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Return to school - September 2021

Dear Families,


School reopens to pupils again on Tuesday 7th September.  It has been a long summer break and we are looking forward to seeing you and the children again, as well as beginning to welcome our new pupils and their families.


Following the relaxation of the Government's COVID restrictions and the latest publication of guidance for schools, we expect to be able to return to as much of the normal that we have all craved for a long time.  We still must be cautious, so school will be relaxing their measures gradually.


As the "bubble" system is now not necessary, our start time returns to 8:55am (8:45am for Nursery), and we ask that all children arrive promptly in the appropriate part of the playground ready for the beginning of their important learning.  Both site gates will be open, but there is no need for a one-way system - either can be used to access the school playground.  Please continue to be considerate to those coming in the opposite direction.  Remember, no dogs are allowed on site. cycles and scooters must be pushed, and please park in a way that respects our local residents.  If you must drive into our visitors' car park, please enter the gates slowly, as many children need to cross the driveway.


The end of the school day for Reception to Class 6 is at 3:25pm.  Again, both gates will be open.  For Early Years families, please continue to queue at the entrance, leaving lots of space for visitors and those accessing St Stephen's.


All children are expected be smart, wearing our school uniform.  We recognise that there have been some issues with some suppliers over the summer so please let us know if you would like to borrow a spare school jumper.


We are very excited about our new school lunches - eaten in the Dining Hall again.  All families should have received an email from Hutchison to set up an "Appetite" account.  This will enable you to pre-order your child's lunch.  All children who wish to take a lunch, even for part of the week, must order in advance.  We currently do not have the capacity to order enough food for every choice unless we have advance warning.  Children cannot change their minds on the day, so please spend a little time involving them in their choices.  Or new system will take a little getting used to but is so much better, and the quality of the food will be excellent.  Payment is in advance, unless the children receive free meals (Reception, Class 1, Class 2 and those on benefits-related Free School Meals).  Visit our Useful Information page for all details.


Breakfast Club will begin again on the 7th, from 7:45am. This is for all St Bart's pupils, from Nursery to Class 6 and booking is not required initially. Our daily cost remains the same, but there will be an increased choice of food options. Please ensure that payment is made promptly, as we cannot accept regular arrears.


We are hoping that the number of COVID cases is limited, but do not send your child to school if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.  We will continue to monitor the situation and ask that you pick up your child straight away if they develop any symptoms whilst in school.  We will not be sending home whole classes to self-isolate.  If there is a positive case in school, individuals will be contacted by "Test and Trace" and asked to isolate and carry out a PCR test.  If this test is negative, then they can return to school straight away.  Obviously, any positive cases will still need to remain at home for 10 days and only return after this if they do not have any continuing symptoms.  Remote learning will be made available to all those who have to isolate, usually via our Class Pages.


If we have 5 people within our school who test positive for COVID-19 within a 10-day period, we have an outbreak plan which, following discussion with our local Public Health team, we will then initiate.  Any further action will be communicated to those involved directly, so please ensure we have your up-to-date contact details.


Each day, staff will be at the doors to greet and hand over the children.  This enables brief messages to be passed on, but more detailed conversations should be kept for another time.  All adults should still keep a respectful distance from each other and some my still continue to wear face-coverings.


There is much more to communicate with you over the coming days.  In the meantime, please use our office email address as the main way to ask any questions.