KING'S PARK PRIMARY AND NURSERY SCHOOL
(EDUCATION AUTHORITY – SOUTHERN REGION)
29 June 2020
From the Board of Governors and Principal of King’s Park Primary & Nursery School
I trust you are all well and staying safe. I write to update you on our plans for re-opening King’s Park after the summer holidays.
It is important at the outset to say this is the plan as of today 29 June and that Government and Education Authority advice may change between now and the 24 August. Any such new advice may well impact on our current plan and cause the Governors to re-assess and change our advice to parents.
Firstly, it is our hope and intention to try and return all of our children to school in September and to adhere to all of the guidance in managing the threat of Covid-19 on our children and staff. One metre distancing for P1-P7 children and two metres for all staff.
Your understanding and co-operation will be critical if this aim is to be achieved.
It is hoped the Primary 7 children and a number of other children will return to school on 24 August. It is likely that we will operate a phased return of the remaining children in September with different year groups starting on different dates.
We have requisitioned 200+ single pupil desks to meet the one metre social distancing rule.
Unfortunately, in King’s Park when it comes to the physical size of our 28 classrooms we only have approximately 10 rooms which are 60 square metres in size – which meet the Department of Education’s regulations. Of the remaining 18 rooms approximately 4 are under 40 square metres.
This large number of very small classrooms and associated accommodation is why we are due to have a new school build for September 2023. Work is ongoing regarding our new build school.
This small physical class size issue creates a problem for the Governors in the context of Covid-19 requirements, particularly for Primary 5 classrooms come September. To meet the regulations and to achieve our aim of returning all children to school in September the Governors have decided to create a fourth Primary 5 class next year. That class will be made up largely of the same children who were in the fourth Primary 2 class which existed before they were amalgamated two years ago.
It is important to say even with the four Primary 5 classes next year it may be necessary to move a small number of children across the new four Primary 5 rooms to facilitate social distancing requirements. This may also apply in a small number of cases in Primary 4, 6 and 7 children.
While it seems the Covid-19 threat is for the time being under control, it will be important that we as a school community do not drop our guard or become complacent in the weeks and months ahead. To this end many other changes will have to be made across King’s Park to adapt to the “new normal” come September, for example: it is unlikely parents will be allowed to enter our school buildings except in an emergency; a staggered drop off and collection of children is likely to be implemented; children and staff will be asked to remain in their class “bubble” throughout the school day; etc.
I and each teacher will over the coming two months be informing you of what further changes will be necessary to observe the Covid regulations within the school and to keep your child and the staff safe, which will at all times be our first priority.
I trust you will again appreciate that the Government advice we are receiving seems to change almost by the day and that the decisions made above have been taken as early as possible to let our parents know as best we can, what a return to King’s Park will mean for everyone.
In the meantime take care, stay safe and enjoy the holidays.
PS You may want to view our website regularly for updates and today to view the staff sing along!!
W Jennett T Shields
Chairperson DTO Shields
Board of Governors Principal