Watermill School, Turnhurst Road,

Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, ST6 6JZ

School Tel: (01782) 883737   INSPIRE Tel: (01782) 883777

Executive Headteacher: Mr J May

September Opening Message to Parents

As one “unusual” school year ends we must start to look towards the start of the next one in September, when we all hope we can start to return to a much more normal way of life. In the 100 days since lockdown, we have all had to change how we do things. For us this has meant keeping up to date with government guidance and making it work in the best way it can for our pupils, families and staff. From September this guidance tells us that schools are to reopen fully, and that all staff and pupils must attend as usual from the start of term. This being said there are still likely to be some students and staff for whom a return to normality may take some time. If you are concerned that your situation will not allow for your child to return to school we would like to talk to you so we might understand your circumstances and work with you to address your needs. Please email us initially on the school admin@watermillschool.co.uk email and we will be in touch by phone. Most families have received regular calls from school, pupils who receive free school meals have received weekly hampers, some have completed work over the internet and some pupils have had work delivered. At Easter the free school meal voucher system had problems and some families found it hard to redeem their vouchers. It was for this reason that we continued to deliver the more reliable hampers to families throughout term. Over the summer holiday vouchers will be issued once again to families receiving free school meals. We are assured that the problems some of you had at Easter have been sorted out and that the vouchers have become more reliable since then. We hope that families are reassured that, should future periods of lock-down occur, we are committed to resuming the support packages that you have seen since March. Transport. The council are working hard to make any changes to transport that might be needed to keep our children safe and this may mean changes from what you had been used to before. They aim to contact families who use transport in good time for the start of term. Start of Term. For those who are already pupils here at Watermill, the first day of term will be Wednesday 2nd September. The school day will revert back to the usual times of 8:30am to 2:45pm. Until the end of the first week these pupils will be based in the same classes as they were before the holiday, giving staff a chance to help them prepare for their new classes, which they will move to on Monday 7th. For our new starters, the first day of term will be Monday 7th September, and start and end times will be the same at 8:30am to 2:45pm. Drop-Off and Pick-Up To ease congestion we will ask all buses to let the pupils off at 8:30am and all cars including taxis, to let pupils out at 8:40am. At the end of the day, pupils in cars and taxis will leave school at 2:40pm and pupils in buses at 2:45pm. Initially staff will collect pupils from the cars, taxis and buses, and bring them out to the cars, taxis and buses at the end of the day, so we ask that all pupils stay in their cars until staff collect them. We hope this system can be relaxed in time. We will also be issuing all cars, buses and taxis with a number and a parking space so staff will know where to collect and deliver pupils from and to. We will aim to restrict students so they have contact with only a relatively small number of other students in their “bubbles”. Classes will be grouped together to operate like this throughout the week. This along with many extra measures, especially around cleaning through the school day should make our school as safe as possible and minimise any risk of cross contamination. We also ask that people try to manage their home lives in a similar way following the government guidance at the time on staying safe, and making it less likely that anyone brings the infection into school. For the same reason we ask that uniforms should be cleaned daily and hand washing should be reinforced as a regular habit. If you wish your child to wear a mask on transport we will ask it to be removed as they come into school. There will be no breakfast club or morning tuck for the first few weeks so if your child requires a mid-morning snack, please send it in with them. Also, the after-school clubs will not be running until further notice. These measures are aimed to minimise pupils mixing more than they have to and will be reinstated when the risks are reduced. Hopefully these measures will only be in place for a short time and the school will remain fully open for all pupils from now on. If your child shows any signs of illness such as minor colds for example, we will be asking you to keep them at home. If they are exhibiting a cough, temperature or loss of taste or smell, you will be asked to keep them at home and be tested for Covid-19 following the government guidelines of the time. I sincerely hope you feel confident to send your child back to school in September and appreciate your patience and co-operation with us as we all work to keep everyone at school safe in these rapidly changing times. Mr May

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September Opening Message to Parents

As one “unusual” school year ends we must start to look towards the start of the next one in September, when we all hope we can start to return to a much more normal way of life. In the 100 days since lockdown, we have all had to change how we do things. For us this has meant keeping up to date with government guidance and making it work in the best way it can for our pupils, families and staff. From September this guidance tells us that schools are to reopen fully, and that all staff and pupils must attend as usual from the start of term. This being said there are still likely to be some students and staff for whom a return to normality may take some time. If you are concerned that your situation will not allow for your child to return to school we would like to talk to you so we might understand your circumstances and work with you to address your needs. Please email us initially on the school admin@watermillschool.co.uk email and we will be in touch by phone. Most families have received regular calls from school, pupils who receive free school meals have received weekly hampers, some have completed work over the internet and some pupils have had work delivered. At Easter the free school meal voucher system had problems and some families found it hard to redeem their vouchers. It was for this reason that we continued to deliver the more reliable hampers to families throughout term. Over the summer holiday vouchers will be issued once again to families receiving free school meals. We are assured that the problems some of you had at Easter have been sorted out and that the vouchers have become more reliable since then. We hope that families are reassured that, should future periods of lock-down occur, we are committed to resuming the support packages that you have seen since March. Transport. The council are working hard to make any changes to transport that might be needed to keep our children safe and this may mean changes from what you had been used to before. They aim to contact families who use transport in good time for the start of term. Start of Term. For those who are already pupils here at Watermill, the first day of term will be Wednesday 2nd September. The school day will revert back to the usual times of 8:30am to 2:45pm. Until the end of the first week these pupils will be based in the same classes as they were before the holiday, giving staff a chance to help them prepare for their new classes, which they will move to on Monday 7th. For our new starters, the first day of term will be Monday 7th September, and start and end times will be the same at 8:30am to 2:45pm. Drop-Off and Pick-Up To ease congestion we will ask all buses to let the pupils off at 8:30am and all cars including taxis, to let pupils out at 8:40am. At the end of the day, pupils in cars and taxis will leave school at 2:40pm and pupils in buses at 2:45pm. Initially staff will collect pupils from the cars, taxis and buses, and bring them out to the cars, taxis and buses at the end of the day, so we ask that all pupils stay in their cars until staff collect them. We hope this system can be relaxed in time. We will also be issuing all cars, buses and taxis with a number and a parking space so staff will know where to collect and deliver pupils from and to. We will aim to restrict students so they have contact with only a relatively small number of other students in their “bubbles”. Classes will be grouped together to operate like this throughout the week. This along with many extra measures, especially around cleaning through the school day should make our school as safe as possible and minimise any risk of cross contamination. We also ask that people try to manage their home lives in a similar way following the government guidance at the time on staying safe, and making it less likely that anyone brings the infection into school. For the same reason we ask that uniforms should be cleaned daily and hand washing should be reinforced as a regular habit. If you wish your child to wear a mask on transport we will ask it to be removed as they come into school. There will be no breakfast club or morning tuck for the first few weeks so if your child requires a mid-morning snack, please send it in with them. Also, the after-school clubs will not be running until further notice. These measures are aimed to minimise pupils mixing more than they have to and will be reinstated when the risks are reduced. Hopefully these measures will only be in place for a short time and the school will remain fully open for all pupils from now on. If your child shows any signs of illness such as minor colds for example, we will be asking you to keep them at home. If they are exhibiting a cough, temperature or loss of taste or smell, you will be asked to keep them at home and be tested for Covid-19 following the government guidelines of the time. I sincerely hope you feel confident to send your child back to school in September and appreciate your patience and co-operation with us as we all work to keep everyone at school safe in these rapidly changing times. Mr May