FSM Vouchers – Additional Offer for School Holiday Period From Community Shop Membership & £15 FREE
We hope you and your families are keeping well. These have been challenging times for us all. We would like to thank all our families for your support in what has been a journey of unknowns and complex decisions. In the last few months, our priority has been to ensure, first and foremost, that we keep our children and staff safe as well as to adapt our school for all the changes that Covid has brought upon us. Fortunately, certain classes have been allowed to return to school this term, so we have successfully reintegrated some of our EYFS, Y1 along with key worker children back into group bubbles which we set up in line with the Government guidance. As a small village school, our staff have been amazing, teaching children from different year groups in their allocated bubble groups and also planning home learning separately for our children who are working at home whilst updating BLOGS for their own classes since lockdown began in March.
With only 1 week left before the summer holiday, we are now turning our attention to planning for September. The Government sent out new guidance last week stating that all year groups will be able to return back to school in September to their new classes. However, the new Government guidance also states that stringent measures must still be implemented into our risk assessment for health and safety.
Below you will find information regarding arrangements for returning to school in September so you can prepare for the new academic year. If there is anything you need clarification on, then please do not hesitate to phone the school office – 01226 742957. Please continue to check your email and the school Website for urgent updates. www.birdwellprimary.org.uk.
Year groups and classes
Teachers have met to discuss the transition for each year group in their new class. We are acutely aware that some children may have gaps in knowledge and skills due to the impact of the Covid-19 and time out of school, so we are planning to address these as part of the learning for next year. We would like to welcome Mr Bennett back to school alongside our newly appointed SENDCO/Class teacher Mr Mathieson.
Reception – Miss Carter
Year 1 – Mrs Millington
Year 2 – Mrs Rooke and Mrs Barrott
Year 3 – Mr Swallow
Year 4 – Mr Mathieson
Year 5 – Mr Bennett
Year 6 – Mrs Rees
All children will take part in transition activities in the first week back into school.Children return on Wednesday 2nd September 2020. They will be with their new teacher and there will be a strong focus on supporting wellbeing and ensuring our children are comfortable in the first few days back into school. We will be going through the daily routines and how the new day will look initially and reminding the children about keeping clean washing hands and reminding them about the “Birdwell Way”. We will do everything we can to ensure children settle well back into school routines.
Children are to come in school uniform.Uniform can play a valuable role in contributing to the ethos of a school and setting an appropriate tone. Uniform does not need to be cleaned any more often than usual, nor do they need to be cleaned using methods which are different from normal.
The government guidance states that all children are expected to be back in school in September and this will be mandatory.The guidance also states that parents have a duty to ensure their child attends regularly at school and that the local authority can issue fixed penalty notices in line with their code of conduct.
We will continue to monitor the attendance of pupils in accordance with our usual procedures.
Arrangements for the new Academic year – From Wednesday 2nd September
Beginning and the end of the school day
School will open for all pupils on Wednesday 2nd September.
We request that PE kits are brought on the first day and left in school until the end of the week. (Please wash these regularly)
In line with new guidance and for health and safety, we have a new routine for children arriving and leaving school at the beginning and end of the day.Class groups will have separate entrance and exit points and we will run a staggered start and finish time. Children will have separate play and lunch times and will use zoned areas of the playground in order to adhere to latest Government guidelines. Alongside this to reduce transmission we are asking parents to drop off children and maintain a minimum of 1 metre distance and where safe to do so drop the children off at their designated access point where they will be met by a member of staff.
Please see below where your child’s year group will wait and enter and exit the school. (Please can you stick to times allocated to reduce congestion and transmission and only one adult to drop off/collect.)
Reception from Monday 8th September – Use the Chapel gate to access the reception playground and Miss Carter and Miss Wright will meet you at the classroom door DROP OFF 9:05 am – PICK UP 3:15 pm
Year 1 – Use the chapel gate to access and exit the reception playground. Mrs Millington will meet you at the door. DROP OFF 8:55 am. PICK UP 3:30 pm
Year 2 –- Use the chapel gate to access and exit the Sheffield Road side of the school. You will be met at the first door by either Mrs Rooke or Mrs Barrott. DROP OFF 8:45 am – PICK UP USING THE SAME ENTRANCE / EXIT 3:20pm
Year 3 – Use the main gate at the side of Hay Green Lane and make your way past the bike shed to the disabled ramp where you will be met by Mr Swallow. DROP OFF – 8:55 am PICK UP USING THE SAME ENTRANCE / EXIT 3:30pm
Year 4 – Use the main gate at the side of Hay Green Lane and make your way straight forward through the coloured gate straight up the staircase where you will be met by Mr Mathieson and Miss Housley. DROP OFF 8:45am – PICK UP USING THE SAME ENTRANCE/EXIT 3:20 pm
Year 5 – Please use the main driveway gate adjacent to Hay Green Lane, where you will be met by a member of staff, directed through to the main playground and through the main entrance of the school where your child will be met at their classroom door by Mr Bennett. DROP OFF – 8:55 am PICK UP FROM THE DRIVE EXIT AT at 3:30 pm
Year 6 –Please use the main driveway gate adjacent to Hay Green Lane, where you will be met by a member of staff, directed through to the main playground and through the main entrance of the school where your child will be met at their classroom door by Mrs Rees. DROP OFF 8:45 am & PICK UP FROM THE DRIVE EXIT AT 3:20 pm
Please check the website for a visual representation showing access and egress arrangements.
Equipment your child will/will not need to bring.
Please ensure your child is in their school uniform and brings the following items: –
- A water bottle
- School will provide stationary items. DO NOT BRING YOUR OWN THINGS
- PE kit brought in at the beginning of the week and washed weekly
- Packed lunch if not ordering via the School
- Appropriate outdoor clothing dependent on the weather, as where possible, we will be learning outdoors. Classrooms will also have increased ventilation.
NO MOBILE PHONES IN SCHOOL – we have a school communication system and telephones in case of any emergencies.
Initially the tuck shop will sell toast only. This will be charged at £1 per week and will need to be collected by the class teacher on Monday mornings.
School lunches/ breaktimes
Your child can choose to bring a packed lunch (healthy options) or choose a school meal. Children will be able to choose from a sandwich, salad box or pasta box with a variety of fillings, accompanied with a salad and a variety of desserts. We will serve Option 1 – 9 including hot jackets that will be provided by the school kitchen and served in the classroom. You can pre-order as before via the School Gateway or order in the classroom.
PLEASE ENSURE children in Y3 through to Y6 have money credited to their account. We are unable to order or offer dinners if insufficient funds are available. We have planned in staggered breaks and lunches so children will only play out with their class bubble in designated playground zoned areas for each year group.
You will have already received introduction newsletters from your new class teacher, however, if you require further information or details please do not hesitate to contact staff on the following emails;
Reception (EYFS2) – email@example.com
Year 1 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 2 – email@example.comfirstname.lastname@example.org
Year 3 – email@example.com
Year 4 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Year 5 – email@example.com
Year 6 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Pastoral support – email@example.com
Office contact – firstname.lastname@example.org
Office contact number – 01226 742957
We look forward to having your child back in school at Birdwell Primary School and welcoming our new starters. We have really missed our children over the last few months and hoping we can return to some kind of normality in September. Have a lovely Summer break with your families and let’s hope there is more good weather to enjoy and happy times ahead. Stay safe and well.
Mr Bailey and the team
Birdwell Primary School
School transport from 1 September – return to school survey
Planning for the next academic year is no doubt presenting many challenges for your school. As you prepare for welcoming all your pupils back, we want to make sure that we support young people who need to use public transport to get to school. Social distancing measures mean that South Yorkshire’s bus, tram and train networks will only be able to carry around 45 per cent of the normal number of passengers, even when 100 per cent of services are operating. This means only certain seats can be used, with no standing allowed onboard.
We’re trying to get a view of school openings, and home to school travel expectations, across South Yorkshire to help inform bus capacity from 1 September so we can look at how we can improve public transport to address demand.
School reopening survey
If pupils have no alternative to public transport, we want to make sure they can travel to school safely and explore the provision of dedicated school services if necessary. Please help us by completing our short online survey to let us know what your school’s plans are.
We appreciate that you’re extremely busy, that your plans may still be coming together, and you may not have precise pupil numbers, but your best estimates throughout the survey will be invaluable to inform our planning. It’ll also be helpful for us to understand if you’re planning or considering staggering start and finish times too.
Please complete the survey by 12pm on Friday, 7 August 2020.
Parent/carer – home to school travel survey
In line with government guidance, we’re still advising people to avoid public transport where possible and walk or cycle instead to reduce pressure on the network and to help us keep people who have no alternative safe. And we’re asking for your help again!
We need your support to reach parents and carers so we can find out home to school travel needs, whether pupils can travel to school more actively (by walking, cycling or scooting) and how we can help them to switch.
We have included a letter which we are asking you to share with parents and carers inviting them to complete a short questionnaire which will help us to capacity plan. The letter also asks parents/carers to consider other travel options for their children. Please share this via your usual communications channels to help us reach as many people as possible. You can also direct parents/carers to this information on our website:
If you need any further information or have any questions, please contact the SYPTE lead officer on this planning activity, Tim Taylor, Director of Customer Services, email@example.com.
Dear parents and pupils,
The Public Health team want to know how you have been feeling during ‘lockdown’.
Why do you want to know how I’m feeling?
Our emotional health and wellbeing is more important than ever and we want to help you to take care of it. We have created a very short survey (only 14 questions) to help us listen to the children and young people of Barnsley.
The information we get from this survey will help us to meet your needs properly and support you all as best we can through this difficult time. To go to the survey click the button below:
Who can complete the survey?
We want to hear from all children and young people living in Barnsley.
Those of you who are 13 years or above you can complete the survey on your own.
If you are under 13 you will need a parent or carer to give their permission to complete the survey.
Parents and carers: you may want help your child to answer the questions in the survey if they are younger or need any extra support.
Who will see my answers?
The survey will be completely anonymous and the questions have been worded so that there will be no personal information that may identify you. A link to the full privacy notice is included at the top of the survey which offers more detail on how we will use the data.
But my feelings keep changing as different things in my life keep changing
We are aware that day by day different things are happening and the government restrictions keep on changing which is why we would like it if you can do this survey more than once. We would like it if you can try and complete this survey every four weeks as it will help us to see how your emotional needs change over time. We will send the link to the survey out to you every four weeks to help to remind you to complete it.
Thank you for taking the time to be involved, we hope that with this information we can support your emotional health and wellbeing through these difficult times.
Public Health Officer
Children’s Services – Education, Early Start and Prevention
Beat The Street
In the absence of the Beat the Street taking place this year, we have created the Beat the Street Summer Challenge to help keep children and families stay active and positive during the summer period. To be launched on the 13th July.
Message for Year 5 regarding Instruments
I wanted to share with you an alternative offer that we have put together to help to give the young people who were due to take part in the Music Festival an opportunity work towards a performance.
Further information and resources to support can be found here:
I am happy to try and get the instruments up and running and can arrange for parents to collect these from the school if they want to take part and need them to practise at home.
The final arrangements for how young people can join in with the performance on Friday 26th June will appear on the website above very soon once finalised.
Help keep your own child, as well as other children and our staff safe by never sending a child who is feeling unwell to school.
You are also advised to keep your child off school if a member of your household is unwell.
It’s important to phone the school to let them know that your child won’t be in and give them the reason.
You can check for the symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19), along with other key advice at nhs.uk/coronavirus
New letter to parents 21/5/2020
Dear Parents and carers,
The government have announced that children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 should be allowed to return to school from the 1st June, alongside the children already attending as part of key worker/vulnerable groups. The school leadership team has put a lot of time and thought into how this can be realistically implemented at Birdwell Primary School.
As you will appreciate, we are a small, Victorian Primary School that does not necessarily have both the infrastructure and staffing capacity that most, larger schools have and so we need to ensure that the return of pupils happens in a safe and sustainable way for us. In order to keep you as informed as possible, we would like to share with you some of the issues we are facing and our thought process and rationale in dealing with them.
How we will return to school:
School has surveyed parents of children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6, as well as key worker and vulnerable groups. The number of eligible children indicating a wish to return currently fluctuates between 80 to 100 pupils, or 40% to 50% of pupils. However, this could very quickly increase if more parents feel it is safe for their children to return once they see their friends have, or as parents themselves increasingly return to work. We cannot actually accommodate anywhere near the number of pupils who are eligible to attend under the current guidelines. Therefore, we have created a phased approach in reaching this point:
Initially, only children in Year 1, vulnerable children and children of key workers will be asked to attend from June 1st. Year 1 pupils will attend Zone 1 in 2 groups, entering from the ramp at the front of school, by the Year 3 classroom. Key worker pupils will attend Zone 4, entering through the hall doors. (Details of your child’s group, attendance time and entry point will be sent to you individually.)
This is so school can accurately gauge the real-world number of pupils attending in these groups and also measure any increase in numbers without risking exceeding capacity although these groups alone represent around 30% of school population. All staff who are able to attend, will be back in school from this date, working in their zones to prepare resources and establish enhanced online lesson delivery and feedback for the many pupils still at home.
From 8th June, children in Reception class will additionally be asked to return to school, attending Zone 2, entering through Reception and Y1 corridor door. This takes us to around 40% of the school based on current numbers but any increase in attendance from these groups would affect this. For example, a small increase of pupils in any group would result in the need to create an additional ‘zone’ of pupils, which reaches our maximum capacity. We need to see what consistent number of pupils these groups actually represent before we can move to Phase 3.
Once we are confident that we can accommodate them, Year 6 will be asked to return, attending Zone 3 and entering through the door at the front of school, next to the Year 5 classroom.
Why we have chosen this approach:
At each phase, our aim is to carefully control the increase in numbers without being caught out by sudden spikes in attendance. We are trying to establish a sustainable and robust approach that is maintainable in the long-term and which can accommodate inevitable surprises such as staff illness, changes in government guidance or increased pupil numbers without having to back-track and send children home who have just been asked to return. Our belief is that a structured, careful return to school is less disruptive and confusing for our school community than having the government-specified children back in and then having to go back on this. The health and well-being of our pupils and staff is at the heart of our approach and we are driven to do everything we can to restart education for all of our pupils in some form, rather than in just a few year groups. We are investigating ways of conducting virtual lessons and providing learning and feedback for all children.
What school will look like upon return:
School life and lessons will not be business as usual. The government has stipulated a maximum group size of 15 children. Further government guidance states that current social distancing will not be maintainable in the school setting and so the group in which the children are placed will be the group in which they stay for the duration of the term. The children will be in in their year groups, but may not be with their current class teacher and will not necessarily be in their own classrooms or with all of their friends. These groups will remain the same at all times. Breaks will be staggered and will take place at different times in different outdoor locations around the school and lunches will either be a packed lunch provided by catering services, or a packed lunch that children bring themselves. These will be eaten in classroom bases or in designated outdoor spaces. Children will remain in these groups at all times, in this way, cross contagion will be minimised. Each Zone will also have an allocated toilet. All hygiene and other protocols will be strictly maintained with wash stations at each entry point. School will be divided into 4 zones, with a physical gap, or buffer, between each zone. Staff assigned to that zone will work exclusively in that zone and not mix with staff or children from the rest of school. During pick up and drop off please adhere to social distancing rules, minimise contact and follow markers and signage.
I fully understand the apprehensions you may have. These are not normal times and we will step into this next phase as prepared as we possibly can be. However, in reality, we step into the unknown, albeit as prepared as possible. Understandably, staff are very apprehensive as well, like you they have children, caring responsibilities and vulnerable health conditions. So, whilst I cannot promise how this situation will develop, I can promise that we at Birdwell Primary school, as always, have the health and welfare of our children and our staff at the heart of all that we do. What I cannot do at this current time is give any absolute guarantee regarding infection, I can only identify and manage the risk and where reasonable or practicable reduce it.
I will write out to you again, when we have further organisational details and definitive numbers. As always, your support and encouragement is key in making these most challenging times more bearable.
Mr N. Bailey
If you require a key worker place you must reply to this email as soon as possible.
Before any places are allocated, we will need proof of your key worker status, job role and possibly a copy of your shift patterns.
PARENTS OF CHILDREN IN YEAR 1, RECEPTION AND YEAR 6
Please reply to this email and confirm your child’s place by indicating either YES or NO.
For children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 If you decide to accept a place children will be expected in school every day, uless prior arrangements have been made with the Head Teacher.
If you are unsure please decline your place. As you can imagine we need accurate numbers to ensure staff ratios are correct before the phased return.
If we do not hear from you by Monday 25th June we will assume you have made alternative arrangements and your child will not require a school place.
INFORMATION FOR ALL PARENTS
Children must wear full uniform. At the moment to reduce the amount items being brought into school no P.E kits are required.
All children will need their own labelled water bottle.
There will be no tuck shop.
Children can bring their own packed lunch. The kitchen will provide a packed lunch option ONLY.
Please do not bring any items into school except a water bottle. This includes pencil cases and book bags.
New letter to parents 14/5/2020
This information will help to give you more clarity and assist you in making an informed decision about returning your child to school.
This letter will give you some idea what the school day will look like.
Dear parents and carers,
As you are aware the Government made its announcement on Sunday evening to the nation, including their plan for a phased school return. These are extraordinary times and it is vital that we have a clear procedural approach to maintain the health and wellbeing, of both children and staff. At the present time, school returning on the 1st of June 2020 is not yet definitive and as advised by the Prime Minister, is dependent on scientific evidence.
As stated in previous correspondence, we have a small Victorian village school, which does pose some practical difficulties in planning our return, in light of social distancing requirements. My responsibility is to the children, as well as staff and parents; my goal is to secure an arrangement that makes all parties feel as safe and as happy as practicable. This does pose challenges for us all, and in order to facilitate this I will be implementing measures which require a different daily approach to school life.
Staff are looking forward to seeing our children return to school. However, they are understandably concerned for their own health and need to be assured that the return to school will be done in a safe and sensible manner. As in any service at the present time, we will have some reduced staffing capacity due to shielding guidelines and for personal health reasons.
Therefore, with this is mind, the proposed reopening for the 1st June 2020 will be for Reception, Year 1 and Year 6 children, alongside continuing support for the children of key workers. In order to achieve this, the following measures will be implemented:
- The school will be adhering to the social distancing guidelines of 2 metres.
- Each year group will be split across two classrooms.
- Each year group will have an allocated zone within school.
- Teaching staff will be allocated to a zone, meaning that children may not be with their current class teacher.
- Some children are not likely to be returning to their current classrooms.
- Children will not be able to mix with children allocated to other zones.
- The children will be divided into groups meaning that they may not be with all of their friends.
- Breaks and lunches will be staggered and will take place at different times, in different outdoor locations around the school.
- Each zone will have an allocated outdoor space which will be used regularly.
- Start and finish times will be staggered to reduced parental contact and mixing, this must also be adhered to by parents.
- Each zone will have a separate school entry and exit point, to minimise parental contact and gatherings.
- Due to school and staffing capacity, we will be asking that key workers provide proof of working patterns and job roles to qualify for key worker status and support.
- If the numbers of key worker children exceeds our daily limit, a rota system may have to be implemented.
- Some staff will be wearing PPE including aprons, gloves and visors.
- Handwash stations and hand sanitizer will be made available at key points.
Further details re allocated Zones, drop off and pick up points will be shared in due course.
In preparation for the return to school, we would be very grateful if you can discuss with your child about social distancing, what this means and how to do it. I know that many of you will have already done this, which is greatly appreciated.
We will get through this together, but I do need your understanding and support that we are doing the best we can in a stressful and challenging situation, which changes daily. Should you wish, you do have the right to keep your child at home, if you feel this is the safest thing to do. The educational aspect delivered in school will be a mixture of light touch formal, informal and loosely based around the curriculum and topics. I will use my best endeavors to make our return to school as safe as is practicable to do so for the children, staff and parents, whilst following Government guidelines.
I will continue to update you as I have further details.
Take care and stay safe.
Mr N Bailey
Birdwell Primary School
New letter to parents 11/5/2020
Dear parents/ carers,
I am sure like me, many of you will have watched the Prime Minister’s address to the nation yesterday evening.
You will have heard the Prime Minister indicating that the Government believes it may be in a position to implement a phased re-opening of schools from the 1st of June, starting with pupils in Reception, Year one and Year six. This is part of the Government’s plan which it says will remain under regular review.
We are all keen to get our children back to school to continue with their learning as soon as it is safe to do so, but as always, our primary concern, particularly during the COVID -19 situation, is the health and safety of our children, staff, together with all of the parents and carers. With this is in mind I will be keeping a very close eye on the Government’s plans and will be in contact with you again once further guidance has been received.
Any Plan to increase the numbers of pupils in schools has to be practicable and manageable given the need for everybody to continue to observe social distancing measures, which is even more challenging for a small school like ours.
Like you, I have only just seen the announcement and at this stage cannot answer all of the questions that you may have. I am waiting to receive more information from the Government about what this means for our school. In the short-term, nothing has changed and I will provide further information in the coming days and weeks once I am able to do so. If the national guidance (once known) cannot be safely applied to our school, I may, along with our Governing body, have to make decisions regarding the safety of pupils and staff based on our own individual risk assessments. This may ultimately mean the school is not in a position to expand pupil numbers in the way the Government has indicated on the 1st June.
In order for us to start to put plans in place It would be helpful at this stage if you could give me an indication if you would be intending to allow your child to return to school from 1st June 2020. This currently applies to Reception Year one and Year 6 ONLY. If you could let us know, via the School Gateway app, before the 15th May it would be very much appreciated.
Thank you for your continued support during these challenging times. Keep safe!
Mr Nigel Bailey
Birdwell Primary School
Re: CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 UPDATE
Please follow guidance from NHS England Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives.
Guidance for families suffering financial hardship
The council website has full details regarding help available for individuals and families who may find themselves in hardship during this unprecedented time:
Help for families who have had Changes to income:
If families have been working and their income has been reduced then they will need to contact the DWP to see if they are entitled to universal credit. The claim needs to be made on line with the DWP.
If their income has decreased but they are not entitled to universal credit then they may still be entitled to local council tax support or free school meals. The form can be found at the link below.
Council Tax, Local Council Tax Support and Free School Meals.
If families are struggling to pay their council tax they can contact the council on 01226 787787 and press opt 2. The lines are busy but we have put extra staff on the lines.
For anyone in receipt of local council tax support and free school meals and their income has changed they will need to complete a change in circumstances form as they may be entitled a further help with their council tax:
Entitlement to local council tax support and free school meals will be reassessed as soon as possible. If in the meantime they are struggling to pay their council tax then they need to contact us as highlighted above and a payment arrangement will be discussed.
Council Tax Hardship Scheme
The Government has announced that a council tax hardship scheme will be available to those who are considered ‘financial vulnerable’. Details of the scheme will be published week commencing 30th March 2020 and details will be made available here:
Other support / helpful links
For general advice on what help and support may be available please visit:
The local welfare assistance scheme helps people who are in financial crisis due to an emergency or other unexpected circumstances:
For assistance with food please visit:
Web chat is also available on all council tax, council tax support and housing benefit webpages. The phone lines are busy and we are asking people to go online where they can.
If people do not have access to the internet they need to phone 01226 787787 opt 3. We will then make an appt to phone people back and go through the form over the phone.
contacts and suport Childline 08001111