Frequently Asked Questions
Here at Overseal we are really proud of Charlie who has been raising money for charity through his DJ nights! You may have seen him in the Burton Mail!
I think it has been an interesting few days for everyone after the announcements from the Government on Sunday about the phased easing of lock down. I am sure most of you were as surprised as we were with the speed of some of the changes. On Sunday, alongside the rest of the country, we were informed that Years R,1 and 6 would be returning to school after half term.
Reopening of the schools is conditional on the science deeming it is safe to do so and will happen no earlier than the first of June. The safety of our pupils, community and staff has to be our primary consideration in our decision making and planning.
- Key worker and vulnerable children who are already attending school will continue to do so.
- Children will not return to full time education immediately and the classroom environment will be very different from that we are used to.
- DfE social distancing guidelines advice classes should be 15 or fewer. Having measured, our classes can accommodate 10 children with some distancing in place.
- Children will be put in a group, or “bubble”. DfE guidance is that children should work, play and eat within this group bubble and not mix with any other children or staff.
There is much to be thought about and planned for. We are currently completing risk assessments, both to see how many children we can safely accommodate to allow for some social distancing measure and also the processes and procedures to manage resources safely.
Parents in YR, 1 and 6 have already been sent questionnaires and we would like to say thank you very much to all parents who have already completed these. They will be very useful in helping us to put plans in place, for example how we will manage school lunches and the classes will we will able to have back initially.
Once we know the numbers and availability of staff we will be able to decide how classes will be organised. Issues we will consider are:
- How to put the best social distancing in place we can
- How to keep groups of children to around 10.
- How to organise drop off and collection of children
- How to organise breaks and lunchtimes
- How to move safely around school
- What further cleaning we will require and the implications for the equipment children will use, e.g. paint brushes, bricks, ipads.
All our plans will be approved by Governors and we will put the safety and well being of our pupils and staff first at all times. We will take a gradual approach to reopening and the details of the plan will be shared with you at the end of next week. Once we have decided which classes will come back first, and whether this will be on a full or part time basis, we will let you know.
By working together, we will find the best solutions for our school community.
Well I am sure that this is the strangest back to school we have ever experienced. I hope everyone is keeping safe and you and your families have not been too adversely affected to date.
As a school, we do not seem to be getting notifications of any changes to school/ education earlier than the general public - my information is generally from the daily briefing and the BBC website. We as yet have no idea when we will be returning to school and when things will start to look a bit more like normal. There is a chance when we do reopen, that this will not be for all pupils at the same time. We are very aware that there will be a big job to do next year to fill in gaps from the time we have been closed, but please feel reassured that we will do all we can to minimise impact for our children. We are also starting to discuss how we can make sure we support transition, both in to Overseal and for those students moving to secondary, in the event of school closures continuing further into the summer term. As soon as we have information, we will make sure you are informed.
We are currently busy reviewing all the new online teaching resources which became available on Monday. Staff are trying some out and we will have virtual staff meeting on Thursday to agree our school approach. Hopefully this will help with consistency across year groups which will be better for everyone at home. We are reluctant to just move onto the new online platforms in their entirety as they do not always meet the needs of our children/curriculum and we will lose the contact we currently have with children.
We have finally managed to access the school meal voucher scheme but this is proving a challenge, not only to us but also to parents. I am hoping this will settle down over the next week. For those parents for who this is relevant, I have found that the best time to try and log in is very early morning or late evening!
If your circumstances have changed and you think you now qualify for benefit related Free School Meals (as opposed to universal infant free school meals) please do apply on the Derbyshire website using the link below. This means that your child will continue to get a meal throughout their time at Overseal, we can apply for vouchers for the current period and the school will get additional funding. Please be assured, nobody knows which children are entitled to free school meals, they are all registered and queue in the same way regardless of how meals are funded.
Fiona Hughes and the Overseal staff
We hope everyone had a relaxing and safe Easter weekend and that all is well with you and your loved ones. We were certainly fortunate with the weather this year. School is open as normal for a small group of children and we are making sure that these children are also having a fun Easter. As always, we are very grateful to all the staff ; everyone has volunteered to work over the holidays to enable us to do this valuable and essential work.
There is always someone on the school site site who is a Safeguarding Lead and can be contacted if you have any worries. This will either be Mrs Hughes, Mrs Borrington and Mrs Riggott and we are always here to offer support or advice if needed. We are also available on email although, please note while we are all available each day during term time, it will only be the lead in school that day during Easter who will respond. We can all access the email@example.com email address.
We are all aware that this current situation is putting immense strain on families and is affecting everyone in different ways. While we may not be able to solve any of these worries, we should be able to give you some advice/ help you to find the information you need to make a difference.
After Easter we will start setting work again. We are also very mindful of the pressure this can put on families who are homeschooling as well as trying to work from home. Please dip into what is on offer and do the amount that works for you and your family. As we keep on reiterating, this work is not compulsory and we will be reviewing our teaching content on return to address the key gaps that this break from normal education has created. The most important thing for us is that everyone stays safe and well, mentally as well as physically.
We are currently talking as a staff about the BBC lessons which will be available after Easter and it may be that we start to use some of these. However, at present we are not able to see what they will look like and how relevant they will be for our children. We intend to carry on doing the same work in the first week back and we will assess what is on offer. We will certainly continue to set some of the work on Purple Mash etc so teachers can continue to interact with children and give feedback. Teachers certainly like reading the children's comments and work and we feel this continuity is important for everyone.
Once again, please keep safe and we look forward to seeing everyone once this challenging and unprecedented time is over.
Fiona Hughes and the Overseal staff
As a school we are following the advice of Public Health England and are taking the recommended measures to keep all pupils and staff safe. We continue to monitor the situation regularly.
You can help to slow the spread of Coronavirus!
- Make sure you and your children follow these general principles to prevent spreading any respiratory virus:
- Wash your hands often – with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based sanitiser if soap and water aren’t available.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- If you feel unwell, stay at home and don’t attend work or school.
- Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in a bin.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home.
- If you’re worried about your symptoms, please call NHS 111 – don’t go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment.
Talking to your child about Coronavirus (Covid-19)
It is likely that your child will have questions about Coronavirus and what is happening, particularly in the event that the school closes.
Click below for some child-friendly information:
Department for Education Coronavirus helpline - this helpline has been set up to answer questions about the virus related to education. Staff, parents and young people can contact the helpline.
- Phone: 0800 046 8687
- Email: DfE.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)