why children are not being kept 1 - 2m apart in the classroom. This is simply not possible with 30 children in a class. We have followed the guidance https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/actions-for-schools-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak/guidance-for-full-opening-schools#section-3-curriculum-behaviour-and-pastoral-support (below) and where possible, desks have been rearranged to reduce face to face contact. The evidence is clear that the risks are higher for staff than they are for children.
b. Measures within the classroom
Maintaining a distance between people whilst inside and reducing the amount of time they are in face to face contact lowers the risk of transmission. Ideally, adults should maintain 2 metre distance from each other, and from children.
For children old enough, they should also be supported to maintain distance and not touch staff and their peers where possible. This will not be possible for the youngest children and it is not feasible in some schools where space does not allow. Schools doing this where they can, and even doing this some of the time, will help.
When staff or children cannot maintain distancing, particularly with younger children in primary schools, the risk can also be reduced by keeping pupils in the smaller, class-sized groups.
Schools should make small adaptations to the classroom to support distancing where possible. That should include seating pupils side by side and facing forwards, rather than face to face or side on, and might include moving unnecessary furniture out of classrooms to make more space
is running as usual. Children remain in separate areas in their bubbles until they go to class.
Home Learning update
We are currently reviewing and improving our curriculum provision to make sure it meets the individual needs of children returning from lockdown and is flexible enough to incorporate home learning when it is needed - by individuals or groups. Any system we put in place needs to be sustainable and manageable so we want to get it right.
In order to provide consistency, we will not be doing 'homework' in the old way. Instead, there will be a continuation between school and home learning. We will be using the home learning pages for this.
We know some children are in quarantine at the moment and need work to do at home. We will provide information on how children can do home learning shortly. We will also be sharing the topics for the coming year.
Our priority has been to ensure provision in school meets the widely varying needs of returning children. However, we will ensure home learning provision is in place as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience.
t has been an absolute joy to have the children back in school Their smiling faces have made everything worthwhile.
We are still working hard to establish workable systems and routines but we are confident we will be settled by the end of next week – when many schools will only just be returning.
THANK YOU to the vast majority of parents who have been patient, supportive and constructive in their feedback, Your concerns and feedback are really useful and we are taking everything you say into consideration as we improve our systems.
This morning I wasn’t on the playground. I spent the morning liaising with the highways department about the unexpected roadworks outside the school – more on that later!
When I returned, I was made aware of a number of instances where parents had shouted at or been abusive to members of staff when they had advised them to social distance or observe the one way system.
I know the majority of parents will agree with me that this is completely unacceptable.
1. The staff were acting in the interests of the safety of you and your children
2. They are entitled to carry out their jobs without being shouted at or abused.
3. Children were watching – this is not the role model for behaviour we want our children to learn from.
4. We have a no shouting policy across the school. This is part of our Christian ethos of mutual respect and our children learn from this. It applies to parents too.
These are difficult times for everyone and I appreciate that the extra walk may be inconvenient. I know some parents have inadvertently gone the wrong way or had issues with collecting multiple children – we understand that and will work with you.
However, our rules are there to keep you and your children safe and if parents deliberately ignore them, I can and will exclude them from premises – for the sake of the children's safety and because our staff do not need to be exposed to such behaviour when they are working so hard to keep your children safe.
Many parents have made constructive suggestions about how we can stay safe. I will post separately about how we will improve our systems.
But rest assured that ANY parents being abusive towards staff, especially in front of children, will not be allowed into the school grounds.
Now, more than ever, we need to work together as a community to ensure our children are safe.
Let me finish as I started. I am so grateful to the vast majority of parents who have abided by our guidelines and tried their best to support us, even when this has been difficult for them. As a result, the children have had a really positive return to school and we are so happy to have them back. Things will get easier and we are always here to listen to your concerns.
Again, a massive thank you to parents for your support and co-operation. This helped things to run smoothly today despite the challenges.
As with all things COVID, we are learning as we go. For instance, we have learned from today’s staggered lunch and will improe the way we do things tomorrow, so please bear with us when your child tells you lunchtime was a little hurried or late. We will get it right.
There are a few issues arising which you can help with.
Again, we are constantly reviewing and today wasn’t helped by rain.
There are a few things we think we can improve on though:
But on the whole, this is mainly tweaking. Your good humour and positive attitude has helped us immensely and has given children a clear message that they are safe in school.
For the next few days, Fiona Brooks (the deputy) and myself will be out on the playground in the mornings so feel free to come and ask any questions, however trivial. Or email me if that’s easier on email@example.com. We are finding it is the little things that are causing the most confusion – everyone seems fine with the bigger issues. You can also email teachers via firstname.lastname@example.org with the teacher’s name in the subject line.
I will be doing a separate post about how we are managing social distancing in school as some parents understandably had concerns about this.
We are SO glad to have the children back in school and its been a delight to see how happy they are to be here and to be with their friends and teachers again. It has been hard work to get everything in place, but their smiles and eagerness to get back to their lessons make it all worthwhile. Things will be a bit different this year – but they will be all right. We will work out a new normal and your children will soon settle back into their school and feel at home again. Please be reassured, we take very seriously the trust you place in us and their safety, happiness and well being is our priority.
The new term begins . .
We will be welcoming everybody (except new F1 children) back to school tomorrow at the normal start time of 8.45 – 8.55am.
NO FACE MASKS PLEASE. (Young children are unable to use these safely).
NO book bags this week. We'll let you know about these once we've settled in.
NO birthday sweets for now.
A few reminders:
We know everyone will be a little apprehensive and possibly confused about the new routines. We will be working hard to support and reassure the children as they settle in and we are confident they will quickly adjust to the new normal and benefit from being back with their friends. We have lots of exciting learning planned for the term and will be telling you more once we’ve settled in.
Please smile at them and tell them they’re going to have a good day! We’re sure they will.
But feel free to email me if you have any concerns or questions, however trivial they may seem . We will be continuing to share information as the new routines are established and we know you will want as much information as possible about how we are doing things.
We promise the children’s safety and well being is at the centre of all we do and we will take good care of them! We completely understand that they have been at home with you for a long time and this is a big step for everyone. We will be doing class sessions on mental health and well being, giving children a chance to discuss their worries and to adjust to the new normal. Children are incredibly resilient and we are confident that with the right support, they will be fine.
If they have had a particularly difficult experience during lockdown, please email me or their teacher (via email@example.com) to tell us about it so we can provide support for them.
Together, we will make sure the new school year is as safe and as exciting for the children as it always has been. We can’t wait to have them back!
Just a few updates . .
FOUNDATION STAGE DROP OFF AND COLLECTION:
Drop off times in the morning (at the Foundation Stage door) will be:
Foundation 2: 8.45am - 8.55am
Foundation 1: 9am - 9.10am
Please arrive promptly and remember only one adult can accompany children and adults cannot come into the classroom. We realise this is a stressful time and staff will be on hand to reassure and settle the children. We will call you later in the day to let you know how they are doing if you are worried.
Collection is from 3pm until 3.15pm. Again, please be prompt. Older siblings may be collected from 3.10pm from their classroom door.
Please keep at least a 2m distance from all classroom doors and from other families. You can email staff with any problems on firstname.lastname@example.org, using the teacher's name as the subject.
After consideration, it has been decided that all children, including Foundation Stage children should bring in their own CLEAR, NAMED water bottles (containing only water).
Remember, attendance is no longer optional. We need children back in school so we can catch up with learning.
We can't wait to have everyone back!
Before and After care
High Hopes after care will start from Tuesday, 1st September.
Breakfast club will start on Thursday, 27th August, 2020 when we open.
Please remember that children may meet children from different bubbles by attending before and after care, although of course we will be putting in measures to make it as safe as possible.
Return to School Autumn 2020
12th August 2020
IF NOTHING CHANGES . . .
We are aiming to have all children from Foundation Stage 2 to Year 6 back in school on
THURSDAY 27TH AUGUST.
(Foundation Stage 1 will be told individually when they will start).
This gives staff an extra day to prepare for their safe return.
Schools will all be doing things differently according to their circumstances so don't worry if this is different to other schools you know of.
We will expect children in at the normal time between 8.45am and 8.55am as usual. Only one parent should accompany children, but they may bring them to the classroom door, remaining a safe distance away. Adults must not come near the classroom door or talk to staff as they will be busy getting children in safely.
Foundation Stage children may arrive between 8.45am and 9am and be collected between 3pm and 3.15pm.
We will post detailed guidance on our website this week. Look out for this and take time to read it. It contains important information about keeping everyone safe.
This includes an updated booklet for children. Please spend some time going through this with them so they know what to expect and feel reassured about returning to school.
Thank you for your support throughout the current situation. Our aim is to get the children back into school safely and to get back to learning. We will spend time settling them in and finding out where they are, then the focus will be on re engaging them with our new topic 'We are Hope'.
We can't wait to see everyone again!
Extended lockdown 30th June
You may well have heard last night's announcement that lockdown in Leicester has been extended:
Schools in Leicester will have to close on Thursday, except for keyworker children, and those shielding will continue to do so beyond 6 July.
As we restricted wider opening of the school, this doesn't change much for Hope Hamilton. The office will call parents of the six year 5 children and the five FS and year 1 children (non key workers) who were due to be in on Wednesday and Thursday to confirm that they will not be able to attend on Thursday and ask if they still wish to attend on Wednesday.
Apart from that, it's business as usual.
If you do make the decision as a key worker to withdraw your child, please let us know so we can plan staffing effectively.
Remember, home learning will carry on until next week.
There will be more information on the website about opening in September as soon as we have it, but definitely by early next week. Please look out for it. Please note that attendance next term WILL BE COMPULSORY and the government will be reintroducing fines for those who do not attend. We are very much hoping to welcome children back to some kind of normality on 26th August, but there may be a delay of a few days so look out for information.
Please keep an eye on the website for end of term messages to children from their teachers - old and new. New classes will shortly be sent out on Parentpay.
As always, thank you for your support and patience in these difficult times. It has really helped us to provide some consistency and security for your children when it matters most.
Information for week beginning 15th June
We realise that communication hasn’t been as frequent recently. Guidance has changed so quickly, it has made planning for the rest of term challenging and we didn’t want to make plans and then have to change them.
You may have heard that the DFE has revised their expectation that all children will be in school before the summer holiday. We had already made the decision that this was not achievable so our plans will not change.
Those parents who have applied for a place for their child to attend for 4 days during the next three weeks will have received an email yesterday confirming the dates and the classroom their child will be attending.
We are still aiming to get year 5 in for a limited number of days in from 24th June.
Plans for the last week of term have not yet been confirmed but we will continue to have our key worker groups in school.
What you need to do
We know that year 6 have missed out on their end of year ‘rites of passage’ and very much want to provide what we can to mark the occasion. We are looking at the possibility of
We’re open to any other ideas you or the children may have.
What you need to do
Foundation Stage 1 and 2
Children coming into Foundation Stage 1 and 2 usually have a visit to their class and a presentation for parents. We feel it would be inappropriate to have parents in the building at the moment. We have considered carefully the idea of having the children in but this is going to be hard to manage whilst also maintaining safety measures. We also feel children may not remember this brief visit by the time they return in September and parents may be reluctant to send their children in if they are not able to accompany them.
Instead, on the website, we will post:
What you need to do
If your child is starting in Foundation 1 or 2 in September:
Have a look at the transition PowerPoint
Spend time talking to your child about starting school and share the videos with them – more than once
Now more than ever, parents have a vital role to play in preparing their child for school. Please spend time over the summer making sure your child is
Being independent will help your child to have a positive start to the year.
We are currently allocating children to classes for September.
Soon after 22nd June, we will invite you to come to school to collect reports from outside the office in timed slots. You will also receive your child’s books from this year and a slip naming their new teacher and their new class.
Teachers will then post a short introductory video in the home learning areas for the children’s current year groups.
What you need to do
This sounds like such a good idea in theory. We know many secondary schools are doing this, but they have greater capacity and the structures are already in place.
We are however looking at the possibilities.
We are working with one of our parents to find a way through the challenges presented. There are concerns around
We are going to have a go at providing a short zoom session with current class teachers. This will NOT be a lesson, but will be a chance for teachers to connect with classes.
What you need to do
Keep an eye on the Home Learning pages of the website for more details as we try out short virtual meetings with teachers and their classes.
A lot of work has gone into making the home learning on the website as effective and accessible as possible. We are loving receiving the messages and photos of children’s work. This will continue as long as it needs to and we anticipate the Home Learning pages evolving into homework pages when all children are back in school full time.
What will happen in September?
WE DON’T KNOW!!!
We have no more information than you have.
We are putting in place various scenarios ranging from bubbles of ten children attending part time to full attendance 5 days a week.
We will be watching the DFE guidance over the summer and will of course be keeping you informed. We will share information with you as soon as we have it. We recognise your need to plan for child care, working and generally managing your daily lives.
I hope this answers some of your questions and helps you to plan for your family over the coming weeks.
As always, thank you so much for your continued patience and support. There are just a few weeks until the summer and we are all hoping and praying that the worst of the pandemic is now over. We are all missing the children and we know every family is struggling with their own particular challenges.
Please don’t hesitate to email us (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any concerns, whether to do with your child’s learning or welfare or other anxieties such as financial difficulties. If we can’t help, we may be able to signpost you to someone who can.
We are already planning a ‘recovery curriculum’ ready to welcome our children back in September and to start to rebuild and get our children back to where they need to be. There will be more information about what this looks like next term, but be reassured that whatever the guidance for returning to school is, we will ensure we have a positive and happy start to the new school year.
In the meantime, stay safe and keep an eye on the home learning / parents updates and messages page https://www.hopehamilton.leicester.sch.uk/messages-and-updates-for-parents/ for updates and information.
As you know, we will not be opening to children other than those of Key workers, until 15th June.
We are looking forward to a time when we can have all the children back and we know, as time goes on, having the children at home becomes more of a concern.
We are keeping the situation under constant review and you will receive further details in due course, but currently we aim to open to Foundation Stage 2, Year 1 and Year 6 on 15th June. If you have not already booked a place, you still have time to do so due to the delay, but we must know by 5th June in order to ensure we have enough capacity to have the children in school safely. If children are not booked in, they will not be able to attend.
May 22nd 2020
Dear Parents and Carers,
As you know the national context with regards to COVID-19 is constantly changing. Governors and Trustees of the Vines Multi Academy Trust have a responsibility to make a decision about whether they feel it is safe to open the school to a wider group of children.
They have considered all the information available carefully, but have noted that we are still awaiting the scientific research evidence from the government and the fact that large numbers of schools are postponing opening until the infection rate further reduces and they can have more confidence in the safety of children and staff.
The demographics at Hope Hamilton mean that we have a large proportion of BME (black, minority and ethnic) families, including many Muslims who are about to celebrate Eid. We know that most will respect social distancing during this very special time but there is a concern that in the excitement of the feast unexpected transmission of the virus may occur. Emerging evidence suggests that COVID-19 is having a disproportionate effect on people from BME backgrounds.
A significant number of staff are now self-isolating and many staff remain anxious about the safety of children and adults, despite the wide range of measures that have been put in place.
It is with great reluctance that we have made the very difficult decision to
postpone wider opening from 1st June until 15th June.
The arrangements will stay the same (although remain under review as more information and guidance becomes available). This means that the dates given for children’s return will follow the same pattern but start 2 weeks later than you were originally told. A new rota is available below.
If you have already booked a place for your child/ren, this will be carried over to the new dates.
Year 5 individual dates will be confirmed after half term.
Key worker children will continue to attend on the same basis as before.
This rota will cover the 3 weeks beginning 15th June. We will review this at the end of June and make decisions about the final week of term depending on the national context.
We appreciate this change of plan will be a source of inconvenience and frustration to many of you, but please be reassured the decision has been made with the safety of the children, staff and the whole community in mind.
We very much appreciate the support we have had from parents so far and hope you feel able to continue to support us as we move forward with this very difficult process. As always, please email any questions or concerns to: email@example.com
Jacky Farnell Stephen Wadsworth
Final version of the children's 'Welcome back to school' booklet.
If your child is being booked in to return to school this term, please spend some time going through this with them. We will do the same when they come to school.
We also hope you will also find the information helpful in making your decisions about when your child returns to school.
We do need to plan carefully for numbers, so if we have not received your booking form by Friday, 22nd May, we will assume you ...do not want your child to return until September.
Whatever your choice, we will respect and support your decision. Home learning will continue and we will be using the same activities in school.
The government will make a final decision on 28th May. Please watch this briefing to confirm whether we go ahead with our plans.
As always, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concern. I will respond as quickly as I am able to do so.
Thank you for your support and patience in these difficult times. Stay safe.
Health and Safety information.
We know many of you are feeling uncertain at the moment.
It has taken longer than expected to share this information with you so we have extended the booking deadline until Friday. If we have not heard from you buy then, we will assume your child will not be returning until September.
There are no penalties for parents who choose not to send their child to school until then.
Below you will find some documents which may help you make a decision about whether you wish to send your child back into school this term. The risk assessment is currently out for consultation with staff - your views would also be welcomed.
The children's booklet is still being developed - but I thought the first draft of this might be helpful to you. Their first lesson in school will be based around this.
We are also currently considering options for year 6 to get together either this term or at the beginning of next term.
Reopening of school
Please see the detailed letter below.
Thank you for your patience and ongoing support.
We know some parents will be disappointed. Please know we have given a great deal of thought to how we balance safety with getting children back into school and supporting parents.
UPDATE 11th May
I realise many of you will be waiting for news following the government announcements yesterday.
The guidance for schools is extensive and needs careful consideration. We are discussing the best way forwards today and will hopefully be able to update you within the next 24 hours.
Whilst we of course want to welcome children back to school as soon as possible, our priority is to ensure the safety of children, staff and parents. We want to be entirely transparent with parents about what we are and are not able to do, so you can make informed decisions for you and your family.
I can tell you that it has already been made clear that parents will not be penalised for not sending their child to school this term.
In the meantime, you may wish to read the DFE guidance for parents:
Please watch this space for further information.
UPDATE 10th May
Parent survey 5th May
We're keen to know how you are doing with the home learning resources.
We have no idea as yet when the government will tell us to reopen or what this will look like, but it would be helpful to know your views so we can start to plan once the government make an announcement.
Please take a few minutes to complete the survey and return it to email@example.com or post it in the letter box near the school gate.
(This has also been sent out on ParentPay.)
If you don't have Microsoft word or you are unable to print, please just list your answers with the question numbers.
Please don't forget, if you are having problems or need support, email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We are here to help, and if we can't help we may be able to signpost you to someone who can.
BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY May 8th
School will be closed.
This page is just for parents and carers to keep you up to date as things change and we try to improve our home learning. Please check it at least weekly.
Phonecalls to children
Over the next weeks each teacher will try to briefly call each child in their class. This is to
If your child isn't comfortable talking on the phone, the teacher will speak to you instead.
We can't promise to get to everyone, but we will try our best.
Remember, if you have any worries or concerns, we are here to help.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org and if we can't help, we'll try to find someone who can.
Home Learning pages
These are organised into weeks.
Each week will include:
Years 1,2,3 and 4 will have pages each week for communication, logical and other subjects.
Years 5 and 6 will have a page for each day.
Activities are intended to be accessible to the children independently. We do not expect parents to be teachers.
Check the Guidance for parents page for useful booklets to help you to organise your child's learning.
What if your child can't access the learning?
Some children may find the work for their year group too difficult. In class, the teacher may well give them different work or extra help. For instance children with special needs or who speak English as an additional language may find some work too hard.
We suggest children try the work for their year group first. They may well be able to do some of the activities.
If they can't do them, they could go to the same work in a lower year group and try that instead.
If there is still a problem, email the teacher via email@example.com for help.