SNOW @ RUSHMERE HALL
Rushmere Hall Snow Gallery - email your pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org
LAST UPDATE - 02.03.18
STATUS - OPEN
28th Feb - School Open from 10am
1st Mar - School Open
2nd Mar - School Open
In the event of snow, we aim to ensure that the school remains open for the pupils.
However, a number of our staff do not live in Ipswich. We have staff from Sudbury, Felixstowe, Stowmarket and I travel in from Braintree. The only reason we would ever need to close the school is if we are unable to get enough staff in to school for it to be safe for the children.
On a day when snow has been expected, Mr Smith will arrive at school first with the caretakers to ensure the site is accessible and walkways etc are safe for pupils and adults to gain access to the building. Mr Smith and myself will then make contact with staff to check that we have enough staff, who can get in to school, in order for us to open.
Local authority guidance says that Parents should listen to local radio for information about whether the school is open, however, we will use our text messaging service to inform you of a closure and update the website.
Will absences be unauthorised if my child does not come to school?
Officially, if the school is open and the children are in catchment, the Local Authority have confirmed that this absence should be unauthorised. However, as a school we understand that Parents would not intentionally keep their children off school and so depending on the information we receive from parents we would consider each case separately. If you contact us to tell us that your journey will be unsafe then we will not advise you to make that journey.
What will children do in school on a ‘Snow Day’?
Understandably, the look and feel of the school day will be slightly different to normal during a ‘Snow Day’. For logistical reasons, there are adjustments to lunchtime timings, when and where the playtimes take place and potentially some lessons such as P.E. are cancelled due to weather conditions or because they are provided by an external supplier. Playtimes often take place on the field due to sheer size of the space and the softer surface.
In class, the children continue to follow the curriculum and for a large part of the school have standard lessons. In some cases, class teachers may maximise the links to snow by converting current planned lessons more relevant to the external conditions. E.g. a poetry task that was supposed to be connected to a History topic was converted to a Snow based poem. One class did a Science experience / maths lesson exploring the length of time it took for snow to melt in different locations around the school. This replaced the measuring lesson that was originally planned.
The school does not use DVDs or worksheets to keep the children busy during snow days. Each class is taught by a qualified teacher or one of our 5 cover instructors. We are also incredibly lucky to have booster teachers, intervention teachers who are also qualified teachers who are able to step in and cover classes. DVDs are occasionally used over the lunchtime period as an hour outside in the snow would be far too long for children to be outside.
Why are after school clubs cancelled?
We cancel after school clubs because we do not want staff to be staying late at school. Once the children have been collected, we encourage staff to leave the site as soon as possible in order to get home. After school staff meetings are also cancelled during snow periods.
When school is open on a snow day...
Pupils need to arrive at school with...
(a) Wearing appropriate footwear (to be safe in slippery, icy conditions)
(b) Some dry shoes in a labelled carrier bag (to change into when in class)
(c) A spare pair of socks (if socks are damp from playtimes / walk to school)
(d) Gloves, scarf etc
... and enter the building by following the paths marked out by the caretaker.
Pupils WILL have playtime outside in the snow.
Playtime will only be cancelled if the playground is hazardous due to the snow turning in to ice.
Pupils may not follow their normal timetable. The school cannot guarantee that instrument lessons will be running.
If we did need to shut...
Some activities to complete at home and bring to school once the snow has gone...
Why does the school try to open when there is snow?
When other schools are closed in the area and there is snow fall it would be very easy for us to close the school. Whether or not the school is open or closed on a snow day; the staff are still paid. ‘Snow days’ are difficult to deliver and are often much busier than an average day. This is not something new for Rushmere, this has always been the school’s approach to snow closure.
So… taking this into consideration, there must be some really good reasons why the school tries its best to remain open?
Yes there are. Lots of reasons;
Some companies are sympathetic if you are unable to come to work because your child’s school is closed for snow, some are not!
What if the playgrounds are dangerous?
The school protocol is that paths will be cleared by Mr Smith and the site staff. Parents will need to supervise their children to the school doors, ensuring they stay within the marked areas. When doors are opened children are invited to go straight into the classroom.
In the event of entry doors being closed (after registration), parents are advised to knock on the doors (Year 1, Year 5and Year 6) to gain access or walk round to the office (Year R,2,3,4). This is because in order to open the school and allow flexible entry, we need the teachers and adults in the classroom and not on the playground.
Mr Smith is patrolling the playgrounds along with Mrs Spearman encouraging the children to go straight in to school.
It is also likely that the playgrounds will be no more dangerous than the pavements outside the school. We encourage parents to supervise their children to the classroom doors. In the event of the playgrounds being hazardous children will not go at break times on these surfaces.
During the school day, the site staff and Mr Smith check the playgrounds to see if they are safe for the children to play on. On heavy snow days, we utilise the school field as it is a much safer surface. When the snow turns to ice the children do not go out for playtimes and will have their playtimes inside. This is the only time when a DVD maybe used.