Please find below a summary of the information relating to the different aspects of reopening Laxton Junior School fully this September. Copies of all additional COVID-19 policies and procedures that will apply across the school for this coming term are linked appropriately within each section.
On Monday 7th September, Laxton Junior School will reopen fully, with Reception children beginning their LJS adventure on Wednesday 9th September. We are a school where community matters and we are all hugely excited to welcome our children back to school, some of whom will not have been here since March. The thought of our classrooms busy and buzzing again is one that we look forward to immensely – it has been far too long since we were all together.
We recognise that in reopening fully we must ensure that the health, safety and wellbeing of our community is prioritised so that children, parents and staff are supported to return. We aim for everyone to feel confident in the adjustments that we have made to ensure a safe, happy and engaged start to term.
To this end, we have developed a bespoke Reopening Framework, which contains considerable detail about each aspect of school life and how it will look in September. This is a lengthy document and we are grateful for the time taken to read through it and the understanding of all elements within it. We advise all parents to engage with these details as they will support an understanding of the part that all our community needs to play within our modified approach. A shorter overview of each section can be found in the dropdown boxes below.
Significant work has been taking place during the Summer holidays alongside the Government guidance for reopening (the parent version of which can be found here), to develop an adapted operating framework and associated risk assessments that will guide our approach from September. Our children’s health and safety is paramount and we have detailed plans for promoting this in and around school. Further information about health and safety can be found in our Reopening Framework for Parents.
No child or staff member should come to school if they or someone in their household are experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms, have been confirmed as having COVID-19, or if they have been advised (e.g. by NHS Track and Trace or by School) that someone they have been in contact with has symptoms or has been confirmed as having COVID-19. Any person who develops symptoms in school will be sent home and required to get a test.
Should there be a positive case of COVID-19 in our school community, we will work alongside a local health protection team on how to proceed. They may advise that those children and staff that have been in contact with the individual will have to self-isolate for a period of 14 days, and we will communicate with parents closely to ensure that everything is done to promote the health, safety and wellbeing of our community.
Year groups will become distinct ‘bubbles’, which will not mix with each other during the school day and within which social distancing will operate to varying degrees depending on the age of the children. In our younger year groups, we will not be expecting children and staff, within the ‘bubble’ to social distance; however, for our older children, we will be encouraging a social responsibility to manage distances between each other. Year groups will remain in their classroom for all lessons and staff members who work across different year groups will socially distance at all times when teaching.
Face masks are not required by children or staff in school although parents are welcome to wear a mask when they come to school for drop off and pick up. We have robust processes in place for ensuring excellent respiratory and hand hygiene, and enhanced cleaning protocols will operate before, during and after the school day and at weekends.
We have developed a comprehensive COVID-19 Risk Assessment, which states the measures we will implement to reduce the risks from Coronavirus and support our school to be, so far as is practicable, COVID-secure; parents can request a copy of our COVID-19 Risk Assessment, if they would like to see it, by contacting Ms Crump at email@example.com
Adjustments have been made to the school site and the way in which we operate within it to ensure that community safety, wellbeing and learning is prioritised at all times. Specific details about this can be found in the full Reopening Framework.
Travel to and from school will adjust to incorporate a greater emphasis on roll and drop or, if walking to school, both social distancing and one way systems. We have looked carefully at drop off and pick up procedures and, to ensure that we are minimising the number of people on site before and after school, a soft start to the day will be in place, beginning at 8.00am. A staggered pick up will involve different collection times and points for our year groups.
Griffin Club will resume from Monday 7th September, with both morning and afternoon sessions in place. The children will be split across multiple locations with each space subdivided into year group zones to ensure that ‘bubbles’ remain separated. Staff will be allocated to a specific group and will provide support with positive play and catering.
Playtimes and lunchtimes will be staggered, during the day, with our playground zoned to reduce the mixing of different year group ‘bubbles’, and two lunch sittings in place to minimise the number of children in a dining room at any one time. Playground equipment and the dining rooms will receive regular cleaning to ensure that they are ready for the next group to use.
We will not, unfortunately, be able to have visitors in the building during the coming weeks but are committed to running parent meetings through our online platform.
Children will be expected to wear their full school uniform and we will not be asking parents to clean this with any greater frequency than they might do normally or to use any enhanced cleaning methods. We will, however, be asking children to come to school in their sports kits on their designated PE or Games days.
We recognise that the children have not been learning in school for the duration, or parts, of the Summer Term and that it is possible that gaps or misconceptions could have emerged in this time. We are determined to understand this situation, as quickly as we are able in the new academic year, and have absolute clarity of how we intend to support the children’s learning on their return. Further details of this can be found in the full Reopening Framework.
We will be operating a full school timetable on return in September, with each Form having nine teaching periods, as in previous years, every day. Year group ‘bubbles’ will remain, wherever possible, in their classrooms with adjustments made to the layout to promote great learning and, where necessary, some social distancing. In most cases, specialist teachers will deliver their content in class, rather than in our specialist teaching spaces, and they will be expected to socially distance from the children at all times. Educational support will also continue with social distancing in place and with some modifications to the way that shared resources are used.
The school calendar will look to incorporate all the usual events of the Michaelmas Term; however, as we are unable to welcome our community, in large gatherings, inside or outdoors, we will adjust our events so that some are pre-recorded, some are live streamed and, where possible, some are held in a much small capacity in our outdoor performance area.
Non-overnight trips will continue, with staff encouraged to support their school learning experiences with visits to local venues, where we can either have exclusive use or that emphasises outdoor experience. Educational visitors will connect with the school through our online platform.
After-school clubs will resume from the second week of term and so that we do not have inter-mixing of ‘bubbles’, we will be organising their content so that only a single year group has access to a particular after school activity. We aim to have a fantastic variety of clubs available and at least one per year group on Mondays to Thursdays.
Curriculum and one-to-one Music lessons will continue from September, albeit with some modifications in their delivery. Games and PE will be taught in ‘bubbles’ and, in Years 3 to 6, we will be teaching cricket and rounders from September instead of rugby and hockey. We will not be engaging with fixtures for the first half term but will, instead, be holding regular House matches to ensure the children enjoy the competitive element of sport. The new Sports Centre will open for our use in September and we will be using this extraordinary new facility, including its flagship 50m pool, to deliver our swimming and sports programme. The swimming timetable has been adjusted this year so that Years 1 to 6 have longer sessions in alternate weeks, which will support better teaching and learning, as well as the necessary cleaning that will take place between sessions. Reception swimming will take place every week.
It is important that we support the LJS community, and especially our children, to return to school in the happiest way possible. For some, they will have been away from their school, their friends and their teachers for a period of nearly six months; they will have missed so many of the events that might usually be the highlights of their year; and they will not have had the normal closure that the end of year brings with it. Whilst some children may take this experience in their stride, others may find the process of return both unsettling and challenging, and it is vital that we are ready to understand this and support them through it. Further details of our support can be found in the Reopening Framework.
Time will be allocated for ‘closure’ on the previous academic year with Forms returning to their previous groupings and Form Teacher for the morning of the first day back. During the initial weeks, PSHE will be a focus for all Forms as we explore with the children what they are feeling about the previous term and the current situation, and look to provide bespoke support wherever it might be needed. Assemblies, wellbeing activities and mindfulness will further support this important process of setting back into school life.
Schools are expected to have a Contingency Plan in place that provides the necessary detail of how they will ensure a continuity of education in response to partial (where a year group ‘bubble’ must self-isolate) or full school closure. Having already run a successful and comprehensive remote teaching and learning programme, we are confident that – should the need to relaunch it be necessary – we could do so quickly and effectively.
However, this said, there has been considerable reflection on our previous offer, including the consideration of feedback from staff, children and parents. We are also determined that our Contingency Plan would provide improvements on our Summer Term remote teaching and learning programme. A separate, detailed Contingency Plan exists for Laxton Junior School, which is – itself – supported by additional documentation regarding safeguarding, academic and pastoral provision.
All term dates for the coming academic year, as published on our website, remain correct. Whilst Oundle have made amendments to their Lent Term to support the needs of their pupils and families over the Christmas Holiday, particularly those for whom returning home might still be complicated by travel restrictions, Laxton Junior School will be commencing the Lent Term on Tuesday, 5th January as planned.
We are always available should you need any help, advice or guidance and welcome every opportunity to provide it. Contact details for some of our school leaders can be found below:
|Mrs Keren Hatcher||School Administratorfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mr Sam Robertson||Heademail@example.com|
|Ms Stacey Crump||Deputy Head, Designated Safeguarding Leadfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mrs Rachel Waterhouse||Assistant Head Admissions (including EYFS)||email@example.com|
|Mrs Sumitha Hill||Assistant Head Academicfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Mrs Claire Henderson||Assistant Head Co-Curricularemail@example.com|
|Mrs Jackie Ormston||Assistant Head Pastoralfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Miss Jennie Freeman||Head of Educational Supportemail@example.com|
|Mr Fraser Harper||Online Safety Leadfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Miss Kerry Fisher||Operations Manager (including Griffin Club)||email@example.com|