Back to School August 2020
Resources to support parents
Up to date guidance to parents below
Thursday August 13th 2020
A warm welcome back to Downpatrick PS to all our children and you, our parents!
It has been a challenging time for everyone and our children especially and I and the whole staff are looking forward to getting back into school and teaching the great children we have at DPS. We will endeavour to do so in as safe and supporting way as possible to help all our children to learn and develop in a safe and caring environment.
You will remember that I wrote to parents via email and posted on our school Website as well as Facebook and Twitter pages on 30 June about our plans for Re-Starting school on 24 August.
Following new guidance issued yesterday afternoon and a statement from the Minister of Education last week I can now update you on our plans – please read the information below.
The school staff will be in school next week preparing for the new school year and finalising the fine details which need to take into account the new guidance issued yesterday.
We plan to send out more details early next week so please keep an eye out for them as well.
I have also attached two messages to parents from the Minister for Education, Mr Peter Weir MLA which were published this morning.
PLEASE READ CAREFULLY - They contain key messages for you as parents.
FOR DOWNPATRICK PRIMARY SCHOOL:
The following Dates are CONFIRMED:
Monday 24 August
· School will start for ALL P7 Children (This will be in a WHOLE CLASS Bubble)
· School will start for ALL LSC Children (new P1 LSC children will have their own starting programme)
· School will start for P2-P6 Children (This will be in WHOLE CLASS Bubbles)
Each Bubble will remain self-contained and they will have staggered break times to ensure that each bubble is maintained as separate from the others.
Length of School Day Week of 24 August – School will end at 12pm (no school meals will be available this week)
Tuesday 1 September
· School will start for P1 Children in the main school. (P1 have their own starting programme which was sent out by Mrs Cooke)
Further Details with STAGGERED STARTING/FINISHING TIMES and the Social Distancing/health & wellbeing measures being introduced will be sent out on Monday 17 August by email and published on our Website, Facebook and Twitter pages.
Please monitor your email and school social media pages over the next week and pass on to any other parents you are in contact with.
Tips for preparing your child for return to school on Monday August 24th
Equipment needed for August 24th - bring to school on first day back (see pictures below)
School Transport - guidance from EA
More information on the home to school transport service is available on the Education Authority
The Department of Education's guidance draws a clear distinction between the guidance for those using dedicated school transport and those using public bus/train services.
Dedicated school transport includes:
- EA yellow buses
- Translink school buses that are only used by pupils and not used by the general public
- privately operated school bus services that are only used by pupils
Will a full home to school transport service be operating? Parents, children and young people are strongly encouraged to consider alternatives to using the home to school transport service for their journey to and from school. They should try to use active travel methods such as walking or cycling. They should only seek to use the home to school transport service where no alternative is available.
Home to school transport will run from 1 September except for those pupils in years 7, 12 and 14 who will have access to a limited home to school transport service from 24 – 28 August based on normal school opening times. Further details will be available on the EA website