Good Afternoon Everyone,
School Re-opening in September
I am sure that you will have heard the announcement from the Government yesterday that schools are set to re-open fully in September. This is great news and we look forward to welcoming all the children back.
Over the next two weeks I will be sending you regular updates, letting you know our plans to keep children and staff safe and how school will work. We are lucky here to have so much space, with large classrooms and lots of specialist teaching spaces. Our curriculum will be broad and balanced and we will focus on catching children up quickly with their learning whilst ensuring that their happiness and well-being are at the heart of all we do. We are excited to carry on using lots of online resources for home-learning, really building on what we have achieved in partnership with our families over the last few months.
This academic year will finish for children on the 17th July. The school year will start again for children on Monday 7th September. Full term-dates for next year will be published before the end of term when we have finalised our training days.
There will not be any summer activities taking place at Nightingale this year because we have some important building works to complete. However, in this newsletter you will find details of a summer playscheme happening at Benthal School. The full information can be found on our website here.
Equality Working Party
Our new Equalities Working Party has been hard at work over the last couple of weeks and we are pleased to share our work in this week's update too. Scroll down for a video of our inspirational assembly with Cllr Antoinette Bramble, Deputy Mayor of Hackney. I was really proud of the well thought-out questions that our children came up with, as was Cllr Bramble.
Finally - thank you to everybody who has been engaging with 'Zoom' lessons and assemblies. They have been a great success and allowed lots of our kids to learn more effectively from home. There is also a video in this week's newsletter showing you how this works. Remember, if you would like your child to be involved, you just need to fill in a quick survey giving your permission. You can find that here.
Have a nice weekend,
Following on from yesterday's e-mails about dates, today's e-mail will give you information about how our classrooms will be set up when children return. Just like the shops and businesses that you might have visited recently, our school is ready to make sure that children keep a little more distant than usual in their classrooms, whilst engaging with learning and having lots of fun. Scroll down for some photos and explanations of how this will work.
I will be sending an e-mail every day this week. Tomorrow's e-mail will focus on playgrounds and lunchtime.
How are classrooms the same, and what is different?
The biggest change in our classrooms is that each room will now have no more than 15 children. Luckily our school is nice and big so we have spare rooms for everyone! We have kept our classrooms fun and bright, refreshing the displays and making sure they look really welcoming. All soft furnishings have been removed as we need to make sure that everything in the classroom is wipe-clean. We don't have carpet spaces at the moment as this would mean children sitting close together. Every classroom in Nursery-Year 1 has a sink which is set up as a hand-washing station as well as a wall-mounted hand sanitiser dispenser.
Social Distancing in the Classroom
With the new classroom set-up, children will sit at individual desks. They will have a tray with all their equipment in a nice new pencil case. Every child's tray has some lovely extras which are appropriate for their age, for example a playdough pot for Reception and maths resources for Year 1. By not sharing resources, we are helping to prevent the spread of germs.
What about Nursery?
Our Nursery children don't usually sit at tables for very long, so we have individual mats for them to sit on instead. They have individual resources for when they are doing crafts and drawing but lots of toys too. To make sure that we keep the toys clean, they are all sanitised daily by soaking them in special child-safe cleaning fluid (the same as is used for baby's bottles) at the end of every day.
In yesterday's e-mail, you saw how we are going to be keeping children a little more distanced than usual in the classroom. I hope that you found this reassuring. Today I will be telling you about break times and lunch times.
We think that children will quickly get used to the new classroom set-up, but we know that as they transition back into school they will also need plenty of time out in the fresh air and sunshine. To make this really easy, and to give unlimited access to the outdoors for every class, we are going to be dividing up our playground so every class has their own area. The other benefit of this is that they can then continue to use the playground equipment as they don't have to share it with another class.
In the dining hall, children will have the same delicious hot meals that they are used to and those who usually bring a packed lunch can continue to do so. There will be plenty of space between the children whilst they eat and we have replaced the cutlery collection points with pre-set tables for all children. The salad bar has been replaced with take-away pots of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The video below will show you how all of this will work. Thank you to the Key Worker children in school today for your help making this movie!
In tomorrow's e-mail we'll let you know about school drop-off and pick-up.
I hope you have found this week's newsletters useful. Today's video (scroll down!) will explain how school drop-off and pick-up are going to work when more children return to school next week. We know that the school run at the beginning and end of the day is usually a lovely time to catch up with staff and friends. At the moment though, we need to follow some new rules, be a little more socially distant and make sure that we all keep safe and well.
Of course it is up to you whether you would like your child to return right now. However, it would help us with our planning to know whether you intend to send your child back to school from the first day if they are in one of the year groups due to come back. Please click the links below for your child's year group and fill in our two question survey. You'll need to do this for each child. If your child is in Year 2-5 there is nothing you need to do right now.
Year 1 Survey
Year 6 Survey
I will be back on Monday with more information - this time about the main symptoms of coronavirus and what to do if you believe somebody in your family may be ill.
Have a lovely weekend,
Your Child's Health
I hope that you have found our newsletters and videos this week useful. We have shown you how we intend to keep children as safe as possible when they are at school. We also need you to check that your child is fit and well before they come to school. You must stay at home if your child, or anybody in your family, has symptoms of coronavirus. The short video below tells you everything you all about the symptoms of coronavirus.
Following Lockdown Rules
With the school opening to more children it is really important that everyone in our community continues to stick to the rules put in place by the Government about where we can go and who we can meet.
As a reminder, currently you can: