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Return to School 2020-21

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Dear Parents,

13 August 2020


Finally, some good news! After the trials and tribulations of lock-down, schools have finally received the green light to reopen. I hope that you and your family are well and that you managed to enjoy as restful a Summer as possible.

On Thursday 6th August the Minister issued a letter to Principals withdrawing his original requirement for 1m social distancing between pupils. As a result, we will be able to welcome all of our pupils back to school five days a week. Following additional advice from the Minister, on the 13th August, I am now in a position to clarify our plans for reopening.

In creating our new arrangements, we have sought to minimise inconvenience, however this has not always been possible. The health and safety of our pupils is our top priority. I would ask for your patience and understanding in the days ahead as we trial our new procedures. It may be necessary to adapt these arrangements as we go.

Starting Dates:

Years 2 – 7
Pupils return to school on Wednesday the 26 August

Please note Yr3 pupils are in until 1.55pm during the first week (26 – 28 Aug). From the 1 September they will follow the pattern: Monday and Tuesday to 1.55pm / Wednesday – Friday 3.00pm

Nursery and Yr1
Pupils will start returning from the 26 August following our normal pattern of phased return (See separate notification from Mrs Halsall and Miss Pearson)

Bank Holiday:
School will now be closed on Monday 31 August

We are reverting to our original holiday/attendance pattern, which means no additional holidays will be added later in the year.

Yr7 Revision Class:
17 – 21 August from 10.00am – 12 noon
Only for pupils taking AQE and GL tests

After School Club:
Will recommence from Tuesday 1 September
During the period of phased return ASC is available to Nursery pupils who are attending the second session i.e., to 11.30am.
When all nursery pupils are in for a full session, all may avail of After School Club, if registered.

Please complete the ASC booking form for September and return ASAP

New families wishing to avail of ASC need to complete a registration form and pay the £5 registration fee.

Breakfast Club:
Breakfast will not be available. This will be reviewed mid-September.

Protective Bubbles:
Each class will now become its own protective bubble. Consequently, the children will have minimal contact with other classes, breaks and lunches will be staggered and the playgrounds will be zoned for play times.

Please note: to reduce opportunity for transmission of the Covid-19 and to maintain the integrity of our protective bubbles, parents are not permitted to enter the school buildings.

Arrival and pickup:
Pupils may arrive at school between 8.45am and 9.00am.

We ask parents dropping off or picking up to maintain social distancing by staying 2m apart, to be patient and to queue accordingly. Please avoid bottle necks and congestion.

The children will enter the school building via their external classroom doors (apart from Yr3 and Nursery). This will avoid the need for a staggered intake or pick up.

Children must queue at their year group’s designated coloured cone and wait to be called forward by their teacher or classroom assistant. Please maintain social distancing.

Nursery (Yellow cone):
Nursery parents are asked to wear a face mask during the settling in period
Please wait at the nursery gates to be called forward.
Mrs Halsall will meet and greet in the nursery outside play area
If your child is distressed, you will be able to wait under the covered area

Yr1 (Green cone):
Yr 1 parents are asked to wear a face mask during the settling in period.
Enter via gate at rear of school, or via the ECO Garden path
Please keep children away from the covered pond and school car park
Enter via Yr1 external door/ramp in the ECO Garden
If your child is distressed, please wait in the wooden Gazebo

It may be useful for the parents of Nursery and Yr1 children to bring their children into the school grounds during the week commencing the 17 August to let them see where they will be lining up each morning. One less thing for them to worry about. (The front gates are open Mon – Fri for the Foodbank)

Yr2 (Red cone):
Enter via gate at rear of school. Please ensure children stay out of the school car park
Enter via Yr2 external door beside the covered play area
If your child is distressed, please wait in the covered play area

Yr3 (Blue cone):
Pupils enter grounds via pedestrian gate
Enter school via main school doors

Yr4 (Red cone):
Pupils enter grounds via pedestrian gate
Enter via external classroom door opening onto main playground

Yr5 (Green cone):
Pupils enter grounds via pedestrian gate
Enter via external classroom door opening onto main playground

Yr6 (Yellow cone):
Pupils enter grounds via rear gate
Please ensure children stay out of the school car park
Enter via external classroom door opening onto main playground

Yr7 (Blue cone):
Pupils enter grounds via rear gate
Please ensure children stay out of the school car park
Enter via external classroom door opening onto main playground

For siblings it is probably best for parents to enter the grounds as per directions for the youngest child.

Pickups will follow the same pattern as above.

Please respect our neighbours who live facing the school and along Church Road. I would ask parents to use off road parking available at the Community Centre, the church or the Auld House and then walk child/ren to school. It’s good to walk.

In the interests of child safety, please do not park opposite at the school gates, or the entrance to the Community Centre, or the speed bump at Ballykeel Road, or the corner of Ballykeel Road.

Keep Covid-19 out of Moneyrea PS:
Covid-19 is still in our community and we need everyone to stay vigilant to keep it out of Moneyrea. Do not send your child to school if they, or anyone in your home, have any of the following symptoms:

 a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature);

 a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual);

 a loss of or change in sense of smell or taste.

If your child or anyone in your household have any of these symptoms they must be tested for Covid.

Please take your child’s temperature(s) before leaving for school each morning.

Children who have high temperatures, or are showing signs of illness MUST be kept off school.

Children who have high temperatures, or are showing signs of illness will be sent home.

Staff or Pupils who become symptomatic in school:
If a child or member of staff becomes unwell with Covid symptoms in school, they and their siblings/ children will be sent home and advised to follow the PHA guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Children awaiting collection will be moved to a room where they can be isolated behind a closed door. Appropriate adult supervision will be provided. A window will be opened for ventilation.

Symptomatic pupils and staff must obtain a test for COVID-19.

Where an individual has a negative result, it is still important to apply caution. If everyone with symptoms, who was tested in their household receives a negative result, the pupil or member of staff can return to school providing they are well enough and have not had a fever for 48 hours.

Anyone who tests positive will be contacted by the Contact Tracing Service in the Public Health Agency, and will need to share information about their recent interactions. This will include household members, people with whom they have been in direct contact, or been within 2 metres of for more than 15 minutes. Passing in corridors and short periods of contact are not thought to present a significant risk to staff or pupils.

All household members must follow PHA isolation guidance which currently requires everyone in the house to stay at home. Isolation guidance will then be provided that is context specific and may result in friendship groups, regular contacts and potentially an entire class or ‘bubble’ being instructed to self-isolate at home.

Absences and sickness:
Please contact the school office before 9.00am if your child is going to be absent. This ensures we know your child’s whereabouts and that they are safe and informs us of any potential outbreaks of sickness.

In general, if your child is sick (i.e. colds, flu, vomiting, diarrhoea etc.), it is essential that they remain at home and do not return to school until at least 24/48 hours after the symptoms have ended.

We still require a written explanation for your child’s absence which must be submitted via email to

Accurate recording of children’s attendance is an important element of the overall Test, Trace and Protect strategy.

Keeping Safe:
We will continue to promote regular and thorough hand-washing and the, “Catch it, Bin it, Kill it” approach, sneezing into a tissue or elbow etc. Please discuss the importance of these actions with your child/ren before their first day back at school.

Staff and pupils’ temperature will be taken on arrival at school.
Children who have high temperatures, or who are showing symptoms of illness will be sent home.

Children will be encouraged to walk on the left.
Please practise what it means to walk on the left-hand side of a corridor.

Discuss that some members of staff may be wearing PPE.

Discuss that we will be zoning the playground to keep classes apart and that lunchtimes and breaks will be staggered.

Hygiene / Cleaning / Infection Control

Children will be reminded to wash their hands using the 20 seconds rule.

Children will wash their hands on entering school, before and after break and lunch, after play, after reading in groups etc.

Children will be reminded to sneeze into their elbow or into a tissue, following the ‘Catch it, Bin it, Kill it’ campaign. Please reinforce this at home.

Children will be discouraged from touching their face, eyes, nose, mouth or to putting fingers into mouths/noses

Hand sanitiser dispensers have been installed outside each classroom and will be available at the school/nursery entrances.

Moisturiser will also be available. Please let us know if your child is allergic.

Liquid soap will be provided at each sink.

Extra cleaning will be completed throughout the day.

Classrooms will be well ventilated.

As per Department of Education guidance, Primary school/nursery children are not to wear face masks.

Staff may wear visors/ masks if they wish to.

Staff will wear appropriate PPE if managing cuts, sickness, clean-ups, intimate care etc.

Uniform should be changed regularly

Contacting the school/teachers:
These are unprecedented times and the virus is still with us, consequently some of the measures we have put in place may seem draconian and unwelcoming. We apologise for this, but assure parents that they are in place for good reason.

We will have strict controls/limitations on visitors entering school. Consequently, to maintain the integrity of the protective bubbles and to minimise the scope for transmission of the virus, parents are no longer permitted to enter the school building to speak with staff.

Teachers may be contacted using their school emails which will become live from the 26 August.

Queries may be phoned in to the office (02890 448443), or addressed to Debbie at the office hatch, provided social distancing is maintained and a face mask is worn.

What children should bring to school:
Children are to wear their school uniform each day with the exception of PE days.

Please refer to the previous letter from your child’s new teacher and additional/new info below:

 a flat box of tissues, to be kept under their desk.

 children may bring a small bottle of hand sanitiser and hand lotion

 wipe clean pencil case (Yrs 3 – 7 only) containing colours, pencils, glue stick etc., to be kept in school

 two clear plastic wallets with poppers (A4 size)

 Yrs 1 - 3 are required to bring a Moneyrea PS slim school bag (available from the school office priced £5). These bags take up less room in the more active infant classrooms and allow classroom assistants to check school bags for notes from home etc. Please spray daily with sanitising spray

 Yrs 4 – 7 may bring small ruck sacks. School rucksacks with the school logo are available priced £7.50. Please spray school bags daily with sanitising spray

 Packed lunch. We are not prescriptive about break and lunch but would encourage parents to provide healthy foods/snacks.

All children from Yrs 1 – 7 will have packed lunches in their classrooms

Children who are entitled to Free School Meals will receive a packed lunch from the school meals service

We will review the provision of hot meals at the end of September

 Water to drink throughout the day. (Water fountains are not in use.)

 School milk is not available for the foreseeable future.

Physical Education:
We are asking that children come to school dressed in their PE kit on PE days with their school sweatshirt on top (Yrs 3- 7 only). Days to be confirmed by class teachers when school recommences.

During the first term Nursery – Yr2 will not change for PE. Plimsolls should be sent into school.

PE will take place outside and equipment will be sanitised after use

After school Clubs:
Due to the nature of protective bubbles, there will be no after school clubs until further notice.

If you can donate any of the following items through business contacts etc. we would be extremely grateful:

• Plastic Aprons
• Boxes of gloves
• Liquid soap
• Hand sanitiser

Items may be handed in to Debbie in the office.

Staffing Update:

Nursery Mrs Firth will join the staff team as a CA

Yr1 - Mrs Carlisle will be working as a classroom assistant

Yr3 - Miss K Presho will be working as a classroom assistant

Yr5 - Miss L Bennett will be covering Mrs McCarter’s maternity leave on Tuesdays.

Miss Speers who was to cover this day has found long-term employment in Fane Street PS. We wish her every success in her career going forward.

Yr6 - Mrs Goudy and Miss Richardson’s job share will operate on a 3 : 2 day pattern, swapping over each
alternate week.

Mrs Peters will be working as a CA in Yr6

Yr7 Mrs Rea (Ashanti) has resigned her post to look after her little one.

Miss E Hughes will be taking over this classroom assistant post.


Nursery Mrs Halsall
Mrs Best, Mrs Firth

Year 1 Miss Pearson
Miss McCormick, Mrs Carlisle

Year 2 Mrs Floyd
Mrs Hughes, Mrs Hannah, Mrs Watson

Year 3 Miss Anderson
Mrs Patterson, Miss Presho, Mrs Daly

Year 4 Miss Welsh

Year 5 Mrs Kelly & Miss Bennett
Mrs McCoy

Year 6 Mrs Goudy & Mrs Richardson
Mrs McCaughey, Mrs Shaw, Mrs Peters, Miss Donnelly

Year 7 Miss Daly
Miss Hughes

In conclusion:
I hope that the information provided is sufficient to get everyone up to speed with our main procedures for getting school back up and running. We believe that the approach we are adopting will reduce risk and enable our pupils and staff to attend school as safely as possible.

Over the course of the first couple weeks we will reassess our restart programme and make adjustments accordingly. Our aim is to facilitate a smooth and safe transition back to school for all pupils and staff.

Many thanks for your continued support, patience and understanding. Together we are stronger; together we will see this through to better days; we all look forward to that.

Roy Greer