Dear Parent / Carer,  

School Opening update 28/08/20  


This update is being sent to further clarify earlier information. Please bear in mind that new systems, which we are putting in place are being introduced with safety in mind. There is no single right way of doing things and we may make changes to systems as guidance changes, or as our daily experience leads us to tweak things. Please be patient with us. We are not introducing systems for the sake of it.   

With regards to drinking bottles, we had had discussions about the best solution for this, and decided on purchasing reusable plastic cups, which will be named, and cleaned using a sterilising solution, on a daily basis. We decided that the cleaning of these cups would be easier than cleaning plastic bottles with separate tops. However, we will review this system over the next few weeks. For now, we will use the plastic cups.  


The issue of packed lunch boxes is another area where we had much discussion. Previously, we have had packed lunch boxes on trolleys shared with other classes. To maintain the integrity of class bubbles, lunch boxes will need to be stored in classrooms. All classes are different in terms of size, surfaces available and the number of children bringing in their own lunch, as opposed to having one prepared by the school kitchen. With this in mind, the request for lunch boxes to be put into a carrier bag and then brought into school, was to give teachers a little flexibility, at the start of term, in terms of storage. Specifically, it meant that there would be an option for lunches to be stored on flat surfaces or hung on hooks, depending on space available in each individual classroom. We used the term “carrier bag” in the last update, but it could a strong handled paper bag, or even a school bag.  If teachers find that storage is easily facilitated on a flat surface, then there may not be a need for lunch boxes to be put in bags at all.  


I appreciate that some parents are concerned about having purchased school bags for their children. We hope that the extraordinary measures schools are having to take at the moment won’t be in place forever. However, for now, schools nationally are being asked to minimise items being brought from home. Individual pens, pencils and other stationary will be issued by school to children and not be shared between children. When it is safe to do so, and following national guidance, we may be able to let children bring in things from home. It is for this reason, that we won’t permit mobile phones to be brought in. It is also the reason why we ask for All About Me and preview work , carried out during the summer holiday, to be submitted electronically.   


Regarding start and end of day arrangements, please refer to the earlier timetable. We hope to post photos of the entry/exit points on our  website and facebook page, to help those less familiar with the school building.  I appreciate the staggered starts and finishes present logistical issues, for everyone, but these are inevitable, unfortunately, under the current guidelines.  Parents are reminded that they won’t be able to come into the school building to drop children off. They will drop off and collect from outside their designated school entrance/exit. This system will speed up as staff get to recognise faces of parents/carers.  


Outdoor PE kit confirmation: There is no change to guidelines from previous years, regarding outdoor PE kits. Trainers, jogging bottoms and long sleeved tops (preferbly not zipped) There is no colour specification . 


As announced last December, Mr Kidd and Mrs Ridley now become co-headteachers of the school, with Mr Kidd working Monday to Wednesday. Miss Parkinson is deputy headteacher, reverting to working full time from this term. Mr Reay is assistant headteacher. Other senior leadership roles, such as safeguarding, filled by Rachel and Emma, remain unchanged.  


Kind regards   


S. Ridley  


Duke Street Primary School