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Returning to school

Discussion in 'Early Years' started by becboo22, May 16, 2020.

  1. becboo22

    becboo22 New commenter

    With the return to school imminent, what are teacher's putting in place for the children in early years?

    I was thinking of putting some packs together for each child so that they have a set of their own resources that they can use. For example:

    ·Each child has a pack with the following items:

    -Whiteboard and pen

    -Pot of playdough-


    -Set of crayons

    -Tweezers and little things to pick up

    -Set of number cards

    Also the children will need toys so I was thinking of a box of a select few toys that can be easily cleaned at the end of the day and throughout. A different box for each day of the week. We would also be doing lots of outside activities, singing, yoga, role play, stories etc.

    Has anyone else come up with some other ideas?
  2. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    By giving select resources, we are limiting learning.

    I don't know a way around it that doesn't require you to hire a full time cleaner to be in the room all day cleaning everything.
  3. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    This is correct, each child will need individual sterilised resources placed on their work station before they enter, and not to move at all from their station, or swap or share or move resources throughout the day. All resources will need sterilising again at the end of the day.

    All students should be required to bring their own bottle of hand gel to use before they touch anything at their work station
  4. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    Forget toys
    ACOYEAR8 likes this.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    install and Corvuscorax like this.

    ACOYEAR8 Star commenter

    Why anyone continues to state that this type of return to school is in the child's best interest in order to avoid long term damage to their education is staggeringly ridiculous. At best, children will come away with memories of incessant warnings, the smell of disinfectant and a fear of proximity. Home might be even more welcoming at the end of a school day than it has ever been.
  7. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    exactly, and we are not even going to be able to get a quarter of a class into a classroom
    ACOYEAR8 likes this.
  8. lizdot

    lizdot New commenter

    Government Guidance: Planning guide for returning to school

    "For younger children, the resources made available for child-initiated learning should be carefully considered. For example, malleable resources, such as play dough, should not be shared and consideration should be given to their safe use, depending on circumstances.

    Resources for activities such as painting, sticking, cutting, small world play, indoor and outdoor construction activities should be washed before and after use (more detailed guidance on this will be included in the guide for early years providers) and where possible, children should be discouraged from sharing these.

    Children should be taught to wash their hands frequently, but particularly after using wheeled bikes, trikes and other large, movable toys. Children should be encouraged where possible not to touch their faces or to put objects in their mouths. Sharing stories, singing and playing outdoor games will help all children to socialise and resettle into familiar everyday classroom routines."

    I just have no idea of how to put this into place whilst maintaining any sense of normality!

    And I have only one wash basin which is some distance from the outside area.
  9. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    So funny to read posts from a poster who doesn't teach in EYFS, nor even in primary, telling us about 'workstations' and the like. People who actually teach in EYFS, who have remained open throughout with only a small drop in numbers, have a very different picture.

    Here's some ideas I have nabbed from people who are already doing this job and have done so throughout the peak of infections, when one could argue it was more dangerous.

    We have been open .. we don’t have any soft toys, the few role play outfits we wash at the end of the session, clean all toys that have been used and we have play dough fresh made and at the end we throw it away .. still have water but change it a lot during the session and we wipe outside equipment to before and after each session.. social distancing is a hard one with pre school age .. as soon as we get home clothes go straight into the wash and shower.

    The other advice is don’t let the parents into the setting and each child take their temperature and write it down before they come into the room as soon as they come in make sure they wash their hands. If you have a sheltered outside then keep their coats and bags outside. We did that from the start and remove shoes. It has worked for us so far and fingers crossed it carries on when we get more of the children back. Take care and keep safe x

    My team and I have been in work the whole time of this lockdown with approximately 15 children each day of varying ages. In addition I have admitted 5 emergency children from other nurseries and not so much as a cough or a sniffle. We have practised normal day to day hygiene gloves, aprons, and hand washing and children are encouraged to wash their hands on arrival and throughout the day. Parents are not allowed into the group rooms as before but take their child to their child’s room to be greeted by staff. All parents use the hand sanitizers on arrival and leaving the building. I have removed sand, water play dough and gloop activities for the interim period. All soft toys puppets are on their holidays for the time being and we have a strict cleaning regime of equipment in place. The important thing is not to be anxious as the children listen and pick up on this and follow all good practice guidelines and you will be fine. Very proud of my team and children how they have coped with the absolute change in the working/ daily lives.

    no social distancing for the children but we have closed our dens and playhouse, rearranged the room to remove small spaces like the book corner, removed the sand and water tray, limited the amount of children going into the toilet area and using the sinks (we have three basins side by side so closed off the middle one).
    Clean, wash hands, no resources that cannot be washed, no toys brought in from home, no toys to leave the preschool, water bottles are washed on arrival and stored separately, belongings and coats not hung together or bags placed together, we eat in the same room, parents drop off in a designated socially distanced space at the entrance, not allowed to enter, staff try to social distance, no masks.
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  10. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I'm planning on having a box of toys for each day with a variety inside. Then that box is put in an unused room at the end of the day for the virus to die over the week until we use the box again.

    On top of this I will have a large tub of sterilising solution in the room and when children finish with mobilo, duplo, etc they can put it in there and I'll fish it out at the end of the day or the next morning.

    Playdough, each child can have their own in a small zip lock bag. If they want more or a different colour they can make it, as they usually do.

    Outdoors as much as possible and wipe down toys between use.

    Children could spray each other on arrival and walk through a tray of anti-bac, as well as using gel. Then once they are in our area they should all be 'clean' as will all staff. Then there should be minimal chance of infection.

    Stole these ways of opening from nurseries based in hospitals and so on who have continued to be more or less full with children who have parents working on covid wards and otherwise with covid patients. If they can do all this and have almost no infections, then it will be fine for my little lot.
  11. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    I came here out of interest because I have KS1 child who could return to school. I teach in the same school and my understanding is they are planning as above - lots of cleaning but no distancing will be enforced (which I completely understand). It’ll be very clean but if you have a child who is contagious, coughs etc. make transmission likely.
    My child won’t be returning this term. It might be that these measures are enough, but it’ll be a month before we’ll really know if UK schools reopening, with UK transmission numbers as they are, is a mistake. There are no other countries whose numbers are really comparable, just small studies in countries with lower transmission rates when they reopened (correct me if I’m wrong). I want my children to be in school but I cannot feel confident about this, and for half a term it doesn’t feel worth it.
    I’ll probably be on a rota with Y6 but my school have agreed I can fit that around when my partner can be at home with my child (we have another child who will be at home anyway). It’s all a complete mess.
    I wonder what sort of numbers will return?
  12. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    To be honest, that will be the deciding factor in how things actually operate.
    jomaimai likes this.
  13. piknik

    piknik New commenter

    Hi all

    This kind of thread is perfect to share sensible ideas and avoid the chaos peddling social media and newspapers. I am the PSHE lead at a First school and I would like to make the transition back to school as stress free as possible. If the children and their families have realistic expectations and the children are carefully prepared with age appropriate questions / answers then it should be easier to manage and maintain. With this in mind, I would like to create a transition document focused on returning to school after the period away due to Coronavirus but being prepared for the changes we are trying to put in place to keep them safe. This is also important to support parents and give them reasonable confidence in returning the children to school. I have spent much of the weekend trying to find suitable resources to send out to parents that can be shared with EYFS children (I work in Reception) that will prepare children for the changes they will come across when they come back to school. I know it is relatively early days but I can't find anything! Does anybody have anything or know where I can find this kind of resource ? Or as I suspect, if resource is not available, what kind of things would you include in a child friendly powerpoint, for example?

    Take care all
  14. CabbageWhite20

    CabbageWhite20 Occasional commenter

    Any chance there’s a member of staff with a child of an appropriate age you could borrow and film modelling what it will be like when they come in, say goodbye, leave their outdoor things, wash their hands etc.? Seeing exactly what and where might be very reassuring. If you can’t do that then maybe still photos with a toy instead of a child.
  15. nizebaby

    nizebaby Star commenter

    Caterpillar, I can't read the green ink!
  16. Corvuscorax

    Corvuscorax Star commenter

    are you qualified to do this? I m asking becasue on another thread, a well meaning poster has made suggestions that would actively encourage the spread of the virus, by suggesting measures that they believe would reduce spread.

    If you are not qualified to do this, then please do not attempt it. Or wait until the full instructions have been issued by government advisers, read it in its totality, and produce such a document in collaboration with others who have also read it and taken it on board fully.

    Schools are going to be dangerous. There is no doubt about that. Many schools have already said they will not reopen as it isn't safe. The last thing we need in schools that are reopening, in spite of the dangers, is well meaning amateurs with no knowledge of virology, making "back to work" policies and documents
    NLDM likes this.
  17. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Actually the last thing we really need is scaremongering from people who have been called out on it on multiple threads.
    School staff need to make back to work policies and so on. It's what we do. :rolleyes:

    Schools and nurseries have remained open throughout and very few have seen a serious problem. Taking strategies from them and replicating is the most sensible thing we can do as they have been proven to work.

    Sorry...made it easier?
    no social distancing for the children but we have closed our dens and playhouse, rearranged the room to remove small spaces like the book corner, removed the sand and water tray, limited the amount of children going into the toilet area and using the sinks (we have three basins side by side so closed off the middle one).
    Clean, wash hands, no resources that cannot be washed, no toys brought in from home, no toys to leave the preschool, water bottles are washed on arrival and stored separately, belongings and coats not hung together or bags placed together, we eat in the same room, parents drop off in a designated socially distanced space at the entrance, not allowed to enter, staff try to social distance, no masks.

    piknik likes this.
  18. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    I imagine there isn't anything because all schools will be different depending on where they are in the country, how many children, how many staff and that kind of thing. My school definitely won't have 15 in a class as our rooms are tiny and we only have 16 as a legal max. But others schools who usually have 60 in a large EYFS area, will rattle about with 15 in there.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the detail, children are resilient and adapt to changes. They are already used to a totally different life, so will take things in their stride.

    Maybe once you have your room set up and know how you will manage the bubbles, then take photos of the room and write a letter to parents, asking them to go through it with their child in the way they think best?
    piknik and ShowerGel like this.
  19. sarahlat89

    sarahlat89 New commenter

    It's great to hear what everyone else is doing, this is an absolute minefield.

    I've been having a think (Reception CT here) and so far, depending on how far I want to go with trying to distance the children, these are some ideas I have.

    -Tables set up in L shapes with a child at each end. Every child has their own set of resources and can keep their water bottle there. I know this sounds absolutely awful but I just can't see other ways?
    -One set of construction out with a max of two children using it, which goes into cleaning solution at the end of the session. Construction changes each session.
    - When a child has read a book in the reading area, they put it in the "finished box" to go away for a week.
    -Activities to be encouraged to be completed at their own set table - e.g. cutting/sticking/painting.
    -Small selection of other activities can be changed daily (e.g. threading beads, magnetic letters and numbers, puzzles). These can either be washed straight after or put away for a week.
    -Lots of time outdoors - yoga, dancing, songs, stories, "socially distant" games, general outdoor activities
    -No mud kitchen, no sand, no soft toys.
    -With larger construction outdoors, could they have a large tuff tray of soapy water to put it in when they have finished? They could wash it down themselves? Or no?
    -Plenty of opportunities to wash hands and hand gel throughout the day.
    -After every "play" session has ended, wipe down tables and chairs, any plastic toys children have been using get cleaned.

    It feels totally unnatural and I don't want children to pick up on anxieties but it is hard. I don't really know how I'm supposed to teach them a huge deal at this point, but I guess time will tell. I don't even know if I have the space in my classroom for these ideas.
  20. TeacherMan19

    TeacherMan19 Occasional commenter

    This week some nursery children have gone back to school. They've done really well with it. We will know in a few weeks how it has gone.

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