Community Primary School
School Closures Update: 19/05/20
Good evening, Ash Green.
You will recall that I wrote to you all individually last week with the news that Government had asked schools to plan for a potential re-opening of phased year groups in schools from the start of June. This would be dependent on 5 Tests being met according to the Government. Of course, schools began the process of planning for this eventuality but there were grave concerns amongst school leaders and staff, teaching unions and you- as parents- that this was too much too soon: I shared my personal concerns around this as well as explaining that school would be a very different place should it re-open within the conditions that would have to be in place.
When we phoned parents of children in the identified year groups, the overwhelming majority were very concerned and less than 25% said it would be their intention to send their children even if the 5 Tests had been met and schools were to re-open. It is clear that the 5 Tests have not been met, and today Calderdale Local Authority has advised schools NOT to open more widely yet. This is a decision based on the safety of pupils, families and staff, and one that I and our Governing body welcome. We will support this decision and Ash Green will NOT be opening to any of the wider year groups of Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 6.
We will still continue to provide care for two priority groups as the Government had originally asked us to do: children of key workers and those children classed as vulnerable. If you are a Key Worker and you need the care for your children, then please phone us at school 01422 244613. School staff are phoning parents of children who fit the ’vulnerable’ criteria to reiterate the offer.
Thank you for your incredible support. The staff and I will continue to give everything to support our children’s learning and welfare whilst keeping the community safe. Take care, Mr Sheppard
Free School Meals Meal Voucher Update- 04.05.2020
We have ordered a voucher for ALL our children entitled to benefits based free school meals (FSM). These children are entitled to a £15.00 voucher per week whilst schools are part of the national in lockdown due to coronavirus.
The vouchers that school have ordered, for all children on FSM from the beginning of this crisis, are currently at 4 weeks. Therefore a child should have received a total amount of £60.00 in vouchers up to the end of April. We know that virtually all children have received this amount now.
We have raised an order for another 3 weeks’ worth of vouchers in May starting from this week. But this has not been released from Edenred as yet. Please note that the government will not cover another holiday so no vouchers will be given for the Spring Bank week.
The Edenred system is struggling to cope with the amount of people now using it and schools are in the same position as our families trying to access information, raise orders and redeem vouchers. Our admin are accessing the website from home out of working hours to ensure we get vouchers to our families and are doing all we can. At 7am this morning admin resent ecodes for vouchers to all the families that are still showing on the system as not yet redeemed.
If you think that your child may be entitled to FSM but have not yet applied please contact the Benefits Unit.
We thank all our families for your continued patience with this system and please rest assured we will continue to do all we can.
Let's Keep Moving!
Safeguarding policy update
Our Safeguarding policy has now been updated with a COVID-19 addendum. You can find the policy here.
Emergency Plans - updated 30.03.20
Ash Green will continue to provide care provision for the children of key workers, and those deemed most vulnerable, for the duration of the ‘school closure’ period. This will include care through the weeks of 6th and 13th April, the scheduled Easter break. If your child, like the great majority, is not at school during the school closure period then you can always phone 01422 244613 (Option 1 for Lower Site) where calls will be answered from 7:45-3:30 but messages can also be left outside these hours. If you have any safeguarding concerns then Mr Sheppard (email@example.com) , Mr Monaghan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mrs Hick (email@example.com) our Designated safeguarding Leads will always be on site between the hours specified.
It is our intention to provide this care and service for the duration of this very difficult time for everyone. In the unlikely/emergency event that Ash Green had to close its provision at the Lower Site, we would provide it at the Upper Site: 01422 244613 (Option 2 for the Upper Site). In the extremely unlikely/emergency event that provision could not take place at Ash Green then we would arrange care at Whitehill MAT or Moorside Community Primary Schools. We would also send our school staff to those settings if our children had to be cared for there and would provide details of the host school’s senior leaders and Designated Safeguarding Leads. In the unlikely/emergency event that Whitehill MAT (Whitehill and Wainstalls) or Moorside Community Primary Schools had to close then we would support care for their key worker/vulnerable pupils by hosting care provision which would be supported by their staff.
Preliminary planning for this emergency planning has already taken place and is therefore in hand for this unlikely situation. Risk assessments are already in place and that all required protocols in place including:
Emergency Care Provision
We are living in unprecedented times where the whole country’s health is currently at great risk.
Please work with us to ensure that we keep our children, their families, our staff members and the wider community healthy and safe. If you or your family are already self-isolating you need to respect the 14 day period.
Government guidance issued overnight has said: If there is a parent at home who works in a profession listed below then you can take up a childcare place IF NEEDED. I must reinforce this will be childcare NOT regular school education.
If you NEED this place then phone school on 01422 244613 – option 1. Please advise if you NEED breakfast and/or after school care.
Can you also inform her if your child usually brings a packed lunch.
However, please bear in mind that government guidance remains that WHERE POSSIBLE children remain safely at home and that social distancing is the policy we should all be following.
Thank you for your co-operation and keep safe.
What is self-isolation?
The government’s current advice is that if anyone develops symptoms, everyone they live with must self-isolate. If you are at all unsure what self-isolation means for you, your child and your family, please watch the short video below.
This is an extremely difficult situation for us all and we will continue to make decisions in the best interests of our children and our school community. Thank you for your ongoing support.
Welcome to our web site which we hope you find both useful and interesting. The information contained within it is constantly updated so please visit us again.
At Ash Green Community Primary School we are here to serve our pupils, their families and the community. We make our school a centre of learning excellence for all. There is driving determination to ensure that pupils and adults in the school reach their full potential.
Children get one chance with their education and at Ash Green we want this to be the best. This is why we offer childcare facilities every morning and evening, an on-site Children's Centre, and Family Support Services that have been recognised nationally and evening activities for youngsters in Mixenden. Ofsted (November 2018) rightly identified, ‘the school is at the heart of the community.’
Ash Green regularly models outstanding practice in teaching and learning and between 2013 and 2018, we were honoured to be named a National Support School. I was also privileged to be named a National Leader of Education. We are now part of a new Teaching School Alliance led by Trinity Academy and we are proud of the work we do helping to support schools in Calderdale and beyond.
Our most recent Ofsted inspection (November 2018) confirms that Ash Green is a GOOD school. There are so many positives in the report and our wonderful children attract huge praise: ‘Pupils thrive at Ash Green. [They] enjoy their learning, display positive attitudes and value their education.’
You can contact me to arrange a visit, leave a comment on the website, or register your views of the school through 'Parent View' - a part of Ofsted's website. You can view Ofsted's School inspections: a guide for parents by clicking on the 'About Us' menu and the Ofsted link. You can access and download our prospectus, admissions information and all of the school's curriculum policies and schemes of work via the 'About Us' menu at the top of the page.
We very much want you to feel a part of our school community.
27 May 2020
On Monday 1st June we will, in line with all Calderdale LA schools, be continuing to provide care for children of Key Workers and those classed as vulnerable. Again, in line with LA guidance, we will review this and hope to be able to open to wider year groups when it is agreed with our LA that it is safe to do so.
Thank you to the parents who have been in touch with us to now ensure that we have all children of Key Workers who have requested care incorporated into our roll from the 1st June along with the children who fit the vulnerable category. This means we now have a larger group of children who NEED care - parents of essential key workers or children need to be in school due to issues of vulnerability. Mrs Hick is phoning all parents today to confirm the roll and pass on key information.
The school day will start at 9:00 a.m. and finish at 3:00 p.m. (identified pupils in Just 3 and Nursery have individual plans agreed as well as a small number of KS2 pupils at the upper site with an EHCP). If before or after school care is needed this must be previously agreed with Mrs Hick.
Gates will open at 8:55 a.m. and only ONE parent/carer can escort a child to school, if they cannot walk on their own. Children will be met OUTSIDE the school building and details are specified below. Gates will reopen at 2:55 p.m. and children will be brought out to parents in designated areas. This is to protect you, your children and the staff. School staff will be there to meet and greet and return children at the beginning and end of the day which will ease children into school and also reduce the need for queues and gatherings. Parents and carers should not enter the building unless by prior appointment. Contractors visiting site will also be by prior arrangement and if possible outside school hours.
For children in Nursery and Reception they will be using the reception classroom, the gate in use will be on Sunnybank Road (usually used for Reception Class) and there will be queuing space - if needed - marked out at 2 metre intervals on the path towards the building. There will also be a designated exit route to support distancing.
For children in Year 1 and 2 they will be using the year 2 classroom, the gate in use will be on Ash Tree Road (the pedestrian path next to the staff car park) and there will be queuing space - if needed - marked out at 2 metre intervals on the path towards the building stopping at the top of the steps into school. There will also be a designated exit route through the car park to support distancing.
For children in Year 3 and 4 they will be using the year 3 classroom, the gate in use will be on Sunnybank Road (the traditional KS2 entrance opposite Holy Nativity Church) and there will be queuing space - if needed - marked out at 2 metre intervals on the path towards the building into the playground. There will also be a designated exit route to support distancing.
For children in Year 5 and 6 they will be using the year 6 classroom, the gate in use will be on Sunnybank Road (the traditional KS2 entrance opposite Holy Nativity Church) and there will be queuing space - if needed - marked out at 2 metre intervals on the path towards the building stopping at the steps down into KS2. There will also be a designated exit route to support distancing.
The children have been split into these 4 small groups to support distancing but also so that experts in each age range can teach the children. Each group will have a Teacher and Teaching Assistant as well as any 1:1 Support for the most vulnerable children. Staff from each site will work with the children and the children will be taught from Monday to Friday each week by the same staff team to support restricting potential spread of Covid 19. Activities can not be as they were if schools were opening as usual but the children will work through aspects of ‘home learning’, take part in different activities in class, participate in some outdoor learning and have a timetabled day in the ICT suite to protect against cross contamination.
The children will not ‘mix groups’. They will remain with their group from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. for their education, care, play and lunch. Each group will have their own designated toilets and hand washing facilities. This is to support the ‘bubble’ theory of guarding against the spread of illness.
We have ensured that in every room there will be additional resources to support hand washing and sanitizing. Classes have been set up in line with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines on distancing and whilst sadly this will feel different to the children it is a necessity. Children will be given personal stationery packs to prevent sharing of resources.
Each group will have a different playground for exercise but we will not be able to use the existing play equipment in order that we protect children’s health by avoiding cross-contamination. Children should NOT bring toys, games or books to school.
Hygiene within school will be pristine. Cleaning rotas have been amended so that cleaning staff will be on site throughout the school day to continually clean toilets, door panels, sink areas etc. Doors through school will be propped open to minimize touching of handles and surfaces. Movement through school will be minimal but children will always walk on the left to ensure a ‘one-way system’ is in place.
The children will come to the Dining Hall at staggered times to support distancing. Our usual high standards of food hygiene will be in place and additional cleaning of the area is timetabled each day. Children will sit within their ‘class groups’ but at the distances recommended by W.H.O. A school lunch will only be available for all children on Universal Infant Free School Meals, children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. All KS2 children should bring a packed lunch from home, in a disposable bag, as we will continue to order Free School Meal vouchers on a weekly basis for our families eligible.
PPE resources are in place in every room that will be used and for all staff. Staff will NOT wear PPE for regular activities - that is not the guidelines - but will have access for when/if necessary.
In the very unlikely event of a child or staff member becoming ill with symptoms of Covid 19 then school will advise on arranging tests. If a child or staff member was sent home with these symptoms then LA advice is that the whole group would remain at home for 14 days or until confirmed that the individual had tested negative. We would ensure that all were informed.
In this very unlikely scenario, we have designated an area for the individual to be looked after in and then to be picked up from. Again, we hope that never has to be used but all resources and systems are in place to support that eventuality.
A Risk Assessment has been produced in line with Local Authority guidance. If you would like to see this, please request a copy from the school office.
Thank you for your ongoing support. If you have any questions the please ring us on 01422 244613 option 1 so we can support any queries you may have.
EXCITING LEARNING UPDATE!!
The staff at Ash Green are really missing the pupils! We hope that you are all keeping safe and well during these unprecedented times.
Here is a little message from us to you!
School Closures Message from Mr Sheppard - 20.03.20
After the most difficult week of my career and I would imagine anyone who works in schools, I would just like to thank all of the staff at Ash Green Community Primary School. They have done an incredible job in horrendous circumstances, putting our wonderful school community first as always. I would like to thank the parents for your overwhelming support and messages, our staff could not carry on without your backing. Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our amazing children. Goodness knows what is going through their young minds at the moment, but their positivity and resilience is inspiring to us all. We are so sorry that our school is having to close its gates for so many, but this is in the interest of the health and welfare of our school community. We will do our very best to continue providing care and education for ALL of our children, for as long as we have to operate in such a different way. Rest assured, we will continue to communicate through our app, our website and by email. Take care everyone and stay well. Love and best wishes - Mr Sheppard.